About Compassion-First Pet Hospitals

  • Founded in September 2014 by John Payne, Compassion-First Pet Hospitals is revolutionizing how veterinary practices connect with one another. We are driven by a mission to provide the very best medicine and services to pets and their owners, while empowering individual growth and advancement within our family of employees. Compassion-First hospitals retain their unique identities and autonomies regarding medical decisions, while benefiting from the opportunity to share knowledge and maximize their resources as part of a dynamic network.


    The Compassion-First family of hospitals is comprised of a mix of specialty, emergency, and general medicine hospitals located throughout the United States. We recruit experienced doctors across a wide range of specialties, including minimally-invasive surgery and integrative oncology, and we invest in novel technologies rarely found in veterinary medicine, such as lithotripsy for

  • kidney or bladder stones. We believe in the importance of having a strong regional presence, which enables our veterinarians to seamlessly collaborate with one another and provides easy access to medical advancements and multidisciplinary expertise.


    We are Compassion-First because we put compassion first. It guides everything we do. We are committed to treating each family with kindness and sensitivity as we lead them through the best options for their pet’s comfort and quality of life. We foster a culture of respect, communication and cooperation among colleagues and staff, and in our daily interactions with the rDVM community. Most importantly, we know that the key to excellent patient outcomes is found through collaboration that is rooted in compassion. We are committed to these principles and are changing the veterinary landscape with our unique approach.

Compassion is not just part of our name—it guides everything we do.

Our Leadership

  • John Payne

    John Payne

    President & CEO

    John is an executive with 40 years of experience leading companies in both the human and veterinary healthcare industries. He is the former CEO of Banfield Pet Hospital and past President of Bayer Animal Health North America. His background includes the establishment of start-up companies and the growth and development of established companies. John is presently the Chairman of the Board of the American Humane Association.

  • John Corsale, DVM, MBA

    John Corsale, DVM, MBA

    Chief Operating Officer

    Dr. Corsale is a veterinary professional with unmatched hands-on experience, working in virtually every hospital position before becoming a veterinarian in 1992. He was the Veterinary Medical Officer for the USDA FSIS, and Group Vice President, South-East Territory for VCA Antech. Today, Dr. Corsale directs all aspects of hospital operations for Compassion-First Pet Hospitals.

  • Jean Clifton

    Jean Clifton

    Chief Business Development Officer

    Jean is an executive with extensive experience in finance, accounting and operations in the US and international markets. She worked with several MidOcean and Wasserstein portfolio companies before serving as CFO and EVP for Westwood One, a broadcast media company. Jean remains an independent board member for the American Red Cross, Fresh Air Fund and other organizations.

  • Alison A. Cornell

    Alison A. Cornell

    Chief Financial Officer

    Alison is an executive, business leader and strategist with significant accomplishments in the healthcare, chemicals/consumer products and telecommunications industries. After 19 years with AT&T, she served as Corporate Senior Vice President and CFO for Covance Inc. (NYSE:CVD), a global drug development company, and Executive Vice President & CFO for International Flavors & Fragrances (NYSE:IFF). Alison has her MBA and is a Certified Treasury Professional (CTP).

  • Matt Kowal

    Matt Kowal

    Chief Information Officer

    Matt is an executive with more than 30 years’ experience in consulting and information technology roles. He has worked with start-up, emerging and mature companies to develop new offerings, strengthen core functions, engage and serve customers, and grow profitably. He has helped organizations in health care, financial services, distribution, energy, and the public sector to leverage technology and implement change to transform their businesses.

  • Sharon Wojtkiewicz, MA, SPHR, SHRM-SCPH

    Sharon Wojtkiewicz, MA, SPHR, SHRM-SCPH

    Vice President, Human Resources

    Sharon is a senior business executive with over 20 years’ experience managing human resource (HR) functions. Her background includes HR leadership in the packaging, pharmaceutical, and gourmet food manufacturing industries. She has a master’s degree from Fairleigh Dickenson University in Industrial and Organizational Psychology, and has been certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources since 2006. Sharon provides HR strategy and leadership for the Compassion-First network.