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About The Cost of Caring

The Cost of Caring is a documentary about the high incidence of veterinarian suicide rates in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Veterinary Medical Association published a joint study in 2019 indicating that veterinarians were more likely to die by suicide as compared to the general U.S. population. Men were 2.1 times more likely and for women, it was worse at 3.5 times. The researchers cited multiple stressors that may play a role: the daily demands at work which include euthanizing pets, burnout, compassion fatigue, poor work-life balance, and being cyber bullied and vilified by pet owners for not meeting their expectations. This film delves into those issues and exposes this crisis in the pet med industry today.

This documentary hopes to inform and educate the public about the devastating rise in suicide rates among veterinarians today and be a call to action to help prevent further loss of life in this profession.

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Our Team

Marie Barnas

Executive Producer and Director

Marie has earned two M.F.A. degrees, first in Film Production from Ohio University and then in Creative Writing from Georgia College and State University. She teaches courses in scriptwriting and film and video production at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU). Her professional interests include online education, study abroad, and documentary production. Her short films have won numerous domestic and international awards including Telly, Cindy, and Worldfest Houston among others. In 2014-15 she was awarded fellowships by The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, The International Radio and Television Society, and The National Association of Television Producers and Executives. She was awarded a second IRTS fellowship in 2018. Her last project, The Old Wood of Aviemore  won a prestigious Silver Telly award in June 2020.


Frank Barnas

Co-Executive Producer

Frank Barnas earned a Master of Fine Arts in Radio-TV-Film from the University of Texas, following graduate level productions in Antarctica, Central America, and across the United States. He teaches courses in scriptwriting and film and video production at MTSU. He is a three-time Fulbright Award recipient, has won multiple awards as a documentary film producer including Emmy, Cindy, Telly, and Worldfest Houston, and has authored seven textbooks.


Cacey Frazier

Associate Producer

After spending 6 years in restaurant management and then starting a family, Cacey found her home in veterinary management. For the last 8 years, she has managed Brogli, Lane, Weaver, and Alexander Animal Hospital mastering a whole new skill set in the veterinary industry while sharpening her leadership role. She is a voice and  advocate for animal welfare in Middle Tennessee and her expertise in the day-to-day operations of the veterinary industry is essential to this production.

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