Board of Directors


Alicia has worked in administrative/professional positions at the Southern Illinois University School of Law for more than 20 years. Her work as an attorney, mediator and administrator has given her an appreciation for the importance of collaboration to address complex challenges. Alicia has stated that the staff and volunteers of TAV bring a tremendous amount of talent and passion to the program. Her attention to detail makes her a very talented writer and an excellent proofreader – and we are delighted that she shares those talents freely with This Able Veteran. Alicia is an animal lover and is fascinated by the abilities of the dogs that are trained at TAV to assist veterans with their recovery from PTSD. “I volunteer with This Able Veteran because I believe their work is life-saving. As someone who is often frustrated by the lack of understanding and acceptance of mental health issues, I believe TAV’s success with the veterans who complete their program will help more people understand what PTSD is and that it is treatable.”


In addition to being an attorney, Jonathan Mitchell is also a United States Navy veteran.  Jonathan has more than 16 years of combined active and reserve experience, achieving the rank of Commander in the Navy Reserve.  He served in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom at Al Asad Air Base with the Base Command Group supporting the 2d Marine Air Wing.  He also served in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan as a Rule of Law Field Support Officer with Combined Joint Interagency Task Force-435 in Helmand Province. Jonathan was also the Senior Justice Advisor at Afghanistan’s Justice Center in Parwan.  He serves as an Officer in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps.  His current military assignment is Executive Officer of the 6th FLEET Legal Unit. Jonathan is welcome addition to our Board and will serve as our Military Advisor. Jonathan attended Baylor University and the University of Oklahoma Law School.  He works as an attorney at the law firm Feirich/Mager/Green/Ryan in Carbondale, Illinois. He resides in southern Illinois with his wife and two daughters.


Senior Vice President, Ambulatory Services & Chief Care Network Development Officer – Phil has been with SIHS as Vice President since 2000 and was previously Director of Corporate Planning. He became a Senior Vice President in 2017. Phil was Vice President of Planning and Marketing with Centegra Health Systems, McHenry, Illinois in early 2000. Prior to his association with SIHS, Phil was Director of Planning and Marketing with BroMenn Healthcare, Normal, Illinois (1992-1996), Director of Cardiac, Pulmonary and Neurological Services with BroMenn Healthcare (1984-1992), and Director of Cardiopulmonary Services with Mennonite Hospital, Bloomington, Illinois (1983-1984).

Phil received an Associate in Applied Science degree in Respiratory Therapy from Parkland College in 1976, a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with honors from Millikin University in 1982, and a Master of Science Degree in Healthcare Planning and Administration from the University of Cincinnati in 1987. He is board certified in Healthcare Management as a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives and is a registered Respiratory Therapist. He has served as a lecturer/instructor in the healthcare management program at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale and has taken part in many community leadership activities with organizations such as the United Way, Holy Trinity Junior High School, Central Catholic High School, Holy Spirit Church, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, Alzheimer’s Association, and the Center for Equine Services. He is a member of the Jackson County Growth Alliance and served as the chair of that organization’s Board of Trustees for over four years.


Behesha is the founder, executive director, trauma resiliency instructor and training director of This Able Veteran. Behesha brings a unique perspective to training and communicating with dogs and as a life coach, teaches the veterans through the Trauma Resiliency program to bridge the gap and begin to take control of their lives. As a trauma survivor herself, Behesha brings an uncommon insight to how a correctly trained service dog, combined with a trauma resiliency program, can make a difference in the lives of those suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress. Through This Able Veteran, she has developed a veteran-centric model of care which is enabling veterans to regain their sense of purpose and self, changing their lives and the lives of those who love them. Behesha is a gifted public speaker, lecturer and published author on the subjects of canine behavior, communication and training.