Specialty Advisory Board (SAB) Members

Karin Beale, DVM, DACVD

Representative Dermatology & Allergy

Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists

Dr. Karin Beale earned both her bachelor’s degree and her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Florida. After graduation, she was engaged in small animal private clinical practice in the Washington, D.C., area for one year. Her passion for dermatology grew during that year and the following year she returned to the University of Florida for a residency in veterinary dermatology. After her residency, she attained board certification in dermatology and remained on faculty at the university for four years as an assistant professor of veterinary dermatology before leaving to found Gulf Coast Veterinary Dermatology and Allergy. Having lectured nationally and internationally, Dr. Beale has a special interest in infectious conditions of the skin and ear and managing allergic patients.

Matt Booth, DVM, DABVP (Canine and Feline)

Representative ABVP

NVA Compassion-First

Dr. Matt Booth earned both his bachelor’s degree and his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Georgia. While in school, he worked as a veterinary technician at a general practice and the university’s critical care unit. The experience helped him recognize his passion for small animal emergency and critical care. Upon graduation, Dr. Booth began working in Augusta, where there was a shortage of this type of veterinarian, and through mentorship, he became a primary emergency clinician. In 1999, he moved to Boulder, Colorado, where he continued to practice critical care, emergency medicine and surgery. In 2011, he became a diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners in canine and feline practices.

Marilyn Brink, DVM

Representative Emergency

Animal Emergency Hospitals

Dr. Marilyn Brink earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Michigan State University in 2008. Upon graduating, Dr. Brink joined Animal Emergency Hospitals (AEH) of Grand Rapids, Mich., as an ER veterinarian. She began serving as the hospital’s medical director in 2018. In 2021, she assisted with the design and opening of AEH’s second location in Byron Center, where she also serves as medical director. Dr. Brink is passionate about veterinary student and new graduate veterinarian mentorship. She oversees a mentorship program for aspiring ER veterinarians and an externship program for veterinary students.

Stacy Burdick, DVM, MBA, DACVIM (SAIM)

Chair of the Specialty Advisory Board

Clinical Advisor

NVA Compassion First

Dr. Stacy Burdick earned her bachelor’s degree from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Illinois. She completed a rotating internship at VCA Veterinary Referral and Emergency Center in Norwalk, Connecticut, her residency in Internal Medicine at the Animal Medical Center (AMC) in New York, and a fellowship in Interventional Radiology and Endoscopy at AMC. Upon completing her fellowship, Dr. Burdick joined Red Bank Veterinary Hospital in Tinton Falls, New Jersey, to start their Interventional Radiology and Endoscopy program. At that time, Red Bank Veterinary Hospital had just become the flagship hospital for Compassion-First Pet Hospitals. She served several years as Chief of Staff for Compassion-First Pet Hospitals, and in 2019, Dr. Burdick accepted the clinical advisor role with Compassion-First. Following the integration with NVA, she accepted the full-time role of clinical advisor for NVA Compassion-First in June 2021. In this role, Dr. Burdick is thrilled to be supporting our medical teams in the advancement of medicine.

Michelle Fabiani, DVM, DACVR

Chair of the Marketing, Recruitment & Communications Committee

Representative Diagnostic Imaging

Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists

Dr. Michelle Fabiani earned both her bachelor’s degree and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Texas A&M University. She practiced general and emergency small animal medicine for six years prior to pursuing a career in radiology. Dr. Fabiani completed a three-year residency at Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists in 2002 and became board certified by the American College of Veterinary radiology in 2003. Since board certification, Dr. Fabiani has acted as staff radiologist at Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists. Additionally, Dr. Fabiani was an adjunct professor of Diagnostic Imaging at Saint Matthew’s University, College of Veterinary Medicine from 2006-2012. She has lectured extensively, providing education to veterinary students and veterinarians locally, nationally and internationally. In 2012, Dr. Fabiani became the first veterinary radiologist to receive the Texas Academy of Veterinary Practice Clinical Referral and Consultation Award. She enjoys all aspects of diagnostic imaging, but her special interests include developing enterprise imaging, exotic animals and interventional radiology techniques.

Kathryn Fleetwood, LVT

Representative LVT/RVT/CVT/VTS

Summit Veterinary Referral Center

Kathryn Fleetwood has been in the veterinary field for over 13 years. She began her career as an assistant before attending technician school at San Diego Mesa College and passing her board exams in July 2011. In addition to her veterinary education, she has a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of West Georgia. As a technician, she’s worked in emergency, surgery and ophthalmology in San Diego. Fleetwood then spent time as the hospital manager of a small general practice clinic in Littleton, Colorado, as well as a larger practice in Southern California. She currently works as the emergency department manager at Summit Veterinary Referral Center in Tacoma, Washington.

Brooke Fowler, DVM, MS, DACVIM (Oncology)

Chair of Clinical Studies Committee

Representative Oncology

Colorado Animal Specialty & Emergency (CASE)

Dr. Brooke Fowler earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Illinois. She completed a rotating internship at a private practice in Chicago, as well as an oncology internship and three-year residency at the University of Missouri. During her residency, she obtained a master’s degree with a special focus on the immune system as it relates to cancer.

Eric N. Glass, DVM, MS, DACVIM (Neurology)

Chair of Network Engagement Committee

Red Bank Veterinary Hospitals

Dr. Eric N. Glass earned both his bachelor’s degree and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Cornell University. He completed a rotating internship at the Animal Medical Center in New York City and a residency in neurology and neurosurgery at University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Glass has been published in multiple peer-reviewed journals and is a co-author of the textbook Veterinary Neuroanatomy and Clinical Neurology. He currently serves as section head of neurology and neurosurgery at Red Bank Veterinary Hospital in Tinton Falls, New Jersey, and of Compassion-First Pet Hospitals nationwide. His clinical interests include neurosurgery and correlation of neurologic signs with neuroanatomic diagnoses.

Rachel Halpin, DVM, DACVECC

Vice Chair of the Specialty Advisory Board

CARE Center

Dr. Rachel Halpin earned her bachelor’s degree from Delware Valley University and her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Missouri. She completed an internship in small animal medicine and surgery at Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston and a residency in emergency and critical care at the University of Missouri. In addition to practicing as a criticalist, Dr. Halpin currently serves as medical director for Care Center in Cincinnati/Dayton. Her clinical interests include management of respiratory distress and mechanical ventilation, sepsis and the impact of culture and communication of patient outcomes.

Juliette Hart, MS, DVM, CCRT, CVA, DACVSMR

Representative Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation

Animal Emergency & Speciality Center (AESC)

Dr. Juliette Hart earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Colorado State University, while also completing certificate programs in both Canine Rehabilitation Therapy and Large Animal and Small Animal Acupuncture. After completing an internship program, she pursued additional veterinary orthopedic and sports medicine training and then returned to Colorado State University as the first resident in Small Animal Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation. She is now a board-certified Diplomate in Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation (Small Animal). Dr. Hart is one of only a few Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation residency-trained specialists in the United States. In her three-year intensive residency program, Dr. Hart trained under leaders in the fields of sports medicine, orthopedics, regenerative medicine, musculoskeletal ultrasound and rehabilitation. She works closely with orthopedic surgeons, neurologists, criticalists, and other specialists to ensure that every patient has the best options available for recovery and return to function.

Michael Higginbotham DVM, DACVIM (Neurology)

Representative Neurology

Bush Veterinary Neurology Service

Dr. Michael Higginbotham earned both his bachelor’s degree and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Auburn University. He completed a small animal medicine/surgery internship at Mississippi State University along with neurology internships at the University of Georgia and Affiliated Vet Specialists. He then went on to complete his Neurology & Neurosurgery residency at the Veterinary Neurological Center in Las Vegas. He received certification in Neurology in July 2011. Dr. Higginbotham currently works at Bush Veterinary Neurology Service in Richmond. Prior to that, he practiced in Austin and worked at St. George’s University in Grenada as an associate professor of Neurology/Neurosurgery.

Emi Knafo DVM, Diplomate ACZM

Chair of Retention & Wellness

Representative for Zoological Medicine

Red Bank Veterinary Hospitals

Dr. Emi Knafo earned her bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Tufts University. During veterinary school, Dr. Knafo participated in an international veterinary medicine program in South Africa focused on wildlife and conservation medicine. In 2006, she spent the summer conducting original research on parasitism of Grevy’s zebra populations in northern Kenya. After graduation, she completed a surgery and critical care internship at the University of Pennsylvania, and then a zoological medicine internship at the University of Georgia. In 2013, she completed a residency in zoological medicine at Cornell University. She then joined the faculty at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in 2014 as a Clinical Assistant Professor of Zoological Medicine. While at Tufts, Dr. Knafo started the first curriculum in honeybee veterinary medicine at a U.S. veterinary school. In 2018, Dr. Knafo joined the Exotics Department at Red Bank Veterinary Hospital in Tinton Falls, New Jersey. She is a Diplomate of the American College of Zoological Medicine, which includes all exotic (non-domestic) animals from invertebrates, fish, birds, reptiles, small mammals, and large mammals/megavertebrates. She is one of two ACZM specialists in the state of New Jersey, and one of the first 10 ACZM specialists with the subspecialty Zoological Companion Animal (also known as exotics) in the world. She has traveled internationally to work with wildlife in South Africa, zebra in Kenya, and tortoises in the Galapagos.

Nadine Koreman, DVM

Representative Canada

Animal Emergency Clinic of Fraser Valley

Dr. Nadine Koreman earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine. Following an internship in Auburn, Alabama, she worked as an emergency veterinarian at Vancouver Animal Emergency Clinic. VAEC pioneered emergency medicine in the Lower Mainland. At the time, it was the only fully staffed facility available for after-hours veterinary care. Dr. Koreman along with many of the local veterinarians saw a need for after-hours emergency care for the pets of our community. In 1996, she opened the Animal Emergency Clinic of the Fraser Valley. The challenge, unpredictability, and the opportunity to make a big difference to our patients in a short amount of time is what drew Dr. Koreman to emergency medicine. She enjoys the wide variety of cases that continue to amaze her as well as the great staff she works with.

Ingar Krebs, DVM, Diplomate ACVS-SA

Representative Surgery

Upstate Vet Emergency & Specialty Care

Dr. Ingar Krebs earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Colorado State University. After an Internship at the University of Illinois, Dr. Krebs practiced as a general practitioner in rural Arkansas for two years before returning to the Midwest to complete his small animal surgery residency at Iowa State University. Following his residency, he stayed at Iowa State as a soft tissue faculty surgeon and worked at Iowa Veterinary Specialties to perform soft tissue, orthopedic, and neurologic surgery. He currently works at Upstate Vet Specialty Pet Hospital in Asheville, North Carolina, as a staff surgeon and medical director. He has a special interest in oncologic surgery as well as minimally invasive surgery.

Charles Kuntz, DVM, MS, MACVSc

Representative Vet Partners, Surgery

Southpaws Specialty, Emergency & Referral Hospital, Victoria, Australia

Representative Vet Partners, Oncology – Southpaws Specialty, Emergency & Referral Hospital, Victoria, Australia
Dr. Charles Kuntz earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Florida. Following an internship at the Animal Medical Center in New York City, he completed his residency and master’s degree in surgery at Virginia Tech University. In 1996, Dr. Kuntz achieved specialty board certification in surgery. He then did a one-year fellowship in cardiovascular research and surgery. He completed a fellowship in surgical oncology at Colorado State University, where he was later a professor of Orthopedic Surgery before moving to northern Virginia to start one of the busiest surgical referral practices in the Washington DC area. There, he served as the program chair and on the Board of Directors of the District of Columbia Academy of Veterinary Medicine. In 2004, Dr. Kuntz moved to Australia, where he founded Southpaws Specialty Surgery for Animals in Melbourne. He also loves veterinary education, often hosting free lectures and live streaming videos of surgeries. He enjoys the questions and interest from veterinary professionals around the world.

Dustin Lewis, DVM, MBA, MS, Diplomate ACVR (RO)

Representative Radiation Oncology

Red Bank Veterinary Hospitals

Dr. Dustin Lewis earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Purdue University. He completed a small animal rotating internship at the Animal Medical Center in New York. In July 2013, he completed a joint residency in radiation oncology at North Carolina State University and Colorado State University. Upon completing his residency, he accepted a position as radiation oncologist at Red Bank Veterinary Hospital in Tinton Falls, New Jersey, where he’s worked since. He also offers his services at the Veterinary Referral Center in Malvern, Pennsylvania. In 2017, Dr. Lewis earned an MBA from Indiana University, where he also received a second master’s degree in strategic management in 2018.

Kimberly Luce, DVM

Representative General Practice

Charleston Veterinary Referral Center

Dr. Kimberly Luce earned her bachelor’s from Duke University and her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from North Carolina State University. Though most of her career has been in the ER, she has also spent time working in General Practice and in administration as Medical Director of two hospitals. She currently works at Charleston Veterinary Referral Center. Prior to that, she practiced veterinary medicine in Los Angeles for 11 years. 

Brandi Mattison, DVM, DACVECC

Chair of Medical Innovation Committee

Representative Emergency/Critical Care

Arizona Veterinary Emergency & Critical Care Center

Dr. Brandi Mattison earned her bachelor’s degree from South Dakota State University and her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Minnesota. Following graduation, Dr. Mattison practiced general medicine for four years at a walk-in practice in Spokane, Washington, where she developed an interest in emergency and critical care medicine. Dr. Mattison completed an emergency and critical care internship and residency at Michigan State University in 2011 and became board-certified the same year. She has been an enthusiastic part of the Arizona Veterinary Emergency & Critical Care Center team since 2011 and Medical Director since 2017. Her special interests include immune-mediated thrombocytopenia and hemolytic anemia, disorders of coagulation, acute kidney injury, dialysis/therapeutic plasma exchange and care of the critically ill postoperative patient. She is passionate about teaching and providing advanced training in emergency and critical care medicine.

Diana Pate, DVM, DIPLOMATE ACVO

Representative Ophthalmology

Upstate Vet Specialty & Emergency

Dr. Diana Pate earned both her bachelor’s degree and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Tennessee. Following a small animal surgery and medicine internship at the University of Georgia and an additional year as the UGA triage doctor, Dr. Pate began a three-year ophthalmology residency at North Carolina State University. During this residency, she received specialty training in the medical and surgical management of canine, feline, equine, food animal and exotic animal eye disease. After becoming board-certified in ophthalmology, Dr. Pate joined Upstate Vet Specialty & Emergency in Greenville, South Carolina, to establish the first veterinary ophthalmology service in Upstate and Western North Carolina areas. Her clinical interests include cataract surgery and corneal disease. She enjoys enhancing the quality of life of her patients by improving their vision and eliminating their eye pain.

Rebecca S. Salazar DVM, DACVAA

Chair of Medical Assurance Committee

Representative Anesthesia & Pain Management

Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists

Dr. Rebecca S. Salazar earned both her bachelor’s degree and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Texas A&M University, where she also completed her residency. Prior to joining Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists, Dr. Salazar was an assistant professor at the Center for Veterinary Health Sciences at Oklahoma State University. She is board certified in Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia and considers teaching current anesthesia protocols one of the most enjoyable aspects of her job. Her clinical interests include high-risk anesthesia cases and novel approaches to providing analgesia, including peripheral nerve blocks, epidural catheters and tailor-made analgesic plans for surgical, oncologic, trauma and internal medicine patients. 

Courtney Smith, DVM, MS, DACVIM (Cardiology)

Representative Cardiology

Metropolitan Animal Specialty Hospital

Dr. Courtney Smith earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Oregon State University. Following a rotating internship with Veterinary Specialty Hospital in San Diego, she returned to Oregon State University, where she completed a three-year cardiology residency and obtained a master’s degree in veterinary science. After her residency, Dr. Smith practiced cardiology in southern California. She recently established the cardiology department at Metropolitan Animal Specialty Hospital in Los Angeles. She enjoys managing all types of heart disease and working closely with families to provide the best care for her patients. 

Jennifer Tjepkema, DVM, DAVDC

Representative Dentistry

Animal Dental Center

Dr. Jennifer Tjepkema earned her bachelor’s degree from Bates College and her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Ross University. She completed her residency with Dr. Glenn Brigden at Pacific Coast Veterinary Dentistry and passed her specialty board examination in 2018. Prior to her residency, Dr. Tjepkema was a general practitioner for six years in Toano, Virginia. After leaving general practice, she owned her own practice limited to dentistry, which offered advanced dental services at three specialty hospitals in Virginia. She currently works at Animal Dental Center in York, Pennsylvania, and Towson, Maryland. Dr. Tjepkema has a passion for all aspects of dentistry but specifically oral surgery. She is also a member of the American Veterinary Society and has articles published in the Journal of America Veterinary Medical Association (JAVMA) and Journal of Veterinary Dentistry (JVD).

Melissa Turner, DVM, CVA

Representative Integrative Medicine

Red Bank Veterinary Hospitals

Dr. Melissa Turner earned her bachelor’s degree from Bucknell University and her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Cornell University. She completed her internship in small animal medicine and surgery at Oradell Animal Hospital, and in 2011, joined Red Bank Veterinary Hospitals in Hillsborough, New Jersey, as a general pratitioner. In 2012, Dr. Turner completed the Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist (CVA) program at Chi University, and in 2018, she advanced to a Certified Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine Practitioner (CTCVMP). Working concurrently as a general practitioner and an acupuncturist, Dr. Turner seeks to maximize the general wellness of every patient through a multimodal but individualized approach to medicine. Her clinical interests include preventative medicine, pain management, geriatric care and hospice care.

Carrie B. Waters, DVM, DACVIM, PhD

Chair of Training & Education Committee

Representative Internal Medicine

Atlantic Veterinary Internal Medicine & Oncology (AVIMO)

Dr. Carrie Waters earned her bachelor’s degree from the College of William and Mary and her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine. She completed her internship and small animal internal medicine residency at Purdue University, obtained board certification in small animal internal medicine, and received her doctorate in physiology from the University of Missouri. Dr. Waters enjoys all aspects of veterinary internal medicine and has a special interest in endocrinology and immune-mediated disease. She lived and worked in Texas for 23 years until relocating to the East Coast in 2020. She currently serves as the Medical Director of Atlantic Veterinary Internal Medicine & Oncology, a multisite specialty practice in Maryland. She is thankful for the tremendous opportunity to assist her amazing team in helping patients and their families every day.