Specialty Advisory Board (SAB) Members

Matt Booth, DVM, DABVP (Canine and Feline)

Representative American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (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

VP, Chief Medical Officer

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 Red Bank Veterinary Hospital Tinton Falls, 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.  In June of 2022, Dr. Burdick completed her MBA at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Kenan-Flagler Business School.

Todd Carter, DVM, DACVIM

Representative Internal Medicine

ARISE Veterinary Center

Dr. Carter grew up in Birmingham, Alabama, and graduated from Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2007. He completed a rotating internship at Louisiana State University and spent a year in general practice before pursuing a residency in internal medicine. He finished his residency in Small Animal Internal Medicine at Michigan State University in 2012 and spent five years in private practice in Pittsburgh and New York before moving to Phoenix in 2017. He taught small animal internal medicine at Midwestern University for 5 years, before joining the team at ARISE Veterinary Center. Dr. Carter's professional interests include endocrinology with a focus on diabetes mellitus, gastrointestinal disease, and infectious disease.

Dana Connell, DVM, DACVIM

Representative Medical Oncology

Upstate Vet

Dr. Dana Connell received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine and Master's of Public Health from the University of Florida. Following a small animal surgery and medicine internship at Auburn University, Dr. Connell began a three-year oncology residency at the University of Illinois. During this residency she received specialty training in the diagnosis and treatment of canine and feline cancers. There she received a Master's of Science and successfully became boarded in Medical Oncology. Her clinical interests include hematopoietic malignancies such as lymphoma, bone cancers such as osteosarcoma, and client communication. She chose to specialize in oncology because it is a perfect combination of all the things she loves in veterinary medicine: diagnostic workups, imaging, client communication, and helping patients maintain excellent quality of life.

Eryn Del Monte, DVM

Representative Resident

Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists

Dr. Eryn Del Monte received her Bachelor’s degree in Equine Science and Business Administration from Colorado State University. There, she also completed her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 2018. Upon graduating, Dr. Del Monte completed an equine rotating internship in the Horse Capital of the World, Ocala, FL. She then completed a rotating small animal internship at VCA Sacramento before joining the GCVS team as a Diagnostic Imaging intern in 2020. She began her Diagnostic Imaging Residency at GCVS in July of 2021. Outside of work, Dr. Del Monte enjoys backcountry backpacking and other outdoor adventures with her husband and wire-haired Terrier mix, Peebs.

Dr. Krista Evans profile picture

Krista Evans, DVM, CCRT, DACVS

Surgery Representative

Chesapeake Veterinary Surgical Specialists.

Dr. Krista Evans attended the University of Georgia where she obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture and her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Evans did her rotating internship at Purdue University and her surgical residency at The Ohio State University. In 1994, Dr. Evans became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS) after passing all divisions of the certifying examination. Dr. Evans is a founding member of Chesapeake Veterinary Surgical Specialists and has practiced in Annapolis Maryland since 1993. In 2008 Dr. Evans became a certified canine rehabilitation therapist (CCRT) and developed the rehabilitation program at Chesapeake Veterinary Surgical Specialists. Dr. Evans is active in local and national professional organizations. She has served as president of the Anne Arundel Veterinary County Association (AAVMA); as president of the Maryland Veterinary Medical Association (MVMA); and has served on the Directors Board of the Veterinary Orthopedic Society (VOS). She has served on multiple committees for the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS), including residency and strategic planning committees, the nominating committee, the residency program committee, and is presently the representative of ACVS for the Veterinary Specialty Organization Committee. Dr. Evans has spoken, moderated, and taught veterinary surgical laboratories at local and national meetings, including the American College of Veterinary Surgeons; the Veterinary Orthopedic Society; the Central Veterinary Conference; the Potomac Veterinary Conference; the Maryland Veterinary Medical Association; the Anne Arundel County Veterinary Medical Association; and for Chesapeake Veterinary Referral Center (CVRC).
Dr. Evans resides in Annapolis, Maryland with her 2 dachshunds Summer and Autumn, and her warmblood mare Rosie.

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.

Kristen Frank, DVM, DACVIM (SAIM)

Chair of the Medical Assurance Committee

Ethos Veterinary Health

Dr. Kristen Frank is originally from Fort Lauderdale, FL. She received her undergraduate degree in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation with honors from the University of Florida in 2000. Dr. Frank continued her education at the University of Florida, receiving her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine in 2004. Following graduation, she completed a one year rotating small animal medicine and surgery internship at the Animal Medical Center in New York, NY. She then completed a three-year internal medicine residency at Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists and was accepted as a Diplomate into the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine in 2008. Dr. Frank worked as an internist at Fifth Avenue Veterinary Specialists and City Veterinary Care from 2008-2012 in New York City. In 2012, she joined the ASPCA Animal Hospital in NYC as a staff internist and was promoted to Intern Program Director in 2012 and Medical Director in 2015. She joined Ethos in August of 2018 as the Regional Medical Director for the East Region overseeing medical operations at 7 hospitals.

Rachel Halpin, DVM, DACVECC

Vice Chair of the Specialty Advisory Board

CARE Center

Dr. Rachel Halpin earned her bachelor’s degree from Delaware 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 & Neurosurgery

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.

Shelby Kappus, RVT

Representative Veterinary Technician

IndyVet Emergency & Specialty Hospital

Shelby obtained her associate's degree in Veterinary Technology in 2014 from International Business College, and became an RVT a couple of months after that. She worked at Purdue University’s College of Veterinary Medicine for her first year out of school, and has been with IndyVet Emergency & Specialty Hospital since then. She started her position at IndyVet as a Lead Emergency Technician and moved into her current position as the Nursing Director in 2017 where she oversees all Emergency & Specialty technicians. Shelby currently sits on the Advisory Board for International Business College’s Veterinary Technician program, as well as the Advisory Board for the C9 Work Based Learning program. She is also an active member of IVMA, IVTA, VECCS, and NAVTA, and is Fear Free and RECOVER certified. She is currently taking classes to obtain her CVPM, and enjoys helping other technicians reach their professional goals.

Kris Kruse-Elliott, DVM, PhD, DACVAA

Representative Anesthesia & Pain Management

SAGE Veterinary Centers

Dr. Kris Kruse-Elliott earned her BS and DVM from Oregon State University followed by a year in mixed animal practice in Seattle.  She completed an anesthesia residency at North Carolina State University and is board certified by the American College of Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia.  Following her residency, Dr. Kruse stayed at NCSU as a NIH postdoctoral fellow and received a PhD in pulmonary physiology before moving to the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she spent 15 years as tenured faculty and served as Section Head for the Anesthesia service.   In 2006 she returned to the west coast to serve as the Medical Director and Anesthesiologist for AnimalScan  (formerly Iams Pet Imaging).  Dr. Kruse joined SAGE Veterinary Centers in 2018 as their first anesthesiologist, starting their anesthesia specialty service and is currently one of four board certified anesthesiologists in the SAGE network.  She provides anesthesia support for complex cases and training in anesthesia and analgesia for SAGE up and down the west coast and works with the other SAGE anesthesiologists to expand anesthesia service capacity through a combination of on-site anesthesia support and teleconsulting.  Dr. Kruse developed the SAGE Anesthesia Bootcamp training program for veterinary technicians and assistants and enjoys providing didactic and in-person anesthesia training.  She currently also serves as Medical Director for the SAGE specialty practice in Anchorage, AK (Veterinary Specialists of Alaska) and assists in management of AnimalScan, a SAGE partner.  Dr. Kruse works closely with all the SAGE specialists and anesthesia team to provide optimized anesthesia and analgesia planning and care. 

Charles Kuntz, DVM, MS, MACVSc

Representative VetPartners (Australia)

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.

Jodi Kuntz, DVM, DACVIM (SAIM)

Representative Interventional Radiology

Metropolitan Animal Specialty Hospital

Dr. Kuntz grew up in the Midwest and attended veterinary school at Ross University and Cornell. Following veterinary school she completed an internship at Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital, then a residency in Internal Medicine at the Animal Medical Center in New York City. During her residency Dr. Kuntz developed an interest in interventional radiology and endoscopy (IR/IE). This interest led to research and publication on interventional endourology and extensive post-doctoral training in a variety of IR/IE techniques. Following her residency Dr. Kuntz worked at 2 large veterinary hospitals in New York City before moving to California in 2016 to take over the Interventional Radiology service at a hospital in Los Angeles. She is currently at Metropolitan Animal Specialty Hospital in Los Angeles where her practice is a mix of Interventional services and Internal Medicine.  

Corinne Lawson, DVM, MS, DACVECC

Representative Emergency & Critical Care

Summit Veterinary Referral Center

Dr. Corinne Lawson obtained her veterinary degree from University of California Davis and then fell in love with the pacific northwest while completing her rotating internship at Veterinary Specialty Center in Lynnwood, WA. Her desire to specialize in emergency and critical care led her to the midwest to complete a residency and master’s degree at University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. Dr. Lawson started her career as an emergency and critical care specialist as a faculty member at University of Wisconsin, Madison. Ultimately, her need to be closer to the mountains and oceans of the pacific northwest led her to move back to the Seattle area where she joined the ECC team at Summit Veterinary Referral Center. Dr. Lawson is incredibly motivated to educate and mentor her staff and young veterinarians. She is passionate about offering and providing the best possible care for the sickest of patients, giving hope to their families. Outside of work Dr. Lawson enjoys trail running, scuba diving, and traveling with her husband.

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.

Brandi Mattison, DVM, DACVECC

Chair of the Medical Innovation Committee

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.

Zachary Neumann, DVM, MS, DACVIM

Chair of the Network Engagement Committee

Southeast Veterinary Oncology & Internal Medicine

Dr. Zachary Neumann attended the University of Illinois for a total of 10 years encompassing his undergraduate studies, veterinary studies, and then returning (after a one-year small animal medicine and surgery rotating internship at the University of Minnesota) for a three-year residency program in oncology. During his residency, he also completed his master’s degree in veterinary clinical medicine researching osteosarcoma (bone cancer) in dogs. He became a board-certified medical oncologist through the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine in 2015 and has been in Jacksonville, FL with Southeast Veterinary Oncology and Internal Medicine (SEVO-Med) ever since. He became Medical Director of SEVO-Med in 2021 after the acquisition by NVA-CF.

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.