Kari is a Licensed Veterinary Technician. She graduated from Tomball College in 2004. Following graduation, Kari began working in rehabilitation for Dr. Rick Wall. She received her certification in Canine Rehabilitation through the University of Tennessee Certification Program in 2005. Kari is the head rehabilitation technician at the Center for Veterinary Pain Management and Rehabilitation. Kari works very closely with Dr. Wall to ensure that all of the patients receive appropriate therapy. She has completed courses at the Chi Institute in Chinese medicine and helps Dr. Wall in his Canine Myofascial Trigger Point courses through MyoPain Seminars. Contact Kari
Find Kari working with patients in The Woodlands, Texas at:
Kristen Hagler BS, RVT, CCRP, CVPP, OACM, CBW President and Chief Executive Officer NAVTA Organizing Committee Liaison Credentialing and Case Review Chair
Kristen holds an undergraduate degree from Sonoma State University (BS in Biology with a concentration in Animal Physiology) and a California Registered Veterinary Technician license along with the University of Tennessee’s Certificate Program in Canine Physical Rehabilitation. Kristen has also completed additional coursework in canine massage therapy through Caninology®, the University of Tennessee’s Certificate Program as a certified Osteoarthritis Case Manager (COCM) along with earning the Certified Veterinary Pain Practitioner (CVPP) designation through the International Veterinary Association of Pain Management. Kristen is an active Technician Associate Member for the American Association of Rehabilitation Veterinarians - representing the technician members. Special areas of interest include Veterinary Orthotics and Prosthetics (VOP), geriatrics, sporting and performance, mobility and service dogs and multidisciplinary pain management strategies. Contact Kristen
Find Kristen working with patients in Santa Rosa, California and San Rafael, California at:
Wendy began her career in the animal field as a zookeeper after completing a dual program between the State University of New York @ Oswego and Santa Fe College in Gainesville, Florida. She graduated in 1994 with a BS in Zoology and an AS in Zoo Animal Technology. After being a zookeeper, her career path took a turn and she fell into veterinary medicine and worked at a couple of small animal general practices. A few years later an opportunity opened with The University of Florida Veterinary Teaching Hospital in 1998 as an anesthesia technician which she jumped at. Through her role as an animal anesthetist, she became well versed in advanced pain management and anesthesia and discovered she loved to teach. In 2000 she was awarded the Support Technician of the year by the outgoing senior class for her compassion, patience and dedication to teaching. She became a Certified Veterinary Technician in 2006.
In 2007 she switched gears and transferred to the orthopedic surgery department where she was able to assist and learn various orthopedic conditions and their repair options. She continued to instruct veterinary students in pain management and case management. On 2009, Wendy was given a Superior Accomplishment award after being nominated by her surgeons. Again her teaching abilities and her ability to go above and beyond for her patients and her students were honored.
Wendy became interested in rehabilitation thru her time spent in orthopedics. She felt that more should be done to allow the patients to return to normal function after surgery sooner. Dr. Kristen Kirkby-Shaw DVM, PhD, CCRT, DACVS, DACSMR brought the rehabilitation idea to the university and Wendy knew this was the perfect job for her talents. She became a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Assistant thru the Canine Rehabilitation Institute in December of 2008. Together with Dr. Kirkby-Shaw they developed the rehabilitation service at the university. Veterinary students now are able to be exposed to rehabilitation, pain management, acupuncture and nutrition all encompassed in the new Integrative Medicine service.
She has provided numerous presentations to students and fellow technicians at the university as well as presenting at the annual Florida Veterinary Medicine Association Conference in 2011. She also is a teaching assistant and lecturer at the Canine Rehabilitation Institute. Contact Wendy
Find Wendy working with patients in Gainesville, Florida at:
Melissa (Lis) Conarton, BS, LVT, CCRP, began her veterinary career over a decade ago, working closely with board certified veterinarians in intense environments tailored to offer the very best in patient standards of care. Lis graduated from Ithaca College with a bachelor degree in Biology, and began working at the Veterinary Medical Center of Central New York in 2003 as a surgical assistant. She recognized her interest in physical rehabilitation services while attending the 2004 American College of Veterinary Surgeons conference in Denver, CO.
Lis completed her LVT education and licensing requirements, and then successfully completed the University of Tennessee’s rigorous Canine Rehabilitation certification program. She became a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner in 2009. She has since become an influential voice for the care and comfort of companion animals in the CNY area. To date, Lis has completed over 600 hours of continuing education with many hours directed toward veterinary physical rehabilitation and pain management. She continues to apply herself due to a deep interest in pain management and myofascial issues, and routinely contributes to newspaper articles, journal submissions and book chapters discussing the subject. She has received special training in Canine Myofascial Trigger points through Myopain Seminars, and has been featured on local television programming discussing many topics in pain management and rehabilitation. She also lectures regularly at continuing education seminars on Physical Rehabilitation and Pain Management.
She is a member of the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management (IVAPM), American Association of Rehabilitation (Technicians) Veterinarians and National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America. She completed and passed her examination and case reports for the IVAPM and is becoming certified as a Veterinary Pain Practitioner this year. In her free time she participates in outdoor activities with her family, and spends quality time with her cat, Earl, horse, Whiskey and caring for her rehabbed chickens Diva and Creamsicle. Contact Lis
Find Lis working with patients in East Syracuse, New York at:
Mary Ellen Goldberg is a graduate of Harcum College and the University of Pennsylvania. She worked at the Virginia Commonwealth University in the Division of Animal Resources as a Laboratory Animal Anesthesia and Analgesia Specialist for 15 years and has been the instructor of Anesthesia and Pain Management at VetMedTeam, LLC since 2003. Mary Ellen is also a Surgical Research Anesthetist certified through the Academy of Surgical Research. She is on the Organizing Committee for the Academy of Laboratory Animal Veterinary Technicians, as well as the Proposed Organizing Committee for the Academy of Physical Rehabilitation Veterinary Technicians. Currently, she is a staff member at the Canine Rehabilitation Institute, as a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Assistant. (CCRA). Mary Ellen has written several books, and contributed to numerous chapters regarding anesthesia, pain management and rehabilitation. She has worked in various aspects of veterinary medicine from small animal and equine to mixed practice, coccidiosis research for a pharmaceutical company, zoo animal medicine and laboratory animal medicine. Mary Ellen is Executive Secretary for IVAPM since 2008. Contact Mary Ellen
Find Mary Ellen helping patients and veterinary professionals through education at both:
Born and raised in Long Island, NY, Deana grew up preparing to be a professional dancer and received an Associate in the Arts for Dance in 2003. She started her career as a veterinary technician working as a veterinary assistant in a kennel shortly after she graduated from the Arts, not knowing where that path would take her. She studied Veterinary Technology at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, NY, where she earned her Bachelors of Science in 2007, and took her VTNE to become a LVT. She originally wanted to specialize in ER and CC, but after a few years working in that fast paced and stressful environment she wanted a change and discovered the field of Canine Rehabilitation. She packed up her things and relocated to Florida where she attended the Canine Rehabilitation Institute in 2008 in Deerfield Beach, FL. After completion of her Internship at Red Bank Veterinary Hospital in NJ, she became a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Assistant in 2010. She was so intrigued with the specialization of this field that she wanted to continue to learn as much as she could. She then attended the Rocky Mountain School of Animal Acupressure and Massage, offered in Cape Coral, FL in 2011. She studied all three levels to become a Certified Canine Massage Therapist. In early 2012, she attended the Chi Institute for training in Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine for Veterinary Technicians. In late 2012, she relocated back to NY where she had the amazing opportunity to work at the Animal Medical Center in NYC under her mentor Dr. Leilani Alvarez, who later appointed her be the Team Leader of the Rehab Dept. Dr. Alvarez taught her so much and Deana feels she owes much to her for inspiring her to grow to be the professional she is today. In November 2014 her husband was offered an amazing opportunity so they relocated back to Florida. She is currently working in the Rehab Dept. at Coral Springs Animal Hospital, Coral Springs, FL. She is planning on joining the IVAPM to eventually become a Certified Veterinary Pain Practitioner. She also recently became a member of NAVTA, and is proud to join the efforts of the APRVT proposed organizing committee to create a specialization in Canine Physical Rehabilitation for Credentialed Veterinary Technicians. Contact Deana
Find Deana working with patients in Coral Springs, Florida at:
Jenn Panko RVT,CCRP, OCMC, CAPMC Communications and Information Technology Chair
Jenn Panko owns and manages The SPAW, a Canine Rehabilitation, Sports Medicine, and Fitness Centre in Aldergrove, British Columbia Canada in partnership with The Aldergrove Animal Hospital. She is a Registered Veterinary Technologist (Seneca College, Ontario 2005) where she was the recipient of The Veterinary Technology Recognition and Appreciation Award for dedication to and excellence in animal care. She completed The University of Tennessee’s Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner Program in 2006. In 2012 she completed the University of Tennessee’s Certified Osteoarthritis Case Management Program and was the recipient of The Ontario Association of Veterinary Technicians Award of Merit for enhancing the image of the veterinary technology profession and a long standing history of community service for her volunteer work teaching therapeutic horseback riding lessons to children and adults with diverse physical and intellectual abilities. In 2014 she completed the University of Tennessee’s Companion Animal Pain Management Certificate Program. Her clinical experience includes a variety of work in private, referral, and academic companion animal practice, mobile, racetrack, and surgical equine practice, and wildlife rehabilitation. Jenn has a wide variety of experience in orthopedic, neurologic, weight loss, and conditioning rehabilitation. She developed her tool box of rehabilitation skills at The Mississauga-Oakville Veterinary Emergency Hospital and Referral Group, coordinating CARE, The Companion Animal Rehabilitation Experts, Rehabilitation Service. She also managed The Neurology and MRI Service. Prior to her recent relocation to British Columbia she was part of the team at The Hill’s Pet Nutrition Primary Healthcare Centre, as a primary healthcare technician and coordinator of The Fitness and Rehabilitation Service at The Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. She is pleased to provide rehabilitation lectures and workshops at conferences and veterinary meetings and teach large animal laboratory sessions at her local veterinary technician college. Contact Jenn
Find Jenn working with patients in Aldergrove, British Columbia, Canada at:
Sandra Pettit-Dowd BA, LVT, CCRP, CSMP Industry and Public Relations Chair
Sandra Pettit-Dowd started her career in veterinary medicine as an ICU veterinary technician in 1992 while attending the veterinary technology program at The State University Of New York -Farmingdale. In 2000 Sandra joined Dr Gal Vatash and Dr Richard Rothman in the challenge of establishing a veterinary emergency and critical care center in Riverhead, New York. While working as the ICU supervisor, Sandra continued her education and received her Bachelors in Biology from Long Island University (2005). Her work in the ICU setting involved the care of patients suffering from prolonged illness and traumatic injury.
As is often the case, personal necessity can contribute to redirecting an entire career path. In an effort to assist her dog regain maximum function after sustaining a traumatic brain injury, Sandra began investigating therapeutic techniques. This investigation led her to The University of Tennessee Veterinary Physical Rehabilitation Department; with their help she created a plan to assist in his full recovery. Her experience in the design and implementation of his therapy fueled her desire to become a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner (2007) with additional certification in Canine Sports Massage (2008). As a result of her experiences, she was able to establish the Physical Rehabilitation Department at East End Veterinary Emergency and Speciality Center (2008) where she continues to supervise, train and work today. Her desire to provide optimum care for patients has led to additional course work in Canine Acupressure with the Tallgrass Animal Acupressure Institute, The University of Tennessee's Osteoarthritis Case Manager Course and Companion Animal Pain Management Program. Her goal is to continue her education in the field of Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation so that she may assist in educating the veterinary profession and public about the field of canine rehabilitation. Contact Sandra
You can find Sandra working with patients in Riverhead, New York at:
Maria Maddox LVT, CVT, CCRP Membership Chair
Maria graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Biology from Bryn Mawr College in 1999 and received her Associates Degree with Honors in Veterinary Technology from Bel-Rea in 2002. Maria took the National Veterinary Technician Exam in 2003 and has been a Certified Veterinary Technician in Colorado since then, the became licensed to practice in Nevada in 2006. Maria became interested in physical rehabilitation for animals in college when she volunteered at the Bronx Zoo and recognized the need for an adjunct to medication for helping elderly, arthritic animals. Along with a coworker and fellow enthusiast for rehab, Maria established the physical rehabilitation department at the Red Bank Veterinary Hospital in Red Bank, New Jersey in 2005. She became a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner through the University of Tennessee in 2006. Maria has worked the majority of her rehab career at the Las Vegas Veterinary Specialty Center in Nevada, working from January 2007 contracted through the LVVSC physical rehabilitation department. Maria currently lives in Okinawa, Japan, working at the military veterinary clinic and has had the unique opportunity to treat two of the military working dogs to prolong their military careers. Contact Maria
Kelley grew up in West Virginia (So yes, she will always be a Mountaineer!) She graduated from Fairmont State College, Fairmont, West Virginia (Veterinary Technology Program) 1988 and then moved to San Antonio, Texas in Fall of 1988, working in private practice for about 2 years. She then worked at the UT Health Science Center in San Antonio in Lab Animal Resources for 5 years. Following that she began working at The Military Working Dog Hospital and have worked here for almost 20 years. I’ve worked in all the clinics, Radiology, Internal Medicine, Laboratory, Surgery and now Rehabilitation. I’ve been working in Rehab for over 11 years now. Working with these 4 legged soldiers is a true pleasure – they inspire me every day. I occasionally will do some relief work on the weekends in private practice. She has 1 daughter and 2 dogs, 1 Min Pin mix, & 1 border terrier mix, both rescued. They are her free daily entertainment! Contact Kelley
Stephanie Gilliam grew up in a small town in southeast Missouri called Bonne Terre. She received her Associate of Science degree in veterinary technology from Jefferson College in Hillsboro, MO in 2005. She worked in a small animal private practice in Imperial, MO for about 1 year before moving to Columbia to attend the University of Missouri. She then worked in research for muscular dystrophy at the University of Missouri for about 1 ½ years. She began working at the University of Missouri Veterinary Health Center as the neurology/neurosurgery technician in 2007. She received her certification in canine rehabilitation from the University of Tennessee in 2008 and was instrumental in the development of the small animal physical rehabilitation service at the University of Missouri VHC that same year and has been working in both neurology and small animal physical rehabilitation since that time. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in veterinary technology from St. Petersburg College in St. Petersburg, FL in 2011 then her Veterinary Technician Specialist (VTS) of neurology certification in June 2013. She is an adjunct clinical instructor with the Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery at the University of Missouri developing and instructing students in Clinical Neurology and Small Animal Physical Rehabilitation through Mizzou Online. In addition to all of her accomplishments she is currently pursuing her Master of Science degree in biomedical sciences with an emphasis in veterinary medicine and surgery. Contact Stephanie
Find Stephanie at the University of Missouri
Dawn Hickey LVMT, CCRP American Association of Rehabilitation Veterinarians - Technician Associate Liaison
You can find Dawn working with patients in Knoxville, Tennessee at:
Dawn Hickey, LVMT, CCRP graduated from Columbia State Community College with an AAS in Veterinary Technology. After a one year internship at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, earning the Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner title, she was employed at Animalia Health and Wellness in Franklin, TN and was instrumental in the development of the rehabilitation practice there. In 2015, Dawn moved to Knoxville to become the lead technician in the Small Animal Rehabilitation Department at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine. She completed the University of Tennessee’s Companion Animal Pain Management Certificate Program in 2016 and is currently working on her Certified Veterinary Pain Practitioner (CVPP) certification through IVAPM and her Certified Canine Fitness Trainer (CCFT) title through UT. She has received special training in Canine Myofascial Trigger points through Myopain Seminars. As one of the instructors in the CCRP program, she enjoys teaching and spreading her love and enthusiasm for animal rehabilitation with the students. Dawn is the veterinary technician liaison to the American Association of Rehabilitation Veterinarians (AARV) and is an active member of the International Association of Veterinary Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy. She is also an active member of NAVTA, Tennessee Veterinary Technician Association (TVTA). She is instrumental in the University of Tennessee’s annual CARES conference and is on the local planning committee for the upcoming IAVRPT conference in Knoxville in 2018. Her particular areas of interest include, geriatrics, neurology, working dogs, myofascial issues and pain management.
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