VRC - Key Persons

Alexandra Palumbo

Alexandra Palumbo, DVM, a Maryland native, earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Georgetown University in 2016. She then attended The University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine, where she completed her veterinary medical degree in 2020. During veterinary school, Alexandra spent time performing bench-top and clinical research in virology, cardiology, and neuropharmacology. She moved to Philadelphia following graduation, where she completed a small animal rotating internship at Penn Vet's Ryan Veterinary Hospital. During her internship, Alexandra found her passion for emergency medicine, neurology, and surgery. She joined VRC's Emergency and Critical Care team following her internship in August 2021. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her partner Josh, snuggling with her cats "Mango" and "Newton", cooking, going to national parks, traveling to new places, and reading.

Austin O'Connell

Job Titles:
  • Member of the Leadership Team
  • Hospital Director
Austin O'Connell was born and raised in River Edge, NJ, a suburb of New York City. He graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 2009 with a Bachelor of Science in Animal and Veterinary Sciences. From 2002 to 2015; Austin worked in northern New Jersey as a veterinary technician focusing on the specialties of Neurology/Neurosurgery, Diagnostic Imaging, Radiation Therapy, and high-risk anesthesia. In late 2015, Austin transitioned from the clinical floor to Purchasing & Inventory for Compassion First Pet Hospitals. In late 2017, Austin was named Hospital Director of Red Bank Veterinary Hospitals Mount Laurel- a multispecialty and emergency practice in Mount Laurel NJ. Austin joined the VRC team as Hospital Director in June of 2021. Austin lives in New Jersey with his wife, Jenny, their two children, Henry and Whitney, and their cat Marcel. Outside of work, Austin enjoys playing golf, hiking, spending time with family down the shore, and reading about maritime history.

Ava Nowak

Job Titles:
Dr. Nowak grew up in New Jersey and attended the University of Delaware for her undergraduate degree. She then earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine. She went on to complete a small animal rotating internship at Red Bank Veterinary Hospital in New Jersey, a diagnostic imaging specialty internship in San Diego California, followed by a diagnostic imaging residency at Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in Massachusetts. Although Dr. Nowak loves all imaging modalities, she especially enjoys CT and radiography.

Brianna McKenna

Dr. McKenna is a proud Ross University Veterinary School graduate and went to Florida for undergraduate at University of Tampa. She became interested in Emergency Medicine when she was a student in clinical year at LSU and continued practicing emergency medicine with an internship at MedVet in New Orleans. She moved back to the east coast in 2019, where she has enjoyed the change of weather in the four seasons. In her free time, she takes adult tap classes, enjoys working out and traveling to new places. She has a three-legged black cat named Mackeral who is spoiled and spunky and his two little feline sisters are Sugar and Spice.

Chandra Carroll

Job Titles:
  • Surgery & Anesthesia Nursing Manager
Chandra Carroll has been working at VRC since 2004, after graduating from Harcum College. Chandra started out as an anesthesia nurse and eventually became the Surgery/Anesthesia Nursing Manager. In 2019, she was named the Harcum Star in 2019. Chandra lives in Downingtown, PA with her dog Ludo Jenkins.

Christina Rotoloni

Christina Rotoloni, DVM is a Pittsburgh native who earned her undergraduate degree in biochemistry at Allegheny College. Afterwards, she attended veterinary school at Ross University with her clinical rotations at University of Minnesota. While at UMN, Dr. Rotoloni discovered her passion for emergency medicine. After completion of the Catalyst Program through Compassion-First Pet Hospitals, she joined the emergency team at VRC. Outside of work, Dr. Rotoloni enjoys staying active through running and hiking as well as spoiling her dog, Tegan.

Colleen Martin

Originally from Atlanta, Georgia; Colleen Martin, DVM, MS, Practice Limited to Oncology received her Bachelor of Science degree from SUNY Oswego in zoology and a Master of Science degree from the University of Rochester in immunology. After spending a few years working in cancer research, she obtained her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Prince Edward Island in Canada. She went on to complete a small animal rotating internship at the Veterinary Medical Center of Central New York as well as a medical oncology internship and residency at North Carolina State University. Dr. Martin's clinical interests include the human-animal bond, hematopoietic malignancies, comparative oncology, and targeted cancer therapies.

Dietrich Franczuszki

Job Titles:
  • Member of the Veterinary Orthopedic Society
Dr. Franczuszki is an active member of the Veterinary Orthopedic Society and the American Veterinary Orthopedic Research and Education (AVORE) Association. He is also President of the Eastern Veterinary Orthopedic Society (EVOS).

Dr. Bailey Baumann

Dr. Bailey Baumann was raised in Maryland, but has been living in the Philadelphia area for the last 15 years. She earned her Bachelors degree in biology from Bryn Mawr College. After undergrad, she worked as a research assistant at the University of Pennsylvania in a neurobiology lab, where she discovered her love of biomedical research. Dr. Baumann went on to earn her PhD and veterinary degree at the University of Pennsylvania. After graduation, she completed a year-long rotating internship at BluePearl Langhorne. She joined VRC's Emergency and Critical Care team following her internship in September 2022. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, hiking, baking, board games, and doing training classes with her cattle dog mix, Jake.

Dr. Brittany Neal

Dr. Brittany Neal received her bachelors degree in animal sciences from Cornell University and her veterinary medicine doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania. She then went on to complete a one year rotating internship at Red Bank Veterinary Hospital and a one-year surgical internship at Dallas Veterinary Surgical Center. After her surgical internship, she completed a small animal surgical residency at the Animal Specialty Center in Yonkers, New York, and stayed on for a year of clinical practice. Dr. Neal became board certified in 2016. Dr. Neal has been practicing in the area since 2018. She has a strong background in orthopedics, arthroscopy, and minimally invasive fracture repair.

Dr. Elizabeth Jarvie

Dr. Elizabeth Jarvie was born and raised in southern Delaware. She earned her Bachelors of Science from Drexel University in Biological Sciences with a minor in Chemistry. Afterwards, she attended veterinary school at Lincoln Memorial University in Tennessee and worked as a veterinary technician during school breaks. After graduation, she began the ER Fit Program through Compassion-First Pet Hospitals, joining the emergency and critical care team at VRC in 2022. She has a special interest in emergency medicine, surgery, and treating exotic pets, especially rabbits. In her spare time, Dr. Jarvie enjoys sailing, social dancing, and exploring Philadelphia.

Dr. Jennifer Savini

Dr. Jennifer Savini grew up in Malvern. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Biology from NYU in 2006. She then went on to veterinary school at the University of Missouri where she earned her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine. She completed a rotating internship, emergency and critical care internship, and emergency and critical care residency at the University of Pennsylvania, finishing in 2015. Since 2015, she worked in a private practice specialty hospital in Mount Laurel, NJ. Dr. Savini's clinical interests include trauma, respiratory disorders, and toxicities.

Dr. Kevin Ware

Dr. Kevin Ware's passion for animals started with his first best friend Samantha, a rescue Doberman. Later, his love for marine mammals cultivated his interest in all animals. Dr. Kevin Ware graduated in 2004 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of Central Arkansas. Afterwards, he completed his DVM degree from Louisiana State University in 2010. At LSU, he was acknowledged and given two individual clinical proficiency awards in small animal internal medicine and oncology. He was also voted by his peers to represent the LSU Class of 2010 at the Western Veterinary Conference. In 2011, he completed an internship in small animal medicine and surgery at Red Bank Veterinary Hospital in Red Bank, NJ. During his internship, Dr. Ware's experience in medical and radiation oncology continued to develop. His zeal for oncology led Dr. Ware to complete a three year radiation oncology residency at MedVet Medical & Cancer Center for Pets in Columbus, Ohio. Dr. Ware was trained by Deborah Prescott, DVM, PhD, DACVR, one of the most accomplished veterinary radiation oncologists in the country.

Dr. Meredith Thompson

Dr. Meredith Thompson earned her Bachelor's of Science from Colorado State University in Equine Science and earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Degree from The Ohio State University, College of Veterinary Medicine. During veterinary school she worked in the intensive care unit where she developed her interest in emergency medicine. Since graduation, she has been working exclusively in emergency medicine, joining the emergency and critical care team at VRC in 2023. In her spare time, Dr. Thompson enjoys hiking with her German Shepherd dog, Adeline, and riding her horses, Monkey and Dax.

Dr. Natalie Campbell

Philadelphia native, Dr. Natalie Campbell did not stray too far from home during her career in higher education. She obtained her Bachelor of Science at Drexel University and her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from University of Pennsylvania in 1998. Following graduation, Dr. Campbell completed a medical and surgical internship at a specialty practice outside of Boston, MA. Eventually making her way back to Philadelphia, Dr. Campbell practiced general and emergency medicine for a number of years. In 2012, Dr. Campbell earned her Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner Certification (CCRP) through the University of Tennessee School of Veterinary Medicine and established a successful rehab service at the Veterinary Specialty Center of Delaware. She is also certified in Canine Osteoarthritis Management and is a member of the AARV (American Association of Rehabilitation Veterinarians). She recently became certified in Acupuncture through Chi University. Although, Dr. Campbell loves all things rehab, she has a special interest in improving the quality of life for senior companions. Outside of work, Dr. Campbell lives in Delaware County with her family, which includes three teenagers. During her free time, she likes to cycle, garden and knit.

Dr. Stacey Wylie

Job Titles:
Dr. Stacey Wylie is a Pennsylvania native who received her undergraduate degree from Millersville University in 2009. She earned her veterinary degree from Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2013. After graduation, she completed a small animal rotating internship at Oradell Animal Hospital in Paramus, NJ. She then returned to Michigan State University and completed a 3-year residency in small animal internal medicine in 2017, receiving Resident of the Year in both 2016 and 2017. After board certification and residency, Dr. Wylie worked at a large emergency and veterinary specialty center for several years before joining the VRC team. She loves all things medicine, but her special interests include renal, hepatobiliary, gastrointestinal, and respiratory diseases as well as endoscopy and feline medicine. She currently resides with her husband and daughter. She has 3 cats (Aeris, Yuffie, and Leon) and adorable pittie/boxer mix (Arya). Outside of work, she enjoys spending quality time with her family and friends, playing ice hockey and volleyball, reading, and playing video games. She is also a passionate MSU Spartan and Philadelphia Flyers fan.

Dustin Lewis

Dustin Lewis, DVM, MBA, MS, DACVR (RO) grew up in Northeast Indiana and attended to Purdue University for both undergraduate studies and veterinary school. In 2010, he graduated and began a small animal rotating internship at The Animal Medical Center in New York, NY. In July 2011, he began a joint residency in radiation oncology at both North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC and Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO. Dr. Lewis completed his radiation oncology residency in July of 2013. Upon completion of his residency, he accepted a position as radiation oncologist at Red Bank Veterinary Hospital in Tinton Falls, NJ before he began also offering his services at VRC in 2017.

Elaine Perez

Dr. Perez completed her veterinary medical training at Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine, where she developed a great interest in emergency and critical care medicine. She completed an internship course in this specialty, led by two highly respected experts in the field. After completing this course, Dr. Perez completed an internship at Michigan State University School of Veterinary Medicine and she has worked in emergency and critical care medicine ever since. She is fluent in Spanish and her furry family member is a Yorkie named Junior.

Elysia Schaefer

Elysia Schaefer, DVM, MS, DACVS-LA grew up moving around the country in an Air Force family. She earned both her undergraduate and veterinary degrees at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. Afterwards, she completed a large animal internship at the University of Minnesota and returned to Illinois to complete an equine surgery residency and masters degree program. After being a board certified large animal surgeon for many years, she was ready for her next adventure. After completion of the Catalyst Program through Compassion-First Pet Hospitals, she joined the emergency team at VRC.

Gabina Youn

Gabina Youn, BVetMed, is originally from California and earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science from California State Polytechnic University of Pomona. She completed her veterinary degree at The Royal Veterinary College in London, England in 2014. After veterinary school, Dr. Youn completed a small animal rotating internship at Metropolitan Veterinary Specialist in Akron, Ohio. She then completed a surgery specialty internship at VCA Animal Specialty Center of South Carolina before settling down in Athens, GA and pursuing a career in emergency medicine. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking and trying new recipes for her husband and two sons, snuggling on the couch with her 3 dogs and 2 cats, and completing numerous DIY projects such as building dining tables and bookshelves.

Han Chia

Dr. Chia was born in Taipei, Taiwan and immigrated with her family in 2004. She received her Bachelor of Science in Animal Science and Bachelor of Arts in Dance from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2013. She spent a year with Smithsonian's National Zoo in reproductive science to study Panamanian Golden Frog. Dr. Chia then attended veterinary school at the University of Pennsylvania where she earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree. She completed a rotating internship at Carolina Veterinary Specialists in Charlotte, North Carolina and a dentistry residency at the Center for Veterinary Dentistry and Oral Surgery. Dr. Chia is passionate about all areas of veterinary dentistry and especially interested in periodontal disease, oral mass, stomatitis and dental education. Outside of work, she loves traveling around the world and learning ballroom dance.

Hannah Leyrer

Job Titles:
  • Member of the Leadership Team
  • Practice Manager
Hannah Leyrer grew up and attended high school in the Malvern area. As a child she developed a passion for animal care as many in the veterinary field do - riding horses, saving all the stray cats and nurturing the random toads, baby squirrels and birds back to life. Hannah attended college at Pennsylvania State University earning her BS in Biology. After graduating, she planned to take a gap year working before pursing further schooling. But instead she found a passion working as a veterinary nurse. Hannah has been a part of the VRC team since 2004 serving in a multitude of roles. She worked many years performing anesthesia and then as a Client Care Coordinator for the orthopedics department. When the opportunity arose to oversee and help develop the Emergency Department in 2013, she eagerly took the role as ER Nursing Manager. After two years, Hannah was promoted to Nursing Director. In 2020, she accepted the position as Practice Manager where she works closely with the other managers to ensure the team that takes care of all the patients is well cared for. The role as Practice Manager has been the most rewarding yet! Outside of work, Hannah spends most of her time with her husband and two daughters. She enjoys being active in nature, spending time at the beach, gardening and snuggling her AmStaff, Brody.

Holly Gambs

Job Titles:
  • Outpatient & Specialty Nursing Manager
Holly Gambs is one of three Nursing Managers here at VRC. Holly specifically oversees VRC's Outpatient/Specialty department. As a child, Holly always had a strong love for animals. She knew very young that she wanted to be in the Veterinary field, in some way shape or form. Holly is native to Dowingtown, PA and attended Downingtown West High School and obtained her Bachelor's Degree from Harcum College. Holly started out her Veterinary career working in animal daycare/training, with a special interest in rescue. Fun fact: all of Holly's pets at home are results of foster failure - thank you Holly for showing them tender love and care! Starting at VRC a decade ago, Holly worked her way up the ranks from Baby Nursing Assistant to an Anesthesia Nurse within the Surgical department to becoming a Nursing Manager. Outside VRC, Holly spends her time with family and friends as much as she can. She lives with her husband and crazy 1 ½ year old little girl and 3 pitty mixes. As a family, they love being outside soaking up the sunshine. Holly focuses her time off around good company, great music and tasty food. Her life is crazy, but she wouldn't want it any other way.

Jackie Dion

Job Titles:
  • Artist
  • Emergency & Critical Care Nursing Manager
Since the age of 15, Jackie has been involved and working in the veterinary field; starting in reception to kennel work to technician to ICU nurse and now an ECC Nursing Manager at VRC where she is lucky to work with such an amazing team of people. Jackie is also a self taught artist who has her own business creating pet portraits. She lives in Montgomery County with her partner who has gracefully accepted her Italian Mastiff, Boston Terrier, 3 cats and far too many plants.

Jason Coggeshall

Jason Coggeshall, native from outside of DC in Kensington, Maryland has a passion for veterinary surgery, research and teaching. He earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Maryland and his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine at Tuskegee University's School of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Coggeshall completed internships at the Dallas Veterinary Surgical Center and Iowa State University. He also completed a Comparative Orthopedic Research fellowship at the University of Florida. Dr. Coggeshall started his surgical residency at the Louisiana State University and finished his residency right here at the Veterinary Referral Center. Dr. Coggeshall has a strong interest in clinical research, orthopedic surgery, minimally invasive surgery, and trauma surgery. Outside of work, he lives with his beautiful wife Whitney, a spunky toddler Miles and four happy pups (Larry, Scout, Puddin', and Chet). In his spare time, he likes to explore Philadelphia, have lazy weekends with the family and relax at the beach.

Justin Guinan

A native of Westchester County, New York; Justin Guinan, DVM, DACVIM (SA-IM) began his veterinary career in 2000 with a BS in biology from Syracuse University, followed by a DVM degree from the Atlantic Veterinary College in 2005. Later that year, Dr. Guinan enrolled in a yearlong general internship program, followed by another yearlong specialty internship program in internal medicine and neurology at Long Island Veterinary Specialists. In 2009, he went on to complete his residency in small animal internal medicine at the Animal Medical Center in New York City. With years of experience, education, and a board certification under his belt, Dr. Guinan worked at a large specialty and emergency veterinary hospital in New Jersey for several years before joining the VRC team in 2017. His clinical interests include hematology, endocrinology, ultrasonography, and all forms of diagnostic endoscopy. Outside of work, Dr. Guinan enjoys spending time with his wife and two young sons, baseball, football, hiking, and music.

Kristen Bartholomew

Kristen Bartholomew, DVM is a native of central New York and completed her undergraduate degree (Bachelor of Science in Agriculture with a minor in Neuroscience) at The Ohio State University. She continued on to veterinary school at OSU, where she cultivated an interest in treating all species. Dr. Bartholomew initially practiced mixed animal medicine in central PA, treating primarily dairy cows and companion animals with a particular focus on surgery in all species. During this experience she developed a more keen interest in emergency medicine and surgery. She then completed the Catalyst Program through Compassion-First Pet Hospitals, joining the emergency and critical care team at VRC in 2019. Dr. Bartholomew's clinical interests include surgery, metabolic emergencies, nutrition, trauma and wound management. Outside of work, she enjoys traveling, hiking, kayaking, snowboarding, and weight lifting. She has an adorable tuxedo kitty named Sierra.

Lisa Seale

Job Titles:
  • Client Services Representative
  • Manager
Lisa has been working in the veterinary field since 2006. She moved from Texas to Pennsylvania in 2015 and started at VRC as a client services representative. She is now the client services manager where she is fortunate to work with a great group of individuals who work hard to do their best for the patients and pet parents. In her free time, Lisa enjoys being at home with her dog and 3 cats.

Michael S. Miller

Job Titles:
After earning his BS at Florida State University and his MS in cardiac electrophysiology at Auburn's College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Miller received his VMD degree from the University of Pennsylvania's School of Veterinary Medicine. For twelve years, Dr. Miller worked as a cardiology apprentice under Dr. Larry Tilley, DACVIM, at the Animal Medical Center and Cardiopet, Inc. During his tenure at Cardiopet, he was a cardiology consultant, Vice President of Medical Affairs, and Board Director, and received the American Animal Hospital Association (northeast region) Outstanding Service to Veterinary Medicine award.

Patrick Courson

Born and raised in West Chester, PA, Patrick Courson, DVM earned his BA from Millersville University and his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Ross University. After exploring GP, Dr. Coursin ventured into Emergency Medicine in 2018 and hasn't looked back. Outside of work, Dr. Courson lives with his wife and two twin boys. They love to spend time outside bet, hiking, fishing and camping and love to travel - they've been to Montreal, Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague and London.

Paul J. McGough

Dr. McGough was raised locally in Broomall and graduated from Penn State University in 1998 with his Bachelor of Science degree and the University of Pennsylvania in 2002 with his veterinary degree. He has a great deal of experience in both general practice and emergency room medicine, and his special clinical interests include wound repair and endoscopy. He lives in West Chester with his wife Jennifer (former classmate and also an emergency vet in the area), his son Charlie, and his menagerie of dogs and cats. He enjoys landscaping/gardening, weight lifting, watching TV, and boxing/kickboxing in his spare time.

Sarah Fatula

Job Titles:
  • Medical Director
  • Member of the Leadership Team
  • Medical Director 24 / 7 Emergency & Critical Care
Dr. Fatula earned her undergraduate degree in Neuroscience from Colgate University and her VMD degree at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Veterinary Medicine, where she graduated magna cum laude. She completed a small animal rotating internship at Red Bank Veterinary Hospital. Dr. Fatula has a special interest in neurologic emergencies, trauma and wound management. She is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society, and Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association. Dr. Fatula has a mixed breed dog named Buckley.