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19th Annual Spring Clinic Speakers

Kevin Benjamino

Kevin Benjamino, DVM, DACVS

Veterinary Surgeon, MedVet Medical and Cancer Center for Pets, Columbus, Ohio

Dr. Kevin Benjamino is a board-certified veterinary surgeon at MedVet Medical and Cancer Center for Pets - Columbus where he has been part of the medical team since 2017. Prior to joining MedVet, Dr. Benjamino was on staff at Affiliated Veterinary Specialists - Orange Park, FL (2012-2017) and Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists – Houston, TX (2009-2012). Dr. Benjamino attended Purdue University where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree before going on to earn his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Following his graduation from veterinary school, Dr. Benjamino completed an internship in small animal medicine and surgery at Michigan Veterinary Specialists in Southfield, Michigan, as well as an internship in small animal surgery at Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists in Houston, Texas. Additionally, Dr. Benjamino completed a three-year surgical residency at MedVet Columbus from 2006-2009, which led to his board certification as a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons in 2012. While Dr. Benjamino maintains an interest in all aspects of small animal surgery, he is particularly passionate about orthopedic procedures as they pertain to minimally invasive procedures, fracture repair and joint related surgery. His soft tissue interests also lie in minimally invasive procedures, wound management/skin reconstruction and emergency surgical procedures. In addition to his clinical endeavors, Dr. Benjamino is active in research opportunities/publications in both orthopedic and soft tissue topics. Dr. Benjamino’s favorite part about being a veterinarian is having the opportunity to not only help patients, but also to improve the lives of their owners and families. When not caring for patients, Dr. Benjamino enjoys spending time with his family including his wife, daughter, three dogs and three cats.

Aimee Brooks, DVM, MS, DACVECC

Assistant Professor in Small Animal Emergency/Critical Care, College of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana

Dr. Brooks earned her BS in Zoology from Michigan State University in 2004 and her DVM in 2008. She completed a rotating small animal internship at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2009 and then worked as an emergency veterinarian at Wisconsin Veterinary Referral Center until 2011. She then moved to The Ohio State University to complete an MS and residency in small animal emergency/critical care in 2014, after which she joined Purdue University’s College of Veterinary Medicine where she currently works as a member of the small animal ECC faculty. Like many ECC folks, Dr. Brooks likes a little bit of everything, but has participated in research in the areas of coagulation, thromboelastography, anemia/transfusion medicine, toxicology, fluid therapy, minimally invasive techniques for pleural effusion management and vascular access, point-of-care ultrasound, and glucose monitoring.

Ed Carlson, CVT, VTS (Nutrition)

Technician Learning and Development Manager, East Region, Ethos Veterinary Health and VetBloom, Woburn, Massachusetts

Ed Carlson is the Technician Learning and Development Manager for Ethos Veterinary Health, East Region and VetBloom. He obtained a VTS (Nutrition) in 2014 and lectures frequently at local, regional, and national veterinary conferences on a variety of nutrition topics. He is the Vice President of the Massachusetts Veterinary Technician Association, Treasurer of the New Hampshire Veterinary Technician Association and the Academy of Veterinary Nutrition Technicians. Ed serves on multiple NAVTA committees and also a member of the Association of Veterinary Technician Educators.

Stephen Cole, VMD, MS

Clinical Microbiology Fellow, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Prior to becoming a proud PennWe, Dr. Cole earned his Master's Degree in Microbiology from the College of William and Mary in Virginia in 2011 while researching emerging fish pathogens. He went on to earn his VMD from PennVet in 2015 and stayed on in Dr. Shelley Rankin's lab as the first-ever post-doctoral fellow in clinical and molecular microbiology. He is currently in his third year of the fellowship. Dr. Cole's current research aims to better diagnose and treat companion animal skin (particularly the atypical ones) and urinary tract infections. He is passionate about the judicious use of antibiotics and preventing the spread of zoonotic disease. In 2016, Dr. Cole was named a One Health Scholar by the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges. Dr. Cole's favorite thing to do is discuss antimicrobial options with practitioners. Feel free to contact him at (215) 898-7858 or if you ever want to talk bugs and drugs!

Tom Garg

Tom Garg, VMD

Emergency Veterinarian, Hope Veterinary Specialists, Malvern, Pennsylvania

Tom Garg, VMD, is a 1998 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine. He is an emergency veterinarian and has been with Hope Veterinary Specialists in Malvern, PA since the practice opened in 2004. He is currently a member of the State Board of Veterinary Medicine. Prior to his appointment to the board, Dr. Garg served on PVMA’s Board of Trustees. He was also very active in PVMA as Chair of the Legislative and Regulatory Affairs Committee.

Michael Kornreich

Michael Kornreich, DVM

Area Veterinarian in Charge, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service/Veterinary Services, United States Department of Agriculture, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Tom Garg, VMD, is a 1998 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine. He is an emergency veterinarian and has been with Hope Veterinary Specialists in Malvern, PA since the practice opened in 2004. He is currently a member of the State Board of Veterinary Medicine. Prior to his appointment to the board, Dr. Garg served on PVMA’s Board of Trustees. He was also very active in PVMA as Chair of the Legislative and Regulatory Affairs Committee.

Sponsored by:


Ira Luskin


Medical Director and Managing Partner, Animal Dental Centers; Director of Education, Animal Dental Training Center, Maryland and Pennsylvania

Dr. Luskin has been actively involved with Small Animal Dentistry and Oral Surgery. He is a Diplomate of both the American and European Veterinary Dental Colleges. He co-owns the Animal Dental Centers of Baltimore, Annapolis, Columbia Maryland and York, PA. These are referral facilities that service the Maryland and Mid-Atlantic States. In January 2000, he established the first private post-graduate training facility for veterinary dentistry in the United States. The Animal Dental Training Center of Baltimore is a state of the art teaching facility, dedicated to training veterinarians and technicians in dentistry and oral surgery. Since its inception, the center has hosted over 340 courses given to 5000 veterinarians from all over the world who have come to learn dentistry and as well all of the major veterinary conferences. In 2004 he was the recipient of Hills prestigious award for excellence in teaching and research in Oral disease. In 2015 he received the Peter Emily AVDC service award for contributions to veterinary dentistry.

Andy Niehaus, DVM, MS, DACVS-LA

Associate Professor and Head of Farm Animal Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio

Dr. Andy Niehaus is an associate professor and service head of Farm Animal Surgery at The Ohio State University. He grew up in West Virginia on his family’s beef farm, and graduated from West Virginia University in 1999 with a degree in chemical engineering. He attended Ohio State College of veterinary medicine and received his DVM in 2003. Following graduation, he remained at OSU and completed an internship and residency in farm animal surgery and obtained a Master's degree in 2007. He remained at OSU as faculty in the same service since completing his residency, and he became a large animal Diplomate in the American College of Veterinary Surgeons in 2010. He is a member of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners, and he is faculty advisor to the OSU chapters of the Food Animal Club, the pre-vet club, and Christian Veterinary Fellowship. He has received several teaching awards during his time at OSU, and has a passion for teaching students to “think like clinicians.” He and his wife, Laurie, have 2 children, Hannah and Zach, and they live on a small farm just northwest of Columbus, Ohio.

Troy Ott, MS, PhD, PAS

Professor of Animal Science and Associate Director, Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania

Troy L. Ott is a Professor of Animal Science and Associate Director of the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences at Penn State. He holds a courtesy appointment in the Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences. Dr. Ott received his B.S. in Animal Production from Penn State in 1984. He completed his Master of Science degree at Auburn University and the Doctoral degree at the University of Florida. Following graduation, he spent 6 years as a Research Scientist in the Center for Animal Biotechnology at Texas A&M University before joining the faculty at the University of Idaho, Department of Animal and Veterinary Science in 1998. Dr. Ott returned to Penn State in 2006 and helped form the Center for Reproductive Biology and Health. Dr. Ott’s research focuses on issues of animal food production, fertility regulation, immunology and the physiology of early pregnancy with a primary focus on the signaling between the embryo, uterus and circulating immune cells. Dr. Ott is inventor or co-inventor on 5 awarded patents related to his research and he is actively engaged in efforts to commercialize novel diagnostic technologies to aid farmers in managing reproduction and animal health. He has published over 95 scientific papers and review articles, 9 book chapters as well as co-editing a book on Reproductive Genomics in Domestic Animals. In addition he developed and mentored the “Let’s Eat!” Distinguished Honors Faculty program designed to engage Penn State Schreyer Honors scholars in issues related to food production and feeding the growing world population sustainably. His research has been funded by the USDA, NIH and industry. Dr. Ott lives with his wife and three children in Boalsburg, Pennsylvania.

Rachel Poulin, RVT, VTS (SAIM)

Clinical Supervisor, Wheat Ridge Animal Hospital, Westminster, Colorado

Rachel has been working in veterinary medicine for 12 years and earned her VTS in Small Animal Internal Medicine in 2013. She served as the 2016 President of the Academy of Internal Medicine Veterinary Technicians. Rachel is currently the Clinical Supervisor of Internal Medicine and Dermatology at Wheat Ridge Animal Hospital in Colorado. She speaks and consults all over the country and loves it! When she’s not working, she enjoys exploring the Colorado Rockies and spending time with her family, including 2 furry pups, Emmy and Joey.

David Pugh


Director, Alabama Veterinary Diagnostic Lab System and Clinical Professor, Department of Pathobiology, Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama

David Gartrell Pugh earned both his DVM and MS (Nutritional Physiology) degrees from the University of Georgia in 1981, and a MAG in Agricultural Entomology (external parasites- 2013). He received post-DVM training at Virginia Tech (Clinical Nutrition) and Texas A & M University (Theriogenology). He is a Diplomate of the American College of Theriogenology (1986), the American College of Veterinary Nutrition (1992), and the American College of Veterinary Microbiology (Parasitology 2012). Dr. Pugh has held faculty positions at the University of Georgia and Auburn University, owned a large animal practice in Georgia, has been a consulting veterinarian for Fort Dodge Animal Health and Pfizer Animal Health, project veterinarian and Director of Farm Operations for the AU Equine Source Plasma Project ( a multi million dollar research grant), and is currently Director of the Al Veterinary Diagnostic Lab System. During his academic career he taught veterinary nutrition for horses, cows, and small ruminants, and was a clinician in ambulatory medicine and theriogenology. He is the author of >600 publications, >100 book chapters, 2 textbooks (Sheep and Goat Medicine, Sheep and Goat Medicine, 2nd ed), and a co-author of a publication of the NRC (NRC for Sheep, Goats, Camelids and Cervids). Pugh has received five university and five national awards for teaching, was the 2006 recipient of the UGA’s AM Mills Award for contributions to Veterinary Medicine, and Was the UGA’s College of Vet Med’s Alumni of the Year for 2017. He has served on various committees for the American Association of Small Ruminant Practitioners, the Society for Theriogenology, the College of Theriogenology, the American College of Veterinary Nutrition, and the National Research Council, Nutrient Requirement Committee and the American Academy of Veterinary Parasitologists. He and his wife of 43 years are sheep, goat, and donkey/mule owners, part-time motorcycle/trike builders and riders, and the father of two daughters, a son, 2 sons-in law, a daughter-in-law, and 4 grandchildren.

Elizabeth Santini, DVM

Veterinary Medical Field Officer, Region 5, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Martinsburg, Pennsylvania

Dr. Santini is a Maryland native and received her veterinary degree from the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech in 2000. She worked as an associate veterinarian in mixed-animal practice in central Pennsylvania before accepting a position with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture as a Regional Veterinarian in 2002. Elizabeth and her husband, Dr. Tom Bass, live with their three children in Bedford County.

Margie Scherk

Margie Scherk, DVM, DABVP (Feline Practice)

Editor, Journal Feline Medicine and Surgery

Dr. Scherk is a private practitioner who founded Cats Only Veterinary Clinic, in Vancouver, BC in 1986 working there fulltime until June 2008 when she “retired” from active practice. She graduated from the University of Guelph in 1982 with a DVM from the Ontario Veterinary College. In 1995 she became board certified in the specialty of Feline Practice by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (ABVP). After many years of serving on the Board of the American Association of Feline Practitioners she was honoured to be its President in 2007. Since its inception in 1995, she has been a member of the AAFP Feline Vaccine Guidelines Panel, most recently having the responsibilities of being its Chair for the 2013 version. She founded the Feline Internal Medicine folder on Veterinary Information Network (VIN), and through many opportunities on the online medium, has grown to love teaching veterinarians, vet students and veterinary care providers both online and around the world. She has authored numerous book chapters and scientific papers and is the North American editor for the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery. One of the things she is most proud of is pioneering the use of the Transdermal Fentanyl Patch for the alleviation of pain in companion animals. She is an advocate of the Paw Project and hopes to end the practice of declawing cats in Canada. She loves to share her love of cats and feline medicine with others, with her focus being the patients’ point of view. She shares her home with her husband Jim, misses her adult children, loves to cook, is a triathlete and is allowed to serve three cats: Nimitz, Jules, and Harvey.

Valarie Tynes

Valarie Tynes, DVM, DACVB

Veterinary Services Specialist, Ceva Animal Health

Dr. Valarie Tynes is a native Texan and received her DVM from Texas A&M University. She worked in private practice for 14 years before returning to academia to pursue a residency in clinical animal behavior at the University of California at Davis in 2000. She has been a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists since 2003 and is currently President of the College. Her special interests are the behavior and welfare of pet pigs, exotic pets and zoo animals. She is a frequent speaker at veterinary meetings around the country and author of numerous articles and textbook chapters. She joined Ceva in October of 2014 as a veterinary services specialist, providing behavior education, training and technical support to the sales force as well as lectures and presentations to veterinarians in the field. In her spare time, she continues to provide consulting services to zoos.

Sponsored by:

Ceva logo

Karen Wernette

Karen Wernette, DVM

Trust Veterinarian, AVMA PLIT, Chicago, Illinois

Dr. Karen Wernette has been Trust Veterinarian with the AVMA Professional Liability Insurance Trust since 2007. She discusses malpractice issues with veterinarians, reviews professional liability claims, and presents educational programs. She has worked in a companion animal practice, as Executive Director for the American Veterinary Medical Law Association and the Association of Veterinary Practice Management Consultants and Advisors (VetPartners). She also worked at the American Veterinary Medical Association as Director of the Membership Division and Director of the Career Development Center. Dr. Wernette graduated from Michigan State University, College of Veterinary Medicine, and received a Mid-Management Development Certificate from the University of Wisconsin, School of Business in 1995. She is an active member of many professional associations including: American Veterinary Medical Association, American Association of Bovine Practitioners, Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association, Michigan Veterinary Medical Association, Chicago Veterinary Medical Association, American Veterinary Medical Law Association, and VetPartners.

David Wolfgang, VMD, MPH, DABVP (Dairy)

Director, Bureau of Animal Health and Diagnostic Services, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

David Wolfgang is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine. He earned his Masters of Public Health (MPH) degree from the Penn State College of Medicine-Hershey. He was in private veterinary practice with an emphasis on food animals from June 1982 through October 1995. From October 1995 through July 2016 he was Director of Field Investigations and an Extension Veterinarian in the Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences at Penn State. In August 2016 he accepted the position as Pennsylvania State Veterinarian. He has been active in local and state veterinary organizations. He was president of the Pennsylvania State Veterinary Medical Association (PVMA) 2006. He was Chair of the National Mastitis Council-Residue Avoidance Committee (2005-2009). He currently serves as chair of the PA State Board of Veterinary Medicine. His primary areas of professional emphasis include: cost effective preventative health and diagnostic programs for livestock species, on farm food safety and quality, emerging and zoonotic diseases, animal well-being, and continuing education programs for veterinarians.



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