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Small Animal Program

Mark Acierno, DVM, MBA, DACVIM

Animal Health Institute at Midwestern University  /  Glendale, AZ

Mark Acierno is a Professor of Small Animal Internal Medicine at the Animal Health Institute at Midwestern University. He earned his veterinary degree at Mississippi State University and completed his internal medicine residency at Tufts University. Dr. Acierno is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine in Small Animal Internal Medicine. His clinical interests include kidney disease, hypertension, interventional radiology, immune-mediated disease, and dialysis medicine.  He holds an M.B.A. from Pace University.

Todd Archer, DVM, MS, DACVIM

Mississippi State University CVM  /  Mississippi State, MS

Todd M. Archer, DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVIM, is an Associate Professor of Small Animal Internal Medicine at Mississippi State University.  His clinical interests include hematology, endocrinology and immunology, as well as interventional radiological procedures.  Special interests include immune-mediated blood disorders and Cushing’s Disease.  Dr. Archer received his DVM as well as completed his internship and residency at Mississippi State University and joined the faculty at Mississippi State University in 2010.

Michael Bailey, DVM, DACVR

IDEXX  /  Westbrook, ME

Dr. Bailey is originally from New Jersey, where he completed his undergraduate degree at Rutgers University. He obtained his DVM from historic Tuskegee University in Alabama and then completed a small-animal rotating internship and radiology residency at Michigan State University. Before joining IDEXX Telemedicine Consultants, he served on the faculty at Tuskegee University, Michigan State University, and The Ohio State University. He spent 5 years supplying imaging services in a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, referral and emergency facility and was lead radiologist for a large (950+) hospital national practice. He is also on the board of directors of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Brian Beale, DVM, DACVS, ACVS, Fellow MIS

Beale Veterinary Specialists and Emergency /  Victoria, TX

Brian Beale attended the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine. He also completed a 3 year residency in small animal surgery and joined the faculty there as an assistant professor from 1990–1992. Brian became board-certified by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons in 1991 and joined Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists in 1992. Brian has a special interest in arthroscopy, minimally-invasive surgery, fracture repair, joint replacement, treatment of arthritis, and pain management. Brian has many publications, including textbooks, textbook chapters and scientific articles. Brian is a passionate teacher and frequently lectures and teaches wet-labs around the world. He is a past-president of the Veterinary Orthopedic Society, past-president of the Gulf Coast Veterinary Foundation and active in the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. He has been a board member for American Humane since 2017. Brian was awarded the Specialty Veterinarian of the Year Award by the Texas Veterinary Medical Association in 2010. Brian became an ACVS Founding Fellow of Minimally-Invasive Orthopedic Surgery in 2018.  Brian currently is the CEO of Beale’s Best and Beale Veterinary Specialists in Victoria, Texas.

When not practicing veterinary medicine, Dr. Beale enjoys spending time with his family, tennis, golf and all outdoor sports. He loves to travel and meet new people around the world.

Christopher Byers, DVM, DACVECC, DACVIM (SAIM), CVJ  /  Omaha, NE

Dr. Christopher G. Byers is a practicing board-certified veterinary emergency & critical care and small animal internal medicine specialist based in Omaha, Nebraska. He received his BS degree in Animal Sciences from Colorado State University and his DVM from Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Byers’ professional passions are mentoring and coaching veterinary students and colleagues in the areas of emergency & critical care, internal medicine, and communication skills. To that effect, he’s been privileged to travel around the globe, partnering with veterinary professionals dedicated to advancing animal health. Dr. Byers publishes a weekly blog called CriticalCareDVM. The goals of this site are to educate pet parents and promote the triad of care between pet owner, primary care doctor, and veterinary specialist.

Claire Fellman, DVM, PhD, DACVIM, DACVCP

Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts Univ /  N. Grafton, MA

Claire Fellman is an assistant professor in the small animal internal medicine service at Tufts University. Dr. Fellman earned her bachelor’s degree in biological engineering prior to her veterinary training at Mississippi State University.  She then completed residencies in small animal internal medicine and clinical pharmacology also at Mississippi State University, while doing a PhD investigating the effects of cyclosporine on immune function in dogs.  Dr. Fellman’s clinical interest include immune-mediated disease, feline medicine, and antimicrobial resistance.

Ralph Harvey, DVM, MS, DACVAA

University of Tenn-CVM (Retired) / Knoxville, TN

Dr. Ralph Harvey is certified as a specialist by the American College of Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia.  He was a member of the faculty at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, where he taught anesthesia, pain management, and related topics for 33 years.  He is now working as a consultant in practice and industry.  Dr. Harvey is involved in developing the objective assessment of pain, and in promoting best medicine, including Fear Free principles and new advances in patient care.  He also serves the community as a member of the Board of Directors for the Great Smoky Mountains Conservation Association and for the Humane Society of the Tennessee Valley.

Brad Matz, DVM

Auburn University of Tennessee CVM  /  Auburn, AL

BS-Mississippi State University 2004
DVM-Mississippi State University 2008
Rotating internship-Auburn University 2008-2009
Small Animal Surgery Residency-Auburn University 2009-2012
Small Animal Surgical Oncology Fellowship 2012-2013
ACVS Fellow, surgical oncology
Assistant Clinical Professor Surgery-Auburn University 2014-present

Conor McNeill, DVM

Hope Advanced Veterinary Center / Vienna, VA

Dr. Conor McNeill is a board certified veterinary oncologist practicing at The Hope Center in Vienna, Virginia.  He is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Oncology at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in Blacksburg, Virginia.

Dr. McNeill received his veterinary degree from Utrecht University in the Netherlands.  After moving to the United States, he completed a rotating small animal internship in medicine and surgery at the Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.  He remained at the University of Pennsylvania to complete a residency in medical oncology and a fellowship in radiation oncology.

Dr. McNeill is a member f the American Veterinary Medical Association and is board certified in Oncology by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.

Craig Prior, BVSc, CVJ

Companion Animal Parasite Council  /  Brentwood, TN

Dr. I. Craig Prior is the previous owner of VCA Murphy Road Animal Hospital, an eight doctor practice in Nashville, TN; and former owner/partner in three BluePearl emergency hospitals in Middle Tennessee.  A 35 year veteran, Dr. Prior’s professional interests include all aspects of small animal medicine and surgery, as well the operations and metrics of well managed practices.

Born and raised in Australia, Dr. Prior represented Australia at the 1982 World’s Fair in Knoxville, Tennessee before graduating from the University of Queensland in Brisbane with a degree in veterinary medicine in 1984 and moving to the United States in 1985.

Dr. Prior is a board member and immediate past-president of the Companion Animal Parasite Council (

He shares his veterinary and business knowledge as a practice management consultant, practice sales consultant, VMG Facilitator and through speaking engagements throughout the country including NAVC & WVC, sitting on advisory boards and guest appearances with various national media outlets.

Cherie Pucheu-Haston, DVM

Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine  /  Baton Rouge, LA

Dr. Cherie Pucheu-Haston received her DVM from Louisiana State University in 1992 and completed an internship in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery in 1993.  She received her residency training in veterinary dermatology at NCSU in 1993-1995, and became board certified in 1995. She worked as a specialist in private practice for seven years, then returned to NCSU from 2002 to 2006 pursue a PhD in immunology. She completed three years of postdoctoral study in the Immunotoxicology Branch of the US EPA. Dr. Pucheu-Haston returned to LSU in 2011 and is now an associate professor of veterinary immunology and dermatology.  Her interests include immunology of allergic cutaneous and pulmonary diseases in horses, dogs and cats, as well as the immune response to cutaneous fungal infections.

Valeria Rickard, DVM

North Oatlands Animal Hospital /  Leesburg, VA

Dr. Valeria Rickard, Practice Owner and Medical Director at North Oatlands Animal Hospital & Reproduction Center (NOAH) and Dominion Valley Animal Hospital (DVAH), graduated Magna cum laude and in the top 5 of her class from VMRCVM Virginia Tech Veterinary School in 2001 and ever since has been practicing small animal veterinary medicine and surgery in the Northern Virginia area. In 2005, she realized her dream and opened her own state-of-the-art veterinary practice in Leesburg. With her husband John, Dr. Rickard built their business with the goal of serving the medical and reproductive needs of all their companion as well as performance animal clients while retaining the feel of personalized service. Being involved with their local growing and developing Haymarket community and seeing the need for a family-oriented practice there – in 2012 she opened a second, “satellite” facility under the local development name Dominion Valley Animal Hospital. Most Recently, due to the success and ever-growing client need of the practices, we are very excited that a brand-new facility is under construction, and, in early 2020, we will open an all-inclusive animal center that not only provides the highest quality veterinary medicine and reproductive services, but also complementary services such as boarding, grooming, day-care, training and performance events.  Read more…

Julie Squires, CCFS

Rekindle, LLC /  Kingston, NY

Julie Squires is a Certified Compassion Fatigue Specialist and Certified Life Coach who brings a unique perspective and approach to support the sustained energy and passion of those exposed to the highly stressful and emotionally charged environments of veterinary medicine. She does this in a very distinct way, by empowering them to help themselves through easy-to-implement yet powerful, practices and insights.

Julie has over twenty-five years of experience within the veterinary industry both in practice as a veterinary assistant and hospital administrator and outside of practice leading organizations, developing and executing training, workshops and 1:1 coaching most notably for Nestlé Purina, Bayer Animal Health and IDEXX Laboratories.  She is a Certified Compassion Fatigue Specialist through the Traumatology Institute.

Her company, Rekindle LLC, offers on-site seminars, workshops, online courses and private coaching and is the result of the need Julie saw to help those that work with animals maintain their wellbeing and mental health. Julie lives in New York’s Hudson Valley with her husband John, pugs Ernie & Mabel and Gregg & Duane, their two cats. Julie is also the host of the popular podcast Rekindling: Compassion Fatigue Solutions for Animal Workers.

Jane Sykes, BVSc (Hons)

University of California-Davis /  Davis, CA

Dr. Jane Sykes is a board-certified internist with a research focus on infectious diseases of small animals. She has been a faculty member at UC Davis since 2002 and now serves as the chief veterinary medical officer of the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital.

Dr. Sykes previously served as president of the Specialty of Small Animal Internal Medicine within the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.

She also completed a term as president of the International Society for Companion Animal Infectious Diseases, an organization she co-founded in 2006, and is the author of the textbook Canine and Feline Infectious Diseases.

Dr. Sykes hails from Melbourne, Australia. Prior to coming to UC Davis, she completed a residency at the University of Minnesota, where she was also a clinical faculty member.