2020 SEVC Speakers

Home 2020 SEVC Speakers

Randy Basinger DVM, DACVS, is board-certified in veterinary surgery. Dr. Basinger received his DVM degree from the Ohio State University in 1983, then completed a rotating internship in Boston before going to the University of Georgia for a three year surgery residency and coursework for a Master’s degree in physiology.  In 1987 he received the American College of Veterinary Surgeon’s award for the best research publication by a resident and started a specialty referral practice in Columbia. He has served in all the offices in his local and state association, was honored as SC Veterinarian of the Year in 2005 and is currently the chairman of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons Board of Trustees. Randy’s wife Louise and their  son Will are both veterinarians in South Carolina.  

Kendra Bohn, DACVIM (Neurology) received a bachelor’s degree from Hiram College in 2002, and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from The Ohio State University in 2007. She completed a rotating internship in small animal medicine and surgery at Auburn University, College of Veterinary Medicine in 2008. She then finished an internship at Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists in 2009. Dr. Bohn went on to complete a residency in veterinary neurology and neurosurgery from 2009 to 2012. During her residency, she conducted a research project evaluating the utility of magnetic resonance spectroscopy, which is a specific MRI sequence, in non-invasively differentiating brain tumor types. In 2012, Dr. Bohn became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine in the specialty of neurology. She worked for nearly 7 years at PVSEC in Pittsburgh, PA before joining CVETS in July 2019. Her clinical interests include neurosurgery, brain tumors, and inflammatory diseases of the central nervous system.

Rocio Crespo, DVM, MS, DVSc, Dip. ACPV, has over 20 years’ experience as a poultry veterinarian. Since August 2018, Dr. Crespo has been working at the Department of Population Health and Pathobiology at North Carolina State University. She attained her veterinary degree at the Universidad Complutense, Spain. She attained a MS and DVSc (PhD equivalent) at the University of Guelph in Canada. In 1996 she became a diplomate in the American College of Poultry Veterinarians. Dr. Crespo has worked at the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory System (University of California, Davis) and Avian Health and Food Safety Laboratory (Washington State University). She is president elect of the American College of Poultry Veterinarians. The primary focus of Dr. Crespo’s research includes investigation of the pathogenesis and diagnosis of diseases in poultry.

Teresa DeFrancesco, DVM, DACVIM, DACVECC earned her DVM degree from Cornell University and is board certified in Cardiology and Emergency/Critical Care Medicine. She has worked at NC State Veterinary Hospital since 1992 when she started her cardiology residency with Drs. Keene and Atkins. Dr. “D”, as most know her, has received numerous teaching and clinical service awards over the years. When not in the clinics, Dr. D enjoys spending time with her family.

Dr. Amanda Donnelly, DVM, MBA is a graduate of the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Missouri.  She has an MBA from Baker University in Overland Park, Kansas and she also holds a certificate in Veterinary Practice Administration from the AAHA Veterinary Management Institute (VMI) at Purdue University. Dr. Donnelly is a speaker, consultant, and author with over 30 years’ experience in the veterinary profession.  She is a second-generation veterinarian who combines her practice experience and business expertise to help veterinarians communicate better with their teams and clients. Dr. Donnelly has twice been named Practice Management Speaker of the Year for the North American Veterinary Conference. 

Sean Eastman, DVM, is a 1997 graduate of Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine. His career path has taken him all over the country, from NC to Montana, New Mexico, Virginia and SC. He has experience in production medicine, involving large herds of both swine and beef cattle. He has also practiced in Equine exclusive practices. In 2007, he and his wife, Sarah, settled in Landrum, SC where they purchased a mixed animal practice. In 2018, Dr. Eastman was hired by Clemson LPH as Director of Field Services.

Joseph Gerding, DVM, DACVO is a veterinary ophthalmologist who is with Animal Eye Clinic, in Matthews, NC. He was born and raised in Raleigh, North Carolina and attended North Carolina State University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine. After practicing as a family veterinarian, he returned to NCSU to complete a prestigious ophthalmology residency. Dr. Gerding successfully passed his specialty board examination on the first attempt to earn his Diplomate status in ophthalmology. Dr. Gerding has been published in numerous scientific journals on the subjects of general ophthalmology and equine ophthalmology

Towana Pittman Guinyard, DVM earned a B.S. degree in Laboratory Animal Science from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in May 2005, and later a DVM from N.C. State University in May 2010. Dr. Guinyard has taken several training courses in emergency preparedness and response, and is a first responder for emergency management issues; she became qualified as a Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostician (FADD) in February 2012, which allows her to investigate foreign animal diseases. Currently, Dr. Guinyard is a Veterinary Medical Officer for the USDA, APHIS, VS in South Carolina.

Reid Hanson, DVM, Dipl. ACVS, graduated with honors from the University of Georgia with a double major in biology and animal science in 1979, all while serving as a scholarship athlete in swimming. He earned the DVM at the University of Georgia in 1983. He completed an equine medicine and surgery internship at Cornell University in 1984, and his residency in equine surgery at the University of Florida in 1987. He achieved board certification by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons in 1990 and the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care in 2003. He joined the surgical faculty at Auburn University in 1992, and is currently a Professor of Equine Surgery and Lameness. He is the author of over 180 scientific articles, abstracts, presentations, and book chapters related to equine surgery, lameness and critical care. Dr. Hanson is also an award-winning speaker, speaking to international audiences about these important topics.

Jay Harrington, DVM, DACVO, is a veterinary ophthalmologist with Animal Eye Clinic, in Matthews, NC. He attended The Ohio State University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine. Following graduation, he completed an esteemed one-year internship at North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine and a three-year ophthalmology residency at the same institution. During his residency, Dr. Harrington published many journal articles on the subjects of cataracts and laser therapy for glaucoma. Dr. Harrington successfully passed his specialty board examination immediately following his residency to earn his Diplomate status in ophthalmology.

Heather Joseph, DVM, graduated from the University of Florida in 2013 and then went on to complete a rotating small animal internship at the University of Tennessee, where she trained under several specialists including those who specialized in Emergency, Zoo and Exotic Animal Medicine. She then completed a specialty internship at the University of Saskatchewan expanding her exotics training. Following completion, she continued to practice emergency medicine and train the ER staff (technicians and doctors) on exotic animal emergency medicine in Corpus Christi, TX. She then moved to Columbia South Carolina and currently works at CVETS as an Emergency Veterinarian.

Kimberly Keeney, Pharm.D, B.S. Chemistry, is the Pharmacy Manager at Pets First Choice. She is an experienced Clinical Pharmacist with a demonstrated history of working in the hospital & health care industry. Skilled in Healthcare Information Technology (HIT), Pharmacy Automation, Pharmacy, Compounding, and Prescription. She is also a strong healthcare services professional with a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) focused in Pharm D from South University School of Pharmacy.

Tim Loonam, DVM graduated from the University of Colorado and served as an Army officer with assignments throughout the Pacific Rim as an Airborne Ranger. Later, the Army sent Dr. Loonam to the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine where he graduated with several clinical awards. An assignment to FT Jackson brought Dr. Loonam back to the Carolinas, and in 2003 he deployed to Iraq with an Airborne Medical Detachment. Dr. Loonam was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for his service throughout Iraq with military working dog teams and public health missions. He is the former owner of an award-winning private practice – Grace Animal Hospital, Lexington SC, opened in 2006. Since the sale of his practice, Dr. Loonam has been working with veterinary colleges and students as the Director of University Relations for The Encore Veterinary Group.

Elizabeth A. Martinez, DVM, DACVAA, completed her undergraduate degree and attended veterinary medical school at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, TN. Subsequently, Dr. Martinez completed an internship and residency in Veterinary Anesthesia at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. She joined the faculty of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M University in College Station, TX in 1990 both practicing and teaching anesthesiology for 28 years until joining the Jurox Technical Services Team in 2018

Michelle McConnell, LVT, VTS, is a Senior Technician for Vetamac, Inc. and conducts annual services on anesthesia machines and performing in clinic CE for animal hospitals. She graduated from Bel-Rea Institute of Animal Technology in Denver in 2002. She obtained her veterinary technician specialty in anesthesia in 2007 while teaching at Kansas State University. Since 2007, Michelle has worked at specialty animal hospitals in South Florida. She is also a member of the Academy of Veterinary Technician Anesthetists.

Deborah Mitchell, DVM, BVM studied at University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign and the Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville. She owns Knollwood Hospital for Pets, a small animal integrative medical practice, offering a full range of traditional and complementary medical and soft-tissue surgical services., engaged in private practice. She is a frequent lecturer to veterinary audiences, contributor to International Veterinary Acupuncture Society herbal and acupuncture course required CE materials. Certified in Veterinary Acupuncture (IVAS, 1993); Veterinary Chiropractic (AVCA, 1998); Veterinary Applied Kinesiology (AVCA, 1999); Usui Reiki, Master Instructor, (Irene Dunbar, 2000); extensive training in traditional Chinese herbal medicine (Albuquerque 2000-2004; IVAS course 2001; Instructor for Chicago TCM Herbal Course 2004-2008; Chi School 2014-15). Homotoxicology (AHVMA, 2006); Veterinary Applied Osteopathy (Kortekaas Basic and Advanced Courses, 2008-2016); Teaching Assistant, IVAS, 2011-2012.

Shirin Modaresi, DVM, MS, is the Hill’s Professional Consulting Veterinarian for the Carolinas. She received her BS in Biology from USC Honor’s College, with a minor in Spanish, before getting a MS in Biology from Winthrop University. Shirin attended veterinary school at the University of Georgia and graduated cum laude in 2010.  Afterwards, she practiced small animal medicine for four years in Georgia before moving to Charlotte, NC for her position with Hill’s Pet Nutrition. She also practices part-time in Rock Hill, SC as a relief veterinarian.  Her special interests in veterinary medicine are nutrition, feline medicine, clinical pathology, and behavior. 

Lidia Pallo, DVM, DACVIM (SAIM), works at CVETS in Internal Medicine. She graduated from Cornell University in 1998, then earned her DVM degree from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine in 2002. She completed her internship in small animal medicine and veterinary Surgery at VCA Berwyn and Aurora Animal Hospitals from 2004 to 2005. Finally, she completed her residency at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine from 2006 to 2008, and she was board certified by the American College in Veterinary Internal Medicine in 2009. Dr. Pallo practiced both equine and emergency medicine before completing her Internal Medicine residency. She enjoys all aspects of Internal medicine, but she has a particular interest in geriatric cats, liver disease and endocrinology.

Katherine Pankratz, DVM, DACVB received her DVM at the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 2014 and completed a small animal rotating internship in New York. She completed her veterinary behavior residency at North Carolina State University and became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists in 2018. She is a behavioral medicine clinician at the Animal Behavior Clinic in Portland, OR and an adjunct professor at NC State CVM.  She was awarded the RK Anderson ACVB Resident Award and JFMS Resident Best Paper Award for her research on the use of behavioral medication to improve the welfare of cats held during the TNR program.

Katherine Queck, DVM, FAVD opened The Carolinas Animal Hospital and Dental Clinic in 1993. A graduate of Iowa State University, she has performed advanced dental procedures on pets since 1986. In 1993, she became a Fellow of the Academy of Veterinary Dentistry of which there are less than 100 members worldwide

Ron Riegel, DVM, earned his undergraduate degree in Chemistry from the University of Delaware and his doctoral degree in Veterinary Medicine from the University of Illinois. He served as a clinical instructor with the Ohio State University and is a member of the Academy of Human Neuromuscular Physiology. Dr. Riegel operated a multi-doctor private veterinary practice in Ohio for more than two decades. He founded and later sold Premier Equine Health Products, a company which manufactured and distributed products for equine athletes globally.

Rudy Rivas, DVM, DACVR is a staff radiologist at CVETS. Dr. Rivas was born in Caracas, Venezuela, and grew up in Barinas, a town in the southwestern part of the country. Growing up on a farm in Venezuela, he always knew he wanted to be a veterinarian. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Georgia, majoring in Biology and Psychology. Afterwards, he attended the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine. After graduating, Dr. Rivas completed a one-year small animal rotating internship at Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine and then matched for a Diagnostic Imaging Residency at North Carolina State University. Dr. Rivas is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Radiology.

Patty Scharko, DVM, MPH, DACVPM earned her DVM with UGA in 1983, Masters in Public Health- epidemiology in 1989 at the UNC- Chapel Hill and a BSA General Agriculture in 1980 at UGA.  She is the SC Designated Scrapie Epidemiologist and BQA (Beef Quality Assurance) state coordinator. Major areas of activities include Beef Quality Assurance, Scrapie eradication, biosecurity and FAMACHA/parasite control training in small ruminants.

Suzy Shannon, DVM graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 1999 from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she studied journalism and creative writing. As an undergraduate student, she earned a Carolina’s Carrousel Scholarship and went on to attend North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine, and graduated with her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 2006. While at veterinary school, she received The Feline Award for her outstanding work with cats. Dr. Shannon is the owner of Sweetgrass Animal Hospital which she opened in 2012. Her professional interests include dentistry, internal medicine, soft-tissue surgery and anesthesia.

 Susan M. Simmerson, DACVIM (SAIM) is a board certified internal medicine specialist at Carolina Veterinary Specialists. She has an undergraduate degree in biochemistry from North Carolina State University and earned her doctorate of veterinary medicine at Ross University, St. Kitts, West Indies.  addition to enjoying all aspects of practice within internal medicine, Dr. Simmerson holds special interest in kidney disease, hepato-biliary disease, gastrointestinal disease and critical care. Dr. Simmerson has published in the scientific literature on the topic of protein losing enteropathy in Yorkshire terrier dogs and she lectures regularly at continuing education meetings on many various internal medicine topics.

Geof Smith, DVM, MS, PhD, DACVIM (Large Animal Internal Medicine), is a Professor of ruminant medicine at North Carolina State University. He received his BS degree in Animal Science from Clemson University in 1994 followed by his MS degree in toxicology from the University of Illinois in 1996.  Dr. Smith then graduated with his DVM degree from the University of Illinois in 1998.  He stayed at the University of Illinois to complete a 4-year clinical residency in food animal medicine and surgery and received his PhD in physiology in 2002.  He is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine and his clinical and research interests are focused on the internal medicine of ruminants with a specific interest in calf health. 

Candace A. Sousa, DVM, DABVP, Canine & Feline, DACVD received all of her education at the University of California, Davis. She was certified by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners in 1983 and by the American College of Veterinary Dermatology in 1985. Dr. Sousa worked in private small animal practice, owned a small animal clinic in Sacramento and worked in private dermatology referral practice before joining Zoetis in 2003. She retired in 2016. She has lectured extensively to veterinarians worldwide as well as publishing in numerous veterinary publications. In 2008 Dr. Sousa received the ACVD Award for Excellence. She currently maintains an appointment as an Adjunct Clinical Professor in the department of Medicine and Epidemiology at the University of California, Davis and as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Washington State University.

David Upchurch, DVM, MS, DACVS-SA graduated with a DVM degree from Auburn University in 2010. He went on to complete a rotating internship at the University of Pennsylvania, a surgical internship at Louisiana State University, and a surgical residency at Kansas State University. He is currently an assistant professor of soft tissue surgery at Kansas State University. His clinical interests include suture materials, wound management and reconstruction, as well as preclinical and clinical instructorship of veterinary students.

Tristan Weinkle, DVM, DACVIM (Small Animal Internal Medicine), completed his undergraduate and veterinary degrees at Cornell University. He interned at Boston’s Angell Memorial Animal Hospital and returned to Cornell for his internal medicine residency. He joined SCVSEC in 2003, becoming a partner in 2005. He has spoken on regional, national, and international levels and is published in veterinary medicine, virology, and wildlife medicine. His primary interests include liver and gastrointestinal diseases, and immunohematology. He’s a past president of the Greater Columbia Association of Veterinarians and past board member and officer of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine Foundation.