Our Instructors


VetMedTeam is privileged to have on board some of the best CE instructors. Experts in their fields, each feels a strong commitment to providing educational opportunities for all members of the practice team.

 


 
  Kim Albin, LVT, VTS (Oncology)

After gaining a strong foundation as a Licensed Technician, Kim became a VTS (oncology). She has worked with the Oncology Unit at Michigan State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital 6 years, focusing on animal and handler safety. She has published several articles in Veterinary Technician magazine, the Canadian Veterinary Technician magazine, and is currently working on a Chemotherapy Safety Book.

Kim is Past President of the Veterinary Technician Cancer Society and is the Safety Coordinator for many Veterinary Oncology clinics.

In her spare time, Kim is a mother, wife, and a sponsored amateur triathlete on the Lansing Triathlon Team, as well as a fitness instructor at the YMCA.

 
 

 
  Robert Cruz, DVM, MSc. Dipl. ACVR

Dr. Cruz completed his degree in veterinary medicine from the University of Zulia, Venezuela. He completed a combined residency/master of science program in Veterinary Radiology/Radiological Health Sciences, respectively, at Colorado State University. He then obtained the diplomate status of the American College of Veterinary Radiology(ACVR). Dr. Cruz was a visiting assistant professor at Oklahoma State University and an assistant professor of veterinary radiology at the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada. He then decided to go into private practice. He is currently a consultant/staff radiologist at Antech Imaging Services.

Dr. Cruz has multiple publications in indexed scientific journals. In addition he has had research papers/abstracts, from previous university work, presented, in oral and poster format, at scientific meetings in America and Europe.

 
 

 
  Kara Burns, MS, MEd, LVT, VTS-Nutrition, Dentistry (H), Internal Medicine (H)

Kara Burns is a licensed veterinary technician originally from New England, now living in Kansas. She holds a master’s degree in physiology and a master’s degree in counseling psychology. She began her career in human medicine working as an emergency psychologist in the Maine Medical Center emergency department. She also worked at Maine Poison Control as a poison specialist dealing with human and animal poisonings. She then made the move to veterinary medicine and worked in small animal private practice and a small animal and avian practice in Maine.

Kara is the Founder and President of the Academy of Veterinary Nutrition Technicians. She teaches nutrition courses around the world and is a contributor to Lafebervet.com. Kara works as an independent nutritional consultant.

She is a member of many national, international, and state associations and holds positions on many boards in the profession; AAVN executive board technician liaison; the NAVTA Journal editor in chief; SVME Board of Directors; Veterinary Team Brief Advisory Board; VSPN Nutrition Board Moderator; International Society for Sports Nutrition; Fear Free Advisory Board; Pet Nutrition Alliance Educational Tools committee, and is the president of the Kansas Veterinary Technician Association, to name a few.

She teaches nutrition courses around the world on the VIN/Veterinary Support Personnel Network and on VetMedTeam. She also is a contributor to Lafebervet.com. Kara also works as an independent nutritional consultant..

She is a member of many national, international, and state associations and holds positions on many boards in the profession; AAVN executive board technician liaison; the NAVTA Journal editor in chief; NAVTA Communications Director; Veterinary Team Brief Advisory Board; VSPN Nutrition Board Moderator; International Society for Sports Nutrition; and is the president of the Kansas Veterinary Technician Association, to name a few.

She has authored many articles, textbooks, and textbook chapters and is an internationally invited speaker, focusing on topics of nutrition, leadership, and technician utilization.

Ms. Burns has been featured on the cover of the Veterinary Technician Journal and the NAVTA Journal. She was named the 2013 North American Veterinary Conference Technician Speaker of the Year. She is the 2010 NAVTA Veterinary Technician of the Year, as well as the 2011 Dr. Franklin Loew Lecturer. Kara has also been named the National Association of Professional Women ‘Woman of the Year’ for 2010-2011 and the Cambridge Who’s Who in Professionals V.I.P. for 2010-2011. She was accepted into the International Women’s Leadership Association in 2012..

She enjoys spending time with her wife Dr. Ellen Lowery and their children. They are actively involved in coaching youth sports, 4-H, school activities, and church ministry. The family also includes two horses, a pony, a miniature horse, two sheep, a pug, a French bulldog, 6 birds, 4 indoor cats (one of which is three legged), a guinea pig, a blue–tongue skink, and a bearded dragon!

 
 

 
  Laura Conn, CVT, CVPM

Laura grew up in Cheyenne, WY and started her career in veterinary medicine in 1988. She began her journey as a volunteer in a small animal and wildlife practice. Over the next 25 years, she held every position in a veterinary clinic, including receptionist, technician, and practice manager.

Laura attended Bel-Rea Institute of Animal Technology and received her degree as a Certified Veterinary Technician. In 2012, after completing a practice management program through St. Petersburg University, she earned the designation as a Certified Veterinary Practice Manager. Laura is currently working as a technician/practice manager for a mobile veterinary clinic.

In 2012, Laura started the Veterinary Technician Association of Cheyenne to encourage local technicians to share their knowledge and obtain further continuing education hours. Laura is a member of the Colorado Association of Certified Technicians, Veterinary Hospital Managers Association, and the Veterinary Technician Association of Cheyenne. She is married and has three daughters. Laura and her family are entertained by the daily antics of their labs Charlie and Le Doux.

 
 

 
  Lauren R. Eichstadt Forsythe, PharmD, FSVHP

Dr. Lauren Eichstadt Forsythe is a graduate of the University of Findlay, College of Pharmacy. After completing her Doctor of Pharmacy Degree, Dr. Eichstadt Forsythe completed a veterinary pharmacy residency at the Purdue Veterinary Teaching Hospital. As Purdue's first Veterinary Pharmacy Resident, she was one of only 4 pharmacy residents in the country specializing in veterinary pharmacy. During her residency she developed, coordinated, and taught Purdue College of Pharmacy's first veterinary pharmacy elective course.

Dr. Eichstadt Forsythe is Veterinary Clinical Pharmacist at the University of Illinois. She is also an Associate Editor for Plumb’s Veterinary Drug Handbook, and enjoys writing and presenting continuing education for veterinarians and pharmacists. Research interests include transdermal therapy for feline patients, behavior medications and compounding. In her spare time, she enjoys running and competing in hunter and equitation events with her Quarter Horse, Banjo.

 
 

 
  Raychel Follis, RVT

Raychel was born, raised, and resides in Southern California. She graduated from the Mt. San Antonio College veterinary technician program and is working towards a BS in Marine Sciences. Raychel has worked in veterinary medicine for over 15 years, 10 of which has been in small animal emergency medicine. For several years, she worked as a relief technician which gave her the opportunity to experience many different practices and facilities ranging from general day hospitals to a surgical referral center to the spay and neuter clinic at the county shelter. Raychel always found herself returning to emergency medicine.

Raychel has a pretty busy home life as well. She is married and has two boys. She also has 2 cats (Curley and Hairball), and a 12 year old cross-eyed Pit Bull named Gunnar. Raychel’s hobby is "ponding", and taking up residence in the pond are 4 red-eared sliders: Ned, Ted, Zed, and Bob. They share the pond with several goldfish and koi, but Tank and Ed are in charge. In her spare time, she also runs a business for her husband which in turn has brought an appreciation and understanding of running a business.

Raychel believes that this is a great field to work in because you can learn new things everyday. She is looking forward to learning and sharing her experiences!

 
 

 
  Mary Ellen Goldberg BS, BS, LVT, CVT, SRA, CCRVN, CVPP, VTS-lab animal medicine (research anesthesia), VTS-physical rehabilitation

Mary Ellen Goldberg is a graduate of Harcum College and the University of Pennsylvania. She worked at Virginia Commonwealth University in the Division of Animal Resources and for Research Scientists, advising on their choices for anesthesia and pain management protocols. She was a member of VCU’s IACUC for 10 years. She has been the instructor of anesthesia and pain management courses at VetMedTeam since 2003. She was the Executive Secretary for the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management(IVAPM) from 2008-2018.

Mary Ellen is a Certified Veterinary Pain Practitioner through IVAPM. Mary Ellen is also a Surgical Research Anesthetist certified through the Academy of Surgical Research. She is on the Exam Chair for APRVT (Academy of Physical Rehabilitation Veterinary Technicians). She is Exam Chair for the Academy of Laboratory Animal Veterinary Technicians and Nurses (ALAVTN). Currently, she is a staff member at the Canine Rehabilitation Institute, as a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Veterinary Nurse. (CCRVN).

Mary Ellen was chosen NAVTA’s Veterinary Technician of the Year 2018. She has written several books and contributed to numerous chapters regarding anesthesia, pain management and rehabilitation. She speaks at national meetings on these topics and gives private CE to organizational groups. She has worked in various aspects of veterinary medicine from small animal to equine and mixed practice. She participated in coccidiosis research for a pharmaceutical company, and has been active in zoo animal and laboratory animal medicine.

 
 

 
  Donna Harris, DVM, MBA

Dr. Harris received her veterinary degree from Michigan State University and her MBA from Grand Valley State University. She practiced small animal and exotics medicine for many years before starting Veterinary Special Services, a financial and strategic planning consulting firm.

Today she teaches business and career development topics at Michigan State University's College of Veterinary Medicine and St. Matthew's School of Veterinary Medicine in Grand Cayman as well as consulting for private practice veterinary businesses.

 
 

 
  Jennifer Harrison, DVM, DACVIM

Dr. Harrison earned her undergraduate animal science and veterinary degrees from Cornell University. Following graduation from veterinary school, Dr. Harrison worked in general practice in Massachusetts for one year. She then moved to Cambridge, England where she completed a small animal rotating internship at a private practice. This was followed by an internal medicine internship at Coral Springs Animal Hospital in Florida before she completed an internal medicine residency at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Harrison loves all aspects of internal medicine but has special interests in respiratory, hepatic, gastrointestinal, and hematologic disorders. She currently works as an internist at Dogs and Cats Veterinary Referral and Emergency in Bowie, Maryland. Outside of work she enjoys spending time with her husband and two cats (Molly and Becky), hiking, gardening, cooking and traveling.

 
 

 
  Chery Kendrick, DVM, MPVM, MLT, ASCP, CFS

Dr. Kendrick, a former large animal veterinarian, is a holistic practitioner, specializing in energy and herbal medicine modalities.

She currently is a regulatory specialist, (OSHA, DEA, EPA, etc.). Her company, VetOSHA.com, provides consulting and OSHA management services to clinicians and practice managers nationwide. She and her team are focused on helping practices become, and remain, current and compliant.

Dr. Kendrick is an award-winning speaker. Her presentations include topics such as:

  • OSHA Compliance in the Veterinary Practice
  • Zoonotics: The Epidemiological Crisis
  • Let's Try Life Balance! Preventing Job Burnout
  • Holistic Medicine and Your Practice: The Art of Integrative Medicine
  • Maintaining Control in Your Practice: The Art of Management
  • The Complete Life: The Path to Wellness and Mindfulness

Dr. Kendrick is a certified Mastermind Group Facilitator and Conducts OSHA Mastermind groups monthly for her clients, helping them to stay current on OSHA regulations, get the required paperwork completed, And network with other Practice Managers nationwide.

She makes her home in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains of Eastern TN, and the coastal mountains of Northern California, where she enjoys habitat restoration with her dog Aggy. She also is a hiker of the Smoky Mountains and the Pacific Coast Trail. She is an active member of the Smoky Mountain Green Team and Earth Justice Habitat Restoration Project. Nature and teaching keep her centered.

 
 

 
  Lisa M. Keys, BS, CVT

Lisa graduated from Wilson College with a Bachelor of Science in Veterinary Medical Technology. She then went on to obtain her licensure Lisa graduated from Wilson College in Chambersburg, PA with a Bachelor of Science in Veterinary Medical Technology. She obtained her licensure in Pennsylvania where she worked in private practice for several years. When she decided to leave practice, she was fortunate enough to discover an opportunity within VetMedTeam where she has been since 2007. She has held various positions with VetMedTeam over the years and is currently the Veterinary Assistant Program Facilitator. In 2019, she was given the opportunity to return to private practice in a brand-new office run by doctors and employing a few staff members she previously worked with and jumped at the opportunity.

Lisa lives in Lancaster County in the Southern-most part of Pennsylvania. There she resides with her wonderful husband Joe and their extra-special fur-babies, a few fish and a foster dog now and again. In her spare-time when the PA weather permits, she enjoys driving her Firebird, flying with her husband to new and previously treasured places, watching movies and binge-watching TV. Lisa also volunteers for the Doberman Pincher Rescue of Pennsylvania.

 
 

 
  Kris Kruse-Elliott, DVM, PhD, DACVAA

Dr. Kruse received her DVM from Oregon State University in 1984. The following year was spent in mixed animal practice in Seattle, WA before moving on to advanced specialty training in anesthesiology. She completed her anesthesia residency at North Carolina State University from 1985-1988, becoming board certified and a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia in 1989. Dr. Kruse received her PhD in pulmonary physiology from North Carolina State University in 1992 and joined the faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison the same year. Dr. Kruse was a member of the UW faculty for 15 years and then she moved to California with her husband and their various bird and cat family members.

Since 2006 she has worked as an anesthesiologist in private specialty practice and is currently the anesthesiologist for Sage Veterinary Centers in the San Francisco Bay area and AnimalScan MRI Centers. She also consults on anesthesia and analgesia in a wide variety of species in private practice and research settings and is a frequent speaker at continuing education events. Dr. Kruse is currently the President of the newly formed North American Veterinary Anesthesia Society (NAVAS). In her spare time she can be found outdoors biking, hiking, and most especially skiing down whatever slopes she can find.


 
 

 
  Shana Lemmenes, CVT, VTS-EVN

Shana has worked as a technician since 2011, both in small animal and academia. She is a surgery technician and senior veterinary technician at the University of Minnesota Large Animal Veterinary Medical Center. Shana has also co-edited a textbook for Elsevier: Mosby's Comprehensive Review for Veterinary Technicians, 5th edition.

 
 

 
  Rachel Lees, RVT, KPA-CPT, VTS (Behavior)

Rachel Lees is a Registered Veterinary Technician Specialist in Behavior and she is also a Certified Training Partner through Karen Pryor Dog Trainer Professional Academy. She is one of the veterinary behavior technicians at The Behavior Clinic in Olmsted Falls, Ohio. Her interest in animal behavior sparked when her parents purchased a “bargain” Newfoundland in the fall of 2006. Yogi, a very nervous and fearful puppy at 8 weeks of age, had many behavioral diagnoses of his own. Working through puppy socialization and behavioral therapy with Yogi made Rachel want to help other families that may have the same issues.

Rachel graduated from Cuyahoga Community College with her Associates Degree in Veterinary Technology. Immediately after graduation, Rachel was employed at a multi doctor practice. She began running puppy socialization classes, seeing private training appointments, and teaching basic obedience. Rachel also became the behavior advocate within the practice, conducting happy visits and working with all the veterinary related aggression cases. In June of 2013 Rachel accepted her current position at The Behavior Clinic.

Rachel is proud to be a VTS-Behavior and looks forward in continuing to aide owners in creating and maintaining a strong human animal bond. Rachel holds a special interest in puppy/kitten socialization and development and enjoys teaching cooperative care techniques for veterinary protocols to small animals.

In her personal time, Rachel enjoys spending time with her Miniature Pincher Mix, Connor and her Orange Tabby Cat, Ernie.

 
 

 
  Erin Macdonald, CVT, CVPM

Erin Macdonald is currently employed at Haines Road Animal Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida and holds the position of Hospital Administrator. She has worked in the veterinary field since 1999, her first position as a receptionist.

In 2006, she received an Associate in Arts Degree in General Studies and an Associate's in Science Degree in Veterinary Technology from St. Petersburg College. That year, she became a Certified Veterinary Technician. After receiving a Certificate in Hospital Management and a Bachelor's Degree in Veterinary Technology Management, she achieved the designation of Certified Veterinary Practice Manager in 2009.

Erin is a member of both the Florida Veterinary Technician Association and the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America. Erin lives in Pinellas Park, Florida with her son, Kingston, dog, Gemma; and two cats, Gia and Roxanne.

 
 

 
  Linda Merrill, LVT, VTS (SAIM), VTS (AVTCP)

Linda received her AS degree in veterinary technology and an AA degree, both from Pierce College in Washington State. She has worked in specialty practice (cardio-pulmonary and oncology) and is currently working in a small animal practice. She is an author and editor, her most recent work is as an author for the Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine.

Linda is the former President of the Washington State Association of Veterinary Technicians and former President of the National Association of Veterinary Technicians of America (NAVTA). Linda has achieved two Veterinary Technician Specialists credentials. Her first is the Academy of Internal Medicine for Veterinary Technicians (AIMVT), she was the Founding Chair and is the current Executive Director. Her second specialty is a Canine & Feline Veterinary Technician Specialist in Clinical Practice (AVTCP).

In her spare time, Linda is an avid scuba diver and has traveled the 7 continents. Her husband, Jeff, is employed in the Alaskan seafood industry. They enjoy the company of their rescue cat, an adorable but clueless Persian named "The Cat Formerly Known as Philbert." Her household is also the home to 2 rescue dogs. Linda loves Corgis and currently has the sweetest boys named Bill and Jake.

 
 

 
  Jody Nugent-Deal, RVT, VTS (Anesthesia), VTS (Clinical Practice-Exotic Companion Animal)

Jody Nugent-Deal is a Registered Veterinary Technician and a Veterinary Technician Specialist (VTS) in Anesthesia and in Clinical Practice - Exotic Companion Animal. Jody has worked for the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital since 1999, working in the Companion Exotics Department for 10 years and currently the Small Animal Anesthesia Department where she is the supervisor.

She is a founding member of the Academy of Veterinary Technicians in Clinical Practice and is the executive secretary for the group as well as the appeals committee chair. Jody is an active member with the Academy of Veterinary Technicians in Anesthesia and Analgesia having served on the nominations, credentials and appeals committees. Jody is currently a Member At Large for the AVTAA. Jody also serves on the board for CaRVTA.

She has lectured throughout North America since 2000 on anesthesia and various exotic animal topics. Jody has published numerous articles and book chapters for both canine/feline and exotic animal medicine and anesthesia topics. Jody is an instructor for both VSPN and VetMedTeam and she has a special interest in anesthesia, analgesia, pain management and critical care in exotics and dogs and cats.

In Jody's spare time, she loves to read, visit the ocean, run, road and mountain bike.

 
 

 
  Jeanne Perrone, CVT, VTS (Dentistry)

Jeanne received her degree in veterinary technology from Parkland College in Champaign, IL. She earned her credentialing as a VTS (Dentistry) in 2006. Currently, she is self-employed as a consultant, trainer, and educator for technicians in veterinary dentistry. Jeanne instructs for the BAS VT program in dentistry at St. Petersburg College. She edited and published the book Small Animal Dental Procedures for Veterinary Technicians and Nurses, published by Wiley-Blackwell.

Jeanne is a founding member and former president of the Academy of Veterinary Dental Technicians, a NAVTA Specialty Group which mentors, trains and certifies credentialed technicians to be specialists in dentistry.

 
 

 
  Brandy Tabor, BS, CVT, VTS (ECC)

A native of Colorado, Brandy graduated from Colorado State University in the spring of 2003 with a BS in Equine Sciences. While attending CSU, she worked as a nurse's assistant in the Critical Care Unit at the Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital. Here, she learned just how far you can go with a career as a veterinary technician. She enrolled in Front Range Community College in Loveland, CO, graduating in 2005. Brandy then moved to Parker, CO where she currently works as a senior emergency and critical care technician. She had the honor of becoming a member of the Academy of Veterinary Emergency & Critical Care Technicians in 2008.

Brandy has a passion for writing and has written several papers for Today's Veterinary Practice, Veterinary Nursing Journal, Today's Veterinary Technician, and Veterinary Technician. She is also a contributor in the 5th edition of Review Questions and Answers for Veterinary Technicians. In addition she is the current chair of the AVECCT Credentials Committee.

Brandy currently lives with two birds, two cats, and two dogs.

 
 

 
  Deena Tiches, DVM, DACVIM (Neurology)

Dr. Tiches is a northern Virginia native, but currently resides in North Carolina with her husband, dog, two cats, a donkey, and a horse. She received her veterinary degree from the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. Her small animal internship at Michigan Veterinary Specialists was followed by a neurology residency at the University of Pennsylvania. She remained there as a clinical instructor until achieving board certification.

Dr. Tiches was in private practice in Maryland and Virginia for 16 years before forming Neurowebvet.com, an online consulting website for general practitioners. She enjoys training veterinary students, interns, and residents as well as educating veterinarians and pet owners. Her areas of interest are epilepsy and encephalitis. In her free time, she does eventing with her Thoroughbred mare.

 
 

 
  Cathy Trebold, CVT, LVT

Cathy graduated from Bel- Rea Institute of Veterinary Technology. She started her career with Banfield as a technician, then a Hospital Director, and finally as Field Trainer. The family relocated and she started a new career path, entering the world of Vet Tech education.

She taught for 5 years at an onsite Vet Tech program in Omaha, NE and 3 years with a Distance Learning Program in Dallas. She is very passionate about this field and loves sharing that passion and knowledge with her students. Training and educating have always been in her blood.

Cathy went back to small animal medicine with Banfield Pet Hospital in 2012 as a Practice Manager. She currently runs two hospitals and does extensive training and development for her market in Colorado

Cathy is married to an Air Force officer and moves around quite a bit. She currently lives outside of Colorado Springs, CO. Cathy, and her husband Brian, have three daughters that keep them quite busy. She also has 3 Labrador Retrievers- Buddy, Dexter and Penny.

 
 

 
  Rebeccah Vaughan, CVT, VTS (Anesthesia) (Clinical Practice- canine/feline)

Becky Vaughan is a Certified Veterinary Technician and a Veterinary Technician Specialist (VTS) in Anesthesia/Analgesia and in Clinical Practice - Canine/Feline. After graduating from Manor College in Jenkintown, PA in 2002, Becky's career has taken her to General Practice and Specialty Surgery, Radiology and Dentistry services in Philadelphia, Vermont, and the Chicagoland area in a variety of patient care and leadership roles.

Becky is currently the Technical Supervisor of VCA Aurora Animal Hospital, a 27-doctor teaching hospital comprised of 24-hr Emergency/Critical Care, Specialty Referral Services, and General Practice. She also serves on the Credentials Committee for both the Academy of Veterinary Technicians in Clinical Practice and the Academy of Veterinary Technician Anesthetists, in addition to being the past Credentials Committee Chair.

Becky has lectured on anesthesia and dentistry topics throughout the US since 2006. She has contributed to magazines and VSPN on a number of topics, as well as being an instructor for VetMedTeam courses. Becky also is part of a Technician and Assistant Task Force for the VCA corporate Medical Operations division in an effort to improve and standardize support staff education nationwide.

Becky has a special interest in critical anesthesia, dentistry, and feline pain management. She shares her home in Downers Grove, IL with her family and pets.

 
 

 
  Liza Wysong Rudolph, BAS, CVT, VTS (CP-Canine/Feline, SAIM)

Liza is a graduate of the Bachelors program in Veterinary Technology at St. Petersburg College and has a special interest in internal medicine, especially regarding patient care, immune mediated diseases, and oncology. She is currently employed as Education and Compliance Coordinator at Saint Francis Veterinary Center in Woolwich Township, New Jersey.

Liza is an active member of the Academy of Veterinary Technicians in Clinical Practice (AVTCP), Academy of Internal Medicine Veterinary Technicians (AIMVT), and the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA). She enjoys providing education and training to veterinary technicians by traditional lecturing, online continuing education opportunities, and publishing informational articles.

She likes to spend her spare time gardening, reading, or watching films. Liza also has an Australian Cattle Dog to keep her busy at home.

 
 

 
  Nichole Zellner, DVM

Dr. Zellner is a proud alumni of Virginia Tech where she received her undergraduate degree. She went on to the VA-MD Regional College of Veterinary Medicine where she received her DVM in 2006. Immediately following graduation, Dr. Zellner moved down to Florida where she began practicing at the Avian and Animal Hospital in Largo, FL.

Dr. Zellner has a special interest in avian and exotic medicine and is pursuing board certification.

She married a fellow veterinarian and they share their home with 2 dogs and 4 birds.