Speakers

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Pamela Adkins DVM, PhD, DACVIM is an Assistant Professor of Food Animal Medicine and Surgery at the University of Missouri.  She is originally from Nebraska and received her DVM from The Ohio State University.  She completed her residency training and PhD at the University of Missouri.  She joined the MU faculty in 2015.  Her research and clinical interests include bovine infectious diseases.

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Dr. Patricia Bailey was born and raised in New Jersey, and attended the Oklahoma State University College of Veterinary Medicine, and earning her DVM in 2013. She completed her internship and ABVP Residency at Oakridge Equine Hospital in Edmond, Oklahoma and achieved her ABVP Diplomate status in November 2019. She attended the Parker University Animal Chiropractic Program and was certified by the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association in 2015. She is also a 2016 graduate of the CuraCore Academy to become certified in Veterinary Medical Acupuncture.

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Dr. Blackwell currently serves as the Director of the Program for Pet Health Equity at the University of Tennessee. His mission is to improve access to veterinary care, especially for families with limited means.

Previous to this position, Dr. Blackwell served as:

 

Dean, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tennessee

Chief of Staff, Office of the Surgeon General of the United States

Deputy Director, Center for Veterinary Medicine, Food and Drug Administration

Chief Veterinary Officer, U.S. Public Health Service

 

During 23 years on active duty with the U.S. Public Health Service, he achieved the rank of Assistant Surgeon General/Rear Admiral.

Dr. Blackwell has received numerous awards and recognitions, including the Distinguished Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, two Surgeon General’s Exemplary Service Medals. He is the 2020 recipient of the Avanzino Leadership Award and the 2021 Senator John Melcher, DVM Leadership in Public Policy awardee.

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Karen is a graduate of the University of Missouri’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Further training included completing an internship in Small Animal Surgery and Medicine at Auburn University, a small animal internal medicine residency and a Master of Sciences in Veterinary Clinical Pathology at the University of Georgia, and a veterinary dermatology residency at the University of Illinois. She is the first person to be board-certified by examination by both the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine and the American College of Veterinary Dermatology. She is a Past-president of the ACVD and was the recipient of the ACVD Award of Excellence in 2018. She was the recipient of the University of Missouri’s College of Veterinary Medicine Alumna of Year Award in 2014. Karen taught veterinary dermatology at University of Illinois for 32 years prior to moving back to Missouri to start a dermatology service at the University of Missouri’s satellite specialty clinic in Wentzville, MO.

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In my 30 years of owning Okaw Veterinary Clinic, I was able to develop my passion for animal behavior, especially reducing fear and anxiety during care.  My clients provided the wonderful opportunity to develop in this knowledge and apply techniques to reduce their pet’s fear and pain.  Client’s loved that I was willing to take off my white coat, examine a timid dog outside or a cat wrapped in the owners barn coat.  The client’s appreciated that I kept them in the room, to explain what the pet needed and instructed the owner what to do to help their pet while not interfering with my exam.  It was here that I developed the Bella Behavior system and grew my educational talks and speaking career.

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Associate Teaching Professor, Food Animal Medicine and Surgery
A graduate of Mississippi State University (DVM) and Ohio State University (MS), Austin Hinds completed specialty training at The Ohio State University. He joined the MU faculty in 2019. Clinical interests: Food animal medicine and surgery in practice; teaching.

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Sissy Hong specializes in neurology and neurosurgery with a special interest in seizures and neuromuscular disease.

Sissy Hong received a doctor of veterinary medicine degree from National Taiwan University, School of Veterinary Medicine in Taiwan. Following graduation, she completed a small animal rotating internship and earned a master’s degree at National Taiwan University. Hong then completed a clinical year at Louisiana State University and achieved her Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates certification. She later moved to Prince Edward Island, Atlantic Veterinary College, Canada, for her small animal rotating internship. Hong went on to complete her residency in neurology/neurosurgery and master’s degree at Purdue University.

When she is not working, Hong enjoys spending time with her family and going on hikes with her English Lab, Stix. Her hobbies include reading mystery novels, painting, and playing the piano.

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Rosalie Ierardi completed a bachelor’s degree in Animal Science at the University of Illinois in 2012. She spent 10 months in Nepal as a U.S. Fulbright Student in 2012-2013, where she learned about challenges faced by dairy cattle/water buffalo producers in villages surrounding Pokhara. She completed her DVM, also at the University of Illinois, in 2017. Ierardi completed a residency in anatomic pathology, along with a master’s of science focused on epidemiology, at the University of Missouri in 2020. She is primarily interested in the pathology and epidemiology of infectious diseases of food animals, especially cattle. In her spare time, Ierardi enjoys driving on country roads, playing piano, and watching Star Trek.

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Bridget Rollins has been deeply ingrained in the field of veterinary medicine for over 25 years. She’s performed many job functions including roles of CSR, technician, ICU nurse, university medicine, laboratory diagnostics operations and most recently, VP of Operations for one of the fastest growing consolidators in the field. In 2015, she graduated with high honors from Pepperdine University with an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration. In 2020, she obtained certifications in Disruptive Strategy, Women in Leadership, and Fostering Inclusion & Diversity. She is currently completing her PhD in Organizational Leadership, with her dissertation topic focused on the high rates of suicide within the field of veterinary medicine.

Bridget believes that the topic of suicide carries with it a strong taboo and people are generally uncomfortable speaking on this issue. As a result, she feels that those experiencing mental fatigue and/or suicidal ideations don’t always know where to turn for help. Her aspiration for her PhD research then is twofold; first, she hopes to educate others about these self-inflicted fatalities and encourage others to become more comfortable talking about these sensitive issues. Secondly, she hopes to contribute to the literature so as to provide a foundation for those scholars who come after her, to continue to build upon the information that is available, to start to formulate solutions that will end the loss of her peers within the veterinary community.

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Dr Jeremy Shomper grew up in central Pennsylvania.  He earned BS degrees in Equine Studies and Biology from Virginia Intermont College.  He spent several years riding Hunter and Jumper horses prior to returning to Virginia to attend Veterinary School at Virginia Tech.  His post-graduate training included a rotating internship and Neurology/Neurosurgery residency at the University of Missouri/Veterinary Specialty Services.  He was credentialed by the ACVIM in 2017.  His interests within the field of neurology include spinal/brain surgery as well as medical management of patients with neuroinflammatory disease.  When he is not at work his passion remains with care and training of hunter horses.

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Nathan Voris, DVM, MBA

Dr. Nathan Voris is the Associate Director of Equine Technical Services and member of the Zoetis Equine Leadership Team. 

Prior to joining Zoetis in 2010 as an equine technical services veterinarian, Dr. Voris was a practicing veterinarian for 10 years at Equine Medical Services in Columbia, Missouri.  A native of rural southwest Missouri, Dr. Voris grew up building fence, hauling hay and raising cattle on a family farming operation originally established in the 1830’s.  Dr. Voris graduated from the University of Missouri with a B.S. in Animal Science and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 1999 and earned a Master of Business Administration from William Woods University in 2004.  Following veterinary college he completed a post-graduate internship at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky. 

An active leader in both his profession and community, he has served on various boards and commissions at the local, state and national level.  Dr. Voris resides in Columbia, Missouri with his wife and two children.

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Dawna Voelkl was born and raised outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and earned her veterinary degree from Cornell University in 2003.  Dr. Voelkl then completed the first year of a residency in comparative theriogenology at the University of Minnesota and the final two years with an emphasis in large animals at the New Bolton Center of the University of Pennsylvania.  From Penn, Dr. Voelkl joined the faculty of the College of Veterinary Medicine in Missouri as Assistant Professor of Equine Ambulatory Practice, providing general equine ambulatory services, including routine breeding management.  Dr. Voelkl joined the Theriogenology Service in 2009 and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2019.  She provides clinical service exclusively in reproductive medicine to cattle, horses, sheep, goats, alpacas, llamas, and dogs while also instructing students in the practice of veterinary medicine.  Dr. Voelkl serves as director of a comprehensive 48 hour lecture course in theriogenology required of all veterinary students and was honored with the Dadd Award for excellence in teaching as judged by her peers in 2021.  Dr. Voelkl speaks on a variety of topics in reproductive medicine in Missouri and nationally, presenting continuing education for veterinarians and lay audiences as well.