Pamela Adkins, MS, DVM, PhD, DACVIM

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.

Patricia Bailey, DVM

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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Michael J Blackwell, DVM, MPH

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.

Karen Campbell-Motsinger, DVM, MS, DACVD, DACVIM

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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Sally J. Foote, DVM

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.

Samuel P. Franklin, DVM, PhD, ACVS

Dr. Franklin obtained a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia and a Master of Science from the University of Maryland before moving to Colorado. He earned his DVM cum laude from Colorado State University in 2007 followed by an internship at the University of Pennsylvania. He completed his surgical residency and PhD at the University of Missouri investigating the use of stem cells and bioabsorbable materials for biological hip replacement. He then spent 5 years at the University of Georgia as an associate professor of orthopedics and sports medicine before moving to Colorado Springs in 2018 to practice at Colorado Canine Orthopedics. Most recently he has returned to the Kansas City area and has opened his own practice, Kansas City Canine Orthopedics. His expertise includes minimally invasive orthopedic surgery, joint replacement surgery, regenerative medicine with orthobiologics such as platelet-rich plasma and stem cells, and musculoskeletal diagnostic imaging. He has published over 40 peer-reviewed journal articles, 8 book chapters, provided over 60 presentations at national and international meetings, and is co-editing a textbook on arthroscopy. He is a board-certified diplomate of both the American College of Veterinary Surgeons and the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation and he is an ACVS Founding Fellow in the field of Minimally Invasive Orthopedic Surgery.

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Sara Gardhouse DVM, DACZM, DABVP (ECM)

Sara Gardhouse graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College in Guelph, Ontario in 2012. She then went on to complete an exotics internship in 2013 at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatchewan, followed by a small animal rotating internship at Kansas State University in 2014. Sara then completed a three year residency in zoological companion animal medicine and surgery at UC Davis.  She returned to the Ontario Veterinary College as a clinical specialist for three years, prior to starting an assistant professor faculty position at Kansas State University in 2020.  She obtained diplomate status with the American College of Zoological Medicine in 2018 and diplomate status with the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners, Exotic Companion Mammals in 2020.

C. Austin Hinds DVM, MS, DACVIM-LA

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 (Hsuan-Ping) Hong, DVM, MVM, MS, DACVIM

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.

Rosalie Ierardi, DVM, MS

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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Philip Johnson, DVM, DACVIM

Dr. Philip Johnson graduated with Honors from the University of Bristol (England) School of Veterinary Medicine in 1981 and worked in a private veterinary practice in the Bath/Bristol area of England for 3 years. Then he completed graduate studies and an equine medicine and surgery clinical residency at the University of Illinois. Dr. Johnson is a board-certified specialist in internal
medicine as recognized by both the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine and the European College of Equine Internal Medicine. He is a Professor of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery at the University of Missouri’s College of Veterinary Medicine, where he has been since 1991. Dr. Johnson’s research interests include equine clinical endocrinology, all aspects of
laminitis, neonatology, and gastroenterology. He enjoys all aspects of the internal medicine discipline. Aside from the clinical, instructional, and scientific aspects of academic veterinary medicine, his interests include running, tennis, composing music,
listening to music, art, hiking the wilderness, and literature.

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Kerry M. Karaffa, PhD

Kerry Karaffa Kerry loves animals and helping others. He makes a difference everyday as an embedded psychologist in the College of Veterinary Medicine at University of Missouri-Columbia Counseling Center. Through his position, Kerry discovers ways to break the barriers associated with seeking mental health services while helping his clients improve their overall wellbeing. When he is not working with students or veterinary medicine residents, you can find him with the animals at the Veterinary Health Center.

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Charlie Maitz, DVM

Dr. Maitz is a clinician-scientist, and chief of the radiation oncology service at the University of Missouri Veterinary Health Center. He also holds a PhD in radiochemistry and has an appointment as a Research Scientist at the MURR.

Angela McCleary-Wheeler, PhD, DVM, ACVIM

Dr. Angela McCleary-Wheeler is a native of Blue Grass, Iowa. She graduated from Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2005, and she was a small animal medicine and surgery intern at the University of Missouri from 2005-2006. Following her internship, she moved to North Carolina where she completed her medical oncology residency at North Carolina State University in 2009 and became board certified by the ACVIM in Oncology following her residency. As basic science and translational research was always a passion of hers, Dr. McCleary-Wheeler went on to earn her PhD in biochemistry and molecular biology from Mayo Graduate School at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota in 2014. During that time, her research focused on understanding epigenetic and transcriptional mechanisms involved with cancer development. She also was involved with the development of two clinical trials of novel therapies for human pancreatic cancer. Dr. McCleary-Wheeler was on faculty at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine prior to joining the faculty at the University of Missouri in 2018. She is excited to be a part of an outstanding veterinary oncology team at Mizzou. Her current research and clinical interests include understanding epigenetic mechanisms of lymphocyte biology and lymphoma as well as clinical trial development.


Megan Mickelson, DVM

Dr. Megan Mickelson is currently an Assistant Professor of Surgical Oncology at University of Missouri. Prior to joining Mizzou in 2020, she was an Assistant Professor of Soft Tissue and Oncologic Surgery at Iowa State University. She received her DVM from University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2013, followed by a small animal rotating internship at North Carolina State University. She then completed a surgical residency at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2017 and a Surgical Oncology Fellowship at Colorado State University in the Flint Animal Cancer Center in 2018. Current clinical and research interests include surgical oncology, microvascular surgery, interventional techniques, and methods to improve surgical teaching.

Lauren Reeves, DVM

Dr. Lauren Reeves received her DVM from The Ohio State University in 2012. After veterinary school, she completed a small animal rotating internship at The Ohio State University. Dr. Reeves completed her small animal surgical residency at the University of Missouri in 2020. Following her residency, she moved to Cleveland, Ohio and worked as a board-certified, small animal surgeon in private practice. Recently, Dr. Reeves returned to the University of Missouri Veterinary Health Center as a faculty member with the Small Animal Soft Tissue Surgery Service. Her practice and research interests include minimally invasive soft tissue surgery and cardiothoracic surgery. She is very excited to be back at MU and looks forward to working closely with the Missouri veterinary community.

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Bridget Rollins, EMBA

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.

Jeremy Shomper, DVM, ACVIM

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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Owen Skinner, DVM, DACVS

Owen Skinner specializes in surgical oncology, with a particular interest in lymph node staging and management. He graduated from the University of Bristol and completed internships at Northwest Surgeons in Cheshire, England, and the University of Florida. He returned to Bristol for his surgical residency. Following completion of his residency, he completed a further 2 years
fellowship training in surgical oncology at the University of Florida.
Owen is a diplomate of the European and American Colleges of Veterinary Surgeons and a member of the Veterinary Society of Surgical Oncology.

Ricky Trahan, DVM, MS

Dr. Trahan was raised in southwest Louisiana and acquired his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2013. Following graduation, he completed an extended internship in equine medicine and surgery at WFEH. He finished a 3-year residency in large animal surgery in 2017 at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in Blacksburg, Virginia. Dr. Trahan’s Biomedical and Veterinary Science Master’s thesis was based on advancing laboratory models and treatments of osteoarthritis. Following completion of his residency, Dr. Trahan joined the Equine Field Service as a clinical instructor prior to returning to WFEH. His professional interests include lameness evaluation, arthroscopic/endoscopic surgery & integration of new technology into conventional treatment regimes. Standing surgical techniques and reconstruction of chronic wounds were also an important part of his surgical training. He and his two dogs (Abita & Rue) are avid fans of LSU football and baseball, competition target shooting and most any outdoor activity.

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Aida Vientós-Plotts, DVM

Originally from Puerto Rico, a graduate of Tuskegee University (DVM), Dr. Aida Vientós-Plotts completed specialty and postdoctoral training at Auburn University and the University of Missouri. She joined the MU faculty in 2020 and is currently an Assistant Professor of Small Animal Internal Medicine. Her research interests include investigation of the respiratory microbiota in health and infectious or inflammatory airway diseases of dogs and cats, influence of antimicrobials and probiotics on the respiratory microbiota. Her clinical interests include respiratory and gastrointestinal diseases and the link between these two systems in health and disease.

Dawna Voelkl, DVM, DACT

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. 

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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.

Abby Whiting, DVM

Dr. Abby Whiting is an emergency Veterinarian at Veterinary Specialty Services St. Louis. She is a 2011 Graduate from the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine. She spent 8 years in general practice before making the transition into emergency. She is the MVMA Power of 10 chair and the chair of the MVMA Wellbeing task force. Abby has special interest in the development of “soft skills”: those of communication, resilience, business acumen, mentoring, and team building. She is passionate about developing and growing truly high functioning veterinary teams. She is committed to shaping the profession into a place where more and more professionals can thrive. She was formerly the vice president of Not One More Vet Inc, a non profit dedicated to ending the suicide epidemic in the profession. She is currently an active moderator on the support forum for veterinarians, NOMV.


Kelly Wiggen DVM, DACVIM (Cardiology)

Kelly Wiggen, DVM, DACVIM (Cardiology), is a native of the Chicago suburbs and she received her veterinary degree from the University of Illinois in 2015. Dr. Wiggen completed a small animal rotating internship at VCA Aurora Animal Hospital from 2015-2016, a cardiology specialty internship at VCA Animal Specialty and Emergency Center from 2016-2017, and her cardiology residency at the University of Missouri from 2017-2020. Following completion of her residency, Dr. Wiggen stayed on as faculty at the University of Missouri Veterinary Health Center. Due to Covid-19 delays, she finally took and passed her certifying exam in June 2021. Dr. Wiggen has an interest in the diagnosis and management of congenital heart disease as well as pulmonary hypertension. She lives in Columbia, Missouri with her husband and their two dogs and two cats.

Fred Williams III, DVM, DACPV

Dr. Williams is Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of Missouri, College of Veterinary Medicine. He received his DVM from Tuskegee University. His research emphasis is on infectious disease, exotic animals and wildlife. He teaches special and systematic pathology for professional students. “I have two distinct modes. In the first mode, I spend most of my time reviewing biopsy and necropsy slides to figure out what the pathology of the situation is and how to best relay that information to the referring DVM in order to help the patient or the client to make the best choices about what is going on with their animal. I also spend a lot of time teaching veterinary students. I really, really, really enjoy lecturing and engaging with students. Seeing that light bulb go off in a student’s eyes is a glorious treat and I am excited every time I see it! I have to keep working and adapting to different learning styles and experiences, so this keeps me on my toes. In my second mode, I get to delve into carcasses and dissect them! I am looking for evidence of pathology through systematic review of all of their tissues and trying to figure out how to tie together whatever I do (or sometimes DON’T) find with the clinical history to come up with some kind of idea of what happened. It is like surgery, but I don’t have to put it back! I have a great time exploring the various anatomies and abscessed organs I come across! Is that a tumor? NEATO!”