Pamela Adkins, MS, DVM, PhD, DACVIM

Dr. Pamela Adkins is an Assistant Professor of Food Animal Medicine and Surgery at the University of Missouri, College of Veterinary Medicine. She attended veterinary school at The Ohio State University and then completed a residency in large animal internal medicine and a PhD at the University of Missouri. Her current appointment includes clinical work in the food animal hospital, teaching veterinary students, and research. Current research interests include bovine infectious diseases, the impacts of heat stress on cattle, the microbiome of cattle, and the effects of antimicrobial usage.

University of Missouri CVM

Zoe Agnew-Svoboda

Zoe Agnew-Svoboda is the PAWS Place Program Coordinator for Rose Brooks Center. She began her career in animal welfare almost a decade ago and has been with Rose Brooks Center in her current role for 5 years. Before coming to Rose Brooks Center, she worked at prominent animal shelters in the Kansas City area in both management and animal care roles. While at Rose Brooks Center, Zoe gained experience advocating for domestic violence survivors in multiple settings as well as providing education to the community on the link between animal abuse and human violence, and how to safely house survivors and their pets. She is dedicated to sharing her experience working with the human/animal bond in hopes all shelters will be accessible to those in need.  

Rose Brooks Center

Eric Bailey, PhD

Dr. Bailey is the State Extension Specialist: Beef Nutrition for MU Extension. He joined the University of Missouri in June 2017 after a stint as the Endowed Chair of Cow Calf Nutrition and Management at West Texas A&M University.  He was born and raised on a commercial cow-calf and stocker operation outside of Santa Rosa, New Mexico.  He has degrees from West Texas A&M University and Kansas State University. 

University of Missouri

Fairfield Bain, DVM

Dr. Bain is a member of the Equine Veterinary Professional Services team at Merck Animal Health.

He received his BS in Animal Science at North Carolina State University, then obtained his DVM from Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine.  He returned to NC State for a Large Animal Internship, then pursued a residency in Large Animal Internal Medicine at the University of Florida, and a residency in Veterinary Anatomic Pathology at Kansas State University.  He is board-certified in the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, the American College of Veterinary Pathologists, and the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care.  His career has included time in private referral hospitals (Peterson & Smith Equine Hospital, Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, Littleton Equine Medical Center, Equine Sports Medicine & Surgery) as well as University hospitals in the US (University of Pennsylvania, Washington State University) and Australia (University of Queensland).  Prior to joining Merck Animal Health in April 2016, he was a Clinical Professor of Equine Internal Medicine at the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine.  He is known for his work in diagnostic ultrasound, perinatology, neonatal intensive care, equine pathology and cytology, and hyperbaric oxygen therapy.  He also holds an MBA from the New York Institute of Technology.


He and his wife reside in Placitas, New Mexico along with a Yorkie and two Jack Russell Terriers (terrorists!).  He is an avid reader, enjoys history, traveling the world, wines of the world, outdoor photography, and archery.


Christopher Baines, PhD

Dr. Chris Baines is an associate professor at the university of Missouri. He graduated with a BSc in Pharmacology from the University of Bath, Great Britain and did his subsequent PhD work in cardiac physiology at the University of South Alabama. He then did postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Rochester, University of Louisville, and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. It was during this training that Dr. Baines developed and pursued an interest in the role of mitochondria in cardiomyocyte death and cardiac pathology. Dr. Baines has continued these research paths in his own lab at the University of Missouri, where his research is primarily aimed at identifying and characterizing novel mediators of mitochondrial-dependent cardiac cell death, with special with emphasis on programmed necrosis and how it contributes to cell death and disease.

University of Missouri CVM

Ann Barger, DVM, MS, DACVP

Dr. Anne Barger is currently a clinical professor and section head at the University of Illinois. She joined the faculty in 2002. Her research interests are focused on cytology as a diagnostic tool with an emphasis on osteosarcoma and immunocytochemical and cytochemical staining.

University of Illinois CVM

Rob Bertman, CFA, CFP

Rob Bertman is a Senior Consultant at Student Loan Planner. He has personally worked with 700+ clients advising on more than $150,000,000 of student loans.  Some say he's the "Senior" Consultant not because of the number of people he's helped or his expertise, but because Rob is the oldest person on the team :-)


Rob is a Chartered Financial Analyst and a Certified Financial Planner (TM) with a background in family budgeting, financial planning and investment management. Rob lives in St Louis with his wife Anna and his 3 kids Charlie, George & Nina.

Student Loan Planner

Michael Boeger

Michael Boeger is the Administrator and Bureau Chief of the Missouri Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs.  He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice Administration.  He was formerly the lieutenant of investigations for a law enforcement agency, he was an investigator for the Missouri Department of Labor’s Fraud Unit for three years. He is currently in his 22nd year with the BNDD.  He has been the administrator for the bureau for the past 11 years.


Michael has published the educational handouts on the bureau’s website and he has served on 5 separate Governor’s Task Forces.  He has promulgated regulations for the bureau and assisted in drafting legislation that has been enacted by five governors.  He is assigned to the department’s emergency response center during declared states of emergency.


Michael served as the Chairman for the Task Force on Misuse, Abuse and Diversion of Prescription Drugs.  He is a member of the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators and the National Association of State Controlled Substance Authorities.

Missouri Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs

Bo Brock, DVM

Dr. Bo Brock works as a mixed animal practitioner in Lamesa, Texas. He Graduated from Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine in 1990. Dr. Brock has been married to his wife for 32 years and has three daughters. In 1992, Dr. Brock opened his own practice in Lamesa. The practice has since grown to include 9 veterinarians that work on 12,000 horses annually. He is ABVP boarded and his interests include surgery, colic, and arthroscopy with an emphasis in arthroscopy surgery of the navicular area.  

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Karen Campbell-Motsinger, DVM

Karen Campbell spent most of her summers as a child on her grandparents Guernsey dairy farm in Franklin County.  She spent three summers prior to admission to veterinary school working for Dr. Joseph Swink, Jr., in Union, primarily helping with equine and farm animal calls. Following graduation from the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine, she completed a rotating internship in Small Animal Surgery and Medicine at Auburn University followed by a residency in Small Animal Medicine and a Master of Science in Clinical Pathology from the University of Georgia.  Karen then joined the faculty at the University of Illinois where she also completed a residency in veterinary dermatology. She was the first individual to be board-certified by both the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine and the American College of Veterinary Dermatology.  She is a past-president of the American College of Veterinary Dermatology and is currently chair of the AVMA American Board of Veterinary Specialists. She has authored or co-authored four textbooks including the 7th edition of Mueller and Kirk’s Small Animal Dermatology. Karen received the 2013 Award of Excellence from the American College of Veterinary Dermatology and the 2014 Alumna of the Year Award from the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine. In 2016, she moved from Illinois to Franklin County and started work at the University of Missouri’s Veterinary Health Center in Wentzville.  She is delighted to be back in this area.

University of Missouri CVM

Lane Clarke, DVM, PhD

Lane L. Clarke, D.V.M., Ph.D. is a Professor of Biomedical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center at the University of Missouri.  Dr. Clarke received a D.V.M. and a M.S. in Physiology from the MU College of Veterinary Medicine in 1982.  Following several years of equine practice, Dr. Clarke matriculated at North Carolina State University where he received a Ph.D. in gastrointestinal physiology in 1989 (R.A. Argenzio, mentor).  In post-doctoral studies at the University of North Carolina Cystic Fibrosis Research Center, Dr. Clarke participated in original studies of airway and intestinal dysfunction in the first cystic fibrosis mouse model.  At the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Clarke was appointed assistant professor in 1993 and rose through the ranks to full professor in 2007.  He has served on the editorial board of the American Journal of Physiology, the NIH study section Clinical, Integrative and Molecular Gastroenterology and currently serves on the Research and Research Training Committee of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.  Dr. Clarke’s research investigates abnormalities of acid-base transporters in cystic fibrosis and other genetic diseases as they relate to intestinal stem cell biology (ISCs) and differentiation of secretory cells. Current projects investigate a) the role of CFTR in down-regulating cell cycle dynamics and Wnt/b-catenin signaling in ISCs; b) the role of CFTR in goblet cell mucus exocytosis in the intestine; and c) the expression and function of human CFTR in a newly-developed mouse model in which murine Cftr is replaced by the human orthologue.

University of Missouri CVM

Charlotte Clifford-Rathert, DVM

Dr. Charlotte Clifford-Rathert is a 1992 graduate of the University Of Missouri College Of Veterinary Medicine.  She received her Bachelor of Science, in Animal Science from the University of Nevada, Reno in 1981. She practiced in a mixed animal practice in Central Missouri until joining Lincoln University in November 2007 as the Missouri State Small Ruminant Specialist with an extension/research appointment.  Her research focused on the development of efficient and economical herd management practices (browsing and parasite management) and embryonic loss in goats. She is a contributor to the extension Goat Community of Practice (www.extension.org/goats ). In September 2015 she joined USDA APHIS Veterinary Services as a term VMO for Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Response Team being deployed to Indiana HPAI and Missouri LPAI in 2016; and assisted with the National Export and Import Services. In 2017 she accepted a permanent position with USDA APHIS VS serving the East Central Missouri district.

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Leah Cohn, DVM

Leah Cohn graduated from the University of Tennessee with both a BS in Animal Science and a DVM degree. She completed a rotating internship in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, followed by a residency in Small Animal Internal Medicine, at North Carolina State University. Dr. Cohn also earned a PhD degree in Veterinary Microbiology and Immunology at NCSU. After completing a post-doctoral fellowship in Cell Biology, Dr. Cohn joined the faculty at the University of Missouri - College of Veterinary Medicine. She is currently a Professor of Veterinary Medicine, and serves as the Director of Graduate Studies and the Associate Department Chair in Veterinary Medicine and Surgery. Dr. Cohn has been very involved in her specialty college as well, serving a full term on the Board of Regents of the ACVIM including time as the President and Chairman of the Board. Her research interests are varied, but infectious and respiratory disease are particular favorites. Dr. Cohn has authored more than 125 scientific manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals, has written dozens of book chapters, and is the Editor-in-Chief of the textbook Clinical Veterinary Advisor: Dogs and Cats. 

University of Missouri

Rachel Crackel

Rachel Crackel earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Eastern Illinois University.  She is currently combining her love of data and animals as a Technology Specialist with Patterson Veterinary.  Rachel works with veterinarians and veterinary practice managers on utilizing their practice data and VetSuccess reporting to improve their business and patient outcomes.  Rachel resides in Effingham, IL with her husband, 2-year-old son and Boston Terrier (Ted) and cat (Henry).

PFP Patterson Veterinary

Lauren Delaney, DVM

Dr. Lauren Delaney is a 2012 graduate of the University of Missouri’s College of Veterinary Medicine. After graduation, she worked as a veterinarian in the research field for 5 years, providing clinical veterinary care to a wide variety of species, performing surgeries, and supporting on-site investigators. She then transitioned to a study director role; designing experiments and reporting scientific data. In 2018, Dr. Delaney accepted a position at the MU Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory. She enjoys her daily work promoting the lab and helping practitioners with their diagnostic needs.

University of Missouri CVM

Kevin Donelly, DVM, MS, DACVO

Kevin Donnelly is an assistant teaching professor at the University of Missouri – College of Veterinary Medicine. He obtained his veterinary degree from the University of Missouri in 2010 and completed a rotating internship in small animal medicine and surgery at the University of Pennsylvania in 2011. He became board certified in veterinary ophthalmology in 2014 after completing a 3 year residency at the University of Missouri. Following residency, he started an ophthalmology service in a busy multi-specialty hospital in Oklahoma City, where he practiced for 3 years before returning to the University of Missouri and joining the faculty. He has a particular interest in corneal wound healing and all surgical aspects of veterinary ophthalmology. He enjoys all outdoor activities and loves spending time with his wife, Lindsay and son, Dane.

University of Missouri CVM

Sean Edwards, JD

Sean Edwards is a partner with the law firm of Sanders Warren Russell & Scheer LLP in Kansas City. Sean concentrates his practice primarily on defending clients in significant property loss, injury, death and damages claims in the areas of professional liability as well as property and premises liability, with a focus on veterinary professional liability. Sean has successfully argued on behalf of veterinary clients before courts and professional licensing boards in both Missouri and Kansas. Sean also serves as legal counsel for the Missouri Veterinary Medical Association.

Sanders, Warren, Russell, & Scheer LLP

Nikki Enderle, DVM

Dr. Nikki Enderle is a Veterinary Medical Officer with the USDA APHIS Veterinary Services who works with exporters to ship live animals and animal products internationally. Dr. Enderle knows that supporting international trade helps promote US products and drive our agricultural economy. She is also a trained Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostician and has participated in the animal disease outbreak emergency response to Virulent Newcastle Disease in California.

Dr. Enderle holds a veterinary medicine degree from the University of Missouri – Columbia and a Master in Public Health degree from the University of Minnesota.


Tim Evans, DVM

Dr. Tim Evans is an Associate Professor in the MU Department of Veterinary Pathobiology and the Toxicology Section Head at the MU Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory. He received his DVM from the University of California, Davis in 1982, and he earned both his MS (1996) and PhD (2002) from MIZZOU. Dr. Evans was recognized as a William T. Kemper Fellow for Excellence in Teaching in 2013. Dr. Evans and his wife, Debbie, reside in Columbia and are the parents of two emerging adults. Dr. Evans’ alter ego, THE ANTIDOTE, is the enemy of ALL things toxic.

University of Missouri CVM

Brian Flesner, DVM, MS, DACVIM

Dr. Flesner has been an assistant professor at the University of Missouri for four years and is extensively involved in the vibrant clinical trials service at the MU Veterinary Health Center. The trials service sees hundreds of patients annually; notably, 70 dogs with osteosarcoma were enrolled in osteosarcoma specific clinical trials in the past four years. Dr. Flesner is currently site principal-investigator for several ongoing osteosarcoma studies, including three near completion National Cancer Institute COTC nationwide trials. Mizzou has been one of the top three enrolling institutions in the country in these trials over the past few years. Dr. Flesner previously performed a medical oncology residency at MU (2011-2014) and passed the ACVIM (American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine) oncology specialty boards in June, 2014. He became faculty at Louisiana State University in 2014, before returning to Mizzou at the beginning of 2016. Besides studying osteosarcoma, Dr. Flesner’s research interests include chemotherapy mechanisms of action and toxicity, cancer-induced pain, and novel chemotherapeutic approaches to combat aggressive neoplasms. He lives north of Columbia on 40 acres with the hopes of starting a small cattle herd in the near future.

University of Missouri CVM

David Galloway, DVM, DACVS-SA

Dr. Galloway is a retired U.S. Army Veterinary Corps officer and the Program Manager for the Veterinary Corps’ FYGVE Program. First Year Graduate Veterinary Education is a one year internship that develops critical Veterinary Food Protection, Public Health, Clinical Medicine, and Leadership skills and knowledge in newly accessed Veterinary Corps Officers. Dr. David Galloway is responsible for FYGVE program standardization across its seven internship sites, curriculum development, and daily program administration and execution. In addition to managing the FYGVE program, Dr. Galloway provides surgical support and instruction at US Army veterinary facilities. He is currently a member of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS) Residency Program Compliance Committee, and previously the Deputy Director for the ACVS Resident Credentialing Committee. Dr. Galloway has authored seventeen refereed journal publications, four book chapters, and given >30 invited presentations. He has served as an Adjunct Professor, teaching biomedical / life sciences and surgery classes, at Seoul National University (Korea), Campbell University (NC), Kansas State University (KS), and Barton County Community College (KS). Dr. Galloway completed his residency in small animal surgery and a Master of Science (Physiology) at Oklahoma State University, and achieved ACVS board certification in 2006. He is a 1986 graduate of the United States Military Academy and a 1995 graduate of the Kansas State University School of Veterinary Medicine.  

United States Army

Earl Michael Gaughan, DVM

Dr. Earl Gaughan worked extensively in the veterinary field and classroom before joining the Merck Animal Health team as an equine professional services veterinarian in 2013.


Gaughan worked for several equine practices, including Littleton Equine Medical Center where he was a clinical equine surgeon.


He started his academic career at Kansas State University. During his 14 years at Kansas State, he served in many roles including the equine section head for the College of Veterinary Medicine. Gaughan’s career path next took him to Auburn University, where he was a professor and equine section chief for the College of Veterinary Medicine. His most recent academic role was at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Tech, where he served as a clinical professor.


Gaughan received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Georgia, and he completed his equine surgery residency at New York State College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University. Gaughan has published many research articles and book chapters, such as:


  • Veterinary Clinics of North America; Equine Practice (December 2018), editor for Equine Wound Management section

  • “Diagnostic Understandings of Equine Wounds” (Equine Wound Management, Veterinary Clinics of North America; Equine Practice 2018)

  • “Angular Limb Deformities” (Equine Reproduction, 2nd Ed. 2011)

  • “Burns and Acute Swellings” (Equine Emergencies, Treatment and Procedures, 2nd Ed. 2012)

  • “Ultrasonographic visualization of colonic mesenteric vasculature as an indicator of large colon right dorsal displacement and/or 180-degree volvulus in horses” (Canadian Vet J 2012).


Areas of Interest:

  • Sports medicine and lameness

  • Young, growing horses

  • Equine surgery

  • Infectious disease, preventative care and vaccinology


Gail Golab, DVM

Dr. Golab is Chief Veterinary Officer for the American Veterinary Medical Association, overseeing the association’s Animal and Public Health, Animal Welfare, and Global Outreach Divisions. Previously, Dr. Golab has served as Chief Advocacy and Public Policy Officer, as Director of the Animal Welfare Division, and in a variety of other roles in the AVMA’s Publications, Education and Research, and Communications Divisions. Before her tenure at the AVMA, she spent several years in private companion animal practice, and prior to that served as Biochemical/Biomedical Research Consultant at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois.


Dr. Golab is best known for her more than 30 years of work in the human-animal interactions/animal welfare field that began as an undergraduate; transcends both professional degrees; has included opportunities for exposure to a variety of concerns affecting diverse species; and includes experience in research, policy development, and practical applications. Accordingly, she has served on advisory committees on the care and use of animals in agriculture, biomedical research, the pet industry, entertainment, transport, and human healthcare applications.


She graduated with a PhD from Texas A&M University, a DVM from the University of Illinois, is certified as a member of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists (Animal Welfare), is a charter diplomate of the American College of Animal Welfare (an AVMA-recognized veterinary specialty board), and a Distinguished Practitioner in the National Academies of Practice.

American Veterinary Medical Association

John Groves, DVM

Dr. John Groves Earned a BS Agriculture University of Missouri (’88), as well as his DVM Degree from University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine (’92) where he earned the English Practitioner Award as the outstanding large animal veterinary school student.    He is a graduate of the Beef Cattle Production Management Series from the University of Nebraska (‘04).  He has presented at the annual meeting of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners regarding the relationship between beef producers and veterinarians.  Dr. Groves is married to Dr. Ingrid Haas and has 2 daughters.


He has been in private practice for 27 years, including 19 as the owner of Livestock Veterinary Services in Eldon, Missouri, which is in the central part of the state.   Dr. Groves has specialized in beef cattle production medicine focusing on large, progressive stocker operations with emphasis in optimizing production efficiency in all phases of management.   Also, Dr. Groves works with several key registered and commercial cow herds. 


Dr. Groves has worked extensively with many of these operations to add and maintain record keeping systems to help them measure the effectiveness and efficiency of the programs that they are working with.  He has also implemented computer based record keeping systems with his clients to aid them in their business evaluation across all sectors of the production chain.

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Marcy Hammerle, DVM, DABVP

Marcy Hammerle, DVM DABVP is a 2003 graduate of the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine. She is the owner of The Pet Doctor, an AAHA accredited, three doctor small animal practice in O’Fallon, MO. Dr. Hammerle is the incoming President-Elect for the Missouri Veterinary Medical Association. She is also a member of the AVMA, ABVP, AAHA and attends over 50 hours of medical and management continuing education yearly. In 2017, Dr. Hammerle also became certified in canine rehabilitation (CCRP).

Lourens Havenga, BVSc

Dr Havenga received his veterinary degree from the University of Pretoria (Onderstepoort), South Africa in 1995. Following two years in bovine practice in the United Kingdom, Dr Havenga returned to South Africa and joined the pharmaceutical industry. Dr Havenga was responsible for licensing several USA animal health products for different companies in South Africa.

Since 2005 he has been working exclusively on injectable trace minerals. This includes research projects, licensing and marketing. During 2009 he relocated to Colorado from where he manages the Multimin USA Inc. company.

Dr Havenga has lead several university and private studies in the USA, generating data on the absorption, storage, function and effects on reproduction and immune function, following the use of injectable trace minerals.


Dane Henry, DVM

Dr. Dane Henry is currently a Veterinary Medical Officer in central Missouri with USDA APHIS Veterinary Services.  Dr. Henry attended Oklahoma State University where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science and his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 1990. 

Dr. Henry practiced for 10 years in a predominately large, mixed animal practice in the Panhandle of Nebraska before he joined the State of Nebraska’s Bureau of Animal Industry as a Veterinary Field Officer serving Central and Western Nebraska counties to oversee livestock regulatory program activities.   Dr. Henry has been involved with several regulatory disease control and eradication projects involving Tuberculosis, Chronic Wasting Disease and Scrapie.  He was deployed to the Exotic Newcastle Disease Incident in California (2003) and to the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza outbreak multiple times in 2015.

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Bruce Hoffman, DVM

Prior to his current role, he served as the Director of Global Cattle Vaccine and Technical Consultant for Elanco U.S. Beef and Feedlot Units. Bruce enjoys working with cattle vets and producers on ways to prevent and reduce disease and has a passion to improve consumer confidence in beef. He has presented to numerous groups on VFDs, respiratory disease, management over medicine, feeding the world and using social media to promote agriculture. Before joining Elanco, he focused on reducing BVD in cattle, held positions as staff veterinarian, feedlot consultant, cattle manager, and a general practitioner of veterinary medicine. He currently lives in Billings, MT with his wife Karla.

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Matthew Hull, DVM

Dr. Matthew Hull joined the University of Missouri College Of Veterinary Medicine in 2019 to begin a residency in small animal internal medicine. After obtaining his DVM from Kansas State University in 2017, he completed an internship in small animal medicine and surgery at Purdue University and a small animal internal medicine specialty internship at the University of Illinois. His primary interests are gastrointestinal and pancreatic disease, with an emphasis on the role of nutritional intervention, and he intends to pursue additional training in small animal clinical nutrition upon completion of his residency. In addition to his residency, he is also pursuing a master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences with research aimed at evaluating the immunologic effects of Vitamin D in canine chronic enteropathy and utilizing immunologic assays to assess and predict the response to various dietary proteins in cases of food-responsive enteropathy. He is also in the process of publishing research validating methodology for the use of fine needle aspiration to quantify hepatic gene expression and a case report documenting a novel presentation of canine hypoaldosteronism effectively managed with desoxycorticosterone therapy.

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Dr. Amber Ihrke obtained her DVM at the University of Missouri – Columbia in 1996. She is currently the Medical Director at Integrative Pet Care in Homer Glen, IL- a rehabilitation/sports Medicine specialty clinic. Dr. Ihrke is certified in canine rehabilitation, veterinary acupuncture, veterinary spinal manipulation, and veterinary pain management.  In 2017, she was accepted into the residency program of The American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation. Dr. Ihrke is the current President of the American Association of Rehabilitation Veterinarians and teaches veterinary rehabilitation and sports medicine at The Healing Oasis.

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Elizabeth Johnson, DVM

Dr. Elizabeth Johnson is the Assistant Director of Outreach and Engagement of the International Council for Veterinary Assessment, working closely with the CEO and staff to promote the mission of the organization to all stakeholders and playing an integral part in strategic outreach. Dr. Johnson is based in Atlanta, Georgia.

Dr. Johnson grew up riding horses and hiking in the mountains of east Tennessee. After graduating from the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, she worked at a busy small animal practice outside Houston, Texas, before jumping back into the academic world and serving in a unique role as the first Assistant Dean of Student Success at Lincoln Memorial University College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Johnson worked to promote individual student success and wellness initiatives for the CVM, as well as focus on early academic intervention and collaboration between academic counselors, mental health counselors, student tutors, and faculty advisors and course directors. Dr. Johnson also coordinated all NAVLE-related initiatives for the CVM, including the NAVLE Prep Rotation for clinical year students. Dr. Johnson enjoys staying involved with the Veterinary Leadership Initiative (VLI) and honing her communication and group facilitation skills.

Dr. Johnson also works in veterinary hospice and end-of-life care in Atlanta. Aside from work, she enjoys spending time with her husband, A.J., their dogs, Gunner and Daisy, traveling, reading, and spending time outdoors.


Phil Johnson, DVM

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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Rebecca Johnson, PhD, RN, FAAN, FNAP

Rebecca Johnson completed graduate research training with her masters of philosophy degree from University of Edinburgh, Scotland (as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar), and her Ph.D. from University of Iowa.  She is the Millsap Professor of Gerontological Nursing & Public Policy at University of Missouri where she also holds a joint appointment as a full professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine. She is the President of the International Association of Human Animal Interaction Organizations, which consists of over 60 member organizations globally, working to facilitate research, education and practice in the area of human-animal interaction.  In 2005 she founded and continues to direct the Research Center for Human-Animal Interaction (ReCHAI) based at the MU College of Veterinary Medicine.  ReCHAI’s mission is to conduct and facilitate research on human-animal interaction and to educate students and the public about it. The ReCHAI team is comprised of undergraduate, masters, doctoral, and post-doctoral level members. Her research led to her induction into the American Academy of Nursing (FAAN) in 2007. In 2009, her undergraduate course, entitled “Human-Companion Animal Interaction” won the Humane Society of the U.S.’ 11th Annual “Animals and Society” Distinguished Established Course Award. She continues to teach this course every Fall semester to up to 100 undergraduate students from many different academic majors. In 2013 she was inducted into the National Academies of Practice in Veterinary Medicine. In 2014 she was nominated by students for and received the MU Excellence in Education Award for mentoring outside of the classroom. Author of many publications in peer reviewed journals, and other publications, she had two books published by Purdue University Press in 2011, “Health Benefits of Dog Walking,” and “Walk a Hound, Lose a Pound.”

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Kevin Kline

Diversion Investigator Kevin Kline has been with the Drug Enforcement Administration for just over two years. Prior to joining the DEA, DI Kline worked for Express Scripts as a Fraud, Waste, and Abuse Investigator. As a Diversion Investigator, DI Kline handles a variety of cases, from regulatory work to ensure compliance with Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations, to criminal cases involving the diversion of controlled substances outside of the closed system of distribution.

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Joanne Kramer, DVM

Dr. Joanne Kramer is an associate teaching professor at the University of Missouri. She is a board certified by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. Her goals include improving clinical learning, the development of improved methods of workplace based teaching through the use of informal learning, and integrating the use of models and simulation with real world learning.

University of Missouri

Alison LaCarrubba, DVM, DABVP-Equine

Dr. Alison LaCarrubba, originally from New York, graduated from Cornell University with a degree in Animal Science in 1995. She graduated from the University of Missouri, College of Veterinary Medicine in 2001. Dr. LaCarrubba completed an internship in equine medicine and surgery at the university and subsequently spent a year working in an equine exclusive private practice. Dr. LaCarrubba returned to the university in July 2003 as a clinical instructor, and in 2009 she completed the specialty boards with the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners in Equine Practice. Dr. LaCarrubba has a special interest in equine dentistry but practices general medicine with the intern medicine service and equine ambulatory service.

Tom Lenz, DVM, MS, DACT

Active in equine private practice, academia, and industry throughout his professional life, Dr. Lenz is a past President of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) and has been a lifelong advocate for the health and welfare of the horse.  He graduated from the University of Missouri’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 1975, earned a Master of Science degree in Equine Reproduction from Texas A&M in 1988 and is a Diplomate of the American College of Theriogenologists (Animal Reproduction).  He has been awarded both the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine’s Alumnus of the Year Award and the University of Missouri’s Alumni Award.

 Dr. Lenz has chaired the AAEP Welfare Committee, served on the American Veterinary Medical Association’s (AVMA) Welfare Committee and currently serves on the welfare committees of the American Horse Council and the Professional Rodeo Cowboys’ Association as well as the Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board. He speaks to equine, veterinary, agriculture and government groups throughout the country on equine welfare and has published numerous articles and book chapters on the subject.  For his work in equine welfare, he received the AVMA’s 2010 Animal Welfare Award.


Dr. Lenz is a trustee of the American Horse Council and the founding Chair of their Unwanted Horse Coalition.  He received the AAEP’s Distinguished Service Award in 2005, their Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009 and their highest honor, the Sage Kester Beyond the Call Award, in 2018 for his contributions to the equine industry and equine veterinary medicine.   Dr. Lenz is an Honorary Vice President of the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA), where he serves on their Welfare Commission.  For the past 28 years he has written a monthly horse health column for the Quarter Horse Journal and the Quarter Horse Racing Journal.  He was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Association Hall of Fame in 2018.  Earlier this year he was honored by the American Horse Publications Association with their 2019 Equine Industry Vision Award.  Dr. Lenz is currently retired but remains active riding his horses with his wife Erin and serving on various equine related committees and boards.

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Rose Massengill

What's this item about? What makes it interesting? Write a catchy description to grab your audience's attention...

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Ashley McCarty

Ashley McCarty is serving her second term as a representative of agriculture, industry and mining on Missouri’s Clean Water Commission, housed in the Department of Natural Resources. She chairs the Commission, which oversees water quality regulations, permitting and financial assistance.


In a professional capacity, Ashley serves as executive director of Missouri Farmers Care, a joint effort by Missouri’s agriculture community to stand together for the men and women who provide the food and jobs on which our community depends. Ashley came to Missouri Farmers Care after spending a decade working on behalf of Missouri corn farmers after beginning her career working for the director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture. 


Ashley is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia with a B.S. in Animal Science. Ashley spends much of her time with her three boys and, together with her husband, raises Red Angus cattle on their century family farm west of Kirksville, Mo. 

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Angela McCleary-Wheeler, DVM, PhD, DACVIM (Oncology)

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. Dr. McCleary-Wheeler has been enjoying life in Columbia with her husband, daughter, and collie named Zeke. She and her daughter are avid equestrians and spend any free time they have around horses.

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Cliff Miller, DVM

Cliff Miller, DVM is a 2000 graduate of the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine. After practicing in Kansas City, he opened Green Hills Veterinary Clinic, a mixed animal practice in Moberly in 2003. He and his wife, Suzanne, live in Moberly with their three boys aged 12, 10, and 7. He is actively involved with a cow calf operation with his father. Dr. Miller is a member of the AVMA, MVMA, AABP, and AETA. His civic involvement includes the Moberly Rotary Club, Knights of Columbus Council 995, and local School Board. Dr. Miller has mentored countless veterinary students through preceptorships and enjoys teaching tomorrow’s veterinarians. He was instrumental in starting Moberly’s “HOUNDS” program which places unwanted dogs with offenders in Moberly’s prison for training and rehabilitation. Dr. Miller has served multiple terms on his district leadership and MVMA Past President, having been involved on the MVMA board in one capacity or another for over 10 years. He also serves as the chairman of the legislative committee for the MVMA and has been very active in state legislative issues that impact the veterinary profession and the animals we care for.

Richard Meadows, DVM

Richard grew up around a mixed animal practice in Pampa, Texas and has been immersed in vet med ever since. As a veterinarian he has worked in dairy practice, done mixed animal relief work, owned a small animal practice, finished a Veterinary Clinical Pathology residency and a CDC sponsored Post Doc in a human medical school. For the last 20 years he led the small animal community practice at the MU VHC dealing with dentistry, dermatology, parasitology, shelter medicine, etc. Hopefully he has actually taught several students and a few veterinarians something positive along the way. His current interests are his family ( especially his 3 grandchildren), his motorcycle and “Dad” jokes.

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Peter Moresey, DVM

Dr. Morresey graduated from Massey University in New Zealand.  After 8 years mixed veterinary practice, he attended the University of Florida for a Theriogenology residency, followed by a Large Animal internal medicine residency. He then became faculty at New Bolton Center, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, as a Field Service clinician.  He is a Diplomate of both the American College of Theriogenologists and Veterinary Internal Medicine (Large Animal).  Currently he is in private practice at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky.

His interests include general equine medicine, mare reproductive health, neonatal medicine, neurology and respiratory therapies.

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NIcole Nichols, PhD

Dr. Nicole Nichols is an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Sciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine and an Investigator at the Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center at the University of Missouri. She received her PhD in Biomedical Sciences from Wright State University, and conducted her postdoctoral training at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


As a researcher, Nichols investigates neuroplasticity: the ability of the brain to change throughout an organism’s lifespan. She works to better understand the mechanisms involved in these changes. Specifically, she investigates what happens when nerve cells involved in movement, called motor neurons, die — and how that, in turn, affects respiratory and swallowing dysfunction. Ultimately, her team is working to harness the central nervous system’s natural ability to develop neuroplasticity in order to combat diseases that can rob you of the bodily functions necessary for life including breathing and swallowing. Among other advances, Nichols’ findings are helping to enhance knowledge of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. She has written numerous articles, which have appeared in the Journal of Neuroscience, the Journal of Applied Physiology and other publications.


In addition to conducting research, she is a dedicated educator. Her veterinary classes cover subjects related to microanatomy and physiology. She also teaches graduate courses on neuroscience, neural control of circulation and multidisciplinary approaches to biomedical sciences.

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Nikki Nitz, CPA

If you are thinking about purchasing or selling a hospital you won’t want to miss this session!  You will learn about the process.  You will also learn about the current buying and selling conditions to include what is happening with independent purchasers versus corporate purchasers.  Come and get educated so you know how to get yourself prepared.  If you miss the session you can always stop by our booth and chat with us there.     

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Gary Norsworthy, DVM

Dr. Gary D. Norsworthy has been in private practice for 47 years, including 22 in feline-only practice. He is the owner of Alamo Feline Health Center in San Antonio, Texas, where he practices full-time. In addition to practice, he lectures frequently on feline diseases and is the editor and major author of seven feline textbooks. He is a charter Diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners in the Feline Practice Category and an Adjunct Professor at the College of Veterinary Medicine, Mississippi State University and the Western University of Health Sciences. His practice has hosted over 100 externs from veterinary schools across North America and from other countries.

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Dr. Gary D. Norsworthy has been in private practice for 47 years, 25 in small animal practice and 22 in feline practice. He is the owner of Alamo Feline Health Center in San Antonio, Texas. In addition to practice, he lectures frequently on feline diseases and is the editor and major author of seven feline textbooks, the most recent being The Feline Patient, 5th Edition, that published in 2018. His practice hosts externs from veterinary schools across North America and from other countries. He is a charter Diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners in the Feline Practice Category and an Adjunct Professor at the College of Veterinary Medicine, Mississippi State University and the Western University of Health Sciences. He was chosen for the 2009 Practitioner of the Year Award in the Medical Specialist category by the Texas VMA and has received Speaker of the Year at several conferences. He is the only person to be Speaker of the Year two times each at the North American Veterinary Conference (now VMX) and the Western Veterinary Conference.

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Brian Patrick, DVM

Dr. Patrick earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Illinois in 1999. After graduation, he entered into mixed animal practice as an associate veterinarian in Waterloo, IL. Following this, he practiced small animal medicine and surgery for over 11 years in Collinsville IL. During his time in Collinsville, he moved from the role of associate veterinarian to Managing Veterinarian, in charge of both the medical and business direction of the hospital. He held this position for just short of five years before coming to Bayer as a Senior Technical Services Veterinarian. While at Bayer, he participated in the Institute for Healthcare Communications’ five day training course in June of 2013, as well as Facilitation Training in Shawnee, KS. In both 2016 and 2017, he was awarded “Veterinarian of the Year” at Bayer Animal Health for his contributions to the veterinary team and Bayer Animal Health. He has presented information on numerous clinical, product related and communications/practice management topics to practitioners and technicians at VMA meetings, veterinary clinics and roundtables throughout the Midwest and Central Southern US.

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Bill Pittenger

Bill Pittenger is the Poultry Health Program Manager for the Missouri Department of Agriculture, Animal Health Division. He graduated from The Ohio State University with a B.S. Agriculture, majoring in Animal Sciences. Bill has an extensive Avian background in commercial poultry, exotic birds (zoos) and native bird species..


David Gartrell Pugh earned a BSA, a DVM, and an MS degrees from the University of Georgia, and a MAG from Auburn University. He received post-DVM training at Virginia Tech and Texas A & M University. He is a Diplomat of the American College of Theriogenology, the American College of Veterinary Nutrition, and the American College of Veterinary Microbiology.

Pugh was a large animal practitioner for 5 years in Georgia, held faculty positions at the University of Georgia and Auburn University (Professor of Large Animal Medicine), was a Technical Services Veterinarian for Fort Dodge Animal Health, was the Project Veterinarian & Director of Operations for the AU Equine Source Plasma Project at Auburn University, and most recently, Director of the Alabama State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory System.

Pugh has received five university and five national awards for teaching, was the 2006 recipient of the UGA’s AM Mills Award for contributions to Veterinary Medicine, and was the UGA’s College of Vet Med’s Alumni of the Year for 2017. He has served on various committees for the American Association of Small Ruminant Practitioners, the Society for Theriogenology, the College of Theriogenology, the American College of Veterinary Nutrition, and the National Research Council, Nutrient Requirement Committee and the American Academy of Veterinary Parasitologists.

He and his wife of 44 years are cattle and donkey owners, and the parents of two daughters, a son, two sons-in law, a daughter-in-law, and 4 grandchildren. They are active in the Trinity Riders Chapter of the Christian Motorcycle Association, active in Cowboy Church, and active Motorcycle riders.

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Dave Pyburn, DVM

Dr. Dave Pyburn is the National Pork Board’s Senior Vice President of Science & Technology. He is responsible for assisting with the development and coordination of programs, research and producer information related to food safety, swine health, production, animal welfare, and environment. His duties include representing the U.S. pork industry to domestic and international audiences, dealing with technical issues that could influence U.S. pork consumption or international trade, and program strategy for pork safety, quality and nutrition, and animal welfare program areas. 


Dr. Pyburn joined the National Pork Board in December 2013. Previously, he was the Senior Staff Veterinary Medical Officer for the USDA APHIS Veterinary Services Swine Health Programs from 2000 to 2013. From 1997 to 2000 he was Director of Veterinary Science for the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC). Prior to the NPPC position, he spent three years in private veterinary practice in Iowa.


Dr. Pyburn attended Drake University where he earned his bachelor’s degree. He completed his veterinary medicine curriculum at Iowa State University. 


Dr. Pyburn is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Association of Swine Veterinarians, the Iowa Veterinary Medical Association and the International Commission on Trichinellosis. He is also a member of the Phi Zeta, Phi Kappa Phi and Phi Beta Kappa honor societies.


Dave, his wife Kristi, and their three sons live in Ankeny, Iowa.

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Sarah Reinkemeyer, DVM

Dr. Sarah Reinkemeyer graduated from University of Missouri – College of Veterinary Medicine in 2016. She worked for two years in a mixed animal practice in central Missouri. She started with the Missouri Department of Agriculture as the State Epidemiologist and District Veterinarian in August of 2018. Her main focus is on the State Programs such as CWD, Johnes, Brucellosis, Tuberculosis, and Pseudorabies.

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Amy Rucker, DVM

Amy Rucker, DVM, of MidWest Equine in Columbia, Missouri, graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1993.  After practicing in South Dakota, she returned home and established the Equine Ambulatory program at the UMC-Veterinary Teaching Hospital.  Eventually she returned to private practice with an emphasis on diseases of the foot.  Her mentor, Dr. Ric Redden, has been instrumental in her podiatry education.  Amy’s work has been published in Equine Emergencies, Laminitis, Equine Podiatry, Veterinary Clinics of North America, Equine Veterinary Journal and Journal of Equine Veterinary Science.   She has also presented discussions of lameness, shoeing strategies, laminitis and diagnostic imaging at multiple Bluegrass Laminitis Symposia, International Hoof Care Summits, and International Equine Conferences on Laminitis and Diseases of the Foot.  Amy was inducted into the International Equine Veterinarian’s Hall of Fame in 2012. 

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Carol Ryan, DVM

Dr. Carol Ryan graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with her doctorates in veterinary medicine in 1992.  From that time she has been active in a mixed animal practice in Wentzville, Missouri.  She and her husband are owners of a mixed animal practice in Elsberry, Missouri.  She has been an active member in the St. Charles County Pork Producers and Cattlemen’s organizations.   She is an active mentor with the   4-H youth participants at the county fairs with livestock.   Dr Ryan has been a member of the AVMA, MVMA, MAVP, AAFP, and AAVSB RACE reviewer.  She has served on the Missouri Veterinary Medical Board and is the 2019 MVMA President.

Martha Scharf, DVM, DAVBP

Martha Scharf is an equine ambulatory veterinarian at MU Equine Clinic, providing routine and emergency veterinary care to the horses of mid-Missouri. She grew up in St. Louis, riding and training hunter/jumpers. Since she moved to Columbia, MO for college, she has continued to ride recreationally, with a mix of jumping, eventing, and trail riding. She also serves as a faculty advisor for the vet school’s mascot mules, Tim and Terry, who have taught her the basics of driving and the intricacies of mules.


She graduated from the Mizzou Vet School in 2008 and completed a rotating equine internship during the following year. Since then, she has been working as one of the equine ambulatory veterinarians and clinical instructors. In 2017, she achieved certification as a specialist in equine practice by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners. Following completion of a veterinary chiropractic course and certification by the International Veterinary Chiropractic Association in 2018, she is now working to provide alternative diagnostic and treatment options for equine and small animal patients at the MU Veterinary Health Center.

Jean Schmidt, DVM

Dr. Schmidt grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, and completed her undergraduate studies by receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry in 1993 from the University of Missouri, St. Louis. In 1997, Dr. Schmidt received her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from the University of Missouri’s College of Veterinary Medicine in Columbia, Missouri. Dr. Schmidt fell in love with the mid-Missouri area and has made it her home for the past 22 years. Following graduation, she practiced emergency medicine in St. Louis while simultaneously working in both rural and suburban practices in the mid-Missouri area.
Dr. Schmidt began her tenure with the Missouri Department of Agriculture in 2011 as the Program Veterinarian for the Animal Care Facilities Act Program. She has gained vast experience in and completed multiple trainings in agriculture emergency management, becoming a great resource for the entire Animal Health Team. In 2019, her experience and leadership led her to be named Missouri’s Assistant State Veterinarian.
Dr. Schmidt has a passion for agriculture and hopes to promote and protect agriculture in her new position as Assistant State Veterinarian. She currently resides on a small farm in Howard County and raises sheep and goats alongside her daughter and son.

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Daniel Shaw, DVM, PhD, DACVP

Dan Shaw attended Oregon State University from 1971-1984 where he majored in poultry Science. He attended the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University and graduated in 1978. He worked in a mostly dairy practice in southeastern Minnesota for 3 years after graduation before going back for post-graduate training. He received residency training in veterinary pathology at the University of Pennsylvania from 1981-1984. He earned a PhD from the University of Missouri in 1987. He is board certified by the American College of Veterinary Pathologists and by the American College of Poultry Veterinarians. He was on the faculty of the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Minnesota from 1987-2000 where he worked in Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in rotation with the other mammalian diagnosticians and handled most of the poultry cases. He was the director of the Animal Diagnostic Laboratory at the Pennsylvania State University from 2001-2004. He joined the faculty at the University of Missouri in the College of Veterinary Medicine in 2005. Here he handles the poultry case load and works in rotation with the mammalian diagnosticians in the Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory. Dr. Shaw is married and has an adult daughter. He is an avid bird hunter and dog trainer in his spare time.

Virginia Shetler

Virginia (Johnson) Shetler has served ProPartners Wealth as the office specialist for the AVMA LIFE Trust as an Authorized Trust Representative to the veterinary profession since 2008.  Before joining ProPartners Wealth as an independent insurance agent, she successfully ran her own business for 4 years. Virginia's business acumen shows through as she seamlessly guides veterinarians through the complexities of health, life, disability and business insurance coverage. Virginia and Wes Hentges are the school representatives for the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine. ProPartners Wealth is proud of its relationship with the AVMA LIFE Trust, to provide risk protection to veterinarians and their families from their time as a student throughout all career and life changes.  

ProPartners Wealth

Matt Silvius, DVM

As Independent Veterinary Network’s CEO and Co-Founder, Dr. Matthew Silvius heads one of the nation’s leading virtual veterinary telemedicine companies. IVN’s Professional Services platform provides video, text and integrated data to IVN members. 


Consumer Services are also available via VirtualVets.com, where pet owners connect via text or video with IVN’s contract practitioners.  VirtualVets refers patients with clinical needs directly to IVN Members.

Growing up on his family’s farm, and tending to animals, inspired Matt Silvius to pursue a career in veterinary medicine. His first paying job away from the farm was as a kennel assistant at Eagle Animal Hospital in the Kansas City area.    He now co-owns the 7-DVM small animal practice and continues his 12-year practice, balancing his IVN executive role.


Dr. Silvius’s undergraduate Biology degree is from Missouri Western State University.  In 2007, he graduated magna cum laude as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Missouri, earning the Excellence in Dermatology academic award.


Dr. Silvius is a board member of the Missouri Veterinary Medical Association and the Kansas City Veterinary Medical Association, and a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association.


Dr. Silvius and his wife Dr. Margaret Silvius, DVM, have two young children. Their pets include Archie, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Sunny, a kitten who has the run of the house. Matt’s time away from his business and professional activities working outside at home, watching state and local sports, and spending time with his family.Hard work and interaction with farm animals from a young age inspired Dr. Matthew Silvius to pursue a career in veterinary medicine. Raised on a farm in Lathrop, his first paying job was as a kennel assistant at Eagle Animal Hospital.

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David Smith, DVM

Dr. Smith is the Mikell and Mary Cheek Hall Davis Endowed Professor and Beef Program Leader at Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine.  He is a board-certified veterinary epidemiologist with interest in discovering how to improve the health, well-being, and productivity of cattle, while benefiting human and environmental health.  Smith participates in a team with the goal of empowering veterinarians to use systems thinking to make better decisions and recommendations.  Smith is the team leader for a USDA /NIFA Center of Excellence in antimicrobial stewardship.

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Steve Strubberg, DVM

Dr. Steve Strubberg was named the State Veterinarian of Missouri in April 2019.

Strubberg grew up in Union, Missouri, with the intentions of becoming a physician. Driven by his love for science, the outdoors and animals, he soon discovered his passion lie in a different field. In 1989, Strubberg received his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from the University of Missouri. Following graduation, he assumed ownership and operated Hermann Veterinary Clinic, a mixed animal practice in Hermann, Missouri, for nearly 30 years. 

As Missouri’s State Veterinarian, his vision is to continue to advance animal agriculture within the state and provide health and care for each individual animal.

Strubberg currently resides on a beef cattle operation in Gasconade County and has a stepdaughter and two grandchildren.

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Dharati Szymanski, DVM

Dharati Szymanski DVM, MPH serves in the AVMA’s Division of Animal and Public Health as the staff consultant to the Council on Biologic and Therapeutic Agents, the Clinical Practitioners Advisory Committee, the Council on Public Health and the Food Safety Advisory Committee.  Dr. Szymanski’s portfolio includes cannabis, compounding, opioids, hazardous drug handling, prescription labels, veterinary products marketed as supplements and zoonotic disease. Prior to her position at AVMA, Dharati served as a shelter veterinarian at the Dupage County Animal Care and Control Center and prior to that spent several years in companion animal private practice in the Chicago and Washington, D.C areas.


Leon Tu, DVM

Dr. Leon Tu is a graduate of Amherst College (BA) and the University of California, Davis (DVM), Leon Tu completed a rotating small animal internship at the Veterinary Specialty Hospital of San Diego. He worked in emergency and high-volume spay/neuter settings prior to joining the MU faculty in 2017.

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Valarie V Tynes, DVM

Dr. Valarie Tynes is a native Texan and received her DVM from Texas A&M University. She worked in private practice for 14 years before returning to academia to pursue a residency in clinical animal behavior at the University of California at Davis in 2000. She has been a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists since 2003 and is currently Immediate Past President of the College. She is also Board Certified in Animal Welfare. Her special interests are the behavior and welfare of pet pigs, exotic pets and zoo animals. She has been actively involved in the Fear Free initiative since its inception and serves on the Fear Free Speakers Bureau. She is a frequent speaker at veterinary meetings around the world and author of numerous articles and textbook chapters. She joined Ceva Animal Health in October of 2014 as a veterinary services specialist but continues to provide consulting services to zoos.  

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Keith VanHoy, CPA