standard-title Meet Our Team Our current in-house staff includes 20 doctors, seven of whom are dedicated to emergency care. Our veterinarians are supported by a diverse hospital team of nurses, technicians, handlers and administrators. Central Hospital For Veterinary Medicine is also supported by 10 associated member doctor clinics in the greater New Haven area.

Meet Our Team

Our current in-house staff includes 20 doctors, seven of whom are dedicated to emergency care. Our veterinarians are supported by a diverse hospital team of nurses, technicians, handlers and administrators. Central Hospital For Veterinary Medicine is also supported by 10 associated member doctor clinics in the greater New Haven area.

Medical Director

SNP_4724Leyenda Harley, DVM, DACVIM

Dr. Harley received her undergraduate degree from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and graduated from Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2004. She completed a rotating internship in small animal medicine and surgery in Norwalk, Connecticut and went on to do a residency in small animal internal medicine at the Animal Medical Center in Manhattan. She stayed on at AMC as staff in Internal Medicine and was co-director of post-graduate education and the internship program. She is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine and sees patients by appointment. Ask your veterinarian for a referral.



James Atherton, DVM, MS, DACVR 

Dr. James Atherton was born and raised in Connecticut. He graduated from the University of Connecticut in 1997 with a double major in Animal Science and Pathobiology. He continued his education at the University of Connecticut, graduating in with a Master of Science degree in Pathobiology before attending veterinary school at the Atlantic Veterinary College at the University of Prince Edward Island, Canada.

After graduating veterinary school in 2006, he completed a general rotating internship at the Veterinary Referral and Emergency Center in Norwalk, Connecticut. He practiced emergency medicine for two years after his internship, before being accepted into a diagnostic imaging residency at the Animal Medical Center of New York and Cornell University. In early 2014, after completing his residency, Dr. Atherton moved to Oahu with his wife and dog and joined Oahu Veterinary Specialty Center. We are pleased to have him as part of our Radiology team since July 2017.

At home, Dr. Atherton enjoys photography, partaking in outdoor activities, playing guitar, piano and bagpipes.

Andrea Brodeur, DVM, DACVECC

Dr. Brodeur is a native of Massachusetts. She attended Vassar College for her undergraduate degree, and Tufts University for veterinary school. Following this she completed a one-year internship in small animal medicine and surgery at the Veterinary Referral and Emergency Center in Norwalk, CT, and a three-year emergency and critical care residency at Oradell Animal Hospital in New Jersey. Dr. Brodeur’s clinical interests include brachycephalic airway emergencies, wound care, and intoxications. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her husband, playing with their five cats, and gardening.

Eric DeMadron, DVM, DACVIM (cardiology), DECVIM (internal medicine)

Dr. Eric de Madron is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine in Cardiology and the European College of Veterinary Internal Medicine in Internal Medicine. Dr. de Madron has extensive expertise in interventional cardiology (pacemakers, balloon valvulopasties and trans-catheter PDA occlusions), and interventional radiology (placement of tracheal stents for the palliative treatment of tracheal collapse).

Dr. de Madron began his North American career as a cardiologist / internist at the DMV Veterinary Centre in Montreal, Quebec, then continued in Ottawa, Ontario, at the Alta Vista Animal Hospital for 16 years.

His main clinical interests are prevention and management of congestive heart failure,management of systemic hypertension, interventional cardiology and radiology (with a special interest for tracheal collapse in dogs) Dr. de Madron has published over 30 scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals, he has been a co-author in several textbooks, and has written an interactive CD about blood pressure measurement and management in dogs and cats (Lifelearn,2007). He is the editor and co-author of the textbook, “Clinical Echocardiography in Dogs and Cats”, Elsevier, 2015.

Daniel Dorbandt, DVM, MS, DACVO

Dr. Dorbandt is a board-certified veterinary ophthalmologist with extensive training in both medical and surgical ophthalmology. This provides him the opportunity to pursue his professional goal of preserving and restoring vision in animals. He also has a special interest in ocular oncology and has published research on innovative diagnostic techniques (3D printing) as well as novel treatment strategies.

Originally from Louisiana, he obtained his veterinary degree from Louisiana State University in 2011, after which, he pursued advanced training at Virginia Tech and the University of Georgia. His residency training and Master of Science degree were completed in 2016 at the University of Illinois, where he was awarded the prestigious Resident Teaching Excellence Award. Dr. Dorbandt carries this honor beyond the education of veterinary students by striving to educate families about the condition(s) that are affecting their pet’s eye so that the best choices can be made regarding their care.

LindellEllen Lindell, VMD, DACVB

Dr. Lindell received her doctorate in veterinary medicine from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. She practiced general medicine and surgery for several years, then completed a residency in veterinary behavior through Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Lindell is a Diplomate of theAmerican College of Veterinary Behaviorists. In addition to practicing behavioral medicine, Dr. Lindell enjoys lecturing and writing about animal behavior.


Kim MacDonald, DVM, CVMA, CCRP, Certified in Veterinary Medical Chiropractic – Animal Rehabilitation/Emergency and Trauma

Dr. MacDonald received her Bachelor of Science from Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia and is a graduate of the Atlantic Veterinary College. She completed her veterinary internship at Norwalk Veterinary and Emergency Referral Center. She joined Central Hospital as a Daytime Trauma and Emergency Clinician in 2008.  Dr. MacDonald directs the Animal Rehabilitation Department at Central Hospital.  She received her certification  from the University of Tennessee, College of Veterinary Medicine’s program of Canine Rehabilitation and is also certified in veterinary acupuncture.

SNP_4650Gina Olmsted, DVM, DACVIM (Oncology)

Dr. Olmsted earned her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Stony Brook University in 2003. She then went on to earn her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2008. Dr. Olmsted completed a small animal medical and surgical internship at Long Island Veterinary Specialists in 2009. After completing her internship she was employed as an associate veterinarian in a busy practice on Long Island. Dr. Olmsted then went on to pursue a residency in medical oncology at The Veterinary Cancer Center in Connecticut. Dr. Olmsted completed her medical oncology residency in 2013 and received board certification from the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine in the specialty of oncology.

PinchbeckLauren Pinchbeck, DVM, DACVD

Dr. Pinchbeck graduated from Princeton University and earned a DVM from the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2002. After a small animal medicine and surgery internship in Norwalk, CT she completed a dermatology residency at Ohio State in 2006 to become a member of the American College of Veterinary Dermatologists. Dr. Pinchbeck is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American College of Veterinary Dermatology and received the American Association of Veterinary Clinicians Resident Award in 2007. In addition to her research interest in staph infections in dogs, her clinical interests extend to the diagnosis and treatment of middle ear infections, autoimmune diseases and canine atopic dermatitis.

image14--250522115Melvyn Pond, BVMS, MRCVS, DACVS

Dr. Pond is one of the foremost Board Certified veterinary surgeons in the region, performs orthopedic and general surgery at Central Hospital. Dr. Pond graduated from the University of Glasgow School of Veterinary Medicine and has held teaching and research positions at the University of Pennsylvania, University of Georgia, University of Glasgow and the Yale University School of Medicine In 1982, he established a surgical referral practice in Connecticut and has been associated with Central Hospital since that time. Dr. Pond’s patients are generally referred to him by the veterinarian responsible for their routine care. Dr. Pond is one of 20 veterinary surgeons in the United States performing the recently introduced Total Elbow Replacement surgery. Dr. Pond is available for consultation in person and by telephone to discuss your pet’s problems, help with diagnoses and guide you through the process of deciding the most appropriate treatment.

SNP_4821Lance Rozear DVM, DACVR 

Dr. Rozear has been associated with Central Hospital since 2003, interpreting many of our radiographs and performing abdominal and cardiac ultrasounds. He is now here on a full time basis Monday through Friday. He is a 1998 graduate of North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine. He completed a small animal medicine and surgery internship at Boston Road Animal Hospital in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1999 and continued his studies with a radiology residency at Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2002. Shortly after completing his residency, he passed the ACVR board examination (2002), thus becoming a diplomate of theAmerican College of Veterinary Radiology. After serving as radiologist at Rowley Memorial Animal Hospital in Springfield, Massachusetts, Dr. Rozear founded Northeast Veterinary Imaging, LLC (NVI), a private veterinary radiology practice in Connecticut and online.

Julia Shakeri, DVM, ABVP (Avian) – Exotic Animals/Emergency and Trauma

Dr. Julia Shakeri received her DVM from the University of Illinois in 2010. Prior to joining the team here at Central Hospital for Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Shakeri completed 5 years of intensive, post-doctoral training in order to be able to confidently provide exceptional veterinary care for the avian and exotic animals in our area. After graduating with a degree in Veterinary Medicine from the University of Illinois, Dr. Shakeri completed a 1-year internship in general medicine and surgery here in Connecticut, followed by a 1-year specialty internship in avian and exotic animal medicine in Maryland, and finally a 3-year residency in avian medicine and surgery in Tampa, Florida.

During her career, Dr. Shakeri has mentored and trained veterinary professionals, wildlife rehabilitation workers, exotic animal caretakers, and the general public on topics concerning avian and exotic animal health and welfare. She has worked with large variety of collection types including pets, zoo animals, performing show animals (mostly birds), falconry raptors, non-releasable exhibition and teaching animals, wildlife, and multiple avian and small mammal rescue and shelter societies.

SNP_4863Donna-Lee Taylor, DVM, DACVS

Dr. Taylor received her doctorate in veterinary medicine at Washington State University and stayed on for an internship in small animal medicine and surgery.  She then completed a residency in small animal surgery at Oklahoma State University.  Following her residency Dr. Taylor practiced in a multispecialty hospital in Oregon for 15 years and has also practiced in Calgary and Southern California. Dr. Taylor has a broad experience in advanced soft tissue surgery, and also performs neurosurgery for intervertebral disc disease and fracture repairs. She has a special interest in oncologic surgery, soft tissue reconstruction, minimally invasive surgery, interventional radiology and pain management.  Dr. Taylor is a member of the American College of Veterinary Surgery,  the Veterinary Society of Surgical Oncologists, the Veterinary Society of Soft Tissue Surgery and the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Emergency and Trauma

Heather Albino, DVM


Marianne Freschlin, DVM

Dr. Freschlin completed her undergraduate work at Carnegie Mellon University and obtained her Veterinary degree from Tufts University in 1993. After 3 years in general practice she decided to pursue emergency medicine exclusively. She joined us in 2001 after practicing for 5 years at an emergency hospital in Stratford. Her special interests are in exotics and wildlife.

GrauKristen Grau, DVM

Dr. Grau graduated cum laude from the University of Oklahoma in 2000 and obtained her DVM at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2004. She has been involved in the practice of veterinary medicine in one aspect or another for over 15 years. Dr. Grau has spent the past 7 years as a veterinarian practicing emergency medicine across Connecticut and New York, including an eight-month stint in the emergency and critical care department at Cornell University. Dr. Grau is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society.

Nicole Kennedy, DVM

Dr. Nicole Kennedy graduated with honors from University of Rhode Island, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Sciences. Dr Kennedy graduated from the University of Florida, College of Veterinary Medicine in 2009. Dr Kennedy, has a strong interest in emergency medicine and has been actively practicing in emergency since graduation. She is a resident of Winsted, CT where she lives with her husband, J.J., her toddler twins Hailey and Lucas, and her 4 legged child Zoey, a 6 year old black Shepard mix. When She is not working, Nicole enjoys spending time with her family, taking family trips and being outside and exploring New England.

SNP_5023Teresa Rodina, DVM

Dr. Teresa Rodina was born and raised on Long Island, NY. She obtained her Bachelor of Science in Animal Sciences and Technology from the University of Rhode Island in 2005 before making a big move south to the Sunshine State. There she attended the University of Florida (Go Gators!) where she obtained her Master of Science in Animal Science in 2007 and then earned her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 2012. Having had enough of the southern heat, she moved back to New England and completed a 1 year rotating internship here in CT. Afterwards, she entered the world of overnight Emergency Medicine and joined the Central family in 2014 as one of the overnight Emergency Service doctors. Dr. Rodina enjoys spending her free time with her dog Reba, who mostly enjoys catching some rays in the back yard in her old age.

Kristin Smith, DVM – Practice Limited to Emergency and Critical Care

Celeste Wells, DVM

Dr. Celeste Wells received her DVM from Tufts University in 2002. After completing a medicine and surgery internship she practiced general medicine for over 5 years. In 2009 she returned to emergency medicine and she’s been with the Central Hospital emergency service since 2014. She lives with her husband, 2 active boys, 2 goats, 7 cats, and an embarrassingly large amount of chickens. When not working she leads a 4-H poultry group and loves to garden and spend time with her family.


Veterinary Technician Specialists

Jill Bruno, CVT, CCRP – Animal Rehabilitation

Jill Bruno is a certified veterinary technician. She also has been certified as a canine rehabilitation practitioner from the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine. In addition to her many years of veterinary experience, Jill has also been involved in breeding and showing dogs, agility work and various forms of dog training.

Brynn Harrington, CVT, VTS (Anesthesia, Analgesia) – Surgery/Emergency

Brynn Harrington attended Quinnipiac University and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Veterinary Technology in 2004. She started her career at Tufts University in the Neurology Department, and later with the Anesthesia Department for 8 years. In 2010, Brynn obtained her Veterinary Technician Specialty certification in Anesthesia and Analgesia. She is an active member of the Academy of Veterinary Technicians in Anesthesia and Analgesia (AVTAA), as well as, the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA). In 2013, Brynn left Tufts and began working at Intown Veterinary Group (IVG) in the Ophthalmology department. In 2014 she started working at Central Hospital as a Ophthalmology Technician while also using her skills in the emergency room and ICU department. In 2016 she joined the surgery department where she remains today doing anesthesia and surgical assisting. Most recently, she has helped create the newly formed Connecticut Veterinary Technician Association (CTVTA) where she sits on the board as the president of the association.


Allyson Ruzicka, CVT, VTS (Oncology) – Oncology

Certified Veterinary Technicians

Andrea Barket, CVT – Ophthalmology

Andrea Barket has been working in the veterinary field since 2006. She earned her Associate’s from Northwestern Community College and became a certified veterinary technician in 2009. She was a teacher on the subject of animal behavior for 2 years at Three Rivers Community College. She joined us at Central in 2013 and is currently working as an ophthalmology technician.

Amanda Belton, CVT – Ophthalmology

Amanda attended the University of Maine and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Animal Sciences and Microbiology in 2012. While working in a general practice veterinary hospital in Maine she found her passion for veterinary medicine. She then attended University of Maine at Augusta graduating with an Associate of Science in Veterinary Technology in 2014. After completing an externship with Cornell University Veterinary Specialists she joined their Emergency Department and later joined the Internal Medicine Department. At the end of 2015 she joined Central Hospital for Veterinary Medicine as an Ophthalmology Technician. Amanda is an active member of the Connecticut Veterinary Technician Association and National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA).

Agnieszka Borowski, CVT – Internal Medicine

Stephanie Buchanan, CVT – Surgery/ICU

Stella Drakoulias, CVT – Inside Referral Liaison


Since 1978

David Gemski, CVT – Head Radiology Technician
Dave has been a member of the Central staff since August 1978. He trained with veterinary radiologist Dr. Peter Lord. He currently is the main radiology technician at the hospital, taking x-rays and assisting radiologists Dr. Lance Rozear and Dr. Patty Hogan by preparing radiographs and assisting with ultrasounds.

SNP_4822Amy Guay, CVT – ICU


Becky Hurlburt, CVT – ICU/Surgery

Becky started her veterinary career in 2003 as an assistant and joined Central Hospital in 2005. After a little over a year she became an ICU technician and joined Dr. Pond as a orthopedic surgical technician in 2007. She now continues to work for Dr. Pond and in our ICU while also helping to train incoming assistants and technicians. She enjoys spending time with her large family consisting of 6 cats and a plethora of birds and reptiles.


Brittany Hurlburt, CVT – ICU/Training Coordinator

Brittany started her career at Central as a Client Liaison in 2011 and left to pursue further training as a Veterinary Technician. We were pleased to have Brittany return to us in 2014 as an ICU nurse. She obtained her Certification as a Veterinary Technician in Spring 2017 and is currently working toward a technician specialty in emergency and Critical Care. She is a primary trainer of incoming staff members and has a great deal of expertise in critical care nursing

Dorothy Moore, CVT – Emergency/Surgery

Jackie Rubino, CVT – Surgery

Amanda Tsang, CVT – Dermatology/Internal MedicineSNP_4672

Mandy graduated from Mount Ida College in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science in Veterinary Technology. She began working as a technician at Central Hospital in 2011. She left for a short period of time to gain experience at another practice and returned to Central in 2014. Mandy is actively involved in both our Dermatology Department and Internal Medicine Department.

SNP_4669Amanda Zsido, CVT – ICU

Amanda joined us in 2015. She graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2008 with a bachelors degree in animal science. After working seven years in general practice, she came to Central  to pursue a career in emergency and speciality medicine. She started as a surgical technician on Dr. Taylor’s specialty surgery team. She currently spends her time as an ICU and emergency nurse.


SNP_4657Nicole Bertini – Surgery/Emergency

Jason Guadino – Dermatology/Emergency


Kizzy Hernandez – ICU

Since 1985

Since 1985

Rufus James, Jr. – Head Laboratory Technician
Rufus graduatied from Southern Connecticut State University in 1985 with a degree in Biology. Rufus joined the staff of Central Hospital in 1985. He worked extensively with hospital founder Dr. Allan Hart in developing some early models of the in-house laboratory analyzers we use on a daily basis. Rufus has been the head of Laboratory Services here since 1995.

Monica Keith-Luzzi – Triage

PJ Lofgren – Exotics/ICU/Emergency

Kira O’Brien – ICU

Christine Page – ICU/EmergencySNP_5137

Tabitha Rahmann – ICU/Triage

Since 2014

Stephanie Tomasino – Cardiology/ICU/Surgery

Stephanie attended University of Connecticut and graduated with an Associate’s degree in Animal Science and a Bachelor’s degree in Health & Society. She started her career in 2012 as a veterinary technician assistant at VCA Cheshire and became an ICU technician in 2013. Stephanie joined our team in 2014 as an overnight ICU technician and became our lead cardiology technician in 2016.


Since 2004*

Ken Aldrich – Hospital DirectorKen began his career in veterinary medicine as a kennel worker and continued on to work in multiple technician roles. He graduated from Syracuse University with degrees in Communications and Management. Ken has overseen up to 34 veterinary practices for a veterinary corporation and has consulted nationally on veterinary practice management. He is a founding member and a continuing Board Member of the New Haven County Veterinary Medical Association as well as a founder, past president and current Board Member of the Veterinary Management Council of Connecticut. Ken realized his vision for Central Hospital in building our new North Haven facility in 2013 and greatly expanding our medical capabilities.

Frank Atanacio – Technician Assistant Supervisor

Katerina Cavanagh 1985

Since 1985

Kathy Cavanagh, CVT – Client Care Coordinator

Kathy graduated from Becker College with a degree in Veterinary Technology. She joined the Central Hospital staff in 1985 as a trauma and emergency technician. She has worked in many different capacities at the hospital over the years including Head Radiology Technician. Kathy has participated for many years in community outreach programs at Central working with local schools and civic groups. She took on the role of Client Care Coordinator in 2005. In addition to her position at Central Hospital, Kathy has served as the Event Coordinator for the New Haven County Veterinary Association since it’s inception in 2008.


Since 1983

Melinda Connors, CVT – Daytime Nursing Supervisor

Melinda graduated from Becker College in Massachusetts with a degree in Veterinary Technology. Melinda began working as a veterinary technician at Central Hospital in 1983 and became the supervisor of the daytime technician staff soon after. Melinda has extensive experience in radiology and surgical assisting. She is one of the main auditors at the hospital in addition to being a member of the hospital management team.

Ashley Ivanac, CVT – Specialty Technician Supervisor

Ashley began her career in the veterinary field as an assistant in the year 2000. She graduated from Becker College with a Bachelor’s in Business Management in 2008. In 2010 she joined us at Central Hospital as an internal medicine technician, became a certified technician in 2016, left briefly to work at Cornell University and returned to Central as the specialty technician supervisor. She is the proud owner of 5 dogs and 2 cats.

Joseph Jasiorkowski Senior Technician Safety Supervisor

Since 1995

Joseph Jasiorkowski, Veterinary Technician – Safety Training Manager 

Joe worked for several years at veterinary hospitals in Bethany and Orange before joining Central Hospital as a trauma emergency technician in 1995. Joe has extensive knowledge of emergency medicine and animal nursing. He became the supervisor of the Evening Technician staff in 1998. Joe serves as our safety coordinator, managing all aspects of OSHA training and is the Audio-Visual Coordinator for the New Haven County Veterinary Medical Association.


Since 2014

Vicki Landau, BS, CVT – Training Supervisor

Vicki Landau graduated from Misericordia University in 1996 with a BS in Biology. She worked with a VMD who had a special interest in veterinary dentistry and oral surgery for over 3 years. Following that she worked at VREC in Norwalk, CT rotating through various departments eventually becoming the surgical technician supervisor for the last 2 of her 5 years there. She worked as the surgical technician supervisor for over 6 years at Cheshire Animal Hospital and then 2 years at Newtown Veterinary Specialists. Vicki joined us at Central Hospital in 2014 as our Technician Training Coordinator. Pain management and anesthesia are her primary interests, but she also loves working closely with doctors during critical cases.


Since 2015*

Michele Papero, CVT – Referral Manager

Michele graduated from Quinnipiac University and began working as Emergency Room Technician at Central Hospital from 1985 to 1988.  Michele then went on to pursue a variety of positions in veterinary medicine at Yale School of Medicine in Neurobiology and Vector Borne Diseases. She earned her Master’s Degree in Laboratory Science from Quinnipiac University.  Michele was the patient coordinator for the Veterinary Cardiology service for 7 years at VCA- Shoreline under the direction of Dr. Nat Fenollosa. Michele joined our practice in 2015 as the Referring Veterinarian Coordinator.


Since 2006

Siobhan Purser-Blackman, Veterinary Technician – Head Auditor/Inventory Manager

Siobhan has worked in many different capacities in the veterinary industry for many years. She has held positions in several progressive veterinary hospitals in the area. Most notably as an ICU/Surgery/Neurology/MRI technician and an Internal Medicine Liaison at the Referral and Emergency Center in Norwalk, CT. She joined the management team at Central Hospital as a supervisor in 2006.


Since 2003

Tina Vitelli – Accounts Receivable Manager

Since 2008

Molly Weathered – Nighttime Nursing Supervisor

Since 2006

Lisa Wiecki – Hospital Manager

Lisa graduated from the University of Connecticut with a Bachelors Degree in Animal Science. Lisa worked as a hospital manager in West Hartford, CT after graduation.  She brought her extensive knowledge of veterinary practice management with her when she became the hospital manager at Central Hospital in May 2006.  Lisa also serves as the Program Coordinator for the New Haven County Veterinary Medicine and has done so since it’s inception in 2008.


Jennifer Adams

Emma Brice

Jessica Bristol

Ulli Davis


Rachel DeRose

Chantal Hendricks


Brandon Lawrence


Darlene Lawrence

Alyssa Marquez


Chris Poggioli


Gina Vidal, CVA

Julia Willametz


Deborah Little

Sara Dombroski


Aurora Page


JoAnn Carvalho


Jen Kuczynski


Crystal Wilcox


Mary Ann Bates



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