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AAVA 2018 Annual Meeting-Speakers Bios
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AAVA 2018 Annual Meeting
Speaker Biographies 


Lori Bidwell, DVM, DACVAA, CVA, CVTP 


Dr. Lori Bidwell is a 2001 graduate of Michigan State University, a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia and a certified veterinary acupuncturist and Tui Na Practitioner.  After an internship year at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky, Dr. Bidwell completed an anesthesia residency at Michigan State University.   She then moved to Lexington to act as the head of anesthesia for Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital.  In 2009, Dr. Bidwell moved to St. Kitts in the West Indies to teach at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine.   Lori was then invited to return to Lexington to develop and head the anesthesia service of a new practice called Lexington Equine Surgery and Sports Medicine and complete her acupuncture certification and start an independent acupuncture practice.  Dr. Bidwell returned to Michigan State University in 2012 as an Assistant Professor in Anesthesia and the Equine Sports Medicine Service.   In August of 2015, Lori and Duncan Peters, DVM, MS, DACVSMR founded East West Equine Sports Medicine.  A practice that involves consulting and covering veterinary services including Eastern Medicine for hunter/jumper circuits on the West and East Coasts and in Lexington, Kentucky.  Dr. Bidwell also consults for equine practices in the Unites States, teaches part of a study abroad program in Thailand and South Africa and speaks and teaches nationally and internationally. 



Maurice Casey, DVM, CVA


Dr. Maurice Casey received his DVM Degree from Araneta University, The Philippines. While attending LSU for his year of Clinical rotations, his first daughter, Brianne was born.   As he has always enjoyed all types of animals, he took his first job in Clifton, Va. at Deepwood Vet Clinic, a mixed practice. HIs second daughter Shannon was born while he worked there.  

In 1986, Dr. Casey purchased the Marianna Animal Hospital in Marianna, Fla.  It was a companion animal practice that he expanded to also include the treatment of horses and wild life.  During his time in Florida, he began to realize that while Western medicine had its positive points, it was not the "Holy Grail" he had initially thought it was.  He became interested in acupuncture and attended the IVAS Congress in Atlanta in 1990.  In 1993 he enrolled in the IVAS basic acupuncture certification course and the "Journey" began and continues today. 


In 1994 Dr. Casey sold his practice in Florida and moved to Marshall, Virginia with wife Diane and 3 children, Sean was born while in Florida. He started Casey Veterinary Services which is a performance horse-based cliental with emphasis on lameness evaluation.  Acupuncture and adjustments are a major component of our evaluation and treatment. 


He is a lifelong horse enthusiast.  In addition to his veterinary practice, he owns a Thoroughbred breeding farm and his foals have competed successfully in the sales ring and on the race track.


Vanessa Flores, VMD, CVA, CVFT, CVCH

Cornell University, BA

University of Pennsylvania, VMD 2006

International Veterinary Acupuncture Society, CVA 2013

Chi Institute, CVFT 2014 & CVCH 2017


Dr. Flores was awarded a Lois F. Fairchild Scholarship in Veterinary Public Service during veterinary school.  This paid for her final two years of school, in exchange she committed to two years of public service in animal shelters after graduating.  Hence began her affiliation with animal shelters.  For two years, Dr. Flores worked at both private, closed-admission shelters, and at government, open-admission shelters.  That was trial by fire for a new graduate.  Once her two years of service were complete, she worked in Western private practice and eventually started a TCVM house call practice but continued two days per month of work in the shelter.  Dr. Flores plans to move to Louisville, Kentucky, after this lecture where she will offer house calls and hope to conduct a TCVM study at the humane society.




Rene Gandolfi, DVM, DABVP, CVA

Education and Degrees:

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM), University of California, Davis, 1981
Diplomate, American Board of Veterinary Practitioners,

Companion Animal Specialty, 1987

Re-Certified in Canine and Feline Specialty, 1997,2007
Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist (CVA), Chi Institute, 2015


Bachelor of Science, with Honors, California Institute of Technology, 1974

Teaching and Professional Interests:

Western Career College, San Leandro, CA, AHT Program

Lecturer for Critical Care Course, 1988 to 2005

Scientific Editor-in-Chief, American Ferret Association, The American Ferret Report,
2001-2005 Guest Lecturer, UC Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine, 
Ferret and Small Mammal Medicine and Surgery

Co-Founder, Fix our Ferals.all-volunteer feral cat SpaylNeuter program

Not-so Professional Interests:

Amateur Astronomy, Mount Diablo Astronomical Society
US Civil War History

Geologic Processes, Pleistocene Mega-Floods


Born and raised in New York City.  Moved to California to attend Cal Tech undergraduate program.  At the time, was one of only two Cal Tech graduates to have attended UC Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine.  Practiced small animal and exotic animal medicine in the San Francisco Bay Area for the last 35 years and established Castro Valley Companion Animal Hospital 25 years ago providing services for companion (small animal and exotic) pets as well as pro-bono services for the local wildlife care and rehabilitation center.


Mieke Maelfait, DVM 


  • Formal Education

    Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, 1977

    R.U.G Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Gent, Belgium                        

  • Post Graduate Education

    IVAS Certification in Veterinary Acupuncture, 1989

    The International Veterinary Acupuncture Society Certification Course in Veterinary Acupuncture, Brussels, Belgium                                         



    Acupuncture Diagnosis and Treatment of the Equine -2015

    A Five Element tutorial, 5th edition                                                                  

    By Dr. Marvin Cain and Dr. Mieke Maelfait                                        


  • Professional Veterinary Experience:

    Dierenkliniek De Ark, Veterinary Hospital, 1977-2003- Ramsel, Belgium   

    Small Animal and avian practice, which included acupuncture and herbal medicine.

  • Equine Acupuncture practice with Dr. Marvin Cain, 2003-2017


  • Deborah Marshall, DVM, CVA, CVC
  • Dr. Marshall graduated with a Bachelors in Music Performance Arts from the University of Miami in 1973.  She was a professional musician from 1967-2002.  Pre-vet, University of Nevada, Las Vegas.  Dr. Marshall earned her DVM University of Florida, 1986.  From 1986-1990 her work was small animal practice and exotic relief work.  She got her acupuncture certification from IVAS in 1990.  Dr. Marshall created and ran the Hurricane Andrew horse relief effort (the largest and longest running horse relief effort in U.S. History.  From 1990 to present she has an exclusively acupuncture practice mainly equine.  Dr. Marshall also obtained her chiropractic certification-Options for Animals in 1999. 


    Dr. Marshall now specializes in upper body lameness with horses at the highest level of performance.  She still plays her instruments every day and still rides every day.

  • Nancy Martin, MS, DVM, CVA
  • Dr. Martin obtained her B.S. in Animal Science in 1981 from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in California.  While completing a Master’s Degree in Domestic Animal Behavior at UC Davis, Dr. Martin managed the University’s beef research herd for four years, and went on to finish a DVM at UC Davis in 1991. She has practiced rural mixed animal medicine for 25 years in Northern California.  Her practice has been integrative since receiving her Certification in Veterinary Acupuncture in 2008 with IVAS. Dr. Martin is considered a specialist in herd animal management and disease prevention.

    Alternative or complementary medicine has much to offer for those interested in developing a better understanding of the relationship between genetics, the natural environment, and the development of disease.  Disease treatments outside of allopathic medicine can be considered additional “tools” to aid or promote the return to health. It is also imperative to understand each animal’s natural biology, recognize constitutional imbalances early, and make management adjustments before they cause disease.



  • Laurie McCauley, DVM, DACVSMR, CCRT, CVA, CVC 

  • Dr. McCauley graduated in 1992 from Colorado State SVM. After six years in general practice, she became a pioneer in the field of Veterinary Rehabilitation, designing the first underwater treadmill for dogs. Dr. McCauley started the first Rehabilitation Clinic in 1998 and was on faculty at Canine Rehabilitation Institute for 14 years. She is certified in Acupuncture and Chiropractic therapy and in 2014 became Board Certified in Canine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation. Dr. McCauley is an International lecturer and contributing author in many textbooks and journals. She was awarded the 2011 Iams AARV Award of Excellence in the Field of Rehabilitation and the 2015 AHVMA Holistic Practitioner of the Year Award.

  • Jill Partlow, DVM

    Earned BS in Animal Science from Virginia Tech 1987.  Earned DVM from Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine 1992.  Completed the Chi Institute Acupuncture Course in 2014.  Professional interest include:  Use of acupuncture for senior patients, acupuncture in exotic species (guinea pigs, rabbits, rate, ferrets).  Also have special interest in feline medicine and behavioral medicine.  Interests outside of work:  Nature photography, especially wildlife in the National Parks.








    Anna Portnoy, DVM, CVA

  • Over the course of my adult life I have had a varied carrier.  I graduated from college with a BA in Sociology.  One of my areas of interest was public health.  At that time my mother was a professor in the Dept. of Nursing and she had done a series of interviews with “alternative practitioners” including a Native American medicine man (“Hawk Little John”).  She also introduced me to “The barefoot doctors” (These were farmers in rural China who were taught some traditional western and eastern medical skills including Acupuncture and they provided medical care to their neighbors.)  The ideas of alternative and eastern medicine intrigued me.

    I began my career as a veterinarian and soon realized there are some limitations to certain animal’s response to western medicine.  In Veterinary School, I observed positive results in certain chronic diseases using eastern medicine (specifically Acupuncture and herbs).  Some common diseases can be very responsive to Acupuncture (Osteoarthritis, pain, Kidney disease, dermatological conditions and anxiety).  I wanted to add this philosophy and medicine to my “tool box”.  In 2015 I began my studies at the Chi Institute in Florida and am finishing up my certification.


    I have seen wonderful results and am so happy that I have another powerful tool to treat these chronic frustrating diseases.


  • Michelle Schraeder, DVM, MEd, FAAVA
  • Dr. Schraeder graduated from The Ohio State University in 1985.  Through the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society she is certified in veterinary acupuncture and in Veterinary Chinese Herbal Medicine, and through the Chi Institute is certified in veterinary Tui-na (massage). Dr. Schraeder became one of first two veterinarians to become a Fellow of the American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncture. She has a MEd in College and Continuing Education. Presently she is chair of the IVAS International Education Committee, an IVAS board member, and a member of the AAVA Advanced Certification Committee and its Organizing Committee for Specialty Recognition in Acupuncture. She practices integrative medicine at her clinic in Bellingham, WA.



  • Michelle Tilghman, DVM, CVA, CCRP

  • Affectionately known as Dr. Michelle, Dr. Michelle Tilghman is a leading authority and much-sought practitioner of complementary veterinary medicine, which harnesses both the fundamental strengths of Western medicine and the proven practices of Eastern medicine, developed and honed over the course of more than 3,000 years. A graduate of the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine, she has been in practice since 1982. She is the owner and chief practitioner of Loving Touch Animal Center, which focuses on integrative medicine, blending Eastern and Western medicine as well as physical therapy for complete patient care.


    Dr. Michelle received her certification as an acupuncturist from the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society (IVAS) in 1984. In 2004, she received certification as a Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner (CCRP) at the University of Tennessee. She has also completed the Practitioner and Therapist levels of medical Qigong through the International Institute of Medical Qigong.


    As part of her commitment to her profession, Dr. Michelle has taught hundreds of veterinary students and doctors in both national and international settings. She has presented more than 500 lectures and classes on subjects such as acupuncture, rehabilitation, complementary modalities, Chinese herbs, tongue and pulse, TCVM diagnosis, geriatric medicine, and physical therapy. She has lectured at the conferences of the IVAS, the AHVMA, and the AVMA, as well as in many state veterinary meetings in the United States.
  • Bruce Towne, DVM, DACVPM, MPH, CVA


    2016 summer and fall, International Veterinary Acupuncture Society (IVAS), small animal  acupuncture course, earned Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist.

     2004-2013, University of Minnesota, Masters of Public Health, Executive Program, on-line and on-campus, Dr. Will Hueston, mentor.

     2009, Iowa Central Community College, Emergency Medical Technician-B, off-campus.

     2008, Professional Animal Auditors Certification Organization, animal welfare training.

     1995-1996, Michigan State University, Iowa State University, University of Nebraska, University of Minnesota, University of Guelph, North Carolina State University, Swine Health Management Seminar Series.

    1984-1988, Iowa State University, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.

    1977-1979, Iowa State University, Bachelor of Science, Animal Science.

    1975-1977, Des Moines Area Community College, pre-vet major.

    1970-1974, Elk Horn-Kimballton Community High School, general education.

    Professional Experience:

    1993-present: owner Towne Veterinary Clinic. Solo mixed animal practice.

    1994-2017: contract Federal Inspection Veterinarian, Gowrie Livestock Auction, Gowrie, Iowa. Dan Vonnahme, owner.

    2005-2015: contract associate veterinarian, Lake City Veterinary Clinic, Lake City, Iowa. Dr. Paul Armbrecht, owner.

    2005-2007: contract associate veterinarian, Town and Country Veterinary Clinic, Fort Dodge, Iowa. Dr. Roger Howland, owner.

    1988-1993: associate veterinarian, Gowrie Veterinary Clinic, Gowrie, Iowa. Dr. Richard Hubbard, owner.


    Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Preventative Medicine, certification August 2007.

    Board Member, Center for Agricultural Development, Lupembe, Tanzania, Africa, Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, Western Iowa Synod/Southern Diocese of Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania, 2010-present.

    American Association of Veterinary Acupuncturists

    American Association of Bovine Practitioners

    American Association of Swine Veterinarians

    American Veterinary Medical Association

    Academy of Veterinary Consultants

    Iowa Veterinary Medical Association

    National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians

  • Mitsie Vargas, DVM, CTCVMP, FAAVA
  • Dr. Vargas received her DVM from Tuskegee University in 1994. In 1996 she established her AAHA accredited Orchid Springs Animal Hospital in Winter Haven, FL. In 2009 she started her studies at Chi Institute, eventually garnering certifications in Acupuncture, Chinese Herbology, Food therapy and Tui Na. She is an assistant teacher and lecturer at Chi Institute ( FL & Costa Rica) and has worked as a consultant for Disney Animal Kingdom.  Dr. Vargas is a certified veterinary journalist and has published hundreds of articles. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncture. Her love for Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine manifested in her book Alt-Vet: The Revolutionary Pet Care and Longevity Solution. 


    Her passion for helping animals and her voluntarism has awarded her state and national recognition including being honored by the American Veterinary Foundation as "America's Favorite Veterinarian" in 2015.

    She lives in sunny Winter Haven, Florida, with her husband, two daughters and a menagerie of pets.


  • Joan Winter, DVM, BS, MS, CVA, CTCVP, FAAVA
  • San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California, Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, Magnum Cum Laude,1976.  University of California, Davis, Dept. of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Masters in Pharmacology and Toxicology, 1981.  University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine, D.V.M. with honors 1984.  CHI Institute of Chinese Medicine, 9700 west Hwy 318, Reddick, FL 32686, Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist,9/2/2002.  Certified Veterinary Tui-Na Practitioner, 10/31/2003.  Certified Veterinary Chinese Herbalist, 4/23/2004.  FAAVM 6/2016


    Membership:  Santa Barbara Ventura Veterinary Medical association, California Veterinary Medical Association, American Veterinary Medical Association, American Association of Equine Practitioners, American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncturists, International Veterinary Acupuncture Society.


    Practice Name: Joan D. Winter, D.V.M., Inc., Mobile mixed companion animal medicine, sole veterinarian in this business for 25 years.  I work 5 days a week, approximately 50 hours per week.  On call duty after hours and on weekends.


    Dr. Winter works in Southern California as a mixed animal veterinarian treating companion animals.  She also volunteers her time as the shelter veterinarian at the Northwest SPCA.  It is her mission to diagnose and treat the symptoms and underlying root deficiencies in her patients.  Dr. Winter does this by integrating Western and Eastern Veterinary Medicine.  She has had great success utilizing both principles and finds private practice very satisfying.  Dr. Winter is the only veterinarian in her area that she knows of, that treats mixed animals in this fashion.  


  • Bonnie Wright, DVM, DACVAA
  • Dr. Bonnie Wright graduated from Colorado State University (CSU) with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 1995. She completed her post-doctorate work in anesthesia in 1996, also at CSU, and her anesthesia residency in 2000 at UC Davis. She is board certified by the American College of Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia.  Dr. Wright also became certified in medical acupuncture in 2007, as a certified Veterinary Pain Practitioner in 2011 and as a canine rehabilitation practitioner in 2013. She was on the faculty at CSU for many years before moving to private emergency and specialty practice, where she is an emergency doctor, anesthesiologist and pain medicine doctor. Dr. Wright teaches extensively nationally and internationally about the physiological mechanisms of pain treatments: both pharmacological and non-pharmacological. Dr. Wright is past-president for the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management (IVAPM), and a member of the WSAVA’s global pain council.