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AAVA Board of Directors & Officers
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AAVA Board of Directors & Officers-2018-2019


Lynelle Graham, DVM, MS, DACVAA, CVA, CVC (2018-2019)

Dr. Graham is a veterinary anesthesiologist with a strong interest in chronic pain management and geriatric pet care. She completed her acupuncture training (1999-2000), chiropractic training (2000-01), and herbal training (2004-05) after her anesthesiology residency.  After 15 years as a faculty member at the University of Minnesota CVM, she will be moving into a new faculty position at the University of Illinois CVM, where she will be part of both the established anesthesia service and a developing integrative pain management service.  

As a person who trains future practitioners, She wants to bridge that gap between academia and private practice.  Dr. Graham already climbed the learning curve in her previous BOD service, so she is ready to jump in and make progress!

Vice President:

Carol Gifford, DVM, CVA, FAAVA (2018-2019)

Dr. Gifford's interest in veterinary acupuncture started during veterinary school at Tufts.  She earned her DVM in 2003 and was IVAS certified in 2007.  Since then, she has been passionately practicing veterinary acupuncture.  She has been a member of the AAVA since 2006 and a Fellow of the Academy since 2014. Dr. Gifford was a Teaching Assistant for the IVAS course in 2012-13. She is a liaison between the AAVA and AHVMA, serves as one of the ten AAVA representatives to the IVAS House of Delegates, as well as the chairperson for the AAVA Public Relations Committee.  Currently, she owns and operates a house-call complementary-only practice in the Columbus, OH area.


Past President:

Maurice F. Casey, III DVM, CVA (2018-2019)

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.


Mili Bass,DVM, DABVP (Canine/Feline), CVA-MAV (2016-2019)


Dr. Mili Bass is a 1981 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine.  She founded Village Veterinary Clinic and Laser Center in Knoxville, TN (now Village Veterinary Medical Center) in 1982, and sold the AAHA-accredited practice to her two associate veterinarians in 2003.  She became certified in Veterinary Acupuncture in 2007 (MAV), took the Chi Institute Advanced Acupuncture course in 2008, and maintains a practice in Knoxville limited to acupuncture and pain management.  She and her husband own Dream Katcher Lodge, a luxury boarding facility for cats and dogs; in addition, Dr. Bass works as a locum tenens in the state of Hawaii.  She is a Diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners, with a Canine/Feline specialty.

Dr. Bass has been actively involved in organized veterinary medicine since 1984, including serving in the AVMA HOD representing the Tennessee VMA for 10 years.  She was the Editor of AAVA’s The Meridian from 2012-2015, and currently is the AAVA Delegate to the HOD.  She looks forward to continuing to learn, and hopes to continue to serve our profession as treasurer of AAVA.




Michelle Tilghman, DVM, CVA, CCRP (2017-2019 1st term)

Dr. Michelle Tilghman has been practicing veterinary medicine since 1982.  She is a member of  American Veterinary Medical Association, AVMA, International Veterinary Acupuncture Society, IVAS, American Acupuncture Veterinary Academy, AAVA, and the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Society, AHVMA. A graduate of the University of Georgia’s Veterinary School, she has focused her career on complementary modalities, utilizing her Western education coupled with her knowledge of Eastern medicine, which has been around for over three thousand years.  She has been certified as an acupuncturist through IVAS since 1984, and she received certification as a canine rehabilitation practitioner (CCRP) at the University of Tennessee in 2004.  As an international educator, she has taught in Brazil, Belgium, and Germany (to name only a few of the countries in which she has taught), where she instructed veterinary students and doctors in over forty sessions on the topics of acupuncture, rehabilitation, and complementary modalities.  She was an adjunct professor at Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine.  In 2010, she was invited to be a guest lecturer at Grand Rounds at Purdue University’s School of veterinary medicine. She is a contributing author of the second edition of Veterinary Acupuncture: Ancient Art to Modern Medicine (Schoen Am, St Louis, 2001, Mosby). Her magazine articles are in the Animal Wellness Magazine.


Linda Rydgig, DVM, CVA, FAAVA (2018-2020 1st term)

I am a native Californian and a 1994 graduate of the University of California Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine. I was IVAS certified in 2000 and completed the Advanced Equine Acupuncture course from the Chi Institute in 2004. I have completed the TCVM Kidney/Geriatric/Urinary Herbal module. Last year I became a Fellow in the AAVA. I am a partner in an equine ambulatory sport horse practice in Southern California. 

I have been a member of the AAVA conference committee since 2012 and chairperson since March 2014. Together we have put on the ’15 Boston annual congress, the ’16 joint conference in Tacoma with IVAS and soon the upcoming 2017 conference in Savannah, GA. We have also set up many 1-day seminars throughout the years. I have enjoyed getting to know many of the members while organizing these meetings and often work closely with the Executive board, general board and other national/international organizations. I have especially enjoyed learning more about how a national organization is run. I now feel I would like to be a bigger part of the AAVA organization and be involved in more than just the conference committee. In order to do this I would like to become a board member. This would enable me to be a part of the day-to-day workings of the AAVA.  After 5 years on the conference committee I believe I will bring a good perspective to the board of directors.



Jennifer Kareklas, DVM, CVA, FAAVA (2018-2020 1st term) 

Jennifer Kareklas is an integrative small animal veterinarian at Bloomingrove Veterinary Hospital in North Greenbush, NY.  She is certified in acupuncture through IVAS and MAV, and in Chinese Herbal Veterinary Medicine through CIVT.  Prior to returning to New York last year, she was practice owner/veterinarian of Palouse Holistic Veterinary Care in Pullman, Washington for 5 years, where she had a small farm with dairy goats, chickens, a llama, dogs, and cats.  She graduated from Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2006 but has been studying acupuncture, whole foods nutrition, and herbal medicine since 1997.  After graduation she worked in mixed animal practice in Glastonbury, CT for several years before moving to WA.  When she is not working she enjoys settling into her new upstate NY farm, fostering cats, hiking with her children and dogs, and traveling.  

Executive Director:
Deloris Green Gaines