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Veterinary Leadership

BluePearl Veterinary Partners’ Medical Officers Advisory Board (MOAB) advises on medical operations for the company. The members of the board are below.

Chairperson

Jennifer Welser
Jennifer Welser, DVM, DAVCO
Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Jennifer Welser is Chief Medical Officer for BluePearl Veterinary Partners. A board-certified ophthalmologist, Jen has been with BluePearl since the opening of the Manhattan hospital and served as medical director of the three New York City specialty hospitals when they opened in 2006.

Jen is a Michigan native with a doctorate in veterinary medicine from Michigan State University. She is also a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists. She completed an internship at Auburn University and a residency in ophthalmology at Animal Eye Associates that involved a comparative medicine component at the University of Illinois. She also has an undergraduate degree from the University of Vermont.

Before joining BluePearl, Jen first practiced as an ophthalmologist at MSPCA’s Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston. She then started her own practice in California, treating patients in both San Francisco and Los Angeles.

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Beth Davidow, DVM, DACVECC

Dr. Beth Davidow worked for several years at an emergency and referral hospital in Lynnwood WA before founding ACCES in 2003, which became a BluePearl hospital in 2014. She is medical director for BluePearl’s Seattle hospital. Beth consults for the Veterinary Information Network, is on the board of Washington Poison Control and is an adjunct assistant professor at Washington State University.  She has a strong interest in transfusion medicine, immune-mediated blood diseases, toxicology and emergency medicine for exotic pets.

Board certified in veterinary emergency and critical care, Beth completed her residency at Dove Lewis Emergency Hospital in Portland OR. She earned her DVM from Cornell University in Ithaca NY, and her undergraduate degree from Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA.

Laura Hinton
Laura Hinton, DVM, DACVS

Dr. Laura Hinton works in BluePearl’s Houston hospitals. Board certified in surgery, she is particularly interested in surgical oncology, thoracoscopy, laparoscopy and orthopedic conditions such as fractures, stifle disease, hip dysplasia and total hip replacements. 

Laura completed her residency at The Ohio State University in Columbus and her intership at Auburn University in Alabama. She earned her DVM and undergraduate degrees from Texas A&M University in College Station. 

A frequent volunteer at her church, Laura also enjoys reading fiction and spending time with her family, including her husband, son and daughter. They share their home with a disabled, but determined, long-haired cat and an Australian shepherd who carries around Laura’s shoes when they don’t go running.

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Neil Shaw, DVM, DACVIM, Co-Founder
Chief Cultural Officer

Dr. Neil Shaw is a founder of BluePearl Veterinary Partners and currently serves on its board. Growing up with a father who was a veterinarian, Neil was always passionate about helping animals. This led to a 10-year education commitment at the University of Florida, where he completed an undergraduate degree, a doctoral degree in veterinary medicine, a veterinary internship and a residency in small animal internal medicine. The day after he completed his residency program in 1996, Neil and his brother, Darryl, opened the doors of their new pet hospital in Tampa.

Over time, the one-veterinarian practice grew into the network of sophisticated, multi-disciplinary emergency and specialty pet hospitals now named BluePearl. Neil has received a number of accolades, including People magazine’s “Hero in Hard Times;” the Community Service Award by the Veterinary Medical Association of New York City; the Distinguished Service Award by University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine; Gold Star Service Award by Florida Veterinary Medical Association; and Community Service Award by Hillsborough County Veterinary Medical Society.

Neil spends his off-duty hours volunteering and spending time with his family, which includes four dogs, fish and leopard geckos.

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Jeffrey Dennis, DVM, DACVIM

After spending four years as a general practitioner in Connecticut, Dr. Jeff Dennis returned to the academic field to earn board certification in small animal internal medicine. He subsequently co-founded the Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Center of Kansas City, one of the earliest private veterinary multi-specialty referral practices in the country, where he was medical director and an internist. In 2008, Jeff merged his practice with similar practices in Tampa and New York City to create BluePearl Veterinary Partners. He remains on the BluePearl board of directors and continues to direct medical operations at BluePearl in Kansas City.

Jeff completed his residency at Michigan State University in East Lansing and his internship at University of Missouri in Columbia. He earned his DVM from Purdue University in West Lafayette IN and his undergraduate degree from University of Connecticut in Storrs-Mansfield.

Jeff enjoys family time with his wife, two daughters and a dog who is often referred to as Chatterbox because he barks a lot.

Erick Mears
Erick Mears, DVM, DACVIM

Dr. Erick Mears has been with BluePearl and its predecessor, Florida Veterinary Specialists, since 1997. Board certified in veterinary internal medicine, Erick completed his residency and his internship at University of Tennessee in Knoxville. He earned his DVM from Tuskegee University in Alabama and his undergraduate degree from Stanford University in Palo Alto CA.

Erick enjoys spending time with his family and Bosco, the family cat.

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Laura Tseng DVM, DACVECC

Dr. Laura Tseng was an owner and co-hospital director of Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center (VSEC) in Pennsylvania, which became a BluePearl Veterinary Partners hospital in 2015. Board-certified in veterinary emergency and critical care medicine, she is particularly interested in blood coagulation and management of shock and trauma patients.

Laura completed her internship, fellowship and residency at the University of Pennsylvania. She earned her DVM at Tufts University in Medford MA and her undergraduate degree from Connecticut College. 

When she’s not working, Laura enjoys playing Ultimate Frisbee, hiking, reading, traveling and spending time with her dog, Ginger Snap, and cat, Perry.

Benjamin Davidson
Benjamin Davidson, BVSc, MACVSc, DACVECC

Before joining BluePearl, Dr. Benjamin Davidson had been an emergency veterinarian at Veterinary Specialists Centre in Sydney, Australia, and at another animal emergency center in Melbourne, Australia.  He is board certified in veterinary emergency and critical care medicine and is especially interested in trauma, sepsis and pulmonary disease, including mechanical ventilation. Interventional diagnostic imaging is also a passion of his.

Benjamin completed his residency at Tufts University in Medford MA and earned his bachelor of veterinary science from University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. 

Benjamin is married and has two boys who keep him busy. He enjoys cooking, spending time with family and adventuring in the outdoors.

Scott Rizzo
Scott Rizzo, DVM, MS, DACVIM

Dr. Scott Rizzo co-founded Louisville Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Services, which merged with BluePearl in 2012. Originally an accountant, Scott realized after a brief stint in the banking industry that accounting was not the career path for him. He returned to his true passions in life – animals and science – and went back to college to earn several degrees and on to specialized veterinary training. Scott’s professional interests include pancreatitis, novel cancer therapies, Cushings disease and non-invasive diagnostic methods.

Board certified in internal veterinary medicine, Scott performed his residency at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. He earned his DVM, a Master of Science and a Bachelor of Science from Colorado State University in Fort Collins. Scott earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Kentucky in Lexington.

Born and raised in Louisville, Scott is a big fan of University of Louisville sports. In his free time, he plays golf, racquetball and enjoys bowling, as well as spending time with his wife, kids, a border collie named Lady and a betta fish named Fish Stick Senior

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Lauren Boyd, DVM, DACVIM

Dr. Lauren Boyd joined BluePearl in 2011 and works in our Michigan hospitals. She is board certified in internal medicine.

Lauren completed her residency in internal medicine at Animal Medical Center in New York City and her internship in small animal medicine and surgery at Veterinary Referral and Emergency Center in Norwalk, Connecticut. She earned her DVM from The Ohio State University in Columbus.

When she’s not working, Lauren enjoys reading, cooking, horseback riding and hanging out with her husband, son, two cats named Cody and Clancy, and her Jack Russell terrier named Tucker.

Mark Dorfman
Mark Dorfman, DVM, DACVIM

Dr. Mark Dorfman is one of the founding partners of Georgia Veterinary Specialists, which merged with BluePearl in 2010. He serves on BluePearl’s board of directors and continues to act as medical director of BluePearl in Georgia. Mark’s clinical interests include gastroenterology, feline hyperthyroidism and urology.

Board certified in internal medicine, Mark completed his residency at the University of Georgia in Athens and his internship at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. He earned a master’s degree from University of Georgia and his DVM and undergraduate degrees from the University of Florida in Gainesville.

Mark loves spending time with his family and his dog, Titan. He also enjoys traveling, sampling the many fine restaurants around Atlanta and exercising/weight training.

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Jeff Klausner, DVM, MS, DACVIM

Dr. Jeff Klausner is a consultant for the veterinary industry. He retired in 2014 from Banfield Pet Hospital, where he served as Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer.

Before joining Banfield, Jeff was president and CEO of the Animal Medical Center in New York City, where he was recruited after being dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Minnesota, the institution where he also earned his master’s and completed his residency before being propelled from faculty member to department chair to dean.

Jeff has published 64 peer-reviewed journal articles, 20 non peer-reviewed journal articles and 28 book chapters. His list of honors includes the 2014 American Veterinary Medical Association Meritorious Service Award and 2005 Distinguished Alumni of the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine.

A highly regarded and prolific researcher during his academic career, Jeff received more than $1 million in research grants. His research interests include prostatic neoplasia, immunoabsorptive therapy in canine malignancy, transfusion medicine and informatics.

Jeff and his wife, Diane, live in Portland with their sweet dog Lily, who manages the humans in the household. The Klausners also have two daughters, Jenny and Amy.

Rhonda Kratz
Rhonda Kratz
Vice President of Operations

Rhonda Kratz is Vice President of Operations for BluePearl Veterinary Partners. Rhonda joined BluePearl in 2016 and oversees operations for all of the company’s hospitals. Prior to joining BluePearl, Rhonda worked for LensCrafters North America, where she most recently served as Vice President of Stores. A member of the company’s Executive Leadership Team, she was responsible for overseeing more than 960 stores, which generated more than $1.8-billion in annual sales.

Rhonda received her undergraduate degree from Temple University in Philadelphia, and also holds an MBA from University of Phoenix.

Rhonda lives in the Tampa Bay area with her husband Steve and their Labrador.  They enjoy boating, scuba diving and generally being on or around the water.