Hopewell Junction Veterinarians

veterinarian in hopewell junction nyTwila A. Whitefield, VMD, Owner

Veterinarian and hospital owner Dr. Twila A. Whitefield received her B.S. in Biology from Ursinus College in 1984 and her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from the University of Pennsylvania in 1987. She said she was inspired to become a veterinarian by "multiple family members", including her mother, a nurse, and her father, who loved nature and wildlife. She said her grandmother was "very progressive for her time because she owned and ran her own flower shop." During high school, she volunteered at a large animal veterinary hospital in Pennsylvania and a small animal clinic in New Jersey. During college, Dr. Whitefield lived above a veterinary hospital and answered the phone after hours.

Following her veterinary studies, she was awarded an internship in medicine and surgery at the Animal Hospital of Pittsford in Rochester.

With professional interests in internal medicine, Dr. Whitefield particularly enjoys developing long-term relationships with clients and their pets. She is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Animal Hospital Association and the New York State Veterinary Medical Society.

During her leisure time, Dr. Whitefield enjoys woodworking, creating designs in stained glass and stamping. Other hobbies and activities include photography, hiking, cooking, playing basketball and gardening.

She has a German Shorthaired Pointer named Baxter, four cats, and two turtles, Pebbles and Bam Bam, that she was cared for for over 30 years!

Dr. Whitefield was married to John W. Whitefield, DVM, the original owner of Hudson Highlands Veterinary Medical Group. She is committed to honoring his legacy of compassion, integrity and dedication.

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hopewell junction vetsPaul McNamara, DVM, Diplomate ACVS, Chief of Surgery and Surgery Specialist

Chief of Surgery at Hudson Highlands Veterinary Specialty Group, Dr. Paul McNamara, is one of this region's only full-time, board-certified surgery specialist, having been named a Diplomate into the American College of Veterinary Surgeons in 1999.

Dr. McNamara attended Cornell University and received his B.S. in Animal Science in 1990. Following his undergraduate studies, he remained at Cornell where he completed his veterinary studies. He was awarded his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 1993 and selected for an internship in medicine and surgery at Cornell. Dr. McNamara completed his surgical residency in 1997 and remained at Cornell as an instructor in surgery until 1998.

Dr. McNamara travels the country training police officers in basic first aid for their canine partners. He established ODIN'S Fund, a non-profit organization providing first aid training and equipment for police dog organizations. As a result of this work, Dr. McNamara has received many local, state and regional awards from canine organizations and teams. He has lectured extensively at many dog clubs, to canine law enforcement handlers and at local, national and international veterinary conferences and scientific meetings. He also serves as the tactical veterinarian and Special Deputy for the Dutchess County Sheriff's Department.

Dr. McNamara maintains an active membership in the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, the Veterinary Orthopedic Society, the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Canine Sports Medicine Association, the North American Police Work Dog Association and the United States Police Canine Association.

He has published articles in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Journal of Veterinary Research, Veterinary Clinics of North America, the Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association and in a major veterinary textbook, Kirk's Current Veterinary Therapy.

Dr. McNamara enjoys weightlifting, fishing and spending time with his four children, four dogs, and four cats.

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hopewell junction ny veterinariansDaniela Vrabelova, DVM, Diplomate ACVIM

Dr. Daniela Vrabelova joined Hudson Highlands Veterinary Medical Group in October 2013 as our small animal internal medicine specialist. Originally from Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, Dr. Vrabelova has always loved animals and has had a strong desire to work with and care for them.

"The chance to improve the lives of others, both people and pets, was an important part of my motivation behind entering the field of veterinary medicine and it continues to be one of the most rewarding aspects of my profession," she says. "I love the contact with dogs and cats and also helping their owners understand diseases and treatments. I love Internal Medicine because each case represents a puzzle consisting of many small clues and details that need to be interpreted."

In Slovakia, Dr. Vrabelova completed a six-year undergraduate program at the University of Veterinary Medicine, culminating in her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree. The university's valedictorian, she was awarded the Special Dean's Prize the Grand Prix Prize, which is given to the top 22 students graduating from all Slovak universities.

After graduation, Dr. Vrabelova completed two small animal internships, one at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital of the Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain, and the other at North Carolina State University. She did her residency at Ohio State University, where she was fortunate to be trained by people whose books she had studied back home.

Dr. Vrabelova is especially passionate about respiratory and immune mediated diseases and endoscopic procedures, including upper and lower gastrointestinal endoscopy, rhinoscopy, bronchoscopy and cystoscopy. She is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and the Veterinary Comparative Respiratory Society.

Outside work, Dr. Vrabelova enjoys traveling, skiing, and hiking. She is also an accomplished salsa dancer and has performed in Spain, Washington, D.C., and Columbus, OH. She took first place in the 2011 Hispanic heritage salsa competition in Cincinnati. Multilingual, she is fluent in English, Spanish, and Czech and proficient in German and Polish.

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hopewell junction ny vetsHolly Kalba, DVM, Medical Director

Dr. Holly Kalba is not only a general practitioner but she is also the Medical Director at Hudson Highlands Veterinary Medical Group. She has been with us since 2006. She grew up in Tully, NY and during high school she volunteered by helping children with cerebral palsy regain their mobility by riding horses, and she also helped out in dog shelters.

"I enjoy working with pets and trying to solve their medical mysteries," she said. "I enjoy the relationship I see with pets and their people."

She received her undergraduate degree from Northland College in Biology in 1987, where she was a member of the Dean's List and the Alpha Chi Honor Society. She was awarded her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Cornell University in 1994. She did her internship at Oradell Animal Hospital in New Jersey.

She is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Association of Feline Practitioners, and the Hudson Valley Veterinary Association. Today, Dr. Kalba has a special professional interest in critical care, senior care and neonatalogy.

Dr. Kalba and her husband Shaun have two children, two dogs, Willy and Harry, and a cat named Baby. She is active in the Scouts, and she spends some of her leisure time gardening, fishing, canoeing, and playing sports with her kids.

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vets in hopewell junction nyAnna Monte, DVM

Dr. Anna Monte has been with us at Hudson Highlands since April of 2007. She is originally from East Rochester, NY, and during high school she volunteered at the local Humane Society, where she worked with farm animals. "I very much enjoyed working with them, especially those from abuse cases and healing them so they could be put up for adoption," Dr. Monte said. "If it weren't for the Humane Society I would have had little farm experience."

Dr. Monte earned her undergraduate degree in Animal Science from Cornell University in 2002. During her undergraduate years, she worked at a veterinary practice hospital in Ithaca. She was awarded her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, and spent her clinical year at Cornell University School of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Monte is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and the New York State Veterinary Association. Today, she has a special professional interest in dentistry.

What brings her the most satisfaction in her work is "bring able to help my patients feel better and helping to strengthen the pet and pet parent bond."

She has a dog named Roo, who was rescued from the streets in St. Kitts, and a cat named Phoebe, which was rescued from the Ithaca SPCA. Dr. Monte and her husband have one child and she spends some of her free time horseback riding and hiking.

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hopewell junction ny veterinarianMark Christensen, DVM

Dr. Mark Christensen is a general practitioner who has been with us since 2009. He grew up in LaGrangeville, NY, and said he "would spend hours studying and observing wildlife. I also spent the holidays enjoying time at my grandfather's dairy farm. I loved all animals but gravitated to farmyard beagles and barn cats."

Before he was a veterinarian, Dr. Christensen worked as a licensed technician and he realized he wanted to "interpret x-rays instead of just obtaining them."

He earned his undergraduate degree in Biology from the State University of New York at Albany in 1999. He graduated with high honors and his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 2006 from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and the New York State Veterinary Medical Society. Dr. Christensen has a special professional interest in ophthalmology, cardiology and soft tissue surgery.

He loves being a veterinarian because "I'm guaranteed to interact with animals every day," Dr. Christensen said.

Dr. Christensen has four dogs, Tucker, Reese, Olive and Miagi, and two cats, Grout and Putty. He also keeps freshwater and saltwater aquariums. He's been an avid rock climber since 1994.

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hopewell junction ny animal hospitalStephen Abel, DVM

Dr. Stephen Abel joined us at Hudson Highlands Veterinary Medical Group in March of 2009 as a veterinarian and acupuncturist.

Dr. Abel grew up in Verbank, New York and attended Millbrook Central Schools. His family has resided in Dutchess County for more than 200 years and his current home has been in his family since 1850. Dr. Abel was an American Field Service exchange student in Italy in 1971 and 1972.

He completed his veterinary studies at Iowa State University of Veterinary School in 1979, with Phi Zeta, Phi Kappa Phi and Gamma Sigma Delta honors.

He has been a certified acupuncturist since 1986 and is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and the New York State Veterinary Medical Society. Dr. Abel's veterinary interests include surgery and dermatology. He especially enjoys his interaction with patients and their owners and the "challenges and rewards of diagnosing and treating animals with health problems," Dr. Abel said.

Dr. Abel's hobbies include hiking, traveling, fitness, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and tending to his Christmas tree farm. He has two pets, Yoda, a pug mix and Nellie, a Jack Russell Terrier.

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vets in hopewell junction nyLainie Springer, DVM

Dr. Lainie Springer is a general practitioner who has been with us since September of 2011. Her father is a social worker and also a farrier (equine hoof care). "I was his assistant for many years. The experience with horses and his hunting dogs drove my love for animals," Dr. Springer said. "My mother is in the medical field and conversations with her piqued my interest in medicine, pharmacology and surgery."

Dr. Springer earned her undergraduate degree in Zoology from Louisiana State University in 2001. During school she worked as a kennel and veterinary assistant. She was awarded her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Ross University of Veterinary Medicine in 2005, where she was also honored for her work in a Small Animal Surgery Group.

Dr. Springer is a member of the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society and the American Veterinary Medical Association. She has a special professional interest in surgery, emergency medicine, anesthesia and pharmacology.

She has two dogs, a German Shorthaired Pointer named Scout and a Terrier Mix named Eli. Dr. Springer enjoys her time kayaking, hiking, camping, gardening, mountain biking, and woodworking.

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