Holistic Veterinary Medicine Club

Speaker Bios

Dr. Richard E. Palmquist, DVM

Richard Palmquist, DVM was born in Greeley, Colorado and graduated from Colorado State University in 1983, where he received the Upjohn Award for proficiency in small animal medicine. He is chief of integrative health services at AAHA accredited Centinela Animal Hospital in Inglewood, California. He is the past president and research chair of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association and president of the AHVM Foundation, which promotes scientific research and education into alternative therapies. He is on faculty at the Western University of Sciences School of Veterinary Medicine and the College of Integrative Veterinary Therapies.

Dr Palmquist is an international speaker in integrative veterinary medicine,especially homotoxicology, therapeutic nutrition, and modified hospice, and also a consultant for the Veterinary Information Network (VIN).

In 2012 he was honored to receive the AHVMA Council of Elders Peacemaker Award for his work to bring harmony between CAVM andconventional veterinary medicine.

He has published two books. The first is an evidence-based textbook forconventional veterinarians entitled Integrating Complimentary Medicine Into Veterinary Practice. The second is a book for clients discussing how integrative thinking works. He has consulted with ABC and CBS news and his practice was featured for its unique integrative approach to oncology patients.

Dr. Ella Bittel, DVM

Born in Germany, Ella followed her childhood desire to “help animals” by becoming aveterinarian. Now living and working in California, Ella has specialized in holistic modalities forover 25 years, among them veterinary acupuncture and chiropractic, cranio-sacral work, homeopathy, herbs, also integrating the Tellington-Touch.

When Ella’s dog companion of 17 years, Momo, reached the end of her life, she did so without euthanasia appearing to be necessarily indicated at any particular moment in time. While continuing to care for Momo it became evident to Ella that none of her expansive training in traditional nor complementary veterinary care had included any information on how to support an animal dying in its own time.

Her experiences with Momo’s passing over a decade ago led Ella to engage in animal hospice also with patients. With them and their dedicated families as her teachers, she created the Spirits in Transition weekend seminar and the first ever online classes on the topic. Focused on achieving a level of care similar to what we offer to our human loved ones (though reserving euthanasia as last resort if sufficient patient comfort cannot be maintained), these classes are received with utmost appreciation by a worldwide audience.

Besides nationwide presentations of the weekend seminar “Spirits in Transition”, Ella Bittel has been a speaker on the topic of animal hospice at veterinary conferences including those of the AVMA and AHVMA, and at the First, Second and Third International Symposiumfor Veterinary Hospice Care. 

Ella Bittel graduated from veterinary school in Hanover, Germany in 1994. She certified with the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association (AVCA) in 1998 and with the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society (IVAS) in 1999. She is on the advisory board of the Nikki Hospice Foundation for Pets (NHFP) , is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association (AHVMA), the American Academy for Veterinary Acupuncture (AAVA), the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society (IVAS), the Veterinary Botanical Medicine Association and the International Veterinary Association for Pain Management (IVAPM).

Dr. PJ Broadfoot, DVM

Dr. Broadfoot graduated Cum Laude from Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS in 1981, with a BS in Animal Science and Industry, with an emphasis on Genetics and a DVM degree. She was a member of Phi Kappa Phi, a charter member and officer of the K-State Horse Club,Rodeo Team Member and Treasurer of the Rodeo Club, and competed in the Central States Region- barrel racing, and showed horses for many years in High School & college, winning High Point Youth, High Point Womens on the State and National Levels. She is a member of: the American Veterinary Medical Association, Arkansas Veterinary Medical Association, American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association and serves on the Research Board for the AHVMA, the Scientific Advisory Board of VetriScience, et.al. 

She married Jeff Broadfoot, DVM, a vet school class member in 1979, and they share 4 children- Brannon 1987, Barrett 1988, Burke 1991, Brea 1993. On graduation, she worked on the set of “The Blue and the Gray” 1981, then started a solo practice in Van Buren, AR 1982. She developed an interest in nutritional aspects of healing in c.1983, which progressed over the past 18 years into a holistically oriented veterinary practice, and then started utilizing some alternative medicines, such as homotoxicological remedies in c. 1996. 

She was hired in the fall of 2001 as a veterinary consultant for Heel, Inc. and has lectured in Philadelphia, Phoenix, Dallas, Los Angeles, Houston, and other cities for Heel. Non-Heel sponsored lectures include the AVMA, AHVMA, NAVC, along with international Lectures in China and India for VetriScience, and in Mexico, International Congress.

She is currently partnering in teaching an international course in Bioregulatory Medicine, and has coauthored a text: Integrating Complementary Medicine into Veterinary Practice. She has published articles that have been included in such diverse journals as Explore Magazine, The AHVMA Journal, and the international version of the Biotherapy Journal, distributed in Germany.

Dr. W Jean Dodds, DVM

Dr. Dodds received the D.V.M. degree with honors in 1964 from the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Toronto.  In 1965 she accepted a position with the New York State Health Department in Albany and began comparative studies of animals with inherited and acquired bleeding diseases.  Her position there began as a Research Scientist and culminated as Chief, Laboratory of Hematology, Wadsworth Center.

In 1980 she also became Executive Director, New York State Council on Human Blood and Transfusion Services. This work continued full-time until 1986 when she moved to Southern California to establish Hemopet, the first nonprofit national blood bank program for animals.  

In 1984 she was awarded the Centennial Medal from the University of  Pennsylvania  School of Veterinary Medicine.  In 1987 she was elected a distinguished Practitioner of the National Academy of Practice in Veterinary Medicine.  In 1994 she was given the Holistic Veterinarian of the Year Award from the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association. She was the Editor of Advances in Veterinary Science and Comparative Medicine for Academic Press, and is an active member of numerous professional societies.  She was recently a member of the National Research Council/BANR Committee on National Needs for Research in Veterinary Science, which released its report in July 2005.  She is an inventor on numerous patents. 

To read more about Dr. Dodds and the accomplishments of Hemopet please click here

Dr. Jenny Johnson, VMD

Dr. Johnson completed her undergraduate studies at Mount Holyoke College, earning a Bachelor of Science in biology, awarded Cum Laude. Dr. Johnson graduated from The University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in 1986. 

Subsequently, Dr. Johnson was awarded a one year internship in large animal medicine and surgery at The University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center.  Dr. Johnson then worked in the Standardbred industry for a number of years, first as the resident veterinarian on a large breeding farm and then as the owner of a Standardbred racetrack practice based in Florida and Pennsylvania.   In the early 90’s Dr. Johnson returned to her true passion of show horses and established a solo practice in Wellington, FL devoted to helping maintain elite hunters, jumpers, and dressage horses at their peak level of performance.

Dr. Johnson moved to Calabasas in 2004 and established Oakhill Shockwave, a practice devoted to providing shockwave therapy on a referral basis to the horses in the greater Los Angeles area.  Dr. Johnson uses state-of –the-art equipment and works closely with the animal’s regular veterinarian to provide treatment tailored to each individual case.  Dr. Johnson continuously works towards educating horse owners, trainers, and veterinarians about the appropriate applications of shockwave therapy.

 Dr. Johnson has also completed extensive postgraduate training in animal chiropractic at the Options for Animals program in Wellsville, KS and has earned certification by the International Veterinary Chiropractic Association.  Dr. Johnson maintains a very active chiropractic component to her practice, serving horses, dogs, and even the occasional cat.

In addition to being a veterinarian, Dr.. Johnson has been an active competitor in both the hunter and jumper rings for many years. With her own personal background in riding and showing, Dr. Johnson has been able to develop a keen appreciation for both the physical and mental demands placed on the equine athlete. This has enabled her to have a unique understanding of the importance of maintaining the equine athlete at the highest level of comfort so that they might perform their job with ease and confidence.


Dr. Sarah le Jeune DVM, DACVS, DECVS, CVA

Dr. Sarah le Jeune graduated from the University of Liege (Belgium) and became a board-certified surgeon in 2004 after completing a residency in equine surgery at UC Davis. She has been a member of the UC Davis Equine Surgery faculty since 2003. Dr. le Jeune’s surgical expertise includes emergency surgery (mainly colic surgery) and general surgery. Dr. le Jeune also focuses on the treatment of various performance-related musculoskeletal injuries and lameness by and integrative approach including acupuncture and chiropractic. She is a certified veterinary acupuncturist with extensive acupuncture training from the Colorado State University and the Chi Institute in Florida. She also obtained certification in veterinary chiropractic by the International Veterinary Chiropractic Association.

Dr. Kevin May, DVM

Dr. Kevin May graduated from Texas A&M School of Veterinary Medicine in 1980.  He became IVAS (International Veterinary Acupuncture Society) certified in veterinary acupuncture in 1988, and has been a lecturer on Equine Acupuncture in the IVAS Basic Acupuncture Certification Course.  In 1992, he became AVCA (American Veterinary Chiropractic Association) certified in veterinary chiropractic, and in 1995, became AVCA Advanced Certified.  He has served on the board of directors for IVAS and IAED (International Association of Equine Dentistry), and was president of IVAS from 2006 to 2008.  He is also a founding and past president of AAVA (American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncture).  Since 1985,Dr. May has been an owner/partner in El Cajon Valley Veterinary Hospital, a mixed animal practice in El Cajon, CA, with his position in equine ambulatory with special emphasis in equine dentistry, acupuncture, chiropractic, and lameness.

Dr. Robert J. Silver, DVM, MS, CVA

Dr Robert Silver is the former owner and Medical Director of Boulders Natural Animal: An Integrative Wellness Center for Pets and their People in Boulder, Colorado.

For the past 25 years of his 30+ year practice of companion animal medicine, Dr Silverhas been on the cutting edge of integrating the best of evidence-based alternative andcomplementary with modern conventional Veterinary medicine.

Dr Silver places a strong emphasis on wholesome nutrition as a basic foundation foroptimal pet health, and combines the use of nutraceuticals, botanicals and energymedicines such as acupuncture and laser therapy with pharmaceuticals and surgery.

Dr. Silver was certified in acupuncture by IVAS in 1993, and is currently on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Veterinary Botanical Medical Association.

Dr Silver has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association and was president of the Rocky Mountain Veterinary Holistic Association for 3 terms in the late 1990s. Currently, Dr Silver is again presidentof this local professional veterinary medical association.

Dr Silver travels and speaks widely to veterinary audiences both domestically andinternationally on the subject of integrating complementary therapies with conventionalmedicine. His most recent notable talks include addressing the Massachusetts Veterinary Medical Association, the North American Veterinary Conference and The Taipei Veterinary Medical Association, the Wild West Veterinary Conference and theAssociation of Feline Practitioners.

Dr Silver designs nutraceutical formulas, provides technical support and conductsclinical trials of products for Rx Vitamins for Pets. Dr Silver is Chief Medical Officer of Rx Vitamins for Pets, a professional line of nutraceutical products sold only to licensed practitioners.

Dr Silver is the veterinary medical consultant to Nature's Variety pet foods.

Dr. Claire Thunes, PhD

Dr. Clair Thunes PhD is an independent equine nutritionist and owner of Summit Equine Nutrition LLC based in Sacramento.  Her clients come from across North America and range from back yard ponies to top international performance horses.  Born and raised in England Dr. Thunes started riding at the age of 8 and competed in a wide array of disciplines including eventing, dressage, fox hunting, side saddle and polo. 

She worked as a groom for a medium goal polo string based outside London, and while in graduate school was a working student for an FEI level dressage trainer.  With a PhD in nutrition from UC Davis, Dr. Thunes combines her scientific knowledge with her more than 25 years of personal horse experience to create diets that are straight forward, user friendly, cost effective and easy to implement. 

Equally able to work with the individual horse or an entire barn Dr. Thunes enjoys the challenges of each unique situation and working with owners and their horse’s health care team to find the optimal solution. 

Committed to bringing her clients the very latest knowledge she is a member of the American Association of Veterinary Nutritionists and the Equine Science Society.  She provides consulting services to a number of local equine veterinarians on both medical and clinical cases.  Dr Thunes is one of very few independent equine nutritionists and as such the advice she gives is unbiased and tailored solely to the horse’s needs. 

When not consulting she is either teaching at Cosumnes River College and UC Davis, being kept busy by her nearly 4 year old daughter or trying to relax in the garden.  To learn more about Dr. Thunes and Summit Equine Nutrition LLC please visit her website www.summit-equine.com

Dr. Madeline Yamate, DVM, CVA, MBA

Dr. Yamate received her BA in Biology from Amherst College in 1982, MBA in Marketing and Organizational Behavior from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University in 1991, and DVM from the University of California, Davis, in 2005.  Dr. Yamate is certified in veterinary acupuncture, veterinary Chinese herbology, Chinese food therapy and veterinary Tui-na by the Chi Institute of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine and the China National Society of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine. 

As a veterinary medical student, Dr. Yamate created and conducted three seminar courses on Complementary and Alternative Veterinary Medicine (CAVM) at UC Davis.  Following graduation, she was in private practice in Northern California before completing an internship in large and small animal acupuncture at the University of Florida under the supervision of Dr. Huisheng Xie.  Dr. Yamate has been a faculty member of the Chi Institute of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine since 2006 and the Chi Institute of Europe since 2008, teaching veterinary acupuncture, Chinese herbology, Tui-na and Chinese food therapy.  She lectures internationally on CAVM and Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine for veterinary medical schools, conferences and clubs as well as for general public events.  

Currently, Dr. Yamate practices and teaches veterinary medicine at the Center for Integrative Animal Medicine in Davis, CA and is a contributing author to the upcoming text “Practical Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine”.  She is a founding advisory board member of the American Journal of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine and was a board member of the Natura Nutritional Advisory Board.