Faculty / Staff
CLINICAL CARDIOLOGY FACULTY
Lance Visser, DVM, MS, DACVIM (Cardiology), Assistant Professor - Chief of Service
Dr. Lance Visser is a native of Grand Rapids, Michigan and obtained a BS (2007) and combined DVM/MS (2010) from Michigan State University. Following veterinary school, he completed a small animal rotating internship at North Carolina State University in 2011. He then completed a combined residency/MS program in cardiology at The Ohio State University in 2014. Dr. Visser’s primary research interest is the study of noninvasive assessment of cardiac structure and function. Recently, he has studied several novel echocardiographic indices of right ventricular function in the dog. Dr. Visser’s clinical interests are broad and include, advanced electrocardiography, acute and chronic management of heart failure, noninvasive/advanced imaging (echo, CT, MRI), interventional cardiovascular medicine, congenital heart disease, and cardiovascular pathology.
Joshua Stern, DVM, PhD, DACVIM (Cardiology), Associate Professor
Dr. Joshua Stern, originally from Bristolville, Ohio, obtained his BS (2003) and DVM (2008) from The Ohio State University. He stayed at Ohio State to complete a small animal internship in 2009. Dr. Stern then began a residency in cardiology at Washington State University and completed it at North Carolina State University in 2012. Dr. Stern also completed a PhD at Washington State University focusing on the genetics of familial subvalvular aortic stenosis in dogs. Dr. Stern’s research is primarily focused on the study of inherited heart disease. His cardiac genetics laboratory (email@example.com) also evaluates pharmacogenetics (the study of how genetic differences impact an animal’s response to certain drugs). Dr. Stern currently serves as the residency program director for cardiology. He is an active member of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine and serves as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Veterinary Cardiology.
Catherine Gunther-Harrington, DVM, DACVIM (Cardiology), Clinical Instructor
Dr. Catherine Gunther-Harrington is a Bay Area native. She obtained her BS in Animal Physiology and Neuroscience from UC San Diego in 2002. After working as a marine mammal scientist, Dr. Gunther-Harrington attended veterinary school at UC Davis, graduating in 2012. She completed a rotating medical and surgical internship at North Carolina State University. She then returned to UC Davis for her residency in cardiology, becoming board certified in cardiology in 2016. Dr. Gunther-Harrington currently serves as a Clinical Instructor of Cardiology, utilizing her expertise in clinical teaching and clinical cases. Dr. Gunther-Harrington’s interests include acute and chronic management of congestive heart failure, interventional procedures, and congenital cardiac defects. She enjoys tailoring medical management to fit the patient’s disease and client’s needs with an emphasis on quality of life. Dr. Gunther-Harrington’s research interests include innovative ways of imaging and diagnosis, early identification of cardiac disease, and minimally invasive diagnostic and therapeutic options. Given her background, Dr. Gunther-Harrington also has an interest in cardiologic assessment of exotic animals, wildlife, and non-domestic species.
CLINICAL CARDIOLOGY (UCVMC - SAN DIEGO)
Joao Orvalho, DVM, DACVIM (Cardiology), Clinical Cardiology Specialist based at the UC Veterinary Medical Center - San Diego
Dr. Joao Orvalho, a native of Portugal, is a graduate of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Lisbon. He completed a small animal internship at The Ohio State University and his residency in veterinary cardiology at UC Davis. After completing his residency in 2007, Dr. Orvalho became the School’s first veterinary cardiologist based at the UC Veterinary Medical Center - San Diego. Dr. Orvalho applies non-invasive techniques such as echocardiography, electrocardiography and cardiac angiography to diagnose diseases of the heart. He is also interested in interventional cardiology, including pacemaker implementation, balloon valvuloplasty and patent ductus arteriosus occlusion. Dr. Orvalho's research focuses on pulmonary hypertension as well as interventional and medical therapies for heart disease.
Timothy Hodge, DVM, DACVIM (Cardiology), Clinical Cardiology Specialist based at the UC Veterinary Medical Center - San Diego
Dr. Timothy Hodge earned his DVM in 2007 from Purdue University. He then completed a rotating small animal medicine and surgery internship at the Animal Medical Center of New York, followed by a cardiovascular research fellowship in Columbus, Ohio. He continued his training with a residency at North Carolina State University and passed his specialty certification examination in 2013 to become a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (Cardiology). Following his residency and board certification, Dr. Hodge relocated to Phoenix, Arizona, where he worked as a clinical cardiologist at a busy small animal specialty practice. His expertise lies in diagnosing and treating cardiomyopathy, valvular disease, arrhythmias, and repairing congenital defects in small and large animals. Dr. Hodge has particular interests in arrhythmia management, minimally invasive interventional procedures, and myocardial diseases.
Catherine Belanger, DVM - Resident III
Dr. Catherine Belanger was born and raised in Montreal, and received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Montreal, where she pursued a rotating internship in companion animals. Prior to coming to UC Davis, Dr. Belanger pursued a research fellowship on mitral valve disease in asymptomatic cardiac human patients at the Heart and Lung Institute in Quebec City.
Satoko Nishimura, DVM - Resident II
Dr. Satoko Nishimura was born and raised in Osaka, Japan. She moved to Canada for undergraduate studies where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree and subsequently her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the Atlantic Veterinary College. She received further clinical training as a small animal rotating intern at the Veterinary Emergency Clinic and Referral Centre in Toronto, Ontario. She continued to work as an emergency clinician in Toronto for a few years before joining the UC Davis Cardiology Service for her three-year residency.
Maureen Oldach, DVM - Resident I
Dr. Maureen Oldach grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio and received her BS degree from the University of Maryland-College Park. She then went on to obtain her DVM from The Ohio State University. Following veterinary school, she continued training at Ohio State, where she completed a one-year small animal rotating internship before joining the UC Davis Cardiology Service to begin her three-year residency.
Denise Berger, RVT, Head Cardiology Technician
Denise is a native Californian, born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. After attending Cosumnes River College and obtaining her degree in Animal Health Technology in 1992, she worked at two Bay Area private practices as a registered veterinary technician for six years. She came to the VMTH in 1997, working as a technician in Small Animal Patient Care and then as an emergency technician, before finding her niche in cardiology in 1998. Denise enjoys all aspects of veterinary cardiology, but has a passion for electrocardiography, Holter monitoring, and pacemaker implantation and management. In her personal time, Denise enjoys spending time with her family which includes her husband, two wonderful children, three beautiful granddaughters and, of course, several pets.
Judy Schettler, Technician
Judy Schettler began her career at the VMTH in 2005 after working as a veterinary technician in the San Francisco Bay Area for seven years. Before working in veterinary medicine, Judy managed a pet store in San Ramon. Her hobbies include hiking, raising goats, and showing and hunting her Basenji hounds. She and her bloodhound Kalli have retired from many years of search-and-rescue activities. She still trains handlers and their dogs in the techniques of trailing. Judy works with both Cardiology and Dermatology Services at the VMTH.
Jennifer Whitten, RVT, Cardiology Technician
Born and raised in California, Jennifer primarily grew up in the Sacramento area. After attending Cosumnes River College and obtaining her degree in Veterinary Technology in 2013, she worked as a Specialty Dental and Emergency/Critical Care Technician before coming to UC Davis in 2016. Prior to her working in veterinary medicine, Jennifer enjoyed a successful career working for Abbott Laboratories as a pharmaceutical representative for more than 10 years. In her free time, Jennifer enjoys spending time with her friends, family, her two dogs and veiled chameleon, skiing, and riding her Friesian horse “Willie.”
Pam McInnis - Service Coordinator
Veterinary medicine has been a big part of Pam’s life for more than 20 years. She started as hospital manager, veterinary assistant and receptionist in a small veterinary hospital in Santa Maria. She then worked as head receptionist for one of Sacramento Animal Medical Group’s hospitals, and Mueller Pet Medical Center in Sacramento. Pam joined UC Davis in 2011 where she is the service coordinator for the Ophthalmology, Cardiology and Dermatology services. When not ensuring that our clients and patients have the best possible experience at the VMTH, Pam enjoys taking care of her menagerie of critters, photography, traveling and spending time with her family.