Conference Speakers

Each year, our conference features the best and brightest holistic veterinary speakers from around the world.


The list of 2022 speakers, below, is provided for your reference.

KEYNOTE: Cynthia Lankenau, DVM, RH (AHG), MS-TCVM

Cynthia Lankenau, DVM graduated from Cornell’s Veterinary College in 1981 and joined a 99% dairy practice in upstate NY with a total love of working with small dairy farms.  In the attempt to expand her practice knowledge, she joined the Peace Corps and worked in Malawi, Africa in 1984-1985, returning to the US to join a mixed animal practice in western NY.

With the decline of family farms in NY, and seeing an incredible increase in chronic diseases, Dr. Lankenau started down the path of alternative medicine; starting with acupuncture training in 1991 (IVAS), started herbal training in western herbs in 1993, Chinese herbs in 1995; chiropractic (AVCA) and homeopathic (AVH) training in 1995.  She has completed Chi’s MS (TCVM); CIVT’s Western Graduate Herbal program, and Chinese herbal degree; is a registered herbalist (RH) through the American Herbal Guild, and finished David Winston’s professional and Graduate herbal training.  Further Chinese Herbal training is ongoing with Dr. Evan Rabinowitz and by attending as many Jeffrey Yuen seminars as possible.

She is a past president of the VBMA, Secretary/treasurer of the ACVBM, founder of the NY CAVMA, and on the board of WATCVM.  Since 1993, she has practiced in a solo 100% alternative modality mixed animal practice.

Renee Crozier Prince, Herbalist

Renee Crozier is a Registered Herbalist through the American Herbalist Guild and a clinical practicing herbalist with a focus on cancer and traditional healing. Her focus is on bioregional medicine, conservation, and addressing the needs of underserved communities. Trained as a traditional healer, she spends time in several countries each year furthering her practice. She is passionate about balancing traditional and modern methods of healing. She has been a teacher for more than twenty years, is the Co-Director of the Four Elements School of Traditional Medicine and is one of the stewards of a medicinal teaching garden and United Plant Savers Botanical Sanctuary. Most days, you will find her in the integrated clinic or St. Petersburg classroom.

Laurie Dohmen, VMD, MS

Dr. Dohmen graduated from UPenn’s School of Veterinary Medicine. She has received training in Acupuncture, Food Therapy, Bach Flower Essences, and primarily Herbal Medicine.  She received her MS in Therapeutic Herbalism from Maryland University of Integrative Health. She is a Registered Herbalist through the American Herbalist Guild.

 Dr. Dohmen lectures regularly on Veterinary Herbal Medicine and other wholistic topics.  In 2017 she and Dr. August created the only hands-on veterinary herbal medicine course for western veterinary practices in the USA. She is published frequently in journals such as JAHVMA and IVC. Dr. Dohmen is the Past President of VBMA; as well as a member of the IVAS, AAVA, AHVMA, and AVMA.  She is on the Editorial Board of JAHVMA. 

Carol Falck, VMD, MS, CVA

After earning her undergraduate degree in zoology and obtaining a Master’s in marine sciences, Dr. Carol Falck was pursuing her PhD in oceanography when she had one of those “A-ha!” moments. While camping in the Florida Everglades, Dr. Falck’s mother made the astute observation that she would make an excellent veterinarian. In that moment, Dr. Falck suddenly realized that veterinary medicine would allow her to combine her interests in the sciences and physiology with her lifelong love of pets. The rest, as they say, is history!

Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Dr. Falck earned her veterinary degree at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine before completing a small-animal internship in Washington, D.C. From there, she moved to South Florida to officially launch her career as a veterinarian. Dr. Falck worked at two separate animal hospitals before opening her own holistic animal hospital at the encouragement of her clients—she was the owner and founder of one of the very first holistic pet clinics in Florida, Friendship Animal Wellness Center!

Dr. Falck moved to the mountains of northern Georgia and, after seeing a need for a house-call practice in the area, launched Petwise in 2011. She loves serving as an integrative practitioner and using alternative treatments like acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. Most of all, she likes working with owners to give their animal companions the highest possible quality of life for as long as she can. 

Away from work, Dr. Falck enjoys hiking in her own backyard, which is adjacent to the National Forest, cooking as well as growing herbs, mushrooms & vegetables.

Janet Gordon Palm, BS, DVM

Dr. Janet Gordon Palm (KSU 81) is a practicing integrative veterinarian.

Through the years, her practice included multiple species. Discovering ways to activate the body’s inherent pharmacy, inspired her to pursue Non-Thermal LLLT, VOM, Cranial sacral, and Osteopathy through her business “Animobility Integrative Veterinary Services.”

Involved in Natural Horsemanship, she uses concepts of respecting body language in all species she works with, resulting in an enhanced veterinary experience for all. She is Fear Free Certified, and is a Director of The Paw Project Colorado, a non-profit movement dedicated to stopping declawing of cats by educating about enrichment and safe alternatives.

Since 2011, she has presented on benefits of Non-Thermal LLLT and integrative medicine to numerous conferences, seminars and international webinars.

Joni Kamlet, RVT, CCRA

Joni Kamlet is a Registered Veterinary Technician and a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Assistant through The Canine Rehabilitation Institute. She also has her certification in Applied Clinical Nutrition (for humans) through Life Chiropractic College.

Joni is passionate about integrative medicine for both animals and humans. Joni worked at integrative veterinary practices in Northern Ca from 2002-2005. She then utilized her CCRA credentials at The Canine Rehabilitation Center in Walnut Creek, Ca. from 2005-2011.

For the past decade, Joni has worked in the supplement industry, teaching veterinarians & pet parents about holistic options. Her experience encompasses nutrition, canine rehabilitation, western herbal medicine, functional medicine, laser therapy, energy medicine and her favorite modality, therapeutic mushrooms! She is always learning, and loves building community through education.

In her spare time Joni practices meditation, and volunteers with Embracing the World.

Doug Knueven, DVM, CVA, CVC, CVCH

Dr. Doug Knueven earned his veterinary degree from Ohio State University in 1987 and is the medical director of Beaver Animal Clinic in Beaver, PA. He has earned certification in veterinary acupuncture, veterinary Chinese herbal medicine, and veterinary chiropractic. Dr. Doug has been practicing holistic, integrative veterinary medicine since 1995 and has written two books on the subject. He speaks nationally and internationally and was recognized as the AHVMA “Holistic Teacher of the Year” in 2018. He also delivered the keynote lecture at the 2021 AHVMA conference.


Dr. Koh received his veterinary degree in Taiwan and later completed a specialty internship followed by a Master’s program in acupuncture/integrative medicine at the UF Veterinary College. He later completed his alternative path residency in Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation. Prior to joining UC Davis Veterinary School in 2020, Dr. Koh was an assistant clinical professor at LSU Veterinary School and the service chief of the Integrative Medicine and Rehabilitation since 2013. He is certified in acupuncture, rehabilitation, herbal therapy, food therapy, and medical manipulation.

Dr. Koh is an experienced and internationally recognized speaker and mentor on integrative medicine, rehabilitation, and traditional Chinese veterinary medicine. His clinical focus has been on providing patient-centered care and treating a patient as a “whole” individual instead of focusing only on an illness or diagnosis. He utilizes holistic approach, rehabilitation, and available evident therapies for pain management, neurological disorders, geriatric conditions, hospice care, and chronic medical conditions.

Patricia Kortekaas, PT

Patricia graduated from The Hague Academy for Physical Education and Physical Therapy in the Netherlands in 1985. Since then, she has specialized in Manual Therapy and Osteopathic Techniques for humans and small animals. Over the last twenty years, she has taken Osteopathic classes from Maitland D.O., Ola Grimsby D.O., Kaltenborn, D.O., Phillip Greenman, D.O., Edward Stiles, D.O., John Upledger, D.O., Lauren Rex, D.O. and many other Manual Therapy practitioners. More recently, she has been continuing her education in Manual Therapy with classes from Frank Lowen, LMT, who is the founder of LowenSystems in Washington and with Brian Tucker, DPT from the Jones Institute.

Patricia is currently a member of the APTA, OPTA and AHVMA.

Cynthia Maro, DVM, CVA, CAC, VMRT, VNAET

Dr. Cindy Maro is a 1987 graduate of Ohio State University. Prior to attending veterinary school, she had a long-standing interest in TCVM and acupuncture, so she joined AHVMA and IVAS in January of 1988. She is currently the owner of 2 integrative practices in western Pa, north of Pittsburgh, Pa, and has built 6 veterinary facilities, and owned 4 practices during her 35 years as a veterinarian.  

Dr. Maro holds certifications in Acupuncture, Animal Chiropractic, Veterinary NAET and emotional NAET, Craniosacral Therapy, and Veterinary Massage and Rehabilitative Therapy. She integrates clinical nutrition, homeopathy, ozone therapy, Sanawave therapy, essential oils, Chinese herbology, NanoVitalight therapy, Laser therapy, Prolotherapy, PRP and Stem cell therapies into her daily practice. 

She served as Marketing and PR Director on the Board of the AVCA for 5 years, has been a speaker at the AVCA, and AHVMA conferences, and a guest speaker on integrative veterinary medicine at several veterinary colleges, educating vet students on Alternative and integrative modalities and the business of veterinary practice.  She is currently a member of the Council of Elders of AHVMA.  

Dr. Cindy is excited to share her knowledge and experience with Veterinary NAET, which she says has been one of her greatest healing assets, as well as her greatest teacher. When she isn’t practicing, she enjoys reading, writing, gardening, Zumba, pilates, dancing, biking, hiking and spending time with her family. She has been blessed with 2 human kids and 2 Burmese cats, Izzy and Jupiter.

Steve Marsden, DVM, ND, MSOM, Lac.Dipl.CH, CVA, AHG

Dr. Steve Marsden lectures for IVAS, the AHVMA, the AVMA, and numerous other organizations. He is co-founder of the College of Integrative Veterinary Therapies and is a director emeritus of the National University of Natural Medicine in Portland OR. He authored the Manual of Natural Veterinary Medicine (Mosby); and Essential Guide to Chinese Herbal Formulas (CIVT).

Dr. Marsden is extensively trained in alternative medicine, including Chinese herbology, acupuncture and naturopathic medicine. In 2010, Dr. Marsden was named Teacher of the Year by the AHVMA; and in 2009, the Small Animal Veterinarian of the year by the CVMA.

Lisa Melling, DVM

Dr. Lisa Melling received her Bachelor’s in Animal Science from Iowa State University in 1999 and her DVM from Tuskegee in 2004. Frustrated by the limitations of allopathic medicine, she enrolled in Dr. Pitcairn’s Professional Course in Veterinary Homeopathy in 2008.

Dr. Melling is certified in Veterinary Homeopathy and Veterinary Spinal Manipulative Therapy. She has lectured at professional meetings across the country, has been published in peer reviewed journals and magazines, and has been on the board of directors of the Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy since 2015.

Dr. Melling owns Good Harbor Holistic Veterinary Care, a holistic practice in Traverse City, Michigan that provides homeopathy, animal chiropractic and nutritional support emphasizing fresh food diets.

Jared Mitchell, DVM, CVMA, CVA

Dr. Jared Mitchell graduated from Mississippi State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 2004.  In 2010, he opened his practice, Mitchell Animal Clinic, in Mobile, Alabama.  Wanting more for his patients, he began incorporating holistic modalities into his practice.  Dr. Mitchell’s  first journey into the holistic world began by incorporating essential oils in the treatment of his veterinary patients.

Dr. Mitchell has advanced training in essential oils through the Veterinary Medical Aromatherapy Association.  He has published articles for several peer reviewed journals including the Innovative Veterinary Care journal and the Journal of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association. Dr. Mitchell plans to continue contributing articles and educating colleagues on the therapeutic benefits of essential oils. Dr. Mitchell is also certified in acupuncture through Chi University and is currently enrolled in their Masters of TCVM program.

Nell Ostermeier, DVM, CVA, FAAVA

Dr. Nell Ostermeier graduated from the University of Illinois in 2004.  She moved to Portland, OR with her husband in 2007 to start their own small/exotic companion animal hospital.  In 2010 she became certified in veterinary acupuncture through IVAS and immediately began integration into their practice.  Nell’s passion for Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) and acupuncture grew as she watched her patients feel better and heal better with the integrative model.

In 2013, she returned to the IVAS course as an educator and is currently an instructor. In 2019, Nell earned the designation of Fellow of the American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncture (FAAVA). She has lectured at conventional and holistic conferences in the U.S. and internationally. In 2017, she founded People + Pet Integrative Therapies to provide holistic care for small animals and educational opportunities for veterinarians.

Gary Richter, MS, DVM, CVA, CVC, GDVWHM

Dr. Gary Richter has been practicing in the SF Bay Area since 1998.  He is certified in acupuncture, chiropractic, and Western herbs.

Dr. Richter’s practice focuses on the benefits of conventional and holistic treatment methods for the preventative and therapeutic care of pets as well as educating professionals and pet owners on the benefits of integrative care.

Dr. Richter has written numerous articles on various topics including strategies to integrate the use of medical cannabis into conventional medical therapies for pets. His book, “The Ultimate Pet Health Guide” was published in 2017. Dr. Richter is the Past President of the American College of Veterinary Botanical Medicine and is a co-founder of the Veterinary Cannabis Society.

Ronald J. Riegel, DVM

In 1988, Dr. Ronald Riegel completed the coursework and examination for inclusion into the Human Academy of Neuromuscular Physiology. This was the first Academy to providing information on the clinical use of infrared thermography in the human field. He was the only veterinarian in the class of 70. He purchased his first infrared thermograph (AGEMA) in 1987 and first therapy laser in 1979.

Dr. Riegel was the sole owner of a multi-doctor practice until 2009, when he co-founded the American Institute of Medical Laser Applications. This RACE approved educational platform provides online, onsite, and speakers for healthcare professionals and veterinarians in photobiomodulation therapy, infrared thermography, and regenerative medicine techniques.

Barrie Sands, DVM, CVA

Dr. Barrie Sands received her DVM degree from Ross University in 1991.  She completed a small animal medicine and surgery internship at the Animal Medical Center in NYC. After working in private practice she moved to San Diego to take on her current position as senior staff clinician in the Emergency Critical Care department at a VCA Specialty and Referral Hospital. 

In 2003 she became certified in acupuncture (IVAS) and started her holistic/functional medicine practice instituting modalities such as acupuncture, nutrition, cold LASER, homeopathy, homotoxicology, medicinal botany, physical and massage therapy, and various types of energy medicine.

She is a published author and journalist and has lectured nationally and internationally on both emergency medicine and holistic health care. She is a certified trainer for the Institute of HeartMath, teaches stress management, emotional self-regulation, resilience building, and coherence techniques, and is a pioneer researcher of interspecies coherence and bio physiology entanglement.                                                                                                   

Susan Swanson, DVM

Susan Swanson DVM graduated from the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine in 1988.  She started her own practice the Cat Care Clinic, a mobile feline practice, in 1991.  Since 1996, Susan has been studying holistic medicine including Chinese herbs and Acupuncture, Western Herbs, Nutritional Supplements, Flower Essences, Osteopathy, Laser and Reiki.  She lives on her hobby farm in Columbus, Minnesota with her cats, dogs, goats and chickens.

Greg Tilford, Herbalist

Greg is CEO and formulator of Animal Essentials Inc., and serves as industry consultant and custom formulator for hundreds of veterinarians worldwide.   He is author of five books, including the acclaimed Herbs for Pets, the Natural Way to Enhance your Pet’s Life (Fox Chapel Books, second ed.2009,   Edible & Medicinal Plants of the West, From Earth to Herbalist, and The EcoHerbalist’s Fieldbook, and has published numerous articles in a broad variety of consumer and trade magazines.

An accomplished international lecturer and educator, Greg has taught courses at several veterinary medicine institutions, including Colorado State University Teaching Hospital; the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University; University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine; and the nationally accredited Healing Oasis Wellness Center. He has presented to the annual conference of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association on many occasions, and was named National Holistic Teacher of the Year, 2019 by the AHVMA Council of Elders, after his groundbreaking keynote address in Nashville the same year.