Dr. Will Coleman is well known for his professionalism and passion in the field of emergency veterinary care. He graduated from the University of Georgia in 1999 and has practiced in several emergency hospitals since then, including two modern, well-equipped clinics in Boulder and Westminster, Colorado and in Augusta, Georgia. Dr. Coleman is dedicated to providing the highest standard of medical care to the pets of Oahu. He has special interests in anesthesia, pain management, trauma medicine and surgery. His kindness and compassion are evident in all patient/client interactions. His love of his career translates to excellence in his skills and unyielding dedication to premium veterinary care. Upon relocating to Hawaii, Dr. Coleman quickly learned that after-hours emergency veterinary care was not readily available in Honolulu and began working to plan and open VERC.
Dr. Erika Sox is the first board-certified internal medicine specialist to be practicing in the state of Hawaii. She is passionate about the diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases, and diseases of the gastrointestinal, respiratory, urinary, endocrine, blood and immune systems. Dr. Sox also has special interest and training in diagnosis and treatment of neurologic and heart conditions and in critical patient care. She is skilled in all endoscopic procedures and laparoscopic liver biopsy. Dr. Sox enjoys working closely with her patients owners and primary care veterinarian to provide the best and most comprehensive care, with emphasis on client communication and patient comfort.
Dr. Sox is a graduate of University of California Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine. She completed a one-year internship at the Veterinary Specialty Hospital of San Diego and went on to complete a residency in Small Animal Internal Medicine at the number one ranked Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Sox has completed the rigorous credential and testing requirements to become a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. Following board certification, she practiced at a private specialty and referral hospital in California for several years before relocating to Hawaii with the goal of bringing previously unavailable specialty care to the islands.
Dr. Burns is Oahu's only full-time board-certified radiologist and works with VERC as a consultant. He has a special interest in ultrasound of the neck, thorax (including echocardiography) and abdomen, as well as CT and MRI studies. He enjoys performing interventional procedures.
Dr. Burns obtained his doctorate degree in veterinary medicine from Kansas State University in 2004. After completing a small animal rotating internship in surgery and medicine at Angell Animal Medical Center in 2005, Dr. Burns completed his residency in veterinary imaging at number one ranked Cornell University and became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Radiology in 2008. Dr. Burns then joined a private specialty and referral practice in the San Francisco Bay Area before relocating to Hawaii last year. Dr. Burns operates a successful mobile ultrasound business and reads x-rays for veterinarians throughout the United States and Canada
Small Animal Internal Medicine
Dr. Edward Maher traces his roots back to Warwick, RI where he was born and raised. Dr. Maher completed his undergraduate education at Providence College in 1980 where he received his Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biology. He then attended the Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine where he received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 1984. He worked on staff at the South Shore Veterinary Associates in South Weymouth, MA for the following three years before returning to Tufts University where he completed his internal medicine residency in 1990. Dr. Maher practiced in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles from 1990-2002. From 2012-2014, Dr. Maher was the chief veterinary internal medicine specialist with the Veterinary Medical & Surgical Group of Orange County.
Dr. Maher practices and enjoys all aspects of internal medicine but has special interests in endocrinology, gastroenterology, immune-mediated disease, and cardiology. He has extensive experience performing a variety of endoscopic and laparoscopic procedures such as upper/lower GI endoscopy, bronchoscopy, rhinoscopy, cystoscopy, urethroscopy and laparoscopy for minimally-invasive abdominal organ biopsy. Dr. Maher has completed extensive training in abdominal and thoracic ultrasonography and echocardiography and has over 15 years of experience performing these imaging procedures.
Dr. Sarah McMillan is the first residency-trained, board-certified veterinary oncologist in Hawaii. She obtained her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Purdue University in 2008 and went on to complete a one-year, small-animal rotating internship at a private practice in Michigan. In 2009, Dr. McMillan returned to Purdue University where she completed a four-year residency in medical oncology and a masters degree.
Dr. McMillan's professional interests include diagnosing and treating a variety of canine and feline cancers with a special interest in round cell and metastatic cancers. She is passionate about the ever-evolving field of oncology and always strives to stay on the cutting edge by using novel, molecularly targeted therapies for cancer, such as toceranib and metronomic chemotherapy. While at Purdue, she was also extensively involved in clinical trials for dogs with bladder cancer and lymphoma.
Dr. McMillan's approach to veterinary cancer patients focuses on each pets overall well being and quality of life, while also providing the highest quality medical care. One of the things she loves most about veterinary oncology is opportunity to develop bonds with her patients and their owners. When she's not taking care of patients, Dr. McMillan enjoys riding her horse, Ozzie, swimming, and scuba diving. The opportunity to live and practice oncology on Oahu is a dream come true for Dr. McMillan.
Dr. Satoko Nishimura was born and raised in Japan. She moved to Canada after high-school and completed Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree at Atlantic Veterinary College, University of Prince Edward Island, Canada. She continued her veterinary training as a small animal rotating intern in Toronto, Canada, after which she pursued her three-year residency training in Cardiology at University of California, Davis.During her residency program, Dr. Nishimura developed interest in various congenital heart diseases and minimally invasive catheter procedures. She also enjoys teaching and hopes to be involved in continuing education of veterinarians in Hawaii. On her days off, Dr. Nishimura enjoys travelling, hiking, swimming, scuba diving, driving, motorcycling, and trying new food. She is excited to offer Cardiology specialty service to the state of Hawaii.
Dr. Courtney Watkins earned her veterinary degree at University of Florida’s college of veterinary medicine. She completed a one-year rotating internship at Animal Specialty Group in Los Angeles, followed by a one-year surgical specialty internship at Veterinary Specialty Hospital of San Diego.
Her three-year residency in small animal surgery was completed at Washington State University. During her residency, Dr. Watkins received additional training in minimally-invasive surgery including laparoscopy, thoracoscopy and arthroscopy, and she completed a Master’s degree in Veterinary Clinical Sciences focusing on minimally-invasive surgery.
Dr. Watkins successfully achieved board certification in small animal surgery in early 2012. She is skilled in all disciplines of surgery including soft tissue, orthopedic, oncologic, neurosurgery and minimally invasive interventional surgery. Dr. Watkins is excited to bring advanced and minimally invasive surgical techniques to Hawaii. When she is not working, she enjoys a variety of outdoor activities including SCUBA diving, swimming, paddle boarding, running, skiing, cycling and hiking. Dr. Watkins has been with VERC since March 2013.
Practice Limited to Surgery
Dr. Maureen Jay earned her veterinary degree at Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine. She completed a one-year rotating internship at Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston, followed by a one-year surgical specialty internship at Veterinary Specialty Hospital of San Diego. Her three-year residency in small animal surgery was completed on Long Island, New York along with additional specialized training from the Animal Medical Center of Manhattan New York. During her residency, Dr. Jay received training in advanced therapies for domestic animals as well as interventions for exotic animals. Dr. Jay has been trained in soft tissue, orthopedic, oncologic, minimally invasive surgery, and neurosurgery with a strong emphasis in Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD). Dr. Jay is excited to join the VERC Hawaii family along with her dog “Dover” and cat “Gigi”. Outside of work, she enjoys SCUBA diving, photography, dancing, and looks forward to exploring the island.
Dr. Melissa Beyer grew up on a small family farm just north of Appleton, WI. She obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and her veterinary degree from University of Wisconsin-Madison. After graduating in 2013 she completed a small animal medicine and surgery rotating internship at Veterinary Specialists and Animal Emergency Services in Rochester, NY. During her internship, Dr. Beyer fell in love with emergency medicine and surgery. She loves the spontaneity and challenges emergency care brings everyday. Dr. Beyer worked as an emergency veterinarian at Wisconsin Veterinary Referral Center for a year before coming to VERC. She also is a consultant field veterinarian for the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association’s Rural Area Veterinary Services (HSVMA-RAVS). When she is not working, Dr. Beyer enjoys hiking and exploring the islands, cooking, and spending time with her two cats and two dogs.
Dr. Sara Crispell was raised in upstate New York on a dairy farm which started her on the path toward veterinary medicine. She graduated from Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in 2002. She completed a medicine, surgery and emergency internship at VCA Emergency Animal Hospital and Referral Center in San Diego the following year. Dr. Crispell comes to VERC with 10 years of experience practicing emergency and critical care medicine at referral and specialty hospitals on the mainland. She has a special interest in pain management, critical anesthesia, endocrine emergencies, and foreign body retrieval with endoscopy. Dr. Crispell is thrilled to be in her husband's home state, where they look forward to raising their son. When Dr. Crispell is not at work she is exploring the natural beauty of the islands, dabbling in pottery and spending time with her family.
Dr. Kaylee McMahan was born and raised in a small town in central Florida. She attended the University of Florida where she received a B.S. in AnimalScience. She then worked at a local emergency clinic where she discovered that emergency medicine was her passion.
Dr. McMahan graduated from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine in 2016 and moved to Austin, TX where she was an emergency associate veterinarian at a specialty referral clinic. She thrives on the fast-paced environment of emergency medicine and looks forward to the challenges that each day brings.
She is particularly interested in wound management, emergency surgery, critical care, and pain management; however, she loves all aspects of the emergency field.
In her free time, she enjoys hiking, boating, attending live music events, water sports, traveling, and volunteer veterinary trips. She has one rescue dog named Sable.
Dr. Erin McNally was born in Kahuku but grew up in St. Augustine, Florida before eventually going to veterinary school at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine (UF-CVM). She graduated Magna Cum Laude from the UF-CVM in 2005. At that point, she ventured up north for one year to do an internship in emergency medicine and critical care in Massachusetts before returning to UF to do a residency in anesthesia and pain management. Dr. McNally completed her specialty training and became boarded in anesthesia and pain management in 2009. She then packed up her bags and her two dogs and went to the Caribbean island of St. Kitts to teach anesthesia at the veterinary school on the island. She lived and taught on the island for three and half years before deciding to return to her hometown of St. Augustine in December 2012. Dr. McNally worked for a year at an emergency clinic in St. Augustine, while at the same time becoming certified in Veterinary Chinese Acupuncture. She returned to Hawaii in December 2013 to practice emergency medicine and anesthesia at the Veterinary Emergency + Referral Center of Hawaii.
Dr. Tarin Ortiz started her veterinary career as a veterinary technician in Hawaii after completing undergraduate studies at the University of San Francisco. Always knowing that she wanted to be a veterinarian, Dr. Ortiz took the plunge and went to veterinary school at Colorado State University. She then went on to complete further training with a rotating small animal internship at Red Bank Veterinary Hospital in New Jersey. From there, Dr. Ortiz moved back to the Bay Area after being accepted into a small animal surgical residency program. She completed a year-long residency there and moved back to Hawaii. Dr. Ortiz's interests are surgery and emergency medicine. When not at work, she enjoys hiking, kickboxing, and spending time with her dogs, Chief and Mouse.