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
Dr. Jennifer Ruby is from the Hudson Valley, NY and pursued her veterinary education at Cornell University. She completed a rotating internship in medicine and surgery at Red Bank Veterinary Hospital in Red Bank, NJ, followed by a second internship in diagnostic imaging at the Veterinary Imaging Center of San Diego. In 2016, Dr. Ruby went on to complete a three year residency in diagnostic imaging at the University of Georgia, where she developed a strong interest in abdominal ultrasonography and neuroimaging in companion animals, and advanced imaging in exotic pets. One project that Dr. Ruby enjoyed completing during her residency was a study evaluating the brain of koi fish using magnetic resonance imaging. She became board certified in Diagnostic Imaging in September 2019.
Dr. Ruby is excited to be joining the team at VERC in providing high quality specialty care to the islands. She looks forward to reading CT and MRI cases, as well as providing radiograph interpretation and mobile ultrasound services to the local community. In her spare time, Dr. Ruby enjoys developing her burgeoning fruit garden, baking, hiking, scuba diving and traveling, as well as spending time with her two cats, Fergie and Muffin.
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.
Dr. Bena Tan is originally from Singapore and received her bachelor's degree in Veterinary Science with Honors from the University of Melbourne in 2010. She then pursued a small animal rotating internship at VCA Veterinary Referral and Emergency Center in Connecticut, followed by a specialty internship in internal medicine and critical care at the Center for Veterinary Specialty Care in Texas.
Dr. Tan completed her internal medicine residency with Affiliated Veterinary Specialists in Florida in 2016, and has spent the last three years working at a private practice in Los Angeles.
Dr. Tan's special interests include feline medicine, gastroenterology, and endocrinology. She enjoys performing endoscopy and abdominal ultrasounds, and truly appreciates the long-term relationships she develops with her internal medicine patients and owners.
Dr. Tan is excited to be moving to Oahu with her husband and two cats, Thurgood and Turnip. Outside of work, she is a foodie who also enjoys traveling, and looks forward to what Hawaii has to offer!
Heike Botha was born in Pretoria South Africa and attended Vet School in Zurich (University of Zurich), Switzerland where she discovered her passion for Emergency Medicine and Critical Care. During vet school she worked as an ICU technician in the small animal department and afterward stayed to work as an emergency doctor. During her final year, she wrote her master thesis with the Clinic for Zoo Animals, Exotic Pets and Wildlife at the University of Zurich.
Dr. Botha completed a rotating Internship at the Royal School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh in Scotland where she met her husband. After her Internship, they moved to San Diego, California where she completed a residency in emergency and critical care at the Veterinary Specialty Hospital.
They have an Australian Shepherd named Sammy and a cat that lives with them, called Yuriko. Her main areas of interest include trauma, shock, electrolyte derangements, and procedural techniques. She is very excited to start at VERC and looks forward to contributing to a strong and enthusiastic team! Dr. Botha is available for phone consultations to our referring partners for all emergent critical care cases.
Dr. Marcelle Hon was born in Hong Kong and moved to Chicago with her family after she finished high school. She attended Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine and completed her clinical year at Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine. She went on to complete a rotating internship at VCA Aurora Animal Hospital and it was there that she discovered her interest in critical care. She then returned to Purdue University to complete a residency in emergency and critical care.
Her main interest includes sepsis, fluid therapy, mechanical ventilation, and post-operative management of critical surgical patients. Dr. Hon moved to Oahu with her two cats, Zelda and Gizmo. In her free time, she enjoys kickboxing, snorkeling, and hiking. She is very excited to join the team at VERC and is available for phone consultations to our referring partners for all emergent critical care cases.
Dr. Rob Brooks grew up in southeast England and moved to Connecticut to attend high school. After attending SUNY Geneseo and earning a B.S. in Biology, Dr. Brooks followed his passion for working with animals and studied veterinary medicine at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. Upon graduating in 2015, Dr, Brooks returned to the U.S. and worked as a general practitioner in Temecula, CA for about 18 months before moonlighting as an ER doctor. Enjoying the challenges of emergency medicine, Dr. Brooks transitioned to working full-time as an emergency veterinarian in San Diego before accompanying his wife to Oahu for their latest adventure. When not at work, Dr. Brooks enjoys hiking with his dog, Sammie, and mountain biking. He looks forward to exploring the outdoor activities the Islands have to offer.
Associate Medical Director
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.
Dr. Tim Wood grew up in Massachusetts where he originally went to school for architecture then decided to follow his dream of being a veterinarian. Dr. Wood completed his undergraduate work at Fitchburg State University, majoring in biology. From there, he attended Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine for graduate school where he completed a clinical year at University College of Dublin and graduated in 2016. Following graduation from vet school, Dr. Wood completed a small animal rotating internship and surgical internship at Pieper Memorial Veterinary Center in Connecticut and worked as an overnight ER doctor for six months and as-needed during internships. Dr. Wood's veterinary interests include ER and surgery. His other hobbies are traveling, exercising, volleyball and dogs (especially boxers).