The University Veterinary Specialists medical team consists of ER veterinarians, surgeons, and specialists all focused on providing the highest quality care to hospital patients and visitors. Backed by veterinary technicians, assistants, and customer service reps, the UVS staff aims to make your visit as pleasant as possible.
Apryle Horbal, VMD, MRCVS – Founder, President
Apryle Horbal is trained in the field of equine dentistry, oral surgery, and upper airway disease. Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Apryle received her Bachelor of Arts cum laude in Biological Basis of Behavior in 2007 from the University of Pennsylvania. She then went on to qualify for her Veterinariae Medicinae Doctoris from the University of Pennsylvania in 2011. Upon completion of this veterinary degree, she went on to complete an internship in large animal medicine, surgery and ambulatory practice at Texas A&M University’s Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital in 2012.
Apryle recently completed her residency in equine dentistry at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland along with submitting a Masters of Philosophy thesis for her research in the development and clinical significance of cemental defects in equine maxillary cheek teeth infundibulae.
Additionally, Apryle has an interest in training veterinary practitioners in developing countries, with an emphasis on improving dental care and nutrition for working equids around the world.
Chief of Staff – Amanda Della Penna, DVM
Dr. Amanda Della Penna is a graduate of The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine. She received her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Bethany College where she was a Presidential Scholar. Since graduating, Dr. Della Penna has worked in the Pittsburgh area in small animal general practice as well as emergency practice. She has also served as a medical director of a North Hills hospital.
Dr. Della Penna does volunteer work with her hometown humane society in Ohio performing spay and neuter clinics and serving as a medical advisor to their board of directors. Her special interests include emergency medicine, surgery, and cardiology.
In her free time, Dr. Della Penna enjoys weight training, snowboarding, watching the Pittsburgh Penguins and The Ohio State Buckeyes, and the outdoors. She has three cats, Dante, Giuseppi, and Julius.
Medical and Radiation Oncologist – Christine Anderson, DVM, MS, DACVIM (Oncology), DACVR (Radiation Oncology)
Dr. Anderson is double boarded in medical and radiation oncology and is the only double boarded oncologist in Western Pennsylvania. She is a proud graduate of the University of Notre Dame (Go Irish!), and received her DVM from the University of Minnesota where her interest in the field of oncology began. She spent 6 years at Colorado State University where she completed a rotating internship, residencies in both Comparative Oncology and Radiation Oncology, dual masters’ degrees in Clinical Sciences and Radiation Biology while snowboarding and running as much as possible.
She then practiced medical and radiation oncology in Boston at Angell Animal Medical Center for 12 years before relocating to Pittsburgh in 2013. She has a terrier mix, Katie, and a bossy cat, Cricket, who are best buddies. She is a huge fan of Notre Dame football and women’s basketball and whatever sport her kids are playing.
Dr. Anderson enjoys helping families spend more quality time with their cherished pets. There is much that can be done in veterinary oncology and treatment options continue to expand. While many people think of “cancer” as one disease, it is in reality hundreds of diseases with different treatment and different outcomes. Her goal is to educate clients on the treatments available for their pet’s disease and to help them find the right options for both their family and for their pet. Maintaining quality of life is key.
Emergency Veterinarian – Christina Chamberlain, DVM
Dr. Christina Chamberlain grew up in the Pittsburgh area. She completed her undergraduate education at Gannon University where she received her Bachelor of Science degree. Dr. Chamberlain then received her doctorate in veterinary medicine degree from the University Of Missouri College Of Veterinary Medicine, where she graduated with honors. Since graduation, Dr. Chamberlain has worked in the Pittsburgh area in small animal general practice and small animal emergency medicine.
Dr. Chamberlain’s special veterinary interests include emergency medicine, soft tissue surgery, ophthalmology, and clinical pathology, though she enjoys all aspects of medicine and cherishes the opportunity to develop relationships with her patients and clients. In her spare time, Dr. Chamberlain enjoys cooking, exercising, sports, traveling, and spending time with her pets Ollie (dog) and Lenny (cat).
Oncology and Internal Medicine Specialist – Guillermo Couto, DVM, DACVIM
Guillermo Couto graduated from Buenos Aires University, Argentina in 1976. He spent 5 years as a private practice small animal practitioner, and then completed a Clinical Oncology Residency at the University of California-Davis.
He is Board-Certified by the ACVIM in both Internal Medicine and Oncology, and is coauthor of the textbook Small Animal Internal Medicine; he has over 300 publications in the areas of oncology, hematology, and Greyhound medicine. After 30 years in academia, he is now providing consultation and educational services through Couto Veterinary Consultants.
Emergency Veterinarian – Remington Drake, DVM
Originally from Las Vegas, NV, Dr. Drake’s passion for veterinary medicine grew from early experience under both his veterinarian parents. Dr. Drake went on to complete his undergraduate studies in Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology at Washington University in St. Louis. During this time, his interest shifted to emergency medicine under summer mentorship at an emergency center back in Las Vegas. He then received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Colorado State University. Dr. Drake’s special interests within emergency medicine include soft tissue surgery, ophthalmology, and toxicology.
In his spare time, Dr. Drake enjoys a variety of activities including bouldering, archery, camping, hiking, brewery tours, snowboarding, and spontaneous traveling.
Dermatology Specialist – Melissa Eisenschenk, DVM, DACVD
Dr. Melissa Eisenschenk is a board-certified veterinary dermatologist. She attended veterinary school at the University of Minnesota. There, Dr. Eisenschenk completed her 3-year dermatology residency and Master’s degree. She passed the dermatology board exams in 2009. When Dr. Eisenschenk is not working with other’s animals, she is at home with her husband and their two girls, Mae & Beatrice, taking care of their cat, Pete, and their brood of backyard city chickens.
Emergency Veterinarian – Nicole Hladio, DVM
Dr. Hladio received her undergraduate degree in Biology from the University of Notre Dame in 1998. She proceeded to North Carolina State University where she received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 2008. Following graduation, she entered a year-long rotating internship in small animal medicine and surgery at VCA Veterinary Referral Associates in Gaithersburg, Maryland. After completion of her internship, she returned home to Pittsburgh where she had been working in a busy 24 hour general and emergency practice before joining our team at University Veterinary Specialists. Dr. Hladio is very excited to be returning to the community in which she grew up to take the next step in her veterinary career! Her professional interests include small animal emergency and critical care as well as ophthalmology and soft tissue surgery.
Dr. Hladio resides in the South Hills of Pittsburgh with her two dogs, Bailey and Benny as well as her cat, Bella. Having grown up in Western Pennsylvania, she has a deep love of all sports. She enjoys outdoor activities, especially any activity that involves sand between her toes! In her spare time she enjoys traveling with her friends and spending time with her family.
Emergency Veterinarian – Joe Ielapi, DVM
Dr. Joe Ielapi is a 2010 graduate of The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine. He received his Bachelor of Science in Agriculture with honors from The Ohio State University in 2002. Since graduating, Dr. Ielapi has worked in general practice in West Virginia and made the transition to emergency medicine as well as the Pittsburgh area in 2015. Professional interests include emergency and critical care medicine as well as diagnostics imaging.
As a transplant to the Pittsburgh area, Dr. Ielapi enjoys exploring the city, especially the ever growing restaurant scene in addition to running, cross-training, hiking and biking outdoors.
Emergency Veterinarian – Nicholle Jenkins, DVM
Louisiana State University
Emergency Veterinarian – Whitney Jones, DVM
Dr. Whitney Jones was raised in New Mexico, where she obtained a bachelor’s degree in Animal Science at New Mexico State University. She is a graduate with honors from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine. Her clinical year of veterinary school was completed at the University of Minnesota, where she happily discovered the joy of cheese curds and winter snowfalls. Prior to beginning her graduate degree, Dr. Jones worked as a technician at both a veterinary general practice, as well as an emergency clinic, where her initial admiration for emergency medicine flourished.
In her free time, Dr. Jones enjoys spending the day at her home in Canonsburg with her two-years-young island puppy, Clooney, who found her while she was living in the Caribbean. She also has an avid interest in perusing antique shops, trying new foods, reading any book with a happy ending, traveling throughout the United States, hiking, and outdoor/indoor running.
Emergency Veterinarian, Veterinary Sonographer – Brianne Miller, DVM
Dr. Miller is originally from southern Wisconsin and has many fond memories of growing up in veterinary medicine at her father’s veterinary clinic in Edgerton, WI. She attended the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities for her undergraduate education. She became the first legacy student at the University of Wisconsin – Madison School of Veterinary Medicine and graduated in 2014. In addition to completing her final years of veterinary school, she earned a Certificate in Small Animal Ultrasound from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine Executive Veterinary Program in 2014. Since graduation, Dr. Miller has worked in small animal general practice, mobile veterinary ultrasound, and then transitioned to emergency medicine in 2016 when she moved with her husband to Green Bay, WI, home of the Green Bay Packers. In addition to emergency medicine and critical care, Dr. Miller has a special interest in diagnostic imaging (ultrasound, x-rays, CT scans).
Dr. Miller, her husband, their Labrador Retriever (Chazz) and cat (Louie) moved to West Virginia in June 2017. Outside of work, Dr. Miller enjoys reading, canoeing, upland bird hunting, cooking and gardening. She is looking forward exploring to all that Pittsburgh and West Virginia have to offer and is very excited to join the team at University Veterinary Specialists.
Canine Reproduction Specialist – Joann Randall, DVM, DACT
Dr. Jo is a 1983 graduate from the University of Illinois. She practiced for 11 years in emergency medicine and critical care where she gained an interest in internal medicine. She has been in practice at the Animal Hospital of Woodstock since 1991.
In 2009, Dr. Jo completed a 6 year reproduction mentorship with the University of Illinois, College of Veterinary Medicine. She is a diplomat in the American College of Theriogenologists, which is the specialty college dealing with reproduction and infertility.
She works with top breeders throughout the Midwest on all aspects of their breeding programs including: male and female reproductive evaluations, pregnancy management, neonatal care and infertility disorders. Dr. Jo has broad experience in artificial, transcervical, and surgical inseminations using fresh, chilled semen or frozen semen.
Dr. Jo enjoys hiking, fly fishing, canoeing, horseback riding, all outdoor activities and being with her family!
Internal Medicine – Dr. Charles Rogers, DVM
Dr. Charles Rogers, DVM completed his undergraduate and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from North Carolina State University.
He interned at The Animal Medical Center in New York City, rotating in both small animal medicine and surgery. He then completed his residency in small animal internal medicine at Tufts School of Veterinary Medicine.
He has worked and owned several clinics and mobile transport units from Maine to Ohio.
Dr. Rogers’ medical interests include G.I., liver, renal, autoimmune, and infectious disease.
Emergency Veterinarian – Dr. Ashley Jo Runey, DVM
Dr. Runey grew up in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She studied design at Philadelphia University prior to becoming a graduate of Oregon State College of Veterinary Medicine (Go Beavs!). After receiving her veterinary degree, Dr. Runey went onto complete an emergency, exotic, and zoo internship at VCA Valley Animal Hospital and Reid Park Zoo in Tucson, Arizona.
Dr. Runey’s interests include emergency medicine, exotic animal emergency medicine, and reproductive emergencies. Dr. Runey’s love of international travel and emergency medicine started during veterinary school while she was a part of an international veterinary team providing veterinary care to areas of the world where care was usually not readily available. Dr. Runey also enjoys hiking, swimming, and playing softball.
Dr. Runey just moved here from Washington and brought her furry horde which includes a Black lab/Border Collie named Rhino, a Treeing Walker Hound named Griffin, two black cats named Aviva and Phoenix, and an American guinea pig named Jester.
Dr. John Showalter, DVM
Dr. John Showalter pursued a pre-med curriculum with intent to attend veterinary school through undergrad with a BA degree in Biological Sciences, and ultimately graduated from The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1986.
Dr. Showalter has worked in Western PA and Eastern Ohio as a small animal veterinarian since 1986, and started formal training in veterinary dentistry in 1989. Though, he has recently restricted his practice to veterinary dental issues for the past 10 years. He also teaches at veterinary hospitals on dental issues as well as pain and sedation issues.
Dr. Showalter’s outside interests include driving tours of the countryside, motorcycling, skiing, and learning about woodworking. He currently enjoys two dogs in his household.
Small Animal Surgeon – David Silliman, DVM Practice Limited to Surgery
David Silliman has been a part of the Surgery team at University Veterinary Specialists since 2017. Originally from North Carolina, Dr. Silliman attended North Carolina State University where he earned both a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science and a Bachelor of Science in Zoology in 2005. Following his undergraduate studies, Dr. Silliman attended Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine where he earned a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 2010. Following his graduation from veterinary school, Dr. Silliman completed a yearlong small animal rotating internship as well as a surgical internship, followed by a three-year surgical residency at Veterinary Specialty Center in Buffalo Grove, Illinois.
Although Dr. Silliman is experienced in all aspects of small animal surgery, he has particular interests in minimally invasive soft tissue procedures, surgical oncology, as well as orthopedic surgeries and advanced surgical techniques. Outside of the operating room, Dr. Silliman is focused on providing comprehensive patient care, with patient quality of life always remaining of the utmost importance. Dr. Silliman believes that a combination of compassion, commitment, communication, and teamwork are the ideal tools for providing the best possible veterinary care to his patients.
When he is not busy caring for animals, Dr. Silliman enjoys camping, hiking, and fishing, as well as spending time with his family and friends.
Small Animal Surgeon – Lynne Snow, DVM, MS, DACVS-SA
Lynne A. Snow, DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVS is a board-certified Veterinary Surgeon. Dr. Snow attended the University of South Carolina where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Science, and the University of Illinois where she earned a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree. Following her graduation from veterinary school, Dr. Snow completed a yearlong internship in small animal medicine and surgery at Veterinary Medical and Surgical Group, a yearlong surgical internship at Animal Specialty Group, and a three-year residency in small animal surgery at the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine where she also earned a Masters of Science Degree.
After becoming a board-certified Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, Dr. Snow served as a veterinary surgery instructor for three years at Murdoch University in Perth, Australia. She is an active advocate of continuing education for veterinary professionals and has lectured on a variety of surgery topics.
Although she enjoys all aspects of surgery, Dr. Snow has particular interests in thoracic surgery, minimally invasive surgery such as laparoscopy and arthroscopy, and fracture stabilization. One of her favorite things about being a veterinary surgeon is working as part of an incredibly talented team to provide her patients the best quality of life possible. When not seeing patients, Dr. Snow enjoys traveling, scuba diving, and reading.
Emergency and Critical Care Specialist – Anne Stoneham, DVM DACVECC
Dr. Anne Stoneham is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care. She followed her childhood dream of becoming a veterinarian after reading the works of James Herriot and received her DVM degree from Cornell University. Following in the steps of Dr. Herriot, she worked on all species, great and small, until she realized that she “lit up like a firefly” (her receptionist’s words) when emergencies came through the clinic door. She then completed an internship at the Dove Lewis Emergency Animal Hospital in Portland, Oregon and proceeded to finish a residency in small animal emergency and critical care at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in Massachusetts. Before moving to Pittsburgh to join the UVS team, Dr. Stoneham spent more than 10 years working as a specialist in Maryland; serving as emergency department director, working directly with patients and teaching the intricacies of her field to interns, residents, and technicians. Her interests include treating acute kidney injury, the hemodynamic changes of sepsis and trauma.
Emergency Veterinarian – Sara Wells, DVM
Dr. Sara Wells is a native of the Pittsburgh area. She attended Cornell University for her undergraduate education where she obtained bachelor of science degrees in both animal science and biology. She then attended St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine and completed her clinical year at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine. After obtaining her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, she completed an internship in small animal medicine and surgery at the Pittsburgh Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center (PVSEC). Dr. Wells then worked as a general practitioner in the Pittsburgh area before joining University Veterinary Specialists as an emergency doctor. Dr. Wells is particularly interested in cardiology and avian and exotic animal medicine.
Dr. Wells lives with her husband and their numerous pets including her lovable English Springer Spaniel Ellie, multiple rescue cats, and pineapple green-cheeked conure Nora. In her free time, Dr. Wells enjoys reading Agatha Christie novels and spending time outdoors.
Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner – Meredith Willie, LVT, CCRP
Meredith has been involved with animals her entire life. Starting with her mother as the education director at the Pittsburgh Zoo, traveling to schools with her and “showing off” all the zoo animals.
Meredith started in veterinary medicine in 1989 as an assistant at Fox Chapel Animal Hospital, moving to California to pursue more education in animals. She worked as a professional bird trainer for many years at a wild animal park in northern California. She went back to veterinary medicine, working in emergency and specialty medicine for several years before moving back to Pittsburgh to work at the National Aviary until 2004. She spent the next 13 years as a surgery and neurology technician where she developed a true passion for companion animal rehabilitation. In the years at that clinic, she earned her technician license in the state of Delaware and continued her education in neurology.
In 2016, Meredith began her certification in rehabilitation through the University of Tennessee. In December of 2017 she completed the courses and became a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner. Currently, Meredith made an application for her Advanced Pain Management Certification, in addition to beginning her studies as a Canine Fitness Trainer.
Outside of work she enjoys time with her seven dogs. Four Pharaoh Hounds, one Whippet, one Pumi, and one mixed breed. Meredith competes in several different events with her Pharaoh Hounds such as conformation, agility, rally, and lure coursing.
UVS plans to expand our team of veterinarians and offer additional services to ensure that pet owners unparalleled access to the most advanced veterinary solutions available.