Our Veterinarians

NY Vets

Central Veterinary Associates has a staff of over 110 including 13 veterinarians, a Board Certified Surgeon, radiologist, and internist available for consultation. We have a board certified general practitioner and certified veterinary acupuncturist on staff.

Dr. John Charos, DVM

Chief Executive Officer and President Director of Exotics Director of Avian and Exotics Medicine Director of Wildlife Medicine and Rehabilitation Practitioner of Veterinary Medicine Professional Experience 1988 - Present: Central Veterinary Associates, Valley Stream, NY Veterinarian of small animal, exotic, avian, pocket pets, reptiles and wildlife rehabilitation. Doctor Manager of our 24 hour main hospital facility. 1987-1989: Connecticut Veterinary Center, West Hartford, CT Responsible for primary technician duties and limited Veterinary Practice Education 1995-1996: Utrecht University School of Veterinary Medicine; Utrecht, Netherlands; Fulfuillment of Clinical Studies, work contract 1987-1991: Oklahoma State University School of Veterinary Medicine; Medicine Stillwater, OK; Fulfillment of Clinical Studies 1985-1988: Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine; St. Kitts, West Indies; Accelerated Veterinary program 1979-1985: University of Georgia School of Agriculture; Athens, Georgia; Bachelor of Sciences in Biology/Microbiology/Prevet; EPA - 1 year work contract Professional Affiliations NYSVMA - member AVMA - member LIVMA - member NYC VERT - founding member/board member SC SPCA - member AAHA - member AAV - member APTF - founding member OEM Consultant CART - founding member Distinctions Alley Pond Environmental Center - Friend of the Environment Award -1997 Recipient of the ASPCA Founder's Award - 2001 Recognition by SCSPCA for extensive work during WTC Crisis - 2001 Everyday Heroes Animal Planet Documentary SCSPCA - Investigator; Head of Vet Services APEC - Board of Directors 1998 - present

Dr. Frank DeFeis, DVM, CVA

Chief Operating Officer Director of Oncology Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist Homeopathic Medicine Practitioner of Veterinary Medicine My name is Dr. Frank J DeFeis. I have been practicing for 20 years. I graduated from Ross University in 1990 and did my internships in Oklahoma and Guelph. My main interests are in companion animals with a special interest in internal medicine. I like to try and figure out the cases that aren't straight forward. I am a member of AAHA , LIVMA, and CVA. I have a special interest in herbology and acupuncture. I have completed the acupuncture course at the Chi institute in Floridia. I am currently completing my herbology courses and hopefully will get a masters in Chinese medicine in the future. My hobbies are fishing, boating, quading and spending all my free time with my family and pets. I look forward to helping you and your pet in the future.

Dr. Greg Nelson, DVM, DABVP


Senior Vice President Director of Diagnostic Imaging Director of Surgery Practitioner of Veterinary Medicine Dr. Greg NelsonDr. Greg Nelson graduated Magna Cum Laude from The Ohio State University School of Veterinary Medicine in 1996, where he was recipient of numerous academic accolades. Since then, he has received both local and national recognition, including the ASPCA's Presidents Award for Outstanding Veterinarians. He has continued his education in the fields of Radiology and Diagnostic Imaging and Surgery through class study and one on one mentoring. He currently resides as the Head of Diagnostic Imaging and Head of Surgery at the Main Hospital. When he is not at work he can be found with his wife and son on "Housecalls", their boat, whether fishing or lazily drifting the day away. He also enjoys all aspects of nature, and is an avid hiker and camper.

Dr. Aaron Vine, DVM


Vice President Director of Administrative Emergency Services Director of Information Services/ImproMed Computer Systems Practitioner of Veterinary Medicine Dr. Aaron Vine, DVM Dr. Aaron Vine graduated from Tufts University with a B.S. in Biology. Following college, he attended Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, and received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Degree in 2004. He is the 9th member and 3rd generation of his family to become a veterinarian. Following graduation, Dr. Vine joined Central Veterinary Associates. During his time with Central Veterinary Associates, Dr. Vine has written articles that were published in local periodicals. He has also appeared on local television programs such as News 12 Long Island’s Animal Island as well as Fios 1’s A Call to Arms. Dr. Vine is married to his wife, Jaime. He has two human children, Hailey and Sydney. His favorite thing to do on his spare time is to watch hockey on tv and spend time with his family.

Dr. Jennifer Emmerich, Associate DVM


Dr. Jennifer Emmerich is originally from Bay Village, Ohio. She graduated from Ohio State University 1998 with BS in Zoology and continued her studies in Veterinary Medicine at Ross University. Dr. Emmerich completed her clinical studies at North Carolina State University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2004. She graduated Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2005. Following graduation, Dr. Emmerich participated in an Internship at the Animal Medical Center of New York City from 2005 until 2006. She worked as an emergency doctor in a specialty hospital and in a small animal practice prior to coming to work for Central Veterinary Associates. Dr. Emmerich’s professional interests include Internal Medicine and Emergency Medicine.

Dr. Laura Gorman, Associate DVM


Dr. Laura Gorman started working in the animal health field at the early age of 16 when she worked as an assistant at a clinic in New Jersey. After this experience, she knew she was meant to work with animals. Dr. Gorman was part of Cornell University’s graduating class of 2005. She received a B.S. in Animal Science. During her time at Cornell University she was elected Secretary and Vice President of the Pre Veterinary Society. She also was thoroughly involved in Cornell’s Vegetarians Society. During college Dr. Gorman also volunteered at the Cornell wildlife clinic. She continued her experiences in Zoo Medicine when she worked a couple summers and winters at the Children's Zoo in Central Park. Following Undergraduate Studies, Dr. Gorman went to Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine. She was elected the class representative for her last two semesters. She did her clinical studies at Purdue University under a "mixed animal track". Following graduation Dr. Gorman joined Central Veterinary Associates and has been part of the organization since 2009. She currently lives in Manhattan with her boyfriend, 4 cats, and three legged rabbit. She loves museums, concerts, movies, reading, snail mail, radical sefl-expression, public transportation, and all of the indoor cultural things NYC has to offer.

Dr. Virginia Jurgens, Associate DVM


Dr. Virginia Jurgens is a graduate of St. George's University Veterinary School and performed her clinical training at North Carolina State University. She is a member of the prestigious Phi Zeta Veterinary Honor Society. Dr. Jurgens is a local resident of Queens and has years of animal experience, from volunteering with rescued chickens at Farm Sanctuary, educating the public at the Queens Zoo and working at numerous local veterinary facilities before reaching her goal of becoming a veterinarian. Currently, she is a member of the Veterinary Medical Association of NYC and strives to attend continuing education classes monthly. Dr. Jurgens is a compassionate and thorough doctor who strives to make all of her pets happy and healthy. She has a Poodle-Bichon and water turtle at home. She enjoys going to zoos and museums.

Dr. Karen Liss, Associate DVM


Dr. Leah Ottenbreit is a 2005 graduate of Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine. She obtained her undergraduate degree and completed her clinical training at Michigan State University. Upon graduation, she left her home state of Michigan and began her veterinary career with CVA. She has a secret passion for the adrenaline rush of small animal emergency medicine. In her free time she enjoys traveling, reading, running and spending time with her pets.

Dr. Heather Phillips, Associate DVM


Dr. Heather Phillips is originally from San Diego, California. She graduated from Cornell University in 2009, with a BS in Animal Science, cum laude with distinction in research. She continued her studies in Veterinary Medicine at University of California, Davis. Following graduation Dr. Phillips moved across the country once again to join Central Veterinary Associates where she has worked since 2013. Dr. Phillips professional interests include nutrition, reproduction and general practice. She currently lives in Brooklyn with a shepherd/lab mix named Sydney and a tabby cat named Finny.

Dr. Rudy Zamora, Associate DVM


Dr. Rodolfo "Rudy" Zamora is originally from Bethesda, MD, right outside of Washington, DC. Growing up there were always animals in his life, including a Bull Mastiff mix named Buster, and many cats. He graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2005, cum laude, with a BS in Molecular Biology and Philosophy. After his undergraduate studies, Dr. Zamora worked at the National Institutes of Health from 2005-2006 researching malaria immunology. Following his research experience, Dr. Zamora transitioned to a career in animal care by working at the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria, Virginia, and at a local veterinary clinic in Bethesda, MD, which inspired his application to veterinary school. He completed his studies in Veterinary Medicine at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. Dr. Zamora started working at Central Veterinary Associates in 2014 and has been enjoying his new life in New York City. His professional interests include Internal Medicine, Cardiology, and shelter medicine. Dr. Zamora is also a member of the Phi Zeta veterinary honors society. Outside of veterinary medicine, Dr. Zamora enjoys outdoor activities with his Boxer dog, Diego, and bicycling, international travel, and cooking plant-based foods. Dr. Zamora is fluent in Spanish, and is currently working to learn French and Portuguese.