Speakers Nurse Stream

Justine Lee
Dr. Justine Lee is a board-certified veterinary specialist in both emergency critical care (DACVECC) and toxicology (DABT). Dr. Lee attended veterinary school at Cornell University and completed her internship at Angell (Boston, MA). She completed her fellowship and residency in emergency and critical care at University of Pennsylvania. Previously, she was on faculty at University of Minnesota (2003-2008) and the head of an animal poison control center (2008-2013). She is the founder and CEO of VETgirl, a subscription-based podcast and webinar service offering RACE-approved, online veterinary continuing education. More information can be found at www.drjustinelee.com and www.vetgirlontherun.com.

Lecture Summary

Justine’s lectures are generously made possible with the support of:

Marc Raffe
Dr. Raffe received his BS and DVM degrees from the University of Illinois.  After finishing an Internship in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery at Auburn University, he completed a Residency and MS degree in Veterinary Surgery and Bioengineering at Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine.  He then completed a residency in Comparative Anesthesiology at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Raffe joined the faculty at the University of Minnesota and advanced to the level of Professor in Anesthesiology and Critical Care. Following his tenure at the University, he worked as a preclinical research manager at Myocor Inc. developing novel biomedical device concepts for heart failure management. He was appointed as Professor of Emergency and Critical Care Medicine at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine establishing the emergency and critical care service in the veterinary teaching hospital.  He then accepted the role of veterinary specialist on the Veterinary Specialty Team at Pfizer Animal Health advancing to Associate Director of Outcomes Research.  Currently, he is the Director of Veterinary Anesthesia and Critical Care Associates LLC, a consulting firm providing education and research services. Dr. Raffe holds an affiliate faculty appointmens at the University of Illinois and the University of Minnesota Colleges of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Raffe is a diplomate in the American College of Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia and a charter diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care. He has authored or coauthored over 100 scientific articles in peer reviewed journals and proceedings, 35 chapters in textbooks, and a textbook on emergency and critical care medicine.  He served as a reviewer for the Am J of Vet Res, J Am Vet Medical Assoc, Veterinary Surgery, Veterinary Anesthesia Analgesia and the Compendium as well as Editor of the Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care. He is a past president of the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care and has served in many ACVECC and VECCS continuing education roles.  Dr. Raffe has been an invited speaker on over 250 continuing education programs.    He currently serves on the IVECCS organizing committee and continues to be active in continuing education on a national and international basis. He is a recipient of the Ira M Zaslow award for exceptional service and extraordinary commitment to VECCS and the specialty of emergency and critical care medicine.  He has also been presented the President’s award for exceptional service to ACVECC. 

Lecture Summary

Marc's lectures are generously made possible with the support of: 


Courtney Waxman
Courtney has spent 15 years working in emergency and critical care medicine. She has previously held both ICU supervisory and technician training positions in the clinical setting. Her areas of special interest include CPR, critical care nursing, one-on-one case management, and critical thinking. Courtney obtained her Veterinary Technician Specialty (VTS) in Emergency and Critical Care (ECC) credential in 2017. From 2018-2021, she worked as an Instructional Technologist for Purdue University’s Veterinary Nursing Program. Since 2021, she is working as a Veterinary Nursing Development Manager with Veterinary Emergency Group. In 2019, Courtney was named New Educator of the Year by the Association of Veterinary Technician Educators. In 2021, she received the Elanco Teaching Excellence in Veterinary Nursing award. She currently serves on the Academy of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Technicians and Nurses (AVECCTN) Executive Board as Member-at-Large and is a RECOVER Certified BLS & ALS Instructor. Courtney has been lecturing nationally and internationally on ECC topics since 2016, speaking at over 45 conference events. She has 15 published articles in veterinary technician/nursing journals in the US, UK, and Canada and is a contributing author for two textbook chapters. In 2020, she completed her master’s degree in Higher Education with a concentration on College Teaching. Outside of veterinary medicine, she enjoys world travel with her husband, spoiling her dog Ollie, reading, and fitness. 

Lecture Summary

Courtney’s lectures are generously made possible with the support of:

Ken Yagi
During his 20+ years in the field, Ken has discovered and refined his role as a veterinary technician by promoting compassionate and progressive care for patients and their families. He obtained his VTS certification in emergency and critical care as well as small animal internal medicine and achieved his master’s degree in Veterinary Science. He is currently the Chief Veterinary Nursing Officer for Veterinary Emergency Group and the Program Director for the RECOVER Initiative. He has been awarded the NAVTA Veterinary Technician of the Year award in 2016, the California Veterinary Medical Association Veterinary Technician of the Year award in 2016, and the California RVT Association of the Year award in 2017. 

Ken has co-edited the Manual of Veterinary Transfusion Medicine and Blood Banking and has published various text chapters and articles in various publications. He gives presentations internationally on topics in ECC, transfusion medicine, and the veterinary nursing profession.

Ken works to encourage further recognition of the vital role of the veterinary nurses and technicians through work with organizations such as the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America co-chairing the Veterinary Nurse Initiative and serving as a board member of the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society, the Academy of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Technicians and Nurses, and the Veterinary Innovation Council. He is also an advocate for the Open Hospital Concept, encouraging veterinary practices to invite the pet owners to “the back” as a part of the team.

Ken invites everyone to ask “Why?” to understand the “What” and “How” of our field, and to continually pursue new limits as veterinary professionals and individuals. 

Lecture summaries

Ken's lectures are generously made possible with the support of:

Gonçalo Babau
Graduated in Veterinary Nursing by Instituto Politécnico de Bragança. After his internship at Hospital Veterinário Central (a referral hospital), in 2010, he worked there for more 4 years. In Hospital Veterinário Central, he started to practice emergency attendings and the continuous monitoring with critical care and emergency blood analysis. And that was how the challenge within this area developed. After being 6 years in another referral hospital, VetOeiras, he is working Hospital Veterinário do Atlântico since January 2021. Besides the continuous focus in emergency’s area, he also has grown its interest and skills in cytologies which led him to a deep study on this area having now three certificates relative to skin tumors, peripheral blood and organic fluids. Since 2012 he attends the European Congress of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society (EVECCS) of which he is a member and also part of scientific committee. In 2017 he completed his Nurse Certificate in Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care by VetsNow. In parallel with his professional activity in the hospital, he has already been lectured in several congresses and conferences dealt by Veterinary Nursing Faculties. The pleasure of teaching triggered a new training project along two veterinary nurses, Tiago Abreu and Catarina Gonçalves, directed not only for students but also for other colleagues. This training project, ProVetNurse, aims to give easy access to training of veterinary nurses in Portugal and tries to raise the pleasure and importance of a continuous training for being better professionals.

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Daniele Collura
Daniele is head nurse in ICU one at the Erasme University Hospital, Brussels ULB (human medicine). He is a specialized ICU nurse and Master in nursing. Daniele is in charge since 1988. His teaching activities are focused on ICU student nurses and other ongoing formations at the hospital. He is also a co-organizer of the SISSIHE (annual symposium on intensive care for nurses).

Lecture Summary

Chloe Fay
Chloe qualified as a veterinary nurse in 2012, gained her ECC certificate in 2016, and her VTS (ECC) in 2018. She has a strong background in ECC, having spent 90% of her veterinary career in emergency and critical care positions.  She also has experience in referral nursing and is currently the head of the Priory Emergency Treatment Service (OOH) and referral lead of New Priory Vets in Brighton, who also provide cardio-respiratory and imaging referral services. Her main focus over the years has been her continual learning and progression as an ECC nurse; as well as focusing on the level of care we give to our patients and clients.  Chloe is impassioned about sharing this knowledge through teaching and developing both vets and technicians within her position at her current 24/7 hospital to provide gold standard care. Chloe is on the review board for the RCVS ‘inFOCUS’ veterinary journal and has provided lectures internationally. Chloe is highly experienced and passionate about all aspects of emergency and critical care nursing, but her specific interests include critical care patients including renal and septic patients, and cardio-respiratory patients. When she’s not studying for her Certificate in Anaesthesia or working, Chloe likes to go for long walks on the South Downs with her husband, children and 2kg chihuahua.

Lecture Summary

Nathalie Hack
I came from my native country Belgium to the UK in 1996, determined to become a Veterinary Nurse and I got qualified in 1999. In the last 25 years, my clinical work ranged from quiet first opinion practices to very busy referral hospitals, working as a theatre nurse, ECC nurse, deputy head nurse, head nurse and principal nurse manager!  The emergency clinical work taught me to stay calm and level headed in extreme stressful situations. And a good sense of humour certainly helps! I gained the diploma in Advanced Veterinary Nursing (Surgical), the Certificate in Emergency and Critical Care and the diploma in Feline Nursing. I am currently studying for my certificate in Advanced Feline behaviour. I was a lecturer in Veterinary Nursing at Islington College in London and at the College of Animal Welfare. I loved teaching veterinary nurses and it is very rewarding to see when they reach that ‘lightbulb’ moment! I have gone back to my big passion: being an emergency veterinary nurse! I am working for Vets Now as the roving nurse for District 5. I have two kids, three cats, two tortoises and a husband! I love yoga, travelling, a positive attitude to life, meeting new people and exploring new cultures. I am currently also doing my Yoga Teacher training.

Lecture Summary

Eleanor Haskey
Elle graduated in 2008 from the University of Bristol with a BSc honours degree as a RVN.  She moved to the Midlands where she worked in a mixed practice for 2 years before returning to the University of Bristol as Senior ICU nurse. She spent 4 years back at Bristol where she studied for and gained the VTS(ECC) qualification in 2012. In 2013 she moved to London where she joined the Royal Veterinary College Emergency and Critical Care team and worked as both senior and head ECC Nurse for a total of 6 years. In 2020 she stepped down as head nurse and back into the team to regain a focus on clinical work and mentoring the students on clinical rotations. In 2019 she completed a PGCert in Veterinary Education and became a member of the FHEA. She has lectured internationally, written several articles and also contributed to book chapters. She is on the editorial committee for The Veterinary Nurse in addition to volunteering for EVECCS and BSAVA. 

Lecture Summary

Theo van den Herik
Theo graduated in 1998 as a veterinary technician from Groenhorst College Barneveld. Since then he worked in several clinics, primary care and referral clinics. In 2011 he started at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the Utrecht University at the emergency department and in 2012 he switched to the intensive care unit of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at Utrecht University. In November 2013 he became a technician specialist accredited by the Academy of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Technicians. And since 2019 he is working for IVC Evidensia focussing on ECC and Cardiology.

Lecture Summary


Helen Silver-MacMahon
Helen is a veterinary nurse and Senior Trainer and Content Development Lead at VetLed. Having worked in general practice, referral hospitals and nursing education over the past 21 years, she has extensive professional experience and understanding from a wide range of settings. Helen is passionate about developing the veterinary professions understanding of Human Factors as a powerful aid in improving patient safety, enhancing performance and supporting the wellbeing of the veterinary team. She is a RCVS Knowledge Champion for her role in the sustained training and use of a surgical safety checklist within the small animal theatre at the former Animal Health Trust. In 2021, Helen completed an MSc in Patient Safety and Clinical Human Factors at the University of Edinburgh. For her dissertation project Helen researched situational awareness in the veterinary operating theatre and has a special interest in non-technical skills. Helen recently began a PhD at the University of Lincoln to research the non-technical skills that veterinary nurses require when monitoring anaesthesia. In her role at VetLed she enjoys applying this knowledge to develop and deliver professionally relevant training for all members of the veterinary team. 

Samanta Thompson
Sam qualified from MYF college and has worked in referral hospitals for over 10 years, most recently as the Clinical Services Manager for North Downs Specialist Referral Hospital. She joined NDSR as soon as she qualified as an RVN and also has experience teaching Veterinary Nursing within the education sector.  As a Post Registration Programme Manager for Linnaeus, Sam works with the hospital’s teams supporting nurses who have recently qualified fulfil their dreams of working in a referral hospital. This is done by the development and implementation of a structured and immersive professional and clinical programme. Combining both off site and on-site training to support the practices with ensuring these nurses have a smooth transition into referral nursing.  Alongside her role as PRP Manager Sam also sits on the Linnaeus Clinical Board and the Mars Patient Safety Team, providing presence in this area. She’s a certified RECOVER Rescuer, a member of the VNJ Editorial board and has a keen interest in quality improvement having been runner up the RCVS Knowledge awards. Alongside her Linnaeus role she runs the platform Evolution VN that aims to cheerlead, inspire, and educate VNs and has a keen interest in coaching and mentoring. 

Lecture Summary