Specialty Doctors and Staff
Janay Austin-Carlson, CCRPRehabilitation Practitioner
I grew up in a small town in Delaware. While I have always loved animals it didn't become clear that the veterinary field was my calling until later in life. I received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Arts from Catawba College in Salisbury, North Carolina. In my prior work life, I worked in Public Relations for the State of Delaware and Constituent Relations for a US Senator. After adopting my first pug and volunteering with animals in my free time, I soon realized that I had found my true passion. I started working at Friendship Hospital for Animals in August of 2006 while I went back to school. I finished my Canine Rehabilitation Program at the University of Tennessee in 2009. Since 2008 I have been a Rehabilitation Practitioner working primarily in orthopedics, sports medicine and neurology. In my spare time, I have run 10 half marathons (and counting) and traveled around the country doing so. I also like to spend some down time at home with my husband Roy and our rescued Pugs, French Bulldog, and cats.
Lindsay Boozer, DVM, DACVIM Neurology/Neurosurgery, Neurosurgery Certificate of Training
Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, I moved to Athens, Georgia for undergraduate and veterinary school, graduating from the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine in 2008. My interest in veterinary neurology started early and continued as I pursued a rotating small animal medicine and surgery internship at Red Bank Animal Hospital in Red Bank, New Jersey. This was followed by a research fellowship at North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine studying brain tumors and encephalitis in dogs, after which I returned to UGA for a neurology specialty internship and residency. I came to Friendship in 2014 as the first neurologist to join their growing team.
I have qualified for the Neurosurgery Certificate of Training, and professionally, my special interests include neurosurgery including spinal stabilization and fracture repair, lumbosacral surgery and surgical treatment of intervertebral disc herniations in addition to evaluation of stroke and treatment of epilepsy in veterinary patients. More personally, I love time at home or exploring the area with my husband, Will, and our animal family: a chocolate lab, Toby (the love of our lives), a terrier mix, Mokey (the grumpy old man), three cats (Ipi, Binks and Waffle) and a saltwater fish tank housing all kinds of creatures.
Janine Calabro, DVM, DACVECCChief of Emergency and Critical Care
I am originally from NJ (the Beautiful Garden State) and I graduated from Drew University in 1998. I then spent a year living in Costa Rica and Guatemala, working with a small humanitarian aid organization. After coming back to the States, I worked in mammary carcinogensis (breast cancer) and environmental reproductive toxicology research at Tufts University School of Medicine until I changed campuses and matriculated at the School of Veterinary Medicine in the fall of 2004. I graduated from Tufts with a DVM and a Certificate in International Veterinary Medicine in 2008, I completed an internship at Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital of the ASPCA in NYC in 2009, and then completed a residency in Emergency and Critical Care Medicine at Animal Medical Center (also in NYC) in July of 2012.
I live in Arlington with my husband, son, and cohort of rescued pets.
My professional interests include trauma, mechanical ventilation, antimicrobial stewardship and pain management in the acutely ill patient.
Gideon Daniel, DVM, DACVIM (SAIM)Internal Medicine
I am originally from Orlando, Florida and attended the University of Central Florida. I graduated from Ross University School of Veterinary medicine and completed clinical rotations at Tufts University in 2010. Following veterinary school, I completed a small animal rotating surgery and medicine internship at the Animal Medical Center in New York City.
Following my internship, I completed a small animal internal medicine residency at Tufts University and received board certification in August 2015. Following my residency, I served as a staff internist at Miami Veterinary Specialist for several months, then moved to Los Angeles to complete a fellowship in hemodialysis/nephrology.
I enjoy many aspects of internal medicine, but specifically endocrinology, urology and nephrology. I’m excited to join Friendship, as its an amazing facility with so many great doctors to collaborate with. I live in DC with my 3-legged Yorkie named Harry and I’m looking forward to exploring the city.
I was born in Washington DC, but grew up in Toronto, Ontario then moved to a suburb just outside Philadelphia. I received my undergraduate degree from Duke University, where I majored both in French studies and Biology with a focus in marine biology.
I attended veterinary school at the University of Florida, where I graduated cum laude, and gained a passion for comparative oncology and small animal internal medicine. Following vet school, I completed a 1-year rotating internship in medicine and surgery at Friendship Hospital for Animals.
Currently, I am in my final year of a 3-year medical oncology residency program. I live in DC with her scruffy mutt named Mowgli, whom I adopted during veterinary school.
JD Foster, VMD, DACVIM (SAIM)Internal Medicine
I graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary medicine. After working in small animal private practice, I went on to complete an internship at VCA Norwalk, followed by an internal medicine residency at the University of Wisconsin. My training in extracorporeal therapies was achieved through long-distance nephrology fellowship under the mentorship of Dr. Larry Cowgill at UC Davis. For four years, I was faculty at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, where I reopened an extracorporeal service providing hemodialysis, hemoperfusion, and plasma exchange. I am excited to be joining the Friendship Hospital for Animals, where I will be opening a new extracorporeal therapies service. This will be the first service of its kind in the DC/VA/MD region. My research interests include nontraditional uses of extracorporeal purification, acute kidney injury, and glomerulonephritis. I am a faculty member of the Hemodialysis Academy and am currently the president-elect of the American Society of Veterinary Nephrology and Urology.
Mathieu Glassman, VMD, DACVSOrthopedic and Soft Tissue Specialty Surgery
I am a native of the Washington DC area, a graduate of Sidwell Friends School. I graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine in 2004. My post graduate veterinary experiences include a rotating small animal medicine and surgery internship at The Ohio State University in 2004-5, a small animal orthopedic surgical internship at The Hollywood Animal Hospital (Hollywood, Florida) 2005-6, and a small animal Surgical Residency at the University of Georgia from 2007-2010. Following completion of my surgical residency at the University of Georgia, I was asked to stay at the university as a small animal orthopedic clinical instructor until July of 2011.
My professional interests include total hip replacements; joint surgery; arthroscopy; fracture management with internal plate fixation and external skeletal fixation; emergency surgeries; and advanced wound management and reconstructive surgery. I am very excited to work with Dr. Khanna and The Oncology Service here at Friendship, to help serve animals with surgical cancer needs.
In addition to being the only board certified specialty surgeon within DC, I am also the Chief of Surgery here at Friendship.
I live in Northwest DC with my beautiful wife, Lenka. We have three terrific dogs: our old man, Jackson (Labrador), our problem child Hurricane (a hurricane Katrina rescue); and our baby girl Lucy Lou (Cavalier King Charles Spaniel).
Elyshia Hankin, BVSc, MS (Hons), DACVRRadiology
I joined the Friendship following the completion of my residency in diagnostic imaging at Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Massachusetts. I graduated from Massey University Veterinary School in 2008 and thereafter completed a rotating internship at Veterinary Specialist Group, Auckland (New Zealand). Prior to my veterinary studies I had completed a Masters Degree in Anatomy and Radiology at Auckland School of Medicine, (New Zealand).
I enjoy all facets of diagnostic imaging, with ultrasound and C.T being my favorites, plus I have particular interests in C.T and MRI musculoskeletal imaging. I am extremely excited about establishing the diagnostic imaging department at Friendship.
When I am not working I spend my time running, playing tennis or exploring new towns and cities in the U.S.A!
Samantha Hart, BVMS (Hons), MS, DACVS, DACVECCEmergency and Critical Care
I graduated from Murdoch University School of Veterinary Medicine in Australia in November, 2004. I underwent an equine neonatology (foal) internship; rotating equine internship; and equine surgical residency at the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center in Leesburg, VA. During my surgical residency, I also completed a MS; my thesis was on local elution of antimicrobials from a novel dextran gel. I also published several journal articles and review articles during this time. I then went on to do a large animal emergency and critical care fellowship at New Bolton Center, University of Pennsylvania. I was involved in extensive research in gastrointestinal ischemia and reperfusion injury, and also published multiple journal articles, review articles, and a book chapter. After finishing my large animal emergency and critical care fellowship, I stayed on at the University of Pennsylvania as a lecturer in large animal emergency and critical care for a year. Following this, I made the switch to small animals, and completed a small animal emergency and critical care residency at the University of Pennsylvania. I am excited to be moving back to the D.C. area, and in my free time I enjoy staying active, horse-back riding, volunteering, and racing Porsches.
Joshua Hobbs, DVM, DACVRRadiology
I am originally from Fayetteville, Arkansas and attended the University of Arkansas before being accepted to veterinary school at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA. As a veterinary student I was given the opportunity to present my research project on ultrasonographic evaluation of food allergic dogs at the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine Forum in Montreal, Canada. After earning my DVM in 2010, I did a one year rotating internship at Affiliated Veterinary Specialists in Orlando, FL. I am currently completing my diagnostic imaging residency at Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in North Grafton, MA. In October 2013, I presented my research on ultrasonographic features of gastrointestinal stromal tumors in dogs at the American College of Veterinary Radiology Forum in Savannah, GA.
While I find all aspects of diagnostic imaging interesting, my favorite concentrations are ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging. As a radiologist, the role that I enjoy the most is being able to play a part in the process of diagnosing a pet and helping to determine the best treatment plan.
I am very excited to be joining Friendship this August and to be teaming up with my resident-mate Dr. Hankin once again. I have been married to my high school sweetheart, Lauren, for 7 years and we have two very lazy Cairn Terriers named Webster and Burke. In my free time I enjoy hiking and spending time outdoors. My wife and I are looking forward to moving back to a warmer climate and discovering all DC has to offer.
Nicole Leunsman, DVM, MS, cVMA, DACVAAAnesthesiology, Acupuncture
I am originally from Cincinatti, OH and attended The Ohio State University for both my undergraduate coursework and veterinary school. After graduating with my DVM in 2010, I completed a rotating internship here at Friendship Hospital. I returned to Ohio to complete my residency in anesthesia and analgesia, as well as, my MS in Veterinary Clinical Sciences, veterinary medical acupuncture certification and additional training in canine medical massage.
My primary interests are clinical management of anesthetized patients and pain management. I am interested in pain management of both hospitalized patients in the acute setting and on an outpatient, long-term basis. In fact, my master's thesis was focused on management of cancer pain. I am excited to be at Friendship Hospital to support and advance anesthetic services and continue to develop our pain management service.
I have two ill-behaved dogs, Sam and Leroy. I enjoy yoga and exploring DC's monuments, restaurants and museums.
Darcie Kunder, VMD, DACVDDermatology
I graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary medicine. I did a rotating internship in Connecticut 2008-2009, followed by a dermatology internship at University of Wisconsin 2011-2012.
I did a residency in dermatology at University of Pennsylvania Vet School 2012-2015. I was board-certified in November 2015.
My specific interests include ear disease, topical treatments for complicated pyoderma, auto-immune and immune-mediated disease.
I love seeing cats and pit bulls!
Eric Langfitt, DVM Emergency and Critical Care
Originally from Jacksonville, Florida, I attended the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine where I graduated in 2010. Then I spent a year in Highlands Ranch, Colorado completing a rotating Internship in Small Animal Medicine. I spent the last three years in New York City at The Animal Medical Center completing a residency in small animal Emergency and Critical Care.
My interests in veterinary medicine are more emergency focused, such as polytrauma, transfusion medicine, and mechanical ventilation. I enjoy running, swimming, and going out with friends in my spare time. Having never really spent much time in the District prior to starting my experience here at Friendship, I am enjoying seeing what the area has to offer.
Fiona Lee, VMD, DACVDDermatology
I grew up in NY/NJ with a flawless accent and attended New York University for my undergraduate studies in Chemistry. During this time, I performed research with the human side of medicine, volunteered with a general practitioner veterinarian, and took an elective course in goat husbandry. Realizing that a career in veterinary medicine could combine these diverse interests, I attended veterinary school at the University of Pennsylvania. Despite the lack of goats of in New York City, I returned to the city for my rotating internship at BluePearl Veterinary Partners.
While the subject of dermatology had always interested me (it may have been in the NY/NJ water as my brother is a human dermatologist), what I found most compelling about the specialty was that I could see the problem AND the owner could see the problem. Together, we could make a formidable team to help diagnose, treat, and monitor their pet's dermatologic disease. Therefore, despite the lack of New York City in Philadelphia, I returned to the University of Pennsylvania for my dermatology residency and became board certified.
Because DC is not Philadelphia, and for many other reasons, I am excited to work at Friendship and collaborate with the team!
Mike Levenson, VMD Orthopedic and Soft Tissue Surgery Intern
I grew up in nearby Glen Echo, Maryland and started to envision a future in veterinary medicine during high school. I fueled my fascination with biology and medicine with explorations along the Potomac River and at the National Zoo, and later by shadowing area veterinarians. As an undergraduate at Boston College, I developed interests in comparative anatomy, cancer biology, and immunology and worked as an emergency and surgery assistant at a local veterinary hospital. I received my VMD from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, where I worked closely in clinical and research settings on new treatments for canine osteosarcoma, a bone cancer of dogs. While working in the vet school’s operating rooms, I strengthened interests in minimally invasive surgery, orthopedics, and surgical oncology. I am particularly interested in studying conditions that affect pets and people alike and searching for creative solutions that could help them both. I am excited to spend the next chapter of my career back in my hometown at Friendship and to continue the pursuit of my passion for helping individual animals and their families.
Outside of work I enjoy cooking, practicing yoga with my partner Emily and our tortoiseshell cat Zephyr, cycling, and downhill skiing.
Courtney Mallett, DVM, DACVIMOncology
I grew up in West Virginia and received my Bachelor of Science degree in biological sciences from Clemson University followed by my Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from The University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine. I then completed a one-year internship in small animal medicine and surgery at Florida Veterinary Specialists and a three-year residency in medical oncology at the University of Georgia. After completing my residency, I worked at private specialty referral hospitals in Atlanta, Georgia and Vancouver, WA before moving to Washington, DC to practice at Friendship Hospital for Animals. I am board-certified in medical oncology by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. My interests include all aspects of cancer treatment, and I enjoy developing strong relationships with my patients and clients. In my spare time, I enjoy reading, traveling, and exercising with my energetic Border Collie, Huckleberry.
Tracie Romsland, DVM, MS, DACVP Clinical Pathology
I grew up in the Seattle, WA area. I have always loved animals and been involved in animal rescue and fostering for as long as I can remember. All members of my immediate family are animal people as well! I took the long road to veterinary school- I got my B.S. in general science from The Evergreen State College and then spent the next 8 years in multiple facets of the veterinary team as a receptionist, assistant, and then technician and massage and rehabilitation practitioner. I attended Washington State University for my veterinary degree, completed a small animal rotating internship at the Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital in NYC, and returned to WSU for my residency. I am also certified in veterinary acupuncture through the Chi Institute.
My areas of interest include cytology, hematology, and biochemistry, as well as acupuncture. I enjoy consulting and getting to be involved with the patients and medical team.
Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my 3 cats Charlotte, Apple, and Priscilla and exploring the D.C. area. When I go home to visit family in Washington, I also get to visit my super cute dog Pearl!
Meaghan Ropski, DVM Orthopedic and Soft Tissue Specialty Surgery
I grew up in Erie, Pennsylvania and started working with animals when I was fifteen years old as a zoo keeper at the Erie Zoo. While I was in college I worked as a technician at the Northwest Pennsylvania Pet Emergency Center. I completed my undergraduate degree in Biology at Gannon University where my parents both teach.
In May 2014 I graduated from The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine. I’m interested in all aspects of veterinary medicine and particularly enjoy soft tissue surgery, emergency medicine, and diseases of the adrenal gland and spleen. I recently completed an internship here at Friendship and am very excited to stay on with the Surgical Specialists.
My husband and I live in North Bethesda with our cat, Killian (a rescue from Ohio) and our lab mix, Sadie (a rescue from DC). In my spare time I enjoy watching movies, reading, and going to hockey games.
Erick Spencer, DVM, DACVIM Internal Medicine
I became part of the FHA family in October 2012. I received my Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine and completed a M.S. and residency in small animal internal medicine at Washington State University.
I grew up in the greater Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, however I have spent the last several years in the Pacific Northwest. Following completion of my residency, I remained at WSU as a clinical assistant professor.
I have broad interest in medicine, however, I have particular interest in endocrine, urologic, and respiratory diseases. Additionally, I enjoy performing minimally-invasive diagnostic (and at times therapeutic) procedures such as endoscopy.
Dirsko von Pfeil, Dr.med.vet, DVM, DACVS, DECVS, DACVSMROrthopedic, Soft Tissue Specialty and Oncologic Surgery
After studying veterinary medicine in Germany, France and Sweden I graduated from Berlin in 2001 before being selected for an internship at Kansas State University (KSU). This was followed by the American DVM, a surgery residency and fellowship at Michigan State University (MSU) (resident of the year, elected by the MSU class 2006), leading to double-board certification with the American and European Colleges of Veterinary Surgeons in 2008. I then worked as assistant professor in surgery at KSU and at veterinary referral centers in Alaska and Virginia before joining Friendship Surgical Specialists in 2015. Following years of sports medicine related work, I gained my third board-certification in 2016 with the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation.
My clinical interests include minimally invasive surgery (arthroscopy, laparoscopy, thoracoscopy, C-arm guided fracture repair), tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO), trauma (comminuted fractures, reconstructive soft tissue surgeries), sports medicine, joint replacements, laryngeal and oncological surgery.
To keep up to date with the latest developments I serve as adjunct professor at MSU since 2009, am on the editorial boards of several veterinary journals and enjoy lecturing at national and international surgical meetings. As a result of my dissertation on orthopedic implant biomechanics, a novel interlocking nail (I-Loc) for fracture repair was developed. Other publications include over 20 scientific surgical papers and book chapters as well as the edition of a book on sled dog medicine. A volunteer veterinarian for several years in the Iditarod Sled Dog Race I was fortunate enough to receive the Golden Stethoscope Award for that event in 2013.
In my free time I enjoy the Washington D.C. metropolitan area with my wife Annika and our children, photography, music, languages and the occasional triathlon.