Veterinarians

Below are the veterinarians of CARE. To meet other parts of our team, please visit our pages for physical therapists and staff.

  Dr. Jessica Waldman

Jessica H. Waldman, VDM, CVA, CCRT
Veterinarian
Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist
Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist

Dr. Waldman realized that the unique collaboration of a physical therapist and veterinarian would provide optimal pet therapy outcomes and founded California Animal Rehabilitation (CARE) in June of 2007.

Dr. Waldman received her Bachelor of Arts in Biology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1998. She continued her education at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine and received her Veterinary Medical Doctorate in 2004. Dr. Waldman achieved the Dean's List each year during veterinary school.

While attending veterinary school, Dr. Waldman was the Alumni Representative for four years and volunteered in a program in the Native American Reservations of the Southwest to spay and neuter pets in need. Dr. Waldman completed two additional externships in small animal surgery with board certified veterinary surgeons in New York City at the Animal Medical Center and in Los Angeles at the Surgical Group for Animals.

Following graduation, Dr. Waldman completed an additional year of specialty training, as an intern at California Animal Hospital in Los Angeles. During this internship year, she worked with board certified surgeons, neurologists, internists, cardiologists, and dentists. Dr. Waldman also published a paper on the topic of critical care in Pulse veterinary publication. Upon completion of her internship in July of 2005, Dr. Waldman has enjoyed practicing small animal medicine.

Dr. Waldman completed a certificate program from the Canine Rehabilitation Institute to become a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist. She is also a Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist through the Chi Institute. Dr. Waldman enjoys integrating acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine into her practice of pet rehabilitation.

Dr. Waldman is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the California Veterinary Medical Association, the Southern California Veterinary Medical Association and the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society. She is licensed to practice veterinary medicine in the states of New York and California. She is one of the founding members of the American Association of Rehabilitation Veterinarians.

Dr. Waldman speaks at veterinary meetings on the subject of Canine Rehabilitation and she has a special interest in neurological rehabilitation and in nutrition for all life stages. Dr. Waldman loves to see her patients’ quality of life improve, and she counsels in nutrition utilizing a combination of Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine for the best possible outcome. On the personal side, Dr. Waldman enjoys volleyball, hiking, painting, and spending time with her family. She currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband Stuart, her three daughters Gemma, Delia and Blythe, and her dog Tate.

 

 

Nicolette M. Bertolone, DVM, CVA
Veterinarian
Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist
Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist

Dr. Bertolone received her Bachelor of Science in Zoology and Pre-Veterinary Medicine from Kent State University in 2004, and her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from The Ohio State University in 2009.

Throughout veterinary school, Dr. Bertolone was the class president of the College of Veterinary Medicine, Class of 2009. This position enabled her to develop valuable leadership skills and she served on several committees dedicated to improving the students' clinical experience. During vet school, Dr. Bertolone founded "Vets for Pet's, 5k run/walk with your pet" in 2006. The event was held to benefit several local rescue organizations and hosted hundreds of people with their pets. The event is still held yearly, celebrating the 8th annual race, with growing numbers of supporters at Ohio State College of Veterinary Medicine!

Additionally, Dr. Bertolone traveled to Spain with several colleagues, volunteering for one week at Scooby Medina in Medina del Campo, Spain - a Galgo (Spanish Greyhound) rescue camp. She has a passion for all sighthounds, especially Greyhounds. There she provided spay/neuter services and also collected information for, and was the author of a publication in the journal of Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases, entitled "Serological Study of Selected Vector-Borne Disease in Shelter Dogs in Central Spain Using Point of Care Assays."

After graduating from vet school, Dr. Bertolone completed an intensive one-year rotating internship in small animal medicine and surgery at VCA West Los Angeles Animal Hospital. During this time, she worked side by side with board certified surgeons, internists, cardiologists and neurologists. She was also able to explore integrative and alternative medicine with Dr. Joann Bak (a CARE colleague)- this is when Dr. Bertolone realized her niche in the veterinary field.

From 2010-2013, Dr. Bertolone enjoyed practicing small animal medicine and surgery at Hancock Park Veterinary Clinic. She received her Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist training from the Chi Institute in 2011 and began the alternative medicine and acupuncture aspect of the clinic. She traveled to China with the Chi Institute to study acupuncture, Chinese herbs and Tui Na in more detail. She has completed several courses in Veterinary Chinese Herbs through the Chi Institute, as well as courses in energy healing through Healing Touch for Animals.

Realizing her passion for pain management and natural healing, Dr. Bertolone decided to focus her energy to pursue the specialty field of veterinary rehabilitation. She received her certification through the Canine Rehabilitation Institute in 2014. She has truly loved helping pets improve comfort and longevity through the combination of rehabilitation, Chinese Medicine and herbals and acupuncture.

Dr. Bertolone completed a triathlon as part of Team In Training for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and worked to raise money for the cause. She has also finished 3 marathons and numerous half marathons. In her free time, she enjoys yoga, traveling, cooking, snowboarding and spending time with her husband Ben and her two dogs Billie Jean (greyhound) and Pickle (terrier).

 

  Dr. Jessica Waldman

Deanna O'Neil, DVM, CVA
Veterinarian
Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist

Born and raised in Palos Verdes, Dr. O'Neil is excited to be and practicing close to home. She earned her undergraduate degree in Anthropology from Fordham University in New York City. Dr. O’Neil then earned her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Minnesota in 2010. After obtaining her veterinary degree, she completed a one-year rotating internship at VCA All Care. She then continued at VCA All Care where she underwent further training in internal medicine.

Dr. O’Neil achieved her Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist training from the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society (IVAS) and is in the process of becoming certified in Veterinary Chinese Herbal Medicine through IVAS and the College of Integrative Veterinary Therapies. She has a strong interest senior care and integrative Chinese and Western medicine. She is pursuing certification in Canine Rehabilitation. In her spare time Dr. O'Neil enjoys hiking, reading, traveling and spending time with her family. She lives in Redondo Beach with her three Beagles and two cats.

 

 

Lori Polkowski, DVM, CVA
Veterinarian
Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist

Dr. Polkowski received her Bachelors of Science degree in Environmental Biology/Zoology from Michigan State University in 1995 and her doctorate of veterinary medicine from Purdue University in 2004. She moved to Los Angeles and completed an internship at Animal Specialty Emergency Center (ASEC) in 2005.  She then practiced at a 24 hour hospital general and emergency small animal practice called McClave Animal Hospital in Reseda, CA from 2005 until 2014.

She has loves the holistic medicine approach and became certified in acupuncture in 2012 through the Chi Institute.  She is fond of senior patients and found that acupuncture was very helpful for them, but wanted to continue to do more for them as well as other orthopedic and neurologic patients that so many others would have given up on, so she eventually found her way to CARE.  She is currently pursuing her certification in canine rehabilitation therapy through the Canine Rehabilitation Institute.

She is a member of the American Association of Traditional Chinese Medicine (AATCVM), the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the Southern California Veterinary Medical Association (SCVMA), and the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society (IVAS)

She appeared on Hallmark Home and Family Show discussing and demonstrating acupuncture on dogs in the summer of 2014 which was much less treacherous than when she appeared on Wipeout as a veterinarian in 2011.

Dr. Polkowski has a papillon named Papi, a schnoodle named Uma, the best cat in the world named Stella, 4 hens and a rooster named Kopitar, Casey Blake, K, Flo, and Henry.

 

dog acupuncture los angeles
 

Nicole Schiff, DVM, CVA
Veterinarian
Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist

Dr. Schiff received her Bachelor of Arts in Zoology from UC Davis in 1997, and her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from UC Davis in 2002.  From 2002 to 2008 she practiced small animal medicine and surgery at the Animal Medical Center of Southern California.

When her own dog was diagnosed with epilepsy and benefited immensely from acupuncture treatments she was inspired to pursue an understanding of how acupuncture can complement more traditional western therapies. In 2008 she completed a certification in Veterinary Medical Acupuncture from Colorado State University. She enjoys integrating acupuncture with other treatment modalities, and has lectured at veterinary meetings on the scientific basis of acupuncture.

Dr. Schiff is also dedicated to working with several Los Angeles based non-profit groups that work to alleviate pet overpopulation. She lives in the South Bay with her husband Dan and their beloved dog Einstein.

 

 

  Dr. Jessica Waldman

Gabriella Varcoe, DVM, CCRP, CVA
Veterinarian
Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practioner
Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist

Dr.  Varcoe graduated from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2007, receiving her doctor of veterinary medicine degree. Her fourth year of veterinary school for clinics she spent at Michigan State University. In 2010, she studied canine rehabilitation at the University Of Tennessee College Of Veterinary Medicine and became a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner. Realizing her interest in canine rehabilitation combined with the benefits of acupuncture, in 2012 Dr. Varcoe attended the Chi Institute of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine in Reddick, Florida - where she became a Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist (CVA). Dr. Varcoe recently gained an additional certification as a Veterinary Pain Practitioner through the IVAPM.  She is a member of CVMA, IVAPM, AHVMA, World Vets, IAAHPC, IAVRPT, and AATCVM.  Dr. Varcoe’s fields of greatest interest include:  geriatric medicine, pain management, hospice care, and rescue work. 

Originally from Venezuela, Dr. Varcoe recently moved to California from upstate New York. While in New York, she volunteered spaying and neutering feral cats and donated her services to various rescue organizations.  In her free time, Dr. Varcoe keeps busy taking part in a variety of outdoor activities with her family, which includes a dog named Sugar who was found in St. Kitt’s. She also enjoys photography and music, races autocross, and loves to travel.