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Large Animal Specialists

  • Dr. Daniela Bedenice

    Daniela Bedenice

    Dr. Med Vet, DACVIM, DACVECC

  • Dr. Kirstin Bubeck

    Kirstin Bubeck

    DVM, DACVS, DACVSMR

  • Dr. Kate Chope

    Kate Chope

    VMD, DACVSMR

  • Dr. Nicholas Frank

    Nicholas Frank

    DVM, PhD, DACVIM

  • Dr. José M. García-López

    José M. García-López

    VMD, DACVS, DACVSMR

  • Dr. Carlos M Gradil

    Carlos Gradil

    LMV, MS, PhD, DACT

  • Dr. Alisha Gruntman

    Alisha Gruntman

    DVM, PhD, DACVIM, Section Chief

  • Dr. Thomas Jenei

    Thomas Jenei

    DVM, DACVS, Associate Medical Director

  • Dr. Carl Kirker-Head

    Carl Kirker-Head

    VetMB, MA, DACVS, DECVS

  • Dr. Melissa Mazan

    Melissa Mazan

    DVM, DACVIM

  • Dr. Wade Tenney

    Wade Tenney

    DVM

Dr. Daniela Bedenice

Daniela Bedenice

Dr. Med Vet, DACVIM, DACVECC

Dr. Daniela Bedenice is a veterinary internist and one of the few large animal veterinary specialists in the country who is dual board-certified in both Large Animal Internal Medicine and Emergency and Critical Care. Dr. Bedenice co-leads the Tufts Equine Respiratory Lab and is at the forefront of understanding, diagnosing and treating horses with respiratory conditions. She also provides intensive care for both newborn and adult horses, llamas, alpacas and small ruminant species. Dr. Bedenice grew up in rural Germany where she trained and cared for many horses. After earning her veterinary degree from the Free University of Berlin, Dr. Bedenice initially worked in private practice followed by specialty training in large animal internal medicine, critical care and respiratory medicine after moving to the United States. As an Associate Professor in the Department of Clinical Sciences at Cummings School, Dr. Bedenice has published extensively in the field of comparative respiratory medicine and evidence-based therapy, as well as newborn and adult intensive care. She is Course Director of Clinical Pharmacology and leads or contributes to multiple veterinary courses focused on respiratory topics, gastrointestinal disease and neurology, and to clinical services specializing in large animal internal medicine. At home, Dr. Bedenice operates a small farm with thirteen alpacas and three German Shepherds.

Internal Medicine Service
Dr. Kirstin Bubeck

Kirstin Bubeck

DVM, DACVS, DACVSMR

Dr. Kirstin Bubeck specializes in lameness evaluation and treatment, advanced diagnostic imaging, and orthopedic and respiratory surgery. She became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons in 2011, and a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation in 2013. Dr. Bubeck earned her veterinary degree from the University of Hannover, Germany in 1997, and then worked at the university’s equine hospital as a staff veterinarian where she completed a postgraduate degree with her thesis titled “Pulmonary Wedge Pressure During Treadmill Exercise in Healthy Horses and Horses with Mitral Valve Insufficiency” in 2001. She came to Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine for her Large Animal Surgery internship and residency with emphasis in equine sports medicine. After completion of her residency in 2009, Dr. Bubeck worked as a Large Animal Emergency Clinician and Surgeon at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, as a Clinical Instructor for Equine Surgery and Lameness at the University of Montreal, and as a Staff Surgeon at the Equine Clinic in Kaufungen, Germany.  She returned to Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine as a Clinical Assistant Professor for Equine Sports Medicine and Surgery in June 2014. In 2016, Dr. Bubeck became certified in Veterinary Spinal Manipulation through the Healing Oasis Wellness Center in Sturtevant, Wisconsin and is a member of the College of Animal Chiropractors. Currently, she is pursuing her certification in Equine Acupuncture at the Chi Institute in Reddick, Florida.

Sports Medicine & Surgery Service
Dr. Kate Chope

Kate Chope

VMD, DACVSMR

Dr. Kate Chope is a lifelong horse owner and competitor, having successfully shown through Grand Prix in show jumping. She is also one of the few academically trained veterinary ultrasonographers specializing exclusively in equine ultrasound. Dr. Chope became board-certified by the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation and brings strong expertise in clinical ultrasound in her work as a Clinical Assistant Professor at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. Before joining the faculty at Tufts, Dr. Chope earned her VMD from the University of Pennsylvania, where she also undertook a fellowship in equine cardiology and served as an academic lecturer. She has lectured and taught wet labs on equine ultrasound extensively at national and international conferences and has contributed to several clinical articles in peer-reviewed veterinary journals.

Ultrasound Service
Dr. José M. García-López

José M. García-López

VMD, DACVS, DACVSMR

Dr. García-López specializes in equine orthopedic surgery, which includes arthroscopy and fracture repair, upper respiratory surgery, lameness diagnosis and treatment, and advanced imaging. Dr. Garcia obtained his VMD from the University of Pennsylvania in 1996 and went on to complete a one-year equine internship at Mid-Atlantic Equine Medical Center, followed by a three-year large animal surgical residency with a special focus on Equine Sports Medicine at Tufts University. He became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons in 2001. Following his residency, José obtained a lecturer position in the Section of Equine Sports Medicine and Imaging at the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania where he remained for two years. In 2002, he returned to Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University as an Assistant Professor in Large Animal Surgery and in 2010, he was promoted to Associate Professor. Since returning to Cummings School, he has continued to concentrate his work in the diagnosis and management of musculoskeletal disorders as well as the use of advanced imaging in the equine athlete. In 2010, he also became a faculty member of AO VET North America. He became board-certified by the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation in 2013.  Dr. José M. García-López regularly provides lectures and consultations at both the national and international level.

Sports Medicine & Surgery Service
Dr. Carlos M Gradil

Carlos Gradil

LMV, MS, PhD, DACT

Dr. Gradil’s areas of clinical expertise and interests are comparative reproduction in large and small animals including wildlife. His area of research expertise includes determination of PLC zeta concentration in the sperm of horses and how it relates to fertility. He finds satisfaction in his fieldwork because it creates the opportunity to produce desirable offspring, relieve infertility and resolve difficult parturition. Dr Gradil earned his PhD in theriogenology and his MSc in theriogenology from University of Minnesota, and his LMV from University of Lisbon, Portugal. He became a Diplomate of the American College of Theriogenology in 1998. Dr. Gradil’s honors include awards from US-AID, NATO and the Veterinary Honor Society. He has been a Fulbright Fellow and a Rockefeller Fellow.

Reproduction Service
Dr. Alisha Gruntman

Alisha Gruntman

DVM, PhD, DACVIM, Section Chief

Dr. Alisha Gruntman is a veterinary internist and Section Chief for the Internal Medicine team at Tufts Equine Center. Dr. Gruntman commonly treats colic, colitis, enteritis, gastric ulcers, pneumonia, equine asthma, neurologic diseases and many other common and vague illnesses.  She was drawn to medicine at Tufts because of the complex challenges treating cases at a high-level university referral practice.  Her research focuses on gene therapies for rare genetic diseases in both human and veterinary patients.  After completing her veterinary training at Purdue University, Dr. Gruntman completed her internship, medicine residency, and a year of post-doctoral research at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. She holds a Ph.D. in Biomedical Science, specializing in Gene Therapy, from the University of Massachusetts Medical School. She is an Assistant Professor with both Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine  and the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Internal Medicine Service
Dr. Thomas Jenei

Thomas Jenei

DVM, DACVS, Associate Medical Director

Dr Thomas Jenei is a board-certified veterinary surgeon with a clinical focus in soft tissue surgery including gastrointestinal disease, surgical oncology and traumatic injuries. Dr. Jenei obtained his DVM from Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts and became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons in 2009. Dr. Jenei was drawn to Tufts for its diverse expertise and the opportunity to treat horses for a wide variety of conditions, ranging from acute traumatic injuries, such as lacerations and fractures to gastrointestinal diseases. Dr. Jenei is the Associate Medical Director and Assistant Clinical Professor in Large Animal Surgery at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine and has a strong research and clinical interest in the surgical and post-operative care of colic patients. Dr. Jenei grew up riding horses as a 4-H member, and his experiences competing and working with horses led him to pursue a veterinary career.

General Surgery Service
Dr. Carl Kirker-Head

Carl Kirker-Head

VetMB, MA, DACVS, DECVS

Dr. Carl Kirker-Head is an orthopedic surgeon, equine sports medicine expert and Professor of Large Animal Surgery at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. As the Marilyn M. Simpson Chair in Equine Medicine, his research and clinical interests range from internal fixation and corrective farrier to the use of pharmaceuticals. As Director of the Orthopedic Research Laboratory, Dr. Kirker-Head’s research interests include bone, tendon, ligament, and cartilage growth, grafting and remodeling. He is also involved in research on equine skeletal tissue engineering and orthopedic device development, as well as less invasive (catheter-based) interventions. Dr. Kirker-Head is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons as well as the European College of Veterinary Surgeons.

General Surgery Service
Dr. Melissa Mazan

Melissa Mazan

DVM, DACVIM

Dr. Melissa Mazan co-leads the Tufts Tufts Equine Respiratory Lab and is a world-recognized expert in the field of equine asthma. Dr Mazan’s work led to the creation of the first clinical lung function laboratory in North America where lung function testing is regularly used to help improve equine performance. Dr. Mazan earned her B.A. at Yale University and her DVM from Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University.  She is board-certified in the America College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (Large Animal). Dr. Mazan teaches courses on respiratory medicine and pathophysiology, as well as exercise physiology at Cummings School where she was drawn by the opportunity to combine research, clinical work and teaching.  She also developed the first veterinary telemedicine teaching service in the United States for working equids in Fez, Morocco. Dr. Mazan’s interest in equine health and performance began when she was a member of the Varsity Polo Team at Yale University and the Captain of the Polo Team at the University of Oxford, and when she was managing her own barn and competing as a junior in equitation and Pony Club.

Internal Medicine Service
Dr. Wade Tenney

Wade Tenney

DVM

Dr. Tenney earned his veterinary degree from Colorado State University and completed the large animal ultrasound fellowship at the University of California, Davis with Dr. Mary Beth Whitcomb. Following his fellowship, Dr. Tenney worked at Steinbeck Country Equine Clinic, a large referral hospital on California’s central coast, where he focused on sport horses, medicine—including pre-purchase exams—lameness exams and ultrasound. He worked at the HITS horse show series in Thermal, California for several years, providing sports medicine services to clients attending the shows. In April of 2013, Dr. Tenney joined Cummings Veterinary Medical Center to provide Diagnostic Ultrasound Services. Dr. Tenney has FEI certification in show jumping, dressage and eventing and has worked at Wellington and the Winter Equestrian Festival. Dr. Tenney continues to give lectures and instruction at wet labs at many national and international equine conferences.

Ultrasound Service

Residents and Interns

  • Dr. Joseph Davis

    Joseph Davis

    DVM, Resident

  • Meredith T. Hare-Drubka

    DVM, Intern

  • Kelsey Jurek

    Kelsey Jurek

    DVM, Intern

  • Caroline McKinney

    Caroline McKinney

    DVM, MPH, Resident

  • Nina Petersen

    Nina Petersen

    DVM, Intern

  • Dr. Amanda Prisk

    Amanda Prisk

    VMD, Resident

  • Sophie Sage

    Sophie Sage

    DVM, IPSAV, Resident

Dr. Joseph Davis

Joseph Davis

DVM, Resident

Dr. Joe Davis grew up on a small farm in northeastern Washington State. He attended Montana State University for his undergraduate degree and began working with horses at a referral clinic in Idaho. Dr. Davis received his veterinary degree from Western University of Health Sciences in 2017 and completed an internship in Equine Medicine and Surgery at Washington State University.

General Surgery Service
Kelsey Jurek

Kelsey Jurek

DVM, Intern

Dr. Kelsey Jurek was born and raised in Wisconsin/Minnesota. She attended the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine and graduated in 2017. She completed a year-long private practice internship at Stillwater Equine Veterinary Clinic in Stillwater, MN before moving to Massachusetts to join Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine as the 2018-2019 Large Animal Surgery Intern. She plans to complete a Large Animal Surgery residency and then remain in academia to teach and do research.

General Surgery Service
Caroline McKinney

Caroline McKinney

DVM, MPH, Resident

Caroline began her horseback riding career, and love for horses, at the age of four. Since then, her life has revolved around them. Like her love for horses, the decision to become a veterinarian was also made at a young age. Riding took Caroline through competitive hunter jumper circuits and collegiate competition. Academic pursuits led her to Vanderbilt University for a Bachelor of Arts and then onto the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine for veterinary schooling. During veterinary school, Caroline was involved with AAEP, serving as the chapter President, and the Large Animal Hospital student technician team, and serving as a student director for that group. During veterinary school, Caroline simultaneously pursued a Master’s in Public Health through Tufts’ School of Medicine. She hopes to use this training, along with her veterinary degree, to help equids in developing nations. Following veterinary school, Caroline completed a rotating internship at an equine private practice outside of Nashville called Tennessee Equine Hospital. Caroline has a Labrador-cross who showed up on her doorstep during internship. When not working, she enjoys hiking with her dog and fiancée, distance running, and baking.

Internal Medicine Service
Dr. Amanda Prisk

Amanda Prisk

VMD, Resident

Dr. Amanda Prisk grew up in northwestern New Jersey and has been working with horses since a young age. She attended Rutgers University for her undergraduate degree, where she trained an American Mustang yearling for sale and was enrolled in specialized courses in both Horse Management and Equine Nutrition. Dr. Prisk attended the University of Pennsylvania for veterinary school and graduated magna cum laude in 2015. Following graduation from veterinary school, she completed a rotating internship at Mid-Atlantic Equine Medical Center, a busy referral practice in New Jersey. She is interested in lameness, advanced diagnostic imaging, orthopedic surgery, and emergency surgery, such as colics and lacerations.

General Surgery Service
Sophie Sage

Sophie Sage

DVM, IPSAV, Resident

Dr. Sophie Sage is a Large Animal Medicine resident who received her veterinary education at the National Veterinary school of Lyon (France). She then completed an internship in equine medicine at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Montreal.

Extracurricular activities include skiing, hiking, traveling and horseback riding.

Internal Medicine Service

Hospital Leadership

  • Jill Franko

    Jill Franko

    CVT, Senior Technician, Supervisor

  • Dr. Alisha Gruntman

    Alisha Gruntman

    DVM, PhD, DACVIM, Section Chief

  • Richard Harding

    Richard Harding

    Hospital Administrator

  • Dr. Thomas Jenei

    Thomas Jenei

    DVM, DACVS, Associate Medical Director

  • Virginia T. Rentko

    Virginia T Rentko

    VMD, DACVIM, Medical Director

  • Beth Timlage

    Manager of Client Services

Jill Franko

Jill Franko

CVT, Senior Technician, Supervisor

Jill Franko manages a team of experienced veterinary technicians who provide around the clock, quality nursing care to all of our patients. Jill is a Certified Veterinary Technician and has worked in the equine industry for many years and with the Tufts Large Animal Hospital for seventeen years. She attended Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA with a BS in Animal Science. Jill and the team of technician’s work with patients across all of our services including Sports Medicine, Ultrasound, Internal Medicine and Surgery. Jill has many outside interests and enjoys water sports in the summer and skiing, snowboarding, and hiking in the winter months.

Dr. Alisha Gruntman

Alisha Gruntman

DVM, PhD, DACVIM, Section Chief

Dr. Alisha Gruntman is a veterinary internist and Section Chief for the Internal Medicine team at Tufts Equine Center. Dr. Gruntman commonly treats colic, colitis, enteritis, gastric ulcers, pneumonia, equine asthma, neurologic diseases and many other common and vague illnesses.  She was drawn to medicine at Tufts because of the complex challenges treating cases at a high-level university referral practice.  Her research focuses on gene therapies for rare genetic diseases in both human and veterinary patients.  After completing her veterinary training at Purdue University, Dr. Gruntman completed her internship, medicine residency, and a year of post-doctoral research at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. She holds a Ph.D. in Biomedical Science, specializing in Gene Therapy, from the University of Massachusetts Medical School. She is an Assistant Professor with both Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine  and the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Internal Medicine Service
Richard Harding

Richard Harding

Hospital Administrator

Rich Harding is the Hospital Administrator for the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine’s Hospitals.  He is responsible for the management of finances and overall operations and has been with Tufts for thirty-six years.  Rich serves in national leadership roles for the North American Veterinary College Association and the equine academic hospitals Veterinary Management Group.  Richard holds a Master of Education degree.

Dr. Thomas Jenei

Thomas Jenei

DVM, DACVS, Associate Medical Director

Dr Thomas Jenei is a board-certified veterinary surgeon with a clinical focus in soft tissue surgery including gastrointestinal disease, surgical oncology and traumatic injuries. Dr. Jenei obtained his DVM from Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts and became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons in 2009. Dr. Jenei was drawn to Tufts for its diverse expertise and the opportunity to treat horses for a wide variety of conditions, ranging from acute traumatic injuries, such as lacerations and fractures to gastrointestinal diseases. Dr. Jenei is the Associate Medical Director and Assistant Clinical Professor in Large Animal Surgery at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine and has a strong research and clinical interest in the surgical and post-operative care of colic patients. Dr. Jenei grew up riding horses as a 4-H member, and his experiences competing and working with horses led him to pursue a veterinary career.

General Surgery Service
Virginia T. Rentko

Virginia T Rentko

VMD, DACVIM, Medical Director

Dr. Virginia Rentko is a board-certified veterinary internist and is the medical director of the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine’s Hospitals.  A diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Dr. Rentko’s professional interests include hematology, tissue oxygenation and general internal medicine. Dr. Rentko earned a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Boston University and a master’s degree in Zoology from The Ohio State University. She holds a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, where she also completed an internship in medicine and surgery. She undertook a residency in Internal Medicine at the Cummings School.  Dr. Rentko is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Massachusetts Veterinary Medical Association and the Association of Veterinary Hematology and Transfusion Medicine. She has published articles in various scientific journals and book chapters on topics in hematology. Dr. Rentko has lectured internationally on the topic of blood substitutes, a topic which she investigated for much of her career. She previously held various management positions at Biopure Corporation, most recently, Vice President of Preclinical Research where she worked on the development of the first commercially successful blood substitute for dogs in the United States and Europe. During that time, she held an adjunct appointment in the Department of Clinical Sciences at Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine.

Beth Timlage

Manager of Client Services

Beth is the Client Services Manager for the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine’s Hospitals.  The client experience is an integral part of our services and Beth and her team ensure that each client has a personalized and exceptional experience.  Beth earned a bachelor’s degree in Zoology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and is a certified Equine Specialist with the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH), Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA), Equine Experiential Education (E3A), Massachusetts’s Licensed Riding Instructor and is a certified Positive Psychology Communications and Career Coach.

Who's Who on Your Team

Who's who on the equine medicine team

Within our team, every individual plays a unique and important role in the health and well-being of our patients and communication with our clients.  Our success comes from our extensive knowledge and compassionate care from our interdisciplinary teams.

We manage cases from multiple perspectives and offer diagnosis, interpretation and treatment plans not available in other settings and we are driven to provide the highest standard of care available and provide exceptional care and service for you and your horse.

Our team is led by our Specialists,  veterinarians who have completed years of additional training in a specialty and achieved board certification. Within our team, we have board-certified specialists in sports medicine and rehabilitation, surgery, internal medicine, imaging, ophthalmology and cardiology.

Your experience may begin with our Liaisons who manage the communication between our specialty service teams and our clients and schedule appointments.  We have dedicated liaisons for our Sports Medicine and Surgery, Ultrasound, General Surgery, and Internal Medicine.

Upon your arrival, you will meet our Client Service Representatives, a highly trained and dedicated individuals who manage our client interactions, and respond to inquiries setting the stage for a superior client experience.   They know how to get things done and interface with all of the teams providing personalized support.

You will also interact with our experienced team of Veterinary Technicians,  experienced individuals educated and trained to support the veterinarian by assisting with surgery, laboratory procedures, radiography, anesthesiology, treatment, and client education.  Many of our veterinary technicians have pursued advanced training in sports medicine, emergency and critical care, anesthesiology, and internal medicine.  Many are state-credentialed (certified).

Other critical roles supporting the team include our Residents, veterinarians pursuing a multi-year program to achieve a high level of clinical expertise in a specific clinical discipline to become a board-certified specialist.

Also, our Interns, who are veterinarians pursuing a one-year program of advanced training in medicine, surgery and emergency and critical care and our Students, who are in their fourth and final year of education to become a veterinarian.

We recognize the deep and lasting bonds between owners and their horses.  Our Veterinary Social worker is a key member of our integrated team who provides counseling and support focusing on the individual needs of every owner.

Our passion is to return horses to peak performance and to provide their owners with exceptional service.