Our Veterinarians

Passionate. Professional. Pet Lovers.

NewDay veterinarians are a rare breed. Regardless of location, each one is a top-notch pet care specialist and proud animal activist who is beyond passionate about providing the highest quality pet care. With access to best-in-class technology in a full-service clinic, we empower our veterinarians to work up their own treatment plans to provide the best care possible. Afterall, NewDay Veterinary Care aims to help pets live their best life with complete pet health care.

Veterinarian Leadership

Dr. Lauren Pastewka
Chief Veterinary Officer

Dr. Lauren Pastewka studied biomedical sciences and microbiology at Colorado State University, later earning her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree at the University of Missouri Columbia College of Veterinary Medicine. After graduation, Dr. Pastewka moved to Ocala, Florida, where she provided care for small animals while demonstrating her commitment to veterinary excellence by taking various leadership roles, with a focus on mentoring and professional development.

Dr. Pastewka began with NewDay Veterinary Care as the Regional Veterinary Medical Director for Florida, and her previous experience in leadership roles made her the natural choice to become NewDay’s Chief Veterinary Officer.

When not supporting and leading her team, Dr. Pastewka enjoys spending time with her husband and son, as well as two Labradors and a cat. When taking a break from veterinary medicine, she travels with her family.

Dr. Clay Hellner
Senior Regional Veterinary Medical Director

Dr. Clay Hellner graduated from Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine and has held many leadership and management positions during his more than 20 years of experience, including owning his own veterinary practice. Dr. Hellner enjoys recruiting and mentoring veterinarians, as well as starting and growing practices to profitability. He believes success is rooted in building and continually cultivating the culture of the business.

Dr. Hellner is NewDay’s Senior Regional Veterinary Medical Director and works in the Charlotte, North Carolina area. His wife is an oncologist, he has two children in college, as well as a dog (Chelsea) and cat (Dempsey) named respectively after the soccer team and player. When Dr. Hellner isn’t mentoring his veterinary team or looking for his next recruit, he enjoys mountain biking, skateboarding, playing guitar, and collecting pinball and arcade games.

Dr. Karen O’Conner
Regional Veterinary Medical Director

Dr. Karen O’Conner studied at the University of Pennsylvania. After graduating, she entered into the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps and was a recipient of the U.S. Army Health Professions Scholarship. She was stationed in Savannah, Georgia, and also oversaw the veterinary mission at another nearby base in South Carolina.

After fulfilling her military service obligation, Dr. O’Conner returned to civilian life, working for veterinary practices in the area, as a surgeon for the Humane Society of Greater Savannah, and even owned her own practice. She was an instructor of anesthesiology and surgical principles at Ogeechee Technical College and microbiology at East Georgia State College.

Dr. O’Conner is passionate about preventative care and believes that educating clients is key to extending the lives of pets. She is NewDay’s Regional Veterinary Medical Director and lives in Ponte Vedra, Florida, with her cat, Poindexter.

Dr. Aaron Luckey
LAKE NORMAN, NC

A native of Indiana, Dr. Aaron Luckey is a 2000 graduate of the University of Tennessee (UT) and has called Charlotte, North Carolina home since graduation. Professionally, he enjoys ophthalmology, soft tissue surgery and helping pets live happy, healthy lives from their first visit through old age. In addition to treating dogs and cats, he also provides care for pocket pets, as long as they are small and furry. At home, he keeps busy with five dogs, four cats and his four teenage children. He loves to travel and, so far, has visited 48 different states. When he has free time, he enjoys hiking, cooking, reading and all UT sports.

Dr. Adam Daigle
Gainesville, FL

Dr. Daigle graduated from University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine in 2015 after getting his undergraduate degree at Florida State University (FSU). After graduating, he spent three years as an emergency veterinarian in Tallahassee and worked in general practice for two years south of Atlanta, Georgia before returning to Gainesville and joining our team here in November 2020. Dr. Daigle’s primary interests are cardiology and critical care, though he enjoys internal medicine and preventive medicine/dentistry as well. Despite living in “the swamp,” Dr Daigle is an avid FSU Seminoles fan with his wife, two young kids and two older dogs. When not at work, Dr. Daigle enjoys competing in triathlons, playing ultimate Frisbee, quoting movies, trivia, reading and visiting family.

Dr. Baylee Asher
Odessa, FL

Dr. Baylee Asher graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine in 2021. She practiced at a small animal hospital in Crossville, Tennessee for two years before moving back to the Sunshine State. She is particularly interested in soft tissue surgery, critical care and shelter medicine. She likes to stay involved with local animal shelters, assisting with surgery and medical cases. When she is not working, Dr. Asher loves to spend time with her husband and two dogs (pictured with her lab, Ruby).

Dr. Brandi Tucker
SANFORD, FL

Dr. Brandi Tucker is a proud graduate of Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine. Since moving to Florida, she has enjoyed practicing in both the Kissimmee and Sanford areas, yet has found Sanford to be her home away from home. Dr. Tucker is passionate about upholding the Gold Standard of veterinary care and understands her clients want only the best for their furry family members. When not at work, she enjoys spending time with her husband and their mini zoo of fur babies at home. If not there, she is likely to be found out and about with her husband on his motorcycle, exploring their lovely new home state of Florida.

Dr. Carolyn Benedetto
Matthews, NC

Dr. Benedetto, originally from Southern Louisiana, obtained her bachelor’s degree in Asheville, NC, where she met her husband, Patrick. After completing vet school in Louisiana, Dr. Benedetto returned to North Carolina where she now lives with her husband, daughter and yellow lab. Dr. Benedetto is acupuncture and Fear Free certified and has a passion for working with elderly pets. She enjoys finding innovative ways to make her patients more comfortable in the clinic while providing the highest standard of medical care. When not working, she enjoys spending time outside with her family, canoeing and hiking.

Dr. Denise Adlerstein
BONITA SPRINGS, FL

Dr. Adlerstein graduated from North Carolina State University. Dr. Adlerstein is particularly interested in cardiology, dermatology and preventive care. She aims for all pets to receive quality care and enjoys spending time with and educating clients about the veterinary care options available to their pets. When she’s not working, Dr. Adlerstein loves spending time with her family. She especially enjoys practicing piano and reading in her spare time.

Dr. Eleanor Teplin
Charlotte Airport, NC

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Dr. Erica Irish
Lake Nona, FL

Dr. Erica Irish graduated from the University of Florida (UF) College of Veterinary Medicine in 2013. Coupled with her experience as a veterinary technician, she has worked in the veterinary field for the past 17 years. Dr. Irish is particularly interested in cardiology, dentistry, dermatology and integrative medicine. She is also an editor, proofreader, freelance writer, and is a member of the Alumni Executive Board for the UF College of Veterinary Medicine. When she’s not working or writing, Dr. Irish loves spending time with her husband, their son, and their five cats and two dogs. She especially enjoys baking and reading in her spare time.

Dr. Ivonne Silva
CARY, NC

Dr. Silva graduated from Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2010 and has been practicing in North Carolina since. Dr. Silva prioritizes preventative care in pets and enjoys educating clients in all aspects of pet care, including nutrition and managing chronic health conditions.

Dr. Silva loves building close relationships with pet parents and open communication with them. In her spare time, Dr. Silva enjoys spending time with family, ballroom and Latin dancing, playing the flute, reading and traveling. Dr. Silva and her husband, who also is a veterinarian, have one two-legged baby named Samuel, and four four-legged babies: two cats (Amy and Mr. Meowgi) and two dogs (Pikku and Big Boy).

Dr. Jan R. Zwilling
COCONUT CREEK, FL

A native of Miami Beach, Dr. Zwilling attended the University of Florida, graduating with a B.S. in Animal Science. He then completed his Veterinary degree at Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Z founded and was medical director of his own animal hospital in the Lauderhill and Tamarac area for many years before coming to NewDay Veterinary Care. He currently lives in Parkland with Nancy and their four dogs: Molly (Lhasa Poo), Bode (Standard Poodle), Bugs and Spud (Chihuahuas). Dr. Zwilling’s interests include spending time with family (two daughters and two grandchildren), riding his Harley, traveling, reading, going to the gym and playing golf.

Dr. Jessica Hanning
OAKLEAF, FL

Dr. Jessica Hanning is a 2017 graduate of the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, and has been with NewDay Veterinary Care family since 2019. Originally hailing from Colorado Springs, Colorado, Dr. Hanning now calls Northeast Florida “home,” where she lives with her two elderly dogs, Hazel and Kirby, and two adopted cats, Razue and Leonard. At work, Dr. Hanning has a special interest in preventative care through client education, as well as cardiology and dentistry. For play, you can find her training for her next half-marathon, weightlifting, shooting pool, paddle boarding, hiking or partaking in board games.

Dr. Jordan Palubicki
Gainesville, FL

Dr. Jordan Palubicki graduated from the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine after completing her undergraduate education at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a degree in equine science. Dr. Palubicki was a small animal practitioner in Minnesota and Wisconsin for four years before making the ultimate decision to follow her passion for Three-Day Event horseback riding and move south to Florida. She joined NewDay Veterinary Care in 2022. Her interests include animal behavior, dentistry, internal medicine and nutrition.

Dr. Palubicki and her husband enjoy a hobby farm in Northwest Ocala with their four off-the-track Thoroughbreds, two mini donkeys, a mini horse and a plethora of dogs, barn cats and house cats. When Dr. Palubicki is not working or riding horses, she loves to travel, camp, work out and practice yoga.

Dr. Julie Haas
GREENVILLE, SC

Dr. Haas graduated from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2015 after completing her clinical year at North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine. She believes every pet is part of the family and treats every patient as such. While puppy kisses and playful kittens are welcome, Dr. Haas enjoys making every stage of a pet’s life with their family the healthiest, happiest and longest possible. She takes special interest in internal medicine, exotic animals (like guinea pigs and bearded dragons) and senior pet care. In her spare time, Dr. Haas cherishes precious moments with her son and daughter. Some of her fun times include baking pies or muffins from scratch with her son; teaching her African Grey, Winston, how to talk and sing; playing fetch with their dog Oliver; and rollerblading.

Dr. Kaitlyn Gregg
Fleming Island, FL

Dr. Gregg was born and raised in Rhode Island. She went to Assumption College for undergrad and Iowa State University for Veterinary school. She has had a lifelong obsession with dogs — especially dachshunds, and has one miniature wirehaired dachshund, Mr. Cooper (AKA “Mini-Coop”!). Her hobbies include hiking in the White Mountains and crafting.

Dr. Katelyn Meakin
Amelia, FL

Dr. Katelyn Meakin is a 2022 graduate of Ross University. Her special interest is in cardiology and endocrinology. She is originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, but relocated to the Jacksonville area in December 2022. She has two dogs of her own — Rosie who is a French bulldog and Cove who is a pitbull mix. Her greatest passion lies with in cardiology because the knowledge will help save as many pets as possible. Other interests of Dr. Meakin include traveling, hiking and, of course, spending time with her family and fur babies.

Dr. Ken McMillan
ST. JOHNS, FL

Dr. Ken McMillan is a 1985 graduate of the University of Illinois. His special interests include orthopedics and knee issues. He is originally from Illinois but he and his wife, Barb, most recently relocated from Southern California.  They have two dogs, Theobean Winston, a Boston terrier and Walter Myron, a French bulldog. His interests include fishing, kayaking, and collecting pre-war baseball cards. He is also a die-hard Chicago Cubs baseball fan.

A former practice owner, Dr. McMillan brings vast experience in small animal medicine to the NewDay family.  He is a member of the AVMA, FMVA and CVMA. He looks forward to meeting and helping you and your pet.

Dr. Melissa Moore
Amelia, FL

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Dr. Michael Carson
SNELLVILLE, GA

Dr. Carson earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine in 1999. Dr. Carson is specifically interested in internal medicine and surgery. Dr. Carson’s hobbies include tinkering with computers, computer/console gaming and reading science fiction and fantasy literature. He also enjoys spending time with his diminutive but loyal chihuahua, Sassy.

Dr. Mitchell Mills
Mooresville, NC

Dr. Mitchell Mills, graduated from Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine in 2020, with a focus in mixed-animal medicine. Dr. Mills started his career in mixed-animal medicine in Virginia, then moved to North Carolina to pursue full-time large-animal care before joining NewDay. Dr. Mills is interested in internal medicine and rehabilitation of his patients. In his spare time, Dr. Mills enjoys hiking, fishing and hunting. Dr. Mills has two dogs: Kent (a 1-year-old lab) and Jack (a 7-year-old Heeler). Dr. Mills looks forward to meeting all of his clients and their furry family members.

Dr. Raniece Trench
SNELLVILLE, GA

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Dr. Rebecca Carey
Ballantyne, SC

Dr. Carey spent most of her childhood in Philadelphia, PA and Washington, D.C. She completed a B.S. in Biology at Clemson University and received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Florida. Dr. Carey has practiced in the South Charlotte area for the last 15 years. When she is not working, she is very happy spending time at home with her husband and two children. Her veterinary interests include soft tissue surgery, endocrinology and primary care.

Dr. Shira Slotkin
Winter Garden, FL

Dr. Slotkin graduated from the University of Florida (UF) with an M.S. in Animal Sciences before graduating from UF’s College of Veterinary Medicine. She is a Fear Free certified veterinarian whose professional interests include preventative medicine, emergency medicine and soft tissue surgery.

Outside of work, Dr. Slotkin loves cooking, exercising, playing with her dog and going to Disney with her husband.

Dr. Steve Capron
GEORGETOWN, TX

Dr. Steve Capron attended Oklahoma State University (OSU) and received his B.S. in Agriculture Economics in 1991. He graduated with his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree 1996. Dr. Capron is the fourth veterinarian in his family, third generation. He follows his great uncle, Daniel Paradee – Hustisford, Wisconsin (KSU 1950), uncle Virgil “Jack” Capron (KSU 1965) and father Kenneth Capron (KSU 1965). He received his Fellow, Academy of Veterinary Dentistry 2006. He enjoys practicing general medicine, surgery and providing routine and advanced dental care for the Central Texas region since 2005. He spends his time off with his wife, Jenny, and son, Cooper, attending OSU sports, and catching up on the Yellowstone series with their five cats: Jessie, Gracie, Bullet, Rey and Lasso.

Dr. Theodore Oliver
SANFORD, FL

Dr. Theodore Oliver obtained his degree at The University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine and chose this career because he was very interested in animals; dogs, cats, and horses especially. Dr. Oliver has well over 30 years of experience in the field during which he practiced with passion and a goal to make a difference. His favorite part about the veterinary field is being able to provide them with lifesaving care and show the animals love that some have never been able to experience before. When he is not providing care to his patients, you can find him spending time with his family in the sunny state of Florida.

Dr. Tuesday Cariño-Templon
Winter Garden, FL

Dr. Cariño is originally from the Philippines where she earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of the Philippines Los Baños in 1998. She started as a large-scale swine farm veterinarian until she moved to the United States in 2004, where she gathered diverse experience from working at mixed-animal hospitals; high-quality, high-volume spay-and-neuter clinics; as well as animal shelter hospitals. Dr. Cariño is most passionate about providing her patients with the latest Gold Standard of care in veterinary medicine, including soft-tissue surgery, immunotherapy and regenerative medicine. Outside of work, she loves painting on silk, gardening, cooking and spending time with her family and Dagul, their 7-year-old English Mastiff.

Dr. Vikki Parker
LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL

Dr. Parker is from upstate NY where she earned her BS and DVM degrees at Cornell University. She moved to Florida to be closer to her family and has lived in Bradenton for the past 15 years. Outside of work, she enjoys time with her dogs (a Border Collie named Jarrah and a Mini Aussie mix named Kiah) and family, playing tennis and traveling.

Dr. Yaritza Serrano-Laureano
Lake Buena Vista, Orlando

Dr. Yaritza Serrano-Laureano (Dr. Serrano), grew up in Vega Baja, Puerto Rico, and knew at a very young age that she wanted to be a veterinarian. She completed undergraduate studies at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez, before moving to Louisiana for veterinary school. She graduated from Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2015. After graduating, she moved to Florida and started working in small animal practice, focusing on pet wellness and preventive care.

When not at work, Dr. Serrano loves spending time with her husband and son, and their 3 dogs. She also enjoys running, skating and salsa dancing.