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.
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 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’Connor 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’Connor 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’Connor 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.