Meet the Team

What is a Veterinary Ophthalmologist?

A veterinary ophthalmologist is a doctor who has completed four years of undergraduate studies, four years of veterinary school, at least one year of internship, a three year accredited residency in ophthalmology, and has successfully passed the extremely difficult examination administered by the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists. Following all of this, the individual becomes board-certified in ophthalmology and gains the title of Diplomate. This training program prepares the doctor to be an expert in both the medical and surgical treatment of ophthalmic diseases of all animals.

DR. JOSEPH GERDING, DVM

DR. JOSEPH GERDING, DVM

Diplomate American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ACVO)

Dr. Gerding was born and raised in Raleigh, North Carolina. He attended North Carolina State University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine. After practicing as a family veterinarian, he returned to NCSU to complete a prestigious ophthalmology residency. Dr. Gerding successfully passed his specialty board examination on the first attempt to earn his Diplomate status in ophthalmology. Dr. Gerding has been published in numerous scientific journals on the subjects of general ophthalmology and equine ophthalmology. After practicing as a senior ophthalmologist in New York City, Dr. Gerding is happy to return home to North Carolina.

Dr. Gerding is highly trained in all aspects of canine, feline, and equine ophthalmology, as well as a special interest in exotic animal ophthalmology. He enjoys working out, traveling, and spending time with his family and friends in his spare time. He shares his home with two Jack Russell Terriers and a French Bulldog.

DR. JAY HARRINGTON, DVM

DR. JAY HARRINGTON, DVM

Diplomate American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ACVO)

Dr. Harrington is originally from a small town in Ohio. He attended The Ohio State University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine. Following graduation, he completed an esteemed one-year internship at North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine and a three-year ophthalmology residency at the same institution. During his residency, Dr. Harrington published many journal articles on the subjects of cataracts and laser therapy for glaucoma. Dr. Harrington successfully passed his specialty board examination immediately following his residency to earn his Diplomate status in ophthalmology. After practicing as a veterinary ophthalmologist in Brooklyn, New York, for four years, Dr. Harrington is excited to be back in North Carolina and provide his services to your pets.

Professionally, Dr. Harrington is interested in all aspects of ophthalmology, especially cataract surgery, corneal disease, and management of glaucoma. He also has a passion for equine ophthalmology. In his free time, he enjoys outdoor activities (such as running) and spending time with his family and friends.

DR. BRADLEY GRAHAM, DVM, MS

DR. BRADLEY GRAHAM, DVM, MS

Diplomate American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ACVO)

Dr. Graham was born and raised near Great Falls, Montana. He obtained his undergraduate degree from Carroll College in Helena, Montana, and completed veterinary school at Colorado State University. Following a 1-year equine internship and 2 years in equine field service, he was accepted into the ophthalmology residency program at Colorado State University. Dr. Graham has been practicing veterinary ophthalmology in Colorado since 2004. He has conducted research in dry eye syndrome and has written journal articles and two book chapters. In 2020, he and his family moved to North Carolina to be near his wife’s family. He has always enjoyed his visits to North Carolina over the years and is excited to be living here.

Dr. Graham enjoys all aspects of veterinary ophthalmology in all species. He loves to help patients and their families through difficult situations. When he is not at the clinic, Dr. Graham enjoys spending time with his family in the great outdoors of North Carolina. He also enjoys baking bread.

Dr. Jenelle Francis , DVM, MPH

Dr. Jenelle Francis , DVM, MPH

Dr. Francis was born and raised in Saint Louis, Missouri. She attended Rhodes College where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish. Dr. Francis obtained her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Missouri while concurrently earning a Master of Public Health degree. Following graduation, she completed a rotating internship in small animal medicine and surgery at the University of Tennessee. Dr. Francis then traveled to New England where she completed a one-year specialty internship in ophthalmology followed by a three-year comparative ophthalmology residency at Tufts University. While at Tufts, she collaborated with colleagues in multiple research projects and was fortunate to work with various species including those in the large animal hospital, exotics ward, and wildlife service. Following residency, Dr. Francis is excited to join the team in North Carolina.

Dr Francis enjoys all aspects of ophthalmology with a special interest in corrective eyelid procedures, cataract surgery, and corneal disease. Dr Francis also enjoys working with exotic species, horses, and teaching. Outside of the hospital, Dr Francis enjoys cooking, working out, skiing, and traveling.

Dr. Diana Pate, DVM

Dr. Diana Pate, DVM

Diplomate American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ACVO)

Dr. Pate received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Tennessee. Following a small animal surgery and medicine internship at University of Georgia and an additional year as the UGA triage doctor, Dr. Pate completed an ophthalmology residency at North Carolina State University. At NCSU, she received specialty training in the medical and surgical management of canine, feline, equine, food animal, and exotic animal eye disease. After becoming board-certified in ophthalmology, Dr. Pate initially worked in Charlotte, NC and then established the first veterinary ophthalmology service in the Upstate South Carolina and Western North Carolina areas for the last decade.  Her clinical interests include cataract surgery and corneal disease. She enjoys her career because it “enhances the quality of life of our patients, by improving their vision and eliminating their eye pain.” 
 
Outside of work, Dr. Pate enjoys family life with her husband, two active sons, and dog Ethel Beatrice. She loves spending time outdoors, traveling, staying active in the gym, learning to wakeboard, and enjoying good food with family and friends.
Dr. Allison Leigh Brown, DVM

Dr. Allison Leigh Brown, DVM

Ophthalmology Emergency Veterinarian

Dr. Brown was born in Mississippi and grew up in a small town in Virginia. She attended James Madison University where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Health Science. She then attended Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, followed by a clinical year at Texas A&M where she earned a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine. Following graduation, she completed a one-year rotating internship at a specialty hospital in California and then practiced as a family veterinarian before returning to the east coast to complete a one-year surgical internship in Charlotte. Dr. Brown is pursuing board certification in veterinary ophthalmology and is excited to join the Animal Eye Clinic team.  She serves an important role in seeing the more urgent eye cases that present to the hospital on a daily basis.
Outside of the hospital, Dr. Brown enjoys running, traveling, and spending time with her pets at home.

Meet Our Staff

Our staff is committed to improving the overall quality of your pet’s life through the best practices in veterinary ophthalmology!

Veterinary Nurses

Lisa, RVT

Lisa's Bio

Lisa graduated from the Bel-Rea Institute in Colorado and became a registered veterinary technician in 1995. She then moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, and worked in general practice for two years. In 1997, Lisa began her career in veterinary ophthalmology. She has spent the last 23 years in ophthalmology practices and has worked with several different ophthalmologists over the years. Lisa joined the Animal Eye Clinic team in 2017. Her pets include a golden retriever, a yellow lab, a chihuahua, and a cat. She lives in Union County with her husband and her teenage son.

Kimberly

Kimberly

Kimberly's Bio

Kimberly has been in the veterinary field for eight years. Initially starting in general medicine, Kimberly found a deep interest in ophthalmology. She is currently obtaining her veterinary technician degree. During her free time, you can find her at home with her five dogs; Charlie, Lexi, Phoebe, Rosco, and Flora. She also enjoys horseback riding, hiking with her dogs, and spending time with friends.

Pam

Pam's Bio

Bio coming soon!

Cassandra, RVT

Cassandra's Bio

Bio coming soon!

Jill

Jill's Bio

Jill graduated from Charlotte School of Radiology at Charlotte Medical Hospital in 1986. She became a licensed veterinary technician in South Carolina in 1990. Jill has been in the ophthalmology field for 25 years and also has experience in emergency medicine. She has been a member of Groomers of America for 27 years. Jill enjoys cooking for her friends and family, horseback riding, traveling, 4-wheeling, and most of all, spending time with her husband, Bryan, and their four dogs.

Jen, RVT

Jen's Bio

Jen has been in the veterinary field for 24 years. She graduated in 2003 with her Associate’s Degree in applied science and nationally licensed as a Registered Veterinary Technician. She has spent the last 22 years in general practice while also working in emergency medicine for four years. Jen wanted to branch out and continue to expand her knowledge in the veterinary field, leading her to specialty medicine for the past two years. Jen lives in Belmont, NC, with her partner and has six dogs and three cats. She enjoys being with friends and family, going to the beach, kayaking during the summer, and camping.

Nickie

Nickie

Nickie's Bio

Bio coming soon!

Jewels

Jewels's Bio

Bio coming soon!

Michele

Michele, RVT

Michele's Bio

RVT

Michele was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest and has worked in the veterinary field since 2000. She started her veterinary career in shelter medicine and general practice and moved to south Florida to work in ophthalmology in 2012. Michele has also worked in cardiology and ICU, but her primary passion is ophthalmology. She moved to the Charlotte area in November 2021 after her husband accepted a job transfer. Michele enjoys traveling and hiking and spending time with her husband Jeff and their three cats and a box turtle.

Stephanie, RVT

Stephanie's Bio

Stephanie is a veterinary technician who joined the AEC team in March 2023 after moving back home to North Carolina. Stephanie has been in the veterinary field for 6 years and has worked in general practice, urgent care, and now ophthalmology. Her veterinary interests are surgical nursing, anesthesia, and diagnostic lab work. She is passionate about helping patients heal and helping them have the best quality of life that they can! Outside of work, Stephanie enjoys spending time with her dog and cat, photography, and outdoor adventures. 

Veterinary Assistants

Management

Emily B., Hospital Administrator

Emily's Bio

Emily joined our team in 2020. She was born and raised in NC. She spent her early years of life on a farm. She started her professional career in veterinary medicine in 2013. She has worked in emergency medicine, general practice, dentistry, and now ophthalmology. When Emily is not working, she enjoys spending time with her husband, three kids, beloved American Pit Bull Terrier, and three cats. Her hobbies include vegan baking/cooking, gardening and watching True Crime.

Ally, Veterinary Nursing Manager

Ally's Bio

Ally is originally from Mentor, Ohio. She completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Science at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC in 2011 and is currently pursuing her veterinary technician degree. Ally has over ten years of experience working with animals and a multitude of knowledge from emergency medicine, speciality surgery, and now ophthalmology. Ally enjoys anesthesia, high-quality patient care and is Elite Fear Free Certified. When not working, she is occupied with a plethora of pets at home that includes 4 dogs (including a pug named Funfetti), 3 cats, 2 snakes, 2 tarantulas, a leopard gecko and hamster. Other hobbies include spending time with her boyfriend, vegan cooking, and going to the gym.

Mindy

Mindy, Client Services Manager

Mindy's Bio
Mindy began working with animals in 2020 and it has quickly become a passion for her. Mindy joined the Animal Eye Clinic team in June of 2022 and has loved every minute of learning specialty veterinary medicine. When not at work you will find her most often reading, enjoying the local arts scene, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.

Jordan, Practice Manager

Jordan's Bio

Jordan began her veterinary experience in college, working as a doggie daycare attendant in Wilmington, NC. After graduation she came back closer to home and has worked in the general practice field as well as being a veterinary assistant for dermatology for four years. After a change to management for a human medical practice for a few years, she decided to follow her heart back to the veterinary field and joined Animal Eye Clinic in April of 2024. In her free time, you will find her on the lake with her boyfriend and their golden retrievers, competing in CrossFit or riding her horse, Gunner.

Client Care Specialists

Emily

Emily S.

Emily's Bio

Emily joined the Animal Eye Clinic team in August 2021. She started her Veterinary Medicine career in 2017 working in General Practice in Huntersville and is now excited to be working in Ophthalmology. At home Emily has 3 spoiled cats. In her free time Emily enjoys shopping and spending time with friends and family.

Emily

Kellee

Kellee's Bio

Bio coming soon!

Emily

Neidy

Neidy's Bio

Neidy started her interest in veterinary medicine in 2017. She made a huge leap of faith moving from Connecticut to North Carolina for better weather and a fresh start, choosing to continue her journey in veterinary medicine to ophthalmology. Neidy enjoys vacations with her family, and on her days off exploring new outings around town with her pet Nyx, her husband and son.

Emily

Connor

Connor's Bio

Connor started in the veterinary industry in 2020 and started at Animal Eye Clinic in the fall of 2023. In her free time, I enjoy reading, swimming, spending time with my friends as well as loving my three sweet boy cats I have at home.