Norwich Veterinarians

Melissa deBlok, DVM

norwich veterinariansDr. Melissa deBlok is a General Practitioner who began practicing at All Friends Animal Hospital in 2007 and became a co-owner in 2009.

"I have always felt a special connection with animals and have always had an interest in science and medicine," says Dr. deBlok when asked about her decision to pursue a career in veterinary medicine. Now that she is a veterinarian, she says she finds great satisfaction in "healing pets and therefore, people."

A native of East Longmeadow, Massachusetts, Dr. deBlok attended Holyoke Community College and then the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, for her undergraduate studies. She received a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science in 1996 and graduated Cum Laude. In 1997, she enrolled in Oklahoma State University's Center for Veterinary Health Sciences and received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 2001. During her time in veterinary school, she was inducted into the Phi Zeta Veterinary Honor Society, received the Salisbury Scholarship for Clinical Proficiency, made Dean's List and President's Honor Roll, received the Springfield Kennel Club Scholarship, Big Y Scholarship for Academic Excellence, and the Stephen Bufton Award for Women in Leadership.

Her areas of special professional interest include holistic and integrative medicine and wellness and preventative medicine. She is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Connecticut Veterinary Medical Association, and the American Veterinary Holistic Medical Association.

Her pets include two cats named Herman and Harley. Dr. deBlok's interests include yoga, kayaking, hiking, traveling, reading and horseback riding.

Holistic Medicine for Your Pet - Dr. deBlok's Interest

For thousands of years healers of all stripes, from ancient China to modern medical doctors, have understood that there are numerous factors that contribute to good health and healing. When all of these factors are taken into account—body, mind, spirit, diet and environment—we are able to take a holistic approach to the care of your pet.

Rather than simply treat a condition with medicines or surgery, All Friends Animal Hospital is able to combine a range of complementary holistic practices with traditional methods in order to better treat your pet. These holistic therapies are also very useful at preventing disease as well as sustaining your pet’s overall wellbeing.

In all, holistic approaches to medicine are designed to stimulate the body's natural healing abilities. They are also intended to complement traditional treatments by enhancing their effectiveness as well as to reduce their side effects.

Among the holistic approaches offered by All Friends Animal Hospital are neutraceuticals, nutritional supplements, and herbal remedies. Dr. Melissa deBlok received certification in Beginner Western Herbal Veterinary Medicine and is considering continuing her training in holistic medicine.

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Elizabeth Friday, DVM

norwich, ct veterinarianDr. Elizabeth Friday is a General Practitioner who has been a member of the All Friends Animal Hospital medical team since 2006.

A native of Baltic, Connecticut, Dr. Friday says that she has always had a love of animals and an interest in medicine. These childhood interests were further honed by spending time on a nearby dairy farm watching the veterinarian care for the animals and then volunteering for veterinary practices beginning at age 14.

Dr. Friday attended the University of New Hampshire for her undergraduate studies and graduated Cum Laude in 1993 with a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science. In 1994, she entered Ohio State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine where she earned her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 1998.

Her area of special professional interest is internal medicine. Dr. Friday is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

She is married to Chris Friday and they have 2 children - Alexander, who is 6, and Sophia who is 4. They share their home with their rescued cat Asparagus and 2 Labrador Retrievers named Gobi and Angus.

Dr. Friday's interests include hiking, wine tasting and travel.  She spends most of her free time at soccer games and swim lessons!

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Dr. GervaisLorraine Smith-Gervais, DVM

Dr. Smith-Gervais unofficially began her veterinary career when she had a feisty cat growing up She remembers always helping her mother nurse their pet after another of one of its battles in their Buxton, Maine neighborhood. "My cat always seemed to get into fights," she said. Dr. Smith-Gervais joined our staff in July of 2012 and said her passion today is "being able to help a pet when the owner thinks all hope is lost."

She earned her undergraduate degree from St. Joseph's College in Windham, Maine in 1995 (where she was active in the theater program) and went on to receive her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2001 located in St. Kitts and continued her education at Oklahoma State University where she first met Dr. Melissa deBlok in her senior year. She has a special professional interest in surgery and internal medicine and she enjoys teaching staff and clients. She prides herself on spending that extra time with owners to educate them on their pets' medical conditions.

Dr. Smith-Gervais shares her home with mixed breed dog, Duke, and she spends her time away from work with her son and husband, walking in the park, hiking, kayaking, and doing yard work.

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Dr. TangariKathleen Tangari, DVM

Dr. Kathleen Tangari simply fell in love with the idea of becoming a veterinarian as a young child. She grew up in Pawcatuck, CT and was always bringing home sick animals. "My mother and father encouraged me to get a job at a veterinarian's office when I was 16 years old and after working in the field; I knew this was the career for me," Dr. Tangari said. Before getting her degree, she fostered sick cats and dogs and ferrets as well as a variety of wildlife including baby raccoons, squirrels, possums, hawks and other wild birds and ducks.

She received her Bachelor's Degree at The University of Connecticut in 1991 and then received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Oklahoma State University in 1995. In the years since graduation, she has had many memorable experiences as a veterinarian, including removing six rubber snakes from the stomach of a ferret and removing a mass from a dog about the size of a volleyball. Her primary passion is surgery. "It's rewarding to try to fix something and make an animal feel better right away," she said. Besides enjoying surgery and internal medicine, she also enjoys working with exotic pocket pets.

Dr. Tangari is married and has one son. Her family shares their Ledyard home with three dogs, Lizzy, Daisy and Rosie, and a cat named Georgie. Her hobbies include photography, camping, boating, woodworking, and crafting, and she loves volunteering at her son's school and working with children.

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Dr. NewmanDr. Catherine Newman, DVM

Dr. Catherine Newman joined the veterinarian team at All Friends Animal Hospital in September 2016. She received her bachelor’s degree in biology from Loyola University in Maryland in 2007. Throughout her undergraduate career, she was a member of the National Biology Honors Society. She graduated from Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in 2012 with her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine.

A member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Dr. Newman's professional interests include nutrition, dermatology, internal medicine and preventive care.

"I enjoy watching a new puppy and kitten grow into loved members of the family, and live long, happy and healthy lives," Dr. Newman says.

Dr. Newman grew up in Staten Island, New York, knowing at a young age that she had an interest in wildlife and animals. This interest translated into a passion and aptitude for science and an enthusiasm for learning about the medical field while attending school. She cites her local veterinarian caring for the family cat while growing up as the ultimate inspiration for pursuing a career as a veterinarian.

Before becoming a veterinarian, she participated in a student internship with the Staten Island Zoo and a project with the New York City Parks Department focusing on screech owl conservation. She also worked at the Tufts University Wildlife Hospital during veterinary school and was a veterinary assistant in Webster, Mass., and Staten Island, New York.

At home, Dr. Newman has three pets: a 14-year-old Chow mix named Toby, a 9-year-old, one-eyed cat named Conan and a 4-year-old cat named Andy.

Outside of work, Dr. Newman enjoys spending time with her husband Phil, who is also a veterinarian, their daughter Eleanor and the family pets. She also likes hiking in New Hampshire, swimming and continuing to explore her new found love of rock climbing.

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