Meet the Team

Veronica Jarvinen, DVM

Practice Owner

Dr. Veronica Jarvinen trained in veterinary medicine at Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech. Her undergraduate degree is in Biology and Chemistry from Wake Forest University. Between her undergraduate training and veterinary degree, she served as an assistant in a specialty/referral practice in Surgery, Neurology, and Ophthalmology.

After obtaining her degree in veterinary medicine, Dr. Jarvinen completed a rotating internship in Small Animal Surgery, Medicine, and Emergency at the Angell Animal Medical Center, in Boston, MA.

At Angell, she developed a deep commitment to Emergency Medicine. While working in Emergency and Specialty Referral Centers, she realized that Urgent Care remains in most areas an underserviced need, including in the Alexandria, VA district. To meet the need for Emergency Medicine in the region, she decided to launch EMMAvet – Veterinary Urgent Care to provide state-of-the-art care to the area’s cherished dogs and cats.

Dr. Jarvinen is the daughter of Foreign Service parents. She and her older sister, Lilian, began their lives in Hong Kong, Togo, and Morocco, after which time the family moved for their school years to Fairfax, VA.

EMMAvet (EMergent Medical Attention) is named after one of her own dogs, Emma (a somewhat eccentric hound you might meet at the clinic). Her other precious pet is Jaildog, a little hound mix found on the streets of Tennessee during a spay/neuter clinic. Jaildog had been raised by inmates, hence her name.

Dr. Jarvinen and her husband, Mike, spend as much of their time as possible outdoors with their two dogs, and they enjoy traveling the world as often as possible.

Jessica K. Wootton, DVM

Practice Limited to Feline Medicine & Surgery

Dr. Wootton is originally from Blackstone, VA. She grew up working at the family beef farm and restaurant. She attended Hollins University, George Mason University, and the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech.

Dr. Wootton worked as a veterinary assistant at two local feline-exclusive hospitals prior to attending veterinary school. Her professional interests include geriatric medicine and working with patients with challenging demeanors...especially torties!

When she’s not working, you can find her enjoying travel, food and wine, theatre, swimming, OrangeTheory Fitness, reading, and sports (especially Hokie football). She lives in Arlington with a wonky-eyed grey tabby named Emme.

Joanna Gardiner, VMD

Associate Veterinarian

Dr. Joanna Gardiner is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine and is a native of the Northern Virginia area. She attended James Madison University, receiving her Bachelor of Science in Biology. She is particularly interested in preventative medicine, soft tissue surgery, and dentistry. She lives with her two cats, Mallie and Phil, and her rescue “chiweegle”, Lenny. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, reading, crafting, and taking advantage of all that the DC area has to offer!


Practice Manager

Chrissy started her career in the veterinary field in 2007 after managing the Tower Records location in Tysons Corner for many years. When the Tower chain sadly went out of business she decided to make a huge change and work with the other passion in her life other than music: learning about and caring for animals! Chrissy held various positions at two feline-only clinics in the area before joining EMMAvet, most recently Practice Manager at NOVA Cat Clinic for 6 years. She is passionate about the ``behind the scenes`` aspects of managing a veterinary clinic and how important it is to develop the most talented medical team and support staff for your pet.

Chrissy was raised in Northern Virginia and around the world as the daughter of diplomats. Her parents' jobs in the foreign service took her to Mexico, Turkey, and Portugal as a child. It was Ankara, Turkey in particular where she fell in love with and cared for many of the stray cats in her neighborhood during those years.

Chrissy lives in Arlington and is owned by a big lug of a cat named Stanley. Outside of work she loves to catch live music as much as she can and tries to stay hip to the latest and greatest in music and pop culture.


Licensed Veterinary Nurse and Clinical Manager

Ashlyn was raised in a small town in Pennsylvania. Her love of animals began while she volunteered at a therapeutic riding center. Following graduation from Wilson College in 2014, with a bachelor’s degree in Veterinary Medicine, Ashlyn joined a busy Emergency and Referral Hospital as an ICU technician. Ashlyn’s passions include caring for the critically ill, playing games with family and friends, and going to the park with her dog, Captain. Ashlyn is thrilled to be working at EMMAvet with such a passionate team.


Licensed Veterinary Nurse

Hannah grew up in Hagerstown, Maryland, where she was always surrounded by pets, including dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters, mice, and rats. With her bachelor’s degree in Veterinary Medicine, Hannah started working in a referral center as an ICU technician. She enjoys hiking, reading, writing her first novel, and snuggling with her dog, Mason. She is passionate about emergency care and is excited to be part of EMMAvet’s compassionate and caring team.


Licensed Veterinary Nurse

Cailin grew up in Vienna, VA, and went to college at UVA in Charlottesville where she got a degree in International Relations. She worked in higher education lobbying for a short time before realizing she prefers to work with animals of the furry variety every day instead of politicians! From there, Cailin completed her degree in Veterinary Technology and started working in both primary and emergency small animal practices, most recently as a surgical technician for the last few years. Cailin is passionate about making this field more transparent and sustainable for those in it, and medically she has an interest in pain management and providing the best possible patient care. Cailin is excited to help grow EMMAvet’s primary and surgical side of the practice! She currently lives in Fairfax with her husband and two crazy cat children, Mogli and Nimbus. Her other interests include obsessively following UVA basketball, fun outdoor activities, ice cream, and of course trash television. EMMAvet is thrilled to have her!


Licensed Veterinary Nurse

Danielle, a Virginia native, grew up in Stafford and moved to Northern Virginia to study biology at George Mason University. Knowing she wanted to explore the professional side of pet care, she began working at a local animal hospital and eventually returned to school to become a licensed veterinary nurse.

She has spent the past several years as a surgery nurse and comes to EMMAvet with a desire to grow the surgical side of our primary care expansion. Danielle’s professional interests include dentistry, pain management, and senior pet care. In her free time she enjoys caring for her growing plant collection, being outdoors with family and friends, thrift store shopping, and spending time with her two rescue cats, Dahlia and Keeli.


Licensed Veterinary Nurse

Courtney has lived in Northern VA her whole life. She started in primary care and quickly learned that emergency/critical care was her calling. She has been in veterinary medicine for over 10 years and graduated tech school in 2018. She works full time at a local speciality practice in the ER and brings her experience to EMMAvet. In her off time she can be found hiking, indoor rock climbing, or exploring local breweries. She loves to travel and spend time with family and friends. She has a French Bulldog named Potato, cat named Human Resources, and a Amazon Parrot named Bird.


LVT, CCRP, VTS (Physical Rehabilitation)

A Northern Virginia native, Ashleigh began her veterinary career in 2004 as an assistant for a small animal practice in Herndon, Virginia. It was there that she developed a love for nursing care and medicine and went on to earn her degree as a Licensed Veterinary Technician from the Northern Virginia Community College Veterinary Technology program in 2009.
Shortly before graduating, Ashleigh began working at a large referral practice and became interested in rehabilitation medicine. In 2012 she graduated from the University of Tennessee's Canine Rehabilitation Program, a curriculum in which veterinarians, veterinary nurses, and physical therapy professionals become educated in veterinary rehabilitation. In 2018, she took her devotion to rehabilitation a step further by becoming one of only two veterinary nurses to pass the Academy of Physical Rehabilitation Veterinary Technicians (APRVT) exam earning her Veterinary Technician Specialist (VTS) certification in Physical Rehabilitation.
Ashleigh has a cat named Michael Keaton and an Ibizan Hound named Ferdinand (the bull)!


Licensed Veterinary Nurse

Megan Mills Ojala, LVT (a.k.a. MO) has been in the veterinary field since 2005. Her experience includes 7 years in primary care, and 9 years in emergency/ICU, most recently focusing on surgical nursing and dentistry. She lives with her two marvelous human daughters, a leopard gecko (Luke the Lady), and her toothless cat (Sanford), and inflicts forced affection on them all daily. Prior to entering veterinary medicine, Megan earned a BS in Business from Miami University (Ohio); was a modern dancer in Indianapolis, Chicago, and New York City; a Starbucks barista; a clerk on the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade; and an administrative assistant at Columbia Records. After a brief and miserable time attempting to use her marketing degree at a software startup, she realized meetings and sitting were not for her, and she allowed her mutt Mona to guide her decision to apply at the beautiful local animal hospital. She was hooked. She went on to obtain her Associates degree in Veterinary Technology and hasn’t looked back. Megan feels passionately about advocating for her patients’ comfort, and for her colleagues’ mental and emotional health. Megan is excited to be part of the EMMAvet team for these reasons!


Back Office Guy

Mike was born and raised in Northern Virginia. He and Dr. Jarvinen met when they were just in middle school, and they share a passion for helping others. Mike’s history is in administration and management, and he spent five years working at a school for children with special needs. You may find Mike helping out around the practice, bringing Emma and Jaildog and baby Eszti to/from, or hanging around making people laugh. We love Mr. Mike!


Client Service Representative

Mika is customer service representative who has worked in customer service for over 10 years. Shamika is married with 2 daughters and a fat cat named Rigby. She enjoys spending time with her cat, and she loves hiking and reading.


Client Service Representative

Shannon Chacon grew up in Syracuse, New York and graduated with an Associate’s degree in Criminal Justice from Onondaga Community College. In 2002, she moved to Virginia for a new start. She has been in the veterinary field for over 10 years, working at several primary care veterinary hospitals in different positions. In 2014, she started her role as a Customer Service Representative in an Emergency and Specialty Center. Veterinary medicine is Shannon’s passion and she loves the interaction between the clients and patients.

Shannon lives in Centreville where she loves spending quality time with her husband and two sons, Matthew and Brandon. She is excited to join the EMMAvet team for the close-knit atmosphere and gold standard care offered!


Client Service Representative

Kathy grew up in South Florida loving the sun, the beach, all outdoors, and of course her family Labrador Retrievers. She attended Florida State University - go Noles! - and graduated with a degree in Risk Management. Married to a recently retired Marine, she has lived all over the east coast and has now settled in Northern VA.

Kathy’s passion for animals collided with her career path when she stumbled upon a stray cat while living in New Hampshire. After taking him to the local humane society, she began volunteering walking and training the dogs. From there she was able to turn her volunteering into a full time job and for the next 15 years worked in animal welfare management combining her business background with her passion for helping animals. Most recently, Kathy was a supervisor at a local specialty vet practice where she was able to continue to help animals and the people who love them. In her free time she is very active with a local dog rescue, enjoys visiting local wineries, and watching FSU sports. Kathy lives in Alexandria with her husband Andy and their six rescue dogs - Teenie, Sam, Bruno, Pippi, Patty, and Roscoe (the token non-hound).

EMMAvet is thrilled to have Kathy join our team as a Client Service Representative.


Client Service Representative

Since a young age, Carlena has had a passion for Animals. In 2009 Carlena worked as an administrative assistant to the veterinarian Industry where her knowledge started to grow.

Now Carlena is excited to join EMMAvet Urgent Care as a CSR. She is looking forward to advancing her career and being involved in the community. She is dedicated to providing the utmost care to clients and patients

Carlena has always shown her compassion and caring for animals through her work. Previously she worked as a Veterinary technician at Veterinarian hospitals in the Prince Georges County and Charles County Region.

Carlena believes she could not have made it this far in life without the support of her loving daughter. In her spare time, Carlena enjoys going to church, having game nights with friends and Sunday dinner with family.