Our Team

The friendly, professional staff at VCA Regional Institute for Vet Emergencies and Referrals is made up of dedicated individuals who have made it their mission to help pets live long, healthy lives. To be true to the mission, the hospital team relies on several individuals, each equally important in helping us deliver the best patient and client experience for both you and your pet.

Want to join our team? Visit our Careers section.

Get to know us.

paw Team Spotlight
Richard Wearing
DVM, DABVP Medical Director, Surgeon

Dr. Rick Wearing was born in middle Georgia, but he bleeds Tennessee orange. He was raised in Covington, Georgia where he grew up watching the filming of The Dukes of Hazard and then later In the Heat of the Night. Covington would later be designated the "Hollywood of the South". Unable to get a gig as a stunt double jumping the car dubbed the General Lee, he decided to move deeper south to work on his southern accent. He moved to Charleston, South Carolina to attend the College of Charleston. While working on his South of Broadaccent and studying Biochemistry on the side, he decided one day while getting his hair c...

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Donna Oster
Hospital Manager
Donna lives in Chattanooga and has been devoted to the wellbeing of the areas wildlife and pets her entire life. Donna has been Hospital Manager at VCA RIVER since 2004. She has been in the veterinary field since 1982 and her experience includes working in General, Emergency and Large animal practice. Outside of work Donna spends her time hiking, biking or kayaking in search of wildlife, terrestrial and celestial photo opportunities. Her black cat "Fuzz" is her constant companion and the subject of many of her photos.

Veterinarian Support

Our technicians and support team members are all gentle animal lovers who treat your pets with the compassion and respect they deserve. Explore our support team members' biographies and learn about the individuals who make our hospital such a good choice for your pet's care.


The hospital administration team consists of management personnel who oversee all staff members, hospital activities and the facilities. Together, they keep the hospital running smoothly, ensuring quality patient care and excellent client service. From the moment you check in, our administrative staff is here to deliver the best possible experience to you and your pet before, during and after your visit.

Client Services

We are committed to providing the best possible service and our Client Services team loves to exceed pet owner's expectations. Whether it's answering your calls, guiding you and your pet to the exam rooms or checking you in and out quickly, our Client Service representatives and Receptionists are dedicated to providing helpful client and patient support that raises the bar on customer service.
Come Care With Us
Our teams are united by our desire to make a better world for pets.
Join Our Team