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 Specialty Medical Director, Surgeon
Dr. Rick Wearing was born in middle Georgia, but he bleeds Tennessee orange. He grew up in Covington, Georgia and later moved to Charleston, South Carolina to attend the College of Charleston. While studying Biochemistry, he decided one day while getting his hair cut to try out veterinary medicine (true story). He went to work for two University of Tennessee doctors who steered him towards the hills of Tennessee. While studying at UTCVM, he met his future wife, who was 2 years ahead in studying veterinary medicine. Dr. Wearing graduated UTCVM in 1995. Together they landed in Cookeville, TN, where he went to work...
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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