Meet Our Team
Welcome to our team page! On this page you can learn about the amazing staff that makes up our team at the Central, Western and Southern Maui locations, as well as our 24/7/365 emergency team that operates exclusively out of our Central location!
Dr. Lacy Palomino
Dr. Lacy Palomino was raised in Makawao and began riding horses at a young age. Before attending college, Dr. Palomino successfully competed in a variety of riding disciplines, both on Maui and on the mainland, where she received numerous awards for her accomplishments. After graduating with a B.B.A in Business Administration from the University of San Diego and working in the film industry in Hollywood, Dr. Palomino left the entertainment world to pursue her true passion- dedicating her life to preserving and championing the welfare of animals. Dr. Palomino is a graduate of The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine and is passionate about promoting increased pet adoption from local shelters. When away from the office, Dr. Palomino enjoys being active outdoors, playing with her Instagram famous dogs, @boba.miso.zuki, and spending quality time with her adventurous mother and fiancé.
Dr. Paul McCurdy
Medical Director for SMAC
Dr. Paul McCurdy grew up in sunny South Florida. At a young age, he set off to travel the world. After spending a couple years studying coral reefs and living on a sailboat in the South Pacific, he settled in New Zealand, where he attended veterinary school at Massey University. Paul spent time in Africa and Australia working with less fortunate animals with WSPCA and wildlife work in a zoological park setting. After graduation, he worked at an avian and exotic specialty practice before settling into companion animal practice in rural New Zealand. In search of warm weather and plethora of ocean activities, Paul has recently relocated to Maui. His clinical interests include companion animal ophthalmology, endocrinology, dentistry, avian and exotic medicine and surgery and a zero pain philosophy. During his leisure time, Paul enjoys surfing, diving, gardening, hiking, and mountain biking.
Dr. Curtis Willauer
Dr. Willauer brings a unique skill set and vision to our practice with his training in both Western and Chinese medicine. He is a board-certified veterinary surgeon and has his Master’s Degree in Oriental Medicine. His combination of the use of acupuncture with herbal support, in collaboration with his surgical skills, has improved the quality of life of many pets on Maui. Dr. Willauer received his doctorate in veterinary medicine from the University of Pennsylvania, and completed a three-year surgery residency at the University of California, Davis, earning a diploma in small animal surgery. Introduced to acupuncture, he pursued training in this art, first becoming certified by the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society and then completing his Master of Science degree at the Traditional Chinese Medicine College of Hawaii. When not practicing both Eastern & Western veterinary medicine, he enjoys the warm Maui waters.
Dr. Hilary Nauss
Medical Director for CMAC & WMAC
Born and raised in Seattle, WA; Dr. Hillary Nauss began her journey with veterinary medicine in high school where she worked for a veterinary clinic in Bellevue, WA. She has been pursuing her passion for animals ever since and received her Bachelor of Arts degree in zoology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. While attending the University, she worked as a veterinary technician at a feline clinic on Oahu. In 2010, Dr. Nauss received her D.V.M. degree from Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine. As a student at WSU, she participated in Aquavet®, a program in aquatic veterinary medicine at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, and also completed an externship at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. After graduation, Dr. Nauss worked as a veterinarian in the Seattle area before coming back in the Hawaiian Islands. Dr. Nauss’ professional interests include preventative medicine, internal medicine, surgery, radiology and fish medicine. She is eager to meet and work with the pet owners of Maui. Dr. Nauss strongly believes in the importance of high-quality, compassionate care tailored to the individual needs of your pets. In her free time, she enjoys exercising and lifting weights, scuba diving, and spending time with her wonderful cat, Sprinkles.
Dr. Tiffany Nunan
Dr. Nunan was fortunate enough to be raised right here on the beautiful island of Maui. When she was a little girl, the local veterinarians would come to her family’s barn and she was always deeply fascinated by how they helped the animals. They exposed her to the profession and she immediately knew that she wanted to become a veterinarian and has never looked back since. Dr. Nunan moved from Maui to Colorado and attended Colorado State University where she received her degree in Bachelor of Science and her DVM license. From Colorado, she moved to Oahu to practice, but after spending 14 years away she was ready to move back home. Maui has always held a special place in her heart and she wanted to be closer to family and good surf. She truly enjoys practicing at Central Maui Animal Clinic because she loves the team and how much everyone loves their work and truly care about making a difference.
Dr. Nunan is the proud mom to cattle dog mix, Bailey, who has been her buddy through school and during her moves to Oahu and Maui and another pup named Reef but more commonly known as “Little Man”. In her free time, Dr. Nunan enjoys surfing, kite surfing, horseback riding, snow sports, hiking, and playing guitar.
Dr. Janet Ladyga
Dr. Janet Ladyga grew up in Steamboat Springs, Colorado on a farm, raising cattle sheep and horses (and pet chickens). She was very active in 4-H growing up, was active in speech and drama in high school, and was also the captain of the cheerleading team. Dr. Ladyga moved to Fort Collins and attended Colorado State University, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science and then her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.
Dr. Ladyga practiced for a few years back in Steamboat where she met her husband, Lee. They ran away to Scotland and got married in 2002, then they moved to Bend, Oregon, where they lived and worked until October 2018 when they moved here to Maui! At one time, Dr. Ladyga had five dogs, she is now the proud pet parent to two miniature Dachshunds, Zelda and Winnie. When not in the clinic, you will find Dr. Ladyga riding horses, participating in water sports and reading a good book.
Dr. Joanna Dombeck
Dr. Krista Hight
Dr. Krista Hight grew up in a small town in eastern Washington state and as long as she can remember she wanted to be a veterinarian. She attended Washington State University where she earned her Bachelor’s in Zoology with Honors, then her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine. While in veterinary school, she married her husband on the beach on Oahu. After graduation, she moved to Georgia with her husband and practiced for 5 years as a small animal veterinarian. She then moved back to Washington and practiced near Seattle, Washington for 4 years before moving to Maui with her husband, two children, two dogs, and one cat. During her spare time, Dr. Krista Hight loves going to the beach, spending time with her family, reading, attending concerts, and traveling.
Lead Veterinary Technician
Keri recently graduated from Cedar Valley College and passed her Veterinary Technician National Examination to become an RVT here in Hawaii and has over 10 years experience working in the veterinary field. She loves being able to help our furry friends feel better and stay healthy. She moved to Maui from Michigan in 2016 and has felt at home here ever since. When not at work you can find her playing with her dog Koda, hiking, scuba diving, snorkeling, or relaxing by the ocean with her husband.
Lead Veterinary Technician
Monica has been in the veterinary field since 1998. After working as a veterinary assistant for several years, she became a CVT in 2010. Her love of the beach and the island lifestyle brought her to Maui in 2016. After a few weeks on the island, she began working at the West Maui Animal Clinic and has enjoyed being a part of the team for the past 4 years. On her days off, Monica enjoys outdoor activities and taking care of her orchids.
Practice Manager for CMAC & WMAC
Aleix’s journey as a vet tech started when she adopted her first real dog, Tyler, who was a boxer. His health problems pushed her to want to learn and help other animals. She enrolled herself into Bel Rea Animal Technology, where she received her associate’s degree in veterinary sciences in 2008. Since then she has worked at some amazing practices and made many amazing friends along the way; who all had the same passion she did. She loves her job, and wouldn’t change it for the world!
Practice Manager for SMAC
Johnna was born and raised in Orange County, CA. She moved to Colorado in 2006 with her husband and first daughter. In 2010 she received her CVT license and worked mostly as an emergency technician and then moved to Maui to continue working as a certified veterinary technician. Johnna and her family have now been on Maui for 3 years, and have been happy ever since. She has been a veterinary technician for over 15 years. She says the best thing about her job is seeing the clients so appreciative after we have helped there beloved pet. The reward of a big thank you from a client is the best! Of course, a lot of our technicians have pets of their own, Johnna has a painted turtle named Blossom and a goldfish! When she isn’t working, Johnna loves snorkeling with her family and swimming. She’s new to paddle surfing but she is getting the hang of it! She also enjoys spending time with her husband and two beautiful daughters, Shea and Halle.
Veterinary Technician Assistant
Kiane has been part of the CMAC team since April 2011, and while she enjoys all aspects of clinical and emergency care, her favorite role is surgical nurse. Lucky to be born and raised on Maui, Kiane is loving life raising her three beautiful children. They also have a four-legged family member, “Allie”, a sweet and spoiled terrier mix. Allie makes Kiane even more passionate about her position as a veterinary nurse. It’s important to her that she treats patients how she would want Allie to be loved and cared for. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family at the beach, taking Allie to parks, reading, movies, and learning the Hawaiian language. Kiane looks forward to continuing her education in the near future with a focus on Veterinary Medicine, where she hopes to become an LVT/RVT. Kiane is also in charge of our blood donation program, please ask her about how your pet can become a life saver!
Veterinary Technician Assistant
Melanie was born and raised in New Jersey and got her degree from The University of Rhode Island in Marine Biology. She moved out to Maui in 2017 to begin her career in Marine Mammal science! Although she continues to love the ocean and it’s animals, she has switched her focus to her other passion, dogs. She someday hopes to merge these two passions and do veterinary work for marine animals as well! Nothing brings her more joy than to help animals of all kinds. In her free time she enjoys painting, hiking, and being out on the ocean!
Veterinary Technician Assistant
Kailynn is originally from San Diego, California but moved to Maui at 15 years old. She moved because her father wanted to come back home. She moved onto her grandfathers property where they were surrounded by horses, cattle, dogs, rabbits, and much more. She fell in love with the life style and she currently has three horses, five dogs, and she also raises chickens. She and her husband have two beautiful children who love the outdoors and animals just as much as she does!
Veterinary Technician Assistant
Leah grew up in San Diego, and moved to Maui in January 2019 to work at the Surfing Goat Dairy. After falling in love with all the goats and excelling at whimsical cheesemaking, she decided to continue her education in the veterinary field and started working at Central Maui Animal Clinic in January 2020. She is currently going to school to be a certified vet tech.
Kehau was born and raised on Maui. She began working at the Maui Humane Society in the customer service department in 2006. After working at MHS for 3 years, she wanted to be more hands-on with the animals and doctors. She then transferred to the medicine and surgery department to serve as a veterinary assistant. Kehau joined the West Maui Animal Clinic in January 2020 to further her skills. On her days off, Kehau enjoys hanging out with family and friends and watching movies with her husband, two handsome sons, and Nui the Bulldog.
Originally from Olathe, Kansas, Johnnie first came to Maui to visit a friend he’d known since the 9th grade. Maui’s scenery and the fact that each part of Maui is unique in its own way made Johnnie realize that it was where he wanted to be, (not to mention the ocean and warm weather!). Johnnie loves Central Maui Animal Clinic because he really enjoys working alongside the staff, (we’re a fun group!) and meeting the pets and their owners. As far as the animals are concerned, growing up his dad was an animal control officer for the city of Olathe for several years, as well as the director of a shelter in western (Liberal, Kansas). His family has always been animal lovers and they had many dogs, cats, and birds throughout the years. He is grateful for the hands-on experience he gets at Central Maui Animal Clinic working with animals and the deeper knowledge that comes with it. Johnnie’s cat lives at his mother’s house on the mainland. His name is Todd and he likes vegetables and apparently trying to play Candy Crush on the IPAD.
Priscilla grew up in California. Ever since she was a kid she would befriend the lost, broken, and loved pets! She spent many nights sneaking in a stray. Priscilla believes each and every animal can be rehabilitated with patience and lots of love. She can’t imagine doing anything else but working with animals! Priscilla has been working in our boarding department since 2004 and feels very fortunate to be working at CMAC with equally loving animal caregivers.
Practice Manager for CMAC & WMAC
Michelle grew up on a farm in Southern Illinois. She’s always had a love and respect for animals and had lots of family dogs growing up. She rescued her first dog for the humane society when she was 18 and fell in love. Her dog Daphne followed her to college at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville where she received her bachelor’s degree in Biology. Michelle then began her professional career as a pharmacy tech. When she was given the opportunity to move to Maui she decided to leave human medicine and combine her passions for science and animals. Michelle was excited to join the Central Maui team in 2017. Her love for animals has never stopped growing. Michelle now has 4 dogs Lily, Bailey, Loki, and Piki. They are a huge part of her family. She is so happy that her children can learn the love and respect for animals the way she did by growing up with them. Michelle’s goals are to help provide the best medical care possible to the animals of Maui while providing excellent customer service to those who love them.
Direct Release Manager
Kelly Heiman started her professional career far from the animal world, serving as Deputy City Treasurer for the city of Los Angeles for 15 years. However, even her demanding job couldn’t keep her from devoting her time and energy to animals- She ran the city’s dog licensing program, spearheaded a vaccination clinic, and volunteered her time as city dog catcher. She finally stopped resisting her true passion, quit her job, and went back to school, adding a degree in Animal Science and a Veterinary Technician’s license to her extensive business expertise. Shortly after moving to Maui, Kelly started working at Central Maui Animal Clinic. In 2009, the pair formed the Lana’i Animal Clinic, and in 2011 expanded by opening the West Maui Animal Clinic in Lahaina. Kelly’s goal is to provide a facility that offers the best possible veterinary care, top-notch customer service, and a place that clients can rely on, form a relationship with and be able to reach out to with questions, concerns, or emergencies. Her recent passionate endeavor has been launching West Maui Animal Clinic’s Angel Fund; a donation based program which treats pets who have serious health conditions who have been abandoned or need adopting, preparing them for a happy life with their forever homes.
Amy, originally from the Midwest, has lived on Maui for 20 years and has a background in Healing Touch for both animals and people. Her favorite part of her work day is connecting with the animals heart to heart and meeting all of the caring pet parents. She has a special interest and appreciation of senior pets and happens to have a senior cat of her own named “Jasmine”. Jasmine is a loyal companion and loves to talk a lot. She also has a second cat named “Nani” who is very gentle and loves head massages. When Amy isn’t busy bonding with her boarding buddies and beauties, she enjoys being outdoors and also loves listening to music.
Sarah enjoys working at Central Maui Animal Clinic as a Technician Assistant. She loves the calmness she feels around animals and they bring a peace into her life that she has always wanted her life to be centered around. She really enjoys the one on one interaction the team is able to get with the animals and the connection they’re able to have; from saving their lives to the moment when they are returned to their loving families. Born in Ochsenfurt, Germany, her family moved to California when she was one. She attended high school in Oceanside and then received her Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from Sonoma State University. While finishing her degree, she worked as a tour guide at an African Safari park with over 400 acres of land and 80 different species including giraffes, cheetahs, rhino, monkeys and Watusi cows. Sarah also volunteered here on Maui at the Pacific Primate Sanctuary taking care of Capuchin, marmoset and spider monkeys for fourteen months.
Kelsey is originally from St. Louis, Missouri and very recently moved to Maui with her fiancé and two dogs. She has always had a passion for working with animals and has done so since she was sixteen. Her goal in the near future is to complete her schooling and become a registered veterinary technician! Her two dogs Izzy (coonhound mix) and Zuke (lab mix) have really inspired her to further her education in the veterinary field. In her free time she enjoys hiking, exploring the island, off-roading in her Jeep, trying new foods, and cheering on her favorite hockey team!
Summer has been a part of the CMAC team since 2007. She was born in Pensacola, FL. moved to Maui with her mom and dad when she was 5 years old. Summer fell in love with Maui and loved growing up here and then was lucky to be able to raise her 2 beautiful children Dillon and Kailea here as well. She also has a four-legged family member named Tia a 12-year-old poodle mix and the newest addition to the family is Julian he is a 1-year-old green cheeked conure. Summer has always been an animal lover, bringing home baby birds, stray animals and her favorite was going to the Maui Humane Society with her mom and adopting senior cats. When she is not working, you can find her at the beach, floating in the ocean, snorkeling, or just enjoying the beautiful view.
Dr. David Novotny
Dr. David Novotny visited the beautiful Island of Maui often for many years before finally joining the staff at Central Maui Animal Clinic making Maui his home in 2018. He was born and raised in suburban Maryland, received his undergraduate degree from University of Nebraska, and his veterinary degree from Iowa State university in 1985. He worked in pet practices in Pennsylvania, Grand Cayman, San Diego, and Lake Tahoe before focusing on emergency medicine. He worked at an emergency and specialty practice in San Jose for 14 years before he relocated here, and is now the only full time emergency clinician here on Maui. Dr. Novotny has over 34 years of clinical experience, and still enjoys each day at work, each client, and each pet that he has the pleasure of meeting. When not working, he can be found participating in any number of the watersports that Maui has to offer, playing the guitar, and relaxing at home with his wife Suni, and 2 cats Arthur and Olive.
Caitlin grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area where she started out as a radiation therapy/oncology technician at Bay Area Veterinary Specialists during her second term of schooling to become a RVT. Since then, she has worked at a variety of clinics, specifically focusing on emergency and critical care medicine. She really enjoys the amount of care and detail that goes into emergency medicine and the critical patients that she cares for. Seeing her most sick patients walk out of the hospital doors and go back home is something that she strives for every shift she heads into. Working with animals is something that she loves doing and wouldn’t change it for the world! In her free time, she enjoys cooking tasty meals, being outdoors in the sunshine, trying out new foods, and lounging with her Snowshoe kitty, Bandit.
Veterinary Technician Assistant
Anne grew up in Chicago but moved to Maui from Colorado in 2012. She came to Hawaii backpacking and felt at home with island life. Her life was enriched by animals at a very young age. While learning to walk she would steady herself by holding onto her dog Buck, and attended zoological camps at one of the local zoos. It is her goal to help provide the highest standard of care to pets and their families to optimize their ability to enrich the lives of each other. She has a cat named Bodhi who’s best friends are a pair of Hereford cattle and can be often found laying with them in the pasture. She attended the Graham School for Cattlemen in Kansas specializing in artificial insemination, natal monitoring, and birthing. She spends her free time rock climbing and making art, as well as taking animal welfare classes.