Each SAGE hospital is equipped with a 24-hour critical care unit for hospitalized patients with serious and life-threatening conditions. Critical care is the continuous support and monitoring of the animal’s needs. Those needs can include oxygen delivery, IV fluids, blood or plasma transfusions, surgery, nutritional delivery, pain control, and of course, TLC. These treatments enhance the quality of care your pet receives during this crucial time, improving the chances of a good outcome.
SAGE has specialists who are board-certified in emergency and critical care. They work closely with our emergency team of doctors at all locations. Our Criticalists have received extensive training in treating patients experiencing trauma, shock, respiratory issues, and other life-threatening conditions.
SAGE Redwood City Critical Care Team
Background and Education
Veterinary School: Colorado State University
Residency Training: Tufts University
Dr. Amy Bell received her DVM from Colorado State University (2015). She then went on to complete a small animal rotating internship at the Veterinary Specialty Hospital of San Diego (2016) and Emergency and Critical Care residency training at Tufts University (2019).
Dr. Bell has always been drawn to emergency and critical care due to the fast-paced and dynamic nature of critical cases. She is very excited to work closely with other departments to provide exceptional patient care in the emergency room and critical care unit.
Her clinical interests include trauma, transfusion medicine and coagulation, ventilation and cardiology.
When Dr. Bell is not treating patients, she enjoys traveling, hiking, yoga, cooking and exploring the Bay Area breweries and wineries. She has a Great Dane named Oberon, a Shepherd Mix named Molly Jane, and two diabetic cats – Nika and Cannoli.
Veterinary School: Colorado State University
Veterinary Internship Training: Oregon State University
Dr. Mary Ellen Finley came to veterinary medicine after years of teaching rafting and climbing with Outward Bound in Colorado and Utah, as well as working as an EMT in human medicine.
She completed an Master of Science degree with honors in Neuroanatomy and Physiology at Colorado State University (CSU). She stayed at CSU for veterinary school and graduated magna cum laude.
Dr. Finley completed her rotating internship at Oregon State University and a radiology fellowship at Washington State University. In addition to her work in the ER, she enjoys teaching and mentoring other veterinarians and technicians in emergency, critical care, and trauma care. She also has a special interest in pain management.
In her free time, Dr. Finley loves to get outdoors. She hikes and skis, and enjoys whitewater rafting, diving, and sea kayaking. She and her husband Jim have two flat coated retriever mixes, Ben and Jack.
Background and Education:
Veterinary School: Ross University
Internship Training: Animal Medical Center, New York
Dr. Emily Hanwell received her BS in International Business from the College of Charleston (2001) and her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine (2011). She completed her 4th year clinical rotations at Texas A&M University (2011). After veterinary school, she completed a small animal medicine and surgery internship at the Animal Medical Center in New York, New York (2012).
Prior to her career in veterinary medicine, Dr. Hanwell worked in purchasing for a local government entity in Charleston, South Carolina and then for an investing company in Boston, Massachusetts. Her decision to change careers was based on her love for working with both people and animals. She especially enjoys emergency medicine due to the challenging and diverse nature of the cases. She has a particular interest in cardiology and toxicology-related emergencies.
When not at the hospital, Dr. Hanwell enjoys traveling, learning new languages, gardening, and spending time outside with her husband and two children. Dr. Hanwell is the proud owner of a mixed-breed, island dog by the name of Bryn.
Background & Education:
Veterinary School: Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine
Dr. Elizabeth Jensen graduated from the University of California, Davis and went on to receive her DVM from Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Jensen always knew from a young age she wanted to be Veterinarian and currently has over 15 years of experience within the veterinary industry as a veterinary technician, RVT, and DVM.
She enjoys the challenge of diagnosing and treating a patient in order to save their life. She gets the most rewarding feeling seeing a pet recover from a serious illness or injury and watching their personality and energy return.
Dr. Jensen clinical interests include Addisonian crisis, trauma, and neonatal care
When Dr. Jensen is not in the hospital she is gardening, DIY home improvement projects, walking her two Boston Terriers, reading mystery novels, practicing yoga, spending time with family and friends. Fun fact, she has a one-eyed cat named Willie and eight chickens!
Background and Education
Residency Training: Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine
Internship Training: Angell Animal Medical Center
Dr. Kimberly Oparil received her undergraduate degree in Biopsychology and Child Development from Tufts University in 2010 and went on to graduate cum laude from Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in 2014. After graduation, Dr. Oparil completed a one-year rotating internship in small animal medicine and surgery at Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts and returned to Tufts Cummings School to complete her three-year residency training.
Dr. Oparil’s clinical and research interests include trauma, mechanical ventilation, and sepsis. She also has a strong interest in shelter medicine. She loves the fast-paced nature and holistic approach to the patient that emergency and critical care medicine entails. Dr. Oparil prides herself in providing patients with the highest quality of care and medicine.
In her free time, Dr. Oparil likes to read, cook and hike with her wife Amy and their two dogs, a Great Dane named Oberon and an island mix breed named Molly Jane. They also enjoy snuggling with their diabetic cat, Nika.
Background and Education:
Veterinary School: Western University of Health Sciences College of Veterinary Medicine, Pomona, CA
Veterinary Internship Training: Veterinary Specialty Hospital, San Diego, CA
Dr. Dania Shirk earned her Bachelor degree in Biological Science at UC Santa Barbara, and started her career as a technician assistant and receptionist at veterinary hospitals across Rocklin and Sacramento. While earning her DVM at Western University in Pomona, she worked across the state, landing several externships that gave her exposure to shelter medicine, radiology, oncology, neurology, internal medicine, and emergency and critical care. She interned at the Veterinary Specialty Hospital in San Diego and then returned to the Bay Area to work in emergency medicine. Dr. Shirk’s special areas of focus include acute kidney injury and hepatic disease.
In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter, doing outdoor activities, traveling, and playing board games with family and friends. She has one dog, a Pomeranian mix named Kaya.
Background and Experience
Veterinary School: UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.
Internship Training: Animal Care Center, Sonoma County
Dr. Christina Waitzman’s family always had cats when she was growing up, and she was drawn to veterinary medicine from an early age. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology from UC Davis and stayed there for veterinary school. While in veterinary school, she worked as an emergency veterinary assistant and discovered her true passion for emergency medicine.
Dr. Waitzman stayed in emergency and critical care after graduating from UC Davis, and has worked at practices across the Bay Area. She finds emergency and critical care medicine to be gratifying and interesting, and she gets immense satisfaction from helping animals and their people in times of need. Her areas of clinical interest are pain management, toxicities, endocrine emergencies, and hypotension/shock.
In her free time, Dr. Waitzman enjoys long-distance road cycling. She has completed many 200 mile+ events as well as Race Across America (RAAM). She also enjoys spending time with her husband, Michael, their kitties and their extended family. Other pastimes include traveling, gardening, reading and cooking. Dr. Waitzman’s pets include four very loving, playful, and spoiled cats: Arun, Tsegi, Mosi, and Pinkie. Dr. Waitzman says she’s very fortunate that they all get along like a harmonious circus.
Veterinary School: Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, St. Kitts, WI
Internship Training: Oradell Animal Hospital, Paramus, NJ
Dr. Zachary (Zach) Wilcox is a graduate of the Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in St. Kitts, WI. He started his veterinary career with stints in the dairy industry in Central New York and eventually found his calling in emergency veterinary care. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Animal Sciences and Master’s degree in Epidemiology and Infectious Disease at Cornell University. He completed a clinical year of training at Texas A&M University.
Zach’s hobbies include travel, rock climbing, hiking and SCUBA diving.
Background & Education
Veterinary School: University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia
Internship Training: VCA San Francisco Veterinary Specialists
Dr. Wilson’s interests in small animal emergency, critical care, emergency surgery, shelter medicine, and oncology have taken her across the globe. She started her career as an animal attendant at a veterinary surgical center in West Toowoomba in southern Queensland, Australia, while earning her Bachelor of Biomedical Science degree at the University of Southern Queensland. After graduating with distinction and a faculty medal, she moved north to the University of Melbourne, where she earned her DVM in 2016.
From 2015 to 2016, Dr. Wilson enjoyed many incredible overseas adventures that gave her diverse experience in the veterinary world. She worked at the Chengdu Zoo and Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in China, where she experienced firsthand the challenges and excitement of giant panda husbandry, handling, and conservation. She traveled to Kathmandu, Nepal to work in a treatment center that helped street dogs. She spent some time in Phuket, Thailand; Beaverton, Oregon; and Brooklyn, New York working in small animal general practices. And she also spent some time here in the Bay Area at the San Francisco SPCA treating shelter animals.
Dr. Wilson’s other experience includes a 12-month internship with a San Francisco veterinary specialty hospital where she rotated through Surgery, Internal Medicine, Neurology, Emergency, Oncology, Cardiology, Dentistry, Dermatology, Nutrition and Animal Behavior. She is particularly interested in managing critical and complicated cases, particularly emergency and critical surgery cases.
In her free time, Dr. Wilson enjoys spending time with animals, of course! She also enjoys camping, hiking and painting, and loves to travel and discover new food and music. She and her fiancé have a three pound, 13-year-old rescue Chihuahua named Stitch who is extremely needy, insists on being carried everywhere, and loves nothing more than taking naps and begging for food.