Our Staff

Ronald Hamilton, DVM, BSc, ASSc

Ronald Hamilton, DVM, BSc, ASSc

Medical Director

Ronald is a Jamaican native and despite his laid back attitude, his passion has always been medicine. He obtained an Associate’s degree in Veterinary Public Health and Animal Health in Guyana, a Bachelor’s of Science in Animal Health in Texas, and his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine at the famous Tuskegee University in Alabama. His passions are internal and rescue medicine. In his spare time, he reads fiction and non-fiction and listens to music (of which his favorite is reggae).

Brandon Cochran, DVM

Brandon Cochran, DVM

Associate DVM

Born and raised in north Pinellas county, Brandon began his academic study at Florida State University. He received his bachelor’s in Biological sciences with a minor in Chemistry in 2017. Subsequently, he attended Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2018. Completing his clinical year at the University of Florida, Brandon graduated with his DVM in the fall of 2021. His professional interests include surgery and integrative medicine (acupuncture and herbal medicine).

During his spare time, Brandon enjoys numerous activities on the water including; Kayaking, fishing, boating, and even kiteboarding! He has a rescue dog & cat at home, affectionately named Bodhi & Ollie.

Colby Burns, DVM, MS, DACVS, DACVSMR

Colby Burns, DVM, MS, DACVS, DACVSMR

Dr. Burns graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science and a minor in Chemistry and is a 2006 graduate of the University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine. She then completed a one-year small animal rotating internship at Tufts Cummings College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Burns completed her small animal surgery residency at The Ohio State University, College of Veterinary Medicine, where she also received a Master’s of Science Degree. In 2012 and 2013, Dr. Burns became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons and a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, respectfully.

Dr. Burns is an active member of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, AO Foundation, American Veterinary Medical Association, Florida Veterinary Medical Association, Veterinary Society of Surgical Oncology and Veterinary Wound Management Society. Dr. Burns has received certificates of completion for AO ASIF Advance Techniques in Small Animal Fracture Management, AO ASIF Principles of Small Animal Fracture Management and BioMedtrix Total Hip Replacement courses. Dr. Burns has also published research articles in peer reviewed veterinary journals including Veterinary Surgery, VCOT, JAVMA, AJVR and Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery.

Dr. Burns received the American Veterinary Medical Association’s national Teaching Excellence Award in the Clinical Sciences in 2009 and The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine’s Teaching Excellence Award for Clinical Sciences in 2009 and 2010. Dr. Burns’s clinical interests include joint replacement, sports medicine and rehabilitation, surgical oncology and wound management.

Chris Ludlow, DVM, DACVIM

Chris Ludlow, DVM, DACVIM

Veterinarian

Dr. Chris Ludlow earned his DVM with honors from Kansas State University in 1986, and he is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. He worked in a busy small animal general practice in southern California for five years then returned to KSU to complete a combined internal medicine/small animal clinical nutrition residency and master’s degree program under Dr. David Williams.

After finishing his clinical nutrition training, Dr. Ludlow joined the internal medicine faculty at KSU before going into private specialty medicine at Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center in Kansas City. In 2001, Dr. Ludlow took a position with Royal Canin, where he served in the Scientific Communications division, lecturing nationally and internationally in internal medicine and nutrition. Dr. Ludlow was a staff internist at the Animal Specialty and Emergency Hospital in Rockledge, Florida, for six years before starting Veterinary Internal Medicine Diagnostics.

Dr. Ludlow has over 15 years of experience in ultrasound and endoscopy. He has lectured in gastroenterology and has taught endoscopy wet labs at national meetings. An active member of the Comparative Gastroenterology Society, he has also been a fellow at the Mark Morris Institute for Clinical Nutrition. He has taught clinical nutrition at veterinary schools all over the U.S. and abroad. When not busy consulting with veterinarians or lecturing, Dr. Ludlow enjoys cycling, hiking, nearly all types of music and the occasional bottle of good wine.

Brittany Wilson-Mathes, DVM

Brittany Wilson-Mathes, DVM

DVM

Bio Coming Soon.

Michelle Newkirk, DVM

Michelle Newkirk, DVM

Relief Veterinarian

Dr. Michelle Newkirk was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio.  She attended The Ohio State University for both her undergraduate and veterinary medicine degrees.  Dr. Newkirk graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1999 with a BS in Zoology and Magna Cum Laude in 2006 as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.

After graduation, Dr. Newkirk stayed a few years in Ohio working in both general practice and emergency.  She then grew tired of living in the “snow belt” and wanted to find some sunny weather, which led her to move to St. Petersburg in 2012.  She continues to practice in both general practice and emergency medicine, along with working for non-profit organizations.

Dr. Newkirk is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and Florida Veterinary Medical Association.  In her free time, she enjoys the beach and taking her dog “Newman” to the dog friendly restaurants in St. Pete.  She also loves to bicycle, cook, and travel.  Her favorite activity in the fall is watching her Ohio State Buckeyes win in football.  O-H!!

Steve

Steve

Hospital Administrator

Hello, I’m Steve and I’m the hospital administrator. I have experience working in every position within this field. I’m going on 21 years of experience now in the veterinary field, which I hope doesn’t date me too much. I really enjoy this profession and the fact that every day brings a new and interesting challenge. I have my BS in Biology(pre-med major) and a minor in chemistry. Before working in the veterinary field, I was the lead biologist for Manatee county and was also a staff chemist at Mote Marine Laboratory. I have a wonderful wife of 17 years now and 2 boys and one dog.

Amanda

Amanda

Veterinary Technician

I have worked in the veterinary field for over 15 years. I currently have 3 cats Spyder (15), Muddi (14) and Albi (1y). I moved back to Florida from Ohio in 2015 to start at Gulf Coast Vet Center and have worked here ever since!

Sarah

Sarah

Receptionist

I started in the veterinary industry in 2009 after I got my diploma as a Veterinary Technician. I have done it all: kennel, technician, and front desk. I started at Gulf Coast Veterinary Center on February 24, 2020. I worked at the Spring Hill office for my first 3 months before Dr. Hamilton brought me to join the Tampa team. My love for animals started at birth. My parents were jockeys and I was raised around horses all my life. I have 3 cats, Mina who is 13 years old and wishes she was the only cat. Pot Hole is just over a year old that someone found at about 7wks old who was hit by a car. She does need surgery to fix a diaphragmatic hernia but she is doing awesome. Then there is my daughter’s best friend Porthos the Pirate he is just over a year also. He was found by the neighbors a month or so after I got Pot Hole. He was only about 5 wks old and being attacked by crows. Hoping to add a dog to the family in the future! I’m so excited to meet and help all our clients at GCVC Tampa.

Leslie

Leslie

Veterinary Technician

Hi there! I’m Leslie, a receptionist in the loving family of Gulf Coast Veterinary Center. My love for animals began at a young age. I moved to Florida from Ohio in 2006 and have been caring for pets every day since. Through the years, I have developed the knowledge to speak for the pets because they cannot speak for themselves. My goal is to see that every companion receives the best care they deserve. I am so fortunate to do what I’ve always wanted to do. Animals are my love and passion. They are our family.

Arianna

Arianna

Reception/Veterinary Assistant

I have a passion for animals, and I have cared for a variety of pets my whole life. I am here to accommodate the needs of your furry friends while they are under our care. When you bring your pets to our clinic, you can be assured that they will receive a gracious amount of love and care, as meeting and treating your animals is the most fulfilling job I could ask for.

Ty

Ty

Veterinary Technician

Bio Coming Soon.

Shelby

Shelby

Receptionist

Hey, I’m Shelby! I moved to Florida from West Virginia in the beginning of 2021 and immediately wanted to start in the veterinary field. I have had a love for animals since I was itty bitty. My two babies are my cat Oscar (1 year old) and my turtle Squirt (4 years old). I look forward to expanding my knowledge about animals and cannot wait to meet all of your furry friends!

Jessy

Jessy

Veterinary Technician

Hi, I’m Jessy- a native Floridian and avid animal lover. I have been a veterinary technician since 2012 and I am currently pursuing my bachelor’s in veterinary technology. I am passionate about all aspects of veterinary care, but my special interests include surgery, exotic animal, and behavioral medicine. My zoo at home includes two cattle dog mixes, Beatrix and Raven, two elderly cats, Steve and Petunia, two horses, Comanche and Chilly, a leopard gecko named Elphaba, a ball python named Pixel, and SEVEN pet tarantulas. While I happily give my pets most of my time and attention, I also enjoy cycling, reading, kayaking, and cooking. I am so happy to be a part of the Gulf Coast Veterinary team and look forward to meeting all of your babies too!

Maria

Maria

Veterinary Assistant

I volunteered and interned for 4 years, getting an introduction to veterinary clinics and became certified soon after. Dr Hamilton has been present my entire life and was an amazing mentor, and continues to be! I have two furry friends Oliver (dog) and Grace (cat). I also have worked with large animals and owned a steer. I have a passion for helping animals in any way, and plan to continue my education in veterinary medicine to further better every pets life.

Haley

Haley

Veterinary Assistant

My love for animals and always being surrounded by them growing up led me to always have an interest in the veterinary field. I received my BS in Integrative Animal Biology from USF and I aspire to become a veterinarian myself. I am dedicated to the wellbeing, love, and care of all animals. I have 2 dogs and 2 cats of my own. I have always had a passion for taking animals in to care for them when they had no one else. When it comes to your animals you can be assured, I’ll treat them as if they were my own.

Cassie

Cassie

Hi, my name is Cassandra. I graduated from the Vet Tech Institue of Pittsburgh in 2019 with a Associates Degree in Specialized Technology: Veterinary Technology. I just moved to the St. Petersburg area with my husband who is in the Coast Guard back in June and love the area so far! I have always had a love for helping animals and that is why I decided to become a veterinary technician. I hope to one day further my career into specializing in surgery or radiology.

In my spare time, my husband and I are usually out exploring our new home in Flordia or taking care of our fur babies Nala (9 year old Shih Tzu) and Kai (3 year old DSH cat).