Dr. Lisa J. Donato, DVM, CVA, FAAVA, CVT, CVH, CAC is a holistic veterinarian who was born and raised in Nassau County, Long Island, New York, just 20 miles east of New York City. Dr. Donato decided at the tender age of seven years that she wanted to become a veterinarian. Although she originally thought she would become an equine veterinarian because of her great love for horses, she discovered in veterinary school that she loved to work with dogs and cats even more so.
Dr. Donato received both her BS in Biology and DVM degree from Cornell University. She has a strong background in conventional (Western) veterinary medicine and soft tissue surgery, having practiced for over 24 years. In 1998, when her father, Mario R. Donato, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, she began to research "alternative therapies" and found that some of these were indeed helpful to him. She realized that these same therapies could be used to help her own patients, and so began an exciting path into the world of holistic veterinary medicine and all it can offer.
In 2001, she received her Certificate in Veterinary Acupuncture (CVA) from The Chi Institute of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine in Gainesville, Florida. The Chi Institute, founded by Dr. Huisheng Xie, is considered by many to be the premier school of Chinese veterinary medicine for veterinarians in the United States. Soon afterwards, Dr. Donato began working with Dr. Allen Schoen, a pioneer in veterinary acupuncture, animal chiropractic and other holistic modalities.
Dr. Donato received a Certificate in Veterinary Tui Na (CVT), a Chinese medical massage or manual therapy, also from The Chi Institute. Dr. Donato continued to study at The Chi Institute and became Certified as a Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) Practitioner and Herbologist (CVH). In addition, she attended The Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University for advanced studies in Western Veterinary Herbal Medicine.
Early in 2003, Dr. Donato was asked to join the staff of a new and progressive specialty veterinary hospital, The Center for Specialized Veterinary Care located in Westbury, New York. She became the Chief of Acupuncture and Alternative Medicine. At this facility, Dr. Donato worked closely with other specialists, including internists, surgeons, oncologists and neurologists.
In 2006, Dr. Donato embarked on an extensive journey through China with The Chi Institute. She traveled to Beijing, Cheng Du and the beautiful mountains and lakes of Jiu Zhai Gou, close to Tibet. This sojourn further enriched her knowledge of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine and the Chinese culture.
Furthermore, she has pursued advanced studies in homotoxicology (using homeopathic formulas based on Western diagnostics) and was awarded a Certificate of Completion by The Society of Homotoxicology of North America for their Homotoxicology Correspondence Course in February 2007. She often combines this modality with acupuncture, thus integrating two energy medicines. In the Summer of 2007, one of Dr. Donato's clinical papers entitled "An Integrated Conventional and TCVM Approach to the Treatment of Suspected Cervical Disc Disease in a Weimaraner Dog" was published in the peer-reviewed American Journal of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (AJTCVM). This report demonstrated how Dr. Donato combines different holistic treatments with conventional medicine to maximally help her patients.
Later that year, Dr. Donato was honored as a Fellow of the American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncture (FAAVA). She was the ninth veterinarian in the United States bestowed with this honor and is the only Fellow in New York State. This accolade recognizes her commitment to excellence and her accomplishments in the fields of Veterinary Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine. It is hoped in the future that the Fellows will create the charter group of diplomates establishing the American College of Veterinary Acupuncture through the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), thus becoming the first group of Board-Certified Veterinary Acupuncturists.
Continuing her commitment to holistic medicine, Dr. Donato attended The Options for Animals College of Animal Chiropractic located in Wellsville, Kansas. This college was the first and is only one of four such institutions in North America teaching animal chiropractic. After graduation, she became Certified in Animal Chiropractic (CAC) by The International Veterinary Chiropractic Association (IVCA) and became a member of The American Veterinary Chiropractic Association (AVCA). Dr. Donato feels that chiropractic, whether used alone or with other treatment methods, will help many more of her patients.
In 2008, Dr. Donato founded her company, Veterinary Acupuncture and Healing Arts™, PLLC. Furthermore, Dr. Donato taught other veterinarians Basic Veterinary Acupuncture with The Chi Institute at The Atlantic Coast Veterinary Conference in Atlantic City, New Jersey. She was inspired by the enthusiasm of her colleagues to learn this modality and she was able to share her wealth of knowledge with them.
In February, 2010, Dr. Donato left The Center for Specialized Veterinary Care after spending 7 years there as The Chief of Veterinary Acupuncture and Alternative Medicine. This will allow her to focus her energies on her own company and better serve her clients and patients. Dr. Donato's philosophy is to incorporate the best of Western and Eastern Veterinary Medicine in order to provide the finest healthcare possible to her patients.
Later in the year, Dr. Donato had traveled to The Healing Oasis Wellness Center in Sturtevant, Wisconsin. The Healing Oasis is a nationally accredited institution teaching integrative veterinary health care modalities to veterinarians. Here, Dr. Donato learned Craniosacral Therapy. This gentle manual therapy can be an adjunct therapy to animal chiropractic that can help treat different physical and mental issues and allow the patient to feel good. Dr. Donato was excited to be able to use this valuable therapy on her patients. Additionally, another clinical paper entitled "Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Medicine, Tui-na and Food Therapy Integrated with other Conventional and Non-conventional Treatments for the Management of Chronic Renal Disease of an Abyssinian Cat" was published in the American Journal of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine in August, 2010.
Dr. Donato is a member of many veterinary organizations including the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association, The American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncture, Veterinary Botanical Medical Association and The American Association of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine. (For a complete list, click here). Dr. Donato has been interviewed by many journalists and was featured on CBS evening news with correspondent Cindy Hsu.