Our Veterinarians:
Skilled Caregivers for Waldorf Maryland

John Klimavicz, D.V.M.

waldorf md veterinarian John Klimavicz, DMVDr. John Klimavicz is the owner of Waldorf Animal Clinic. With his business partner, Dr. William G. Hemmer, he co-owns and operates four animal hospitals in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.

Dr. Klimavicz attended Virginia Tech both as an undergraduate and for veterinary school. He earned his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 1986. Dr. Klimavicz regularly attends DC Academy of Veterinary Medicine meetings and conferences, is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, and is USDA Accredited.

Dr. Klimavicz chose veterinary medicine as a career because he enjoys the interpretive approach to the medical sciences and adores animals. Soon after he began practicing medicine, he also realized his entrepreneurial tendencies. His desire to run a business of his own became a reality when he purchased his first clinic in 1992.

As a veterinarian and business owner, Dr. Klimavicz's mission is to provide high quality medicine while educating clients to be responsible pet owners. In addition to providing routine preventative care and working up difficult medical cases, Dr. Klimavicz is also a skilled and confident surgeon. Dr. Klimavicz often comes in on his day off, just to help his associates with medical decisions and emergency surgeries.

In his spare time, Dr. Klimavicz enjoys spending time with his wife and children, crafting new business ideas into realities, practicing martial arts, going to the gym, and reading non-fiction.

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Jeff Philips, D.V.M.

southern maryland veterinarian Jeff Philips, DVMDr. Philips joined the Waldorf Animal Clinic team in September of 1995. He attended the University of Maryland and earned a Bachelor's Degree in Zoology in 1987. He became a veterinarian in 1994, after obtaining a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech. Dr. Philips is an active member of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), and the American Association of Feline Practitioners, and is USDA Accredited.

Dr. Philips chose veterinary medicine as a career because of a lifelong connection with cats. It is no surprise that he has a special interest in feline medicine. He currently shares his home with six cats (Jobo, Hamilton, Bee, Calvin, Eleanor, and Franklin).

In his spare time, Dr. Philips enjoys spending time with his wife and son. He is certified in scuba and is a self-proclaimed baseball enthusiast. When the weather permits, you'll find Dr. Philips either playing baseball or at the ball field rooting for his favorite team.

Whenever we have a complicated surgical case, Dr. Philips is available for consult or performs the surgery himself. His surgical confidence and hand-on-skills are valuable additions to our team.

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William Hemmer, DVM

Jeff Philips, DVM veterinarian in waldorf mdDr. Hemmer received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in 1986. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Georgia, where he obtained Bachelor of Science degrees in Biology and Poultry Science. Dr. Hemmer is the co-owner of the hospital.

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Kristal Southern, D.V.M., M.P.H.

Dr. Kristal Southern is a General Practitioner who has been a member of the Waldorf Animal Clinic's medical team since 2006.

Originally from Michigan, Dr. Southern says that her initial impulse to become a veterinarian came at age 4 after losing a beloved black Lab, Dee Dee, to cancer.

For her undergraduate studies, Dr. Southern attended Tuskegee University from which she received a Bachelor of Science in Animal and Poultry Science in 2001. In 2005, she graduated with her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine. Additionally, she has a Master of Public Health in Informatics from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Southern is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and the Maryland Veterinary Medical Association and is USDA accredited.

Dr. Southern's areas of special professional interest include zoonotic disease and public health, nutrition and integrative medicine, and veterinary informatics. At home, she has 2 cats, Bruce Leroy and Simon. Dr. Southern's interests include golf, cycling, cooking and baking, travel and Latin dance.

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Dani Knostman, DVM

Dr. Knostman southern maryland veterinarianDr. Knostman joined the Waldorf Animal Clinic team in June of 2012. From a young age, Dr. Knostman always dreamed of becoming a veterinarian. She attended The Ohio State University where she earned both a Bachelor's Degree in Biology in 2008 and then her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 2013.

After 26 years of living in Ohio, Dr. Knostman was happy get away and live in a new part of the country. She currently lives with her fiancé, her Australian Cattle Dog, and a one-eyed cat in Washington, DC. In her spare time, Dr. Knostman enjoys spending time with friends and family, exploring the city, hiking, running, and she loves to travel to new places.

She enjoys all aspects of medicine from wellness appointments to sick, and is especially interested in surgery and behavior.

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Clare Rathjens, DVM

Dr. RathjensDr. Rathjens joined the Waldorf Animal Clinic in July 2014. She is originally from Ohio and received her veterinary degree from the Ohio State University in 2014. A love of animals and science led her to a career in veterinary medicine. One of the most rewarding aspects of being a veterinarian for Dr. Rathjens is helping pet parents understand complicated medical issues so they can make informed decisions about their pet's health.

Dr. Rathjens and her husband share their home with Reece, a beagle mix. In her free time, Dr. Rathjens enjoys visiting with family and friends, jogging, and trying new foods.

Dr. Rathjens's areas of special professional interest include behavior and low stress handling, internal medicine, and surgery.

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