Jennifer Chu smJennifer Chu, DVM – USDA Accredited

Dr. Jennifer Chu is a native of New York City, having grown up in Bayside, Queens.  Her love for animals started at a young age.  While she wasn’t allowed to have dogs or cats, the house was a zoo of hamsters, guinea pigs, parakeets and even a snake.  Dr. Chu graduated with honors from The Pennsylvania State University, where she studied Animal BioScience.  Always a fan of sports, she was a part of the PSU Gymnastics Club and attended all of the football games.  After Penn State, she was awarded a partial scholarship to attend Western University of Health Sciences in Southern California, where she earned her veterinary medical degree (DVM) with honors.

Since completing her graduate studies, Dr. Chu has been trained in many aspects of the veterinary field, including small animal emergency medicine, shelter medicine, soft-tissue surgery, diagnostics and general practice.  She even spent time providing health care and surgeries at the American Fondouk- a free veterinary clinic for dogs, cats, donkeys, rabbits, etc. in Fez, Morocco.  The practice had very limited supplies and technology.

Dr. Chu joined Lower East Side Animal Hospital from The Pet Health Clinic at the North Shore Animal League America (NSALA) in Long Island.  At NSALA, she cared for both rescued animals from the shelter as well as owned pets.  During her time in general practice, she has developed a keen interest in ultrasonography and ophthalmology as well as soft-tissue surgery, and hopes to further her education in radiology while working at LESAH.

Outside of work, Dr. Chu hangs out with her sweet Dachshund / Chihuahua mix, Cupcake, and loves to snowboard, go to the beach, and travel as much as she can!  She looks forward to developing a long-lasting relationship with the clients and their four-legged family members at Lower East Side Animal Hospital.

 Geraldine Kilkelly, VMD – USDA Accredited

Dr. Kilkelly entered veterinary medicine after a career in software consulting in New York City. She wanted to combine her passions for client education and science with her joy for animals. While she went back to school in Connecticut and Pennsylvania to get credits for her veterinary school application, she worked as a kennel assistant, receptionist and technician in small animal general and emergency practices.

After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine in 2005, Dr. Kilkelly moved to her husband’s childhood home of Astoria, NY. She has worked in private practices in New Jersey and Astoria as they raise her daughter and son. The wide breadth of general practice continues to fulfill Dr. Kilkelly’s love of life long learning. Her interests include internal medicine, dentistry, soft tissue surgery, ultrasonography, dermatology, emergency medicine and cardiology.

Dr. Kilkelly believes that each pet and owner are a unique pair. She prides herself on obtaining thorough physical exams and medical histories to develop individualized treatment plans. She also works closely with local specialists to achieve this goal. Dr. Kilkelly is excited to work with the team at Heart of Chelsea as they care for their neighbors.

Sara Fracapane, DVM – USDA Accredited

Dr. Fracapane grew up in the northern New Jersey town of Fair Lawn. She attended Yale University, where she majored in molecular biology and swam competitively for four years as a division one athlete. Following her undergraduate years, she spent some time in Oregon working at the elephant department of a safari park before returning to the east coast. She enrolled as a veterinary student at Cornell University and spent four wonderful years in Ithaca, NY. After graduating with a degree in veterinary medicine, she continued her education by completing a one-year rotating internship in small animal medicine and surgery at Oradell Animal Hospital in New Jersey, where she cultivated an interest in emergency medicine and neurology.

When she is not busy attending to the needs of her clients and patients, Dr. Fracapane continues to swim, run, cycle and hike. She is also an avid traveler and has spent time in five continents, including more recent travels to Peru, Nepal, Southeast Asia and Italy. She is excited to be a member of the talented team at Lower East Side Animal Hospital.

Dr-SiebertMarc Siebert, VMD, Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist – USDA Accredited

Dr. Marc Siebert is the owner and medical director of Heart of Chelsea Animal Hospital and Lower East Side Animal Hospital. A native of New Jersey, Dr. Siebert opened Heart of Chelsea Animal Hospital as a one-doctor practice in 1999, which has since grown to a five-doctor practice supporting Chelsea and its pet community at large. He attended Rutgers University and received a bachelor’s degree in environmental science in 1987. He continued his education at the University of Pennsylvania College of Veterinary Medicine and was awarded his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 1993. Dr. Siebert is also a certified veterinary acupuncturist with the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society; in addition, he is a U.S. Department of Agriculture-accredited veterinarian.

Dr. Siebert’s duties at the two hospitals keep him busy, but when he’s not at work, he enjoys biking, tennis, kayaking, working out, and caring for his Boston terrier pal Barry and his cats Alice and Pumpkin.

2017 Madden, Kian - Bio PhotoKian Madden, VMD – USDA Accredited

Dr. Kian Madden is originally from the suburbs of Philadelphia.  Growing up in a family of veterinarians with his parents’ veterinary clinic actually a part of his childhood home, Dr. Madden knew from a very young age that he was destined to follow in their footsteps.  Dr. Madden attended the University of Pennsylvania, majoring in Biology as an undergraduate.  He then went on to complete his veterinary degree at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine.  Following graduation, Dr. Madden moved to the Los Angeles region, where he practiced in veterinary clinics in Santa Monica and Malibu for 6 years.  In that time, Dr. Madden developed an interest in surgery and internal medicine and loves solving all types of cases.

Dr. Madden relocated back to the east coast and is excited to be a member of the Lower East Side and Heart of Chelsea Animal Hospital team.  In his spare time, Dr. Madden enjoys surfing, running, hiking with his rescue dog Shera, listening to all kinds of music, and traveling to new places.  You can find him exploring throughout New York City and he looks forward to get to know you and your pets!


Dana Gjonbalaj, Office Manager

Dana has spent the last decade overseeing operations management and digital content strategy across several industries in San Diego and New York City.  Though the challenges of every trade has been unique, her approach to business management has always been centered around client experience and quality of service.  As a life-long animal lover, she has been the proud owner of multiple cats, dogs, birds and hamsters and is now exceptionally pleased to put her professional experience to work in an industry she loves.  In her spare time, Dana enjoys getting together with friends and family, cooking, writing and spoiling her two cats, Lucky and Mia.



Team Members – Licensed Veterinary Technicians

2016 Huang, Zhong - Bio PhotoZhong – LVT

It took me a little while to finally decide that I wanted to care for and work with animals for the rest of my life. I knew that being a teacher, dentist, or even a scientist would leave me unsatisfied and unfulfilled. Working as an intern in two wildlife rehabilitation centers confirmed that I could not do anything else. Now as a licensed veterinary technician, I am whole and always excited to go to work and continue to help owners and animals alike. Although I can no longer practice wildlife rehabilitation due to my busy schedule with work, my cats, and my saltwater and freshwater fish tanks, I am at least able to consult with other wildlife rehabilitators on cases when they need advice.



Team Members

Deric – Veterinary Assistant

Deric grew up in central Jersey and knew from a very young age that his calling would lead him to work in the Veterinary field.  He went on to receive his BS in Animal Bioscience from Penn State University, where his focuses included large animal medicine, equine artificial insemination and small animal emergency medicine.  After graduating, Deric spent six years as an emergency ICU technician in California before returning to New York City and finding a place to call home in our Heart of Chelsea/Lower East Side Animal Hospital family.




Sarah – Veterinary Assistant

Sarah was born and raised in the Bronx, New York.  After witnessing a terrible instance of animal cruelty at age 11, she knew she was destined for a life of animal rescue and care.  In 2012 she began her medical training in the ER and oncology department at a specialty center, and two years later continued her journey and developed a passion for animal rehabilitation in general practice.  Aside from her busy work schedule, Sarah enjoys spending time with her five rescued kitty cats, cooking as a form of therapy, and riding her bike.




2016 Johnson, Aileen - Bio PhotoAileen – Certified Veterinary Assistant

Aileen is a Certified Veterinary Assistant from central New Jersey and has had a love for animals starting at a very young age. She loved to bring all sorts of creatures home – ducks, hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits and a slew of various small mammals that all needed her help — leaving her parents no choice but to let her keep and take care of them.  She is a kind and thoughtful professional who loves all animals, but has a soft spot in her heart for French Bulldogs. Her professional interests include animal behavior and welfare. On her off time, she loves anything involving the outdoors and hanging out with her Siamese mix, Opal.




Rasheeda – Veterinary Assistant

Rasheeda has joined Lower East Side Animal Hospital after working in NYC for many years, and is thrilled to find colleagues that share her commitment and dedication to all animals. Currently studying Veterinary Technology at Mercy College, she has special interest in Emergency and Critical Care. Though working with furry friends is what she does best, in her spare time Rasheeda dabbles in art, namely illustration and portrait drawing. She also enjoys the outdoors, biking and vinyasa yoga.




Val – Veterinary Assistant

Growing up in Port Chester, New York gave Val plenty of opportunities to be surrounded by wildlife. That exposure created an interest in animals that led her to work and volunteer at multiple shelters, nature centers and humane societies before landing a job assisting at a 24hr animal hospital. Since then she has joined the Lower East Side Animal Hospital team and can’t imagine doing anything else. She strongly believes in the saying “If you love what you do then you’ll never work a day in your life’. In Val’s spare time she loves going on cross-country camping trips, spending time outdoors with her three dogs Jane, Nofie and Gorda, and having snuggle time at home with her kitties Spooky and Socko.



Miranda – Client Services Representative

Growing up between the southern parts of North Carolina and Central Florida, Miranda spent most of her childhood caring for farm animals and domesticated pets. At 18, she obtained a position within a Sarasota, FL pet resort that doubled as a senior dog rescue organization and fell in love with animal care. From this job she gained preliminary technician skills, rescue and animal rehabilitation experience, and adopted an 11 year old Australian Shepherd Lab mix named Heidi.

For a few years in between, Miranda put her rescue life on hold to pursue a professional career in dance. She auditioned for Orlando, FL dance company DRIP and was asked to perform as part of their company for the following year. Miranda then continued her dance life by working as a principal dancer in Emotions Dance Company and taught modern, jazz, and ballet classes within champion competition dance studio, DanzForce Extreme in the years leading up to relocating out of state.

Initially, Miranda moved her life to the Big Apple to pursue a commercial dance job, but was taken by the artistic community instead. She now works as a freelance artist and a solo/ensemble performer with Rox Republic. With her dance career fulfilled, she was able to find a home within Heart of Chelsea and Lower East Side Animal Hospital to continue her love for animal care work.

Miranda is now working on expanding her knowledge of social media marketing and business advertisement to aide in her position within both hospitals. When not working, Miranda can be found cooking up new vegan recipes in her Brooklyn apartment, spending too much money at Sephora, dancing at Broadway Dance Center, or hanging out with her cats, Obi Wan Catnobi and Anakitten Skywalker.

Jess IMG_55821Jess – Client Services Representative

Growing up in Connecticut in an ever-expanding household full of animals, it’s no surprise that Jess has landed herself in the veterinary field. After studying journalism and sociology at Boston University, she moved down to New York where she has worked with animals since 2012. In her spare time, she loves being outdoors and exploring the national parks, riding her bike, and almost always has her nose in a book. She can’t wait to rescue a pup of her own but until then will continue to love everyone else’s





Brenda – Maintenance Technician

Brenda joined the Heart of Chelsea and Lower East Side Animal Hospital team in 2015.  A native of Guatemala, Brenda lives in Queens and loves spending time with her beautiful grandchildren, Louis and Isabella.  She shares her home with one of her favorite family members, an adorable Chihuahua named “Fendi.”






Ines – Maintenance Technician

Ines is one of the most recent additions to our growing team at Lower East Side Animal Hospital. After attending UASD in the Dominican Republic, Ines moved to New York City where she now takes pride in maintaining our hospital’s prestigious facility. Ines is also a very proud mother of two children and two canine companions and in her spare time, enjoys visiting flea markets around the greater tri-state area with her family.