Johnstown Veterinary Associates

AAHA-Accredited Hospitals: Champions for Excellent Care

Did you know that accreditation for animal hospitals is voluntary? Surprising, isn't it? Nearly 60 percent of pet owners believe that their pet's veterinary hospital is accredited when it is not. In actuality, only 12-15% of animal hospitals have gone through the accreditation evaluation process by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). We are proud to call ourselves an AAHA-accredited hospital.

In the United States, all human hospitals that serve people with Medicare must be accredited through an accrediting body; they undergo regular reviews and quality checks to ensure they meet standards of quality for every aspect of medical care. However, not all animal hospitals choose to pursue the AAHA-accreditation process since it is not required by law. When it comes to pet health care, accreditation is voluntary. The accreditation process is rigorous and time-consuming, and not every veterinary hospital wants to go through the lengthy process.

Accreditation by AAHA means that an animal hospital has been evaluated on approximately 900 standards of veterinary excellence. To maintain their accreditation, hospitals undergo a rigorous review by veterinary experts every three years. State and provincial regulations can vary widely; in fact, some states don't routinely inspect hospitals, only going in for an inspection when a complaint is filed by a pet owner. AAHA accreditation is considered the standard for veterinary excellence, and does not vary between states or provinces (AAHA accredits hospitals in both the U.S. and Canada).

We are an AAHA-accredited veterinary hospital. That means we hold ourselves to a higher standard. Pets are our passion. And keeping them healthy is our #1 priority. Here, we strive to deliver excellent care for pets. Because your pets deserve nothing less.

Learn more about AAHA accreditation and why our accreditation is important to you and your pet. Visit

Johnstown Veterinary Associates (JVA) has been a pillar of the community for more than 90 years. Our years of success are testament  to our continuing commitment to excellence. JVA  has been in existence since 1920. During that time, it was a large animal practice caring mostly for horses. During the 1960s, due to the high demand for small animal service in the Johnstown area, the large animal care was phased out and was replaced by small animal medicine. Our founding commitment was and continues to be to provide the best medicine and surgery possible for our patients.

Our mission is to treat ALL pets as if they are our own by providing them with the highest quality medicine and surgery. We pledge to provide exceptional veterinary service to the Johnstown area and its surrounding communities.

Johnstown Veterinary Associates promises that our exceptional staff of veterinarians, trained technicians, support staff and office staff will provide outstanding care for your pet. The entire JVA team works together to understand you and meet your expectations and your pet's needs.

  • Mon-Fri: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Sat: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. *Staff Meeting Saturday Hours Different
  • Sun: 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • After Hours Emergency?
  • Call: (814) 536-5105
  • Fayez Assad, DVM, BVSC USDA-Accredited

    Medical Director, Veterinarian

    Fayez Assad, DVM was born and raised in Cairo, Egypt.  In 1994, he graduated from the Cairo University School of Veterinary Medicine. In 1999, Dr. Assad moved to Johnstown, Pennsylvania and attended Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine in North Grafton, Massachusetts where he obtained his degree. Dr. Assad joined JVA in June 2002. Upon joining JVA, he applied what he learned at Tufts to help reshape and update the practice in order to provide the best veterinary care possible for pets in Johnstown and surrounding communities. Dr. Assad, a proponent of preventative medicine, believes that baseline diagnostics can lead to early detection of diseases. His areas of interest are soft tissue surgeries and tackling challenging and difficult cases. 

    When he is not in the office, Dr. Assad enjoys his role as a deacon in church which involves singing and spending time with his family. 

    Dr. Assad is an active member of AVMA, PAVMA, AAFP, and AAHA. He is also a USDA-accredited veterinarian.
    Years in Practice:
    Jan 01, 1994
    Cairo University School of Veterinary Medicine & Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine
  • Sarah Pickett, DVM

    Associate Veterinarian

    Sarah S. Pickett, DVM was born and raised in Laytonsville, Maryland. In 2009, she graduated from Virginia Tech with a degree in Dairy Science and graduated from Western University of Health Science in 2015 with a DVM. Dr. Pickett joined JVA in September 2017. Her areas of interest are in soft tissue surgery and challenging medical cases using diagnostics including ultrasound.  

    Outside of veterinary medicine, Dr. Pickett enjoys spending time with her family and focuses on breeding and showing Holstein heifers.

    Dr. Pickett is a member of AVMA, PVMA, AAHA, and AABP. She is a USDA accredited veterinarian.
    Years in Practice:
    Jan 01, 2017
    Virginia Tech; Western University of Health Science
  • Victoria Hammer, DVM

    Associate Veterinarian

    Victoria Hammer, DVM is a Johnstown, Pa native and a graduate of the Greater Johnstown School District.  Dr. Hammer first came to Johnstown Veterinary Associates in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Robert E. Cook Honors College. In her role as a veterinary technician, it was quite evident that she had a passion for all things great and small. Her dedication to and desire for veterinary medicine led her to post-graduate studies. As a member of the first class through the University of Alaska 2+2 Program with Colorado State, Dr. Hammer graduated from Colorado State University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2019 and came back to her stomping ground as an associate veterinarian in June of 2019. 

    Enjoying all aspects of veterinary medicine, Dr. Hammer is especially interested in small animal and equine dentistry and has a fascination with ultrasonography. She is eager to treat all patients both small and large and is starting equine ambulatory service. 

    In her free time, Dr. Hammer enjoys riding her motorcycle and horses, improving her tennis game, and attending charitable community events. 

    Dr. Hammer is a member of AVMA, PVMA, and AAHA. She is a Category II USDA accredited veterinarian.

    Years in Practice:
    Aug 13, 2019
    Colorado State University
  • Korin D'Ascenzo, BVetMed

    Veterinarian, Fear-Free Certified

    Korin D’Ascenzo, BVetMed grew up in Penn Township Westmoreland County. After graduating from high school, she attended Delaware Valley University earning her bachelors in Large Animal Science. She was then accepted into the Royal Veterinary College in London, UK, and graduated from there in 2005 with her veterinary degree. After returning to the United States she worked in various practices on the eastern side of Pennsylvania, eventually taking a Chief of Staff position for Lawrence Animal Hospital in Princeton, NJ. Eventually, family brought her back to Western Pennsylvania where she worked with our team as a relief veterinarian in May of 2016 and then stuck around to fill in regularly at the end of 2016.

    In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter, going to Steelers’ games, and traveling.

    Years in Practice:
    Jan 01, 2016
  • Heidi testing

    Heidi W. Rizkalla

    Practice Manager, Fear-Free Certified 

    Heidi is a 1997 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor of Arts in Secondary English and Teaching. She has taught abroad, locally and was the education director for The Learning Lamp for over 5 years. She has been with Johnstown Veterinary Associates since 2013 as the Practice Manager. She believes that having an education background has been advantageous in her role as manager because she continues to educate staff and pet parents alike. 

    When she is not in the office, she likes to spend time with her husband, play tennis with her kids and go shopping alone.

    Heidi is a member of AAHA, PVMA and AAFP.
    Years in Practice:
    Jan 01, 2013
    University of Pittsburgh

    Our veterinary technicians and veterinary assistants are a crucial part of our team. Our team is compassionate, skilled and together bring more than 30 years of veterinary experience. They assist the veterinarians to fullest possible extent, to help improve the quality of care given to the patients. They perform laboratory procedures, clinical procedures such as taking blood, dispensing and giving medication, performing medical tests, and implementing and following treatment plans for inpatients, all under supervision of the veterinarians. More important, our technicians prepare your pet for surgery, monitor them and help them while they recover.
  • Beverly

  • Don

  • Connie

  • Kayla, CVT, Head Technician

    Kayla graduated from Richland High School in 2010. She attended The Vet Tech Institute of Pittsburgh and graduated in 2012. She is a certified and licensed veterinary technician and has been with JVA since 2014. Kayla loves all animals and hopes to one day work with large animals as well small. She spends her free time caring for her two daughters and her Akita, Bear. 
    Years in Practice:
    Jan 01, 2014
  • Kellie, Front Office Manager

    Kellie is the Front Office Manager at JVA. One of her strengths is Client Care and she believes that her true calling is helping animals AND helping their loving humans to understand what they need to live their longest and best lives! When she isn’t answering your phone calls or answering your questions at the front desk, she loves to spend time with her large family, travel everywhere she possibly can, and still squeeze in as many naps with her pups as possible. 
    Years in Practice:
    Jan 01, 2015
  • Nikki, Kennel Manager

  • Christian

    Christian is a student at the University of Pittsburgh studying neuroscience. He is a graduate of Westmont Hilltop High School, class of 2018. In his spare time, Christian enjoys playing tennis, traveling and reading. 
    Years in Practice:
    Jan 01, 2015
  • Nellie

  • Marissa, CVT

    Marissa is a graduate of Vet Tech Institute in Pittsburgh. She went on and passed her VTNE in order to become a CVT. In her free time she enjoys participating in races and spending tome with her fur baby, Chevy.
    Years in Practice:
    Jan 01, 2016
  • Nicole, Kennel Manager

    Nicole graduated from Richland High School. She is one of our veterinary assistants. She completed the Penn Highland's Veterinary Assistant Course in 2016. She enjoys working with the animals. In her free time she can be found at home relaxing with her 5 cats and her dog, Toby.
    Years in Practice:
    Jan 01, 2016
  • Janelle

  • Mathew, Fear-Free Certified

  • Kim

  • David

    David attends Westmont Hilltop High School. He is one of our veterinary assistants. He enjoys working with animals and gaining knowledge in the field. He plans to attend college and follow in his father's footsteps but further his career as a veterinary orthopedic surgeon. David is an avid tennis player and enjoys hanging out with his friends and playing with his Great Dane, Gracie.
    Years in Practice:
    Jan 01, 2018
  • Shana

  • Jen, Pet Groomer

  • Jay

    Jayleana graduated from Windber Area High School in 2017. She has always loved animals and always wanted to work in the veterinary field. She was an active member of 4H for 4 years where she showed horses. Her favorite part of her job is working with a variety of pets and forming relationships with pet parents. When Jayleana isn't working, she enjoys spending time with her husband, family and all her pets. 
    Years in Practice:
    Jan 01, 2019
  • Sierra

    Years in Practice:
    Nov 27, 2019
  • Karli

    Years in Practice:
    Nov 27, 2019