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 12 p.m.
  • 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. 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
  • Richard R. Knavel, VMD

    Associate Veterinarian

    Richard R. Knavel, VMD was born and raised in Salix, Pennsylvania. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in 1970. Dr. Knavel started his veterinary career as a large and small animal practitioner in 1970 working alongside his mentor Edwin Dull, VMD.  In 1971, Dr. Knavel joined JVA. He was integral in establishing the clinic's surgery suites and exam rooms. Dr. Knavel has been practicing veterinary medicine and performing surgeries for more than 40 years. He is known to provide a thorough physical exam. His keen clinical sense, during physical exams, has allowed for early detection of conditions and diseases. Dr. Knavel believes that every pet should receive a thorough physical examination. Dr. Knavel is an active member of AVMA, PAVMA and AAHA.
    Years in Practice:
    Jan 01, 1971
    University of Pennsylvania 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. Dr. Pickett is a member of AVMA, PVMA, AAHA, and AABP. She is a USDA accredited veterinarian. Outside of veterinary medicine, Dr. Pickett enjoys spending time with her family and focuses on breeding and showing Holstein heifers.
    Years in Practice:
    Jan 01, 2017
    Virginia Tech; Western University of Health Science
  • Heidi W. Rizkalla

    Practice Manager
    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 25 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.
  • Kathy

  • Beverly

  • Don

  • Connie

  • Kayla

  • Rachael

  • Kellie

  • Nikki

  • Christian

  • Nellie

  • Nicole

  • Marissa

  • Mathew

  • Janelle

  • Kim

  • David

  • Shana