Meet the Healing Haven Animal Foundation Team

Board Members

Dr. Lynda Loudon
Dr. Lynda LoudonFounder and President
Dr. Loudon is an accomplished emergency veterinarian with over 18 years of experience. Her professional interests include emergency and critical care, surgery, nutrition, pain management, and holistic medicine. As an emergency veterinarian, Dr. Loudon was too often faced with situations where animals in need of care could not receive treatment due to lack of finances. She could no longer allow this to be a factor in her patients’ care and therefore founded Healing Haven Animal Foundation. Dr. Loudon has always had a passion for helping injured or sick stray animals and has devoted a lot of time to volunteering for local shelters and rescue groups. She is an avid writer and speaker and runs a veterinary house call service for dogs that either suffer from chronic disease or require chronic pain management. She also offers in-home euthanasia for terminal cases. Read more at
Dr. Jennifer Derby
Dr. Jennifer DerbyVice President
Dr. Derby is a graduate of Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine. After completing her clinical year at North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine, she practiced in the Raleigh area for 14 years. Dr. Derby has worked as both a large animal veterinarian in an ambulatory practice as well as a small animal veterinarian in a practice in Sanford, NC. She recently moved to the beach to be closer to family, and now works at a wonderful three doctor practice seeing all kinds of critters. She lives with her daughter and their small “zoo”: Batman, Kevin, Pickles, Shenanigans, and Leonardo (the dogs); Benedict the crazy blind cat, and their hedgehog, Chandler Bing. When she is not working Dr. Derby enjoys kayaking, gardening, and spending time with family.
Michael Solana
Michael SolanaTreasurer
Michael graduated with his Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Accounting from Hofstra University. He holds a CPA license. Michael worked in public accounting as an Auditor, specializing in local government and Not-For-Profits. Michael currently serves as a Vice President of Finance at a large social service organization in the Greater New York area. Michael grew up always having animals in the household including multiple birds, cats, and dogs. Michael has 2 adopted pets from local shelters; Bailey (cat) and Hatch (dog). Both are very friendly and full of energy. Michael is motivated to guide Healing Haven Animal Foundation towards financial growth and stability so they may continue to help offer essential financial support for animals most in need.

Volunteer Vets

Dr. Terry Eylers
Dr. Terry EylersVolunteer Veterinarian
Dr. Terry Eylers is a 2012 graduate of Ross University, with her clinical rotations spent at Washington State University. After graduation, Dr. Eylers pursued a general practice position for several years before joining Peace Love Pets in Commack as an associate veterinarian. During this time, Dr. Eylers spent one year traveling with a variety of non profit organizations to underdeveloped countries, such as Mexico and the many islands of Turks and Caicos, to aid in low cost, high volume spays and neuters. Surgery has become one of her favorite aspects of veterinary medicine, and she has spent 5 years also working with Helping Paw, a non–profit, low cost spay/neuter organization here on Long Island. Dr. Eylers became aware of HHAF a few years ago and was excited to be part of a team that can provide financial help to people and their pets in times of crisis. In her spare time she likes to travel, study astronomy, and spend time with her multiple pets.
Dr. Lauren Smith
Dr. Lauren SmithVolunteer Veterinarian
Dr. Smith is a small animal veterinarian who graduated in 2008 from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine and completed her clinical year at Cornell University. Her professional interests include internal medicine, preventative medicine, and client education. Dr. Smith is the creator of The Vetitude; a website and social media brand dedicated to promoting empathy, self-awareness, and emotional intelligence to veterinary professionals so that they can be happier, more productive team members and animal care advocates. In her spare time she enjoys running, reading, singing karaoke, and spending time with niece, Lila and her dog, Frankie, and cat, Charlie.
Dr. Matthew Hanovic
Dr. Matthew HanovicVolunteer Veterinarian
Dr. Hanovic attended undergrad at Binghamton University before earning his DVM degree from the Atlantic Veterinary College located in Prince Edward Island, Canada. During that time, Dr. Hanovic earned the honor of the Zoetis Award for Excellence in Companion Animal Health Care. He is an experienced emergency veterinarian who is extremely committed to his patients and greatly values the bond between humans and their animal companions. He is the proud dad of a rescued pit bull named Hudson and his rescued feline buddy Yankee. During his free time, Dr. Hanovic enjoys spending time with these furry friends as well as traveling, being outdoors and exploring new culinary adventures.


Nel Arif
Nel ArifOperations Coordinator
Nel has spent the last 6 years in the animal field. Several years in general practice and several more within emergency vet care. She was then introduced to Healing Haven Animal Foundation and has found her true passion for helping animals in urgent need. Nel has previously studied music education and business administration. She has a total of five rescued pets; Mia (Toy Maltese whose owner had passed away), Legos (a black and white cat with an amputated back leg), Zoey (an orange and white cat with an amputated front leg), Scrappy (A grey cat who was found in a sealed box thrown in a dumpster), and Frankie (The family dog. His breeder was going to euthanize him as a puppy for medical complications). All her pets are happy, healthy, and full of life. In her free time she enjoys crafts, video games, painting, and music. Nel’s biggest goal is to help HHAF continuing to grow.
Ellen Hald
Ellen HaldLead Volunteer
After spending 32 years as a special education teacher, and loving every minute of her career, Ellen retired and looks back with enormous fulfillment. She wanted Chapter 2 to be as rewarding and meaningful, and was specifically interested in doing so through volunteerism. Over the past 15 years, Ellen has had the joy of being a wish grantor with Make a Wish, as well as their liaison with school groups looking to raise funds for wishes. After being sidelined by illness, she returned to volunteering as a New York State certified ombudsman and advocate for the elderly. After another sideline, Ellen found Healing Haven, and is thrilled to have her heart filled with the work of caring for animals who urgently need help. At the same time, Ellen became a caregiver to 6 feral kittens, who have won her heart and helped her to grow and love in new places. Her heart has been consistently full for all of these years, and volunteering has been an enormous reason for that joy!