Creating More Connections

BlackDVM Network Digital Conference Speakers


With only one week until BlackDVM Network's conference, why wait to start connecting with other professionals? Read below to find out more about the rest of the speakers who will be participating in the conference and why they chose to devote their lives to veterinary medicine.


Dr. Rachel Cezar, DVM

Dr. Rachel Cezar-Martínez was born in Chicago, Illinois and raised most of her life in small town named Mendon, Michigan. Her roots and culture thrive deep in the Creole heritage of Louisiana where both of her parents are from. She is currently serving as the Director of Live Animal Imports for United States Department of Agriculture in the Washington DC area. She has served in the federal government for the last 15 years to include as a supervisory and field veterinary medical officer as well as the horse protection national coordinator. Dr. Cezar-Martínez received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 2002 from Michigan State University and Public Policy Leadership Certification from American University in 2012. Prior to beginning her career in the federal government in 2004, Dr Cezar-Martínez interned at equine veterinary hospitals in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and Lexington, KY. She has also served as a Public Health Officer in the Air National Guard in Fort Wayne, IN and Andrews AFB in Washington, DC from 2006-2012 and currently still holds her Major officer status in the inactive ready reserves. Dr. Cezar-Martínez has thrived on being engaged in organized veterinary medicine and diversity initiatives in which she recently served as Executive Director for District of Columbia Veterinary Medical Association (DCVMA) and Founding Board Member of the Multicultural Veterinary Medical Association (MCVMA). She has previously served as President of the Women's Veterinary Leadership Development Initiative (WVLDI), Board Member of the National Association of Federal Veterinarians (NAFV), AVMA House of Delegate for DCVMA and Chair of the Leadership Development Committee for the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP). However now Dr. Cezar-Martinez would like to focus more locally in the DC-MD-VA area on teaching and promoting careers in veterinary medicine as well as horseback riding. Therefore she acts as an adjunct professor at the College of Southern Maryland where she teaches veterinary studies for all ages. Although it may not look like she has spare time, Dr. Cezar- Martínez enjoys life on her farm known as Double Z Cowboy Corral in Southern Maryland raising horses and all types of farm animals with her amazing supportive husband, and her future cowboy and cowgirl in the making.



Dr. Henry Green, DVM, DACVIM-Cardiology

Henry W. Green, III, DVM, DACVIM-Cardiology, recently returned to his Alma Mater Louisiana State University (DVM C/O ’99) as associate professor of cardiology. Following completion of his internship at the University of Tennessee in 2000 and he completed a residency in cardiology at Purdue University in 2003. He became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine in Cardiology at that time and stay on was a faculty member of Purdue University -CVM until 2020. There he served 8 years as Chair of internship programs, created the diversity internship and residency programs and trained nine residents in cardiology. Dr. Green has been published in numerous peer-reviewed publications, medical texts, and scientific abstracts. He has been awarded research grants from multiple organizations including U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration, USDA, Morris Animal Foundation, ACVIM-Cardiology, and the Irish Wolfhound Club of America. His professional awards/honors include The Weedon Faculty Recognition Award, Student Recognition Excellence in Teaching, The Raymond E. Plue Alumni Teaching award at Purdue University, and The Zoetis Diversity and Inclusion Award. He has mentored numerous current and past students in the veterinary, nursing and pre-veterinary programs. His areas of interest include interventional cardiology, cardiac pacing, muscle atrophy and cardiomyopathies.



Dr. Diarra Blue, DVM

Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Dr. Blue gained a passion for animals during his early adolescence by becoming the neighborhood veterinarian for household pets. He later attended Tuskegee University where he earned a Bachelor of Animal Science and a Doctor of Veterinary medicine. While working toward his DVM, Dr. Blue’s professional experience includes Dauphin Island Sea Lab, Tuskegee University Comparative Animal Medicine Laboratory, E.V. Smith Dairy Farm and student representative for Fort Dodge Animal Health. As a practicing veterinarian, Dr. Blue began working in Las Vegas, Nevada for two leading veterinarian hospitals, Ann Road and Grand Montecito Animal Hospital as well as the Lied Animal Shelter. In 2015, Dr. Blue along with partners Dr. Michael Lavigne and Dr. Aubrey Ross, Jr. opened the doors to Cy-Fair Animal Hospital, a full service medical and boarding facility in Houston, Texas that specializes in today’s leading veterinarian techniques, and now has expanded to a second location. The journey of planning and building their hospital ultimately gave way for the hit Animal Planet reality series “The Vet Life”. The series captures Dr. Blue and his partners’ lives as they juggle running a business while managing their family life filled with spouses, parents, in-laws, children, pets and friends, as well as their intense moments saving the lives of animals at their clinic.



Dr. LaCheryl Ball, DVM

Dr. LaCheryl Ball is a spay/neuter surgeon and general practitioner in New York City. Working with the ASPCA, Dr. Ball is proud to be able to provide access to basic veterinary care to the veterinary deserts throughout each of the 5 boroughs. Dr. Ball has been working with neonatal kittens and queens during the pandemic. When she is not working, Dr. LaCheryl is spending time with her Shih tzu, Chiyo, her cat, Cy, or painting. Dr. Ball also maintains a blog @MyNYdream which details her life in NYC.







Dr. Luis Padilla, DVM, Diplomate American College of Zoological Medicine

I was born in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico where I attended high school, before completing a bachelors of science in Biology (Ecology & Systematics) and my Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University. Following graduation, I completed a rotating small animal medicine and surgery internship at the Oradell Animal Hospital, in Oradell, New Jersey and a Zoological Medicine residency at the Saint Louis Zoo. I completed boards and became a Diplomate of the American College of Zoological Medicine. I worked as an associate veterinarian at the Oklahoma City Zoo (2004-2006), a supervisory veterinarian at the Smithsonian National Zoo (2006-2008) and the supervisory veterinary medical officer for the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (2008-2011). In 2011, I returned to Saint Louis and worked as a staff veterinarian (2011-2013), and head veterinarian and Director of Animal Health (2013-2019) before becoming the Vice President of Animal Collections in 2019.





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