Meet Our Doctors & Staff

Our Doctors:

Pema Choepel Mallu DVM, CVA, MAc, LAc

Dr. Pema Choepel Mallu has practiced veterinary medicine since graduating from Ohio State University in 1977. Since becoming certified through the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society in 1988 she practices Traditional Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture, and Chinese Herbology. In the 1980’s, Dr. Pema also completed extensive training in Energy healing and in 2010 she completed a three year Master’s degree in human acupuncture from Tai Sophia Institute.

Dr. Pema focuses on internal medicine problems such as Cushing’s disease, kidney disease, gastro-intestinal disease, allergies and cancer.

Additionally, Dr. Pema is an ordained Tibetan Buddhist nun and as such lives life on the principle that all creatures are created equal. Her life is dedicated to the relief of suffering. She lives in Germantown with two other nuns, Ani Megan and Ani Lucia, their two Peekapoo’s, Oliver and Serena, and her Chow/Husky mix, Janelle.

Our Staff:


Cecelia Bonfils – Hospital Manager

Cecelia Bonfils is the HVH Hospital Manager and enjoys being able to bring her dogs, Lily and Zoie, to work with her every day.

Cecelia was born in Washington, DC and moved to Montgomery County as a child. She even graduated from Seneca Valley High School. After college she lived in Georgia for 14 years and returned to Maryland in 2005. She has worked as a mediator, a church administrator, a paralegal, and an office manager.

In her spare time, Cecelia likes to read fiction and walk in the woods.

Anne Patterson – Assistant/Receptionist

Anne Patterson – Assistant/Receptionist

Anne joined the Holistic Veterinary Healing (HVH) family in 2017. First, to gain a better knowledge of animal handling, she studied dog grooming with Jackie Coufal of Dirty Dawg Grooming. Then, as part of her Veterinary Assistant training at Montgomery College, she interned at HVH in the spring of 2017.

Anne also works part-time as a Civil Rights/Equal Employment Opportunity Consultant with the Federal Government. In her eyes, working to better the lives of animals is a natural part of being an advocate for those who haven’t found their voice, or don’t have the ability to speak for themselves.  Anne lives in North Potomac with her partner Paul; she likes to sing and laugh loudly.

John Pelletier - Technician/Reception

John Pelletier – Technician/Receptionist

John Pelletier joined the HVH team in 2014 after over 20 years of managing retail stores. He has always been an animal lover and includes Jane Goodall and Rachel Carson as personal inspirations.

After earning a BA in English from the University of Maryland, John moved to Arizona. While living there John worked as a volunteer for Tara’s Babies Animal Welfare, spending his summer vacations providing assistance to the caretakers responsible for the scores of rescued dogs. He also volunteered for the Garuda Aviary, a lifelong sanctuary for neglected and abandoned exotic birds.

John lives in Poolesville with his partner Chris and their rescued beagle/chihuahua mix named “Joy.”

Julie Rand – Receptionist

Julie Rand – Receptionist

Julie Rand has been with HVH since August 2015. She graduated from the University of Maryland and has always lived in Maryland. She and her husband have two daughters and have owned and managed their own general contracting business since 1993. Currently, Julie has dogs, cats and a hermit crab that is over 12 years old. She has had a variety of other animals including hamsters, fish, mice, guinea pigs, geckos, and a horse. Julie has fostered both dogs and cats, and has volunteered for various animal related organizations. Now, instead of fostering pets, she enjoys sharing with others about using holistic natural methods to keep their pets healthy.

Julie worked for Nature’s Variety from 2007 until 2010 when she began working for Answers Pet Food. She enjoys spending time with her family, walking her dogs, reading, gardening, and dreaming of being at the beach.

Ben Zeoli - Technician/Reception

Ben Zeoli – Technician/Receptionist

Ben was born in Miami, FL, moved to Maryland where he graduated from Poolesville High School. After living in Sedona, AZ for 10 years, Ben returned to MD with his best friend and partner Jerry (yes they are Ben and Jerry). They have been together since 2004 and have a wonderful four legged daughter named Clinton, a Boston terrier and the love of their lives. Ben was raised in the Tibetan Buddhist faith and believes that all life has incredible value; that all beings are precious.

Before going to Sedona, Ben worked with a holistic physician for some years and gained great respect for holistic healing and the importance of balance in one’s life. He is thrilled to have the great opportunity to work at HVH where kindness and compassion are the cornerstone of the practice.