Our Team

cat with heart

Dr. Andrew Empel | Medical Director

Dr. Empel was born and raised in Atlanta. He was inspired as a child to become a veterinarian by his father and his experience working at Vernon Woods Animal Hospital. Dr. Empel completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Florida in 1996 and graduated from Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2000, in July of the same year he joined his dad at Vernon Woods Animal Hospital. Since staring at Vernon Woods Animal Hospital, Dr. Empel and his father have opened North Springs Animal Clinic in 2005 and Brookhaven Animal Hospital in 2010. Dr. Empel has a special interest in dermatology, soft tissue surgery, and dentistry. He shares his home with his young son Brayden and their English Cream Retriever, Finley. Dr. Empel and Brayden enjoy bumming around the house, playing outside and generally just being together. Dr. Empel also enjoys boating, skiing, traveling, and attending sporting events in his free time.

cat with heart

Dr. Vivian Wen | Associate Veterinarian

Dr. Vivian Wen joined Vernon Woods Animal Hospital in July 2011. She grew up in New York City and earned her undergraduate degree in psychology from New York University in 2006. Dr. Wen graduated from the University of Illinois, College of Veterinary Medicine in 2010. She went on to complete a one-year small animal rotating internship at Blue Pearl Georgia Veterinary Specialists in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Wen has special interests in veterinary animal behavior as well as surgery.
Apart from her work life, her interests include camping, hiking, and board games. Her personal goal is to try cuisine from all over the globe, one country at a time. When she returns home she loves to hang out with her family and with her cat, Macaroon and rambunctious pup, Marlo.

cat with heart

Dr. J. Todd Jones | Associate Veterinarian

Growing up in Birmingham, Alabama Dr. Jones knew at a young age that he wanted to be a Veterinarian. He attended Auburn University where he obtained his B.S. in microbiology degree in 1991 and then completed his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 1995. After practicing in Birmingham, he moved to the Atlanta area in 1998 where he has practiced in both the Vinings and Chamblee areas. He served on the Board of Directors for the Greater Atlanta Veterinary Medical Society for several years until its merger with the state medical association.

In 2014, Dr. Jones joined Vernon Woods Animal Hospital and North Springs Animal Clinic where he enjoys seeing both feline and canine patients with special interest in the areas of dermatology and ophthalmology.

When he is away from work, he can be found hiking, mountain biking, exploring the small towns of the Southeast and supporting his Auburn Tigers. He and his wife, Laurie made their home in Cobb County with their pet, Thomas Crown.

cat with heart

Dr. Miriam Renfroe | Associate Veterinarian

Originally from Alabama, Dr. Renfroe is a Veterinarian new to the Atlanta area. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Science from Auburn University in 2012 and graduated from Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine, Magna Cum Laude, in 2016. After practicing in Alabama for 2 years, she moved to Georgia to be closer to her family. She loves all aspects of veterinary medicine, but her areas of special interest are ophthalmology and ultrasonography. She has a black Labrador named Dax and hopes to have a horse one day.


Dr. Juliana E. Lee | Associate Veterinarian

Born in Annapolis, Maryland, Dr. Juliana Lee grew up in the rural area of Southern Maryland-- where she often expressed her interest in the biology of animals growing up.

Her passion sparked further in college, where she translated her love for biology and medicine into a profession by working at a veterinary clinic. She knew her destiny lay in small animal medicine. She received her Bachelor's of Science degree in Zoology and Psychology from the University of Maryland College Park. Her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree was received from Virginia Tech.

Dr. Lee loves small animal general medicine and soft-tissue surgery so much, that she practiced nationally in places like Connecticut, Nashville, Boston, Baltimore, and Houston before recently settling in Atlanta. Particularly, Dr. Lee enjoys the constant learning offered every day and feels most fulfilled when educating clients about pet care and illnesses. By mentoring employees, students, and interns, she helps pass on the love for this profession and animals.

When not practicing, Dr. Lee can be found traveling and experiencing new places and cultures. She loves reading, cooking, boating, and solving escape rooms with her husband and three children. She has also spent time volunteering at Houston Humane Society and Worl Vets in Nicaragua, performing spays and neuters while teaching veterinary students.


Our Veterinary Support Team

cat with heart

Cindy Martin | Hospital Manager

Cindy grew up on Signal Mountain in Tennessee. Atlanta has been her home since 1984. Cindy has been at Vernon Woods Animal Hospital since 1991. Cindy's family consists of her husband, Danny, daughter Shelly and her husband Matt, son Daniel and his wife Erin and two wonderful grandchildren, Abbi and Wyatt. Cindy enjoys spending time with her family whenever she can.


About Vernon Woods Animal Hospital...