Christy Whitelaw began work in a small animal veterinary hospitals in 1974. In 1978, she received an AAS in veterinary technology from Central Carolina Technical Institute in Sanford, NC and was credentialed as a registered veterinary technician. Christy continued working in veterinary medicine until 1984, at which time she changed her focus a bit and began working in human medicine as a oral and maxillofacial surgical assistant, attaining certification in the position in 1987 and remaining in the human medicine field until 1994 at which time she returned to the field of veterinary medicine.
In 1998, Christy became a member of the Veterinary Medical Assistance Team (VMAT) under the auspices of National Disaster Medical System and the American Veterinary Medical Association. Her first deployment was to Hurricane Floyd in 1999 after which she also joined the NC State Animal Response Team (NC SART). Other disasters to which Christy was deployed include 9/11 (the VMATs were tasked with support of the USAR dogs), Hurricanes Charlie, Frances, Ivan and Katrina, 2002 Avian Influenza outbreak in Virginia and the 2004 G-8 Summit ( a National Special Security Event in support of the working dogs and horses). In 2002, Christy became the Administrative Officer (GS-12) of National Veterinary Response Team 3 (formally VMAT 3) and remained in that position until her resignation in 2010. During her tenure with the NDMS, Christy received training in ICS, decontamination of humans and animals, response to Weapons of Mass Destruction, Bio/Agri Terrorism, Foreign Animal Disease and has attended several Multi-Hazard One Medicine Symposiums sponsored by the NC Institute of Public Health and NCDACS.
Although the majority of her veterinary work has been with small animals, Christy has always been a lover of horses and a proponent of the human-animal bond. In 1995, she was able to combine the two interests by becoming involved in the field therapeutic riding, first as a volunteer and in 1998 as a registered therapeutic riding instructor.
Christy and her husband, Edwin, moved to Virginia in 2003. In 2005, they started New River Valley Unwired LLC, a company which provides wireless internet service. Christy’s role in the business is as co-owner and CFO. She also continues to volunteer with AVMA’s VMAT 3 and, along with her husband, enjoys her 3 horses, 3 dogs and 2 cats.