Phone: (757) 473-8560
Fax: (757) 473-1568
4608 Pembroke Blvd.
Virginia Beach, VA 23455

Mon 8am - 6pm
Tues & Thurs 8am - 5pm
Wed & Fri 8am - 6pm
Sat 9am - 1pm


Our Team

The team at Independence Veterinary Hospital is comprised of highly trained and experienced animal health professionals who have a genuine love for working with pets. Our staff treats every patient with the highest quality of medical care as well as a gentle touch.


Brian S. Hastings , B.S., D.V.M.

Dr. Hastings grew up in rural Hagerstown, Maryland where, as a child, he cared for all kinds of animals. From there, he attended Loyola College for his undergraduate work and went on to Virginia Tech to receive his degree in Veterinary Medicine.

He worked in Chesapeake, VA and later managed an emergency center in Hyattstown, Maryland for five years. In 1994, he purchased Independence Veterinary Hospital.

Although he loves all aspects of veterinary medicine, he is particularly drawn to surgery, ultrasonography, and cardiology.

He is married and has two sons and several pets.


Richard B. Johnston. B. S., D.V.M

Dr. Johnston started with us in 2013. After an overwhelming amount of client praise, he decided to come and be our new full time doctor in May of 2015. Dr. Johnston got his undergrad and his degree for Veterinary Medicine from the University of Florida (Go Gators!).

Dr. Johnston has been caring for animals for 30+ years. If you haven't met Dr. Johnston be sure to come say hi!

Reception Staff



Kim has been with us since 1994 as our practice manager. She is a native of the Tidewater area and has two sons, one of whom works here full time and the other during the summer months. She attended Shepherd University where she received a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. She is very active in The American Cancer Society's Relay for Life where she served as Event Chair for the Chesapeake Relay.



Christine is our head receptionist/ superstar of the front desk. She started here in September of 2014 and has brought smiles to everyone's face ever since.

Christine went to Tidewater Community College and Hampton University (Go Pirates!) and studied science.

Christine loves all pets and has two of her own. She has a cat named Alice and a dog named Tyrion.

Nursing Staff

Patty Trainum, L.V.T.

Most of our long time clients have come to know our technician, Patty Trainum, very well. She has been with us since 1992 and is an extremely valued member of our team. Many of our animal lovers have asked us, what is an animal technician and how does her position differ from that of an assistant? An animal technician receives a college degree in Veterinary Technology and must pass both national and state boards in order to receive certification. In order to stay certified, a technician must take six hours of continuing education yearly. Veterinarians rely very much on their technician to perform many specialized duties in the same way that a medical doctor depends on an R.N.. Patty became an L.V.T. in 1981. She began working here with Dr. Gearheart in 1992 and stayed on when Dr. Hastings bought the practice in 1994. We are all very fortunate to have such a dedicated and skilled person caring for your beloved family members.


Dusten A. Keith , A.A.

Dusten joined our staff in February, 2009. We are very proud of him and his eagerness to learn everything about the hospital. Dusten grew up in the Tidewater area and graduated from Indian River High School in 2004. He lives in Chesapeake and has a little Shih Tzu named Izzy. He is also incredibly funny and very handsome and over all just a joy to be around. He also updates our website.


Chase works for us part time and is trained as both a receptionist and a veterinary assistant. She also serves in the Army National Guard and is in college studying to be a medical doctor. She strives to make sure our patients feel safe and comfortable while they are in our care. She has a bulldog named Cujo and a Great Dane puppy We look forward to one day calling her Doctor!


Brandon is the youngest son of Dr. Hastings and is currently in college studying to be a Professor in Biomechanics. He works for us during summers and school breaks. We are so grateful that he loves working with us and helping out during our busiest times.


Samantha joined our team in early 2019. She previously worked for the veterinary services on Sigonella base in Sicily. She is currently studying to be a Licensed Veterinary Technician. Sam has a love for all animals and is frequently seen carrying one of our patients or boarding pets around with her on her breaks. We are so happy to have found such a caring person to take care of your pets.

Grooming Staff


Kathy Gossett

Kathy has built an excellent reputation in this area grooming dogs and cats for over 35 years. She is a native of Tidewater, growing up right here in Pembroke Shores. Kathy and her husband, Jack, had been our clients for five years before she started with us. They have a beautiful cat named Zedd. If you haven't had the opportunity to meet her, you must come by to say hi. Once you meet her, you will definitely agree we have found a treasure.