The specialty team of BSVESS is driven by a singular purpose: to provide world-class medical care for every pet who comes through our doors. Now, meet the team by your side.




Dr. Block completed his veterinary degree at Cornell University in 1991. He then completed an internship at Angell Memorial Animal Hospital in Boston in 1992. He obtained his residency training in internal medicine at Purdue University and became board certified by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine in 1994. Dr. Block pursued his interests in animal welfare and the human—animal bond by entering a degree program at the Center for Animals and Public Policy at Tufts University and obtained a master’s degree in 1997. Dr. Block is past president of the Rhode Island Veterinary Medical Association and the Society for Veterinary Medical Ethics. He is on the board of the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association and the non-profit Companion Animal Foundation.

He is the father of two beautiful children, Elsa and Derek, and is happily married to his equally beautiful wife, veterinarian Justine Johnson. His “extended family” includes three horses, two goats, two dogs, three cats, and two tortoises—some of which his beautiful children actually help care for.




After completing his undergraduate degree in Biology at Northeastern University in 1993 Dr. Besancon attended veterinary school at Iowa State University, completing his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine in 1997. Dr. Besancon then completed a one-year rotating internship in Small animal Medicine and Surgery, and a two year surgical internship in Small Animal Surgery at VCA South Shore in Weymouth, MA. He then returned to Iowa State University for a year-long Orthopedic Fellowship, followed by a 3-year Small Animal Surgical Residency at the University of California-Davis to complete his formal surgical training. In 2005 he completed his board certification, becoming a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. Specializing in the practice of small animal surgery, Dr. Besancon provides care to pets suffering from a variety of diseases and conditions. He has been trained in and enjoys all aspects of surgery.

In his down time Dr. Besancon enjoys spending time with his wife and three children, along with their Golden retriever. He enjoys golfing, fishing, painting, and spending as much time as possible in the woods of Maine.




Dr. Paul Worhunsky graduated from Ross University in 2004 after completing his clinical year at Auburn University. He spent the next 2.5 years in general practice before moving on to a 1 year rotating small animal medicine and surgery internship at the University of Illinois. He then completed a 3 years residency training program in internal medicine at Cornell University. He moved into private specialty practice in Campbell, CA where he spent the next 3 years as a staff internist. He recently relocated to Rhode Island to join the team at Ocean State Veterinary Specialists.

Dr. Worhunsky’s interests include endocrinology and gastrointestinal disease.



Dr. Amanda Panissidi is originally from Connecticut but spent many summers vacationing in Rhode Island. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science with a minor in Biology at Cornell University. She then moved across the pond to Scotland where she earned her degree in veterinary medicine from the University of Glasgow. Her post-graduate veterinary education brought her back to Connecticut where she completed a rotating internship at Pieper Memorial Veterinary Center. She then moved to Florida where she completed a surgical internship followed by surgical residency at Affiliated Veterinary Specialists, BluePearl Maitland. Dr. Panissidi, along with her husband Dr. Kevin Kirchofer, are excited to return to New England where they can be closer to family and friends again.

Dr. Panissidi’s professional areas of interested include oncologic surgery, reconstructive surgery, wound management, laparoscopic procedures, and neurosurgery.

Outside of work, Dr. Panissidi enjoys cycling, hiking, and camping.