VCA Veterinary Care Animal Hospital and Referral Center

Departments & Doctors Overview

We invite you to explore the biographies of our doctors and staff and learn more about them. Our doctors and staff have a wide variety of backgrounds and interests.

Barbara Kitchell, DVM, DACVIM (Oncology and Internal Medicine)

Dr. Barbara E. Kitchell graduated from Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine in 1979. Dr. Kitchell completed an internship at the University of Minnesota, then residencies in Small Animal Medicine and Oncology at UC Davis from 1981-1985. She started an Oncology referral practice at Special Veterinary Services, Berkeley, California in 1985, and continued to manage that practice on a full time basis until 1989, when she embarked upon her graduate studies while continuing to work part time as a clinical oncologist. She received her Ph.D. degree (emphasis in Cancer Biology) from the Department of Comparative Pathology at UC Davis in 1994. In addition, Dr. Kitchell completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Comparative Medicine, Stanford Medical School from 1990-1994. She returned to academic medicine in 1994 as Assistant Professor in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine, University of Illinois School of Veterinary Medicine, where she rose to the rank of Associate Professor with tenure.

Dr. Kitchell joined the faculty of Michigan State University in 2004 as Full Professor and Director of the Center for Comparative Oncology, and held this post until joining VCA Vet Care in August, 2013. Dr. Kitchell is an ACVIM Diplomate in the specialties of Internal Medicine and Oncology. She has received numerous awards including the National Cancer Institute Physician Scientist Award, the Dean's Postdoctoral Fellowship Award at Stanford, and the Gaines Cycle "Golden Fido" award for Veterinarian of the Year at the American Animal Hospital Association Annual Conference in 1993.

Dr. Kitchell has served veterinary and comparative medicine in many capacities, including committee membership on the Morris Animal Foundation Scientific Advisory Board, the Nestle Purina Nutrition Council, NCI-F Manpower and Training Study Section of NCI, the Canine Hereditary Cancer Consortium, and is a consultant and key opinion leader for several veterinary pharmaceutical companies. She is past president of the Veterinary Cancer Society and was elected Vice-President and Member of the Board of Regent of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine in 2013. Dr. Kitchell is the author of over 100 scientific publications, abstracts, proceedings, book chapters, handbooks in her field of veterinary and comparative oncology.

Like most veterinarians, she has a menagerie of dogs, cats, birds, and reptiles. Dr. Kitchell also keeps busy as a single mom of 5 wonderful young people, and has been active in adoption, foster care and Transition to Independence for foster adolescents in Lansing, Michigan.

Phil Ries, DVM, DACVIM (Internal Medicine)

Dr. Ries grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio the last of six children. He attended college at nearby Miami University (Ohio), earning undergraduate degrees in Biology and Chemistry (B.S.). Not yet committed to a specific career path, he joined the Peace Corps following graduation to pursue an interest in aquatic ecology. As a volunteer, he worked for two years promoting fresh water aquaculture, i.e. fish farming, on the island of Jamaica. During that time, a long held interest in veterinary medicine was rekindled, as he spent time working with a local vet from the Ministry of Agriculture. Thus, following discharge from the Peace Corps, he decided to pursue a career in veterinary health care.

As an internal medicine specialist (internist), Dr.Ries deals primarily with an older patient population. Whether suffering from heart disease, kidney failure, cancer, a hormonal imbalance, or chronic pain from severe arthritis, it is all about providing a good quality of life for your pet. As an advocate for his patient, Dr. Ries' job is to recommend the best diagnostic and therapeutic options in order to accomplish this goal. At VCA Veterinary Care Animal Hospital and Referral Center, he has the resources to make it happen. With a special interest in the care of critical patients, Dr. Ries has developed guidelines for nutritional support for the hospitalized patient, e.g. implementation of a total parenteral nutrition (TPN) program along with aggressive pain management protocols.

On a more personal note, his family consists of Carolyn Kincade, his wife (also a veterinarian), Lance, their rambunctious son, two dogs (Rudy & Lilly), two cats (Lois & Jerry) and two Quarter horses (Tula & Knickers). After family and work needs are met, Dr. Ries enjoys mountain biking, landscaping, reading, and relaxing. This unwavering commitment to his family and work will be reflected in the care your pet receives. He will treat them as if they are his own!

Thomas Hribernik DVM, DACVIM (Internal Medicine)

Dr. Hribernik graduated from the Missouri University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1973. He completed an internship in small animal medicine and surgery followed by an internal medicine residency at Purdue University. Dr. Hribernik became certified as a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine in 1981. His professional interests and expertise span the breadth of internal medicine including critical care, endocrinology, gastroenterology, hematology, infectious diseases, immune diseases, respiratory disorders and urology.

He was a member of the Internal Medicine department at Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine from 1977 - 1994, achieving the rank of Section Chief of Internal Medicine. He has lectured to other vets on a variety of internal medicine topics at the local, state, national and international levels during his career. Dr. Hribernik is accomplished in diagnostic ultrasound procedures of the abdomen and thorax plus he is highly proficient in a variety of rigid and flexible endoscopic procedures. He joined the staff at VCA Veterinary Care Animal Hospital and Referral Center, Albuquerque, NM in 2008. Along with his colleague Dr. Phil Ries, he is one of only three board certified vet internists currently practicing in New Mexico. Drs. Hribernik and Ries team up to provide seamless internal medicine service for patients in need seven days per week. His current work schedule is Wednesday - Saturday.

On the personal front, Dr. Hribernik is a native of St. Louis, Missouri but his career pursuits have carried him to Indiana, Louisiana, Florida, Texas and New Mexico. He is an avid reader, loves watching movies of all kinds, enjoys hiking in the foothills and mountains of New Mexico and has recently re-kindled an interest in fly-fishing. Dr. Hribernik is married to his wife Teresa and their family includes two very special dogs, Archie and Emily.

Diane Schrempp, DVM, DACVIM (Oncology)

Dr. Diane Schrempp graduated from Kansas State University in 2007 with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree. She then went on to complete a small animal rotating internship at Cornell University in 2008. In 2008 - 2009, Dr. Schrempp completed a one year oncology clinical trials internship at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Following that, she headed to Purdue University where she completed a three year comparative oncology residency.

Dr. Schrempp became board certified through the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (Oncology) in 2012 and joined the team at VCA Veterinary Care Animal Hospital and Referral Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico in August 2012.

Her professional interests include diagnosing and treating a variety of canine and feline cancers, using new and cutting edge treatments for cancer (Palladia and metronomic chemotherapy) as well as applying a thorough knowledge of standard of care options (surgery and chemotherapy). She approaches cancer in a way that focuses on the patient's overall well-being and quality of life. Dr. Schrempp also has an interest in treating cats diagnosed with squamous cell carcinomia with localized radiation therapy (strontium).

When she's not taking care of cancer patients, Dr. Schrempp enjoys exploring her new home state with her West Highland White Terrier, Sam.

Ryan Taggart, DVM, MS, DACVS (Surgery)

Dr. Ryan Taggart completed his undergraduate training with a degree in biology from Haverford College (PA) in 2000. After living in Australia for a year, he returned to the U.S. to pursue a career in veterinary medicine. Dr. Taggart received his DVM degree from Cornell University in 2005. Following graduation, he spent three years in the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps including an overseas tour in Saudi Arabia.

Dr. Taggart completed an internship in small animal medicine and surgery at Mississippi State University. He then undertook a residency in veterinary orthopedic, soft tissue and neurologic surgery at Purdue University, in conjunction with a Masters degree in veterinary science. He has authored publications for Veterinary Surgery, the Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care, and NAVC Clinician’s Brief. During the final year of his residency, Dr. Taggart was presented with the Katie McAllister Compassion Award and the Dr. Ann L. Johnson and Dr. Walter E. Hoffman Resident Teaching Award, the first time both awards were given to a single resident. In 2013, Dr. Taggart received the American Association of Veterinary Clinicians Resident Award; a national award presented to only two individuals who have achieved a high degree of excellence in their chosen specialty.

Dr. Taggart joined VCA Veterinary Care Animal Hospital and Referral Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 2012. His professional interests include orthopedics and fracture repair, minimally invasive, oncologic and reconstructive surgery.

Outside of work, Dr. Taggart enjoys spending time with his wife and two young sons. His pursuits outside of work and family include mountain biking, skiing, and, in particular, lacrosse. After relocating to Albuquerque, Dr. Taggart founded youth lacrosse in the metro area (ABQ Youth Lacrosse), which has grown substantially over since it inception in 2013.

Collin Wolff, DVM, DACVS (Surgery)

Dr. Collin Wolff is excited and proud to become the newest surgeon among the talented group of staff and specialists. He joined our staff in 2013 and has become a dynamic part of our specialty surgical services.

Dr. Wolff received an undergraduate degree from Cornell University in 2002, followed by a DVM degree from Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2007. He then completed a three-year small animal surgery residency at Texas A&M University in July 2012.

When he is not at work saving lives, he enjoys exploring our beautiful Albuquerque and all it has to offer.

Nancy McLean, DVM, DACVO (Ophthalmology)

Dr. McLean obtained her bachelor's degree from Brown University and her veterinary degree from Purdue University. She completed a one-year internship at the University of Tennessee and spent two years in private practice before pursuing a comparative ophthalmology residency in 2005. Dr. McLean was certified as a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists in 2008.

She joined the staff of VCA Veterinary Care Animal Hospital and Referral Center in October of 2008. Dr. McLean's areas of interest include cataract surgery, anterior chamber inflammation, glaucoma and ocular manifestations of systemic disease. Her interests have led to several publications in peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association and Veterinary Ophthalmology, and presentations at national meetings. Dr. McLean welcomes referrals of exotic and large animals as well as small animals. In addition to treating dogs, cats, horses and pocket pets, she has operated on a variety of zoo animals including bald eagles, tigers, and tree kangaroos. She is eager to work in conjunction with her patients' primary care veterinarian to provide optimal care.

Dr. McLean has presented at several national meetings and has taught an ocular surgery course to other veterinarians. She is a member of several medical groups including the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists ( and the American Veterinary Medical Association. She also peer-reviews submitted articles for the Journal of Veterinary Ophthalmology.

Dr. McLean and her husband moved to new Mexico in 2002 and fell in love with the state. She enjoys rock climbing, biking, skiing and spending time with her husband, dog, daughter and son.

Stacy Peterson, DVM, DACVO (Ophthalmology)

Dr. Peterson obtained her bachelor's degree and her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Oklahoma State University. She completed a one-year internship at a large specialty hospital in Michigan and a residency program at a large veterinary ophthalmology center in Arizona. Dr. Peterson was certified as a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists in 2005.


General Practice

We have over 600 animal hospitals in 41 states and 4 Canadian provinces that are staffed by more than 3,000 fully-qualified, dedicated and compassionate veterinarians, with more than 400 being board-certified specialists.

The nationwide VCA family of general practice hospitals give your pet the very best in medical care, providing a full range of general medical and surgical services as well as specialized treatments such as wellness, spay/neuter, advanced diagnostic services (MRI/CT Scan), internal medicine, oncology, ophthalmology, dermatology, cardiology, neurology, boarding, and grooming. Services may vary by location.

Our family of pet hospitals stands out by delivering the greatest resources in order provide the highest quality care available for your pets. By maintaining the highest standards of pet health care available anywhere, we emphasize prevention as well as healing. We provide continuing education programs to our doctors and staff and promote the open exchange of professional knowledge and expertise. And finally, we have established a consistent program of procedures and techniques, proven to be the most effective in keeping pets healthy.

Find a VCA General Care Animal Hospital near you:


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Emergency Care

VCA Veterinary Care Animal Hospital & Referral Center

9901 Montgomery NE

Albuquerque, NM  87111

505 296-2982

In Case of Emergency......

1.  Remain Calm.

2.  Call Your Family Veterinarian First.  If they are unavailable, call us at 505 296-2982.

3.  Tell us the nature of the problem.  We will give you instructions on how to handle your pet while enroute and give you directions to our hospital.

What is an Emergency?

Difficulty breathing

Unstoppable bleeding

Major trauma or injury


Inability to urinate or defecate


Bloated or distended abdomen

Allergic reactions

Loss of balance, unconsciousness, or seizure

Eye injuries

Inability to deliver puppies or kittens