Technician SupervisorBill Brown
Bill has been working in the veterinary field for 23 years, initially satisfying his love for animals by working as a kennel assistant in high school in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In the years that followed, he trained as a veterinary assistant in New Mexico’s largest emergency and referral practice, and held various positions throughout his 15 years there, including 8 years as the Technician Supervisor and 3 years as Hospital Manager. In 2004 he moved his wife and daughter across the country to experience life on the east coast, working as Technician Supervisor in a busy general small animal practice in Montgomery County. In June of 2008, Bill passed the Veterinary Technician National Exam and secured a technician license in Delaware. Bill’s interest in advanced specialty medicine led him to join the VRA family in January 2011 where he works as a technician supervisor and surgery technician. His special interests include anesthesia, pain management and critical care.
When he’s not at work Bill has a passion for nature and pet photography and enjoys hiking, fishing, camping, and mountain biking. He and his wife and daughter share their house with a German shorthaired pointer, two cats and a leopard gecko.
Technician SupervisorAdrian Kuzemchak
Adrian Kuzemchak is an Emergency Technician Supervisor with Veterinary Referral Associates. Adrian graduated from Eckerd College in 2005 with a B.S in Biology. She began her career in veterinary medicine as a technician assistant in the Spring 2006 at a small general practice in St. Petersburg, Florida. Later that same year she moved to Maryland where she continued to work in general practice. Over the next two years she worked to expand her technical skills and knowledge, working her way up to becoming the lead anesthesia technician at her practice. In the summer of 2008 she was able to use her biology degree to qualify to sit for the Veterinary Technician National Exam in Maryland and obtained her credentials as a registered veterinary technician. Adrian joined the emergency team here at Veterinary Referral Associates in November 2008. She quickly developed a love for emergency medicine and became highly interested in VRA’s animal blood donor program, which she now helps to run. In December of 2012 Adrian became the new Emergency Technician Supervisor.
Knowing that she planned to continue in veterinary medicine and wanting to expand her knowledge further Adrian went back to school online in 2010 at San Juan Community College to obtain her associates degree in Veterinary Technology. She also is currently working to obtain her Veterinary Technician Specialty in Emergency and Critical Care.
When not at work Adrian spends time with her husband Matthew, her cats Annie and Ozzy, and her dog Loki. Adrian enjoys reading, hiking, and traveling whenever possible.
Technician SupervisorMegan Melcher, LVT
Megan has been with VCA VRA since 2006. She has a Master’s degree in North American Archaeology and has at variant times been a bartender in the French Quarter of New Orleans, managed a pet cemetery, taught Head Start, and run children’s birthday parties at the National Zoo. She became a veterinary technician in 2000 and earned her license in 2004.
She recently took a year off from veterinary medicine to attend baking school. Her goal is to have a vegan baking business while continuing to work as a technician.
She likes to try new things, if you couldn’t tell by now, and took up the sport of roller derby at 40 years old! It was a short lived career but she has the pictures and bum knees to prove it.
She loves her work because it makes her feel empowered and because she loves animals (sometimes more than people). She shares her home with her husband, Marc, their two teenagers, two dogs, four cats, one lizard, and an unknown number of fish.
She would very much like to win the lottery and wants you to know, as an aside, talking about herself in the third person makes her feel silly.
Registered Veterinary TechnicianNatalie Baker
Veterinary Tech School: Vet Tech Institute
Natalie Baker, a VCA VRA client favorite, is a Registered Veterinary Technician in our hospital’s Critical Care Unit. Natalie knew, even as a little one, that she wanted to work with animals and aspired to one day becoming a veterinarian. She started practicing early-on by bandaging her pets’ legs and by caring for them daily. Growing up, Natalie’s family had both cats and dogs but her fascination extended to all species. In fact, even insects were an attraction. How many of us can say we raised Monarch caterpillars and released them into the environment as beautiful butterflies?
As she approached adulthood, Natalie investigated many colleges with pre-veterinary/biology majors but had difficulty finding “the one” until her online search produced the Vet Tech Institute. They offered a two-year program with classes dedicated to the study of animals. VTI, located in Downtown Pittsburgh, was only four hours from Natalie’s home and what a wonderful experience it was! Natalie graduated in 2008 and went on to do an externship as an emergency and critical care technician at Greenbriar Veterinary Referral and Emergency in Urbana, Maryland. She enjoyed this practice very much as it was not only a personal challenge but provided her with a wide range of medical experience.
Natalie began her career at VCA Veterinary Referral Associates in November of 2010, working in the Intensive Care Ward (ICW) but was promoted to the Critical Care Unit (CCU) in 2012. Because she firmly believes VCA VRA practices top notch medicine and readily trusts the staff with her own pets, Natalie (who still lives in PA) travels two hours a day for work.
Natalie and her boyfriend reside in a quaint home which was once a one-room schoolhouse. They live with their nine-year old Australian Shepherd “Tyler” (who saves lives by being a member of our blood donor program) and twenty free range chickens. In her spare time, she enjoys playing coed softball, gardening and pet-sitting.
Registered Veterinary TechnicianEmily Fullerton
Veterinary Tech School: Vet Tech Institute
Emily Fullerton is a registered & specialized veterinary technician in our hospital's Medical Oncology Department.
Emily received her associate’s degree of specialized technology (veterinary technician) through Vet Tech Institute in 2008, and has been a licensed technician since January 2009. She joined the medical oncology team at VRA in 2010; you can sometimes find her working in the ER to keep up on her emergency medicine skills. Emily’s passion for helping animals lead her to achieve her veterinary technician specialty license in oncology in 2014.
Emily enjoys spending time with her furchildren Bonnie (dog) and Betty and Clementine (kitties). She enjoys cooking, baking, wine tasting, and crafting in her spare time.
Registered Veterinary TechnicianOlga Gradinar
Registered Veterinary TechnicianVeita Hummer
Registered Veterinary TechnicianRobin Price
Veterinary Tech School: Community College of Baltimore County
Robin is a Registered Veterinary Technician and Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner in the Rehabilitation Department of Veterinary Referral Associates.
Robin started at VRA in December 2008 in the Surgery department, and in July 2011 she transitioned to the Rehabilitation department. Prior to joining VRA, she worked for five years in the Surgery department at a referral hospital north of Baltimore.
Robin recently attended the University of Tennessee Veterinary School program for canine rehabilitation. In December 2012, she completed all of the requirements and passed a rigorous exam to become a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner.
Robin has a daughter, Samantha, and they share their home with their cat Figaro. Robin’s Interests include reading (she’s a voracious reader!) and running. She has completed several 5K races and one half marathon and will potentially add more events to that list.
Ronald is an assistant in the Intermediate Care Ward at VCA Veterinary Referral Associates. He has been with the VCA Veterinary Referral team since the end of July of 2013. Since he was a teenager, Ronald has loved working with animals. His first job was as a dog bather in PetsMart in 2004 and shortly after he began he became a dog groomer. Ronald did dog grooming for about 7 years and loved working with animals. After working at PetsMart he worked for Nordstrom Rack doing retail and then got promoted to working in Service Experience in Nordstrom at Montgomery Mall. Outside of work Ronald loves spending all of his free time with his wonderful daughter.
Christine Aubuchon began her veterinary career over thirty years ago at ‘the barn’, the old digs of VCA VRA. She has since worked as a technician and practice manager at small animal clinics in Maryland and Missouri and at National Institutes of Health where she handled chickens and monkeys. While working at NIH in 1998, Christine earned her certification in the American Association For Laboratory Animal Science.
After many years in her chosen field, she decided to diversify, to say the least. Christine joined the Airforce as a C-5 aircraft mechanic; worked as a biomedical instrument service tech and as a veterinary sales rep. She earned her EMT-B while in Colorado in 2011 and started a degree in Respiratory therapy, which will be completed in July 2016. Overall, Christine now concludes her passion is Critical Care and Emergency Medicine in animals and humans.
Christine shares her home with two small mixed breed dogs, a bearded dragon and one little 10 year old Finch.
Aryn Austin is a veterinary technician who has been with VCA Veterinary Referral Associates since July 2012. She began working in the hospital's surgery department as a recovery technician and then transferred to the Intensive Care Ward (ICW) shortly after.
Ever since she was young, Aryn knew that she wanted to work with animals. What she loves most about working at VCA Veterinary Referral Associates is making a difference in not only the animals lives but their families lives as well. Having three children, Aryn is a natural caregiver. She is very patient and attentive and cares for her patients as if they were her own children.
Kimberly is a US Army veteran who started her career in the human medical field. Shortly after being discharged from the military, she decided working with animals provided her more satisfaction. Starting in the veterinary field on November 1, 2006, at a local general practice, she fell in love with and has remained dedicated to her chosen path. In April, 2013, Kim began working in the Intermediate Care Ward at VCA Veterinary Referral Associates and one year later, transferred to the position of Ophthalmology Technician.
For fun and relaxation, Kimberly enjoys spending time with her family, going to bonfires, attending concerts and relaxing at the beach.
Jason Bailey is a veterinary technician in our Veterinary Referral Associate’s Surgery Department. He joined our staff in August 2011 as a technician in the intermediate care ward. Jason has wanted to help animals since he was a young child. He has been in the veterinary field since 2006 and quickly discovered his passion for surgery. He plans to pursue his certification as a veterinary technical specialist in surgical care.
In addition to following his passion working with animals, Jason enjoys doing anything outdoors. He treasures his time spent with his wife and two young children. He is also kept very busy giving equal attention to his beloved four legged children, Duke, Tiny and Bubba.
Mariah Brittain joined the Emergency Department at Veterinary Referral Associates in August of 2015. After graduating Appalachian State University in 2009, with a double major in Anthropology and Sustainable Development, Mariah realized her true passion was caring for animals. She started her career in small animal general practice in 2012, after working as the barn manager for a horse breeding farm.
A North Carolina native, Mariah has particularly enjoyed and easily adapted to the fast paced lifestyle the Washington DC metropolitan area has to offer. Mariah’s free time is spent exercising the minds of her two tenacious Australian Cattle Dogs; volunteering at Persistence Farm (a sustainable farm in Beallsville, Maryland); hiking, going to concerts, reading, horseback riding and traveling as much as she possibly can.
Ana has been with Veterinary Referral Associates since 1994. Her early VRA experience involved client service, including work at the front desk, reception and as phone operator. She then moved on to pursue a veterinary career as Radiation Oncology Technician, also training as a caretaker, lead technician, and safety officer for I -131 Radioactive Iodine cats for six years, under the supervision of Dr. Deborah Prescott, DVM, PhD, DACVR-RO. Ana has performed technical work with VRA’s Neurology, Critical Care, and Oncology Departments, and for the past 8 years, she has been a Technician in our Internal Medicine Department.
Ana and her husband love staying at bed and breakfasts and spending their weekends exploring. They enjoy visiting historical sites, particularly those reputed to be haunted. (Ana is the co-founder for Maryland Tristate Paranormal, and she and her husband have been featured in Michael Varhola’s Ghosthunting Maryland Book.) When they are not traveling, they enjoy their four-legged children -- two Chihuahuas, a miniature Yorkie and one cat. Other interests include photography and camping.
Sarah began her journey at VCA Veterinary Referral Associates in October 2012 as a receptionist and quickly moved to her current position of Internal Medicine Technician. Before coming to VRA, Sarah spent 5 years as a veterinary technician at a general practice. Her favorite part of Internal Medicine is being a part of helping sick patients feel better and easing the minds of their concerned parents. Outside of work Sarah enjoys spending her free time with her loved ones, 4 wheeling, collecting vintage owl figurines, and spending time with her 3 furry children: Holly (an 8-year-old mixed breed), Lady (a 12-year-old beagle), and Bubba (a 6 year-old, one-eyed pug).
I was born and raised in Maryland and grew up in Frederick County, so I naturally love picking and eating crabs.
I attended the University of Maryland Baltimore County and resided there for about 13 years, the last three in Baltimore City. My first experiences in Canine Rehabilitation started in 2007 and in 2008 I became certified in Canine Massage. In 2010, I attended the Canine Rehabilitation Institute and received my certification as a Canine Rehabilitation Assistant. I am very dedicated and passionate about the clients and patients I have had the pleasure of meeting and working with over the years. I simply love what I do and wouldn’t choose to be doing anything else.
Jessica Edwards is a Technician in our hospital's Critical Care Unit.
As a young child, when she was asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Bridget Ely would in all honesty reply, “Well, I want to be a dog”! As she grew, it became clear that her childhood aspirations were not yet a realistic possibility. So instead, she decided a life that revolved around animals was a reasonable compromise.
Bridget competed and trained horses for over fifteen years at which time she became familiar with the world of veterinary medicine. She never looked back. Ms. Ely has been an assistant/technician now for more than ten years! She enjoys the never-ending personal satisfaction and the learning opportunities that present daily when working with pets. Bridget joined the VCA VRA team as an Emergency Technician in November 2015 and finds the environment conducive to gaining experience in the field and expanding her skills. She loves the opportunity to work with “amazing” doctors, nurses and a cooperative and competent administrative staff.
Outside of work, Bridget enjoys spending time with her nine-year old Great Dane, Apollo. Together they compete in AKC obedience events. Apollo has earned his CGC and CGCA and the two partake in both Rally and tracking training. Bridget’s special interests include the field of animal behavioral science. She is excited with the prospect of exploring new areas of veterinary medicine in the future.
Jessica is a technician in our Anesthesiology Department. She graduated from Colorado State University (Go Rams!) with a B.S. in Biomedical Sciences. She is passionate about all aspects of veterinary medicine, but is especially challenged by being motivated to constantly learn and improve. Jessica has always loved animals and finds being able to nurse them back to health and support them when they are at their neediest, extremely rewarding.
When not at work, Jessica spends time with her very exuberant golden retriever Finley. She also reads, runs and hikes, three of her favorite pastimes.
Lisa Fair began her veterinary medicine career in 1997 as a volunteer at VCA VRA. She helped in the Intermediate Care Ward and after receiving additional training, joined our team as a Recovery Technician later the same year. In a short time, and with further training, Lisa became an Orthopedic/Surgery Technician. She was the first of our employees to obtain certification in Canine Rehabilitation Therapy and is also certified in Canine Massage. Presently, Lisa works part-time in our Rehab Department as well as helping, as needed, in other areas of the hospital.
Lisa and her fiancé Marc share their home with Benjamin, a very sweet and cute Cavalier King Charles. Lisa enjoys writing and has co-authored chapters in various veterinary texts and magazines. She currently contributes medical articles to a veterinary professional website and is pursuing certification in medical writing. In her spare time, Lisa enjoys volunteering with animal rescue groups, participating on committees in her community, cooking, and entertaining friends and family.
I came in to the United States on 2003, mainly for safety reasons. In my country Colombia, South America, I worked for 14 years as a veterinarian at farms, animal food factories, veterinary laboratories and research.
Being in the United States and working in different fields, such as real estate and car businesses were good to make a decent living, but I knew something was missing " something that would make me feel totally happy. So I decided to apply for a Veterinary Technician position with Veterinary Referral Associates that allowed me to continue being in touch with the veterinary field. I work on weekends in the Intermediate Care Ward. Caring for animals is what I love to do. It is very satisfying to see the recovered patient going home, providing a family with much happiness for years to come.
During my free time I like outdoor activities with friends and family. I enjoy hiking, riding bikes, swimming and going to the gym. I also try to eat healthy as much as I can.
I began many years ago, thanks to my mom and dad and if I say so myself I’ve been living each day to the fullest ever since. I started in the veterinary field in 2007 working in the Intermediate Care Ward at VCA VRA, then called the ‘barn’. I later moved to surgery where I worked until 2010 at which time I decided to take a break and investigate the outside world. I left for about a year but, like many, I missed the hospital. So, I returned and have been part of the ICW ever since. I attended Frederick Community College where I studied Fine Arts for two years before changing my field of study to Para Medicine (Pre-Hospital Medicine) at Shepherd University. I keep current my registration in CPR/First Aid and have been certified as an Emergency Medical Technician-B. I also have certifications in Pediatric Advanced Life Support, Basic Trauma Life Support, International Trauma Life Support, Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Fire Fighter I, Emergency Vehicle Operators Course, Hazmat, Rope Rescue and Swift Water Rescue. On my days off, I work as a professional piercer and Certified White Water Rafting Guide. My wife and I have four beautiful fur children named Azalea, Petunia, Maggie Moo and Cindy Lou. We reside in the wild and wonderful state of West (Best) Virginia. My passions are boating, fishing, shooting, hiking, animals (not necessarily in that order) and pretty much anything involving the outdoors…even barbequing. I believe in ‘Keepin It Real’ and to say the least, I am not boring!
Moira is a technician in Veterinary Referral Associates’ Emergency department. She has been with our team since the beginning of 2011. Moira started her career in the early '90s, working for several years at a few local veterinary practices in the area. After 10 years in regular practice, Moira's thirst for knowledge took her to emergency medicine where she spent 4 years and loved every minute. After a brief foray into government contracting with the Center for Veterinary Medicine, Moira has found her niche here at VRA.
Moira is currently taking classes through Purdue University in Veterinary Technology with a goal toward certification in the field. Moira shares her life with Isabel, a wild and crazy Lab/Weimaraner cross and Widget, a sweet brown tabby DSH who likes to follow the dog on walks. She also enjoys cooking and is an avid movie buff.
Early in February 2014 Carl joined VRA’s Medical Oncology Department as a technician. He began working at VRA in 1994, when the clinic was still located in “The Barn”, after initial training and work as a technician in a multi-clinician general practice. First assigned as the sole overnight technician in the Barn’s newly established critical care unit, Carl has since worked primarily as a doctor’s technician with several of the practice’s internal medicine clinicians. He has also completed rotations in surgery and radiology as well as being one of the primary caregivers for cats undergoing I131 treatment for hyperthyroidism. Carl graduated from Rutgers College in 1971 with a B.A. in Biological Sciences and in 1973 received his M.A. in Higher Education Administration from the University of Connecticut. Proving that it takes some of us longer than others to find their true calling, Carl became a technician after completing careers in college administration and human resource management in the technology sector. He lives in the District of Columbia with his spouse and their 2 rescued Siamese cats, one of which owns him, the other his wife. Spare time comprises reading, gardening, cycling, cooking anything that goes on the grill, cultural offerings in DC and savoring red wines. p>
Carlos Gonzales is a Veterinary Technician in our hospital's Intermediate Care Ward. He joined the Veterinary Referral Associates staff as a Veterinary Assistant in February 2011. After a year, he was given the opportunity to become a Veterinary Technician. Carlos says, “I've enjoyed working here with all these great people who care so much about the pets.” Carlos is married and the father of 4 wonderful kids.
Amanda Gorsuch is a Veterinary Technician in the Emergency Department at VCA Veterinary Referral Associates.
After graduating from High School, Amanda pursued a course of study in the field of human medicine but never neglected her life-long love of animals. Her primary occupation was as a licensed home health technician, practicing Geriatric Nursing, while she worked as a dog groomer (also licensed) on her days off. Eventually, Amanda decided to dedicate her talents solely to the field of animal health. Until she honed her skills enough to work as a technician, she was an assistant. Her career in emergency veterinary medicine is still a passion ten years later.
Amanda lives in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia with her husband and two children, an eighteen year old Umbrella cockatoo named Pepper and a Senegal parrot, Keko, who is six. She also has two Chihuahuas named Dale and Apple. In her spare time she enjoys canning and crafting.
Emily Hadley is a Technician in our hospital's Intermediate Care Ward.
Raisa Johnston received her veterinary degree from the National Stavropol Agricultural University in Stavropol, Russia. She then
practiced as a large animal veterinarian and worked in a research lab at the National Stavropol Research Institute.
Raisa moved to the United States in 2005 and in 2008 joined the VCA Veterinary Referral Associates family where she continues to work as a laboratory technician. Raisa has two sons, both of whom followed in her footsteps. obtaining veterinary degrees from the National Stavropol Agricultural University as well. Her oldest is currently working as an emergency and critical care veterinary technician at a specialty hospital in New Orleans and her youngest is a veterinary surgery technician at VCA VRA. In her free time Raisa enjoys spending time with family, biking, and fishing. She is an avid gardener and a fantastic cook.
School: University of Maryland, Bachelor of Science
Deb Kittle is the rare native of Montgomery County, Maryland who has lived all her life where it began. She is constant, knowing as a young girl she wanted to work with animals and entering the field of veterinary medicine with her first job. In 1983, she applied for and was accepted as a veterinary technician at Gaithersburg Animal Hospital (GAH). Both the owners and the staff took her under their collective wing and helped her to develop a passion for excellence in veterinary patient care.
Deb graduated from the University of Maryland at College Park in May 1984, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science. After ten and one-half years at GAH, a practice still in existence to this day, Deb yearned to broaden her technical skills and was welcomed at VCA Veterinary Referral Associates in August 1998. She began working in the Intermediate Nursing Care Ward and soon realized this is where she was meant to be. She loves working with all the doctors and feels she has the broadest slice of veterinary medicine available to her each and every day.
Aside from the personal satisfaction she gains from caring for her patients, Deb LOVES Star Wars and collects anything and everything related to the epic Lucas saga as well as belonging to a local enthusiasts' club since 2003. In 2005, Deb actively began voluntarily soliciting and donating money to children’s charities, another cause dear to her heart.
Cheryl McCombs is a technicain in the radiology department at VCA Veterinary Referral Associates.
Jenifer is a technician in our Intermediate Care Ward. She has been in the Veterinary field since 2013 and joined us in 2015. Although she has her bachelor's degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice, she returned to work with her first love, animals. When not working she enjoys spending time with her husband, son and her Chihuahua, Evee.
Lisa Paugh is a Technician in our hospital's Intermediate Care Unit.
Sam is a technician at VCA Veterinary Referral. She had worked in the hospitality industry for almost 6 years after working as a veterinary technician for 4 years at Quince Orchard Veterinary Hospital. Realizing her true passion was being a veterinary technician she decided to make the career move back to the veterinary field and join the VCA VRA team.
Sam has always been passionate about animals and has had pets for as long as she can remember; currently living with two very mischievous but entertaining Bengal cats, Huey, Abby, Gus and Chip.
Lori Quick is a Technician in our hospital's Critical Care Unit.
Kim Raide is a Veterinary Technician with Veterinary Referral Associates.
Yona Severe is Veterinary Referral Associates' Neurology Department veterinary technician. She has been in the veterinary field since 2000. Yona graduated from UMD in 2002 with a BS in environmental science. She originally wanted to work with wildlife so did internships at the Baltimore National Zoo and a wildlife rehabilitation center in upstate New York. Yona kept coming back to small animals because she can have a closer bond with them and she enjoys the medicine. She learns something new everyday. When not at work the first place to look for her is at the barn with her horse Gryphn. He is a 32 year old thoroughbred gelding whom she loves very much. Yona also enjoys yoga, swimming, hiking and anything outdoorsy.
Hi, my name is Noel. I was probably 13 years old or so when a commercial on T.V. aired that showed a young tattered dog chained to a tree with a small dirty shack. The mud path circling the tree drew out the extension of the chain. With audio sounds of a excited little girl asking, “Uncle Charlie, where’s that cute puppy? You all had at Christmas?” A gruff voice replies “Outback, yonder!” At the same time you see the young tattered dog who perks up by the sound of voices, only to lay back down in disappointment and hear it whimper. To this day I am still uncertain who promoted that emotional commercial. I only know that it left a lasting impression on me and inspired me to become an advocate for the misfits and less fortunate ones. I’ve pushed myself with hard work, hands on training, and various education courses. I also have had the pleasure of working the last 25+ years with horse farms, horse racetracks, boarding kennels, Animal Control officers, animal shelters, veterinary offices, and rescue groups throughout various points in my life. They have all helped me in making a positive difference for those less fortunate. I’m proud to support my best friend, a partner and a father to all of our children, Wesley L. Jenson Sr. PDT. The owner of Arrowwood Shepherds, Inc. He enjoys teaching families how to train their dog(s) to have acceptable social skills in the home and in public. This includes working through issues as relating to inappropriate behavioral and misunderstood actions. They are well known for giving back to the community by providing education, and as a source for dogs in Services Departments and/or for rehabilitation needs.Working with him, I strive to continue my personal journey through more education, training, and demonstrating that, YES!!!!, you to can have that cute adorable, well-trained puppy. I do this hoping that in some small way it helps. Some of my downtime enjoyments include antiquing, landscaping, cooking, being a Redskins fan, outdoors activities, and training in the Canine competitor sport of Schutzhund/IOP with my 2-year-old Female German Shepherd Tortuga-B Von Arrowwood. I also have a German Shepherd/Dutch cross male named Godric and I enjoy working him in Obedience training of lead. I always save the best for last and my biggest accomplishment, as a single mother for so many years is my daughter, Grace C. De Oro. She’s a sophomore attending college at St. Mary’s College of Southern Maryland in the fields of marine science. Go Sea Hawks!
Born and raised in Rhode Island, Brian Sutcliffe joined the U.S. Army in 1984 as an Animal Care Technician. Brian spent two years at Fort Ord in Northern California and an additional two years in Taegu, Korea. When he returned home, Brian was stationed at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research from 1988-1995 where he worked with the Surgery Department performing microsurgery on rats for a study on hemorrhagic shock. He also was assigned to perform behavioral studies on Rhesus monkeys. Brian became a certified Lab Animal Technician through AALAS (American Association for Lab Animal Sciences) and pursued an additional course of study from Hill’s to become a Nutritional Consultant.
Throughout his career, Brian was involved in providing care and treatment for laboratory animals through assignments to different study protocols as well as environmental enrichment. He joined Veterinary Referral Associates in 1995 as a technician working in the ward on weekend overnights and after a year moved to our lab as Head Technician. Brian, who is very organized (an understatement), multi-tasks. His other areas of responsibility include taking care of the I-131 cats and Bereavement Coordinator. Brian’s hobbies include cooking, Baking (with a capital ‘B’ because he’s the best) and decorating cakes. He relaxes most while in the company of his four legged kids.
Jackie Vidal is a Technician in Veterinary Referral Associate's Intermediate Care Ward (ICW). She began working at VRA as a telephone operator in March 2005. After one year, she became a veterinary assistant in ICW. In June 2012, she became a veterinary technician. She loves working with patients and plans to get her veterinary technician license in 2014.
In her free time, Jackie loves spending time with her 12 ½ year old cat Cabrona, who Jackie bottle-fed when she was just a two-week- old kitten. She also has a 3-year-old cat named Bella. Jackie enjoys movies, television, reading and spending time with close friends. In addition, she likes to write and hopes to get a novel published one day.
Andrea Whiting is a Technician in our hospital's Emergency Department.
Sergey Yatsenko is a Technician in our hospital's Surgery Department.
Veterinary AssistantVanessa Carranza
Vanessa Carranza is the Recovery Technician in our Surgery Department. She has been working for VCA Veterinary Referral Associates since February 2013. Before coming to VCA, she was a Veterinary Assistant at McLean Animal Hospital. When Vanessa started at VRA, she was already known to most of her current co-workers because she previously did a Veterinary Technology Internship at our practice.
Vanessa attended Sanford Brown College in Virginia where she received her Associate Degree in Veterinary Technology. She is preparing to take her boards to become a certified Veterinary Technician but her ultimate goal is to pursue additional education and receive her Bachelor’s Degree as a Veterinary Technician Specialist in the field of dentistry.
When not working, Vanessa enjoys socializing with friends, shopping, cooking and baking. Her favorite pastime, surpassing all others, is to have quality time with her adorable little black cat, Bear.
Veterinary AssistantMallory Goff
Mallory has been a receptionist at VCA Veterinary Referral Associates since April 2013. She has been in the veterinary field for over 6 years and has experience as both a receptionist and a veterinary technician. Mallory loves being around animals as much as possible. She has a shih tzu, Bean, a cockapoo, Sophie and a cat, Oscar. In her free time Mallory enjoys reading, spending time with friends and family, watching horror movies and being outdoors with her dogs.
Veterinary AssistantApril Milchak
April is a technician assistant in the rehabilitation department at VCA Veterinary Referral Associates. She began working at VRA in June 2012.
April was born and raised in Western Pennsylvania. She is a 2008 graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania where she received a bachelor’s degree in Interior Design. After graduating from college she moved to Maryland and worked in the design industry for a little over a year. Not completely satisfied with her career path, April enrolled in an online veterinary assistant program and started working at a general practice as a kennel technician. After a few months she started working at the front desk as a receptionist and continued to work there for almost 3 years. April knew she found what she loved to do but still wanted more interaction with the animals; that is when she started working at VRA. April loves being able to help animals feel better with physical rehabilitation. She has plans to attend the Canine Rehabilitation Institute in March 2014 to get her rehabilitation certification.
April lives with her boyfriend and their 2-year-old German Shepherd, Ruger. Some of April’s interests include baking, crafting, kayaking, snowboarding and swimming. She also enjoys taking Ruger to training and hopes to start competing with him in obedience competitions.
Veterinary AssistantRoxanne Schlauch
Roxanne graduated from Frostburg State in 2006 with a Master’s in Art and Education, all to start over ~ 7 years later to be around what she loves the most " ANIMALS! In her free time she enjoys the outdoors - whatever the activity may be, spending time with her spoiled mutt Murphy, friends, and of course family