Meet Our Staff

Practice Manager

The veterinary practice manager may receive on the job training or become certified from an accredited college program. A certified veterinary practice manager (CVPM) receives training from an accredited college and must pass a national exam to become certified. Often, a LVT may become a CVPM. The practice manager performs all of the tasks of a veterinary office coordinator with additional responsibilities.

LaurenFelix

Lauren Felix, CVPM

Position here at Otterkill: Practice Manager Educational Background: Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Science; Certified Veterinary Practice Manager

Number of Family Animal Companions: 3 Name(s) and Breed(s): “Ophelia”- DMH and “Norman”-DSH and “Phoebe”- cattle dog mix. Hobbies I enjoy: hiking, camping, bird watching, gardening, antiquing and restoring my 1837 Farmhouse.

Special things I have done with animals: I did research on the Spotted Owl and Black Footed Ferret-two forest sensitive species. “I love to be a part of the Otterkill Animal Hospital healthcare team because”: Everyone here is dedicated, compassionate and works together as a team to ensure all our clients and patients receive the very best care. It is a wonderful practice and a pleasure to come to work everyday. Professional Memberships: VHMA (Veterinary Hospital Managers Association); Hudson Valley Veterinary Managers Group

Veterinary Technicians

A Licensed veterinary technician is an individual who has earned a degree, A.A.S., B.A. or B.S., in veterinary technology from an AVMA-accredited program offered throughout the United States. A graduate must then pass the Veterinary Technician National Examination regulated by the board of veterinary medical examiners which is available a handful of times per year. A passing mark earns the title of L.V.T. As of 2011 NYS requires a licensed veterinary technician to obtain a specific amount of continuing education (CE) credits before renewing their license every 3 years. A great technician is an educated technician!

SueZ

Sue Zgoda,LVT

Position here at Otterkill: Licensed Veterinary Technician Educational Background: A.S. degree in animal technology from Harcum Jr. College

Number of Family Animal Companions: 12   Name(s) and Breed(s): “Oliver”– Domestic Shorthair (DSH); “Newman” – DLH; “Sammy” – DSH; “Jerry”- DSH; “Cub”- DSH;”Finn” – Golden Retriever; “Kojo” – miniature donkey; “Luigi” – miniature donkey; Tropical Fish pond.   Hobbies I enjoy: hiking, skiing, agility, gardening, and biking.

Special things I have done with animals: I currently volunteer my time with local humane societies giving vaccines and doing other technical procedures; obtaining Master Agility titles on my dog Finn. “I love to be a part of the Otterkill Animal Hospital healthcare team because”: The hospital is made up of the most caring bunch of people and it is an honor to work with them. Professional Memberships: NAVTA (National Association of Veterinary Technicians of America), NYSAVT ( NY State Association of Veterinary Technicians).

GinaSchlegel

Gina Schlegel, LVT

Position here at Otterkill: Licensed Veterinary Technician Educational Background: AAS- Veterinary Science Technology, SUNY Delhi.

Number of Family Animal Companions: 0 Name(s) and Breed(s): no pets at this time Hobbies I enjoy: Skiing, listening to music, traveling, watching baseball games.

Special things I have done with animals: We adopted our dog Panda from “Pets Alive Pet Sanctuary”. Our cat “Trooper” was brought to Otterkill Animal Hospital by a state trooper who found him wounded on the side of the road. Dr. Zgoda had to perform surgery on his leg so that he would be able to walk. “I love to be a part of the Otterkill Animal Hospital healthcare team because”: Everyone here loves animals and is very compassionate. We are a friendly bunch and have a lot of fun together. Professional Memberships: Veterinary Support Personnel Network (VSPN), New York State Association of Veterinary Technicians (NYSAVT)

GraceWirthman

Grace McPhillips, LVT

Position here at Otterkill: Licensed Veterinary Technician Educational Background: AAS in Veterinary Technology at SUNY Ulster

Number of Family Animal Companions: 3 Name(s) and Breed(s): “Odie” a lab/retriever mix; “Wyatt a.k.a Piglet” a black lab mix, and “Zoey” a pitbull/boxer mix Hobbies I enjoy: Softball, watching football go GIANTS!! and Notre Dame!!!, love playing in the yard with all the dogs and most of all spending time with my daughters Emma and Caroline.

Special things I have done with animals: I used to work at the Town of Newburgh Animal Control and Shelter where I enjoyed helping all the homeless animals find homes and also I got to nurse sick animals back to health. There I furthered my love for animals in helping with all kinds of animals in different situations by either helping raising week old kittens, fostering puppies at home or finding homes for our senior pets. All my dogs are from the Town of Newburgh Shelter where I rescued them and have given them a happy and loving home. “I love to be a part of the Otterkill Animal Hospital healthcare team because”: The hospital healthcare team is a great group to work with. We are more like lifelong friends then co-workers and we have a lot of fun everyday together helping animals. Everyone here also loves animals and cares above and beyond for all our patients. Professional Memberships: New York State Association of Veterinary Technicians (NYSAVT)

EmilyHoover

Emily Hoover, LVT

Position here at Otterkill: Licensed Veterinary Technician Educational Background: SUNY Orange- Pre-Dental Hygiene- 2014; Cedar Valley College DEVTP – A.A.S. Veterinary Technology- 2009; Cedar Valley College- Certificate of Veterinary Assisting- 2007; SUNY Orange- A.A.S. Visual Communications- 2002

Number of Family Animal Companions: 6 Name(s) and Breed(s): “Luna” DSH bobtail, “Sashi” DSH dilute calico, “Marcy” DSH tabby calico, “Carli” DSH dilute calico, “Kramer” Beagle/Chow Chow mix and goldfish. Hobbies I enjoy:I enjoy spending time with my growing family, animal portrait painting,  sewing, crafting and reading.

Special things I have done with animals: Throughout the year I collect household and monetary donations to donate to the local Humane societies. In 2013 I raised enough money to donate a huge cat tower to Goshen Humane Society’s free roaming cat room. I once rescued a deer that was hit by a car, and I transported him in my trunk back to the hospital to help him. I rescued a kitten on my property that was severely injured and ran into the car engine. “I love to be a part of the Otterkill Animal Hospital healthcare team because”: Everyone is very knowledgeable and stay up to date on current veterinary medical information. It’s a great group of people to work with. I can honestly say that everyone that works here has a genuine interest in your s and your pets well being. We treat your pets like we would want our pets treated. We take pride in being the best we can be.

Vet Assistants

Veterinary assistants assist the veterinarians and licensed veterinary technicians. They care for animals in laboratories, animal hospitals and clinics. Some have received a certificate in veterinary assisting through an accredited college or on the job professional training.

MelissaHowe

Melissa Howe

Position here at Otterkill: Veterinary Assistant Educational Background: Pine Bush High School Graduate, currently enrolled in Penn Foster’s Veterinary Technician Program.

Number of Family Animal Companions: 4 Name(s) and Breed(s): “Stanley”-DSH;  “Lyle”-DLH, “Murphy-Jones”-DLH, “Gus”- French Bulldog and lots of African Cichlid fish. Hobbies I enjoy: photography, hiking, and playing with my animals.

Special things I have done with animals: My dog Yogi and I attended agility training classes together. “I love to be a part of the Otterkill Animal Hospital healthcare team because”: There is a good employee moral here. We all work together and treat each other like family.

Office Coordinator

The purpose of this position is to serve as office coordinators at the animal hospital, to perform record keeping duties, to perform clerical duties related to animal patient care and treatment, and to provide miscellaneous support to the veterinarians and patient care team. This position requires a practical knowledge of hospital organization and services, the basic rules and regulations governing visitors and animal patient treatment, data entry, word processing, mail service, and a practical knowledge of the standard procedures, veterinary records and terminology used in the hospital.

KyleMeade

Kyle Meade

Position here at Otterkill: Veterinary Office Coordinator Educational Background: I went to school for Humanities and Liberal Arts at SUNY Orange

Number of Family Animal Companions: 6 Name(s) and Breed(s): “Jasper”- Black DSH; “Fermata”- Grey DMH; “Charlie”-Grey DSH; “Melody”-Tuxedo DSH; “Maisy”-Chocolate Labrador Retriever; and I always have A Guiding Eyes for the Blind Labrador Puppy Hobbies I enjoy: I enjoy spending time with my family, playing with my dogs and volunteering my time with Guiding Eyes for the Blind. In my spare time I enjoy hiking, dog training, baking, sewing, crocheting, and crafting. I pet sit often for friends and family.

Special things I have done with animals: I am a Volunteer Puppy Raiser for Guiding Eyes for the Blind; I get a new puppy every year and enjoy socializing, training, and snuggling them for 14-16 months until they enter formal guide dog training. I have raised 2 guide dogs, and I am in the process of raising my third; My first puppy, Judy, became a guide dog in Montreal, Quebec! My second puppy, Harlow, is being evaluated to become a breeder for Guiding Eyes for the Blind. My current puppy, Kibby, and I enjoy visiting schools to teach children about service dogs; I also volunteer as an Early Socializer giving puppy massages in the facility where the puppies are born! “I love to be a part of the Otterkill Animal Hospital healthcare team because”: My own pets have been coming here since before I was even born! I have grown up watching my pets receive the best quality care available at Otterkill. I love that everyone here is so friendly and knowledgeable, and I am excited to have joined the “Otter” family! It is a pleasure to come to work each day!