Meet Our Staff
Michael Koch, VMD, Diplomate ACVIM
Dr. Koch is the Medical Director at VSES. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. He completed his internal medicine residency at the Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania where he received the Jules and Lucy Silver Animal Bedside Manner Award.
Dr. Koch’s professional interests include endocrinology, nasal disease, gastrointestinal disease and immune mediated disease. Dr. Koch is a board certified member of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.
Samantha Murray, VMD, Diplomate ACVIM
Dr. Samantha Murray joined Veterinary Specialists of Rochester's internal medicine team in October of 2014.
Dr. Murray attended the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary Medicine, graduating in 2001. She received the Auxiliary to the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association prize, as well as the Small Animal Award.
Before joining Veterinary Specialists of Rochester, Dr. Murray completed her residency in small animal internal medicine at the Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania from 2002-2004. She also completed a rotating internship in small animal medicine and surgery there from 2001-2002.
Dr. Murray is a member of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine and American Veterinary Medical Association. Dr. Murray’s professional interests include hepatic disease, gastrointestinal disease and immune-mediated disease.
Dr. Murray and her family are currently looking for the perfect dog. In her spare time, she enjoys running, cycling and hiking; as well as spending time with her husband and children.
Shannon Palermo, VMD, Diplomate ACVIM
Dr. Shannon Palermo is the newest addition to the internal medicine service at Veterinary Specialists & Emergency Services. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Palermo completed her internal medicine residency at the Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. While in school, she was the president of the Penn Vet Shelter Medicine Club where she was a recipient of the SVAVMA Community Outreach Excellence Award. Her volunteer work didn't end there, she also worked with Hand2Paw working with at-risk youth and shelter animals to help them see a better future.
Dr. Palermo has been in the veterinary field for eight years, active both professionally and academically with several published articles to her name.
Kevin Mitchell, DVM
Internal Medicine Intern
Dr. Mitchell grew up in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He attended the University Of Ontario Institute Of Technology from 2005-2009, where he majored in finance and graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce (Honors) degree. He attended the University of Guelph from 2009-2013 where he completed his Bachelor of Science degree, and was then accepted at Ross University of Veterinary Medicine in 2014. During his time at Ross, he earned a spot on the Dean’s List (3.50+ GPA) for six semesters before earning his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine there. He recently completed a rotating internship at VSES. Dr. Mitchell’s professional interests include diagnostic imaging, interventional radiology, and cardiology. He has two Vizslas at home named Rambo and Simba. In his spare time, he enjoys swimming, waterskiing, wakeboarding, weight lifting, and cooking.
Scott Gibson, DVM
Internal Medicine Intern
Dr. Gibson is originally from Barbados before moving to Canada. He graduated from the University of Guelph with an undergraduate degree in Bio-Medical Science in 2014. He then went on to earn his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine through Cornell University, graduating Summa Cum Laude. While at Cornell, Dr. Gibson was awarded the Zoetis Scholarship of Internal Medicine and was a member of the Phi Zeta National Veterinary Honor Society. He completed a Small Animal Rotating Internship at the Ontario Veterinary College in 2019. His professional interests include internal medicine with a focus on immune-mediated disease, gastroenterology, and endocrinology. He has a mixed breed dog named Leo and a domestic shorthair cat named Pumpkin, who both currently live with his family in Barbados. In his free time, Dr. Gibson enjoys hiking, movies, and traveling.
Daniel E. Hoffmann, DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVS (Small Animal)
Originally from Latrobe, Pennsylvania, Dr. Daniel E. Hoffmann joined Veterinary Specialists & Emergency Services’ surgery team in March 2013. Prior to that, he worked as a Small Animal Surgeon at the Akron Veterinary Referral and Emergency Center in Ohio.
Dr. Hoffmann attended the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, graduating Summa Cum Laude in 2004. He has completed a surgical residency at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine as well as internships at the Dallas Veterinary Surgical Center and at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine.
Dr. Hoffmann has published multiple articles, including one that was accepted for publication in the Journal of Veterinary and Comparative Orthopedics and Traumatology in October 2015. His professional interests include pain management, tibial tuberosity advancement, total joint arthroplasty, reconstructive and oncologic surgery, wound healing and management, and neurosurgery.
He shares his home with his wife, their three children, a Yorkie Bichon named Andy, and a Persian named Plato. During his free time, Dr. Hoffmann enjoys hiking, camping, kayaking, birding, traveling, fishing and cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Lindsay St. Germaine, DVM, Diplomate ACVS (Small Animal)
Dr. Lindsay St. Germaine is a native of Milford, Michigan and joined VSES as a staff surgeon in October 2014.
She earned her doctorate in veterinary medicine in 2009, graduating from Michigan State University with high honors. Following veterinary school she completed a rotating internship in small animal medicine and surgery at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. St. Germaine then moved to Rochester where she accomplished a three-year residency in small animal surgery and successfully obtained board certification.
Following residency, Dr. St. Germaine went on to practice in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania before returning to VSES in 2014. Her professional interests include oncologic surgery, trauma patients, and critical care medicine. She has published on multiple topics including surgical site infection and permanent tracheostomy in dogs.
In her free time she enjoys outdoor hobbies including boating, skiing, running, and hiking.
Morgan Hackett, DVM, Surgical Resident
Dr. Hackett grew up in Pittsburgh, Pa. She graduated from St. Vincent College with a bachelor’s degree in biology in 2010, where she received several awards. She received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Ross University in 2014, where she was on the Dean’s List. She then completed a rotating internship at Metropolitan Veterinary Hospital is Copley, Ohio and a surgery internship at Veterinary Specialty Center in Buffalo Grove, Ill. Her professional interests include soft tissue surgery. Dr. Hackett has two cats named Margo Plicatus and Alice. In her free time, she enjoys reading and playing sports like softball, volleyball and flag football.
Katelyn MacGillivray, VMD, Surgical Resident
Dr. MacGillivray is originally from the Jersey Shore. She attended the College of New Jersey and earned a bachelor’s degree in biology before graduating from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. MacGillivray has completed a small animal rotating internship at Animal Medical Center in New York City and a surgical internship at Veterinary Specialty Hospital in San Diego.
She has a Newfoundland named Abigail, and two cats named Millie and Milo. Outside of work, Dr. MacGillivray enjoys rock climbing, hiking with her dog and cooking.
Kaycee Ratcliffe, DVM, Surgical Intern
Dr. Ratcliffe grew up right here in Rochester, New York. She completed her undergraduate studies at the State University of New York at Buffalo with a bachelor’s degree in biology and was a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success (Alpha Sigma Pi). She received her doctorate of veterinary medicine from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Ratcliffe completed her clinical rotations at Purdue University.
Dr. Ratcliffe has one dog named Phoebe (Coonhound mix) and a cat named Gaia (Calico). In her spare time, she enjoys running, hiking and traveling.
Kathryn Benavides, DVM, Diplomate ACVECC
Dr. Kathryn Benavides rejoins the team at VSES. After completing her bachelor's degree in biochemistry at The Ohio State University, she earned her doctorate of veterinary medicine from Michigan State University. Dr. Benavides completed a small animal medicine and surgery rotating internship at VSES before pursuing her Emergency and Critical Care residency at Tufts University. Dr. Benavides' professional interests include emergency medicine include polytrauma, acute abdomen, and cardiac disease.
Dr. Benavides works closely with other specialists and our emergency veterinary team to provide the best compassionate care for our critical patients. In order to be certified, graduating from an accredited veterinary school is followed by a one year internship and a three year residency, during which they practice and study the latest critical care techniques. To earn the Diplomate status, rigorous board examinations must be passed after the residency is completed. To learn more go to http://acvecc.org/blog/about-us-who-we-are/
Seth Koch, VMD, Diplomate ACVO
Dr. Seth Koch will be providing ophthalmology consults and performing non-cataract related surgeries at VSES. Born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., Dr. Koch received his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Pennsylvania in 1965. He received an NIH Fellowship to study ophthalmology at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School and earned a master's degree in comparative ophthalmology from the Graduate School of Medicine and the Veterinary School.
Dr. Koch is a pioneer in veterinary ophthalmology; specializing in the medical and surgical treatment of acute and chronic eye problems in companion and exotic animals. He has treated a variety of animals including an African lion, a Komodo dragon, a panda, elephants and birds. Prior to joining the medical staff at VSES, Dr. Koch was a consultant to the Chesapeake Wildlife Foundation and the National Zoo.
Curtis Dewey, DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVIM (Neurology), Diplomate ACVS, CVA, CVCH
Dr. Dewey is a board certified neurologist at Veterinary Specialists & Emergency Services. He received his DVM degree from Cornell University in 1989 and completed a small animal internship at the University of Georgia (UGA) before going back to school for his Master's degree in Anatomy. Dr. Dewey completed a surgical residency at UGA and then a neurology residence at the University of California at Davis. He is also a certified veterinary acupuncturist.
He shares his home with his wife, their six children, two French bulldogs name Mojay and Ginji, a Rottweiler named Sampson, a miniature poodle named Rocky, a Yorkshire terrier named Candy and a Persian named Chuck Plumpton. During his free time, Dr. Dewey enjoys running, swimming and playing the piano.
Jacob Ewing, DVM, Diplomate ACVR
Dr. Ewing was born in the San Joaquin Valley of central California, where he grew up raising goats, cows and horses and participated in 4-H and FFA. He also spent a great deal of time riding and selling horses and was awarded the FFA American Farmer Degree after high school. During high school he worked for Alta California, artificially inseminating dairy cattle for multiple dairies, covering nearly 18,000 head and he also fit show cattle and worked for an equine surgeon to pay his way through college. Among the 4-H and FFA activities, he also played baseball up through junior college, and then switched to team roping for a short time after transferring to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
He graduated from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo in 2009 and was accepted to UC Davis for veterinary school. It was during his 3rd and 4th years of veterinary school when he decided to transition from large animals to pursue advanced training in small animal medicine for a career in diagnostic imaging. Upon graduation, he completed a small animal rotating internship in Boise, Idaho at WestVet. Following his internship, he was accepted to a 3 year residency in Diagnostic Imaging at Iowa State University, where he was honored to receive the Resident of the Year Award during his final year of residency.
After completion of his residency he moved to Fort Worth, Texas, where he has started his own imaging company, eIMAGING. Dr. Ewing and his wife, who is also a veterinarian and residency trained large animal surgeon, enjoy serving in their local church, as well as enjoying life in Texas.
Our VSES Emergency Veterinarians
Simon Kirk, DVM
Dr. Simon Kirk is an attending emergency clinician at Veterinary Specialists and Emergency Services of Rochester. His main professional interest is veterinary emergency medicine.
In 2002, Dr. Kirk earned his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from the Atlantic Veterinary College, graduating with honors. He completed an internship in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery at Veterinary Specialists and Emergency Service of Rochester. Before veterinary school, Dr. Kirk had attended Dalhousie University for his undergraduate studies, and he was awarded his Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology in 1998.
Originally from Canada, Dr. Kirk enjoys spending his leisure time outdoors on many activities, including kayaking, hiking, cross-country skiing, scuba diving, and traveling.
Senior Staff Doctors
Jamie Araki, DVM
Dr. Jamie Araki grew up in Upstate NY, after studying at the University of Glasgow in Scotland where she earned her Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery, she is returning as an Emergency Veterinarian at Veterinary Specialists and Emergency Services. She is Fear Free certified and has particular interest in emergency and critical care, toxicology, pathology, and soft tissue and orthopedic surgery.
At home Dr. Araki has two cats, Jura and Toby, and two dogs, Gryffendog, a large loveable mutt, and Doc a Husky German Shepard mix. Her hobbies include baking, traveling, reading, crafting, and exploring. She also enjoys spending time with her family, both animal and human members.
Kimberly Dodge, DVM
A graduate of Michigan State University, Dr. Kim Dodge received her B.S. Degree in Zoology in 1995 and her DVM Degree in 1999. After graduation she joined a mixed practice in Indiana, and then a 24-hour emergency and routine care practice in Connecticut. Dr. Dodge then moved again, this time to Rochester, where she joined the Animal Hospital of Pittsford for three years prior to moving to Veterinary Specialists & Emergency Services.
Dr. Dodge is a co-founder and former board member of the Association of Medical Professionals with Hearing Loss. She works to mentor other deaf individuals who are interested in the veterinary field.
Dr. Dodge enjoys watching and playing sports, reading fiction and the companionship of her two cats and dog.
Staceyann Doobar, DVM
Dr. Staceyann Doobar is the newest emergency clinician at Veterinary Specialists & Emergency Services. Originally from Queens, N.Y., she graduated from the City College of New York in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. She received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Cornell University in 2016, where she won the Research Award for Best Overall Presentation at the Annual DVM Research Symposium. Dr. Doobar then completed a rotating intership at Veterinary Specialists & Emergency Services and worked as an associate veterinarian at Suburban Animal Hospital.
Her professional interests include small animal internal medicine. Dr. Doobar has two dogs named Buster and Luna. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, traveling and spending time with her pups.
Catherine O. Herlihy, DVM
Dr. Catherine Herlihy grew up in Wilmington, Delaware. She attended American University, where she majored in biology and played on the women’s soccer team. Dr. Herlihy received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Atlantic Veterinary College in 2015. She then completed a rotating internship at Dogwood Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Center in Richmond before joining VSES.
Dr. Herlihy has professional interests in traditional Chinese veterinarian medicine, shelter medicine, and international veterinary aid and outreach. She is also certified in veterinary acupuncture through the Chi Institute and has a graduate certificate in shelter medicine from the University of Florida.
Outside of work, she enjoys running, hiking, travelling, and yoga. Dr. Herlihy’s fiancé is a large animal veterinarian. They share their home with two dogs (Peep and Marty) and three cats (Essie, Dory, and Jalapeno).
Johnny Lamb, DVM
Johnny was born in Denver, Colorado and grew up in Warner Robins, GA. She majored in biology at the University of Pittsburgh and after working at an animal shelter one summer decided that veterinary work would be in her future. She then moved to St. Kitts, West Indies to attend Ross University.
She would love to do zoo/wildlife work and plans to be a practice owner/partner someday.
Johnny has gathered a small menagerie since starting vet school: 3 island cats, 1 Washington pound puppy and 1 Washington pound bunny. Her interests include: eating, playing soccer, hiking, biking, photography, watching college sports and traveling.
Elizabeth Lennon, DVM
Dr. Elizabeth Lennon comes to us from Emerson, NJ. She will be joining our team as an emergency doctor. She received her doctorate of veterinary medicine from Cornell University in 2017. While at Cornell she served as a Student Veterinary Technician, a pet loss support line volunteer, and a student clinician at a low-income clinic. Upon graduation, Dr. Lennon completed a rotating internship at Oradell Animal Hospital.
While in school Dr. Lennon participated in many activities including Dog Sports Club, Small Animal Skills Club, Omega Tau Sigma(international veterinary fraternity), and the student American Veterinary Medical Associates. Dr. Lennon is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association. She feels that honesty and compassion are two key attributes of a great veterinarian, and exercises them as often as she can.
Tom Linnenbrink, DVM
Colorado transplant Dr. Tom Linnenbrink attended Colorado State University where he received his BS Degree in Biology in 1994. He remained at Colorado State University where he completed a Master's Degree in Anatomy in 1997. Following this, he was admitted to Colorado State University School of Veterinary Medicine and was awarded his DVM Degree in 2001.
Following veterinary school, Dr. Linnenbrink received an internship position in medicine and surgery at Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine. After completing his internship in 2002, Dr. Linnenbrink moved to Rochester where has been working as an emergency staff clinician at Veterinary Specialists & Emergency Services.
Kathryn Pappert, DVM
Dr. Pappert attended Cornell University, receiving her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 2010. Dr. Pappert most recently worked as an associate veterinarian at Honeoye Fall Veterinary Hospital. She previously completed a rotating internship at VSES. Dr. Pappert also worked as a surgery technician at Cornell University Hospital for Animals and a veterinary assistant at Apple Country Veterinary Hospital before completing her veterinary degree. She is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the New York State Veterinary Medical Society and the Genesee Valley Veterinary Medical Association.
Joseph Wilder, DVM, Diplomate ABVP
Dr. Joe Wilder has been a staff clinician at the Animal Emergency Service of Rochester since 2002. Dr. Wilder received his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1990.
Dr. Wilder is married to Chris, a veterinarian, and they have 3 children. Their hobbies include watching movies, traveling and cooking.
Arianne Archee, DVM
Originally from the greater Toronto area, Dr. Archee completed her undergraduate studies with honors at McMaster University with a Bachelors of Science and minors in Biology and Psychology. She later received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Ontario Veterinary College. Dr. Archee’s professional interests include emergency medicine and exotics. During her free time, she enjoys canoeing, kayaking, camping, binge watching TV, reading, and dragon boat racing. She has a 12-year-old shih-poo mix (Turk), a three-year-old Goldendoodle (Colby), and a two-year-old bearded dragon (Mushu).
Victoria Carter, BVetMed
Dr. Carter is originally from Gatineau, Quebec. She attended the University of Guelph, earning her Bachelors of Science in Biological Science in 2013. She then when on to earn her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies. While earning her veterinary degree, Dr. Carter earned the Edinburgh Global Undergraduate Scholarship, the University of Edinburgh Outstanding Student Leadership Award in 2018, was a nominee for the Walter Buchanan Milburn Prize 2018/19 (Internal Med, Cardiology, Dermatology), and was the RDVC LRFC Club Member of the Year in 2017. Professionally, Dr. Carter is interested in Internal Medicine and Veterinary Medical Education. Her family dog is a standard poodle named Daphne. If her free time, Dr. Carter enjoys rugby, skiing, marksmanship, and volunteering.
Tara Larkin, DVM
Originally from Hilton, NY, Dr. Larkin attended Medaille College where she earned her associate's degree in Veterinary Technology, and then completed her undergraduate studies with a Bachelors of Science in Biology. Dr. Larkin worked as a veterinary technician in Buffalo for three years prior to vet school. She received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Ontario Veterinary College. Dr. Larkin participated in Rural Animal Veterinary Services (RAVS) through the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association (HSVMA) in Washington State. Her professional interests include surgery, shelter medicine, and dentistry. Outside of work she enjoys hiking, basketball, softball, reading, watching movies, cooking, and spending time with/spoiling her niece and nephews.
Matthew MacCormick, DVM
Dr. MacCormick grew up in Vankleek Hill, Ontario, a very small town near Ottawa. He attended the University of Ottawa for undergraduate studies in Biomedical Sciences with a minor in Biophysics, before earning his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Ontario Veterinary College. While attending veterinary school, Dr. MacCormick was awarded the Murray Iwasaki Prize in Companion Animal Heath. His professional interests lie in surgery and neurology, with goals of pursuing a residency in one of those areas. He has one cat, a grey tabby named Scout, and one lizard, a leopard gecko named Scooter. In his spare time, Dr. MacCormick plays hockey, soccer, and basketball. He enjoys indoor rock climbing and outdoor camping, hiking, and swimming. His favorite past time is scuba diving. While at home, he enjoys spending time reading or playing video games and boardgames.
Caitlyn McAlpin, DVM
Dr. McAlpin is originally from Ft. Lauderdale, FL. She completed her undergraduate studies in 2014 at Xavier University where she majored in Biology and minored in Chemistry. She attended Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, completing her clinical year at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. There, Dr. McAlpin received the Dr. Michael Buedel Award and earned her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine. She owns a three-year-old domestic short hair named Toulouse. In her free time, she enjoys reading, yoga, traveling, and scuba diving.
Meghan Seymour, DVM
Dr. Seymour is originally from Jupiter, FL. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Central Florida, receiving a Bachelor's of Science in Biology. She then went on to earn her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. During her time in vet school, she was an active member of Veterinary Business Management Association (VBMA) and through this involvement, earned the Gold Certificate. Her professional interests include emergency medicine as well as general practice. In her free time she enjoys riding and spending time with her 26-year-old chestnut Quarter Horse, Tink, as well as anything outdoors. In Florida, she enjoyed going to the beach, boating, and fishing. Since moving up North, she has taken up hiking and snowshoeing.
Isabel Wylie, VMD
Dr. Wylie grew up in Hunterdon County, New Jersey and completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Rochester earning a Bachelor's of Science in Microbiology with honors in research and a minor in psychology. She received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. She has earned both her Veterinary Business Management Association (VBMA) Certification and Fear Free Certification. She has two dogs, an eight-year-old Saint Bernard mix named Dexter and a five-year-old pit mix named Adele. She also has an eight-year-old domestic short hair named Monster. Outside of work, Dr. Wylie likes to spend her free time training her dogs, hiking, and kayaking.
Radiology ACA and Emergency Coordinator
Tamara Day, from Brockport NY, started at VSES in 2014. She is the Radiology ACA and Emergency Coordinator. Tamara has always had a passion for animals and after earning her Bachelors of Science, began working at an animal hospital. She has been working in the animal-related field for the last 6 years.
At home, she has two cats: Morgana and Arien. She also has: Tulip the Shihtzu, Toby the Springer Spaniel, and Rory the Yorkie, with whom she enjoys walking along the canal with or going on hikes.
Patient Care Coordinator
Marilyn Taylor is from Michigan but made her way to the Rochester area where she a patient care coordinator. Although only starting with VSES in February of 2018, Marilyn has worked in the animal-related field for 16 years.
Marilyn has many people in her life that she loves dearly including her 2 amazing daughters, 8 terrific grandchildren, and 1 sweet great grandchild. Her love doesn’t stop at her human family—she also has a Chocolate Lab named Fred and 3 cats named Pudge, Peezie, and Louie. When she is not spending time with family, you will find Marilyn hiking, gardening, or cooking.
Patient Care Coordinator
Born and raised in Rochester NY, Anna Y. has been with VSES full time since June of 2018 as a Patient Care Coordinator. She enjoys helping people take the best care of their pets as they possibly can and loves learning about the veterinary field along the way. This may explain why she has been working in the animal-related field for 5 years now! She holds a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience and a Master of Arts in Biochemistry.
Anna has one cat, Mari. (Domestic Medium Hair). In her free time, she enjoys volunteering at the Buffalo SPCA and shadowing at local veterinary hospitals. Through these activities, she is not only helping animals, but also gaining experience as she plans to apply to veterinary school!
Julie is from Rochester and grew up in Chili, NY. She has been working in the animal related industry since January of 2016. She loves the excitement of working in a emergency setting. She finds it very rewarding to see critical patients get better and go home with their loved ones.
At home Julie has three dogs. An Irish Setter mix (Jack), a Golden Lab mix (Poly) and a German Shepherd mix (Taser). Most of Julie’s free time is spent with her dogs. She enjoys taking them for long walks, playing fetch and reading while snuggling with them.
Neurology Coordinator Ally Gridley enjoys helping sick animals and being there for the owners while their family member is undergoing treatment. A member of our staff since 2004, Ally feels very fortunate to work with highly skilled veterinarians who strive for excellence in quality patient care.
Ally is "Mom" to three Staffordshire Terriers, Ava-Blue, Lucy Lou, and Aerosmith; and four cats, Charlie, Ogee, Hazlitt, and Keuka. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, road trips, antiquing, home renovations and spending time with her family.
Internal Medicine Coordinator
Heather grew up in Lima, NY. She has been working with animals since 2002. She has been an Internal Medicine Coordinator at VSES since June 2006. Heather enjoys working with animals because "it allows for a sense of accomplishment that we can help in some way to make them better."
In her free time, Heather enjoys spending time with her family, friends and animals. She also enjoys reading, wine tasting and antiquing. Heather's animals include an American Staffordshire terrier named Pickles, a pit bull mix named Daphne, a Staffordshire bull terrier mix named Buster, one cat named Crash, and three bearded dragons.
Emergency Coordinator Martinique Bonter has always loved animals and has worked in the animal care field for nine years. She joined the VSES staff in 2001 and is the emergency coordinator. Martinique has an Associate in Science degree from Monroe Community College. Martinique believes her employment at VSES has given her the ability to see and apply a higher standard of care for animals. She also loves the one-on-one relationship she has with her allergy clients.
When she is not caring for animals at the hospital you can find Martinique camping, watching movies, gardening or swimming. She loves spending quality time with her friends, family and her pets, comprised of Mork, her twelve-year-old cat, and her tank of fish.
Nikki is a native of Greece, NY and has been working at VSES for over five years. As a surgery coordinator, Nikki loves being a part of the surgery department and working with such a talented group of people.
In her free time, Nikki enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, biking on the trails around Rochester, enjoying the outdoors, and hanging out with her Pekapoo, Bud.
Jena is from Fabius, NY and has been working in the animal-related field since 2012. Jena joined Monroe Veterinary Associates as a client service representative for Penfield Veterinary Hospital in 2013 and joined the VSES team in the spring of 2016. She also has a bachelor’s degree from St. John Fisher.
When not at work, Jena enjoys exercising and outdoor activities. She also enjoys spending time with her canine companions, Myla and Braylon.
Originally from Pensacola, FL, Tiffany ditched the sun and moved to Fairport, NY. She has been with VSES full time since 2016. This is her first job working in the animal related field. So far, her favorite part is making a difference in the lives of pets and their families. She enjoys the fast paced environment of working in an emergency setting and embraces the daily challenges.
Tiffany has a few pets of her own. She has three cats, Feargus (Male Bombay), Ayra (Female Tabby) and Espeon (Female Russian Blue). She also has a dog named Brandy (Dachshund/Chihuahua mix). In her free time she enjoys traveling, hanging with her fur babies, going to concerts and spending time with her loved ones.
Sheryl Valente has worked in the medical administration field for more than two decades. With years of past experience working at Rochester Regional Health, Lattimore Community Surgicenter, and University of Rochester Strong Memorial Hospital, Sheryl is now the Managing Director at VSES. Sheryl received her BA in Psychology at SUNY Geneseo and completed her Master of Health Care Administration at SUNY Brockport.
Andrea Battaglia is the current Hospital Manager at Veterinary Specialists and Emergency Services, and has been working with animals since 1988. Some of her extensive experience includes serving as a Veterinary Technician, a Supervisor, a CE Coordinator and an Operations Director. Andrea has been published multiple times, but her largest published achievement is the publication of her book, Small Animal Emergency and Critical Care: A Manual for the Veterinary Technician.
Marketing Communications Coordinator
Nikkie Wargo left for sunny Florida to work as a Veterinary Technician but ultimately returned to her roots in Rochester and has worked as a full time Administrative Assistant at VSES since April of 2016. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Syracuse University and an associate’s degree in Veterinary Technology from Alfred State.
She enjoys that her position allows her to engage on social media and help plan events, all while including her love of animals. Her coworkers add to her enjoyment of the job along with the emergency setting which provides new experiences and learning opportunities each day.
When Nikkie isn’t enjoying her time at work, she is having fun at home with her four pets: Trillian (Pit bull), Dash (German Shepard), Tortuga (Tortoiseshell Cat), and Donatello (Turtle). She also loves going to sporting events (Go Amerks! Go Penguins!), reading books and comics, and overall spending time with her “crazy little ninja”, Radek, and her “wonderful other half”, George.
Erin Watson was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, lived in California for eight years, and moved to the Rochester area to be closer to her family. While in California, she worked as an RVT but she is now a LVT Supervisor and has been in working in the animal-related field since 2009.
Erin enjoys helping animals have a great quality of life. It particularly amazes her how her patients normally understand that she is there to take care of them and that they show gratitude in sweet ways such as a kiss or head bump.
She has a dog named Bugsy (Boston Terrier/Pug) and two cats named Zeddicus (Domestic Shorthair tuxedo) and Toad (Domestic Shorthair white/gray tabby). For fun, Erin enjoys helping her husband teach kickboxing in Geneva. She also likes gardening, reading, and going for hikes with her husband, son and Bugsy.
Evelyn Schug, LVT
Evelyn Schug has been working in the animal care industry for over 10 years. A full time member of our staff since 2004, she is a licensed veterinary technician and is fond of the fast-paced environment at VSES. She enjoys meeting pets and their owners and is proud to be able to make a difference in their lives.
Evelyn's four-legged companions include Boadi, a female Staffordshire Terrier mix, and Mouse, a female Corgi mix. When she is not helping to care for animals at VSES, Evelyn enjoys gardening, listening to music, spending time with her dogs and traveling as much as she can.
Client Service Representative Supervisor
Kathleen has been a Client Service Representative (CSR) Supervisor for VSES since September 2016. Born and raised in Webster, NY, she stayed in the Rochester area to pursue a bachelor’s degree in geography from SUNY Geneseo and is currently studying to become a Licensed Veterinary Technician. As a CSR Supervisor, Kathleen is “happy to be there for clients when they are most in need. I’ve been to VSES as a client before and was so grateful to the team. I’m glad to give back!”
Kathleen currently lives in Fairport with her fiancée, Drew, and her many pets. Her “little menagerie” consists of her four cats: Riza, General Iroh, Jackson and Lilith, three snakes: Aerith, The Iron Sheik and Rassius Ohno, a leopard gecko named Carmella and two fish tanks. When outside of work, Kathleen enjoys reading, travelling, watching wrestling, going to concerts, playing video games and working on her fish tanks.
Samuel D. Estes, LVT
Medical Staff Supervisor
Having grown up on a farm, LVT Team Leader Samuel D. Estes has spent his entire life caring for animals. He joined Veterinary Specialists & Emergency Service in May of 2008 and since that time has been an invaluable member of our emergency and critical care team. “I enjoy working for the emergency service I like the one-on-one care I can provide critical patients and knowing I am doing all I can to make the patient healthy again,” he says.
In addition to his many years of experience, Samuel has an Associate of Applied Science in Veterinary Technology from Alfred State College. He also has a menagerie of pets that includes two cats named Gizmo and Fluffy, Bearded Dragon named Norburt, and two Texas Longhorn Ox named Rob and Rie. Samuel’s interests include playing soccer, running, working on his model train layout and working outside on his family’s farm.
Christine West, LVT
Medical Staff Supervisor
Born in Warsaw, New York, and raised in Pavilion, New York, Christine joined Monroe Veterinary Associates in September 2008, but she has been in the animal-care field since 2006.
Christine has an Associate of Applied Science degree in Veterinary Technology and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Technology Management. When it comes to her job, she thrives knowing the high standard of care she and her colleagues provide pets. She also loves working with great people every day.
Christine shares her home with Neville, a Golden Retriever, and two cats, Freckles and Abby. When not at work, Christine spends time gardening, baking, cake decorating, camping and playing cards, board games, softball and kickball.
Rachael Vergari, LVT
Emergency LVT Supervisor
Rachael was born in Rochester and grew up in the Hamlin/Brockport area. She received her Veterinary Technician Certification in 2002 and has been working for MVA since 2014. Rachael also has a Bachelors degree in Management from St. John Fisher.
Rachael has always enjoyed working with animals and embraces the fast pace and ever changing atmosphere of emergency medicine. Rachael has a Standardbred (Dublin), a goat (Libby), a mix bred canine (Angus) and a three legged domestic short-haired (Eileen). Outside of work, Rachael spends most of her time as a taxi for her teenage daughters. When she’s not busy driving around her children, you can find her relaxing in her barn with her husband, Jason.