Meet The Staff of Northwest Neighborhood Veterinary Hospital

Client Care Coordinators

Susan Cara

Susan CaraI grew up in Northern California but have been eager to relocate to Portland for a while. After visiting a few times, I fell in love with the area and moved here with my dog in September, 2014. My chihuahua/corgi mix Rizzo is named after the character in one of my favorite movies, Grease. She is a big fan of treats, squeaky toys, squirrels and the ocean. Right now, we live in a North Portland skinny house with my roommate and her 2 chihuahuas, which makes for a lively household!

I graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a BA in Psychology. In my spare time I like to paint, and am really enjoying exploring my new town. I especially love checking out Portland's art galleries, live music, breweries and numerous vegetarian restaurants.

My previous veterinary experience was at a specialty/emergency clinic in California, where I spent 5 years. I've always loved animals, and am so happy to be able to spend my days in their company.

I feel very lucky to live in the Pacific Northwest, and to have found a place at Northwest Neighborhood Vet!


Lia Weiler

Lia WeilerI was born and raised in the beautiful state of Colorado. In the Spring of 2014 I graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Social Work from Colorado State University. I've been an animal lover my whole life but during college I loved learning about the human-animal bond, especially through the use of therapy and service animals. I was lucky enough to be able to train my dog, Enzo, to be a therapy dog and one day hope to pursue a career with service animals. After I graduated college I moved to the Washington D.C area for about a year before heading West and settling in Portland in August of 2015. I am very excited to join the excellent team at Northwest Neighborhood Vet and to do my part in helping animals and people alike. In my free time I enjoy hiking, reading, cooking, watching football and exploring all the different things Portland has to offer.


Alison Grissett

Alison GrissettI lived in Northern Virginia my whole life and moved to Portland in early 2016 with my husband. We wanted to move to Portland after visiting family and falling in love with the area.

I have been working with animals for over 10 years and I am very compassionate and love what I do! I joined the team at Northwest Neighborhood Veterinary Hospital in March 2016. In my spare time I enjoy watching movies, going for walks and exploring Portland. I do not currently have any pets, but I am looking forward to adopting one (or two) once my husband and I get settled.



Sydney Blaser

Sydney BlaserI grew up in Eastern Washington and was lucky enough to enjoy all the opportunities the pacific NW offers. From camping in Northern Idaho, to climbing Mt. Hood, to learning to ski at Mt. Bachelor, I experienced our amazing outdoors throughout my childhood and that nurtured a passion that stays with me to this day.

My other passion is animals and I knew from an early age that I wanted to spend my life working with them. I graduated with a BS in Animal Sciences in 2016 from Utah State University and am applying to Veterinary School with hopes of one day working at an amazing hospital like this one.

I am grateful to have the opportunity to work at NW Neighborhood where I learn something new every single day. We have great doctors and even better clients! In my spare time, I hang with my black lab/blue heeler mix Pippa and like to run, hike, ski and bike.


Danielle Rosen

Danielle RosenI grew up in sunny Naples, Florida and graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelor's in Communications and Biology. My dog Forrest and I drove across the country, now we live in a historic building in Northwest Portland. I started working with animals as a Veterinary Assistant while I was still in college and enjoy learning something new every day. In my spare time I love playing soccer, watching any sporting event, listening to music, and reading.



Chelsea Burton

Chelsea BurtonI was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago, where I lived with my childhood dog, Babe. As a kid, I had pet mice, rats, and a bunny. I love animals of all shapes and sizes! Marley is my first dog that I was able to have as my own. Once my husband and I adopted our second dog, Huckleberry Finn, I realized my love for animal rescue and training.

We moved our little family from Illinois to Los Angeles, where I worked for an animal rescue while volunteering. We quickly added a tiny kitten named Parker to our pack, who quickly grew into a big fluffy cat who is convinced he is one of the dogs. At the rescue, I ran their training department and also evaluated AKC Canine Good Citizen tests in my spare time. While volunteering, I adopted my third dog, Phoenix. He rounded out or little furry family! I returned to Illinois for a year to complete my Bachelor Degree in Psychology at Illinois State University.

Upon graduation, we moved to North East Portland! We love being able to explore the city, the excellent hiking, and delicious food. I am so grateful that we have found our home here in the Pacific Northwest. I am so lucky that I am able to keep helping animals and their people at Northwest Neighborhood Vet!



Doctors Assistants

Erin Finucane

Erin FinucareI grew up in Washington, DC and earned my Bachelors Degree in Human Ecology at College of the Atlantic, a small school on an island off the coast of Maine. I moved to Portland with my dog, Abbie, in June of 2013 and we are so happy to be settled in the beautiful Pacific Northwest! I am excited to join the team at Northwest Neighborhood, where I get to indulge my passion for animals and begin my transition into the veterinary field, as I hope to eventually go back to school to become a CVT. My free time is spent exploring the city's parks and neighborhoods with Abbie, eating all the delicious food Portland has to offer, reading, baking, camping, biking and going on road trips.


Erin Kash

Erin KashI grew up in Lansing, Michigan in a very dog friendly family. I first worked in the Vet community while living with my husband for several years on St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands. I enjoy traveling with my husband of 13 years and going to Portland Timbers matches (R.C.T.I.D.). We have 2 dogs, both rescues, Quincy- our Rottie Crucian Mutt from St. Croix and Lenny, our Staffie Pit Mix from Portland. Last, but not least, I became a first time mother to my son Emmett in October 2011. I began working for NW Neighborhood Vet. and Dr. Shuler in July of 2008.

I graduated in 2009 as a Certified Dog Trainer from Animal Behavior College. I specialize as the Food/Retail Coordinator for NW Neighborhood, Dr. Nick Growing’s assistant and international travel health certificate guru. I thoroughly love working at NW Neighborhood Veterinary Hospital and enjoy learning every single day from the best Veterinarians I have ever met.


Jen Smith

Jen SmithI was born and raised in Alabama and I moved to Portland in 1998. I earned a B.A. in Biology in 2006 from Portland State University. My love and compassion for animals began when I was a young child. It was then that I realized how special the human/animal bond is. My career in veterinary medicine begin in 2001 and I feel very fortunate to work in this field. I joined the team at Northwest Neighborhood Veterinary Hospital in 2012. In my free time, I enjoy hiking with my dog, gardening, camping, kayaking and taking photos with my dog Traveler.


Katie VanCleave

Katie VanCleaveI have been lucky enough to work at Northwest Neighborhood Veterinary Hospital since 2010. Although I wear many hats here my primary role is as a Doctor's Assistant to the wonderful Dr. Becky Prull. I am proud to be a born and raised Oregonian and I studied Animal Sciences at Oregon State University (GO BEAVS!) I have been passionate about animals since I was a little girl; it was clear at an early age that acting as an advocate for the animals was the path I was supposed to take. While I love all animals I am a huge sucker for scent hounds, especially Basset Hounds, Bloodhounds, and Dachshunds!

My husband and I live in our hometown in wine country with our three dogs (Emma the 13 year old Dachshund, Pretzel the 11 year old Papillon mix, and Raleigh the 9 year old Bloodhound mix) and one wild and crazy cat named Jelly Bean. When I am not at work you can usually find me relaxing with my husband and critters, wine tasting, hiking/camping, or working around our house.

Mary Tustin

Mary TustinWhere to begin, I have been a team member at NWNVH for over 10 years and involved in the Veterinary profession for 30 plus years...time flies! My past experiences also included the development and successful application of a unique approach to a no-kill Veterinary based shelter in Seattle, WA.

I still love my work as nearly every day provides the opportunity to help animals and their humans. Through education, compassion and understanding I am allowed to make a difference in the lives of individuals of many species. I consider it an honor and am continuously humbled by the situations I am a part of through the hospital. This involves everything from new puppies and kittens and all life stages, but I have a special place in my heart for the end of life process. I feel any support I can offer at this time taps into nothing short of pure love.

I also use my background in teaching to go into schools or have groups and individuals come to me for education regarding the world of animals and behind the scene experiences at a Veterinary hospital. I absolutely love working with kids, and helping to instill and further their love and respect for animals means the so much to me.

Outside of the hospital I can be found searching for that perfect stretch of blacktop in the middle of nowhere on my road bike, doing yoga, working in my yard and as a court appointed advocate for kids in the foster system through CASA. I live surrounded by a lot of unconditional love from my near perfect family of Wanda Mae, the sweetest dog in the world, 2 indoor cats, James and Joe, 2 once feral outdoor cats, Squeek and Timmy...yes I have built outdoor habitats for them, and last and far from least, my rescue turtle, Walter, who has taught me so much about his world. Yep, I've got it pretty good!


Roberta Olson

Roberta OlsonI was born and raised in Portland, Oregon, but have also lived in Ohio, Vermont, West Virginia, Illinois and Colorado. I finally missed my rainy lush city too much and moved back to Portland in 2002. After feeling unfulfilled in the food service industry, I started as a kennel aide in 2004. Every day since then has been unique. I see myself as an advocate for the animals, and particularly enjoy working with grumpy cats and anxious dogs. I have a BFA from the Oregon College of Art and Craft. In my spare time, I attend the theatre and ballet, and enjoy making mixed-media sculptures, crocheting and knitting.



Veterinary Assistants

Louise Facciolla

Louise Facciolla

I recently moved to Portland to attend school and I was fortunate to be able to join the team here at Northwest Neighborhood shortly after my move. My love for animals inspired me to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science at Cal Poly State University in San Luis Obispo, Ca several years ago. Since then, after working at a horse breeding farm, I got my first job as a veterinary technician in 2008. I love working with animals every day and being a part of helping them heal, keeping them healthy and supporting the bond between them and their humans.

When I am not at work or in class, I enjoy finding new places to discover outdoors accompanied by my dog, Avila. I also enjoy trail riding on my horse, Odessa. At home I enjoy baking and hanging out with my sweet tortoise shell kitty, Minifur. I have fallen in love with the Pacific Northwest and feel blessed to be living here!


Certified Veterinary Technicians

Holly Otis, CVT

Holly OtisI was born and raised in Bellingham, Washington. I worked as a certified veterinary assistant in the Bellingham area until my travels took me to small animal hospital in Lexington, KY. Around this time, I realized there was so much more to learn about veterinary medicine, so I moved back to the west coast to attend the Veterinary Technician Program at Portland Community College. I graduated from the program in 2003 as president of my class. I have worked at several hospitals in the Portland area but my heart lies with Northwest Neighborhood where I have worked since 2007 as the lead surgical technician.

I enjoy music and travel and I am the proud mother of two very special canine critters, Gracie and Cassie AKA The Muppet.



David LyBarger, CVT

David LyBargerAs a certified veterinary technician I’ve been fortunate to work and live in such an animal friendly community, Portland. I’ve worked for Dr. Shuler since he took over the hospital in 2008. I’m excited to see alternative animal medicine being adopted by our hospital and how it has helped my dog, Daisy Mae, aka, The Dinosaur. I adopted Daisy Mae, a Chesapeake Bay Retriever, four years ago at the Humane Society.

We enjoy swimming together on our fishing and backpacking trips. She is a comedic staple at our hospital; if you don’t watch out she’ll steal your breakfast.


Keelie Price, CVT

Keelie PriceI was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. I moved to Colorado to attend the Bel-Rea Institute of Animal Technology. Upon graduation in 2001, I became a Certified Veterinary Technician. I earned a Certification in Canine Massage from Boulder College in 2002. After finishing my schooling, I moved back to Portland and spent 6 years in a surgical practice and then joined the team at Northwest Neighborhood in 2009. I have strong interest in the area or physical therapy and animal behavior.

In my spare time, I enjoy snowboarding, hiking and spending time with my dogs Ruby the Rottweiler, Mr. Miyagi the 5lb mix and Monkey the cat.


Stacie Williams, CVT

Stacie WilliamsI have been working as a part-time Certified Veterinary Technician at Northwest Neighborhood since 2009 and I also work full-time with a mobile Veterinary surgeon. I graduated from the Veterinary Technician Program at Portland Community College in 1996.

Outside of work, I enjoy being on the golf course, cooking, dabbling in photography, and playing with my dogs. I share my house with a Rottweiler, a Lhasa Apso, 3 cats, and a husband. Beezie and Chino (the dogs) are so kind to let us share the bed with them. It's a good thing my husband, Patrick, likes animals as much as me!



Kathy Dougherty, CVT

Kathy DoughertyI am originally from the east coast but I am loving every second I spend in Portland. After nurturing my eternal love of furry creatures for many years, I am currently in the process of getting my Veterinary Technician Certification from Portland Community College.

When I am not taking care of your bundles of joy, I enjoy snoozing on the floor with my elderly German Shepherd Mix, Toby, avoiding bites from my young kitty, Cleveland, and catering to hungry mews from my middle-aged overweight cat, Lily.



Tara Jeans, CVT

Tara JeansI grew up in central Missouri and after obtaining a degree in Anthropology, I decided I wanted to work in the veterinary field. That desire led me to Portland in 2003 where I graduated from PCC’s Veterinary Technology Program. I love providing the best clinical care to our patients while making them as comfortable as possible.

My husband Jon and I share our SW home with our children, Jack and Sadie, along with our crazy critters,2 dogs, Oz and PJ, and 4 cats, Sampson, Darwin, Newt, and Fig. In my spare time I enjoy camping, reading, playing games, traveling and continuing to explore the NW with my family and friends.


Stacie Christensen, CVT

Nicole MardenI'm a Pacific Northwest native, originally from Vancouver, WA with family roots in Alaska. I grew up loving all animals and always knew I would end up working with them. I attended the Bel-Rea Institute of Animal Technology and spent the past 10 years working as a licensed technician from Washington to Alaska and then back to Oregon. Most of my time as a technician has been spent in general practice, but I also have a background in ER/ICU as well as time spent in advanced surgery, neurology, nursing wildlife, and shelter medicine.

When I'm not working I like to spend time with my shepherd heeler mix “Dusty”. I also enjoy camping, gardening, rock-hounding, crafting, and don't forget hula-hooping! I recently moved to St. John's and am proud to have joined the amazing team here at Northwest Neighborhood Veterinary Hospital.


Wendy-Lin Peterson, CVT

Wendy-Lin PetersonI'm a Portland native and OSU grad (Go Beavs!) in Pre-Veterinary Medicine, but my love of animals and Disney took me to Florida for a few years to work in Animal Education at Disney's Animal Kingdom and Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo. I came back to the Pacific Northwest to Salem where I was lucky to stumble upon an incredible practice with excellent standards for medical care and become a certified veterinary technician for the last 8 years at Oak Hills Vet Clinic.

Portland had called me back to be with my wonderful family and new baby niece, pursue my love of West Coast swing dancing and continue to be an advocate for those adorable furry family members in my job as a technician. I am excited to join the team at Northwest neighborhood vet as I can tell they work well as a team and enjoy providing great service and patient care.

I live with my trained cat-dog Phoenix and my snake Captain Stubing in our first ever home right in the city. In my spare time I enjoy teaching my cat new tricks, swing dancing, hiking, mud runs, boating the Columbia and trying all the inedible food Portland has to offer!


Ash Leaym, CVT

ash-leaymI was born and raised in Michigan, and started visiting the west coast about 2 years ago. My partner and I have always had a shared dream of living in Oregon. We recently sold nearly all that we own and headed west to start over. We are thrilled to be part of such a diverse and progressive community as is Portland! My background is in emergency medicine primarily, but I am excited to now be a part of the premier veterinary team at Northwest Neighborhood Vet! Aside from catering to our companion animals, I am also quite passionate about anesthesia and hematology. When I am not at work, I can be found somewhere outside, hiking, snowboarding, or stargazing. I am also in the middle of several artistic projects at all times. My partner and I share our home with one very large dog, Toledo (aka "Holy Toledo"), and two slightly smaller dogs, Dixie and Reese.


Kalia Winburn, CVT

Kalia WinburnI was born and raised here in Oregon. I have lived in Eugene, Bend, and now Portland for the last 5 years. I received my Bachelor's degree from University of Oregon in 2010 and my Associate's from Portland Community College in 2015 for Veterinary Technology. Animals have always been a big part of life as I grew up riding horses and competing in 3-Day Eventing. I love being able to help animals every day and feel very lucky to have found such an amazing veterinary hospital to work for.

Outside of work I enjoy spending as much time as I can in the great outdoors. I enjoy camping, rafting, and hiking with my dog Olive. I also enjoy exploring this amazing city and everything it has to offer.


Monica Cavalier, CVT

Monica CavalierI was born and raised here in Portland, Oregon. Before pursuing veterinary technology, I completed a degree in environmental studies with an emphasis in oceanography. I worked on research vessels and a myriad of small sailing vessels. After graduation, I traveled for over 10 years, working in the South Pacific, Europe and Asia as a naturalist guide. I led kayaking treks and sailing tours as well as surf treks for girls and swim courses for neglected youth.

My travels also led me to working with alpacas administering medications and assisting with breeding and to working on a production goat farm. I began studying yoga in 1997, and I've been teaching yoga ever since.

I received my associates degree in veterinary technology from PCC. The practical and effective care this career offers our pets, wildlife and large animals is miraculous. Medicine is a gift, and I am pleased to be serving the Northwest in this way. Veterinary medicine has come a long way, and I am passionate about serving your fuzzy family members at Northwest Neighborhood Veterinary Hospital.


Practice Manager

Jan Latshaw

Jan LatshawI grew up in the Portland area and began my career in veterinary medicine as a Client Care Coordinator at a hospital in Beaverton. I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Portland State University in 2003. After completing my studies, I left veterinary medicine to pursue a career in accounting. I soon discovered that I really missed the daily interaction with the animals, their owners and the great people that work in this industry. When the opportunity came along in 2008 to help Dr. Shuler and Dr. Fleming manage Northwest Neighborhood Veterinary Hospital I could not pass it up.

I currently share my home with my husband and my 2 Labrador Retrievers Jamie and Luke. When I am not at work, I enjoy spending time at the beach, riding dirt bikes and quads and running with my dogs.