Our Team

“Alone we can do so little.  Together we can do so much.”
Helen Keller

Our team is hands down what makes us most different.  

I walk through our back door daily at peace, knowing that no matter what is on the day’s platter, I have a support network in place that not only has my back on tough days but can also celebrate anything anytime.  They are salt of the Earth, talented, and confident in what they do and do not know. Our hiring process is tedious, our employees are in charge and are fiercely protective of our practice culture, working diligently to ensure that new team members have the right personality for our clients and our team.  Staff then patiently train new hires, instilling into them what it means to “exceed expectations”. While the veterinarian is often the primary focus for clients, they are nothing without a strong team to support them. I could go on indefinitely bragging shamelessly about our team of veterinary care providers.  But truly, if you really want to understand their impact, read their reviews as time and time again the team is mentioned in them. That is when I know we are doing something right.

Meet Our Team

Dr. Karen Burgess

Dr. Karen Burgess

Head Veterinarian

James Herriot, 4H, and a cat named Cicero all made Dr. Burgess who she is today. Born and raised in Kansas City to high school teachers, summer driving trips were spent listening to All Creatures Great and Small on the car radio. An interest in veterinary medicine and a determination to embrace all things animal was born. Volunteering for the local vet at fourteen turned into a high school job and taught her the ropes of the profession from kennel cleaning to answering phones.

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Dr. Megan Mosier

Dr. Megan Mosier

Veterinarian

Dr. Megan Mosier graduated from Kansas State University in 1999 and then completed a small animal internship at Hollywood Animal Hospital, a large specialty/referral hospital in Florida. Since then she has practiced small animal medicine in a variety of practices as an associate and then as a relief veterinarian. After meeting her future husband in Florida, Dr. Mosier relocated to the Chicagoland area where she lives with her husband, son, and twin daughters. In her free time she enjoys horseback riding, taking care of her myriad of pets (rabbits, dog, cats, gecko, and horses), and travelling.

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Dr. Erika Gibbs

Dr. Erika Gibbs

Relief Veterinarian

Over the last twenty plus years Dr. Erica Gibbs has practiced small animal medicine, large animal medicine, and been a practice owner. More recently she has dedicated herself to relief veterinary medicine.  Relief veterinarians work independently and “fill in” for practice owners as needed. Dr. Gibbs lives in Lake Geneva, WI with her husband and two labrador retrievers Chelios and Diamond. During her free time she enjoys cooking, traveling, and playing golf.

From Dr. Burgess….

Ensuring that our patients and clients receive the same experience every time they visit Healthy Paws while personally balancing work and family time can be challenging in a single doctor practice. I would chose to close for a day before having the wrong person treat my patients or work with my team.  Meeting Dr. Gibbs two years ago was a sigh of relief for me. Her practice style, medical knowledge, and respect for our team fall right in line with our practice culture. Dr. Gibbs’ years of experience and calm compassion allow our practice to grow gracefully. I look forward to having Dr Gibbs as a part of our team allowing us to expand our hours and continue providing an amazing and reliable veterinary experience.


Brooke Burger

Brooke Burger

Certified Veterinary Technician

Brooke started at Healthy Paws in January 2016 as an extern.  She officially joined our Healthy Paws team in March 2016 after graduating with her Certified Veterinary Technician degree from Rockford College. Brooke lives with her basset hound mix Annabelle, her boxer mix Cheddar, her husband Eric and a new bundle of joy, baby Kennedy. Between recent marriage, a newborn baby, and her nephew Leo, Brooke has no free time.

From Dr. Burgess...

I first heard about Brooke from a previous co-worker that I greatly respected. She suggested Brooke as a potential extern. While I was not sure we were ready to support a student, I knew there must be something special about Brooke for her to come so highly recommended. Was she ever spot on. Since then we have seen Brooke grow from a green new grad to a confident veterinary care provider. Brooke is a go getter, always willing to take on new tasks and put more on her platter. Her work is impeccable while her love of animals is endless. Brooke’s husband is a tattoo artist and while I myself do not have any tattoos, I love seeing the beautiful artwork he creates. While initially a bit shy, Brooke has quickly blossomed, becoming a very talented technician.


Cheri Eckdhal

Cheri Eckdhal

Veterinary Technician, B.S. Animal Science

Cheri joined the Healthy Paws team in 2012. She has over 20 years of animal hospital experience with various specialty experiences including surgery, diagnostic imaging, emergency, and critical care. Cheri has a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science from Andrews University and an Associate in Sciences and Arts degree from College of DuPage. Cheri's son, Vaugn, is the apple of her eye, and she enjoys spending free time with him and her dog Max. In her free time Cheri also enjoys spending time outdoors hiking, biking, and traveling. Cheri has a special place in her heart for the clinic ratties has been very successful in domesticating them.

From Dr. Burgess...

Cheri and I worked together at a specialty hospital in Downer's Grove. When we were planning Healthy Paws, I told her there would always be a spot for her working with me, just say the word. I still remember the call two years later and my joy at being reunited with this amazing person. Cheri has a spirit that is pervasive. Those that meet her immediately experience her exuberance for life. She is one of the toughest people I know with one of the best attitudes you can imagine. With her mix of emotional support and reflective wisdom, she is who you want to be around when things are tough. Cheri helps us all lead not just a "half full" life, but an "overflowing" one.


Liz Hartzheim

Liz Hartzheim

Certified Veterinary Technician

Liz has years of experience as a veterinarian technician, joining our team in March of 2016. She earned an associates degree in veterinary technology at Madison Area Technical College in 2004. In her free time Liz enjoys spending time with her husband, son, and daughter. Her hobbies include reading, cooking, and walking her best friend, their lab mix Indy.

From Dr. Burgess...

The words that best describe Liz to me are quiet grace, spice, and confidence and her personality is such a fun mix of these three qualities. Getting a rise out of Liz is nearly impossible which is so valuable in our often tumultuous world. While one may think that Liz is shy, she has a spark that makes us laugh on a daily basis. And when it comes to skills and experience, she is wise beyond her years. Having Liz join us has given us a stability I could only have dreamed of from a team member.


Katelynn Sosine

Katelynn Sosine

Veterinary Assistant

Katelynn joined our team in September 2015. She has been in the veterinary industry for seven years starting as a kennel assistant. Most of her time away from work is spent with her husband, son Mason born in June 2016, and preschooler Maximus. When time allows she can be found hiking with her two dogs Greenbean and Mac, remodeling her new home, or exploring outside with the kids. She is also a mom to cat Pretzel and box tortoise Stitch.

From Dr. Burgess...

Katelynn has to be one of the "chillest" people I have ever met. During our first phone interview it was obvious that Katelynn had a presence, a confidence in herself, her beliefs, and her goals that made her special. And then she showed up for her interview with bagels, there was no question then Katie understood and appreciated being a team player. Since then we have continued to enjoy how reliable and dedicated Katie is to our business. Daily we see this in how she handles situations with a calmness that is enviable. Working through both of her pregnancies, it has been a joy seeing Katelynn's journey as a new mother and being a part of her extended family.


Evan Schwarz

Evan Schwarz

Veterinary Technician Assistant

Evan first came to Healthy Paws Animal Hospital following his junior year of high school as an assistant. He recently graduated Iowa State and will be attending the University of Illinois School of Veterinary Medicine. When home on breaks, Evan continues to work at Healthy Paws as an assistant to our technician team. In his free time Evan enjoys spending time with friends, his ferret and family dog, and parachuting.

From Dr. Burgess...

Many people will tell you “they want to be a vet”, after working with Evan, I am confident he will be a vet. As a team we have had the pleasure of watching Evan grow up over the years, much to his chagrin as we often reminisce. Not only is he smart and driven, but he is also what I would call salt of the earth. Equal parts inquisitive asking questions as I practice medicine and team player bringing french toast casserole to a brunch potluck, Evan brings a breath of fresh air to our team.


Kadee Palmquist

Kadee Palmquist

Care Coordinator

Kadee joined Healthy Paws Animal Hospital in 2011. Her favorite part of working at the hospital is building relationships with clients and their pets. She lives in Cary with her husband and their daughter and two cats while her son graduated from University of Iowa. In her free time, Kadee can be found cheering on her children in all they do, making a fun new recipe, or reading a good book.

From Dr. Burgess...

I had the pleasure of meeting Kadee as a child care provider years ago. Kadee’s openness, welcoming personality, and sincerity immediately caught my eye as someone I wanted to be around and work with someday. It has been a pleasure experiencing Healthy Paws and our families grow with Kadee over the years. We often say “remember when” we only used two exam rooms, “remember when” the kids were all in diapers or grade school. Kadee is an integral part of our team, always eager to learn and explore new solutions. As we often say, you can hear Kadee's smile through the phone.


Nicole Wheatley

Nicole Wheatley

Care Coordinator

Nicole joined our team in 2017. She worked previously in the veterinary field and then spent several years teaching high school science. Prior to returning to the animal world and joining the Healthy Paws’ team, Nicole spent time raising her children. In her spare time Nicole enjoys her church community with her pastor husband, spending time with her daughter and two sons, and instrumental music.

From Dr. Burgess...

We pride ourselves at Healthy Paws in finding the right personalities to create as fulfilling and supportive a work environment as possible. Nicole is the epitome of this. I cannot think of one instance where I have seen Nicole in a bad mood. She handles life with grace, always seeming to find a bright spot even in seemingly tough situations. Then there is her creative side. Whether it be a fun recipe (buffalo chicken soup, amazing!), creative art projects with her kids, or homemade wildflower seed sponges as gifts, Nicole is thoughtful and caring throughout.


Jean-Marie Brickey

Jean-Marie Brickey

Accountant

Jean-Marie has been with Healthy Paws since our opening in 2010.  She has a degree in Animal Ecology from Iowa State and second degree in Operations Management and Information Systems from Northern Illinois.  She has been a stay at home mom after leaving her previous role in audit with Sears. A lifelong resident of Crystal Lake, Jean-Marie lives with her husband and has four children. Her eldest is a junior at Northern Michigan University, her second an incoming freshman at Iowa State, and two high schoolers. In her free time, Jean-Marie enjoys sports as a fan and coach, reading, volunteering, and in general having fun. You can often find her on a kayak, paddle board, or boat on our lovely Crystal Lake.

From Dr. Burgess...

Jean-Marie wears many hats.  She is not only our bookkeeper, but also my sister-in-law, an amazing mother, aunt, Godmother, and friend. Owning a small business is not always easy, and managing the books is no exception. I remember clearly the day I called Jean as I was going for a jog. I had a huge favor to ask of her, would she take over our books. My practice manager husband (her brother) and I had been “sharing” this job and it was a terrible idea.  To know you have infinite trust in someone as your bookkeeper is such a peace of mind. Jean-Marie keeps us in line while still making sure we are having fun. She also shares a special bond with our clinic cat Eleanor who on a regular basis keeps her company and bites her toes.


John Ferrero

John Ferrero

Practice Manager

John, co-owner and Practice Manager of Healthy Paws, is Dr. Burgess’ husband and proud father to 4 beautiful girls, and pet dogs Elsa and Willow. Prior to developing Healthy Paws, John spent almost two decades at Motorola in finance, business development, and operations management. The Ferrero family loves outdoor activities, traveling,  and spending time with family and friends.

From Dr. Burgess...

My rock and partner.  It was not without much thought that we started this practice.  It was a dream for years, but without John's support, guidance, and business experience it would have never come to fruition. I am proud of what we have developed, but even more proud to have John as our team leader.


BABY RATS

BABY RATS

Coming Soon!

From Dr. Burgess...

After first having ratties as pets for our children at home, we decided they would be a wonderful addition to our hospital also. I cannot say enough about these little creatures and their personalities. What most do not realize is that rats are extremely intelligent and trainable, clean, and sweet. Many of you have met our previous ratty friends, and are excited for you to get to meet the new additions coming in mid July. We are super excited to share our rodent friends with our clients and many a buddy they have made. Stop by and ask to hold one of them someday!


Clinic Cats

Clinic Cats

Masters of Mischief

April 2016 brought feline friends to Healthy Paws Animal Hospital, Gus Gus (orange longhaired) and Eleanor (gray shorthaired). They have learned the ropes of being clinic cats, sauntering around in spite of barking, vacuums, and at times mayhem. Be sure to pet our friendly mischievous felines on your next visit!


Gus Gus

Gus Gus

Gus Gus has a more regal presence and is ever the socialite making sure everyone receives a proper welcome. Gus is down to earth and a hanging out kind of guy. While he does not seek adults out, he has a special place in his heart for kids. And if you see a paw under your exam room door someday, it is his! Gus’ favorite past times are playing with his Turbo Scratcher toy, eating food from his SlimCat Toy, and carrying around his favorite mouse.  


Eleanor

Eleanor

Eleanor could be described as goofy and presumptuous. A real queen bee, she demands attention and solitude based on her mood and is known for “putting herself to bed” in a variety of cabinets, drawers, and rooms. And oh the look if you interrupt her beauty sleep! Her favorite pastime is being in people's business and sitting in laps.