Having been born into a family with four siblings, when I was offered a scholarship to attend Methodist Hospital School of Nursing, I accepted. During the years following my graduation, I completed a Bachelor of Science Degree from the College of St. Francis. Later, I received a Masters in Health from the University of Notre Dame. My Veterinary Degree was earned from Ross University with the internship from the University of Illinois.
For almost twenty years, I was an intensive care nurse, with two years as a cardiac rehabilitation assistant, and six years in charge of outpatient surgery. The experience has proven to be invaluable in the diagnostic and assessment skills needed in the veterinary field. The rewards in meeting the needs of companion animals and their families are as satisfying as life gets.
Since graduating as a veterinarian, I performed as a relief associate. I then spent five years as an associate veterinarian at the Chicago Ridge Animal Shelter and Clinic.
During this time, my very supportive husband and three children continued to develop into their own. My husband Joe formed a sign design and installation business. My eldest Amy is a patent attorney and mother of four, while my elder son is both a large and small animal veterinarian and the younger is a radiologist specializing in interventional radiology.
While the day-to-day pleasures and challenges are primarly fulfilled as veterinarian, I am a very proud wife, mother, and grandmother. Gardening and cooking are my most favorite pastimes as the time allows.
Erica KernsOffice Manager
Erica has been with Gast Animal Hospital since February of 2010. Erica enjoys working with animals and people so this is the perfect job for her!
Erica has been married to her husband Walter since 2004 and has two children, Allison and Abram. They have a cat named Molly and a dog named Ladybug, chickens and two sheep. They live in Wheatfield Indiana.
Cherie SalisburyVet Technician
I graduated from Brown Mackie South Bend and then came to work here. I have a small farm with goats, pigs, horses, cows, ducks, and chickens. I have a six year old son named Cason. I also have three dogs: Jim, Susan, and Wendy.
Kati McCurdy-SmelleyVet Technician
I graduated from International Business College Vet Tech Institute in 2015. I have five cats, a dog named Deku, and a four year old daughter, Violet. In my free time I enjoy karaoke and spending time with family.
Jordan HippieVeterinary Assistant
I am currently attending Valparaiso University to study nursing. I have two dogs, Cork and Clarence. I am a huge fan of the Chicago Blackhawks. I enjoy spending time camping with my family and running children's events at the campground.
I am currently attending Purdue Northwest with the intention of working in the veterinary field as my career of choice. I have three German Shorthair Pointers that are my babies. In my free time I enjoy music and spending time outside with my horses.
Jessica AgonisVeterinary Assistant
I started working here after graduating from high school. I am currently going to Purdue West Lafayette for Animal Sciences with a concentration in pre-veterinary medicine and a minor in Aquatic Sciences. I also have a dog, Ginger, a pet mouse, Shrimpy, and pet fish.