Our Technicians

Our Technicians2018-10-04T15:33:37+00:00

Meet Our Veterinary Technicians

Ronald Aguilar
Natalie Baker
Julie Barlow
Lindsay Brown
Ana Bruder
Mandy Bush
Jessica Espinoza
Lisa Fair
Oscar Giraldo
Olga Gradinar
Veita Hummer
Raisa Johnston
Adrian Kuzemchak
Jenifer Mcglone
Megan Melcher
Tavia Moore
Robin Price
Lori Quick
Noel Shaw
Sarah Sherman
Mary Tills
Erin Toman
Ashley Vieira
Andrea Whiting
Sergey Yatsenko
Oleg Yatsenko
Jessica Noonan
Rachel Stevens

Ronald Aguilar

Technician

Ronald is an assistant in the Intermediate Care Ward at VCA Veterinary Referral Associates. He has been with the VCA Veterinary Referral team since the end of July of 2013. Since he was a teenager, Ronald has loved working with animals. His first job was as a dog bather in PetsMart in 2004 and shortly after he began he became a dog groomer. Ronald did dog grooming for about 7 years and loved working with animals. After working at PetsMart he worked for Nordstrom Rack doing retail and then got promoted to working in Service Experience in Nordstrom at Montgomery Mall. Outside of work Ronald loves spending all of his free time with his wonderful daughter.

Natalie Baker

Registered Veterinary Technician

Natalie Baker, a VCA VRA client favorite, is a Registered Veterinary Technician in our hospital’s Critical Care Unit. Natalie knew, even as a little one, that she wanted to work with animals and aspired to one day becoming a veterinarian. She started practicing early-on by bandaging her pets’ legs and by caring for them daily. Growing up, Natalie’s family had both cats and dogs but her fascination extended to all species. In fact, even insects were an attraction. How many of us can say we raised Monarch caterpillars and released them into the environment as beautiful butterflies?

As she approached adulthood, Natalie investigated many colleges with pre-veterinary/biology majors but had difficulty finding “the one” until her online search produced the Vet Tech Institute. They offered a two-year program with classes dedicated to the study of animals. VTI, located in Downtown Pittsburgh, was only four hours from Natalie’s home and what a wonderful experience it was! Natalie graduated in 2008 and went on to do an externship as an emergency and critical care technician at Greenbriar Veterinary Referral and Emergency in Urbana, Maryland. She enjoyed this practice very much as it was not only a personal challenge but provided her with a wide range of medical experience.

Natalie began her career at VCA Veterinary Referral Associates in November of 2010, working in the Intensive Care Ward (ICW) but was promoted to the Critical Care Unit (CCU) in 2012. Because she firmly believes VCA VRA practices top notch medicine and readily trusts the staff with her own pets, Natalie (who still lives in PA) travels two hours a day for work.

Natalie and her boyfriend reside in a quaint home which was once a one-room schoolhouse. They live with their nine-year old Australian Shepherd “Tyler” (who saves lives by being a member of our blood donor program) and twenty free range chickens. In her spare time, she enjoys playing coed softball, gardening and pet-sitting.

Julie Barlow

Technician

Lindsay Brown

Lindsay Brown was born and raised in Damascus, Maryland. With four acres of land surrounding her parents’ house, it is no wonder she was always bringing home injured birds, rabbits, and reptiles.

Lindsay has been a veterinary technician since 2008 when she began working at a small, two doctor practice in the beautiful town of Laguna Beach, California. While living on the west coast, she also started her own pet sitting business, specializing in elderly and chronically ill animals. At the beginning of 2013, Lindsay moved back to Maryland to finish her bachelor’s degree in Criminal Psychology.

Soon after relocating, however, Lindsay realized how much she missed being in a veterinary setting and made the decision to pursue a career in the field of Veterinary Specialty Medicine. She was hired as an Emergency Technician at VCA VRA in October 2013. Having previously come from a small general practice, she knew very little about emergency medicine but blossomed when given the chance to expand her knowledge. The opportunities presented were vast. Lindsay continues to learn more each day in ER and as a result of her varying caseload, she is grateful to be able to work in conjunction with other departments in the hospital. Her special interests include the fields of neurology and cardiology.

After the many daily challenges she faces in her profession, Lindsay goes home to her boyfriend Billy and their fur babies – including Irie, a Pitmatian and Kayla, a Dalmatian.

In her spare time, Lindsay enjoys reading thrillers, hiking with her dad, working out at the gym, and watching Investigation Discovery.

Ana Bruder

Technician, Internal Medicine

Ana has been with Veterinary Referral Associates since 1994. Her early VRA experience involved client service, including work at the front desk, reception and as phone operator. She then moved on to pursue a veterinary career as Radiation Oncology Technician, also training as a caretaker, lead technician, and safety officer for I -131 Radioactive Iodine cats for six years, under the supervision of Dr. Deborah Prescott, DVM, PhD, DACVR-RO. Ana has performed technical work with VRA’s Neurology, Critical Care, and Oncology Departments, and for the past 8 years, she has been a Technician in our Internal Medicine Department.

Ana and her husband love staying at bed and breakfasts and spending their weekends exploring. They enjoy visiting historical sites, particularly those reputed to be haunted. (Ana is the co-founder for Maryland Tristate Paranormal, and she and her husband have been featured in Michael Varhola’s Ghosthunting Maryland Book.) When they are not traveling, they enjoy their four-legged children — two Chihuahuas, a miniature Yorkie and one cat. Other interests include photography and camping.

Mandy Bush

Technician

Jessica Espinoza

Technician

Jessica is a technician in our Anesthesiology Department. She graduated from Colorado State University (Go Rams!) with a B.S. in Biomedical Sciences. She is passionate about all aspects of veterinary medicine, but is especially challenged by being motivated to constantly learn and improve. Jessica has always loved animals and finds being able to nurse them back to health and support them when they are at their neediest, extremely rewarding.

When not at work, Jessica spends time with her very exuberant golden retriever Finley. She also reads, runs and hikes, three of her favorite pastimes.

Lisa Fair

Technician

Lisa Fair began her veterinary medicine career in 1997 as a volunteer at VCA VRA. She helped in the Intermediate Care Ward and after receiving additional training, joined our team as a Recovery Technician later the same year. In a short time, and with further training, Lisa became an Orthopedic/Surgery Technician. She was the first of our employees to obtain certification in Canine Rehabilitation Therapy and is also certified in Canine Massage. Presently, Lisa works part-time in our Rehab Department as well as helping, as needed, in other areas of the hospital.

Lisa and her fiancé Marc share their home with Benjamin, a very sweet and cute Cavalier King Charles. Lisa enjoys writing and has co-authored chapters in various veterinary texts and magazines. She currently contributes medical articles to a veterinary professional website and is pursuing certification in medical writing. In her spare time, Lisa enjoys volunteering with animal rescue groups, participating on committees in her community, cooking, and entertaining friends and family.

Oscar Giraldo

Technician

I came in to the United States on 2003, mainly for safety reasons. In my country Colombia, South America, I worked for 14 years as a veterinarian at farms, animal food factories, veterinary laboratories and research.

Being in the United States and working in different fields, such as real estate and car businesses were good to make a decent living, but I knew something was missing €“ something that would make me feel totally happy. So I decided to apply for a Veterinary Technician position with Veterinary Referral Associates that allowed me to continue being in touch with the veterinary field. I work on weekends in the Intermediate Care Ward. Caring for animals is what I love to do. It is very satisfying to see the recovered patient going home, providing a family with much happiness for years to come.

During my free time I like outdoor activities with friends and family. I enjoy hiking, riding bikes, swimming and going to the gym. I also try to eat healthy as much as I can.

Olga Gradinar

Registered Veterinary Technician

Veita Hummer

Registered Veterinary Technician, Ophthalmology

You will likely encounter Veita Hummer at VCA VRA, if your pet has problems related to or directly involving the eyes.  Veita, a 2005 graduate of Wilson College in Chambersburg PA is our Ophthalmology technician. She received her bachelor’s degree in Veterinary Medical Technology and Biology; her choice of major largely influenced by a growing passion for animals, while she cared for and showed dairy cows at the competitive level. After college, Veita began her career as a technician in a mixed animal practice located in Pennsylvania. An evolving interest in Anesthesia and Specialty medicine led her to seek work in a variety of unique veterinary hospitals in Virginia, where she was exposed to and enriched by experiences with MRI, and ophthalmology.

In her free time, Veita enjoys coaching youth softball and partaking of other outdoor activities with her husband and three children. She is additionally buoyed by her two energetic dogs: a Blue Tick Coonhound named Sully and an English Setter named Madsen.

Raisa Johnston

Technician

Raisa Johnston received her veterinary degree from the National Stavropol Agricultural University in Stavropol, Russia. She then practiced as a large animal veterinarian and worked in a research lab at the National Stavropol Research Institute.

Raisa moved to the United States in 2005 and in 2008 joined the VCA Veterinary Referral Associates family where she continues to work as a laboratory technician. Raisa has two sons, both of whom followed in her footsteps. obtaining veterinary degrees from the National Stavropol Agricultural University as well. Her oldest is currently working as an emergency and critical care veterinary technician at a specialty hospital in New Orleans and her youngest is a veterinary surgery technician at VCA VRA. In her free time Raisa enjoys spending time with family, biking, and fishing. She is an avid gardener and a fantastic cook.

Adrian Kuzemchak

RVT, Emergency Technician Supervision

Adrian Kuzemchak is an Emergency Technician Supervisor with Veterinary Referral Associates. Adrian graduated from Eckerd College in 2005 with a B.S in Biology. She began her career in veterinary medicine as a technician assistant in the Spring 2006 at a small general practice in St. Petersburg, Florida. Later that same year she moved to Maryland where she continued to work in general practice. Over the next two years she worked to expand her technical skills and knowledge, working her way up to becoming the lead anesthesia technician at her practice. In the summer of 2008 she was able to use her biology degree to qualify to sit for the Veterinary Technician National Exam in Maryland and obtained her credentials as a registered veterinary technician. Adrian joined the emergency team here at Veterinary Referral Associates in November 2008. She quickly developed a love for emergency medicine and became highly interested in VRA’s animal blood donor program, which she now helps to run. In December of 2012 Adrian became the new Emergency Technician Supervisor.

Knowing that she planned to continue in veterinary medicine and wanting to expand her knowledge further Adrian went back to school online in 2010 at San Juan Community College to obtain her associates degree in Veterinary Technology. She also is currently working to obtain her Veterinary Technician Specialty in Emergency and Critical Care.

When not at work Adrian spends time with her husband Matthew, her cats Annie and Ozzy, and her dog Loki. Adrian enjoys reading, hiking, and traveling whenever possible.

Jenifer Mcglone

Technician

Jenifer is a technician in our Intermediate Care Ward. She has been in the Veterinary field since 2013 and joined us in 2015. Although she has her bachelor’s degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice, she returned to work with her first love, animals. When not working she enjoys spending time with her husband, son and her Chihuahua, Evee.

Megan Melcher

Shift Lead

RVT

Megan has been with VCA VRA since 2006. She has a Master’s degree in North American Archaeology and has at variant times been a bartender in the French Quarter of New Orleans, managed a pet cemetery, taught Head Start, and run children’s birthday parties at the National Zoo. She became a veterinary technician in 2000 and earned her license in 2004.

She recently took a year off from veterinary medicine to attend baking school. Her goal is to have a vegan baking business while continuing to work as a technician.

She likes to try new things, if you couldn’t tell by now, and took up the sport of roller derby at 40 years old! It was a short lived career but she has the pictures and bum knees to prove it.
She loves her work because it makes her feel empowered and because she loves animals (sometimes more than people). She shares her home with her husband, Marc, their two teenagers, two dogs, four cats, one lizard, and an unknown number of fish.

She would very much like to win the lottery and wants you to know, as an aside, talking about herself in the third person makes her feel silly.

Tavia Moore

Technician

Robin Price

Director of Rabilitation Services

RVT, CCRP

Robin is a Registered Veterinary Technician and Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner in the Rehabilitation Department of Veterinary Referral Associates.

Robin started at VRA in December 2008 in the Surgery department, and in July 2011 she transitioned to the Rehabilitation department. Prior to joining VRA, she worked for five years in the Surgery department at a referral hospital north of Baltimore.

Robin recently attended the University of Tennessee Veterinary School program for canine rehabilitation. In December 2012, she completed all of the requirements and passed a rigorous exam to become a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner.

Robin has a daughter, Samantha, and they share their home with their cat Figaro. Robin’s Interests include reading (she’s a voracious reader!) and running. She has completed several 5K races and one half marathon and will potentially add more events to that list.

Lori Quick

Shift Lead, Critical Care

Noel Shaw

Technician

Hi, my name is Noel. I was probably 13 years old or so when a commercial on T.V. aired that showed a young tattered dog chained to a tree with a small dirty shack. The mud path circling the tree drew out the extension of the chain. With audio sounds of a excited little girl asking, “Uncle Charlie, where’s that cute puppy? You all had at Christmas?” A gruff voice replies “Outback, yonder” At the same time you see the young tattered dog who perks up by the sound of voices, only to lay back down in disappointment and hear it whimper. To this day I am still uncertain who promoted that emotional commercial. I only know that it left a lasting impression on me and inspired me to become an advocate for the misfits and less fortunate ones. I’ve pushed myself with hard work, hands on training, and various education courses. I also have had the pleasure of working the last 25+ years with horse farms, horse racetracks, boarding kennels, Animal Control officers, animal shelters, veterinary offices, and rescue groups throughout various points in my life. They have all helped me in making a positive difference for those less fortunate. I’m proud to support my best friend, a partner and a father to all of our children, Wesley L. Jenson Sr. PDT. The owner of Arrowwood Shepherds, Inc. He enjoys teaching families how to train their dog(s) to have acceptable social skills in the home and in public. This includes working through issues as relating to inappropriate behavioral and misunderstood actions. They are well known for giving back to the community by providing education, and as a source for dogs in Services Departments and/or for rehabilitation needs.Working with him, I strive to continue my personal journey through more education, training, and demonstrating that, YES!!!!, you to can have that cute adorable, well-trained puppy. I do this hoping that in some small way it helps. Some of my downtime enjoyments include antiquing, landscaping, cooking, being a Redskins fan, outdoors activities, and training in the Canine competitor sport of Schutzhund/IOP with my 2-year-old Female German Shepherd Tortuga-B Von Arrowwood. I also have a German Shepherd/Dutch cross male named Godric and I enjoy working him in Obedience training of lead. I always save the best for last and my biggest accomplishment, as a single mother for so many years is my daughter, Grace C. De Oro. She’s a sophomore attending college at St. Mary’s College of Southern Maryland in the fields of marine science. Go Sea Hawks!

Sarah Sherman

Technician, Internal Medicine

Sarah Sherman began her journey at VCA Veterinary Referral Associates, in October 2012, as a front desk receptionist but quickly decided to accept the opportunity to work as a technician in our department of Internal Medicine. Sarah had five years of general practice experience in animal health before coming to VRA which was extremely beneficial when she made this move.

Above all, Sarah feels a deep sense of accomplishment when she realizes her part in the positive impact our technicians and doctors make by helping patients to feel better and consequently easing the minds of their concerned owners. Sarah particularly enjoys participating in our Radioactive Iodine treatment program for feline hyperthyroidism. Additionally, she finds assisting with our endoscopy specialty totally fascinating.

Outside of work Sarah enjoys four wheeling (an adventure in driving), collecting vintage owl figurines, and spending time with her husband and their furry children: Halo (a french bulldog), Nacho (an orange tabby cat), Rita (a torbi cat), and Pacino (a tuxedo cat).

Mary Tills

Registered Veterinary Technician, Internal Medicine

Erin Toman

Technician, Rehabilitation

Ashley Vieira

Technician

Andrea Whiting

Technician, Emergency

Sergey Yatsenko

Technician, Surgery

Oleg Yatsenko

Shift Lead

Jessica Noonan

Technician, Rehabilitation

Rachel Stevens

Technician, Rehabilitation