Meet Our Team
Dr. Don Henricksen - Retired
Washington State University is where Dr. Henricksen received his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine.We won't mention how many years ago! He opened Yelm Veterinary Hospital in 1976 in a small trailer on the present day site of our hospital. After many years in the large animal side of veterinary medicine he shifted gears to small animal medicine. He currently shares his time between Yelm and his vacation homes on the beaches of Washington and Mexico. He and his wife Karen love to travel and are enjoying retirement!
Dr. Jerry Brown
Dr. Brown is a lifetime resident of Yelm and became a Veterinarian at Yelm Veterinary Hospital over 30 years ago after graduating from Washington State University. His passion is in the surgery suite, specializing in orthopedic repairs. Dr Brown's hobbies include glass blowing, traveling the world, and wood working. His magnificent pieces of glass can be seen around the hospital in pieces like glass pumpkins, hearts, Christmas ornaments, and even lamp shades. All proceeds of his work benefit our wildlife rehabilitation fund. He is also heavily involved with World Vets making his surgical skills available to third world countries.
Dr. Chuck Kegley - Retired
When Dr. Kegley is not busy caring for his clients pet's, he and his wife split their time between family in Washington and Montana. His time in Montana allows him to catch up with his children and grandson as well as lend a hand on the family's historic cattle ranch (as seen on the Discovery Channel). Here in Washington he caters to 2 cats, and his beloved Boston Terrier Mr. Tubbs. In the last few years Dr. Kegley has been honing his skills in woodworking and now creates some of the most beautiful pieces of furniture for his friends and family. Every fall we can see a twinkle lights in his eyes as hunting season approaches.
Dr. Claire Griffin
Dr. Griffin was born in Tennessee and after graduating from the University of Tennessee, she ventured across the country to our beautiful state and fell in love with our area. She now has set her roots in Yelm and owns a house that is full of animals including, 2 cats, 4 dogs, and a coop full of chickens! Dr. Griffin loves to go hiking and especially enjoys the goat rocks wilderness area or anywhere she can go hiking with her dogs! Dr. Griffin is our other surgeon and has a special interest in ultrasonography.
Dr. Emily French
Dr. French is another Washington State University Graduate, Go Cougs! Yelm has always been her home so it was natural that she join our hospital in 2010. Dr. French loves all her animals, consists of 2 cats, 4 dogs and 2 horses. Her husband owns his own small business in excavation. Dr. French rarely has an actual day off as she cares for her patients so much she is always coming by the Hospital to check in on them!
Dr. Michelle Raleigh
Dr. Raleigh joined our team February 2016. She graduated from Washington State University in 2009 and actually completed her preceptorship with us before graduating! She has worked in Olympia, Puyallup and Tacoma before finally joining our team. Dr. Raleigh is originally from Olympia and her husband from Yelm so they are happy to be back in the area. Her and her husband have one son, two dogs, multiple chickens, and a few cows. Dr. Raleigh and her family enjoy hiking, fishing, camping and most things that involve being in the woods or on the water in our beautiful Pacific Northwest.
Dr. Carol Hoaglund
Doctor Hoaglund joined Yelm Veterinary Hospital in May 2017. She is a life long resident of the Olympia area. She was born in Olympia and attended Centralia Community college and Fort Steilacoom Community College (now Pierce College). She received a degree in Animal Technology in 1984 and worked as a licensed Veterinary technician for 19 years. In 2003, she graduated from Washington State University with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. She has an interest in internal medicine and feline medicine. Doctor Hoaglund lives in Littlerock on a small farm with her husband Dana and four cats and several hundred apple trees. She enjoys kayaking, hiking, reading, gardening, painting, cooking, making cheese, and homemade gluten free beer, wine and cider.
Dr. Kristan Riley
Dr. Riley joined our team in August 2017. She graduated from North Carolina State University and relocated to the Pacific Northwest with her Army husband. They are originally from Indiana and have one son, two dogs, two cats, and three horses. Dr. Riley and her family love to explore the outdoors whether it is mountains, rivers, lakes or caves. On her days off, Dr. Riley enjoys scrapbooking and makes her own greeting cards.
Dr. Justin Ripka - (Relief DVM)
Karen Henricksen L.V.T. - Retired
Karen, who was Yelm Veterinary's first Licensed Veterinary Technician, was very influential in the building of the practice when it opened in 1977. She was also named Washington State Veterinary Technician of the Year several years ago! Once known as Karen Matthews, she married Dr. Henricksen in 2003. They currently are living happily every after in Yelm. She loves to hike and enjoys spending time at their vacation homes in Pacific Beach and Mexico!
Katie Hermey L.V.T.
Katie has worked at YVH since August of 2003 as a Licensed Veterinary Technician. She is our resident owl lover and has rehabilitated over a dozen with assistance of local Raptor Centers. She is the go-to person for all things relating to our wildlife rehabilitation program. Katie shares her home in Mckenna with her husband and her step-son. The real rulers of the house are her 2 dogs, Taysa & Seeley, and 3 cats, Jello, Smudge and Freddy. When not working all hours at the hospital, Katie really loves the outdoors and hiking around our beautiful state. You will also catch her at any slug bug run around the state as she is LOVES Volkswagon! Katie is a very compassionate person and when you need to bring your 4 legged family member to our hospital, they will be in wonderful hands!
Peggy Trepainer L.V.T.
Peggy is a Veterinary Technician and joined us in 2014 working part time. Her and her husband call Olympia home and have two wonderful cats at home named Ghost & Michonne. If you notice our team members wearing pink "Team Peggy" t-shirts on Friday's this is in support of her and her fight!
Terese LeMoine L.V.T. - Retired
Graduating from Pierce College in 1981, Terese has been a Licensed Veterinary Technician for over 30 years and has spent nearly 20 of those years here at Yelm Veterinary Hospital. Her special interests include dentistry, client education and dog behavior. She has traveled to the Philippines, Uganda and East Africa several times to educate farmers and youth about animal husbandry and is currently working with a group in Peru for a similar program there. Terese and her husband both grew up in Yelm and love the community. They share their farm with 1 horse, 2 cats, one fluffly Bichon Frise, elk, deer and a variety of other wildlife. Terese enjoys traveling, reading, hiking, decorating, and planning family get-togethers.
Mesha is a recent graduate of the Pierce College Veterinary Technician Program. She is married and has two children, a daughter Sirenity and her son Gaiden. Her husband was in the military for 8 years and moved back to Washington after he retired. They have two dogs (Pooka a Pitbull and Tyson a Yorkie). Two cats (Lucy and Odin), a guinea pig, and two fish. In her spare time Mesha loves hanging out with her family watching anime or movies, and they love bowling.
Eileen joined our team summer of 2016. She has a German shepherd named Kodi, a tuxedo cat named Loki, six goats, four chickens, and one dwarf hamster. Eileen loves trying new foods, the more exotic the better! She loves to travel, enjoys camping, fishing, horseback riding, photography, and archery. Some day she would like to get into falconry or beekeeping. Eileen was a military contractor for six years, four of which was spent in Afghanistan.
Michaela is a graduate from Pierce College and lives in Graham with her husband David, two dogs Opel (Beagle), Nikkia (Bulldog), and her horse Mickey. In her down time she enjoys spending time out on the trails with Mickey and her husband. Michaela has a special spot in her heart for bulldogs despite their troublesome nature since she adopted one from California last year and has been in love with her ever since.
Debbie joined our team in January of 2014. She has had many years of experience as a Veterinary Assistant and we are very excited to have her as part of our team. She brings a smile to work everyday! Her and her husband live nearby in Roy with a collection of animals, 2 paint horses (Cheyenne and Cole), and a Jack Russell Terrier named Buddy. In her off time she loves the outdoors, hunting, fishing, and riding her horses with her fellow horse friends.
Miche joined our team in November of 2013 as an Animal Care Assistant and now is becoming quite valuable as an Veterinary Assistant. She has a young son who keeps her very busy! She loves taking pictures and spending time outdoors, especially at her cabin on Anderson Island.
Denise is our lead Client Services Representative but spends the majority of her time as our Wellness Plan Coordinator. Denise celebrated 24 years with us in July 2016. Denise's outstanding customer service and cheery attitude has earned her Employee of the Quarter in 2011 and 2012. Denise has 2 dogs, Shay who is a Mini Australian Shepherd, and Ranga Mae who is a Standard Australian Shepherd. Camping and riding quads are some of her favorite things to do when not here at the hospital! She also spends a lot of time with her husband running their three kids all over the state to baseball and softball games.
Stephanie has worked in our Reception for 8 years, but originally began working here after school as an Animal Care Assistant in 2005. She first moved to Yelm in 2003 and attended Yelm High School. In 2005 she met the man of her dreams, they were engaged on New Years at midnight at the Space Needle in 2009! They married in 2010 on the white sandy beaches of Hawaii. Their furry family members are rescue pit bulls named Lexi and BB. They are happily married and have two beautiful children, Quinn & Bradley! She has been a foster mom to many wildlife, kittens and puppies during her many years here at YVH. In her spare time she likes to do craft projects, spend time with her family and friends, and work out.
Alisha began working here in as an Animal Care Assistant in the summer of 2013. She attended Yelm High School and was very active in FFA showing pigs! Alisha graduating from Pierce College with her Associates in Biology. She has one dog, Ivan who keeps her very busy while her long-time boyfriend is away in the US Army.
Lyn Mitchell - Management
Lyn is originally from Liverpool, England. Home of the Beatles! She made the move across the pond in 1987. She originally began working with animals in 1992 as an animal control officer in Colorado, and in 1994 she had her wonderful daughter. Right before her daughter was born she moved to Virginia and started working in child care. After her daughter was born she moved to Germany with her military husband and continued working in child care while they were stationed there. In 2003 she moved & her family moved back to the US (Stationed at Fort Lewis) and realized she missed working with animals and soon started working for Yelm Veterinary Hospital in Client Services. She moved up the ladder quickly and is now our Hospital Director. Lyn has 2 cats, George & Buta, along with two dogs, Chubbie & Rockie both dogs were fosters from our hospital (who you may find sleeping in reception on any given day)! Lyn enjoys volunteering at Wolf Haven and Yelm Animal Alliance.
Jocelyn has worked with us off and on through-out the years, most recently joining us again in October 2015. Jocelyn is a traveling pet-sitter serving the greater Thurston County Area. Jocelyn was admitted to Veterinary Technology Program at Pierce College and will begin in the Fall. In her spare time when she's not working or pet sitting she is spending time with her son who she welcomed in January!
Ashley started working here in November 2015 after resigning from a Coordinator position at the YMCA. She has previously volunteered at the Boys and Girls Club. Ashley has recently taken over our client communications & compliance department. She spends her day reminding clients of vaccinations and various other services that are due, and checking up on your pet after their recent stay with us. She enjoys spending time with her daughter and family. Ashley likes to rehabilitate farm animals and adopt them out. Ashley is not originally from Washington but that doesn't stop her from enjoying the beautiful scenery that Washington has to offer including hiking, site seeing, and road trips. She also loves antique shopping, singing, and writing poetry.
Kelsey is a military spouse originally from Pennsylvania. She has two Yorkshire Terriers named Ricky & Barbossa, and cat Einstein. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, Muay Thai, and spending time with her family. She originally began working with animals 5 years ago when she and her husband were stationed in Germany.
Madison joined our receptionist team in October 2016. She is a recent graduate from Yelm High School. In her spare time she loves to race dirt bikes and go snowboarding. Madison has a four year old lab named Lani. Madison's future goal is to become a Pediatric Oncology Nurse.
Animal Care Assistants
Dawn is our lead Animal Care Assistant spending most of her time with the surgical team as a surgery assistant. Growing up she has always had animals in her life, and currently has two small mixed breeds named Bolt & Annette (AKA Double Trouble!). Her daughters have rabbits named Nana and Scott, however they just discovered that Scott is a girl! Dawn is a very kind person and attentive to all the pet's needs while here at the hospital. Before working here, she worked at a daycare for 10 years, she always says that "pets are just like kids"!
Tiffany started working here in March 2015. She does an amazing job cleaning the facility and taking care of your pets while they stay here. She has two cats of her own named Toby & Twilight. Tiffany likes to do arts and crafts, cross stitching, video games, and read books.
Prefers to be called Jessi and recently joined our team in late 2016. She is a mother of 4 children (the human kind), 3 dogs, 3 cats, 2 rabbits, multiple chickens, turkeys, ducks, with an occasional pig or cow on their property in Roy. With all 4 children now attending school she enjoys working at the Hospital for a little break from her busy family life.
Thanks for meeting our team!