The staff and doctors of NORTHWEST VETERINARY CLINIC OF MOUNT VERNON are dedicated to providing compassionate care for your animal companion while enriching the lives of our clients, staff, and community.


Ken

KEN LEISHER, DVM

Associate Veterinarian

Dr. Leisher lives and practices veterinary medicine primarily on Whidbey Island where he provides a wide variety of ambulatory equine health care services. His practice includes preventative health care, lameness, reproduction and emergency care. His practice philosophy emphasizes the importance of the human-horse bond, and incorporating the science of horse behavior to improve his patient’s quality of life.

Dr. Leisher places an emphasis on dentistry. He regularly attends meetings and courses on equine dentistry to stay current on the latest advances. He is also available at the hospital for dental appointments and special procedures.

In addition to equine medicine, Dr. Leisher also cares for large and small ruminants, including llamas and alpacas. Before joining MVVH in 1997, Dr. Leisher practiced in an equine and large animal practice in Yakima, Washington for 12 years.

Dr. Leisher is active in serving the community in which he lives and practices. He is eager to volunteer his time whenever possible to horse owner groups, conducting clinics and educational programs.

Dr. Leisher and his wife Peggy have lived on central Whidbey Island since 1997. While one of their pleasures is traveling and experiencing different local cultures, they feel privileged for the opportunity to stay home and enjoy their beautiful surroundings on Whidbey Island, and support local businesses, farms, and farmer’s markets.

Dr. Leisher is a graduate of:

  • Washington State University / BS in Animal Science in 1978
  • Washington State University / DVM in 1982

Memberships include: American Veterinary Dental Society, American Veterinary Medical Association, and American Association of Equine Practitioners.


Chris

CHRIS HANSON, DVM

Diplomate American College of Veterinary Surgeons Associate/Staff Surgeon
Associate Veterinarian

Dr. Hanson joined MVVH in the spring of 2000, in time for the opening of the hospital in August 2000. Dr. Hanson played an integral role in the design of the surgical facilities.

His primary focus is equine surgery, and management of hospitalized medical and surgical patients. Surgical services include a variety of soft tissue and orthopedic procedures including arthroscopy and laparoscopy. He also provides out-patient and ambulatory health care for his patients, including pre-purchase exams, dentistry, lameness evaluation, reproduction and preventative health care.

Over the years, Dr. Hanson has volunteered his time to the community through a variety of speaking engagements, wet labs at the hospital and has served as a judge at local school Science Fairs.

Dr. Hanson enjoys running, and skis when he can with his son. Much of his free time is devoted to his son’s academic and athletic pursuits. Hiking and camping are favorite family activities. Hopefully, trail rides and pack trips will again become a family activity as their son gets older.

Dr. Hanson is a graduate of:

  • University of New Hampshire/BS in 1990
  • University of Tennessee/College of Veterinary Medicine in 1994

Internship in Large Animal Medicine and Surgery at:

  • Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1995

Year Residency in Equine Surgery at:

  • University of California, Davis/Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital

Clinical Instructor of Equine Surgery at:

  • University of California, Davis/Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital

Memberships include: American College of Veterinary Surgeons, American Veterinary Medical Association, American Association of Equine Practitioners and Washington State Veterinary Medical Association.


CLAIRE TUNGSETH, DVM

Equine Medicine and Surgery

Claire was born and raised around horses in Evergreen, Colorado. She began riding from a young age and competitively showed upper level Dressage into her mid twenties.

Claire graduated with a Bachelors of Science from Colorado State University and obtained her veterinary degree from Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine. During her time at Colorado State, she competitively showed on the Collegiate Hunter Jumper Team and completed an equine neonate internship at Hagyard Equine Medical Center in Kentucky.

Claire completed a rotating internship at a 14-doctor referral practice called Rhinebeck Equine. She gained invaluable experience during her internship in sports medicine, multi-limb lameness, and ultrasound. Following her internship, she worked at an Equine referral practice called Brandon Equine Medical Center for several years in sunny Florida. Claire joined the Equine Team at Northwest Veterinary Clinic in July 2017. Her professional interests include sports medicine, diagnostics, regenerative therapies, and dentistry.

In her spare time, Claire enjoys spending time with her husband, Taylor, and riding her Dressage horse, Rab.


VIVEKA RANNALA, DVM

Equine Medicine

Viveka was raised in the countryside of Ontario, Canada where she decided to become a veterinarian at the age of four. Riding was a big part of her childhood, and she continued to explore her passion for horses by working on a Thoroughbred breeding farm throughout high school.

Viveka obtained her Bachelor of Science from the University of Guelph before being accepted into the Ontario Veterinary College, one of the oldest veterinary schools in North America. After graduation, she completed a one-year equine internship at Peninsula Equine Medical Center in Menlo Park, California. Her career interests include wellness, reproduction, and lameness.

During her spare time, Viveka enjoys horseback riding, traveling, hiking, ice hockey, and spending time with her dog, Lyra.


JENNIFER ALLEN, BVMS, MRCVS

Dr. Jennifer Allen, a California native, completed her bachelors of Science degree from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and then acquired her veterinary degree from the University of Glasgow, Scotland. Having had the opportunity to work as an equine practitioner in England, California, and Washington previously; she is excited to join the Northwest Veterinary group in Mount Vernon and call Anacortes home. Her interests lie in equine sports medicine, regenerative therapies, dentistry and all aspects of equine general practice. Having grown up showing and competing with Clydesdales in driving competitions, she hopes to get back into the show ring eventually. During her spare time, she is an outdoor enthusiast and enjoys hiking, horseback riding, and traveling.


KAYLEEN BLAIR, DVM

I started for Northwest Veterinary Clinic of Stanwood back in May of 2000. I worked at the Stanwood office for the first several years, took some time away when my daughter was born, then returned to pick up again but at the Advanced Care Animal Clinic in Smokey Point. I have been there now for the last 13 years. I have just recently taken on a new challenge of helping at Northwest Veterinary of Mt. Vernon.

I grew up on a dairy farm in Iowa so my love for all things furry started when I was really little. We were a small family farm so all hands were on deck to help with milking, feeding calves, cleaning free stalls, etc. From the age of 3, I started asking for animals, not dolls, and just couldn’t wait to be “big enough” to feed the bottle calves. It wasn’t long before I was hooked growing up with a Border Collie babysitter named Patches. Next to come, was a deep and abiding case of “horse crazy” that has still not gone away. It’s an infection I have passed on to my kids!

I knew from a very young age that all I wanted to be when I grew up was to become a veterinarian. I watched our farm vet come to the rescue over and over – he was the hero that “saved the day” for everything from the downer cow, to the sick kitten, and the family dogs. I walked away from life’s harsh lessons of those that could not be saved or helped, with a deep passion that one day I would go to vet school and change that. There had to be another way and more to learn, someday I was going to find more answers.

I was determined to make it into vet school and the more others tried to tell me it was too hard, the more I was not going to allow anyone to keep me from my dream. I went to school at Iowa State University and graduated from the College of Veterinary Medicine in 1997.

Since then I came to the Pacific Northwest in 1997 and have found so much to love. I had always said that someday I was going to the mountains, who knew I would find this stunning package that included the ocean too! I enjoy horseback riding, reading, and spending time with my family.

Looking back I realize how blessed I am to have found and followed my calling – I love this job with a fierce passion but have learned it’s not just about the animals. I have found that I enjoy getting to know each family that comes with their loved furry. It’s that history and back story and learning the details of how that animal become a part of the family that I have come to value.

I would say that my favorite thing about Northwest Veterinary Group is the fact that we have so many amazing people at our fingertips and so many reaching out to collaborate and find the answer for that patient. It truly is a team approach to patient care including a radiologist, a surgeon, and a cardiologist that work with us on a regular basis.


Our Support Staff



Licensed Veterinary Technicians and Veterinary Assistants


Our dedicated technicians and veterinary assistants are responsible for a wide range of duties and assist our veterinarians in nearly everything they do. A typical day may include daily rounds and treatment of hospitalized patients, animal husbandry, assisting in radiography, admitting and discharging patients, preparing for and assisting in surgeries, monitoring anesthesia, lab work, dentistry, ICU monitoring, artificial insemination, stallion collection, foal watch as well as supply and inventory control. You may frequently speak with one of our technicians or assistants in absence of a veterinarian to review discharge instructions, lab results and patient progress. Perhaps you’ll meet one of them in person as they will frequently travel and work with the veterinarians in the field.


Lori

Sarah Bennett

Licensed Veterinary Technician

Sarah graduated from Bellingham Technical School in 2015. Prior to joining Northwest Veterinary Clinic of Mount Vernon, she gained experience working at a local veterinary clinic. She joined MVVH in May of 2018 as a Licensed Veterinary Technician. A favorite part of her position is working with clients on behavior cases.

Sarah also works with several local animal shelters and rescues. She almost always has a foster animal or two at home. She enjoys hiking with her dog Gryffindor and traveling.


Jenny Rector

Equine Veterinary Assistant

Jenny has been a long time resident of Whidbey Island. She joined our practice in the spring of 2020 but has been in the field of animal care and medicine for 13 years. She has 25 years of horse experience and has been a 4-H leader for 10 years. She owns 5 horses of her own and enjoys competing with the Whidbey Western Gaming Association in the speed events and trail riding. With her free time, she enjoys spending time with her dogs, chickens, and a 21-year-old cat named Snoopy. She loves the outdoors and making cool projects.


Amelia

Veterinary Assistant

Amelia was born and raised in Arlington. Her passion for horses began when she went to visit her grandma’s farm in Arkansas and had begun taking riding lessons when she was 12. Since then she has been competing in western gaming shows and barrel races. She recently started taking lessons on some cutting horses and hopes to show in the future. When she is not riding her horse or working out at the barn, she enjoys riding her dirt bike and spending time with family.


Client Service Representatives


Karla & Em

Alicia Askman

Client Service Representative

Alicia joined Northwest Veterinary Clinic of Mount Vernon in 2016 as one of our receptionists and is one of the first faces you see when you walk through the door.  She has an extensive and long history working with horses. Alicia has a degree in equine science and business. Over the past year, she has taken an interest in working in veterinary hospitals as a vet assistant and now as a receptionist. In her off time, she finds pleasure in spending time with her puppy Meeko and enjoying the nature the Pacific Northwest has to offer.


Karla & Em

Sami Gartley

Client Service Representative

Sami moved from San Diego, California to Oak Harbor, Washington in 2011 when her dad was stationed at Naval Air Station Whidbey and decided that Washington was the place for her. Since moving here, she has started school at Skagit Valley College and added to her menagerie of animals. In her free time she enjoys exploring new places and going to the beach. While she is somewhat new to equine medicine, she has worked in the small animal care industry for a few years and loves to continue to build her knowledge every day. Sami’s family currently includes four permanent resident dogs, Precious, Toby, Lilly, and Starza, and one foster dog, Austin, and her cat Stubby.


Dani Becker

Client Service Representative

Dani grew up riding and showing horses in 4-H, Pony Club and breed shows. She has been around horses her entire life. Dani currently travels around Washington and Idaho on the pro-west and PRCA rodeo circuits. She has two horses, two dogs, a cat and she loves chickens! Dani is currently enrolled in school for her veterinary technician license. In her free time she likes to spend time with her kids, and exploring the woods or the beaches.


Harleigh

Client Service Representative

Harleigh joined our team as an equine client service representative in September 2020. She currently has her Veterinary Assistant certification and eventually is interested in becoming an LVT. Outside of work she loves being outdoors and showing her horses. She is excited to be working with us and learning how to help her animals perform their best and to help all animals feel their best. She has 3 horses and 2 dogs.


Office and Business Staff


Lori

Tami Schorno

Practice Manager

Tami joined Northwest Veterinary Clinic of Mount Vernon in April of 2018. 2018 marks her sixteenth year of practice management in the veterinary industry. Tami is excited to be a part of the amazing and highly skilled team of MVVH. She also looks forward to building relationships with our wonderful clients.

Outside of work, Tami resides in Skagit County with her husband Ken. She loves spending time with her two adult children Madisen and Quinten. Tami’s weekends are often filled working with her daughter on their business, BITTERMILK STUDIO, a wearable art line. When not working, she enjoys hiking, traveling, and finding treasures at flea markets.

Her furry love is a rescue kitty named Oscar.


Marchele Gamble

Bookkeeper

Marchele joined our bookkeeping department in July of 2018. She has many years of extensive bookkeeping experience.

Marchele was born and raised in the Northwest and has had a lifelong love of animals. For 13 years, she was a 4-H Leader in Snohomish County involved in multiple projects including teaching youth about care and training their dogs. She is also a volunteer for the youth dog show at the Stanwood Camano Community Fair. Outside of work she enjoys training and trialing her dogs in companion events.

When not participating in dog activities, she enjoys working in her garden, camping, golf and snowmobiling.

Marchele has two adult sons and two canine kids, Maya and Tinker.


Jan

HR/Administration

Jan joined our team in October of 2019 and then again in May of 2020. She currently works at all three Northwest Vet Group clinics. Jan loves animals so she is happy to be working around them. Working with our company, she gets to join her love for animals with her love for administrative work! It’s a win-win situation for her. On her off time, she enjoys reading, walking/hiking, playing piano, gardening, and crafts. She currently does not have any pets but she is hoping to enjoy that privilege again soon. She has always had a variety of pets. Jan finds the veterinary field interesting and she loves animals and enjoys that she gets to learn about this field every day.


Kennel Staff


Aubree

Barn/Kennel Assistant

During the year of 2018, Mount Vernon Veterinary Clinic, now known as Northwest Veterinary Clinic of Mount Vernon, was looking for an FFA student to hire to help with cleaning up and other tasks around the clinic. Activities ranging from stripping down an in-house stall, scrubbing/mopping floors, and so much more. As of this last year (2019) she has joined the Pennfoster program to become a licensed Veterinarian Technician. On a daily basis, you can find her in the lunchroom with her sassy English bulldog, Chloe. Outside of work she loves doing crafts such as drawing, painting, or making paper flower bouquets.