Our staff spotlight series allows our clients and friends to learn a little more about the people at VCA SFVS. This week we feature Terry, lead customer service representative at our hospital.

Name: Terry Green

Your position/title: Lead customer service rep

When did you join VCA SFVS? April 2013


terry with teco and dugan, marin headlands

Favorite part of your job? Meeting all the special animals and clients

Tell us a little bit about yourself: I grew up in the Southeast Coastal Region of Florida. I lived in the mountains of Western North Carolina and Upstate New York before moving to San Francisco.

I have a B.S. in psychology from Florida State University, and worked as a social worker for people living with AIDS for almost 10 years. Then, I owned an antique store and art gallery for about eight years.

I have always had animal companions, ranging from mice, gerbils, hamsters, ferrets and fish, to cats and dogs. I have been working with rescues/shelters for almost 20 years now, from volunteer to board member to shelter director. I began working with vet clinics about four years ago, and was very excited to come on board with VCA SFVS, as I find specialty medicine really interesting.

What does your work day entail? Working directly with clients to check in and out. Answering lots of phone calls. Rooming patients. Creating charts and making sure all records are here. Balancing the daily books and making deposits.

Any animal companions of your own? I have two dogs, both Pembroke Welsh Corgis. The boy is 10 years old and his name is Dugan. The girl is 11 years old and her name is Teco. I also have two cats. The female is 14 years old and her name is Luna. The boy is 17 years old and his name is Arlo.

What do you enjoy doing outside work? I spend a lot of time exploring the city with my husband, Marco. We love to go to parks and the beach with the dogs. I love to see movies. I also enjoy volunteering to give back to the community.

What are you currently reading? Journey of Souls

What’s in your music rotation right now? Sarah McLachlan, Natalie Merchant, Eva Cassidy, Sara Brightman and Amy Winehouse

Favorite TV shows? Six Feet Under and The Newsroom

Patient Story: Sneezy

Today on the blog, we feature Sneezy, one of Dr. Alan Stewart’s patients. Sneezy recently celebrated his 20th birthday, no small feat for a kitty! Below, his human companion Lisa shares some really wonderful photos of this special cat, along with a little more about him.



Many thanks to Lisa for putting all this together. It’s been our honor to be on Sneezy’s care team.

From Lisa:

Sneezy came to us (Simon and me) when he was 17 years old. He was born in Austin, Texas, and spent some of his early years with Phil, his original owner, in Austin, Los Angeles, and a few cities in the SF Bay Area.

Sneezy is a very cheerful and affectionate cat; he loves to be with people either to play or eat. He especially enjoys massages and shoulder-rides to get a glimpse of everything.

He loves to eat every kind of morning pastry from French croissants to Chinese pineapple buns (see photo below) or egg custard tarts. His palate for human delicacies is pretty internationally trained as well (just don’t let the vets know): rotisserie chicken, duck pâté, cheese, corn soup, porridge and broth.

our little secret

our little secret

His favorite pastime is to nap under the sun either on the back porch or anywhere inside the house where the sun hits. But he certainly has claimed ownership of all the chairs in the living room and our bed (whenever he can successfully sneak into the master bedroom).

Sneezy is a sweet darling and everyone thinks he’s still a baby kitty with his youthful appearance. We have just celebrated his 20th birthday with a triple-layer ice-cream cake.

happy birthday, handsome!

happy birthday, handsome!

We love him a lot and wish to celebrate many more birthdays with him, our sweet Zyzy (his nickname).

this looks like a job for superzz!

this looks like a job for super zyzy!

Our 2014-2015 intern class has arrived! We are excited to have them at VCA SFVS for their internships, and they look forward to meeting and working with clients, patients, and members of the Bay Area veterinary community during their time here.


You can read a little more about our six new interns below:

Mori Afraz, DVM (top left)
Dr. Mori Afraz was raised in Palo Alto and graduated from UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in 2014 after receiving a master’s in nutrition from San Jose State University. She plans to pursue a residency in dermatology and has additional interests in internal medicine and surgery. Mori enjoys road trips, sailing, great food trucks, and spending time with her husband, pug and pit bull in their home in San Francisco.

Erika Beck, DVM (top center)
Dr. Erika Beck graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2007 with a B.A. in Japanese and Chinese. In 2014, she earned her DVM and International Veterinary Medicine certification from Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. Her interests include surgery, pain management, exotics and conservation medicine. In her spare time, Erika enjoys rock climbing, snowboarding, film festivals and traveling, especially to East Asia. She is excited to be in the Bay Area with her ginger cat, Bento.

Bailey Gage, DVM (top right)
Dr. Bailey Gage is originally from Kansas City, Missouri. She received her undergraduate degree in biology from the University of Kansas and her DVM from Kansas State University. She is excited to be on the West Coast and living in San Francisco with her dog, Norman, and cat, Randall. Her special interests include internal medicine and ophthalmology. In her spare time, Bailey likes spending time outdoors, cooking and trying new restaurants.

Koko Shishida, DVM (bottom left)
Dr. Koko Shishida is a 2010 graduate of the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. Since 2010, she’s been working as a general practitioner in Sacramento, the East Bay and the Peninsula. Originally from Santa Cruz, she received her B.A. from UC Santa Cruz with a double major in biology and feminist studies in 2006. She is thrilled to be returning to her studies at VCA SFVS and to pursue her interests in emergency medicine, internal medicine and dermatology. In her free time, Koko enjoys yoga, dance, weight lifting, and taking in the many sights, sounds and tastes of the Bay Area with her 11-year-old terrier mix, Kaiser.

Catherine Stevenson, VMD (bottom center)
Dr. Catherine Stevenson, originally from the suburbs of Boston, received her B.A. in biology from Boston University in 2010, and her VMD from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in 2014. She loves running, traveling, being outdoors and exploring new cities. She just moved to San Francisco with her cat, Michu, who hails from Ecuador. After completing an internship at VCA SFVS, Catherine plans to work in general practice and emergency.

Emily Young, VMD (bottom right)
Dr. Emily Young spent her childhood overseas in Europe and Asia until returning to the U.S. to attend Tufts University, where she received a B.A. in psychology. She worked as a veterinary technician in the Boston area before heading down to Philadelphia for vet school at the University of Pennsylvania. At the hospital, she is interested in both small-animal internal medicine and emergency medicine. Emily enjoys hiking, camping, cooking, traveling and scuba diving in her free time. She is thrilled to be here on the West Coast with her sturdy companion, Walter the St. Bernard.

Related resource:


VCA SFVS is pleased to announce that Winnie Ybarra, DVM, DACVIM, has joined our internal medicine department. Her first day at our hospital is tomorrow, July 2. We are very happy to have her on the team!

Dr. Winnie Ybarra

dr. winnie ybarra

Here’s a little more about our newest veterinarian: Dr. Winnie Low Ybarra was born in Rangoon, Burma, and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. She worked as a veterinary technician prior to obtaining her veterinary degree from the University of California, Davis in 2008, and went on to complete a medical and surgical internship at North Carolina State University. Dr. Ybarra moved back to the Bay Area and worked as a general practitioner, emergency veterinarian and shelter veterinarian. She then completed an internal medicine residency at UC Davis in 2013.

Dr. Ybarra’s professional interests include immune-mediated, endocrine, renal, urinary and respiratory disorders, as well as endoscopic procedures and laparoscopy. Dr. Ybarra has always been an advocate for animal welfare and rescue. She shares her home with three four-legged dogs, one three-legged dog, and several cats that rule the household (all rescues). In her free time, she enjoys traveling, hiking and trying out new restaurants. She speaks fluent Burmese.

Our staff spotlight series allows our clients and friends to learn a little more about the people at VCA SFVS, from the veterinarians to the administration staff to the techs to the client service reps. This week we feature Bryan, a technician assistant at our hospital.

Name: Bryan Doerr


Position and departments: Technician Assistant, Internal Medicine/Emergency/Cardiology

When did you join VCA SFVS? July 2013

Favorite part of your job? Making a connection with patients/clients and being able to watch patients go home.

Tell us a little bit about yourself: I was born and raised in the Bay Area and started working in the veterinary field about five years ago. I wanted to become a veterinarian ever since I was 4 years old, but after working in a hospital decided being a technician was a better fit for me and I love it!

Any animal companions of your own? I have two small Chihuahuas – Kiara and Kylie – who are too smart for their own good.



What do you enjoy doing outside work? I enjoy hanging out with friends and my 3-year-old nephew, traveling, hiking, taking my dogs to the beach.

What are you currently reading? Maze Runner by James Dashner

What’s in your music rotation right now? I’m into any really except rap/country.

Favorite TV show? Game of Thrones at the moment

Anything else you’d like to share? I also love making vet wrap art for any patient with a bandage! I think our clients really enjoy it. Here’s a photo of my recent one.



Dear Clients and Friends,

We have some bittersweet news to share with you today: After 17 years with our hospital, and over 25 years of being a veterinary internal medicine specialist, Dr. Alan Stewart has announced he is retiring from his veterinary practice on August 1, 2014.

We know this was a difficult decision for Dr. Stewart, and he will be immensely missed around here!

Dr. Stewart portrait 2

But on to the “sweet” part of the bittersweet announcement: We are so excited for Dr. Stewart as he looks to begin this new chapter of his life, which we’re told will include spending more time with his husband, Frank, playwriting, traveling (and helping animals in various capacities), taking classes and more.

We thank Dr. Stewart for his dedication and passion; for gently and deftly providing expert care to our animal friends over all these years; for his caring and thoughtful communications with clients; for being such a significant part of our hospital’s success and legacy; and for being a friend and mentor to many SFVS team members.

A Few Words From Dr. Stewart

“I became a veterinarian in 1987. Working with animals, clients and veterinary colleagues has been such a significant and fulfilling part of my life for so long. But this retirement decision is one that makes sense for me at this time.

“As the founder of this hospital, I have seen SFVS grow from a small group of doctors in a small space to the large, thriving practice it is today, always adding new resources and improvements to continue the legacy we set out to do of providing the best, compassionate, high-quality veterinary care.

“I will miss everyone – staff, clients, primary care veterinarians I’ve been fortunate to work with, and especially my dear patients (my kids).”

Transition Plan in the Works

Please know that even though Dr. Stewart isn’t retiring until August, we are already working on a transition plan for his patients and clients, and for the primary care veterinarians he works with. Our priority is to ensure a seamless continuation of patient care, client service and communication with referring veterinarians. We will be in touch soon regarding updates on that transition.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us. Thank you for your time and for joining us in wishing Dr. Stewart all the best!

– Craig Maretzki, Medical Director, and Judith Goodman, Hospital Manager, on Behalf of the Entire VCA SFVS Team, (415) 401-9200

Our staff spotlight series allows our clients and friends to learn a little more about the people at VCA SFVS, from the veterinarians to the administration staff to the techs to the client service reps. This week we feature Naomi, a veterinary technician at our hospital.

Name: Naomi Rodriguez

Departments: Emergency, Internal Medicine

When did you join VCA SFVS? September 2013

Favorite part of your job? Meeting and making friends with pets

Tell us a little bit about yourself: I was born and raised in Japan, and moved to the United States when I was 18 years old. I attended vet tech school in Fresno. I have worked in general practice, emergency hospital. I decided to become a vet tech when I discovered the career existed.

Do you have any animal companions of your own? I have three cats: Tama (from dumpster), Kiki (from sky) and Chibita (from air conditioning duct).



What do you do when you’re away from the hospital? Outside work I enjoy gardening, traveling, hiking, and volunteering with VET SOS.

Currently reading? Wonders of Life by Brian Cox

Favorite TV shows? NCIS, Wonders of the Universe, Fast N Loud, Man vs Food


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