Learn more about our Board Directors

Laura Lambruschi DVM
President

I began my career in 2010 as a small animal veterinarian. I attended The University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine followed by additional training as an intern at VCA Alameda East in Denver, Colorado. Eager to get closer to the great outdoors I moved to Jackson, Wyoming where I worked as a general practitioner and on-call emergency veterinarian for the mountain town. Although living at the foot of the Tetons was a wonderful experience both professionally and personally, the long, cold and snowy winters pushed me further West. I moved to Portland in 2013 and worked for three years at VCA Northwest Veterinary Specialists as an emergency and critical care veterinarian. I then worked for about 2 years as a relief veterinarian working all over the Portland Metro Area. I currently work at Northwest Neighborhood Veterinary Hospital.  I enjoy all areas of veterinary practice from routine preventative care to emergency medicine and surgery. I have been a proud member of the PVMA since my arrival here in Portland. I currently serve on the PVMA board as the Membership Chair. I have loved being a part of this organization which does so much to support the veterinary community here in Portland. Outside of work I enjoy hiking, backpacking and living in and exploring the Pacific Northwest, and volunteering with the Portland Animal Welfare Team. I currently live in NW Portland with my husband Matt, canine companion Bourbon, and have just added a new member to the family. Our son Hugo was born in March!

Amanda Veatch DVM
Treasurer/President-Elect

I have been a part of the veterinary community in Portland for the last 13 years, formerly in a large emergency/multi-specialty practice and now in general practice.  I have been a member of the PVMA for the entirety of that time and am grateful that our local community has such a strong organization and membership. As our profession continues to adapt and change with time, I want to become more directly involved with the PVMA and especially ensure that independent practices continue to have a voice and representation. I look forward to being an advocate for my colleagues and our profession.

Yamini Chalam DVM
Oregon Veterinary Technician and Assistant Association  (OVTAA)/VTA Program Chair)

I’ve been part of the PVMA for the last 3 years, and I’m excited about the opportunity to join the board!  I’m a relatively new grad (Tufts 2014) and started my career here in Portland as a lowly intern at VCA Northwest Vet Specialists. Since then, I joined general practice and do occasional relief work here and there. Currently, I’m an associate veterinarian at VCA North Portland. My interest in joining the board is to bring light to some of the more common, but overlooked, struggles we face as veterinarians. One specific focus of mine is finances – negotiating work contracts, saving for retirement, student loan repayment options, how to afford a house/car, etc. And, on a less boring side, I’d also like to help create more hands-on learning events – dental extractions, handling emergency cases, surgical experience, etc. My hope is to take from some of the fears and hurdles that I’ve faced as a new vet – single doctor days, work/life balance, choosing the right practice – and create ways to help other vets navigate through these same challenges.

Cindy Galbreath DVM
Member Programs

I’ve been practicing in the Portland area since 2011. I moved to Portland following veterinary school at UC Davis, and completed an internship at VCA Northwest Veterinary Specialists.  I stayed on at VCA NWVS as an emergency/critical care veterinarian for the next five years.  I spent about a year doing general practice and emergency relief work, and am now employed as a shelter veterinarian at the Humane Society for Southwest Washington.

I love the sense of community this organization provides, and I find it to be one of our best forums for dialogue.  We’re a diverse group with a singular bond, and this community contains some of the smartest, most compassionate individuals I’ve ever known.

Steve Kochis DVM
Continuing Education Chair, 2019-20

I became a member of the PVMA shortly after moving to Portland in 1999.  I served on the executive board from 2003 to 2006 and was PVMA president from 2004-2006.  Since my initial time on the executive board I have explored a variety of different professional experiences that I feel would benefit the board.  I also feel that we always need to give back to our profession and our community when we have the capacity to do so.   I received my BS in Animal Science and my DVM both from Cornell University in 1992 and 1996 respectively.  I then completed an internship in small animal medicine and surgery at Oradell Animal Hospital in 1997. I made my way to the Pacific Northwest and worked as an ER/critical care doctor at Dove Lewis Emergency Animal Hospital. In 2002 I transitioned to general practice working first as a relief vet and then full time at Rose City Veterinary Hospital. In 2008 a new opportunity presented itself and I moved into industry spending 7 years with Pfizer Animal Health and Zoetis.  After Zoetis I went back into practice in 2014 as an ER/ICU doctor and Medical Director of VCA Northwest Veterinary Specialists.  I also currently serve on the Board of Trustees for The Oregon Humane Society. In my free time I enjoy traveling (visited Israel and Oaxaca in 2018), music, anything related to super heroes and science fiction, my two Border Terriers (Helo and Tiberius), gardening and time with family, friends and my husband Chris.

Kate Hilsenteger DVM
Communication and Relations

I moved to Portland area in 2007 after graduating from Texas A&M and never returned to Austin as planned. Over the years, I am continuously impressed by the support, community, and continuing education available through the PVMA, and I want to give back to this organization as a PVMA Board Director. Participating in the OVMA Power of 10 group in 2016-17, helping to facilitate the OVMA Power of 10 2017-18 group, and attending AVMA VLC in 2018 inspired me to seek a more active role in organized veterinary medicine so I can support my colleagues, and continue improving the profession for future veterinarians. In my current role at Banfield, I oversee a diverse group of talented veterinarians in Oregon and Washington by providing mentorship, side by side coaching, and communication development. I am passionate about improving doctor wellbeing, and I hope to bring that level of care and servant leadership to the PVMA as a Board Director. Thank you, and I appreciate your consideration.

Matt Dowling DVM, MS, DACVIM
Membership

Coming soon!

Cristina Keef
Executive Director 2006- Current

Cristina Keef

May 2006-Current

“I love the PVMA. I am so privileged to work for such passionate and generous people and a community I care for and believe in so much. We strive to make the lives of our members less stressful, more supported, and as efficient as possible. We also work hard to be a partner within our animal welfare and pet-loving community and an innovative member of the veterinary profession”

I was raised in Junction City, Oregon, a small farming town just north of Eugene, south of Corvallis best known for the annual Scandinavian Festival. Like many of us who end up working with animals as adults, I constantly ‘rescued’ any I could, easy to do when people would  drop them off regularly at our house in the country. My dad and I built more animal enclosures than I could count to house the dogs, cats, doves, rabbits, a pygmy goat, squirrels, hamsters, rats, 3 sheep raised for FFA!

When I was 14, I was required to do a half day job shadow and naturally chose our family veterinarian, a mixed animal solo practitioner who was nearing retirement. A week or two later, they called to offer me a job. By the time I was 16, I spent more time there than at school (but was still an excellent student!). When the practice was sold, things changed dramatically, going from a relatively quiet hobby practice to a 3+ doctor small animal/exotics/wildlife practice and boy was it fun! The reputations of our new owners from out of state proceeded them and we became a VERY busy practice and saw just about everything. I am very fortunate to have grown up in such a diverse practice and have very fond memories of the late nights and unique experiences. I regularly volunteered for Feral Cat Coalition mobile clinics and local wildlife rehab centers throughout high school as well.

After graduating from high school, I continued working full time while commuting to Oregon State University. About a year later, I moved to Portland not knowing anyone, one of the best decisions I ever made! After working at two small animal practices and attending Portland State, I took a year away from veterinary medicine to work at a lifestyle branding (marketing) agency owned by one of my pet sitting clients. It was a tremendous learning opportunity and a fun change of pace. Unfortunately, the company had some difficulties and as I was exploring my options, I received a call from Dr. Steve Kochis, the then outgoing PVMA president and friend, telling me about the PVMA Executive Director position being available. Shortly after, I interviewed and was hired in April 2006. I can’t imagine being anywhere else. My love of the PVMA and Portland veterinary community only continues to grow stronger. I am so very fortunate to be a part of it and hope to continue to be for many years to come!

I continue to volunteer for a number of local organizations, including assisting with the care and training of puppies that are part of the Coffee Creek Puppy Program. I enjoy taking care of my home, garden, 4 chickens, 1 cat and 1 dog as well as traveling, photography, crafts, kayaking, hiking and all the other lovely things the Northwest has to offer.

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