Learn more about our Board Directors

Amanda Veatch DVM (she/her)

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.

Matt Dowling DVM, MS, DACVIM (he/him)
President- Elect & Membership

I am the staff medical oncologist at VCA Northwest Veterinary Specialists.  I moved to Portland and started working at NWVS shortly after finishing my residency at the University of Illinois in 2018.  I’ve been a member of PVMA since that time and have loved participating in and leading activities and CEs sponsored by this organization.  I am eager to become more involved with the PVMA and give back to the veterinary community in Portland as much as I am able.  I’d like to continue to grow the variety of CE opportunities provided by this organization and to continue to ensure accessibility to these programs by all who are interested.  In addition to providing opportunities to keeping knowledge base current, I would like to increase CEs focusing on communication in the workplace, compassion fatigue, and physical and mental wellness in our profession.

Cindy Galbreath DVM (she/her) 
Treasurer & Practice Owner 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 was 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 (he/him)
Continuing Education Chair

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 (she/her/hers)
Student and Early Career Support Programs

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.

Kazuki Ueki DVM (he/him)
Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion

My name is Kazuki Ueki and I am currently an associate veterinarian at Fremont Veterinary Clinic.  Prior to my current position, I was a staff emergency veterinarian at VCA Northwest Veterinary Specialists for 5 years. I have been a member of the PVMA since moving to Portland in 2013.  I have always enjoyed all the events and CE opportunities that the PVMA has offered and I am now looking forward to being a bigger part of this wonderful organization so that I can give back to my community that has taken such good care of me.

Kate Hooper DVM (she/her)
Health and Well-being

I am a native of Portland, went to Oregon State University for veterinary school, and completed an Emergency/Critical Care internship at DoveLewis. I have been practicing in the Vancouver and Portland area for about 10 years, recently transitioning from corporate practice to a privately owned practice in SE (Brooklyn Yard Veterinary Hospital). I have a particular interest in Fear Free practice, cooperative care, puppy socialization, and behavior management.

I have been the president of the board of directors of Whole Dog Academy (WDA) since 2013. WDA is a non-profit organization that focuses on promoting the canine-human bond through education about force-free training. In this position, I have been responsible for board leadership and management, organized major events including fundraisers and educational conferences, developed community programs, and served as the academic coordinator for WDA’s state-licensed dog trainer education program. I am excited to bring the skills and experience I have gained in my work with WDA to the PVMA board and give back to our veterinary community. I have been a member of the PVMA since 2012. I participated in the first Power of Ten class through PVMA and would like to help this program evolve and continue to provide support to newer graduates. I am so thankful for all that the PVMA offers us, and look forward to helping make its programs even better.

Laura Lambruschi DVM (she/her) 
Past- 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 our two sons.


Cristina Keef (she/her/hers)
Executive Director 2006- Current

“I love the PVMA. I am so grateful 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.

Lynda Nielsen (she/her/hers)
Communication & Partner Relationship Manager, 2023- Current

I am a Pacific Northwest native who grew up in SW Washington and obtained my degree in Applied Visual Arts at Oregon State University. Yep, I am a Beaver fan and proud of it! I started my career working in the Portland metro area designing various creative projects but kept hoping to find my dream job where I could be surrounded by animals.

After returning from a yearlong overseas adventure, I made the life altering decision to finally pursue my interest in working with animals and accepted a reception position working at a small one doctor veterinary clinic in NE Portland. The last 20+ years in the veterinary field has been more rewarding than I could have ever imagined. I am grateful to have worked for the Portland Veterinary Medical Association, a non-profit veterinary hospital in NW Portland, an emergency & specialty hospital in Vancouver and helped launch a brand-new 24-hour emergency & specialty hospital in NE Portland.

I have especially enjoyed working in collaborative environments and am delighted to have another opportunity to work with the PVMA.  I look forward to contributing my creativity, problem-solving skills and organization talents to support our local veterinary community.

Outside of work, I love exploring small towns along the coast, walking forest paths that lead to nowhere in particular and riding motorcycles. I can frequently be found with two wheels on the street or in the dirt and the red rocks and desert terrain of Moab, Utah is particularly fascinating while aboard my trusty Kawasaki KLX.

I currently live in Vancouver, Washington with my husband and four-legged family members. Life just wouldn’t be complete without my dogs, Miss Josie (Pomeranian/Shihtzu  mix) and Lexifer (Rottweiler), and my entertaining red tabby cats, Redford and Newman.