Most Valuable Player of the Month for May 2017 – Sandy Gerstung

5/9/17

This is how Sandy relaxes during her time off. 😉

 

Sandy Gerstung was awarded Family Pet Animal Hospital’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the month for May 2017 by last month’s winner, Lilly Lam.  Lilly cited Sandy’s unparalleled dedication, timeliness with her responsibilities no matter the circumstance, and her affinity to help those in need.  Since day one when Family Pet opened its doors, Sandy has always been the bookkeeper/accountant, which she did in her free time since she had a full-time position at a local accounting firm.  When she retired from the accounting firm in 2004, she took a full-time position with Family Pet as the Finance/HR Manager.  We are all grateful for her dedication and the way she takes care of all of us in big and small ways.

Question and Answer with Sandy

Do you have pets?  If so, tell us about him/her/them.

Yes, a cat with attitude named “Chicken.”

What is your favorite thing about working at Family Pet?

The feeling that everyone is family – both staff and clients.

What is the moment at FPAH of which you are the most proud?

The day [Family Pet] opened, seeing Rae Ann’s dream become reality.

What do you like to do in your free time?

Travel – be with family and friends

If you could communicate with our patients, what would you most want them to know?

They will be given the best care possible.

What’s the strangest job you’ve had?

Working at a carnival on the midway

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

Be true to yourself

Tell us something about yourself people would be surprised to know.

I traveled in an old converted school bus with an aunt, uncle, cousin and 5 dogs. They did a balancing act and dog show.

What is your biggest pet peeve?

People that do not take responsibility for the actions. Also, bad manners.

What would you choose for your last meal?

French bread and butter

What did you wear to prom?

A yellow formal.

What is your favorite junk food?

Pizza

What is the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?

Oysters

What fortune would you want to get in a fortune cookie?

“Your family and friends will never know sorrow.”

 

Congratulations, Sandy!  Sandy will get to choose next month’s MVP, so stay tuned…

PREVIOUS MVPS:

Lilly Lam (April 2017)

Annika Hoffman, D.V.M. (March 2017)

Frank Fiacchino (February 2017)

Tony Tramultola (January 2017)

Emily Olvera (December 2016)

Janet Laz (November 2016)

Kate Van Eck (October 2016)

Jim Dinan (September 2016)

Katie Doan (August 2016)

MORE ABOUT US:

Family Pet Animal Hospital’s mission, vision, and core values

Our Doctors

Our Staff

 

Most Valuable Player of the Month for April 2017 – Lilly Lam

4/11/17

Lilly’s pups – Milo, Miko, and Mooshu with the MVP milkshake

 

Lilly Lam, one of our Client Care Managers, was named as Family Pet Animal Hospital’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the month for April 2017 by last month’s winner, Dr. Annika Hoffman.  Dr. Annika cited Lilly’s dedication, efficiency, friendliness, positive attitude, and compassion along with her excellent communication skills as the reasons she awarded Lilly with the MVP honors.  Lilly has blessed Family Pet with her keen eye for detail and high expectations for herself and her team in delivering quality care at our hospital for over six years.  We are incredibly grateful for her talents, enthusiasm, and love of caring for our patients and clients.

Question and Answer with Lilly

Do you have pets?  If so, tell us about him/her/them.

I have 3 Havanese, all named after Disney characters. Miko (from Pocahontas) is my first born and although I love him to bits and pieces, he is a lemon. Milo (from Atlantis) and Mooshu (from Mulan) are Havanese rescues that I adopted from a group that I actively volunteer for – HALO (Havanese Angel League Organization).

What is your favorite thing about working at Family Pet?

The patients, of course!! Our team is pretty darn awesome as well. =)

What is the moment at FPAH of which you are the most proud?

Every day is a new adventure with many proud moments. I would say that the most memorable would be going through the interview process with Jim and Colleen. During my interview, I was so nervous that I started stuttering and nervous giggling. Coming from a finance and business management background, with no other animal health experience other than volunteer work and caring for my own pets, I didn’t think I would get the job. I am thankful/grateful every day, that Jim and Colleen took a chance on me to allow me to become the animal health professional that I am today.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I have WAY too many hobbies. First and foremost, my fur-children take up most of my free time. Cross-stitching has been a hobby of mine since I was a little girl. I try to maintain an active lifestyle and hit the gym as much as I can. I’ve also recently taken on rock climbing, snowboarding and self-defense tactical training.

If you could communicate with our patients, what would you most want them to know?

I love you guys and just want to help make you happy and healthy!!

If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?

Mind control. No explanation needed… =)

How would you spend one million dollars?

I feel that our society focuses too much on materialistic luxuries. I would be happy leading a simple lifestyle. As long as there is a roof over my fur-children, warm clothes, and enough food to get us through, I’d be happy. So if I had an extra million dollars, I would opt to donate everything to organizations in which proceeds go directly towards helping those in need.

Describe yourself in three words.

Stubborn, intense, crazy

What’s your favorite activity to do with your pet(s)?

Lounge on the couch. ^_^

What song or movie are you ashamed to admit you absolutely love?

I have no shame in saying this and I’ll gladly scream it to the world: I love any song with Celine Dion in it!!

 

Congratulations, Lilly!  She will pick next month’s MVP, so stay tuned…

PREVIOUS MVPS:

Annika Hoffman, D.V.M. (March 2017)

Frank Fiacchino (February 2017)

Tony Tramultola (January 2017)

Emily Olvera (December 2016)

Janet Laz (November 2016)

Kate Van Eck (October 2016)

Jim Dinan (September 2016)

Katie Doan (August 2016)

MORE ABOUT US:

Family Pet Animal Hospital’s mission, vision, and core values

Our Doctors

Our Staff

Most Valuable Player of the Month for March 2017: Dr. Annika Hoffman

3/7/17

Dr. Annika with Mio, Daphne, and Apollo

Annika Hoffman, D.V.M., was awarded Family Pet Animal Hospital’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the month for March of 2017 by last month’s winner, Frank Fiacchino.  Frank cited Dr. Annika’s winning smile, professionalism, and enthusiasm for caring for Family Pet’s patients, along with her patience, listening skills, and teamwork as the reasons he awarded her with the MVP honors.  We couldn’t agree more.

Question and Answer with Dr. Annika

Dr. Annika answers our serious and not-so-serious questions.

Do you have pets?  If so, tell us about him/her/them.

I have 3 pets. Apollo is an almost 7 year old Doberman mix, who my husband and I rescued a month after I started vet school. I also have two 5-year-old Ragdoll cats named Mio and Daphne. They all love to cuddle and snuggle on the couch.

What is your favorite thing about working at Family Pet?

The team – it is rare to find a job where you enjoy working with every single colleague!

What is the moment at FPAH of which you are the most proud?

It is humbling to have been given this opportunity to be a part of the staff at Family Pet Animal Hospital; so just being able to say that I work at this amazing hospital makes me proud.

What do you like to do in your free time?

In the city, I like to go to musicals, the symphony, and occasionally the opera. However, my true passion is nature, so whenever given the chance I go to my home-country Sweden and hike, kayak, cross-country ski, swim in the lakes etc. I rarely get to enjoy outdoor activities in the US, but when I do my favorite place is Colorado.

If Family Pet Animal Hospital had a theme song, what would it be?

“You’ve Got a Friend in Me” (the Toy Story version)

If you could communicate with our patients, what would you most want them to know?

As an ER Doc, I would want my patients to know that I am here for them, and I will do whatever is possible to make them feel better.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?

Fly- having a bird-eyed view is of great benefit in many situations.

If you could be any animal, what would it be and why?

Dolphin, because they are smart, fun, fast and I would absolutely LOVE to live under water.

Name three things on your bucket list.

  1. Backpack in New Zealand
  2. Scuba dive in Indonesia or close to that area in the pacific or Indian oceans.
  3. Horse-back riding trip in Montana

What would you choose for your last meal?

Boeuf bourguignon or Coq au vin

What song or movie are you ashamed to admit you absolutely love?

“The Police Academy”

What is your favorite junk food?

Deep dish pizza

 

Congratulations, Dr. Annika!  She will pick next month’s MVP, so stay tuned…

 

Previous MVPs:

Frank Fiacchino (February 2017)

Tony Tramultola (January 2017)

Emily Olvera (December 2016)

Janet Laz (November 2016)

Kate Van Eck (October 2016)

Jim Dinan (September 2016)

Katie Doan (August 2016)

More about us:

Family Pet Animal Hospital’s mission, vision, and core values

Our Doctors

Our Staff

Most Valuable Player of the Month for February 2017 – Frank Fiacchino

2/6/17

FRANK AND KIDS
Frank, pictured with his “kids,” Scruffy and Riley.

Frank Fiacchino, one of Family Pet’s Client Care Coordinators, was awarded the FPAH Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the month for February 2017 by last month’s winner, Tony Tramutola.  Frank joined our team in August of 2015 after serving as an Assistant Clinic Manager at the PAWS Chicago Lurie Spay/Neuter Clinic.  In a past life, Frank performed professionally in musical theater.  He subsequently spent many years honing his customer service skills in the hospitality industry.  His love of animals brought him to the veterinary world and we are so grateful to have his talents, patience, and humor here at Family Pet.

 

QUESTION AND ANSWER WITH FRANK

Do you have pets?  If so, tell us about him/her/them.

I have two: 1) Scruffy:  a grey and white 14 year young male Shih Tzu.  I adopted him from my cousin when he was two. [My cousin] was about to have her second child and said having a preschooler, a new born baby, a husband and a puppy was too much. THANK GOD, for my sake, she chose to part with the puppy. 2) Riley:  a gold 7 year young female Yorkshire Terrier.  On Halloween weekend of 2014 I was working for PAWS when Riley was brought in from Tennessee. She was brought in on a Friday to be seen by the doctor on Monday before being put up for adoption. I played with her all day and decided to bring her home for the weekend so she wouldn’t have to stay in a cage by herself. Well it’s been a really LONG weekend!

What is your favorite thing about working at Family Pet?

For 15 + years I worked in the hospitality industry so customer service is something I enjoy as well as its kind of innate at this point. Also, Ever since I can remember I have loved animals. Being a Client Care Coordinator I get to combine those two loves for a perfect blend.

What is the moment at FPAH of which you are the most proud?

I never had the pleasure of knowing Marla Minuskin, one of the original co-founders.  But after I started working at Family Pet, it did not take long to know her spirit is still very much alive here. I have heard many wonderful stories of her from coworkers and clients alike. So when Jane Lohmar , one of the managing partners told me Marla would have really liked me it made me VERY proud.

What do you like to do in your free time?

Spend time with my four legged children, binge watch Netflix and run outside in nice weather!

If you could communicate with our patients, what would you most want them to know?

Not to be scared. I would let them know that they were in good hands with good people that will do EVERYTHING in their power to make them feel better!

What’s the strangest job you’ve had?

I once hosted a live NICKELODEON game show where the prize was getting slimed.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?

Flying, I hate driving!

How would you spend one million dollars?

First off I would hire an accountant, because I am awful with money. Then I would have him/her set it up so my Mom, siblings their families and I could live a comfortable life without worrying about money! Oh and I would adopt a TON of dogs!

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

Everybody’s perception is different and a person’s perception is their reality.

What is your personal motto or mantra?

Treat others the way you want to be treated.

Tell us something about yourself people would be surprised to know.

I once had a role in a NBC Monday night movie.

Congratulations, Frank!  Frank will pick next month’s FPAH MVP, so stay tuned…

 

Previous MVPs:

Tony Tramultola (January 2017)

Emily Olvera (December 2016)

Janet Laz (November 2016)

Kate Van Eck (October 2016)

Jim Dinan (September 2016)

Katie Doan (August 2016)

 

More about us:

Family Pet Animal Hospital’s mission, vision, and core values

Our Doctors

Our Staff

 

Meet Alexander – A Young (9!), Impressive Animal Advocate

12.28.16

alexanderWe’d like to introduce you to Alexander.  At age nine, he’s one of Dr. Jane’s youngest clients and one of the most passionate, blossoming animal advocates we’ve had the pleasure of knowing.  As part of his commitment to animals, he decided to become a vegetarian earlier this year because “he loves animals too much.”  Not only is he a pet owner/lover and a vegetarian, he’s nurtured quite an affinity for a South Haven, Michigan animal shelter – the Al-Van Humane Society – and actively volunteers there when time allows.

At Al-Van Humane Society, Alexander’s focus is on socializing cats and assisting with cat adoptions.  He takes the time to get to know the personalities of the cats at the shelter in order to make effective recommendations to prospective adopters.  He has personally facilitated 86 cat adoptions so far! 

According to Al-Van’s C.A.R.E.S. Campaign information on their website , “In 2012 the Al-Van Board of Directors refined its mission, adopting no-kill best practices to ensure all adoptable animals would be cared for by Al-Van until a forever home was found, no matter how long that took. As a result, Al-Van reached out to our community to become active partners in saving the lives of companion animals. And boy did our community step up! Al-Van has increased its number of foster families, number of active volunteers and number of Meet & Greets held outside the shelter. Best of all- we’ve increased our ‘save rate’ from 18% in 2011 to an all-time high save rate of 90% in 2014.”

Due to the shelter’s increased need for space, Al-Van has purchased an additional building to house the large number of animals in the community that are in need of saving.  The shelter launched the Al-Van C.A.R.E.S (Community And Resources Enhance Shelter) campaign to raise much needed funds to bring their vision for this new facility to life.  A member of the Board of Directors took notice of Alexander’s passion, efforts, and abilities and asked him to participate in one of the planned C.A.R.E.S. campaign videos.  While he was initially nervous about the public speaking aspect of the project, he quickly decided that he “had to do whatever he could to help the animals.”  Check out the video and we’re sure you’ll agree with the doctors and staff here at Family Pet Animal Hospital – Alexander is a wonderful public speaker and we admire his commitment to these animals.

 

The Al-Van C.A.R.E.S. Capital Campaign has set a goal of raising $500,000 to complete the renovations for the new facility.  Over $100,000 has been raised so far but there is much more work to be completed (see here for more details).  If you are interested in donating to the shelter to support their efforts caring for animals in need, or specifically to the C.A.R.E.S. Capital Campaign, check out their donation page here.

All of us here at Family Pet Animal Hospital are so impressed with Alexander’s commitment to animals.  It’s a pleasure to watch him use his talents and passion for a cause we hold dear.  Way to go, Alexander!  Keep up the amazing work!