The most important feature of Bellevue Animal Hospital is our professional staff. We emphasize continuing education and team training, enabling us to provide the best care possible for our patients, and the best service for our clients.
Dr. Bev Wofford
Dr. Wofford joined the Bellevue Animal Hospital team in October 2015. Originally from Kansas, she graduated from Kansas State University with a B.S. in Animal Science, and received her D.V.M. from the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1984. She practiced in the Omaha area for 7 years, and then went on to a 23-year career with Hill’s Pet Nutrition, where she gained extensive sales, marketing, teaching, and consulting experience. Dr. Wofford is a member of the Nebraska Veterinary Medical Association.
In her free time, she enjoys sporting events, spending time at the gym, gardening, and just hanging out with her four-legged kids: feline family members Dolly, Steve, and KC Marie.
Credentialed veterinary technicians are the nurses of the veterinary profession. They must show proficiency in the care of species with fur, feathers, and scales. They are important members of your pet’s health care team, and crucial to our efforts to provide the highest quality of animal care and humane treatment of all animals. A veterinary technician must graduate from a two-year, AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) accredited program from a community college, college, or university; must pass a state credentialing examination; and must earn continuing education credits every year in order to maintain their credentialed status. In addition to nursing care, our veterinary technicians coordinate all of the veterinary assistants’ activities and duties; prepare patients, instruments and monitoring equipment for anesthesia and surgery; perform dental prophylaxes; analyze urine samples; draw blood samples; perform digital radiographic diagnostic imaging; and serve as client educators.
Jenni Riha, Patient Services Director
Jenni hails from Springfield, Nebraska, and after many years as an active participant in 4-H, she graduated from the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture in 2001 with an Associates Degree in Veterinary Science. She joined our Bellevue Animal Hospital team in July 2006, and now serves as our Patient Services Director & Lead Technician. Jenni is also a registered Pharmacy Technician. Jenni often devotes several months a year to caring for foster kittens in her home, and recently added foster-failure Fergus to her own fur family at the insistence of previous foster-failure Dean Winchester, and with the approval of senior cats Tab (aka Fatty) and Squeaker! In January 2017, Jenni became the proud mama of a rescue Greyhound named Cascade (but you can call her Cas!)
Christie is originally from Portland, Oregon. She graduated from Millard West High School in Omaha in 2005, and earned her Associates Degree in Veterinary Science from Vatterott College in 2011. Christie joined our staff in March 2013. Her fur family includes Reni, a Corgi mix, and Yuna, a Turkish Angora cat, as well as a sassy tortie kitty named Temmie, adopted from teammate Jenni Riha in December 2016. Christie’s interests outside the veterinary world include anime’, Manga, video games, and the study of Aikido.
Jilly received her Associates Degree in Veterinary Science from Vatterott College in 2014 , and joined our outstanding team of veterinary technicians in August that year. She is a Bellevue East alumni and a graduate of Metro Community College in Omaha. Her current menagerie of pets at home includes several ferrets, a grumpy old hedgehog, a blue-eyed Siamese mix named Dolly Purrton, and a very handsome Domestic Longhair cat named Diego, in addition to two pugs named Dexter and Ludo who love food! On her days off, Jilly enjoys playing music: piano, guitar, drums and the ukulele. She also loves to explore the great outdoors looking for wild creatures of all kinds.
Jeanne was born and raised in Bellevue’s neighboring city, LaVista. She joined our practice as a Veterinary Technician in April 2015. Jeanne received her Associates Degree in Veterinary Science from Iowa Western Community College in May 2015, graduating with honors. She has one very spoiled orange cat named Fritz and a mischievous Mini Australian Shepherd named Wally. During her free time, you may find Jeanne reading, catching up on her favorite shows, crafting, running, shopping, traveling or boating!
Breanne lives in Ralston and is a graduate of Iowa Western Community College’s veterinary technology program. She began work at our practice in August 2016. Bre has a Maltese/Shih Tzu mix named Josie Bear who loves chasing rabbits and squirrels and acting as the neighborhood watch dog! When she’s not busy snuggling patients and saving lives here at the hospital, Breanne enjoys watching movies, playing the classic computer game Oregon Trail, and spending time with her niece.
Our veterinary assistants are also vital to the success of our hospital! These dedicated staff members support the veterinarians and veterinary technicians in their daily tasks. They obtain and record medical histories about your pets; assist with our patients’ examinations, bloodwork, surgeries and x-rays; provide comfort and reassurance to your pets; help manage inventory; provide client education; fill prescriptions; perform clerical duties; clean kennels & cages; walk dogs; share your joys and sorrows, and much more.
Kim Avalos, Lead Veterinary Assistant
Born in Alliance, Nebraska, and raised on a farm in Blue Hill, Kim has lived in the Omaha metro area since 1993. She studied biology at Dana and Wayne State colleges, and spent three weeks in southern Australia studying Fairy Penguins in the wild. One of Kim’s most exciting experiences was working at the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, where she raised, fed, and swam with the penguins! We welcomed her to the BAH family in February 2005. Kim loves making personal connections with our clients and their pets, and her favorite thing to do here is starting your pet’s appointment off right: discussing the patient’s history and reason for the visit, and making sure you have everything that you need for your pet and are completely comfortable & satisfied. Kim is also a highly recommended pet sitter, operating under the name “Cozy Critters” since 2008. In her limited free time, Kim enjoys relaxing at home with her husband Jose’; dogs ChaCha, Ollie, and Tramp; and her clowder of cats: Beatris, Buttercup, Charlie, Tom Thumb, Baby Boo, and Chunky Monkey!
Patty Wulff, Senior Veterinary Assistant
Born and raised right here in Bellevue, Patty has been a part of the Bellevue Animal Hospital family for over 14 years. She holds two bachelor’s degrees from Bellevue University, one in Environmental Science and the other in Sociology, but she loves BAH so much that she decided to stay! Patty excels at training new team members, and truly enjoys teaching the “newbies” how to succeed at the wonderful job of veterinary assistant. She has an amazing son named Connor, a sweet Basset Hound named Nana, and two wonderful cats named Frankie and Sawyer, all of whom are the absolute lights of her life! In her time off, Patty likes to spend her leisure playing with and teaching her son.
Client Service Representatives
Our front desk staff plays a vital role in the day-to-day management of our practice! The client services representatives welcome you to our practice, handle multiple phone lines, enter invoices and client/patient data, answer your emails, take prescription refill requests, relay messages to and from the doctors, assist with inventory, manage patient records and filing, lend an ear, answer questions, share your joys and sorrows, and are responsible for scheduling appointments for six veterinarians – everything from nail trims and vaccinations, first visits and follow-ups, to lumps, bumps, and limps, senior wellness exams and surgeries. Each one of them is a valuable member of our team!
Mary Vedder, Client Services Director
Mary began her career at Bellevue Animal Hospital in 1993 as a part-time receptionist, and graduated summa cum laude from the University of Nebraska-Omaha in 1996 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. She was a member of the American Animal Hospital Association’s 2016-2017 Online Accreditation Engagement Committee (OAEC) and continues with that role in 2017-2018. Mary is the administrator for our hospital’s official Facebook page and website, coordinates all e-mail correspondence, and is our “go-to” person for US & international health certificate information, in addition to her other responsibilities. Her hobbies include reading, nature photography, and genealogy, and she is a life-long “Star Wars” fan. Her three much-loved feline furbabies are Harry Potter (a former stray,) Sheldon O. Cooper (a former barn cat and Nebraska Humane Society alumnus, and current unofficial AAHA “spokescat”) and Zazzles (a former foundling and foster kitten.)
Originally from Bellevue, Brandi toured the United States for about 23 years, spending time in Arkansas (where she graduated from Cabot High School,) California, and Colorado, before settling here again in 2008. She joined the BAH front desk team in February 2015, where she quickly gained a reputation as a lean, mean, cleaning machine! Brandi’s other talents include baking, and she also enjoys reading and coloring. She is a hard-working single mother of two teenage boys named Brandon and Zack, and also a proud dog-mom to Diamond, a German Shepherd mix.
Sarah Wilkinson, Front Desk Manager
Sarah was born and raised in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and has lived in the Omaha-metro area all her life. She graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in 2003. Sarah joined our practice in June 2010, and is now acting as Training Supervisor for our newest front desk team members. She and her husband, Jeremy, have been together 14 years and have three beautiful daughters named Bailey, Jazmin, and Isabell. The family also includes a rambunctious Corgi/Australian Shepherd mix named Olaf and a cat named Stevie. Sarah describes herself as “loud and outgoing!” and in her free time she enjoys working on projects with her girls.
A Bellevue resident since 1977, Pam graduated from the Omaha College of Health Careers in 1991 with an Associates of Applied Science in Veterinary Technology degree and was on our staff from December 1994 to April 2013 before “retiring” to spend more time at home with her three children. We invited her back for a return engagement in January 2017, and we’re thrilled to have her with us again! Pam is a co-president of the Nebraska Tarantula Enthusiasts Club, and counts genealogy, oceanography, and reading among her other interests. Her fur family includes kitties named Mega, Moonight, and Sassafras, and a guinea pig named Jonson.
Michele was born in Kaiserslautern, Germany, but grew up in central California, graduating from Hilmar High School in 1994. Her childhood animal friends included a pet cow named Gizmo, and her current fur-family is an eclectic bunch comprised of two Chinese Pugs (Esmae and Percy,) a Saint Bernard (Memphis) and a kitty named Truth. She married the love of her life, James, in 1998, and their three daughters – Katelyn, Cassidy, and Sarah – have kept Michele busy! Somehow, she still found time to earn certificates of education in both photography and web design. Michele has been a member of our staff since October 2015, and in her free time she enjoys reading, music, and creating digital oil paintings.