Staff

Tara HartmanTara Hartman is a Veterinary Nurse who has been a member of the Bridgewater Veterinary Hospital staff since June of 1996 and began her career in companion animal care in 1985. In addition to her years of experience, Tara attended Cook College and has a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science from Rutgers University. Asked what she enjoys most about her work, she says, “I am given the opportunity to continually learn and improve my skills and I appreciate that the doctors value my opinion in things that have to do with the hospital and certain cases.”

Tara’s pets include a mixed breed canine named Canela and three cats named Raazzle, Lil’ Richie and Jezebelle. Her interests include playing softball, volleyball, as well as watching her son play baseball and helping out with the team.

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Michele ConklinMichele Conklin is the Practice Manager of Bridgewater Veterinary Hospital and a Veterinary Nurse. She began her career in animal care in 2000 and joined the Hospital’s staff as a Veterinary Nurse in October of 2004. Michele enjoys working alongside a staff that is professional, compassionate and team oriented. She considers the hospital to be a home away from home not only for herself, but also for the many animals that are welcomed into the hospital. Michele feels that a combination of sound veterinary practices and the use of state-of-the-art-technology is an integral part of ensuring quality care for their patients.

At home, Michele enjoys the company of her Great Dane Stoli and time spent relaxing with family and friends. She also enjoys hiking, fishing, softball, whitewater rafting and skydiving.

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Veronica MorillaVeronica Morilla is a Veterinary Nurse who has been a member of the Bridgewater Veterinary Hospital staff since 2007. “I like working here,” she says, “because our number one goal at wellness visits is to educate clients and help pets heal, which means our staff must also be up to date on the latest in pet care. This is why our staff is always participating in continuing education and growing our skills. I also love how thorough we are in our work and how we really recommend the best medicine.”

Veronica has two cats named Hennessy and Remy and enjoys doing as much as she can with her daughter Ayanna—going to parks, zoos, aquariums, and more—as well as dancing (her number one hobby) and teaching dance, which she has done for more than ten years. She specializes in hip hop, lyrical, modern, salsa, mambo, bachata, merengue, and pointe. She also likes to play co-ed softball in the summer.

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Kristin PillaVeterinary Nurse Kristin Pilla has been with Bridgewater Veterinary Hospital since January of 2011, but began her career in companion animal care in 2005. She says she enjoys working here because of how thorough our medical staff is with all of our patients and that we take the time to educate our clients on pet care and nutrition so they can become better pet owners. “I love how much care and dedication is involved with this practice,” she says.

Kristin’s pets include a Siamese mixed cat named Ninja, a mixed breed canine named Kirra, and shares her home with three other dogs and three cats owned by her grandma and sister. Her interests include writing music, playing the piano, singing, hiking, comic books (her favorite is Superman), cooking, and spending time with her family, friends, and boyfriend.

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Lindsay Katz-PoltarakLindsay Katz-Poltarak is a Veterinary Nurse and joined our Bridgewater Veterinary Hospital staff in September 2012. She began working in the animal care field at a grooming/boarding facility and later entered veterinary care. She earned her bachelor's degree in animal science from Delaware Valley College and loves working at Bridgewater Veterinary Hospital because of her dedication and devotion to animals. "I am constantly expanding my knowledge and ability here and I love that our staff always gives out patients the very best care at all times," she said.

Lindsay is a pet owner herself and loves caring for her two dogs, Ryder and Gixsy, and her painted turtle named Nippy; she also helps care for her family's dog, Mischief. In May 2011, she married her high school sweetheart and in her spare time enjoys fishing, camping, hiking, cooking, scrapbooking and spending time outdoors with her family.

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Kim SickoriaAs a veterinary nurse with Bridgewater Veterinary Hospital since January 2013, Kim Sickoria is responsible for caring for patients following surgery and educating clients about medications and disease. She particularly enjoys learning about the latest veterinary technologies.

"I love working at BVH because I'm continually learning about new veterinary technologies and medications," she said. "But most importantly everyone works together to make sure our patients get the best care possible."

Kim earned her bachelor's degree in biology with a minor in chemistry from the College of St. Elizabeth. She is currently enrolled in Camden County College's veterinary technician program. In her spare time, she enjoys baking, tennis, and spending time with her family.

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Danielle MarinoReceptionist Danielle Marino has been with Bridgewater Veterinary Hospital since February of 2008. She says she considers her coworkers to be like a second family and that everyone here makes Bridgewater a comfortable and fun work environment. “Every day I learn something new that not only helps me be better at my job, but helps our clients become better pet owners too,” she adds.

Danielle has a Lab mix named Herbie and two cats named Cali and Oreo. Her interests include camping, hiking, horseback riding, spending time with her daughter when she is home from college, and going for walks with her dog Herbie.

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Geri StaubGeri Staub has been the Bookkeeper at Bridgewater Veterinary Hospital since 1995, but has been in the accounting field for more than 30 years. In addition to her many years of experience, she has a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting from LaSalle University in Philadelphia and is working toward Management Accountant certification.

“I really enjoy working with Dr. Levinston and the practice management to develop and follow through on the financial goals of the practice,” she says. “I also enjoy working with the doctors and staff on a regular basis and respect the knowledge and professionalism of them all.”

At home, Geri has a beautiful rescued cat named Matilda Jane. Her interests include skiing, boating, and visiting the beach near her summer home in Cape May, New Jersey. She and her husband, Michael, also travel through Europe as much as possible. They are also both from Philadelphia and moved to Bridgewater in 1986.

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Jessica TownleyVeterinary Assistant Jessica Townley joined our staff in February of 2012 and performs many duties in our office including answering phones, assisting clients and doctors and hugging the animals. Jessica is currently enrolled at Kean University and strives to do her best every day.

Being part of a dedicated staff is one reason that Jessica enjoys working at Bridgewater Veterinary Hospital. "We treat your pets as if they are our own. Everyone here is more than willing to help and answer any questions that pet owners have. I couldn't be happier working in such a fun, positive environment."

Jessica has three dogs, Cody, Axel and Jack. In her spare time, she can be found spending time with her family and friends, baking, reading and going to the beach. She also enjoys cheering for the New York Giants.

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HeleneHelene Sheh joined the Bridgewater Veterinary Hospital team in August 2012. As a veterinary assistant (and only professional Hawaiian/Tahitian dancer on staff), her responsibilities include preparing medications, assisting with exams and medical procedures, and tending to the boarded animals.

"I love working for Dr. Levinston and am proud to work at BVH," she said. "We have a great staff who are taking the time to teach me to be a well-rounded tech."

Helene has been a volunteer with the Somerset Regional Animal Shelter since 2010. In her free time, she enjoys antique shopping, watching movies, and baking.

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Stephanie.jpgStephanie Porcaro loves meeting clients and their pets. Reliable and passionate about veterinary care, she joined the Bridgewater Veterinary Hospital team in March 2013. As our receptionist, her responsibilities include answering phones, checking clients in and out, and assisting our veterinary nurses.

"I enjoy working at BVH because everyone is filled with so much knowledge and is willing to share," she said. "I like how everyone works as a team. I also enjoy learning the stories of the pets we see."

Outside work, Stephanie enjoys horseback riding, exercising, cooking, swimming, skiing, and spending time with family and friends.

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JanisAs one of Bridgewater Veterinary Hospital's receptionists, Janis Dare really enjoys welcoming and getting to know our clients and their pets. She brings her positive attitude, desire to learn, and her smile to work every day since she joined the BVH team in June 2013.

"This is a modern and very clean hospital, with state-of-the-art surgery rooms and equipment," she said. "This hospital is AHAA certified, meaning they must adhere to the highest of standards. As an owner of several pets, this is extremely important to me."

Janis has a yellow Labrador (Sofie); three cats (Warren, Modena, and Wilber), and a turtle (Turtle). She spends her free time with her grandson Everett, son Lee, and his wife Melanie, as well as her parents, other family, and friends. She also enjoys hiking with Sofie, kayaking, gardening, and fostering pets.

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Making our four-legged clients feel comfortable and happy is our Groomer Kate McMahon's favorite part of her job. She especially likes taking special care of senior pets and creating a "work of art" out of scruffy fur. Her job responsibilities include finding a grooming solution that looks great for each pet and one that is easy to maintain for the groomer. She also alerts medical staff and pet owners to any potential problems that she finds during grooming. With her artistic touch in pet styling and her natural affinity for cats and their grooming needs, Kate is a wonderful fit for our veterinary hospital. She has worked with animals for over 25 years in both boarding and grooming and joined our staff in April 2013.

Kate enjoys working at Bridgewater Veterinary Hospital because of the sincere affection the staff shows toward pets. "Aside from our hospital being a beautiful, state-of-the-art facility, everyone's attitude is very friendly, helpful and supremely caring of the pets entrusted to their care," she said.

For 20 years, Kate showed and bred Maine coon cats and has been very involved in cat rescue. She is the shelter liaison and assistant cat show manager for the Garden State Cat Club.

At home, Kate spends time with her terrier mix, Sadie, and Sadie's seven feline brothers and sisters. Her hobbies include making mire and beaded jewelry, reading, and lounging with her cats.

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Corinna LaMorteCorinna LaMorte is a Kennel Assistant who has been a member of the Bridgewater Veterinary Hospital staff since June of 2010. She is also a student at Raritan Valley Community College.

Corinna always brings a very positive attitude to all that she does and says, “I like working here because the other staff members are very nice, patient and always willing to help.”

Her pets include a Pomeranian named Lucy and a Teacup Poodle named Mia. Corinna’s interests include spending time with her family and friends, running, swimming, going to the beach, taking pictures and making scrapbooks.

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Kassandra SemperteguiAs a kennel assistant at Bridgewater Veterinary Hospital, Kassandra Sempertegui describes herself and her kennel co-workers as the practice's "helping hands." She keeps the hospital clean, neat, and stocked and exercises and feeds the boarded animals. She joined the BVH team in February 2013.

"I love that I come to work and learn something new to better myself as an employee," she said. "The environment at BVH is filled with hard work, diligence, and compassion. I am truly fortunate to be a part of the hospital."

Kassandra is currently pursuing her associate's degree in social sciences at Raritan Valley Community College and plans to move on to a four-year college to study nursing. She spends her free time with family and friends, painting, reading, volunteering, cooking, playing video games, and hiking. She has three dogs: a Pomeranian named Poofy and two Chihuahua mixes, Tink and Kuzco.

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Samantha HarrisFor Samantha Harris, getting to be "in on the action," watching surgeries, and helping the veterinary nurses when needed are the things she enjoys most about working at Bridgewater Veterinary Hospital. As a kennel assistant, Samantha's day-to-day responsibilities include exercising the boarded pets and keeping the kennel area clean. Outgoing and skilled at making people laugh and feel at ease, she joined the hospital's veterinary team in July 2013.

"I love working at the Bridgewater Veterinary Hospital because everyone is so helpful, welcoming and experienced," she said. "I have learned so much in such a short time here at BVH."

Samantha will be attending Raritan Valley Community College starting in September 2014, where she will be studying to become a veterinary technician. She spends her free time with her boyfriend and friends and studying. She also styles hair and applies make-up for women on special occasions. She has three Yorkshire terriers: Jasmine, Gizmo, and Ranger.

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Dr. LewisDr. Jason R. Lewis, D.C. is an experienced animal chiropractor who lends his considerable skills to Bridgewater Veterinary Hospital's practice. Dr. Lewis graduated from Bloomfield College in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in biology and graduated from Parker Chiropractic College in 1996. He is certified by the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association and he keeps up to date on all the newest chiropractic methods through his continuing education.

Dr. Lewis lives in Jackson with his wife, stepson, three horses, three dogs, two cats, and a couple of fish.

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Holistic PractitionerAlyson Halpin is an holistic practitioner who brings her comprehensive understanding of alternative medicine and integrated wellness to Bridgewater Veterinary Hospital. Alyson graduated from the Nash Academy of the Animal Arts in 1991 and worked as a Veterinary Technician. In 1995, she graduated from the National K9 School of Dog Trainers in Ohio. She is certified in Service Dog Training, Search & Rescue Training with a specialization in Canine Behavior. In 2000, Alyson began working for a veterinarian who specialized in holistic alternatives which led her to devote herself to holistic veterinary medicine.

Since then, Alyson has trained in Bach Flower Essence and Crystal Healing; she is certified in Reiki, EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), Shamanic Healing, Animal Communication, and Aromatherapy. In 2007, she became a Reiki Master Practitioner and Teacher from the Trinity Center for Natural Healing. Alyson still attends continuing education classes for both humans and animals, to keep up to date on the new techniques and modalities she practices.

In 2009, Alyson enrolled at Tallgrass Animal Acupressure Institute and graduated in 2010 as a Small Animal Acupressure Practitioner. In 2011, she also became an Equine (Large Animal) Acupressure Practitioner. She continued her education in Tui Na Massage, Horse Temperament Typing, and Fascial Energetics. In 2012, Alyson became Nationally Board Certified from the NBCAAM as a Nationally Board Certified Small Animal and Large Animal Acupressure Practitioner.

Alyson spends her free time devoted to activities closest to her heart. She is a lead and side walker for a Hippotherapy Organization in Northern NJ and a member and now-retired volunteer with the Bright and Beautiful Therapy Dogs. She also volunteers healing sessions at rescues and shelters for animals in need. Alyson is a member of Autism Speaks and she advocates for autism awareness, animal welfare, and for women's cancer awareness.

Alyson lives in Central NJ with her husband, three sons (one with autism),and two wonderful Labrador Retrievers.

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