I graduated from The Ohio State College of Veterinary Medicine in 1988 and after a year doing mixed practice work in Maineville, Ohio I moved back to Middletown and went to work for Dr. Oswalt at Western Hills Veterinary Clinic. It was definitely a homecoming for me in more ways than one, because Dr. Oswalt and before him Dr. Peck — the first owner of Western Hills — were our family pets’ veterinarians, so I had wonderful role models. In addition, my grandfather Sidney Cape worked as kennelman for Dr. Peck back in the early days of the practice, somewhere in the 1950’s.
I am married to a very patient musician, Keith Lewis, whose most stellar quality — apart from putting up with me — is the fact that he accepted me with all my livestock in tow! We have a number of dogs, cats, chickens and horses, and enjoy every one of “our kids”.
My favorite veterinary work includes helping geriatric patients live longer, healthier lives. I also enjoy surgery, particularly when it deals with the challenge of taking a nasty injury and making it “pretty” again — with our new technologies, before and after photos are much easier to obtain!
Outside the clinic, I enjoy goofing off with the horses (two registered Connemaras and their “pasture pony” buddy Eddie, plus two rescued miniature horses, the 'little old ladies.'), gardening, reading, writing, and travel. I write an occasional blog, “Dog Physics and Other Observations”, and every once in a while get to blow off steam with a column in local newspapers.
Nan GoughPractice Manager
have been a client of Western Hills Veterinary Clinic since Dr. Oswalt was the owner/vet. It seemed like a good time to start my second career here in 2014 when Dr. Burk offered me the position of Practice Manager. For the previous 20+ years I had been an Industrial Safety Manager/Consultant. At first glance, it may seem that “no way those two roles have anything in common”, but they do! My experience allows me to help run a safe and efficient, friendly and helpful office for you and your pets. Dr. Burk is freed up to focus on her priority, caring for our patients, your pets, along with our Technicians while our Reception Staff continues to focus on superior customer service to you. All this matters because you and your pets are very important to us, too.
My spare time is taken up by my family: my husband Rick, his 3 children and their families, and especially our 7 grandchildren. This “Grandma” thing is just the coolest thing ever! Rick is a baseball Super Fan, so most of our travels include a baseball-related site (yea!), and we attend quite a number of Cincinnati Reds games each year. The grandkids are becoming big fans also – how could it be otherwise – which means more opportunities for our family to spend cherished time together.
Over the years, I have collected a menagerie of dogs, cats and horses, including every stray and rescue that came my way (for a short time a fawn and a rogue goose). At one point my two outside dogs decided to “adopt” 2 of their own strays, seriously, they didn’t even ask! Age and time have called for many difficult decisions, and although I miss them all, I’m left with the happy, fun memories, and the limitless unconditional love that each brought into my heart. At present, I have 1 cat, Grumbles. My husband has asked that I don’t bring anyone else home. I’m currently complying. However, if something shows up in my barn ……….
Stoneworth “Stoney” of the West Madison HillsClinic Therapy Cat
Stoney came to Western Hills after a group of small children rescued him at a Green Stone Stables horse show and brought him to Dr. Burk for her expert care. After an exam a shattered femur was found. Surgery repaired the femur; with much rest and care his injuries were healed. Ever since, Stoney has taken his rightful place as the Clinic King. Mostly his days are filled with napping and begging for food (any food), though his main job (as we subjects see it) is boosting moral, of which he does an excellent job, he is sure it is primarily to eat.
Teresa HitchRegistered Veterinary Technician
Teresa has worked as part of the Western Hills Veterinary Clinic Team since May of 2018. She earned an Associate of Applied Science in Veterinary Technology from Sinclair Community College in Dayton, and was licensed as a Registered Veterinary Technician in 2018. She also has a Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Alaska Fairbanks (1999), and an Associate degree in Science from SCCC in Port Huron, Michigan (1996).
Teresa has lived in Ohio with her husband, three children, and two dogs (Sugar and Spice) since 2016. She first worked with animals as a teenager in a Michigan animal shelter, and has seen the benefits of pets on military veterans returning from deployments as well as pet play therapy for autistic children. Teresa also has experience with birds (parrots and doves) and domestic rats as pets. When not caring for animals and educating clients at the clinic, Teresa loves to crochet, garden, read, and spend time with family.
McKenna ReiffRegistered Veterinary Technician
McKenna graduated from the University of Cincinnati Blue Ash in 2022, where she received her degree in Veterinary Technology. As a RVT she enjoys surgery, parasitology and of course puppy and kitten appointments! At work her day consists of monitoring anesthesia in surgery, venipuncture, radiology, treating hospitalized patients and aiding in appointments throughout the day. She started out working at a boarding facility and then as an assistant at Western Hills while finishing school. After graduating McKenna married her high school sweetheart in the summer of 2022.
Outside of work McKenna enjoys gardening, baking and spending her time outdoors with her husband and her dog Schmidt. Schmidt is a German Wirehaired Pointer who enjoys playing fetch and swimming in the warmer weather, though he would try to swim in the winter. McKenna looks forward to helping your pets!
Gabby GilbertVeterinary Assistant
Gabby Gilbert started working at Western Hills as a receptionist in 2007 while in High School. She worked here through college graduating with a Nursing Degree in 2016. Gabby worked as an RN, in a hospital setting, for 3 years before deciding to return to the Veterinary world as one of our Veterinary Assistants.
Gabby has an Australian Shepherd named Astro, a Standard Poodle named Cosmo, and a cat named Thomas. She has a history of competing in dog sports including rally, obedience, agility, and conformation.
Gabby can't wait to meet your pet at their next visit!
Grace MyersReceptionist/ Assistant
Grace started at Western Hills Veterinary Clinic in the summer of 2022 and is currently in school
pursuing her degree in Veterinary Technology at Sinclair. Prior to college, she graduated from the Warren County
Career Center’s Veterinary Science program.
Grace is a fourth generation, lifelong advocate for fair treatment and nurturing of animals. Her passion
of caring from animals began at a very early age. It surprised no one when she chose to seek an
education in veterinary medicine. Grace feels privileged to be a part of the betterment of animals and
their health here at Western Hills Veterinary Clinic.
In her free time, Grace likes to travel, volunteer at the animal shelter, read a good book, cooking and
exploring new recipes. She also enjoys spending time with her dog Lucy, her cat Olive and going to concerts. Most of all Grace is one of Stoney’s best friends!
Shelby WeberReceptionist/ Assistant
Shelby has worked for Western Hills Veterinary Clinic for a little over a year. She is a senior at Butler
Tech Natural Science Center in the Veterinary Science program. When Shelby graduates high school, she
plans to attend the University of Cincinnati for the pre-veterinary program then continue on to The Ohio
State College of Veterinary Medicine to become a large animal veterinarian.
Shelby joined 4-H when she was 9 showing pigs for her project. This is where her love for animals began.
Shelby knew from an early age that she wanted to work with animals when she grew up and she
continues to work towards her goal. She has one dog named Lulu, Lulu is a pitbull mix and was a rescue,
and her background revealed she had been abused. Lulu is the best dog and Shelby’s best friend.
Outside of school and work Shelby loves to spend time with her family and friends. She’s always helping
her Mom and Grandparents with projects around the house. Her loves are riding dirt bikes and playing
softball for Edgewood High School.
Heather RipplReceptionist/ Assistant
Heather came to us straight out of Municipal Government when she was looking for a change. Heather lives with her husband Jeff and dog Nala, one of the many dogs she has rescued. Heather has one son Camen, whom she is very proud of! Heather is a lifelong resident of Madison Township; she is a graduate of Madison Local Schools, has been an active advocate in the school, as well as, the football team as a coach’s wife. In her free time, Heather enjoys watching football, remodeling homes and spending time with her family. We’re happy to have her aboard.