Hank Wietsma, DVM, MS, ABVP Avian
Dr. Hank Wietsma has been a vital part of the veterinary community in Rhode Island for greater than 20 years. He obtained his Bachelor of Science from Fairfield University in 1978, a Master of Science in Reproductive Immunology from Ohio State University in 1981, and his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Florida in 1985. In 1997, Dr. Wietsma became board certified through the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners in Avian Medicine and has maintained certification since. Dr. Wietsma is a past president of the Rhode Island Veterinary Medical Association, current president of the Companion Animal Foundation, a non-profit organization that he helped establish which provides funding of veterinary care to underprivileged owners in Rhode Island. In June 2016, Dr. Wietsma also opened the Pets in Need Clinic in Riverside, Rhode Island, to provide high quality veterinary care to animals whose owners have faced severe financial challenges. Dr. Wietsma was also named the Rhode Island Veterinarian of the Year in 2016.
Sam Lester, DVM
Dr. Sam Lester is originally from Massachusetts. He obtained a Bachelor of Science in zoology at Connecticut College in New London. He finished his veterinary training at Tufts in 2008, completed an internship year at Ocean State Veterinary Specialists in 2009, and was lucky enough to stay on staff as an emergency doctor for an additional five years. Besides his veterinary degree, Tufts also presented him the opportunity to meet his better and smarter half, Carrie, who is also a veterinarian. Together, they have two beautiful daughters, Claire and Mary, as well as two dogs, two cats, two cows, and two goats!
Fred Levy, DVM
Ariana Mihailides, DVM
Stacey Rodehorst, DVM
Melissa Price graduated from South Kingstown High School and went on to get her Bachelor of Science in Animal Science from the University of Rhode Island. She has been a veterinary technician since 1998. Melissa is a certified veterinary technician and she has maintained her credentials since obtaining them. She spent ten years at Ocean State Veterinary Specialists in both the Intensive Care Unit and the Emergency and Critical Care Department. She lives with her two handsome boys, three dogs and two cats. In her spare time, she enjoys sports and creative outlets, such as making three-dimensional cakes and painting.
Christine completed a bachelor of science degree and graduate studies in civil engineering at Old Dominion University. She is a license professional engineer who recently retired after 35 years in the profession. She began her veterinary career as a volunteer at Veterinary Healing Arts in 2013 and now works full-time as a veterinary technician at Coventry Animal Hospital. Christine is a licensed instructor and evaluator for the national Pet Partners therapy animal program, an advisory board member for Tufts Paws for People, and a certified crisis response team (along with her dog Rafter) for HOPE Animal Assisted Crisis Response. Christine lives with her husband Joe and their two rescued Newfoundlands, Rafter and Sawdust, in the house they designed and built themselves. In her free time, Christine enjoys volunteering with her therapy dog and assisting with Newfoundland rescue.
Gerald graduated from Roger Williams University with a Bachelor's of Science in Biology and a minor in Psychology. His animal handling experience has come from multiple internship and volunteer opportunities, which have included the Mystic Aquarium Animal Husbandry Team, Operation Wallacea wildlife research, and the New Zealand wildlife bird rescue. He also enjoys scuba driving, sailing, swimming, and basically anything outdoors. Gerald's favorite animals are birds, and he especially loves penguins!