Meet Our Veterinary Team
in Pittsfield, MA
Berkshire Veterinary Hospital is staffed with a group of interactive veterinarians, and a support staff of twenty paraprofessional technicians, receptionists, and patient care assistants. Many staff members have been long-term employees providing service to Berkshire County pet owners for the past 40 years.
Veterinary Assistant /Customer Service
Bio Coming Soon
Bio Coming Soon
Veterinary Assistant /Customer Service
Bio Coming Soon
Karen earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Massachusetts.
In August of 1999, Karen became a Certified Veterinary Technician. Preparing for, taking, and passing this vigorous examination was a major accomplishment.
She has had a life-long passion for animals and has shared her life with many well-loved pets. Besides her cats and dogs, she has raised dairy goats and finches.
Karen joined the staff of Berkshire Veterinary Hospital in 1979. It was clear from the start that her patient care skills would be an asset to our group. Karen often talks about the unconditional love animals give to people. She makes it her goal to return that affection by making certain that every patient in her care feels cherished and comfortable. Her contribution is the most important part of our hospital.
When you call our hospital and Karen answers the phone, you will quickly sense her dedication to our patients and our clients. Her many years of experience have helped her recognize subtle symptoms of potentially serious problems. She feels a great sense of satisfaction with her work because she knows she can help animals and people, and she can make a difference.
Breanna attended the Animal Care Program at Berkshire Community College and graduated with her degree in 2016. She interned at Fitter Critters and Greylock Animal Hospital before joining the staff at Berkshire Veterinary Hospital. She finds an interest in all animals and has a special passion for dogs. Currently, she owns two dogs and a Netherland Dwarf rabbit.
Robin came to BVH almost 40 years ago straight out of the Veterinary Technology Program at Holliston Junior College, graduating in 1978. She initially worked as a technician but for health, reasons transitioned to receptionist duties because she loved the hospital and wanted to continue working at BVH. She enjoys being a member of our team and loves interacting with our clients and their pets.
Robin and her husband Steve have raised three children, Genna, Steven, and Bryan. Additionally, outside of work, Robin likes to read, watch movies, and spend time with her family and friends. She recently retired from teaching CCD at St. Joseph’s Church after 24 years. Currently, she is on the citizen’s advisory board at the Department of Developmental Services, a service that, as a parent of an autistic individual, is close to her heart. Robin so loves her job at BVH that she can be found working just about any day of the week.
Sandra Clark joined our staff after working for several years in the health care field. She left a supervisory position to join the Berkshire Veterinary Hospital staff. Sandy’s positive attitude and energetic approach to her work clearly convey the pleasure she feels working with our staff and patients.
Sandy’s responsibilities at Berkshire Veterinary Hospital include assisting the veterinarians, patient care, and receiving and admitting patients.
Melissa joined our staff in 2013 and came to our hospital with considerable animal work experience. She holds an associate’s degree in Animal Care from Becker College. She owns or has owned a wide variety of pets throughout the years. Previously she was employed at the Animal Inn and occasionally still works there. As a receptionist, Melissa is often behind the desk sharing her upbeat personality with the staff and clients. She is a valued member of our staff.
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Darlene joined the BVH staff in January of 1995. She has an associate’s degree from Berkshire Community College. Her primary responsibility is in-hospital patient care. She is dedicated to making our patients as comfortable as possible and takes a great deal of pride in her work. Her favorite animal is the English Mastiff.
Veterinary Assistant / Client Services
Arianna has always had a love for animals and previously worked at Petco for three years before joining our team. Outside of work, Arianna enjoys riding her four-wheeler, hiking, and spending time outdoors with her dogs. She is always interested in learning new things and loves a good challenge.
Veterinary Assistant / Client Services
Bio Coming Soon
Bio Coming Soon
Rachel Zuckerman, CVT
Certified Veterinary Techinican
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Bio Coming Soon
Shelly joined the staff of Berkshire Veterinary Hospital in 2016. She is currently completing the Veterinary Technician Program at Holyoke Community College.
Shelly’s responsibilities include being a veterinary assistant and patient care. Meticulous and compassionate care is a natural part of Shelly and it is easy to see that she enjoys doing her best to help our patients. She has become a valued member of our staff.
I started working at BVH in 2020 and have worked with animals my entire life. Currently, I attend MCLA as Pre Vet major. In my free time, I love to go horseback riding and hiking.
Emily was first introduced to BVH as a client and also through our Explorer Program. She attended the Animal Care Program at Berkshire Community College. She has been with us for over five years. Outside of BVH, Emily’s main passion is horses which she began riding at the young age of six. She has competed in the WNEPHA circuit and “A” rated horse shows in the hunter/jumper division. She currently owns a cat named Axle and a dog named Luna.
Cathy joined the staff of Berkshire Veterinary Hospital in 1977. Cathy has received national recognition as second runner-up in the Veterinary Technician Excellence in Veterinary Nursing Award. Over 150 applicants from across the United States were considered for this award. We are very proud of Cathy. The awarded article that follows is as it appears in the February issue of the Veterinary Technician magazine.
At a time when much of the veterinary technician profession is experiencing growing pains and job dissatisfaction, it is refreshing to speak with Cathy Hall, CVT, Head Technician at Berkshire Veterinary Hospital in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Cathy recently captured the second runner-up position in the Veterinary Technician Excellence in Veterinary Nursing Award, sponsored by Nutramax Laboratories, Inc., makers of Cosequin. However, she has possessed for years a prize that many struggles for an entire career to achieve-contentment and fulfillment in her work.
Cathy’s nomination letter, submitted by practice owner Dr. Gerald Lemieux, is filled with such words as “enjoy”, “excitement”, and “love” to describe Cathy’s attitude toward her job, patients, and clients. Even more impressive is the fact that this is an attitude Cathy has maintained for 21 years at the same practice! A love of animals drew Cathy into the profession at an early age; she began volunteering at Berkshire Veterinary Hospital when she was only 16 years old. A short time later, Cathy graduated from the veterinary technology program at Holliston Junior College and was hired as a full-time employee of the hospital-and Dr. Lemieux has counted his lucky stars ever since! “As a practice owner, I cannot overemphasize the value of a fellow professional like Cathy,” says Dr. Lemieux. “She has been enthusiastic and proactive about moving ahead with the times for an incredible 21 years. Cathy has the unusual ability to pass tremendous knowledge and experience on to other technicians and to help new veterinarians feel comfortable in the practice. She has grown with our practice and contributed substantially to our success.”
The list of things Cathy accomplishes at work before 8:00 AM seems enough to fill almost an entire day. She sometimes starts her day as early as 5:30 AM-a starting time she chooses in order to ensure that the “back-room” is under control when the veterinarians arrive. Throughout the day, Cathy clearly enjoys her patients. “She is often the first to notice that a patient needs a new blanket or a cage cleaned,” says Dr. Lemieux. It is routine to find Cathy grooming patients as they recover from anesthesia.” Cathy has a special affinity for Golden Retrievers (she has three of her own), and she rarely lets one with a matted coat leave the hospital without a grooming.
Cathy says one of the things she enjoys most about her job is the variety it provides. “I like that every day is different-different clients, different patients, different procedures,” she says. “And I really enjoy simply being able to be there to help. I know how much my animals mean to me, and I’m glad I can make a difference for other people and their animals.”
Cathy gives much credit for her ability to succeed to Dr. Lemieux, who she says has been a wonderful teacher and very supportive through the years. “Dr. Lemieux is very open to showing us new things and is wonderful about keeping; the hospital equipped with the latest equipment,” she says, “if I’m interested in it, he buys it!” And when Dr. Lemieux does buy new equipment, Cathy is ready to learn. “Whether it’s endoscopy or ultrasound, Cathy knows the setup and is ready to learn as the procedure is done,” says Dr. Lemieux. “We recently learned that a Doppler unit is more accurate for blood pressure measurement in cats. The Doppler unit requires more technical skill in obtaining readings, but Cathy quickly became adept, and she was excited about it.”
Her well-equipped practice has allowed Cathy to develop several fields of interest, including dentistry and ultrasonography. Cathy is the practice’s primary dental hygienist, and she has improved record keeping in this area by initiating the use of a more detailed dental chart that records the depth of every gingival pocket, all missing and extracted teeth, and more. We used to use a much less detailed label,” says Dr. Lemieux, “but Cathy felt this new chart was more in keeping with our hospital’s goal of maintaining the most complete records possible.”
Cathy’s ability to adapt to the changes in the profession during her career is largely due to her commitment to continuing education (CE). She consistently attends technician conferences, including the annual Veterinary Technician EXPO. She also keeps her skill and knowledge sharp by participating in the Veterinary Technician CE program, in which she submits monthly quizzes to obtain CE credit. In 1994, Cathy took the Massachusetts Veterinary Technician Certification Examination and became a certified technician. However, Cathy feels that technicians who are not licensed or certified should not be assumed to be less skilled or knowledgeable. “I was only licensed 5 years ago,” she says. I have worked with people that were hired off the street and, with the proper training, they are just as good and do just as much as I do.”
Cathy does much to promote the profession and her practice. For more than 10 years, she has acted as an advisor for Veterinary Explorer Post 730, a program in which interested high-school students get a feel for the veterinary profession by coming into the hospital once a week and accompanying the technicians as they work. Berkshire also supports many local organizations by performing rabies clinics, and Cathy is a frequent volunteer.
When not at work, animals are still very much a part of Cathy’s life. She lives on a farm in rural Massachusetts, which she shares with three Golden Retrievers, three Percheron draft horses, zebra finches, parakeets, and some newly acquired chickens. One of Cathy’s off-duty passions is canine obedience training. Carrie, one of Cathy’s Goldens, has achieved the companion dog level (first level) of obedience training. Carrie is also a licensed therapy dog, and she and Cathy spend many hours visiting area nursing homes as well as Berkshire Medical Center’s hospitalized patients. In both 1993 and 1994, Cathy received the Outstanding Volunteer Award from Berkshire Medical Center.
The Impact the Excellence in Veterinary Nursing Award recognition has had on Cathy is one of professional reaffirmation. “I have never had my spirits boosted so much,” she says, “This has made me feel that everything I have done in the past 21 years has been worth it.” It has certainly been worth it to Dr. Lemieux. “Our technicians have a lot of responsibility, and Cathy has exceeded our expectations.” Clients often ask Cathy why she doesn’t become a veterinarian. Her response has always been — “because I am doing what I want to do”.
In-House Laboratory Technician
Marsha graduated from Northeastern University’s Certified lab assistant program. She is a member of the American Society of Medical Technologists.
She joined the Berkshire Veterinary Hospital staff as an in-house laboratory technician in 1973. Marsha’s years of experience, quality control, and consistent and conscientious work have made it possible for our doctors to enjoy the benefits of high-quality and reliable lab results. Complete blood counts, urinalysis, bacterial culture, and antibiotic sensitivity testing, fungal culture and identification, cytology, blood chemistries, and many other individual tests can be performed in our lab.
Marsha clearly enjoys her work. It’s not hard to hear the enthusiasm in her voice when she discovers yet another unusual lab result. Veterinary diagnostics are constantly changing and that is very exciting for Marsha. She leads the way in maintaining a very complete lab.
Stephanie Nebesnak, CVT
Certified Veterinary Technician
Stephanie Nebesnak became a full-time member of our staff in 1999 after She received her B.A. degree in Biology from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. In August of 2005, Stephanie passed her certification exams and is now a certified veterinary technician.
Stephanie’s responsibilities at Berkshire Veterinary Hospital include assisting the veterinarians, patient care, and receiving and admitting patients. Stephanie has a deep respect for all the patients she helps. Her attention to detail, compassion for her patients, and commitment to her responsibilities have made her a very appreciated member of our staff.
Erin Frissell, CVT
Certified Veterinary Technician
We first met Erin when she requested a 300-hour externship at our hospital. This externship would fulfill one of the requirements for her Berkshire Community College Animal Technician Certificate. Erin completed her requirements and we were very pleased to have her join our staff as a full-time employee.
Erin graduated from Berkshire Community College with a Bachelor of Arts Degree and a Certificate in Animal health. In the fall of 2003, she passed the Massachusetts Veterinary Technician Certification exam to become a Certified Veterinary Technician. Pursuing continuing education, she has successfully renewed her certification annually since first achieving it.
Erin is an experienced technician and clearly enjoys working with people as well as providing the best possible care for our patients. She enjoys educating clients and the community on animal health and wellbeing, as well as the ins and outs of her career as a Veterinary Technician, volunteering her time at schools, educational camps, and career days.
Outside of Berkshire Veterinary Hospital, Erin has been a part of the Terpsichore Dance Center Family for 28 years and has been teaching youth hip-hop there for the past ten years. Erin is very close to her family and enjoys spending as much quality time as possible with them. She looks forward to her annual Maine Vacation with all of the family that is able to go. She has become active in the Girlscouts of America. For the past few years, she became the “cookie mom” to local troop 957 and has also become active in fundraising for ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) ever since her father was diagnosed in 2011. She and her partner Cory are currently in the process of completely renovating an old family home with the hopes of making it new again very soon for their growing family which consists of their three children, Lilah, Beau, and Grady, and their many furry, feathered and finned little ones too!!
Erin has been part of our hospital for almost twenty years. She still loves working at Berkshire Veterinary Hospital. She has enjoyed taking on many new responsibilities, and most of all she clearly loves her Berkshirevet “Family”. We are very fortunate to have her on board.
Tracy joined the staff of Berkshire Veterinary Hospital in 1988. Tracy plays a key role in the management of our front desk and reception area. She has an ability to “get things done” that is greatly appreciated by everyone on staff. She not only has great ideas but she carries them to the “goal post”. It’s hard to believe she’s been a part of our group for over 30 years.
Tracy really enjoys our clients and their pets. Over the years she has gotten to know many of them personally and our clients have gotten to know her. She enjoys the long-term relationships she has made with many of our clients and their pets. She also enjoys getting to know everyone’s family. It makes her happy when people ask for Tracy. Tracy also looks forward to the first-time client and their new pet. It’s an opportunity to make new friends, to answer their questions, and to help them get the most out of that very special human-animal bond. It is always apparent that Tracy is proud of “her hospital” and finds great satisfaction in her work.
Outside of BVH, Tracy volunteers at the Dalton Senior Center. She also holds positions on the Dalton Finance Committee and the Beautification Committee.
Dr. Barbara Wohlfahrt, DVM
Dr. Wohlfahrt was born and raised in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. She knew from an early age that she wanted to be a veterinarian. Her interest in the veterinary profession increased greatly when her Old English Sheepdog was diagnosed with a life-threatening congenital heart murmur, and she and her family sought help at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary medicine. It was there that she met the world-renowned Dr. Gary Bolton. With his help, her puppy recovered from the open chest surgery that was necessary to repair the heart defect. She had seen firsthand what this profession could accomplish when a group of doctors work together for the benefit of their patients. Cornell left its impression and her goals were set.
After high school, Dr. Wohlfahrt attended Chatham College where she completed a major in Biology and a minor in German. She graduated cum laude with a BS in Biology. She gained admission to Cornell’s Veterinary College in 1986. As a veterinary student, she was a student intern at the small animal clinic and as a senior, she earned the coveted position of intern crew chief. She graduated from Cornell in 1990.
At the time of her graduation, Dr. Wohlfahrt established very high standards for the practice she wanted to join. These qualifications included AAHA membership, twenty-four-hour emergency coverage, around-the-clock nursing care, and a progressive multi-veterinary facility. In January of 1989 Drs. King and Lemieux traveled to Ithaca, N.Y. to interview a large field of graduates. A position would be available at Berkshire Veterinary Hospital in June of 1990. One applicant stood above the rest and she was offered the position. She visited numerous hospitals but when she visited BVH she quickly knew this was a practice she wanted to be a part of. Dr. Wohlfahrt joined our group in June of 1990 and she has become a respected and integral part of our professional staff.
During her long career at BVH, Dr. Wohlfahrt has raised three children, the youngest is graduating from high school in 2018, and all three have an interest in pursuing careers in education. To avoid the empty nest syndrome, her youngest child, having caught the “cat bug” has added two more kittens to their house full of pets. In her spare time, Dr. Wohlfahrt enjoys working with young children, reading, and running. Hoping to combine her running with an interest in travel, she is hoping to visit many running destinations, beginning with Quebec in 2018, and hopefully Utah and Key West in 2019.
Dr. Wohlfahrt’s special areas of interest include behavior medicine, dermatology, endocrinology, and ferret medicine. She is a member of, the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Animal Hospital Association, the Massachusetts Veterinary Medical Association, and the American Ferret Association.
Dr. Wohlfahrt’s husband, Dan McMahon, is the director of the Dalton Youth Center. They and their three children, Rachel, Ryan, and Kelly, live in Dalton.
Dr. John Makuc, DVM
Dr. Makuc was born in Pittsfield and has lived in Monterey most of his life.
He attended the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science in 1985. He then joined the staff of Berkshire Veterinary Hospital as a veterinary assistant. He became a very valued member of our staff until he was accepted at Tufts Veterinary College in 1990. We were happy that John was pursuing his professional goal, but we knew we would miss him. He attended Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine and obtained his DVM degree in 1994. Following his graduation, Dr. Makuc practiced at the Countryside Animal Hospital in Chelmsford Massachusetts. In 1997 he returned home to both Monterey and Berkshire Veterinary Hospital, it was great to have him back.
Dr. Makuc has memberships in the AAHA, JAVMA, MVMA, and the Turks and Caicos Veterinary Associates.
Dr. Makuc is a member of the Monterey Fire Department-initially joining as a junior member at the age of 13. Dr. Makuc is also an elected member of the town’s Board of Health, currently Chairperson. Community service runs deep in his family.
Dr. Makuc and his wife Cynthia, a former pharmacist for CVS, keep busy raising their four children and cherish the frequent family gatherings. They enjoy the company of their rescued potcake dogs from the Turks and Caicos Islands.