Jennifer joined Highland Animal Clinic initially as a receptionist in 1999. At that time she had little interest in following her parents’ footsteps as a veterinarian, but soon realized that it was one of the most fun and truly rewarding jobs out there. She completed her degree in Psychology at Montana State University and continued on to Veterinary School at the University of Minnesota, and finally re-joined the practice full-time as an Associate Veterinarian in 2009, and became the practice owner in 2016. She adopted O’Malley, an American Bulldog Mix from Anchorage Animal Care and Control, and continues to be an advocate for animal adoption and rescue. She loves working in South Anchorage, and contributes to the family environment of Highland Animal Clinic. You can find her outside of work hiking mountain trails, floating and fishing the Kenai River, cross country skiing the coastal trail, or listening to local music in and around Anchorage.
Veterinary Technician Assistant
Darby graduated from East Carolina University in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a concentration in Substance Abuse Recovery. Subsequently, she returned to her birthplace of Anchorage, Alaska after graduation to give back to the community in which she was raised, and she practiced as the lead counselor at an outpatient recovery setting for several years.
“I have always loved animals – I’ve always felt a stronger connection to them and often got in trouble for dragging stray species home as a child; however, because of my work with human trauma patients over the years, I got to see the efficacy and validity of the human/animal bond come alive through various animal assisted therapies and those particular healing interactions sparked my interest to learn about veterinary medicine as well.” Darby is passionate about promoting education and information regarding a mutually valuable and dynamic relationship between people and their pets that ultimately benefits the health and well-being of the animal and their human.
When not at Highland, Darby might also be found working at a local emergency vet hospital, volunteering to support community mental health needs, exploring her passion for music, hiking a local trail, baking sweet treats (for the dogs too!), using sparkle pens to make the world a prettier place, or spending snuggle/play time with her 3 dogs and 1 spoiled cat – Bruce, Sox, Love and Janis.
Client Service Representative
Born & raised in Anchorage, Izabelle (A.K.A Izzy) is a lifelong Alaskan and animal lover. As a child Izabelle was always committed to the care of critters of any size & shape and she always said she would work with animals one day. Izabelle never pictured her “place” in the vet med field being at the front desk, but that is where she has found herself and where she loves to be!When she’s not at work, Izabelle keeps her life busy with two young sons, three dogs, and a cat. She enjoys camping with her family, creating art, and reading!
Caitlyn grew up in Boise, Idaho but fell in love with Alaska from the moment she visited. She first came up here in 2017 to work with sled dogs but moved here full time in 2021. She is excited to be gaining experience with the supportive team at Highland Animal Clinic before going to vet school herself.
With a degree in Biology from Centre College, Caitlyn hopes to go to vet school in 2023. She says that her dream of becoming a veterinarian originates from her lifelong love of animals and her childhood experience of attending college classes with her mother. She has taken every opportunity to work with animals of all shapes and sizes, including zookeeping at the Alaska Zoo, racing sled dogs, and monitoring wildlife in South Africa. She hopes to start a career here in Alaska working with sled dogs and wildlife.
Caitlyn’s favorite animals are moose, muskox, and African wild dogs (no, they’re not from Alaska but they are so cool!). In her free time, she likes to hike, ski, play ultimate frisbee, and paint.
Maria, LVT, VTS
Maria recently located here and learning to love all that Alaska has to offer. She enjoys exploring the outdoors, whether it is skiing, hiking, biking, you name it. Maria has been a licensed technician for over 8 years. When it comes to veterinary medicine, Maria’s true passion is dentistry. She loves all things teeth, so much so that she specialized in it! If she isn’t outside or in a patient’s mouth, she’s likely obsessing over her sourdough starter, Edgar Allan Dough, and trying to achieve the perfect loaf.
Also if we can update Nova from Front Desk to “Client Service Representative/ Veterinary Technician Assistant” and Darby to “Client Service Representative/ Veterinary Technician Assistant/Inventory Manager”
Pam Tuomi, DVM
Dr. Pam spends most of her time in Seward as the Senior Veterinarian at the Alaska SeaLife Center, but comes in once weekly to Highland Animal Clinic to continue providing expertise in companion animal preventative health care, soft tissue surgery, and treatment. Her work during the Exxon Valdez oil spill in sea otter rehabilitation inspired her desire to work with wild life. She is internationally known for her work in marine animal medicine and oiled wildlife response. She is actively involved in research, education, and rehabilitation programs and has traveled throughout Alaska, Russia, Canada and even to Antarctica for research work. For Dr. Tuomi, the excitement in veterinary medicine comes from the many challenges of figuring out problems and finding solutions. Dr. Tuomi and her husband, Dr. Jack, live in Anchorage and have 5 adult children and 4 grandchildren. In addition to their golden retriever Sisu, they recently adopted another senior golden named Buddy. Sisu is very busy growing up and keeping everyone reminded of the joys of puppyhood!
Monica was born in Frankfurt Germany on the army base. Her family moved state side when she was 3. Originally from Chandler Arizona, the military moved her family to AK in 1993.
She made her start in the veterinary field while living in Fairbanks and continued the journey once she moved to Anchorage. She has been in the field for 18 years and because her passion for helping and caring for animals is so strong, she’ll be at it for another 20. She worked in general practice for 13 years before moving into emergency medicine for 5 years. She recently decided that she wanted to return to general practice, so she joined our team March 2020.
Being a single mother of 2 teens, she’s done her best at balance work and life. Some of the things she is passionate about are raising her children to be good people, high standards of medicine and care for her patients in this field, continuing her knowledge in veterinary medicine, karaoke, trivia and ROLLER DERBY!!!
Favorite quote: Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better. ~ Maya Angelou
Julie was raised on a small centennial farm in Michigan. From barn cats to pet goats, pond frogs to horses, the four-legged critters were her every day community. “Born in the Barn” animal stewardship has been a lifelong occupation as well as a passion. A spontaneous adventure, during summer break from college, landed Julie in Homer. Enchanted by nonstop wind and rain pounding on her tent Julie was smitten by the Alaskan shore and skyline. After graduation from Central Michigan University, where she earned a BS in Speech and Communications as well as Education, Julie returned to Alaska. Every day since has satisfied the gypsy soul that steers her compass. Skiing, hiking, biking, sailing, paddling, gardening and just plain getting out there, Julie has covered hundreds of miles with her son Ian and the dogs that have shared their trails. Lisa, the Border Collie, winning hands down the award for going the extra mile. No matter how far they roam they are always welcomed back by the kitties that keep their house a home. Julie enjoys the dark winter days for the opportunity to catch up on reading. Highland Animal Clinic has occupied a sustained position in a resume that had started to exceed novel in length. Being part of this incredible team, dedicated to people and their companions, satisfies that need to be part of something that really makes a difference in the lives of those we serve.
Originally born in Riverside, California, Nova moved frequently as a child, even ending up in Butts, Pennsylvania. More recently she’s made her way to Anchorage to support her partner in his career, and was excited for the opportunity to be a part of Highland Animal Clinic to pursue her own career.
After graduating High-school she went to college in Spokane, WA for Fine Arts. Art has always been a passion of hers and growing up was always told that was what was going to be her path, so she poured her heart into it. She knew at the time she loved animals and had experience with reptiles and insects but didn’t consider that Vet Med was for her until I got her first dog, Mr. Bean, a few years later at 23.
In her free time she tries to stay creative and paint or draw, otherwise spends time with her little family playing video games/watching movies or at the gym trying to beat the cold weather blues.