Surgery/Orthopedics - Staff
To learn more about any of our staff members, simply select their name below to reveal their information.
Brian Van Vechten, DVM
Brian Van Vechten, DVM is a surgeon and an owner of Veterinary Surgical Services at VRCC. Dr. Van Vechten has a broad background and interest in soft tissue surgery, orthopedic surgery, oncologic surgery, and reconstructive surgery. He is a member of the Veterinary Society of Surgical Oncology (VSSO.org). Dr. Van Vechten was raised in east San Diego County. An early interest in animal care led to involvement in 4-H and FFA where he showed dogs, cattle, and sheep. After graduating Granite Hills High School in 1974, Dr. Van Vechten attended the University of California at Davis majoring in Zoology. He was accepted into U. C. Davis Veterinary School and attained a doctor of veterinary medicine degree in 1982. Following graduation from veterinary school Dr. Van Vechten owned and operated Valhalla Veterinary Clinic in El Cajon, California. In 1989 after 7 years in general practice Dr. Van Vechten sold Valhalla Veterinary Clinic to further a longtime interest in veterinary surgery. He was accepted into a small animal surgery residency program at the University of California at Davis where he obtained training in soft tissue surgery, orthopedic surgery, and microvascular surgery. Study projects included growth plate deformities and the resulting alignment problems and evaluation of porto-systemic shunts. Dr. Van Vechten completed his residency in 1992 and was voted resident teacher of the year by the graduating class. He then did extensive traveling and lecturing in Europe, Africa, and Asia. In 1994 Dr. Van Vechten moved to Fort Collins, Colorado to pursue a fellowship in surgical oncology at Colorado State University Comparative Oncology Unit. This training included surgeries in limb sparings, soft tissue resections, and surgical options for vertebral tumors. Dr. Van Vechten moved to Denver following the completion of his fellowship in 1995 and joined VSS in June of that year.
Outside of work, Dr. Van Vechten and his wife Liz enjoy spending time with their three children: Alexandria, Jacob, and Nicholas. Their German shepherd Rhea and golden cross Rocky are integral parts of the home. Two grey tabby brothers Bingo and Bobo are additional members of the house. Dr. Van Vechten and his wife Liz are actively involved with “Be the Change Volunteers”, an organization that builds and maintains schools in underdeveloped countries. Dr. Van Vechten is an avid golfer and frequently combines golf with his passion for travel. The proximity of the Colorado mountains allows the family opportunity for weekend trips of hiking and skiing. Dr. Van Vechten is proud to be part of the Veterinary Referral Center of Colorado and feels blessed to be able to work with such a dedicated and talented staff.
Chad M. Devitt, DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVS
Chad M. Devitt, DVM, MS, DACVS is a board-certified surgeon and an owner of Veterinary Surgical Services at VRCC. Dr. Devitt attended Iowa State University for his undergraduate and Veterinary Training and graduated from Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine with honors in 1992. After graduation, he was an intern at the Animal Medical Center in New York City. Chad graduated from his internship in 1993 and received the President’s award for Intern of the Year. From New York City, he traveled to Fort Collins, Colorado, beginning a three-year small animal surgical residency at Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital. During his residency at CSU, he developed many of his professional interests including reconstructive surgery, minimally invasive surgery and surgical oncology. He also completed a Masters Degree in Veterinary Clinical Sciences (Surgery). Following, his surgical residency, Dr. Devitt became a Surgical Oncology Fellow at the Animal Tumor Center at Colorado State University in 1996. During his fellowship, he received additional training and experience in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer in small animal patients. Performing surgeries such as limb salvage in dogs with osteosarcoma, radical maxillofacial surgery, and brain tumor resections.
In February of 1997 Dr. Devitt passed the American College of Veterinary Surgeons board exam and became a board certified Surgeon. He moved to St. Petersburg, Florida following his fellowship to join the Tampa Bay Veterinary Specialist in 1997. During a summer trip back to Colorado in 1999, he visited VRCC’s new facility and soon after, he joined Veterinary Surgical Services. When away from the hospital, Dr. Devitt enjoys mountain biking, windsurfing, fly-fishing, and backcountry skiing.
DVM, MS, PhD, DACVA, DACVCP
Kurt Grimm, DVM, MS, PhD, Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Anesthesiologists and Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Clinical Pharmacology is a former assistant professor of anesthesiology and pain management at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. He earned his DVM from Iowa State University in 1995 and later his MS and PhD from the University of Illinois. He is co-editor of several texts including Pain Management for the Small Animal Practitioner and Lumb and Jones’ Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia, 4th edition.
DVM, MS, DACVA, CVA
Etta is a native Coloradoan and grew up in Denver. She graduated from Colorado State University and completed a small animal internship at the University of Missouri-Columbia. She completed a residency in anesthesiology and a Master’s degree at the University of Illinois. She is a Diplomate member in the College of Veterinary Anesthesiologists. She was a faculty anesthesiologist at Cornell University and CSU. Etta has also completed IVAS training in acupuncture and became certified in 1999. She has been in private practice for the past 15 years.
Jennifer has been a surgical coordinator for VSS since October 2002. She very much enjoys observing and learning about all the surgical procedures done by the VSS surgeons, and using that knowledge everyday when speaking with clients. She lives in Parker, CO. with her husband Bradley, 2 beautiful daughters, her goofy epileptic dog Chance and their newest family member, Lacy who is a fun calico poly dactyl kitten. Jennifer enjoys spending time outdoors, gardening, drawing and painting and playing with her children.
Laurie is originally from a small town in Ohio. She traveled to Colorado after attending college and majored in Biology at Kent State University. She has been living here for the last 14 years. She decided to pursue a career in working with animals after moving to Denver. She worked her way up in the veterinary world and was a hospital manager at a veterinary hospital for 7 years. She joined VSS in May 2008. Laurie lives with her husband Patrick, their daughter, Peyton, and their 3 other furry kids, Drexel, that cat who has used 3 of his nine lives, Puck the Pug and Lemmy the Affenpinscher. When Laurie is not at VRCC, she enjoys biking, yoga, hiking, swimming, skiing, going to concerts, and relaxing with her family.
Leslie is a 2004 graduate of Bel-Rea who joined VSS in the summer of 2006.
Previously she spent two years at a non-profit general practice. Leslie is very intrigued by surgery and loves that the surgeries we do are so important to maintaining a happy life for our “Best Friends”. Leslie enjoys spending time with her mom, sisters and new nephew in Colorado Springs.
Melissa is a certified veterinary technician and graduate of Bel-Rea Institute of Animal Technology. She is originally from Chicago and transplanted here in 1999. She has been a technician since 2003. Melissa volunteers for the CACVT a couple times a year at local events and for environmental organizations. Melissa’s favorite part of her job is meeting all the new clients and their pets. Melissa loves to ride her bike, hike, snow shoe, anything outdoor adventurist. She also enjoys the local music scene, seeing live shows and going to art museums and galleries.
Kay Kelly, C.V.T.
Kay loves being part of a team that works to make sick animals better and feels the staff at VSS and VRCC work intensely and lovingly toward that goal. She is challenged by the fast paced role of a surgical technician. Kay brings 11 years of animal welfare experience with the Dumb Friends League, Foothills Animal Shelter and Cat Rescue Christchurch, New Zealand. She graduated from Bel-Rea in 2011, is certified as a Veterinary Technician in Colorado and New Zealand. Long, long ago, she graduated from George Washington University, worked in The White House and was Vice President for Risk Management at Sports Car Club of America. She and her husband live in Cherry Creek and Christchurch New Zealand where they foster neonate kittens for various cat rescue organization when he isn’t racing cars and she isn’t playing cards.
Kelly joined VSS in September of 2000, moving here from Texas. Surgery is very fascinating to Kelly and she thrives in the fast-paced setting. Kelly enjoys using vacation time to volunteer with VIDAS, an organization that holds free veterinary medicine and education clinics in the Yucatan of Mexico. She enjoys being able to give back to the community by helping the growing health concerns in such a poor country. In working for VSS, Kelly finds new and intriguing ways to love her job and help strengthen the human-animal bond.
Lara grew up in Michigan and moved to Colorado in 1995. She attended and graduated from PIMA Institute in the summer of 2003. After graduation Lara worked at a general practice veterinary clinic for 3 years. Lara joined the staff of VSS in November of 2006 and enjoys learning something new every day about veterinary medicine and surgery. Lara enjoys spending time with her friends, family and two dogs ‘Teddy’ and ‘Vinnie’.
Jessica Reincke, C.V.T.
Atom was born in Baltimore, Maryland and moved to Denver in 1992. He has been at Oral Roberts University, majoring in Biomedical Chemistry and Colorado Institute of Culinary Arts. Atom has run the recovery room at VRCC since 1998. The recovery room is special to VRCC- a warm, quiet place where our patients are continually monitored by Atom the entire time they are there. Atom is a wine enthusiast, loves cooking, baking and spoiling his young son, Kaige (who he points out is a perfect child!)
Blair is a Colorado native with of love of equine sports. Blair’s original career path was criminal justice, but was injured while attending the police academy. During her recovery she made the decision to go to Bel-Rea to become a veterinary technician. She graduated in 2009 and passed her board certification in June the same year. Blair has an extensive background with horses, showing hunter/jumpers, teaching kids how to ride and completed her Bel-Rea internship at Littleton Equine Medical Center. After graduation she worked in a small animal, one-doctor practice, but her interest in surgery led her to Veterinary Surgical Services in June 2010. Her hobbies include reading, scrap booking, hiking and hot-rodding. During the warm months she loves to go swimming and visit the zoo with her son, and keeps her equine interest as a hobby.
Courtney is a Colorado native. She enjoys taking care of children, hiking, swimming, competitive dance, and camping with her family and friends at her family’s cabin. Most people would say Courtney has her own personal zoo. She started rescuing reptiles when she was 14 years old. She has become very fond of her scaly exotic critters. Courtney has 3 iguanas, a black throat monitor, chinchillas, and 5 dogs. Courtney is a graduate of PIMA and has been with the surgery department here at VRCC since June of 2010.
Courtney Baier, C.V.T.
Courtney is a 2008 graduate of Colorado Mountain College where she earned her AAS degree in Veterinary Technology and passed her board exams in June of the same year. She developed an interest in anesthesia and surgery which lead her to join VSS in April of 2013 after working in both a general and specialty practice. Courtney enjoys the fast paced environment and the fact that no two days are the same. In her spare time Courtney enjoys running, checking out the music scene, spending time with family and friends and exploring the great city of Denver.