Our Team 2018-01-23T21:13:54+00:00

Meet our veterinarians

Peter Berk, DVM

Roaring Brook Veterinary Hospital began as a one-veterinarian, three-room clinic when Dr. Peter Berk purchased the facility in 1964. After more than forty years and three additions, the facility has expanded to a large three-veterinarian, fully-equipped hospital with a full-service boarding and day care center.

Dr. Berk received his Bachelor’s of Science Degree and his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Missouri. He interned for one year in Bradenton, Florida and completed a one-year post-doctoral study in surgery at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Berk is very involved in the veterinary community. He is a past president of Hartford County Veterinary Medical Association and is an active member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Animal Hospital Association, the Connecticut Veterinary Medical Association and the Hartford County Veterinary Medical Association. Dr. Berk was a recipient of the NIH grant for study in thoracic surgery and a consultant with a United Technologies primate space research project.

Dr. Berk’s three children have also been successful in their careers. Katie, who lives in Vermont, is a clinical psychologist with a Ph. D., and sons Andrew and Jeff are equine veterinarians living in Los Angeles and Florida, respectively.

His hobbies include competitive horse sports – he frequently participates in equestrian events and polo. He also enjoys skiing and tennis. Dr. Berk has a cat, Joe Black, who resides with us here at the hospital, eager to greet each visitor.

David Staudacher, DVM

Dr. David Staudacher grew up in Connecticut and returned in 1988 when he joined the veterinary team at Roaring Brook Veterinary Hospital. Co–owner of the hospital, Dr. Staudacher has enjoyed watching the practice grow during the two decades he has cared for pets.

Dr. Staudacher completed his undergraduate education at the University of Pennsylvania and received his Bachelor’s Degree in Biology in 1978. He continued his veterinary education at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine and was awarded his Veterinariae Medicinae Doctoris in 1986. He counts internal medicine and soft-tissue surgery among his favorite areas of professional interest. He is a member of the American Animal Hospital Association and the American Veterinary Dental Society.

Dr. Staudacher and his wife, Allison, are the proud parents of three children: Adam, Christian and Emma. The family’s four-legged members include a Yorkshire terrier named Artie and a cat named Cuddles. During his leisure time, Dr. Staudacher enjoys gardening, cooking, listening to music and cheering on New York’s sports teams.

Jacoba van der Giessen, DVM

Dr. Jacoba van der Giessen grew up in Nova Scotia, Canada, and graduated from the Atlantic Veterinary College in Prince Edward Island, Canada. After practicing for 2 years in Pittsburgh, she decided to move closer to extended family and joined the RBVH team. Her special interests in veterinary medicine involve internal medicine cases and radiology. Having had exposure to holistic practices at her last position, Dr. van der Giessen decided to pursue chiropractic training to enhance her approach to optimize quality of care. She received her certification from the Healing Oasis Wellness Center; the only nationally accredited chiropractic school in the country, and has demonstrated and appreciated significant improvement in success rates of treatments by integrating chiropractic with traditional care.

Dr. van der Giessen shares her home with three cats: Nimbles, who was abandoned as a kitten at a veterinary clinic; Scotch, who she adopted from the humane society, and Pocus, a four-legged (and beautiful) gift from a client in Pittsburgh. She also lives with her dog Harley; a Nova Scotia Ducktolling Retriever, who was a rescue while Dr. van der Giessen attended veterinary school, Harley had been abused for the first 10 years of his life. After investing in years of training, Harley has shown tremendous improvement, from the days of severe conflict aggression to now being considered a therapy dog. When she’s not at the clinic, or traveling to visit with friends and family, Dr. van der Giessen really enjoys spending time outdoors and loves to be out on the water (Harley joins her in the kayak).

Josh Malouin, DVM

Veterinarian Dr. Josh Malouin has been with Roaring Brook Animal Hospital since June of 2015. Dr. Malouin attended Providence College for his BS in Biology, University of Connecticut for his Masters in Animal Science, and Tufts University for his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine. His professional interests include allergy and dermatology and arthritis treatment.

Dr. Malouin has a beagle/Jack Russell terrier mix named Peanut. In his free time he enjoys landscaping, building fish ponds, fly fishing, RC planes and intricate pumpkin carving.

Meet our hospital managers

Tim Burns

Hospital manager Tim Burns joined the Roaring Brook Animal Hospital staff in 2002. He has worked in the animal care field for more than 20 years and previously worked at St. Mark’s Veterinary Hospital and Animal General Veterinary Hospital in New York City. He likes interacting with clients and pets and enjoys helping keep pets healthy. Outside the hospital, Tim works part–time as a spinning instructor at a local gym. He also enjoys gardening and cooking. He and his wife, Bonnie, and their daughter, Kendall, share their home with three dogs, Misa, a Pug, Maxwell, a French Bulldog, and Smokey, a rescued five-year old boxer. They also have a ten-year-old African Grey parrot named Kuka, and a rat named Pinkie.

Joanne LeClair

Joanne LeClair joined Roaring Brook Veterinary Hospital in March, 2103. As one of our receptionists, her responsibilities include welcoming clients and their pets to our practice, scheduling appointments, and answering phones. Her favorite part of her job is meeting new clients and their pets.

“I love being a part of a team that makes a difference,” Joanne says. “We make a positive impact in the lives of families and their pets in this community.”

Joanne has two dogs: Penguin, a border collie, and Bean, a pointer; and two horses, Molly and May. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, fishing, and exploring with her husband and dogs.

Allison Smith

Allison Smith is a certified veterinary technician and received her certification from Northwestern Connecticut Community College. She has been employed full-time by Roaring Brook Veterinary Hospital since June of 2012 but has been working in the animal related field since 2004.

Roaring Brook Veterinary Hospital’s friendly atmosphere appeals to Allison. “I really enjoy my co-workers. Everyone is friendly and very knowledgeable,” she said. “All of the doctors specialize in different areas and make for a better overall experience.”

Visiting her family is one of Allison’s favorite things to do in her spare time. She also enjoys fishing, hiking and cooking. She shares her affection with her two dogs, Finn and Dutch, and her 2 year old cat, Jack.

Meet our veterinary technicians

Samantha Lackey

Veterinary Technician Samantha Lackey says she derives great satisfaction from playing a role in the care of our clients’ pets as well as the family-like atmosphere among staff members. “The staff at Roaring Brook Veterinary Hospital is wonderful and fun to work with,” she says. “I love that I am able to spend each day helping all of the different animals in numerous situations, and feeling at the end of the day that I have helped in some way care for these pets.”

At home, Samantha has an 8-month-old Springer Spaniel named Ralphie that she enjoys taking to dog dock diving trials. She also has an 8-year-old Maine Coon Cat named Buddy. Beyond her work and pets, she also enjoys playing soccer, working out, going out dancing, running, and spending time with friends and family.

Kerry McGrath

Technician’s Assistant Kerry McGrath has been with Roaring Brook Veterinary Hospital since February of 2010 and has been employed in the pet care field since 2007.

An avid pet person, Kerry says that her work provides a great opportunity to mix her love of animals with her day-to-day work-life. “I enjoy working at this veterinary hospital because we see a wide variety of animals,” she says, “including birds, small animals, and reptiles, which I have a lot of experience with.”

Kerry also manages a wide array of pets at home, which include two cats, a Jenday Conure, a Chinchilla, five Gerbils, one Hamster, five toads, and two Beta fish. Her free time is spent watching movies, working out, playing Wii, cooking, reading, visiting museums, travel and pet sitting and grooming.

Les Padykula

Having recently joined the Roaring Brook Veterinary Hospital staff in July of 2012, Les Padykula looks forward to contributing his talents to the veterinary team. “We have a great team of caring staff,” he said. “I enjoy the learning experience and the continuing education seminars that are provided at the hospital.”

Les received his veterinary assistant certificate from Tunxis Community College and has been working in the animal related field for four months.

Playing music on his keyboard and singing are two of his favorite hobbies. He also enjoys watching movies and fishing in his spare time. At home, Les is busy taking care of his many pets: Toby, his yorkshire terrier, Princess and Daisy, his two cats, S’Mores, his guinea pig, and Kam, his veiled chameleon. Les also has a keen interest in tropical fish.

Tatiana Bechard

Tatiana Bechard is a veterinary technician at Roaring Brook Veterinary Hospital. She joined our team in December, 2012, and her responsibilities include assisting our veterinarians in exam rooms, taking patient history, educating clients, and assisting with treatments. Her favorite part of her job is working with our exotic patients. She has an Associates Degree in General Studies, and is currently enrolled in a Veterinary Technician Certificate program at Northwestern Connecticut Community College. She also has a Veterinary Assistant Certificate from Tunxis Community College.

Tatiana has a dog, three cats, a snake, and a leopard gecko. She also paints pet portraits in her free time, and enjoys camping and going to the beach.

Jesse Saucier

Jessie Saucier has been a Veterinary Technician’s Assistant at Roaring Brook Veterinary Hospital since October 2012 and is responsible for keeping “the background process running.” She has been employed in the pet care field for “longer than (she’s) willing to admit,” with prior experience including pet sitting and working as a kennel technician. Jessie most enjoys helping find homes for rescues that are brought to our hospital. She has two cats, Cassie and Callie, and a Papillion named Ella Bella. In her spare time, she likes to spend time with her two nieces, golf, garden, and cook.

Meet our receptionists

Alicia Kirsch

Alicia Kirsch joined Roaring Brook Veterinary Hospital in August of 2015. Acting as a liaison between clients and hospital staff as one of our receptionists, she most enjoys talking with clients and building relationships with them and their pets. “I love being in an environment where I get to be around animals, but also get to use my degree,” Alicia says. Alicia has bachelor’s degrees in both Spanish and Biology. She also has four years of experience in an animal-related field.

Alicia has two dogs: Pistol, a Beagle, and Hudson, a Dachshund. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, crafting, cultivating her “not-so-great green thumb,” thrifting, repurposing, and cooking. She also writes for the Winsted Journal and spends her weekends working at a winery.