Nelson Animal Hospital

Our Team

Doctors:

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Dr. Clark Nelson, DVM

    Dr. Clark Nelson received his Bachelor of Science degree, graduating cum laude in chemistry from Colorado College.  After receiving his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Colorado State University in 1979, he completed a five year program in a large referral hospital in Los Angeles, CA, and was honored by the California Academy of Veterinary Medicine on three separate occasions. Dr. Nelson returned to Colorado in 1983. He opened Nelson Animal Hospital that same year. In those first few years practicing in Colorado, he realized there was a need for first class veterinary care for avian and exotic pets. This led to Dr. Jerry LaBonde joining the practice in 1990 to fill that void.  Not long after they became business partners and expanded to include Homestead Animal Hospital in Centennial in 1993 where Dr. LaBonde and several others provide care to avian and exotic patients along with cats and dogs. Dr. Nelson is a member of the AVMA, DAVMS, CVMA and AAHA. Dr. Nelson enjoys golfing and working outdoors on various projects. He enjoys all animals but has a particular love for Golden Retrievers.

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Dr. Meredith Douglas, DVM

    Dr. Douglas grew up as an “army brat”, moving from place to place, including 5 states and 2 countries.  She and her family settled in Littleton, Colorado in 1992, where she attended and graduated from Arapahoe High School.  Dr. Douglas then received her Bachelor of Science in Zoology from Colorado State University in 2000.  She continued her education at CSU and obtained her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 2004.  After graduating, Dr. Douglas worked as an associate veterinarian at Westridge Veterinary Hospital in Wheatridge, Colorado until she joined the staff at Nelson Animal Hospital in 2006.  She is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association.  Meredith and her husband Steve married in 2006 and have two children, Jacob and Emma. They also share their home with a Golden Retriever, “Madison”, French Bulldog “Peaches” and orange cat “Owen”. Meredith enjoys cycling, skiing, and camping with her family. She is also an avid Broncos fan.

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Dr. Matt Hitchcock, DVM, Medical Director

    A native of Green Bay, Wisconsin, Dr. Hitchcock escaped the frozen tundra to attend Florida State University on a National Merit Finalist Scholarship. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Business which led him to a career in television advertising sales in Chicago. Upon realizing that his true calling was veterinary medicine, Dr. Hitchcock began working at an animal hospital, while taking prerequisite veterinary courses. He received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Wisconsin in 2008.  Shortly after graduating he joined us at Nelson Animal Hospital. He is currently a member of the AVMA, CVMA, DAVMS. Dr. Hitchcock’s special interests include soft tissue surgery, neurology and pain management. He is currently a member of the AVMA.  Outside of work he enjoys the outdoors while hiking, camping and skiing. Matt and his wife Esther have two children, Chloe and Carter and a lovable Pit Bull named Lambeau.

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Dr. Jessica Liao, DVM

 Originally born in China, Dr. Liao moved to the U.S. when she was 6-years-old. After settling down in Reno, she attended the University of Nevada, graduating Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Business and a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. This led Dr. Liao to a career in advertising and event management. However, her heart wasn’t in it and she decided to pursue other career options. She found her love for veterinary medicine and started volunteering at animal hospitals to learn more about the field while taking prerequisite veterinary courses. Dr. Liao earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the Colorado State University in 2018 and joined Nelson Animal Hospital shortly after. The driving force behind her career in general practice is her passion for helping others and her desire to support the bond between pets and their owners. Her professional interests include nutrition, soft tissue surgery, preventative medicine and effective communication. When not working, Dr. Liao enjoys hiking, riding bikes and paddle boarding with loved ones including her two dogs, Buxton and Brinkley. She also enjoys traveling, cooking, and dancing in her spare time.

Support Staff:

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Ginny Betz, Practice Manager

Ginny began her career with animals at the age of twelve as a volunteer for the Denver Dumb Friends League. She truly found her calling and hasn’t left the field since! Ginny brought her skills to Nelson Animal Hospital in 1991, and eventually took on her current role as Practice Manager. In addition to making sure the hospital runs like a well-oiled-machine, she is the owner of a successful Denver area pet sitting business called Pet Tenders. Her gentle nature and compassion for animals is truly emphasized in her participation as a foster parent for Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Rescue USA. Four special Cavaliers stole her heart. They are “Tally”, “Eddie”, “Tristan” and “Elliot”. They are joined by tabby cats, “Finn”, “Arlo “and a Siamese character “Ajax”. Ginny loves to travel, especially with her dogs. Their favorite destination is the beach in Carmel, CA. In her spare time Ginny enjoys reading, singing and listening to music and working on her Washington Park home and garden.

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Beth Johnson, CVT

    After spending time showing dogs in her youth, and tending to her urban farm in San Diego, Beth packed her bags and headed to Denver to attend Bel-Rea Institute of Technology.  Upon earning her Associate of Applied Science degree, and her certification as a Veterinary Technician, she began her career at Nelson Animal Hospital. Beth works hard at staying up to date on feline and canine nutrition which she also inventories and purchases for our patients. Beth has a true knack with cats, at the hospital and at home. She shares her home with three cats, Julius”, “Maisie” and “Hazel”. A chinchilla named “Santiago” also shares her life. When not herding cats, Beth stays busy keeping up with her daughter, Kaylie and perfecting her green thumb.

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Jamie St.Clair, CVT

    Jamie traded the rolling hills of Iowa for the Colorado Rockies when she moved here to attend Bel-Rea Institute of Technology. After graduating she received her Associate of Applied Science degree and became a certified technician in 2009.  Directly after that accomplishment, Jamie interned for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Fort Collins, Colorado. Following her internship she took a position with Antech Diagnostic Laboratories in Denver.  Jamie missed having interaction with animals and was ready to apply her technical skills in a hospital setting. Nelson Animal Hospital welcomed Jamie in 2010 and gained a technician with excellent laboratory skills. Alas, Jamie doesn’t spend all of her time in the lab. If you have visited our hospital you have most likely been greeted warmly by Jamie. She has a way of helping our patients and their owners feel at ease. Jamie and her husband Blake, and son Verlyn make the most of their spare time, camping, fishing and gardening.  They also try to return to Iowa and Kansas to visit family as often as they can. When they return to Colorado they are welcomed by their two cats, “Link” and “OB”.

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Jeff Herriot, CVT

    Jeff grew up in the Denver area and tried out a few different careers before attending Bel-Rea Institute of Technology in 2006 and receiving his Associates of Applied Science degree and becoming a Certified Veterinary Technician in 2008. While attending school, Jeff took a part time position at Nelson Animal Hospital caring for our boarding pets. After graduating, we realized we didn’t want to lose such reliable fellow and persuaded him to stay on as a Technician. Jeff has an extremely big heart which shows in how he cares for animals and also his co-workers. Jeff and his fiancée Stephanie share their home with Greyhounds, “Maddie” and “Murphy” and “Daisy” the cat. If that weren’t enough they also volunteer with Colorado Greyhound Association. Jeff enjoys renovating homes in his spare time.

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Mike Lillmars, VT

 Mike is a longtime member of the Nelson “family”. His family are neighbors. The Lillmars have brought their pets here for over 18 years, so Mike practically grew up here! Mike attended Colorado State University and graduated with a degree in Bio Medical Science with a concentration in Veterinary Medicine. During school Mike worked with us during summers and school vacations to get more experience in a clinical setting. Once he graduated college we were very happy he chose to accept a full time position with us. Mike’s interests include music, golf, any outdoor activity and fixing up his jeep. Another fun fact about Mike: he is a triplet! He enjoys time with his childhood buddies Chloe, a Maltese and Annie a Golden Retriever. Mike is looking forward to adopting a dog of his own someday soon.

Karen Gordon, Client Service Representative

    Karen grew up in Rapid City, South Dakota. She has had a variety of jobs in her life, but most enjoyed the small animal practice she worked at in Rapid City for over 10 years. When she relocated to the Denver area, she worked at a large veterinary practice. While she enjoyed it, she felt it was too hectic to give the clients and their pets the personalized attention she excels at. That was our lucky day! Karen has fit in well with our “family” and has brought many skills and years of experience to her job. Karen enjoys spending time with her daughter, Hannah and her Golden Retriever “Murphy”, Bichon “Abby” and cats “Macy” and “Mia”. Karen enjoys watching movies, and working in her garden.   

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Linda Roney, Client Service Representative

    

   Linda grew up in Detroit, Michigan. She attended college at University of Michigan and graduated with a degree in Human nutrition/biology and Chemistry.

Linda began here as a client, bringing her Yorkie’s and Maltese for care. She then became a Client Service Representative at our “sister” hospital, Homestead for many years. Retirement and travel were calling so she left her full time position there. It wasn’t long before she missed it though! She began by filling in here and there when others were out, but now works for us on a part time basis. Linda loves to sing and is active in her church choir. She is also studying Sanskrit and is active in a French club. Linda enjoys traveling with her husband. When at home, her Yorkie “Zeus” and 3 adult sons keep her busy.   

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Crystal Malament, Client Service Representative

    

Crystal is a true Colorado native. After graduating high school she attended University of Colorado where she graduated with a degree in Psychology and diaspora studies. She has always been interested in the welfare of animals and found herself working for organizations such as the Dumb Friends League and Rocky Mountain Feline Rescue. She also has volunteered with conservation organizations working with Hawaiian birds, sea turtles, wolves, tigers and wild mustangs. Not wanting to leave behind her work with animals, she joined our “family” and has been a great fit. Crystal has many interests and endeavors outside of her time here. Character design, storyboarding and illustration are among her talents. She is also a doula, and a court appointed special advocate for abused children. She and her fiancé, share their lives with 3 dogs, “Goose” a Catahoula, “Quinn” a Puggle, and “Teek” a Cattle dog mix.