Archive for the Our Staff Category

ACCESS – Deep In the Heart of Texas…

The International Veterinary Emergency & Critical Care Symposium, or IVECCS, was held in Texas this year, and boy did we have a blast!

For those who are unfamiliar with the event, IVECCS is a lot like Comic-Con, only instead of movies, comics, and pop culture, thousands of people attend to learn more about and celebrate emergency and critical care for animals!

Our doctors and staff enjoyed attending lectures and hands-on labs, while our Marketing and Admin teams rocked the job fair in an effort to recruit some stellar doctors, specialists, RVTs, and VTS’s to join our team. We all loved being able to meet new people and see old friends.

We had a great time and can’t wait until next year!










Dr. Dog Reporting for Duty!

Dr. Owczarczak isn’t the only one excited about her new scrubs! Kodiak, pictured here, likes to dress up and was happy to play with her mom after a shift in our South Bay location’s ER.



Tails from the Road – Lectures Edition!

ACCESS had a busy week bringing our doctors and staff to speak at different events. Here is a glimpse into what we were up to:

Platt College in Alhambra invited ACCESS back again to talk to techs in training. Gabe Esparza spoke about life as an ACCESS RVT, and his background leading up to where he is now at our South Bay hospital. Gabe said has not had a dull moment in the ER and he shared his insights with the group of 15 students. They asked what he looks for in employees that he works with, and how he studied for the VTNE. He also spoke about the ACCESS Academy that new hires go through during their first 90 days to succeed in their department. Maybe they will work for ACCESS one day!


Dr. Karen Schachterle, from our Avian & Exotics Department, spoke about surviving exotics emergencies at the DVM2k dinner held at City of Angels. The event is aimed as “the youthful veterinary community” although there were people of all ages there, ranging from doctors, to techs, to students. Everyone was genuinely interested in learning what they could from Dr. Schachterle to apply in their own practice, and attendees who already work with her were able to ask questions of her to build on their relationship so exotic emergencies don’t have to be so scary.

Leah Basinais, Director of Operations at ACCESS, gave a lunch and learn for staff at Conejo Valley Veterinary Hospital in Thousand Oaks on compliance and estimate acceptance. It was a condensed version of a Continuing Education lecture she gave recently at our Woodland Hills hospital, and fear not if you missed it and think it would benefit your practice, she is going on tour! For now, Leah will be giving this same talk in Cerritos and Bakersfield in September, the South Bay in November, and Culver City in December so stay tuned for more info.


The North Bay/Westside VMA chapter had their monthly dinner meeting and Dr. Mike Becker, from our Emergency and Critical Care Department in Culver City gave a lecture on antimicrobial use in emergency situations. It was a huge turnout with the hotel running out of chairs at one point, so it must be because word got out that ACCESS was sponsoring and Dr. Becker had an interesting topic. We look forward to him giving the lecture at ACCESS Culver City sometime next year!



How is a Pitbull Not a Pitbull?

Pitbull is actually a common name for several types of dogs!

Formal breeds that are often considered to be Pitbulls include the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, American Bully, and Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

Here, our Client Care Supervisor, Airami, snuggles his Pitbull Hazel before her Internal Medicine exam.




Jamie’s Sweet 16!

We were honored to be a part of Jamie’s birthday celebrations and so happy to see him turn 16! Jamie belongs to Dr. Clarisa Robles, our talented neurologist at ACCESS LA, and loves spending time with her and his brother Oreo.

Happy Birthday Jamie!

'Jamie'-Robles-Sweet-16-A 'Jamie'-Robles-Sweet-16-


How Does an Ultrasound Work?

In an ultrasound examination, a probe sends sound waves to the body and receives the echoing waves, creating an image on the screen. It’s a great way to examine the inside of the body in a painless, non-invasive way.

Here Dr. Gideon Daniel, one of our Internal Medicine specialists, demonstrates some of his techniques on a mango! He showed us how to perform an ultrasound as well as how to collect a sample—we commonly take urine and fluid samples during an ultrasound to run further diagnostics.




From East Coast to West Coast

Janelle started out with ACCESS in our San Fernando Valley location in April 2015, working with our Internal Medicine specialist, Dr. Domenico Bianco. Since then, they’ve come to ACCESS – South Bay to provide internal medicine services to the pets there! We’re excited for her new beginning and wanted to learn more about her!

How did Janelle decide to work in veterinary medicine?
She always had a true passion for animals, having grown up saving birds, snakes, and mice in her Massachusetts hometown. As a child she shared her bedroom with two orphaned turtles and a variety of pocket pets. When she found out that Holyoke Community College offered a veterinary technician program, it was a natural choice for her!

Why did she choose the internal medicine?
Janelle was happy to be placed in the department, as that is where she was needed most at ACCESS. She likes the challenging cases and variety of those seen. Speaking with clients, assisting her doctor, and scrubbing in for procedures. “It’s different every day!”

What brought Janelle to ACCESS?
Janelle has traveled quite a bit, living in Massachusetts, North Carolina, Mississippi, Arizona, and San Diego. She worked as the head technician at a practice in Mississippi, managed a hospital in North Carolina, and was a Realtor in Arizona, where she sold $1.6 million of real estate in her first year. She decided it was time to get back into veterinary medicine and wanted direct experience in specialty medicine, which is when she found ACCESS.

What is her favorite animal and why?
Janelle loves chipmunks! They remind her of autumn at home and she enjoys how tiny and adorable they are.

Does Janelle collect anything?
In high school, Janelle worked at a jewelry store, where she developed a passion for gemstones! Her collection varies from precious to stones collected at the beach, with her favorite being labradorite for its beautifully unique colors.

What would he be doing if she weren’t at ACCESS?
Outside of veterinary medicine, Janelle has dreams of owning her own café.

What is Janelle’s favorite meal and the best thing she cooks?
Janelle LOVES seafood but her best prepared meal is Chicken Carbonara.

What is her favorite procedure to see or do?
Janelle really enjoys laparoscopic procedures. She is fascinated with surgery in general but with the use of a camera to collect images and biopsies of a specific organ is rewarding.

What is one thing Janelle wishes pet owners would start doing?
From an internal medicine prospective, Janelle advises pet owners to stick to one nutritional diet and always consult a veterinarian before changing it. “Frequent changes to a diet can cause minor to major issues, such as pancreatitis.”

What does she consider to be her greatest achievement?
“My life has afforded me the means and opportunities to discover the world. I have made many lasting friendships, cherished memories, experienced different cultures and walks of life. I believe it’s made me a more open-minded and accepting person.”

Outside of the hospital, Janelle likes going to the beach, cooking, fishing, and spending time with her friends and family. We are so lucky to work with such a caring, dedicated, and intelligent person and we’re very happy to have her in our family!



Potential Problems for Pup!

Dr. Alex Barnes saw Kobe today after some typical puppy trouble–eating out of the trash can! Luckily, Dr. Barnes determined Kobe is perfectly fine.

If your pet gets into something potentially dangerous, be sure to call your veterinarian right away!



Caring in Critical Care

Before Gabe Esparza, RVT, went to South Bay, he was a technician in our ER. Here he’s pictured training some of our rock star ER staff.



Danny: Animal Lover, RVT, Veteran



Danny has worked for ACCESS since June 2013, starting out at our Los Angeles location and currently working in the ER at ACCESS – San Fernando Valley. His sweet, stoic demeanor is paired with sharp wit and a set of skills necessary for success in a busy emergency and critical care department. We’ve worked alongside him for quite some time and wanted to learn more about what makes Danny tick!

How did Danny decide to work in veterinary medicine?
Danny grew up surrounded by animals and wanted to “pay them back for all they had given [him].”

Why did he choose the emergency room?
Danny likes that he gets to experience everything—different medical issues, procedures, and treatments! He enjoys being able to interact with all of the other specialties in the hospital and widening his field of knowledge.

What brought Danny to ACCESS?
He worked in general practice for two years and felt as though he hit a ceiling. Danny then decided it was time to go to a hospital that offered emergency and specialty medicine so he could learn more.

What is his favorite animal and why?
Danny loves all animals, but prefers dogs—he loves being able to play with them!

What would Danny be doing if he weren’t an RVT?
He would be a helicopter mechanic! Danny was a Marine for eight years, where he trained at Pendleton, then Edwards Airforce Base. Danny enjoyed his time as a Marine and even became a Sergeant!

What is his favorite meal and the best thing he cooks?
Danny loves sushi and anything Italian, though his best dish is pork chops—stuffed with sundried cranberries and bleu cheese!

What is Danny’s favorite procedure to see or do?
Danny likes to observe a PDA, or patent ductus arteriosus, correction. This procedure is performed by board-certified cardiologists and simply put, is when a hole in the heart is filled to prolong the life of an animal (or human)! Danny truly loves being able to assist in surgeries, as he’s very hands-on and thrives on the experience.

What is one thing he wishes pet owners would start doing?
“Learn more about the animals you are interested in before getting one as a pet and stop putting so much faith in medical advice offered on Google. Although it’s a great resource, there is a lot of misinformation there. Speak with a vet if you have questions!”

Outside of the hospital, you can catch this fluent Spanish speaker at the gym with friends, playing video games, or indulging his wanderlust with plans to see Asia and Australia! We appreciate Danny’s passion, knowledge, and skillset and are honored to have him on our team!

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South Bay

2551 W. 190th St., Torrance, CA 90504

Tel: (310) 320-8300 - Fax: (424) 293-7254

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