Surgical Oncology Staff

 
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DR. CHRISTINE WARZEE DVM

Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Surgeons
ACVS Founding Fellow in Surgical Oncology

Dr. Warzee graduated from the University of Liege in Belgium in 1993.  She worked as an associate in a small animal general practice in France for two years before she came to the United States.  She completed her small animal internship at the University of Florida and her surgical residency at Michigan State University.  Dr Warzee achieved ACVS board certification in 2002.  

Since completing her surgical residency, she has actively pursued her interest in surgical oncology.  In 2000, she accepted a Visiting Assistant Professorship in Surgical Oncology at Auburn University in Alabama.  In 2001, she joined the University of Illinois Veterinary Cancer Care Clinic where she completed a surgical oncology Fellowship under the mentorship of Dr. Nicole Ehrhart.  Upon completion of her Fellowship, she accepted a faculty position in surgical oncology at the University of Illinois.  In 2004, she joined the faculty of Michigan State University as the surgical oncologist to contribute to the launch of the Center for Comparative Oncology.  As the only faculty member in the surgical oncology department for over 8 years, her work was dedicated to developing a focused surgical oncology service.  She was also instrumental in instruction of professional students and residents in the field of surgical oncology.  

In 2012, the American College of Veterinary Surgeons recognized Surgical Oncology as a discipline-specific field of expertise.  Dr. Christine Warzee was named an ACVS Founding Fellow in Surgical Oncology, one of only 35 surgeons to attain this distinction.  Dr Warzee is one of two practicing veterinary surgeons in the state of Michigan to have achieved this prestigious distinction. 

Since 2013, Dr Warzee has brought her many years of training, dedication and skills to her position as head surgeon with Animal Cancer and Imaging Center. 

WHAT IS AN ACVS DIPLOMATE?

The term "ACVS Diplomate" refers to a veterinarian who has been board certified in veterinary surgery. Only veterinarians who have successfully completed the certification requirements of the ACVS are Diplomates of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons and have earned the right to be called specialists in veterinary surgery.                           

Veterinarians wishing to become board certified must complete a three-year residency program, meet specific training and caseload requirements, perform research and have their research published. This process is supervised by current ACVS Diplomates, ensuring consistency in training and adherence to high standards. Once the residency has been completed, the resident must sit for and pass a rigorous examination. Only then does the veterinarian earn the title of ACVS Diplomate.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO HAVE AN ACVS DIPLOMATE AS PART OF YOUR PET’S SURGICAL CARE TEAM?

The Animal Care Team is made up of the pet owner, the general practice veterinarian and the ACVS specialist. Rapid advances in the veterinary profession can make it difficult for veterinarians to remain current with recent developments in techniques and technologies required to manage some of today's complex surgical problems. Possessing the training, expertise and equipment to perform the most demanding procedures, the ACVS Diplomate can help the primary care veterinarian provide the best possible care to the patient.

Difficult cases may be best managed by a specialist. When a referral is indicated, the primary care practitioner should discuss this process with the client. Pet owners routinely deal with specialists in human healthcare and are familiar with the concept of specialization and the referral process. Owners appreciate referrals for specialized surgical care. Many ACVS Diplomates in private practice work at "referral-only" animal hospitals. Such practices require that the primary care veterinarian contact them rather than the animal owner. In this way, the surgical specialist can be properly informed as to the patient's history and the scope of the current problem.

Once the referral is made, the ACVS Diplomate will provide state-of-the-art surgical patient care. As part of the healthcare team, the surgeon will keep the referring veterinarian and client informed of the patient's progress throughout the specialized care. After patient discharge, the referring veterinarian may also provide additional postoperative follow-up care. This continuity between surgical specialist and primary care veterinarian ensures the best possible outcome for the patient.

SURGICAL SUPPORT STAFF

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Cristina Vernon

LVT

Cristina is the head surgical technician at ACIC.  She earned her Associates in Applied Science degree in Veterinary Technology from Baker College in 2008 and became licensed that same year.  Cristina has since accumulated experience in multiple veterinary specialties, but her passion has always been surgery.  She came to ACIC in 2011 to be a part of our surgical specialty team and has since become the head technician in the surgical oncology department.  Cristina shares her home with her Doberman Maximus, Labrador Dudley, her husband and young son.  In her spare time she rides and shows Arabian horses.

 
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Samantha Hartman

LVT

Samantha, a surgical technician and patient care technician, graduated from Bel-Rea Institute of Veterinary Technology in 2011.  She was licensed in 2012.  Since graduation, she has worked in emergency medicine and continues to do relief shifts in the ER to keep her skills fresh.  Samantha is married and has a 2 year old son, Xander.  She also has 3 cats (a tuxedo named Zoe and 2 tabby's named Zapp and Morbo).  She spends her free time drawing (Samantha is an excellent artist!) and enjoys reading.