We are proud of the excellent doctor team we have built at Northwest Animal Hospital. Each of our doctors is dedicated to practicing high quality medicine and providing an individualized approach to each client and pet that walks through our door. We are collaborative and work well together to ensure that each of our patients is considered a patient of “Northwest Animal Hospital” and not the individual doctor you may see at your visit – many doctors working together to provide your pet excellent care is always better than one! Our doctors are dedicated to educating themselves on the most up-to-date treatments, therapies, and technology in order to bring the most advanced health care to our client’s pets. We are passionate about the service we are providing to our clients and believe that quality customer service is a dignified and honorable pursuit. Our doctors’ diverse interests balance our team so that we are able to provide comprehensive pet care, and we believe in the importance of teamwork – our team’s success depends on each of us using our individual abilities while working towards our collective goal.
Dr. Jessa Kocher
Dr. Jessa Kocher is a native of Illinois. She attended the University of Illinois and graduated with her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 2011. Dr. Kocher practiced at a progressive small animal hospital outside of Charlotte, NC for a year after graduation before her love of the mountains prompted her to move across the country and join Northwest Animal Hospital in May 2012. She took over the role of Medical Director at Northwest in November of 2016.
Professionally, Dr. Kocher considers herself a generalist with a special interest in internal medicine, ultrasonography, soft-tissue surgery, and dentistry. She loves solving puzzles and enjoys challenging medical cases. Being thorough in both her preventative medicine and diagnostic approaches is important to her in order to ensure that our clients’ pets get the very best medical care. “Becoming a veterinarian for me was a lifelong goal. I grew up loving science and medicine, and I love that as a veterinarian I get to be a surgeon, an anesthesiologist, an ophthalmologist, a dentist, an internist, an infectious disease specialist, a pharmacist, a dermatologist, etc. but also focus on preventative care and work closely with clients to help their pets live long, healthy lives!”
Outside of her work life, Dr. Kocher enjoys spending time with her husband (Brandon), son (Eli), and daughter (Aria) in beautiful Colorado. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, yoga, down-hill skiing, photography, and gardening. Her family loves hiking, camping, and exploring the mountains. At home she has two Australian Shepherds, Lyra (a deaf lethal-white that has learned many hand signals) and Khaleesi (a ball of energy and craziness), a cat named Gandalf the Grey Wizard (who her son named), and a frog named Ribbit (also named by her son).
Something that most people don’t know about Dr. Kocher is that she was a long-distance runner for 16 years before her right leg was paralyzed for 4 months. She misses running mainly because it was an outlet for all of her energy!
Dr. Kevin Lisenbee
Dr. Kevin Lisenbee is originally from Oklahoma, where he grew up in the suburbs of Tulsa with his two sisters. He completed his bachelor’s degree and his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine at Oklahoma State University. Dr. Lisenbee has been with Northwest Animal Hospital since February 2017, but has been working in the Pikes Peak Region since June 2014.
As a general practitioner, Dr. Lisenbee provides primary care for pets of all ages, and has a special interest in client education, dentistry, and geriatric/hospice care. He is furthering his education by studying traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture. His favorite part of his job is being able to help people keep their furry family members happy and healthy.
“As a veterinarian, it is my distinct pleasure to work with families to provide the best veterinary care possible for not only pets, but for their family as a whole,” he said. “I believe that client education is a crucial part to any hospital visit, as it provides pet owners with a better understanding of what exactly is going on with their pets, thus allowing them to be better stewards of their pet’s care.”
At home, Dr. Lisenbee and his partner, Tanna, have a Cocker Spaniel named Ruby. He has had Ruby since she was 11 months old and while she was a very shy dog then, she has become a lovable dog with the people she knows well. She loves going on walks in the foothills but draws the line at mountains. She also loves barking at the mailman and napping in her window seat. In his spare time, Dr. Lisenbee enjoys camping, hiking, and skiing but also the occasional video game. He loves Pub Trivia and has a team that meets every week. In the mornings he loves doing crosswords with a big breakfast and a cup of coffee, and in the evenings, he enjoys trying new restaurants and breweries with Tanna. He also likes most things Sci-Fi and Fantasy, whether as a book, audiobook, TV show, or movie.
Something that most people don’t know about Dr. Lisenbee is that he is an Eagle Scout and very proud of it. It shaped him as a youth and gave him good values to uphold and worthy goals to strive for.
Dr. Wendy Elbert
Dr. Elbert is originally from Dallas, Texas, but has also lived in Alaska and Oklahoma, where she attended Oklahoma State University and obtained her BS in Animal Sciences and her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine. Go POKES!!
Dr. Elbert started out in mixed animal practice, but her interests and focus on small animal dentistry and surgery prompted her to seek a small animal practice, finding Northwest Animal Hospital a perfect fit! Dr. Elbert has a special interest in ultrasonography, ophthalmology, and wound management. Her favorite part of her job is finding out what is making an animal sick, treating the pet, and once well again, getting to send them home with their family.
“I want the best for each of our patients and believe it is imperative to provide excellent medical care, including preventative medicine and client education! Happy, healthy pets make a happy family!”
Dr. Elbert loves the mountains of Colorado and spends her time outside of work “jeeping,” exploring, and having great adventures with her husband. She is an avid reader and enjoys watching her kids play sports. Dr. Elbert also has four fur kids, 3 dogs and 1 cat.
Something that most people don’t know about Dr. Elbert is that she loves all things Halloween (the holiday and movies)! She loves to go to all the haunted houses and corn mazes every year!
Dr. April Van Valin
Dr. Van Valin is no stranger to helping enrich the lives of Northwest Animal Hospital’s clients and their pets. Prior to joining Northwest Animal Hospital as an associate veterinarian in November 2017, she spent 15 years of her life working with pets and animals in our community. In fact, the first job she ever held was with Northwest Animal Hospital working as a kennel assistant, then moving into the veterinary technician role. She worked part time with Northwest while attending college for her undergraduate degree and throughout veterinary school.
After completing her undergraduate degree in Microbiology at Colorado State University she went on to obtain her Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. She then attended Iowa State University where she obtained her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine in May 2012. After practicing in the Pikes Peak Region for five years she took some time off from work to welcome son Brendan to her family. She is excited to be able to come home to Northwest Animal Hospital and continue giving back to this wonderful community.
As a general practitioner, Dr. Van Valin provides primary care for pets of all ages, and her special interests include internal medicine, with an emphasis on endocrinology, feline medicine, and dentistry. Preventative care is also one of her areas of focus. In addition to her dedication in providing superior quality of medicine and service to our patients, Dr. Van Valin’s other favorite part of working for Northwest Animal Hospital is the relationships that are formed with clients and patients. “Building long-term relationships with our patients and their families, and becoming part of their extended family brings me great joy and satisfaction.”
Outside of her work life, Dr. Van Valin enjoys singing in an A Capella barbershop show chorus (she hopes to win a national contest with her chorus one day), running (she’d love to eventually run a half-marathon), curling (where she holds the position of Skip on her curling team), reading, horseback riding, and painting. She also loves spending time with her husband (Brett), son (Brendan), their two dogs (Remington and Ronin), and their cats (Wilber and Henry).
Something that most people do not know about Dr. Van Valin is that it is one of her life goals to star in a Broadway musical!