Orchard Road’s Doctors Reflect and Anticipate




Orchard Road’s Doctors at our Christmas Party from left to right:  Joel Huffman, Linda Flieg, Kristen Kennedy, and Cheryl Distajo

About one year ago, I promised that I’d be a better blogger and true to many New Year’s Resolutions, that one fizzled like a candle in a rainy Illinois winter. The good thing about failed resolutions is that it isn’t hard using them again-the hard part is doing better.

As a veterinarian, my job is stressful. Trying to provide the utmost in patient care while trying to stay on time during a busy day and doing the most with an owner’s financial means is hard. But, it’s hardly ever boring. But, it also can be fun. Reuniting a recovered patient with its family after a devastating illness and welcoming new kittens and puppies are what fuels my tank.  I have to enjoy those moments and not let the euthanasia of a pet I’ve seen for my whole career and its whole life or a case with a bad outcome sap my desire to keep working hard.

The other great thing about my job is my co-workers. See my previous blog about the Unsung Heroes. Three especially great co-workers are my boss, Dr. Linda Flieg and the other two associates, Dr. Cheryl Distajo and Dr. Kristen Kennedy.  We talk about cases daily, vent our frustrations(about anything from cases to refrigerator repairmen), help each other with surgeries, engage in heated debates, share stupid YouTube videos, and do the best we can to make sure that your pet receives the best continuity of care regardless of who is in the building.

I wanted to start this New Year’s blog thanking them and giving them a chance to share their reflections on 2015 and anticipations/hopes for 2016:

Dr. Kristen Kennedy:

Looking back on the past year, there have been many ups and downs. We have had some great success stories and some heartbreaking endings. This year has been true evidence of our philosophy that our patients and clients are part of our family with the amount of emotional and intellectual investment that all of our staff has put into helping our patients get better. I have been the most proud this year of how all four of the doctors work together. We are constantly discussing difficult cases and making sure the hospitalized patients get excellent continuity of care. If you are unfortunate enough to have a very sick patient in the hospital, you will know that your pet will be in good hands no matter what. Our success stories have been because of the hard work of all of the doctors and our support staff. This year has also been a challenge learning how to balance family with work as my son just turned a year old in October. Being a mother is a new role for me, but it is so much fun and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Looking forward to 2016, I am eager to continue learning new things. I am going to be signing up for more ultrasound training so we can begin to offer echocardiography (ultrasound of the heart) at Orchard Road. I’m excited about the challenges ahead and hope to keep learning and growing as a veterinarian—always trying to do better for our patients every day.

Dr. Cheryl Distajo:

I’m trying to wrap my brain around the fact that another year has passed. I saw many familiar faces and noses and some brand new ones. I am very blessed to have so many wonderful animals and people in my life. We have been through some wonderful times together and some heartbreaking ones but I am so grateful to have been a part of each of your lives. A great man once said “With great power comes great responsibility.” Well, maybe not a great man, but Spiderman. I also know I don’t have great power but I have a great responsibility to you and your animals. They are family and many of you are like extended family to me. I have laughed and cried with you and always try to treat your animals as if they were my own. I thank you for letting me be part of your lives and for trusting me to care for your family.

I have the honor of working with some amazing doctors and staff. I couldn’t do my job without them. They make my job look easy and they easily keep up with my long list of demands. I want to say thank you to each of them. You are the heart of ORAH and an amazing team!

Dr. Linda Flieg:

When I look back at 2015  I see many loyal clients, some of whom have been with me since 1992 and a few that have been with me before I opened the doors to Orchard Road Animal Hospital. I know that behind that success is a great team of doctors that are working with a great core staff. The doctors have been here 13, 12 and 7 years. Many clients would have been amazed that all 4 doctors were working on a case electronically on Christmas Eve! What a great group of people to work with!
We have also watched new additions of digital radiography for both the body as well as our dentals. We have seen over 100# of weight loss in our Fitter Critter Club. We watch those animals become more active and more playful and their proud owners beam at their own success stories.

Looking forward to 2016, we will continue to help our patients become healthier, our patient owners more informed and keep ourselves healthy as well!


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