ACADEMY ANIMAL HOSPITAL

Meet The Team

MEET THE TEAM

Dr. Cahill, DVM

Dr. Cahill, DVM

Owner and DVM

Dr. Cahill is the owner of Academy Animal Hospital. She purchased this practice in 2012 from Dr. Mark Storey. She embodies the hospital’s mission of going above and beyond to provide pets and their owners the best care. She considers each patient and pet owner part of the Academy Animal Hospital family. Dr. Cahill is committed to advancing strong lifetime bonds between people and their pets. 

Dr. Cahill isn’t just a veterinarian. Being raised in a family with strong creative values, Dr. Cahill has a wide variety of artistic hobbies. When not caring for pets at the hospital, she can be found in her sewing room as she works on a new dress or knits a pair of socks. Her pets can often partake in the fun by exploring the two cat trees or napping on the futon in her pet-paradise of a sewing room. If not actively sewing, Dr. Cahill is likely dreaming up and designing her next cosplay. She also likes to unwind and watch anime or Netflix with her sons, William and Harrison.

In addition to her boys, Dr. Cahill’s family includes two dogs, Jimmy, a Mountain Feist, and Sara, a lovable mixed-breed. Her dogs even accompany her to work every day. Timmy, a six-pound, specially-abled and specially-spoiled cat is Dr. Cahill’s feline love. “The Girls” named Pinky Mabel and Lizzy, are Dr. Cahill’s other sweet feline family members that enjoy a bit of spoiling as well.

Dr. Helm, DVM

Dr. Helm, DVM

Associate DVM

Dr. Helm received her doctorate degree in Veterinary Medicine at Iowa State University. The fact that every day is different and that you’ll never know what you’re going to do on a daily basis is what she likes most about her job. In addition to that, building relationships with clients and their pets makes everything worthwhile. Dr. Helm joined the Academy Animal Hospital family in 2020.

Away from work, she and her family spend time at their barn and at goat shows. Their family also runs a cow-calf operation, they raise show goats and honeybees. In her downtime, you’ll find Dr. Helm on her long-arm machine making custom quilts.

She shares her home with two Great Pyrenees-Anatolian cross littermates named Shelby and Sasha. She is also the fur mom of two one-year-old Great Pyrenees called Scout and Tank who also happen to be littermates. Sasha and Shelby are the barn’s doe protectors, while Scout and Tank love looking after the goats. Tank even goes the extra mile by climbing out and keeping watch of the barn.

Jessi Medeiros, RVT, BHS

Jessi Medeiros, RVT, BHS

Practice Manager, Certified Veterinary Technician

Jessi completed the Franklin Tech Veterinary Assistant Program in 2007, then went on to obtain her Associate of Applied Sciences Veterinary Medicine degree in 2012, the same year she joined Academy Animal Hospital. In 2015, she graduated from the University of Missouri with a degree in Bachelor of Health Sciences. As a child, Jessi dreamed of becoming a Marine Biologist and has always felt a special connection with animals. When asked what she enjoys most about work, she expressed how much she loves the team and work culture. Jessi understands that Veterinary Medicine is ever-evolving and she’s excited to be a part of it and to see what the future holds for Academy Animal Hospital.

Away from work, Jessi enjoys crafting with her cricket and going on adventures with her family. Making memory shadow boxes of beloved pets for friends and family brings her the most joy. Jessi shares her home with two Australian Shepherds, 7-year-old Sidnee and 3-year-old Ellie. She also has a Siamese kitty named Sammi, a leopard gecko called Lizzy, and the most recent unwanted addition to the gang is a ball python named Mitch.

Anna Crooks, RVT

Anna Crooks, RVT

Registered Veterinary Technician

Anna graduated from Crowder College in 2016 with an associate’s degree in Applied Science in Veterinary Technology.

She joined the Academy Animal Hospital family in June 2015 as a summer intern. Her passion and determination impressed everyone so much, she was hired in a part-time role until she completed her A.S. in Veterinary Technology and could join the crew full-time.

Anna’s favorite part of her job is seeing the joy of new pet parents when they come in with a puppy or kitten. She has two cats, Chester Chadwick Cheeto and Herman Marie Monster. When she’s not encouraging her cats to purr, she can be found reading, exercising, running, or unwinding while watching a bit of TV.

Sidney Smith, RVT

Sidney Smith, RVT

Registered Veterinary Technician

Sidney joined Academy Animal Hospital in 2019 and a year after obtained her Associate’s degree from Crowder College Veterinary Technician Program. Her favorite part of veterinary medicine is bonding and caring for patients. Sidney’s goal with every new patient is to make the experience as comfortable as possible. She never rushes the procedure and always starts by building rapport. A good patient visit creates the best experience for everyone!

If she’s not in scrubs, she’s at home on her porch with her dogs. Sidney also enjoys binge-watching Netflix with her husband. They’re living the #dauchsundlife at home with Miss Maggie Mae who has the biggest personality, handsome Walter, and last but not least is Carl – Walter’s partner in crime.

Shauna Switzer

Shauna Switzer

Veterinary Technician Student

Shauna is set to graduate from Crowder College Veterinary Technician Program in 2023. She came to onboard Academy Animal Hospital in 2022. Her favorite part of working in veterinary medicine is getting to see something new every day and watching pets grow. Shauna has always loved animals and knew she wanted to work in the veterinary field.

Away from work, all her spare time is dedicated to homework and time with her kids whether it be at football, cheerleading, or choir. She shares her home with a great Dane called Abaddon and three cats named RC, Castiel, and Sam.

Tiffany

Tiffany

Veterinary Assistant

Tiffany graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from Western Governors University in 2020. She first joined Academy Animal Hospital in 2016 and then rejoined the clinic in 2022. Her favorite part of the veterinary world is getting to meet so many different cat and dog personalities. According to Tiffany, working with people who help create a light, fun, and easy work environment while still having a deep passion and respect for every animal that comes through the facility makes her work experience worthwhile.

When she’s not working, you can find Tiffany spending her free time cuddled up with three dogs, a turtle, and a good book. She also sets aside quality time with her family and friends. If it’s not too cold outside, Tiffany also enjoys going for a hike. Her home is incomplete without Loki, Hermes, Xena, and Hestia. Loki is an 8-year-old rott-shepherd mix who loves to be carried around like a toddler and gets the zoomies when it snows. Hermes is a 7-year-old dachshund who loves stuffed hedgehogs and curling up under all the blankets. Xena is a 7-year-old pit-boxer mix who loves hoodies and coats in the winter and meeting everyone she passes. Last but definitely not least is Hestia, a three-toed box turtle who is about 8-years-old. She loves cantaloupe and cruising around the house with her dogs.

Chloe

Chloe

Veterinary Assistant, Receptionist

Chloe is taking up a degree in General studies at Crowder College. In 2020, she began working at Academy Animal Hospital. The best part of working in veterinary medicine for Chloe is getting to see new fur babies they can care for and ensuring they have the best experience at the clinic. She decided to take on the challenge of being a kennel tech after graduating high school and the rest was a happy history for Chloe.

In her spare time, she likes reading romance novels, watching movies, and binge-watching Netflix series. She also sets aside quality time with family over weekly dinners and goes on coffee dates with friends. When she’s not making dinner or out on a hike, Chloe relishes the time to take naps. Since she lives with her sister, she helps look after Maggie the schnauzer/dachshund mix, Walter the long-haired dachshund, and Carl the short-haired dachshund.

Paula Strausbaugh

Paula Strausbaugh

Receptionist

Paula is a passionate animal-lover with a knack for making others smile. We’ve been gifted with Paula’s ingenuity and talent since 1998. She loves every furry face and helping be an essential part of keeping our patients healthy. She especially enjoys it when she gets the opportunity to play with puppies.

Animals have always been a major part of Paula’s life. In fact, she currently has seven dogs and one cat. Her pet family is comprised of Daphne, a Great Dane, Axel and Murphy, two sweet Pitbull Terriers, Opie, a Beagle, Maxine, a Husky, and Mr. Bohannon (Bo), a Dachshund, Sammy, a Border Collie mix and her sweet kitty, Buzz. She spends a great deal of time keeping each of them happy while still making time for her human family.

Lori Groves

Lori Groves

Receptionist

Lori joined Academy Animal Hospital in 2012. The fantastic clients at the clinic are what she enjoys about her job the most. She sincerely believes that they have the best clients because of how well they take care of their pets. In addition to that, they’ve been able to forge a genuine connection with each other. Although Lori adores all animals, she has a special place in her heart for elderly dogs and Weiner dogs.

In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and immersing in nature. She also loves spending quality time with her grandkids. Lori’s house is not a home without Mazie her long-haired dachshund and June her three-legged tubby cat.

Alex

Alex

Chief Fur-nancial Officer and Head of Greeting Services

Alex was born in the back alleys of central Joplin. That baby wandered to the right house belonging to a Little Old Cat Lady of blessed memory. She brought the scrawny, snotty-nosed kitten to Academy Animal Hospital and allowed Dr. Cahill to keep him. Alex grew up into a beautiful, cotton soft sweet boy with an amazing “Blue Steel” pose although he battled upper respiratory infections the first few years of life. At the beginning of his career, Dr. Cahill firmly rejected the reality of his crossed eyes and simple nature, not allowing anyone to besmirch his good looks and character. Now that Alex is comfortably middle-aged, she has mellowed to concede he is a little cross-eyed, but best not to beleaguer the point in her presence.

He naturally grew into his dual roles of Head of Greeting Services and Chief Fur-nancial Officer. Alex delights in laying about the front counter awaiting adoration. He also demands and thoroughly enjoys a good brushing and inexplicably, misty rainy mornings out in the catio. Alex has thankfully outgrown his sinus infections but does struggle with anxiety, frequently needing reassurance that all is well and dinner will be served on time.

Nemo aka Grandpa

Nemo aka Grandpa

Senior Executive Supervisor and Senior Cat-In-Residence

Nemo arose from humble beginnings. Born in rural Bates County, he assumed lodgings on Dr. Cahill’s ancestral home, the Gardner homestead, for many years. In middle age, Nemo became restless for new horizons and greater responsibilities. Unfortunately, this involved run-ins with Penny, the dog. They did not get along. Dr. Cahill’s mother brought Nemo to Academy Animal Hospital to recuperate for a few weeks from a minor injury. A few weeks turned into a few months and consequently, Nemo realized his lifelong dream of retiring to a veterinary hospital as a clinic cat. His duties included monitoring the front desk area, lounging in the newly built catio, and wearing costumes during Halloween.

After five years as Supervisor and Senior Cat-In-Residence, Nemo faced a medical setback. He acquired Stomatitis, needing most of his teeth extracted, and an almost year-long recovery involving medication and allergy food. These days, his health is quite good, although he can no longer visit the catio due to arthritis. However, he does enjoy relaxing on his back hallway plushy bed while yelling at everyone for brushing, scritches, and Churro treat tubes. Upon turning 18, Nemo was promoted to SES (Senior Executive Supervisor).

Romeo

Romeo

Unpaid Intern

Romeo hails from the Airport Drive area, living several years as a well cared for outdoor kitty. He enjoyed hunting squirrels, climbing trees, and frequent sunbathing. Unfortunately, he fell ill this summer with Mycoplasmosis and needed extended hospitalization. Romeo earned his name by thoroughly charming Dr. Cahill and the team during his long convalescence. His remaining symptoms did end his outdoor kitty days. Romeo’s momma graciously allowed Romeo to permanently reside at Academy Animal Hospital.

Romeo is adjusting to his new employment, workplace culture, and co-workers quite well. He’s successfully mastered the catio door and meal time schedule. Romeo struggles understanding the bedtime schedule but with good mentoring should learn in time. Dr. Cahill is hopeful he has the makings of an excellent Assistant Supervisor.

Behind the Scenes Moments