Your Love, Our Calling

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Your Love, Our Calling

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Our people have incredible backgrounds – some have won world championships, and others have dedicated their lives to impassioned causes.

Doctors

Deah M. Hessian, DVM

Deah M. Hessian, DVM

Medical Director

Dr. Deah Hessian is the owner and Medical Director of Palisades Veterinary Hospital. She purchased the fledgling PVH in 1993, her vision was to create a world class facility with a small-town feel. In the spring of 2000, Dr. Hessian moved the hospital into its own building near the center of Fountain Hills and the fountain.

A native of California, Dr. Hessian holds undergraduate degrees from the University of Arizona in Animal Health Science, Education, and Agriculture Engineering. She attended Colorado State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, graduating in 1990. She worked at the World Health Organization’s primate lab, the Hawaii Zoo, and the Hawaiian State Veterinarian. After graduating from veterinary school, she spent three more years honing her craft at Tri-City East and Main Street Veterinary Clinics.

Dr. Hessian traces her love of animals to her childhood, where she spent countless hours caring for and developing a deep understanding of animals. She purchased her first Quarter Horse while in veterinary school and soon became a competitive rider. Today, she competes in both American Quarter Horse Association and National Reined Cow Horse Association shows and has won multiple world championships.

In addition to her many years of service to the Fountain Hills, Rio Verde and North Scottsdale communities, Dr. Hessian is an active and respected member in the veterinary and animal care community. She has served on the Boards of the Arizona Reined Cow Horse Association, A Dog Owners Group (ADOG, Fountain Hills), Arizona Quarter Horse Association and The Watumull Trust for the Preservation of the Indian Elephant. She also is a member of the Arizona Veterinary Medical Association (AzVMA), the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), and the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP).

When not working or riding, Dr. Hessian enjoys giving back to her community through work with various non-profit organizations. She is married to Scott Ruple, her best friend and business muse since 1990. They share their Fountain Hills home with their French Bulldogs, Daz and Max.

Jennifer Johnson, DVM

Jennifer Johnson, DVM

CVPP

Dr Jennifer Johnson brings over 20 years of experience in animal care and health to Palisades Veterinary Hospital. One of her priorities is pain management for animals and has spent the last 15 years teaching colleagues about perioperative, acute, and chronic multimodal pain management. Dr. J. Johnson has a special interest in the use of therapeutic laser for the treatment of pain. In 2012, she achieved Certified Veterinary Pain Practitioner (CVPP) qualification through the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management (IVAPM). Dr. Johnson now serves on the board of the IVAPM and begins her tenure as President in 2019.

Dr. Johnson travels and speaks nationally on veterinary pain management, laser therapy and digital thermal imaging, stressing the importance of pain identification in pets. She authored the chapter on pain management for Laser Therapy in Veterinary Medicine, published in 2017. She also volunteers and serves on the board of eagleYcondor, an organization that has two missions to help small communities in Ecuador: supporting young children’s art education and providing surgical and medical care for animals.

Born and raised in the Philadelphia suburbs, Dr. Johnson received her B.S. in Chemistry/Biology from West Chester University of PA and attended the University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine, graduating in 1993. She worked as an associate veterinarian for 14 years before becoming the sole owner of Stoney Creek Veterinary Hospital in Morton, Pennsylvania, for 10 years. During her tenure as practice owner, the hospital grew from a 2-doctor practice to employ 6 veterinarians and 45 team members, emphasizing preventative care and personalized family medicine.

In 2018, Dr. Johnson and her husband, Gary, packed up and moved to Arizona, building their dream home in Fountain Hills, which they share with two dogs – a rescue pit bull, and a little street dog from Ecuador. They love to travel and visit their daughters, one who is in college in Tampa, FL and the other who works as a critical care veterinary nurse at the University of Wisconsin veterinary school. In her spare time, Dr. Johnson loves cheering for Newcastle United, and hiking in the hills.

Dr. Julie St. Peters

Dr. Julie St. Peters

Veterinarian

A native of Glen Ellen, IL, a suburb or Chicago, Dr. St. Peters is a lover of the outdoors and considers Arizona to be the best place to live. She started her education off with a focus on becoming an educator but along the way she decided veterinary medicine was her passion. Dr. St. Peters enrolled at the Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine and upon graduation began working at small animal clinics. She joins Palisades with over 25 years of experience in caring for small animals.

By her side for all of this has been her husband and their now, adult children. In addition to loving to travel with her husband and their 2 children, Dr. St. Peters loves music. For over 20 years she has played the piano and bass in church bands. Another hobby of hers is horseback riding which she’s been doing since college. Being an avid rider and competitor, she has competed in endurance rides and in events with the American Ranch Horse Association. Until she broke her leg skiing, Dr. St. Peters also participated in dog shows – competing in agility and obedience.

“When I look into the eyes of an animal, I do not see an animal. I see a living being. I see a friend. I feel a soul.”
-AD Williams

Care Team

Kimberly

Kimberly

Head Veterinary Technician, CVT

Kimberly is originally from southern California where she studied and got her certification in Veterinary Science. She has been a technician for over 6 years but has known since she was 3 that she wanted to work with animals. Kimmie loves being able to give them a voice to live the happiest and healthiest life, then educating pet parents on their role in ensuring their voices are heard. When she’s not spending time with her golden retriever, Kimberly is either sewing, dancing, bowling, hiking, playing miniature golf or studying for a degree in Business Management.

Cathy

Cathy

Head Client Services Representative

Cathy joined Palisades in January 2021. Originally from Nevada, Cathy has traveled to Hawaii, Utah and chose to settle in Phoenix. Her passion for animals started at an early age which led to her volunteering at local animal hospitals at just 15 years old. She’s an avid learner who is always expanding her knowledge in the veterinary field by taking classes whenever possible. Her longer term goals include becoming either a Certified Veterinary Technician or an Animal Control Officer to ensure all pets get the loving care they deserve.

Liz

Liz

Veterinary Assistant

Liz has worked at Palisades Veterinary Hospital since 2005, starting as a kennel attendant. She studied at Mesa Community College where she got her A.A. in Veterinary Technology. Liz has always had a passion for animals and loves being able to take care of them. In those precious moments when she is not working, Liz enjoys fishing, shopping, swimming, four-wheeling, and hanging out with friends and family. Liz has three dogs – JD, a mix; Tiny, a Pit Bull; Tricksy, a Pit Bull mix; and one lone, very brave cat named, Squirrelly.

Makayla

Makayla

Veterinary Assistant

Makayla, an Arizona native, joined Palisades Veterinary Hospital in March 2019. She is a true lover of animals who shares her home with several dogs, cats, rats, snakes, and a bearded dragon. In parallel with successfully completing high school, she got her veterinary assistant certification through the EVIT (East Valley Institute of Technology) certification program.

Shea

Shea

Veterinary Assistant

Prior to officially joining Palisades Veterinary Hospital in April 2020, Shea interned with us while she successfully completed the EVIT (East Valley Institute of Technology) program for Veterinary Assistants. She is currently enrolled at Mesa Community College where she is studying to get her certification as a Veterinary Technician. When not at Palisades, Shea’s either spending time with her family, friends, or her 2 dogs and her pet rabbit.

Logan

Logan

Veterinary Assistant

Logan is an Arizona native who is a committed caregiver whether human or one of our furry friends. She attended Pima Medical Institute where she graduated with her Veterinary Assistant Certification in Animal Sciences. Prior to, and while enrolled at Pima, Logan worked as an instructional aide for special needs children and their families. When she’s not here caring for your furry friends, Logan is at home caring for her 2 dogs and a cat. She also manages to make time for her family and friends.

Hannah Bolland

Hannah Bolland

Veterinary Assistant

Hannah was born in Wales UK and moved to the US in 2010. She joined our team in June of 2021 as a Veterinary Assistant to gain experience while finishing her degree in Animal Science with a Pre-Vet concentration at CalPoly and hopes to continue her education by attending Veterinary School. In her spare time she competes in Hunter/Jumper horse shows with her horse Bee, travels, or cuddles with her ball python Archie.

Morgan E.

Morgan E.

Client Services Representative

Originally from New Mexico, Morgan is now a full-time resident of Arizona. She received her Veterinary Assistant Certificate from the Animal Behavior College and has put it to practical use doing everything from pet sitting/fostering, dog walking, pet nutrition, first aid, CPR to pet massage. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with friends and doing a variety of sports including soccer, softball, swimming, and bowling. In fact, she’s a certified professional bowler and a member of the Professional Women’s Bowling Association. Morgan’s goal is to eventually move into a Veterinary Assistant role and have a large enough home, so she can foster dogs and cats.

Shannon

Shannon

Resort Attendant

Shannon is a native of Fountain Hills and has been a member of our team since 2017. When she isn’t at Palisades taking extraordinary care of your furry friends, Shannon is home taking care of hers. She enjoys going for walks, a good, scenic hike, and sometimes just relaxing.

Camren

Camren

Resort Attendant/Operations

A native of Ohio, Camren and his family moved to Phoenix while he was still young. His strong love and sense of caring for animals led him to joining the Palisades family. When Camren’s not at work caring for your pets and making sure they’re comfortable, he’s mostly working towards his degree in secondary education. When he’s not reading for school, Camren is probably catching up reading something in the sci-fi or fantasy realm. Unless his 2 dogs and 3 cats decide they want to play. When it comes time to really relax, Camren enjoys spending his time at home with his girlfriend and a good book.

This could be you! Check out our career opportunities to become part of an amazing team.

Careers