Vet Team

Thanks to our Wonderful Vet Team!

  • Mike Lindeen, DVM

    Mike Lindeen, DVM – Chief Vet

    John Beargrease Sleddog Race announces Dr. Mike Lindeen as the Chief Veterinarian for the 2014 race. Dr. Lindeen is an experienced trail veterinarian, having worked the Beargrease and the Iditarod. He is a graduate of Iowa State Veterinary School. His private practice experience has included California and Iowa, including practice owner. He has been married to his wife Ruth for 37 years and they have four children and three grandchildren.

    Dr. Lindeen has put together a very experienced veterinary team for the 2014 race as dog health and care on the trail is his number one priority.

  • Beckie Kilvington, CVT

    Beckie Hacker, CVT – Chief Technician

    Beckie Hacker is our Chief Technician on the John Beargrease. She has been a certified veterinary technician since 1996, working mostly in emergency, intensive care, and small animal practice settings. She is also certified in equine and canine massage. Beckie has been involved with the John Beargrease since 2003. Beckie loves the people that the race brings together and the amazing canine athletes that are the basis for the event. She also volunteers her time to the Gichigami Express, Apostle Island, UP200/Midnight Run and the CopperDog sled dog race veterinary teams. In her spare time Beckie enjoys traveling, horseback endurance/trail riding, learning how to drive dogs and of course, keeping the Beargrease veterinary team in organized chaos during the off season.

  • Kay Roe

    Kay Roe, DVM

    Dr. Kay Roe has been involved in sled dog and skijoring events since 2006.  She has part of the veterinary team for both the John Beargrease Sleddog Race and the Apostle Islands Sleddog Race as well as competed in numerous local skijoring and dryland events. Dr. Roe graduated from the University of Minnesota and works in a small animal practice just  north of the Twin Cities. Her interests include behavior medicine, internal medicine, pain management, and sports medicine. In her free time, Dr. Roe enjoys spending time with her family and being outdoors.

  • Jeanie Wilcox

    Jeanie Wilcox, DVM

    Dr Jeanie Wilcox is a ’94 graduate of Michigan State University. She has a practice in Gwinn, MI. She has been involved in the UP sled dog races as a vet since 1995 and is excited to be involved in Beargrease races this year…she really likes the green parka! Her interests beyond vet work include biking, beading, horses, bird hunting with her spectacular dogs and wilderness trips to canoe and camp with her husband, Burt, and appropriate critters kids when allowed (although an occasional trip that didn’t involve sleeping on the ground, wearing every warm article in your closet and carrying a gun would be appreciated too!).

  • Nicole Reynolds, DVM

    Nicole Reynolds, DVM

    Dr. Nicole Reynolds joins the Beargrease Veterinary Team for the third time this year. Dr. Reynolds is a graduate of the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine and she holds a Master of Public Health degree in Epidemiology with a concentration in infectious diseases. Dr. Reynolds maintains a strong interest in emergency preparedness and response and critical care medicine and she volunteers her extended training through the Minnesota Veterinary Reserve Corps, the National Veterinary Response Team, and the Region 5 Veterinary Medical Assistance Team (VMAT). She is a member of the International Sled Dog Veterinary Medical Association (ISDVMA) and admits she’s been hooked on mushing since shortly after graduating from vet school. She now skijors competitively. When she is not running or skijoring with her one-dog team, you’ll find her in Colorado, traveling abroad, seeking backcountry snow opportunities, or finding any excuse to be active outside.

  • Nick Vukich

    Nick Vukich, DVM

    Dr. Nick Vukich has been involved with sled dog sports since obtaining his first husky in the early 1970′s. His interest in the sport and , more importantly, the dogs, carried through to veterinary college where he was given the opportunity to work on a research project during the 1995 Iditarod. He has been an ISDVMA member and active trail veterinarian ever since. Besides working several Iditarods, Dr. Vukich has also participated in many races in The United States and Canada, including: The John Beargrease, UP200, Can-Am Crown, Copper Basin 300, Percy DeWolfe, Seeny 300, Tachquamenon Country Sled Dog Race, The Apostle Islands and others that aren’t even around anymore! Dr. Vukich graduated from the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine and currently owns a small animal practice in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Dr. Vukich is a past recipient of the ISDVMA Roland “Doc” Lombard Student Research award and the Iditarod Official Finishers Club ” Golden Stethoscope Award”. Dr Vukich is currently a board member with the ISDVMA.

  • Gregg D. Phillips, PhD, DVM

    Gregg D. Phillips, PhD, DVM

    Gregg owned and operated a recreational team of Siberian Huskies for over 10 years. Time spent on the runners with his own team led him to veterinary medicine. Gregg has worked on the vet teams for local, national and international races, including the Empire 130, White Oak Classic, Beargrease, Yukon Quest and Finnmarkslopet. Gregg no longer mushes, but acting as a trail vet allows him to touch the energy that surrounds sled dogs, and to work with colleagues and mushers from around the world. Gregg is a member of the ISDVMA and currently works at Dakota Pet Hospital in Lakeville, MN.

  • Jeff Ladd, DVM

    Jeff Ladd, DVM

    Dr. Ladd graduated from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University in 1987. He owns a small animal clinic in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Dr. Ladd has been involved in sled dog medicine since 1990.

  • Dr. Kristina Keifer, DVM

    Dr. Kristina Keifer, DVM, PhD

    Dr. Kristina Kiefer is a University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine graduate who will be back for her third year of the Beargrease! She occupies the remainder of her time at the University of Minnesota and has recently completed her surgical residency and a PhD in veterinary medicine. She is a member of the International Sled Dog Veterinary Medical Association and fell in love with being a trail vet during her first year of the Beargrease. When the occasion arises that she is not working she is happiest doing anything outside with her furry family!

  • Steve Meyer, DVM

  • Stephan Garofolo dvm

    Stephan Garofolo, DVM

    Dr. Garofolo is a recent graduate of the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, he is currently doing post-doctoral work at the University of Minnesota.  His interests include lameness, orthopedic and soft tissue injuries.  Steve is very excited about the opportunity to work with sled dogs as part of the John Beargrease Veterinary Team.  

  • David Gagnon

    David Gagnon, DVM

    Dr. David Gagnon has been involved with sled dog races since 2011 as part of the vet teams for both the UP200 and the John Beargrease sled dog races.  David graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine in 2012 and currently works in a small animal clinic in Kaukauna, WI.  His Brittany pup Solomon occupies most of his free time, and they love spending time outside during all seasons of the year.

  • Kris Ausland-Saari, CVT

    Kris Ausland, CVT

    Kris has been involved with the John Beargrease since 2009, and became a member of the Board of Directors in 2012. She holds an Associate of Veterinary Technology degree and a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Minnesota, Duluth. Kris is an Iraqi Freedom Veteran and retired from the Minnesota Air National Guard after serving for 21 years. Her Veterinary experience includes shelter medicine, working on a mobile surgical unit, emergency medicine, small animal practice, as well as rural area veterinary trips to help the less fortunate. She has worked the UP200/Midnight run and Gichigami Express sled dog races. Kris lives in Esko, Minnesota with her two teen-age daughters, dog, 4 cats and a ferret. In her spare time, she loves to compete in endurance/competitive riding with her horse, camping, trap shooting, golf and watching her daughters play soccer and hockey.

  • Holly Egerer, CVT

    Holly Egerer, CVT

    Holly has been a Certified Veterinary Technician for 21 years. She lives on a hobby farm with her very tolerant husband of 31 years, 6 horses, 19 dogs (12 Rat Terriers, 3 Jack Russell Terriers, 3 Aussies and a Rat Terrier/ Chihuahua rescue dog). She has been a Rat Terrier breeder for about 13 years and usually has about 1 litter a year. About 1/2 of the dogs she has are rescue dogs who were doomed for death row. Holly also has a small collection of reptiles, mostly snakes. She has one grown son/daughter-in-law in law and 2 grandsons. In her spare time, Holly enjoys distance horseback riding, trail riding, riding motorcycles with my husband (Yes she rides her own bike!), snowmobiling in the winter, playing with all my critters, doing hands on demos with her reptiles, and sewing and paper crafts. Holly’s dog sledding experience includes helping with the Yukon Quest sled dog race in 2010 and helping with the Beargrease for the last 2 years.

  • Laurie Angell, CVT

    Laurie Angell, CVT

    Ms. Laurie Angell has been a certified veterinary technician for almost 30 years. She also is certified in veterinary massage and rehabilitation and has a strong interest in complementary veterinary medicine and shelter medicine. Ms .Angell has been the Animal Care Supervisor in the Veterinary Technician Program at Madison Area Technical College in Madison, WI since 1983! This will be her 6th year working the Beargrease and she thoroughly enjoys the many aspects of this amazing event and feels that it enriches and enhances her personal life and her career as a vet tech.

  • CFinnigan 2014

    Cristin Finnigan, VT

    Cristin Finnigan brings six years’ experience as a veterinary technician to the Beargrease.  She worked in several small animal clinics and private practices in the Chicago area before hearing the call of the North and moving to Minnesota last February.  Cristin has participated in canicross and skijoring races, has handled for teams during sprint races and mushing demonstrations, and is an active Siberian Husky rescue volunteer.  She is very excited to be a part of the Beargrease and looks forward to becoming more involved with the mushing community in Minnesota.  In her spare time, Cristin enjoys running, cooking, backyard astronomy, chasing challenges, and following her never-ending curiosity and sense of adventure.

  • Judi Laurence

    Judi Laurence

    Judi Laurence has been volunteering with the John Beargrease since 2005. She is a Ham Radio Operator and again this year she joins the Vet Team as our 24 hour Communications Specialist. Judi is a retired Firefighter and a current EMT (emergency medical technician) of 30 years. She is a member of Code 3 Associates, an elite national animal search and rescue team that specializes in disasters. Specialties include Swiftwater Rescue Technician Advanced as well as high and low angle rope rescues. She has also been trained by BART (Basic Animal Rescue Training) and HSUS (Humane Society of the US). Judi enjoys doing triathlons, duathlons and 5k races. When not training, she and her husband spend a lot of time at their cabin sea kayaking and mountain biking. They’ve raised three wonderful daughters and they now live with their Alaskan husky, Chip (a former Beargrease racer), a cat and three birds.