The team at Cleary Lake Veterinary Hospital is comprised of highly trained and experienced animal health professionals who have a genuine love for working with pets. Our staff treats every patient with the highest quality of medical care as well as a gentle touch.
Small Animal Veterinarians
Janell S. Abram D.V.M.
Dr. Abram completed her Bachelor of Veterinary Science degree and then her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine in 2000. She Joined Cleary Lake in 2001 to practice equine and small animal medicine. Today Dr. Abram stays in the small animal side of the hospital. Her special interests include internal medicine, preventative medicine, dermatology and senior wellness. Outside the clinic, Dr. Abram enjoys gardening, cooking and trail riding/camping with her Tennessee Walker geldings, Bravo and Tucker. She shares her home with her husband, two sons and two cats – Lilah-P and Willow.
Naomi C. Casper D.V.M.
Dr. Casper is originally from Alexandria, Minnesota. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota and graduated from the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine in 2004. After graduation, she practiced in Mankato, Minnesota prior to joining the small animal team at Cleary Lake in 2006. In addition to general medicine and surgery, Dr. Casper has special interests in emergency/critical care and working with sporting dogs. In her spare time, she enjoys outdoor activities, biking, and spending time with her husband and their three young children. Dr. Casper has 2 British Labrador retrievers named Bristol and Rudder.
Christopher S. Tate D.V.M., M.P.H.
Dr. Tate grew up on a hobby farm in Prior Lake, Minnesota. He graduated from St. Olaf College in 2006, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Biology with a Concentration in Biomedical Sciences. He went on to earn a Master of Public Health degree in infectious disease epidemiology from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health in 2009. Prior to attending veterinary school, he worked at the Iowa Department of Public Health as an infectious disease epidemiologist. He graduated from Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2015 and joined the small animal team at Cleary Lake in 2016. In Fall 2016, Dr. Tate became PennHIP certified. Outside of the clinic, Dr. Tate enjoys spending time with his wife and family, cooking, and is an avid sports fan.
Jessi joined our team in 2016 as our Accounts Receivable Associate. She studied photography at the Art Institute of MN and continues to study architectural photography. She has 2 dogs, Fonzi and Priya, 2 fish, Chicken Nugget and Bubbles, and 4 kids, Bella, Vincent, Emma and Dominic. Her boyfriend and family love exploring the state parks and traveling to find new hiking spots. When there is down time in her crazy busy life, she enjoys relaxing with a good cross stitch project. She loves animals and is passionate about learning more about them in the veterinary field.
Barb has been the Practice Manager at Cleary Lake since 2005. She is a member of the Veterinary Practice Managers Network of Minnesota and a member of the American Animal Hospital Association. She has an exuberant mixed-breed dog, Jazzy, and two cats, Chase and Pouncer. Before working in the veterinary industry, she used to own, race and train thoroughbreds. She has two children, Amanda and Joey, and in her spare time she enjoys watching them compete in softball and soccer, working in the yard, landscaping, listening to music, cooking and having bonfires.
Danise has been a part-time client care specialist since Spring 2003. Danise has been around horses, cats, and dogs her entire life. She and her husband have a farm in Northfield where they breed Warmbloods for show jumping. She passed her love for horses on to her daughter, who is the head trainer at a well-known horse facility in Tennessee. Although Danise works at the small animal reception desk most of the time, she finds surgery fascinating.
Michelle McConnell started part-time at Cleary Lake Veterinary Hospital in May of 1997. She now works full-time as a Client Care Specialist at our Equine desk scheduling appointments for our equine veterinarians, along with many other tasks. When she’s not at the clinic working, she enjoys spending time with her menagerie of animals, showing her horses and hiking. Michelle lives in Kenyon with her husband, Tim. Michelle and Tim share their home with a rescue dog, Shrimpie; cats, Winter, and April; and horses, Cal, and China.
Corinne has a Bachelor of Science degree in animal science from the University Of Minnesota, and joined the team at Cleary Lake in 2006. Prior to that, she worked with Dr. Bill Sweeney at the old Equine Medical Center from 1976-1980. Corinne also spent more than 20 years working at Northwest Airlines as a mechanic. She owns a small Paint and Quarter Horse breeding farm in Lakeville, June Lake Farm. She lives with her husband Dave and her many animals: Jada the Great Pyrenees, Samantha the pygmy goat, 12 horses and four cats. In her spare time she also loves gardening.
Patty joined our client service staff at Cleary Lake in March of 2012, She says her favorite part of her job is getting to know the clients and their "fur-babies". Patty lives in Lakeville with her husband Charlie, Otis her bulldog, and Olive her English Mastiff. In her spare time she loves to spoil her 4 granddaughters.
Tammy has been with Cleary Lake since 1990. Tammy’s favorite part of working in veterinary medicine is that every day is different and she is always learning something new. Tammy lives with her husband Ben in Webster at their Combined Horsepower Farm. They enjoy drag racing, 4×4 trucks, and caring for their many animals – cats, dogs, miniature horses, chickens, goats and sheep. Tammy is also an avid quilter and makes beautiful quilts and keepsakes for her friends and family.
Christine Hardman C.V.T.
Christine joined the Cleary Lake team in 2008. She graduated from Argosy University in 2005 as a certified veterinary technician. Her special interests include client care, emergency and critical care, canine and feline weight loss, and veterinary technician education. She lives in Elko with her husband, daughter, Clumber Spaniel, and two cats. Outside of work, Christine enjoys four-wheeling, and reading. She is a member of MAVT, NAVTA, AVTE, and the LGVMA.
Dani Larson V.T.
Danielle Larson (Dani) completed her veterinary technician internship at Cleary Lake Veterinary Hospital in April of 2015. We liked her so much we offered her a full time position. She loves dogs, horses, and has not yet determined her favorite aspect of veterinary medicine. Dani has a three-legged yellow Labrador named Mac.
Deb Chellsen V.T.
Deb Chellsen is a veterinary technician who does overnight patient care and hospital maintenance at Cleary Lake. Deb is a lover of all animals but especially dogs, cats and horses. She grew up in Lakeville and has lived in the Elko area on a small hobby farm with her husband, Keith, for the past 28 years. They share their home with a whole pack of pets and a small herd of horses. Deb has been employed in the animal care business for the past 24 years, with 22 of those in the veterinary field. In Deb’s free time she likes to be with family, friends and pets; especially her dogs. Deb’s hobbies include reading about animals, flower gardening, animal art and photography and anything outdoors
Jennifer Schweim C.V.T.
Jennifer Schweim is a certified veterinary technician and started at Cleary Lake in 2002. She graduated from the veterinary technician program at Ridgewater College in Willmar, Minnesota. Her special interests are educating new puppy owners and small animal surgery. She lives in Dundas with her son and husband, plus a mixed breed dog, named Wally, and Larry, an orange tabby cat. Outside of work she enjoys quilting, camping with her family and gardening. She enjoys making quilts to donate to Project Linus.
Jess Donnelly V.T.
Jess joined the Cleary Lake team in 2007 as an equine reproduction assistant, and was hired as an equine veterinary technician in August 2009 after graduating from Globe University. Jess manages the reproduction center at the clinic and has a special interest in stallion and mare management. She lives in Inver Grove Heights with her husband David, two dogs (Rocky the Golden Retriever and Buster the mutt), three cats (Bella, Carlos and Sophie) and bunnies. When not at work Jess enjoys spending time outdoors and riding her horse, Sky the Arabian.
Karen Garwood V.A.
Karen Garwood joined our team in April of 2000 after graduating from Globe College of Business as a Veterinary Assistant. In her free time she likes the outdoors and spending time with friends and family. Karen primarily works with the small animal side for the clinic. She enjoys working with clients and their new puppies and kittens, getting them off to a healthy start, and small animal nutrition. Karen lives in Veseli, with her boyfriend; Genna an Austrailian Shepherd; and 2 young cats, Opie and Dillon.
Kelsi Finstuen V.T.
Kelsi joined the Cleary Lake team in 2011 and enjoys working as a technician for both the equine and small animal hospitals. She especially enjoys phlebotomy and working in the in-house laboratory. In her free time, Kelsi loves to play both sand and indoor volleyball, running 5K races, hunting, going to her family’s cabin, snowmobiling, shopping and spending time with her family and friends. Kelsi lives in Faribault with her husband Andy, daughter Adi and her black labrador named Bela.
Kris Nissen C.V.T.
Kris graduated from the Medical Institute of Minnesota, and has been part of the Cleary Lake team since 1997. She participates in bowling, softball, dart and poker leagues. In her spare time she enjoys biking, trail riding, reading, gardening and hiking on the North Shore. Kris has worked as an equine and small animal technician. Her primary focus now is in the lab – running bloodwork, coggins, fecals, U/A’s and her favorites cytology and microbiology. Kris has three grown daughters, Jackie, Lindsay and Katie, and lives in Farmington with her husband, one sweet cockatiel, and one naughty kitten.
Mary Nicolai V.T.
Mary joined our team in March 2013, after graduating from Argosy University. Mary is excited to start her career as a veterinary technician, and is still deciding what her favorite parts of veterinary medicine are. Mary moved home to Minnesota after living in the Vail Valley of Colorado for 8 years, to pursue her education as a veterinary technician. Outside of work she enjoys volleyball, bowling, yoga, camping, and spending time with family. Mary lives in Hampton with her three dogs, and two cats.
Tuula Sinks C.V.T.
Tuula joined Cleary Lake in 1996 as an equine veterinary technician, after graduating from the Medical Institute of Minnesota (now called Argosy). Tuula is our hospital barn manager, and especially enjoys anesthesia, neonatology and emergency care. She shares her home with her two miniature dachshunds Eddie, and Remy, and too many birds. She also has a pony, Mona. Outside of work, Tuula practices feng shui for chickens, works on tricks with her four-legged friends, enjoys bonsai and loves learning about canary and finch color genetics.
Debbie Brophy, C.V.T.
I graduated from Argosy University in 2013 as a certified vet tech. My special interests include anything equine, small animal dentistry, and lab work. I live in Northfield with my husband, two sons, a mini dachshund named Tugboat, and a lab/hound mix named Moose. Outside of work I enjoy spending time riding and showing my Irish Draught horse Roary in eventing and dressage. I also enjoy hiking, skiing, and camping with my family.