Although born in Connecticut, Dr. Brian Hansen has considered himself a Minnesota transplant since he stepped foot in the "land of lakes" while visiting veterinary schools. After serving seven years in the United States Marine Corps, which provided a different kind of education and unique perspective, Brian graduated from the University of Minnesota’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 2005. While Dr. Hansen’s wife, Dr. Donnell Hansen (a Roseville native and also a veterinarian) completed an internship at Oklahoma State University, he began his veterinary career in Perkins, Oklahoma where in addition to treating the typical dogs, cats, and cattle, Brian endearingly became the goat doctor by the local producers. And yes, as is rumored in Oklahoma, he and his wife indeed enjoyed many afternoons using their hands as bait while wading through Oklahoma’s stained red river banks “noodling” for catfish.
Since returning to Minnesota in 2006, Brian has worked locally and now feels at home after opening Rice Creek Animal Hospital in 2011. The Hansen’s have loved being a part of this community and often support local schools and events. Dr. Hansen’s wife, Donnell, is a board certified veterinary dentist and oral surgeon with BluePearl Veterinary Partners, a referral veterinary hospital in Eden Prairie and Blaine. Although she does not work at Rice Creek, you may see her pop by the hospital from time to time to visit with their work family.
At home, Brian is no longer a veterinarian but a dad to two beloved kids. You can often find them in the backyard practicing their archery or rounding up the chicken flock. If you ever catch a day that he is not in the hospital (or you show up over the noon hour), chances are Brian is out pursuing his next passion- practical shooting. You know what they say, "once a marine, always a marine." Want to know more? Just ask Dr. Hansen about his days riding bulls and bucking horses with the Military Rodeo Cowboys Association and Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association or his time spent rescuing giraffes, relocating rhinos, and working on cape buffalo in South Africa!
Dr. Phillips joined our team in 2018 to round out your Rice Creek Animal Hospital doctor team. Dr. Phillips works full time so there is no doubt you will visit with him from time to time. He joins us with a ton of experience, lots of heart, and a gentle calm demeanor (with this quirky touch of humor). You will enjoy his easy atmosphere with obviously loving heart. Here is a little about him, so you all can get up to speed.
Dr. Phillips should really be called Dr. Phillips (doctor times two!). After earning his biology degree from Macalaster College, he continued his training to receive both a Master of Science and Ph.D. in Human Anatomy and Cell Biology from the University of Michigan in the late eighties. You will have to ask him about all of his teaching experience as he taught anatomy and biology courses at all academic levels, many here close to home (who knows… maybe he was your professor?). Heck, you may have even benefitted from his biomedical research in muscle regeneration, wound healing and blood vessel growth. We are working on hearing all the crazy stories from that chapter of his life… human anatomists always have a good tale to tell at cocktail parties.
In those days, Dr. Phillips started adventuring with a Siberian Husky sled dog team. The bond that developed between him and the dogs while standing on the runners through Minnesota winters fostered an interest in veterinary medicine. And who wouldn’t go back to get another doctorate degree? After graduating from the University of Minnesota’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 2004, Dr. Phillips has been enjoying veterinary medicine ever since. And to make him even cooler, Dr. Phillips used to be the head veterinarian for the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon that runs from Duluth up the North Shore of Lake Superior and back.
Dr. Phillips lives in the suburbs with his wife. With his kids now grown, he enjoys the company of a spotted dog named Fredd while he enjoys a lazy afternoon reading or playing the guitar.
Please know, no matter what doctor you see here at Rice Creek, we hope you get the same sensation that we love what we do and are here, simply to keep you and your pet enjoying each other’s company for as long as life will allow.
After practicing in the twin cities for many years, Dr. Heidi Johnson finally landed at Rice Creek Animal Hospital earlier this year (2020). A native Minnesotan, she grew up in Dayton, MN and earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from St. Cloud State University. Dr. Johnson received her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine at the University of Minnesota in 2007 and has been serving the north metro ever since.
Her professional interests include internal medicine, preventative, senior pet care and fear-free. She values strengthening the human-animal bond and is looking forward to building long-lasting relationships with the clients and patients at Rice Creek Animal Hospital.
While not practicing medicine, Dr. Johnson can be found spending her time with her husband and fur babies. She shares her home with a spoiled dog (June Bug) and four adorable cats (Chewy, Lakota, Ezmae, and Stevie). She enjoys traveling, hiking, boating, reading, hitting up the local breweries/wineries, and catching up with friends.
Dr. Katie Gilbertson grew up in Detroit Lakes, the heart of lake country in Minnesota. She was raised on a dairy farm, now turned beef farm. Amongst the cows, Katie was surrounded by a variety of animals including chickens, pigs, horses, pheasants, and of course cats and dogs. She achieved her Bachelor’s degree in Biology from the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, MN. After college, she started working at animal hospitals beginning as a receptionist and working her way up to a technician position. Eight years later, Katie could no longer ignore her dream of becoming a veterinarian and started veterinary school at Iowa State University. After graduating in 2017, she was excited to move back to Minnesota and started practicing as a mixed animal veterinarian, mostly working with dairy cattle. After a couple of years, Katie decided to switch to exclusively small animal practice and moved to the twin cities. She worked at a local veterinary clinic in the twin cities for the past 2.5 years and recently joined the team at Rice Creek Animal Hospital.
Her professional interests include preventative medicine, dentistry, soft tissue surgery, cardiology and ophthalmology.
In her free time, she enjoys walks with her dog, golfing, playing the piano, kayaking, BBQs, attempting to keep her house plants alive and checking out local restaurants and breweries. She shares her house with a terrier mix (Tucker), a Corgi (Phoebe), and three cats (Koby, Millie, and Milo).
Have you met our friend Lisa? Lisa joined the Rice Creek crew after a long search for just the right person. While many of us have wanted to be in the veterinary field since we were little, Lisa had a successful career in the business/service industries when she had a change of mind and decided to follow her heart to become a certified veterinary technician. It was a big leap of faith and still, we are the ones who benefited. Lisa is reflective, compassionate, experienced, aware, and truth be told, shares Dr. Hansen’s introverted soul and resentment of long Minnesota good-byes…so, they are a bit of kindred spirits! Besides that, Lisa has been friends with our own Kristy for some time so the crew down at Rice Creek sincerely enjoy each other’s company. It is such a gift! Lisa is an avid RV’er and she travels the country with her son and husband making their own adventures on the backroads of America accompanied by her handsome Doberman Pincher and fun-loving Swiss Mountain Dog. Just ask her about the time she drove her huge RV beast through mountainside roads…oh boy!
Jill started with our team in the summer of 2019 and fit right in with the rest of the team. Jill has been a Certified Veterinary Technician since 2009. After spending 5 years on the corporate side of the veterinary world, she decided to follow her true passion and return to working in a clinic helping pets and their owners live their best life. She enjoys attending continuing education courses and keeping up on the newest developments in the veterinary field. Jill has also gone through Fear Free® training, which allows her to ensure that patients have the best possible experience when they visit the clinic, something all of our team members strive to provide. Jill took on the role of Practice Manager in January of 2023 and hopes to help Rice Creek continue to help the clinic, as well as people and pets in our community thrive. Jill shares her home with her husband, John, and their four-legged friends; two dogs, Parker and Jersey (both Staffordshire Terrier Mixes), three cats, Kermit, Bunsen Honeydew, and Sprite, and five frogs, Hank, Phillip, Phillop, Hocus, and Pocus. When she’s not at work, Jill enjoys hanging out at home with her pets, spending time with friends, and cooking/baking yummy things!
Amanda grew up in White Bear Lake. She was raised with/around animals and would bring home any stray she found. Over the years, she saw how the technicians cared for her animals and this made her want to pursue this career. Amanda attended Globe University for her Associates degree, and became a veterinary technician in 2013. Amanda has always enjoyed strengthening the bond between people and their pets. Her favorite aspect of veterinary medicine is the way medicine is always changing, and how it continues to learn ways to better serve our clients, patients, and community. Amanda resides with her fiancé, Jeremy. They currently have one horse, named Chloe, and are looking to add another after losing Amanda’s childhood horse, Wiley, this past winter. They also have a cat, Spartan, who came to them as a stray and decided he didn’t want to leave. Amanda’s hobbies include trail riding, gardening, attending plant sales, restoring old campers, updating old houses, and curling up with a good book
Courtney graduated from Globe University in 2014 and obtained her Certification as a Veterinary Technician. She continued at Globe to obtain her Bachelors’s in Veterinary Technology Management. Her interests as a CVT include anesthesia, internal medicine & dental health. Courtney has also gone through Fear Free ® training; she is passionate about making the pet’s visit as stress-free as possible. Her interests outside of work include knitting, camping & relaxing at home with her husband (Steve), two children (William & Mackenzie) and two dogs; Leah (Yorkie) and Annie (Mini Schnauzer).
Jenna graduated from Argosy University in 2018 with her Associates Degree in Veterinary Technology, and joined Rice Creek Animal Hospital in December of 2020. Jenna enjoys being able to work in an environment where people are as passionate about animals as she is. Jenna enjoys phlebotomy, surgical prep, nail trims, and will never turn down a chance to hug a kitten or puppy. Jenna lives with her husband and her two dogs, Lilly and Willow (the snuggliest of pitty mixes). When Jenna is not at work, she enjoys visiting local breweries, going on family camping trips in the RV, spending time in Northern Minnesota with her mom, and visiting sunny California to hang with her dad.
Shelby graduated from Argosy University with her Veterinary Technician Degree in 2014. After graduation, Shelby worked as a manager of a boarding facility. Shelby joined the Rice Creek Animal Hospital team in 2020. Shelby’s professional interests include dental care and client education. Outside of work, Shelby enjoys time on the lake and riding the motorcycle with her husband, Zach. Shelby and Zach also enjoy spending time with their two dogs, Mikko (a German Shepherd Mix), Dingo (a Chihuahua Mix), and their cat, Cleo.
Taylor graduated from Globe University as Veterinary Technician in 2016 and has been in the veterinary field ever since. Some of her favorite things to do as a technician include dentals, anesthesia, and inpatient care. At home, Taylor has two Australian Shepherds and two cats. (as of right now) She definitely plans to have more in the future! Her animals are a huge part of her life and she couldn’t ask for better, loving fur babies. Outside of work, Taylor enjoys playing volleyball, fishing, and going on new adventures with her pups!
Brittany started with Rice Creek Animal Hospital in December of 2017. Brittany has had a passion for animals since she was a little girl (she didn’t have imaginary friends growing up, but she had many imaginary pets), and had always dreamed of working with animals. Brittany’s dream came true in 2011, when she started her first animal-related job as a kennel assistant at a veterinary clinic. Since then, she has worked at multiple dog daycares, an animal sanctuary (working with paraplegic dogs and dogs in wheelchairs was her favorite thing to do there), a dog training academy, and also dabbled in some grooming. Besides working full time with Rice Creek, she also works part time with a rescue group based in the Twin Cities. When Brittany is not working, you can find her at home with her own zoo! Brittany is our Chihuahua whisperer, since she has 7 of her own - Rocco, Rolita, Ruben, Rex, Rosco, Raven, and Rina-Lou! Brittany also has cats, hairless guinea pigs, rats, geckos, and a hedgehog! She even has a one-eyed Sphynx cat named Burton. Brittany is surrounded by animals 24/7/365, and she wouldn’t have it any other way. Brittany loves all animals, from furry to naked, or spiney to scaley! In Brittany’s spare time, she likes to crochet/knit/sew, spend time with her friends and family, kayak, or just relax with a little TV or a good book. One day, Brittany would like to own a small hobby farm with goats, chickens, pigs, and other farm animals!
Emily joined the team in 2017. Originally from the Glencoe area, she now lives here in the twin cities. Emily spends much of her time among Minnesota’s wonderful land and lakes over in Starbuck, MN. Wanna know a fun fact? Emily’s passion for animals and horses actually brought her to work at a thoroughbred farm…never tell her petite self that she cannot manage a 1500 pound horse. Her warm smile and willing attitude make her a wonderful asset up at the front desk. On her off days, Emily is found hunting, renovating their cabin, or playing with her fun-loving dogs, Odin and Rambo. Emily also has one cool cat, Squirrel.
Kenzie is currently attending the University of Concordia, St. Paul to earn her bachelor’s degree in biology. She spent her first two years of college at the University of Nebraska at Omaha before realizing there was no place she would rather be that back home in Minnesota! She started working as a veterinary assistant in 2019 as a senior in high school. Some of her favorite things to do as an assistant are learning new skills that help out in the back of the clinic, and to help prep patients for surgery. Kenzie always knew she wanted to work with animals. She grew up in the Woodbury/Stillwater area with her parents, three siblings, and two Airedale Terriers. As a college student living on her own, she couldn’t bare living in a home with no furry friends, so she and her partner, Logan, added two cats (Sully and Luna) to start their little family. Outside of the clinic and school, she enjoys going up to her family cabin in Barnum, water and snow skiing, reading and traveling.
Kimberly is a veterinary assistant at Rice Creek Animal Hospital. She is currently studying veterinary technology at Dakota County Technical College in Rosemount, and lives in Shoreview with her husband and two cats, Dango and Mabel. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, board games, ping pong, and other recreational activities.
Sabrina joined the team in Spring of 2021. She is currently attending the Veterinary Technician Program at Northwood Technical College and will be graduating Spring of 2023. She is so excited to become a Certified Veterinary Technician! Her favorite part of the veterinary field is being able to make connections with the animals. Sabrina shares her home with her Fiancé, Devin, and all of their rescued pets which include: Cinnamon the Chihuahua terrier mix, Remington the Italian greyhound/terrier mix, Rupert the hedgehog, and their two cats Edwin and Mouse. She also plans to start fostering dogs from the rescue she adopted Cinnamon from! Outside of work and school, she loves being with her friends and family, taking the dogs on walks/hikes, exploring dog-friendly breweries, and spending as much time outdoors as possible!
Tausha is one of our veterinary assistants. Animals have always been a passion of hers since she was little. Being raised up north and her family owning a farm with all sorts of animals her love for animals grew from a young age. She has been working as an assistant since late 2016. She started as a receptionist in the veterinary industry but shortly realized she wanted to do so much more. Tausha learned everything she knows as an assistant by watching and then doing. She really has come so far! Tausha has recently moved in to her first home with her fiancé and now has her own little domesticated farm at home which includes a miniature dachshund Azula, the newest addition a Catahoula mix Opie, and 4 kitties (Juni , Oliver , Opal and Waffles) who run the whole house! When Tausha isn’t at work providing excellent care to your pets , she enjoys baking and cooking. Spending time with family and enjoying all the fabulous breweries Minnesota has to offer with her fiancé Ashley and some of her closest friends!
Kendra joined the team spring of 2023, but has been working as a vet assistant since 2021 starting at a equine clinic, as much as she loved working with her equine pals her passion is working with her smaller furry friends. Kendra grew up on a small hobby farm with her parents in the Hastings area with her many critters small and large! Outside of the clinic she enjoys showing with her horse Shasta and hanging out with friends and family.