Meet the Veterinarians & Team of Rice Creek Animal Hospital in Lino Lakes, MN! We’re pleased to provide exceptional vet care for your pets!
Please call us at (651) 483-6128 to speak to one of our caring veterinary staff members!
Brian Hansen, DVM
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 (always with his French Bulldog shadow, FrankNBeans, in tow. 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!
Alexis Lorenz, DVM
When we realized that Rice Creek Animal Hospital needed a little extra doctor help we came across the perfect person just in time. Dr. Lorenz has been a friend of ours since veterinary school and we have followed her story as she flitted about the country after graduation. After spending time in Wisconsin, New York, and ultimately Nebraska, thankfully for us, she and her husband (a soy bean breeder ~ now, doesn’t that sound Minnesotan?), have come home to the land of lakes to roost. Alexis grew up in the potato fields of Maine but found herself steadily moving east through Ohio for college (where she was dubbed rollerblade girl as they were always strapped to her feet) and onto the University of Minnesota for her veterinary degree. Among having three young and adorable kids, she loves mountain biking and reading but is an ultimate frisbee player at heart. She was in vet school before she ever had her first “traditional” pet, a tabby named Xena who is still with her today. And just like every family with young kids, a fish with the clever name, Mr. Rainbow Fish (hmmm I wonder who named him???) calls her house home. Alexis works at Rice Creek part time (she has three kids after all) so you just may bump into her. Truth be told, Rice Creek wasn’t really looking for a second veterinarian until we heard Alexis was back in town. She honestly is the right fit for our hospital and we suspect, once you meet her, you will understand. Please welcome her to our community… she is kind, warm, practical, and down right nice. Please stop in and say hello to Dr. Alexis Lorenz.
Gregg Phillips, DVM
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 is 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 beautiful hills of Marine on Saint Croix with his wife. With his kids now grown and the passing of his beloved friend, Tuxedo (an aged but handsome Boston Terrier)… he now enjoys a lazy afternoon reading or playing the guitar dreaming of the next four-legged friend destined to be his riding buddy.
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.
Heidi Johnson, DVM
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 (Nala) and four adorable cats (Chewy, Lakota, Martin, and Ezmae). She enjoys traveling, hiking, boating, reading, hitting up the local breweries/wineries, and catching up with friends.
Katie Gillbertson, DVM
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 rambunctious terrier mix, Tucker and two cats, Koby and Millie.
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!
Marissa joined our team in 2018 and was an easy fit. We all really mean it when we say, we truly love spending our day with the animals and Marissa is no exception… and she admittedly digs the science that goes with veterinary medicine as well. There is little cooler than when you find a parasite or ear mite and know, you have a solution to help a pet feel better! Plus, who does not love creepy crawlies? When you get the chance to meet Marissa, please take a moment to thank her and her family for her service. Even with a newborn son (CONGRATULATIONS!), Marissa takes time out of her life and work to provide service to the Army Reserves (and her husband is with the National Guard). Outside of her service to our country, life at home with a babe, a cat named Shadow, and a pitty mix named Bruiser, does not leave a lot of time… but if time finds them… you may find her in a puffy coat snowboarding the slopes or cruising the countryside on her motorcycle.
Emily joined our crew in 2018 and hasn’t looked back! She graduated from Argosy University in 2016 but is wise beyond her years. Before becoming a technician, she worked at a local boarding facility and has been involved in the animal rescue world since 2010! Her favorite part about being a technician is educating pet owners. She loves to empower owners to make the best decision for their pets. When Emily is off the clock, her passion for animals doesn’t stop. She is involved with an animal rescue heading up their cat program and fostering kittens that need to be bottle-fed. She shares her home with 5 dogs; Vinny, Cannoli, Biscotti, Fettuccine and Giovanni, kitty Bowie, and of course her husband, Joe!
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 is also Fear-Free Certified, 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 shares her home with her husband, John, and their four-legged friends; Parker and Jersey (both Staffordshire Terrier Mixes) and their three cats, Kermit, Bunsen Honeydew, and Zoe. When she’s not at work, Jill enjoys hanging out at home with her pets, spending time with friends, and cooking/baking yummy things!
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 is also Fear Free Certified; 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 & McKenzie) and two dogs; Leah (Yorkie) and Annie (Mini Schnauzer).
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 is one of our veterinary assistants and although you may not see her very often, she is doing a lot to care for you and your pet in the background. Hers is one of the friendly voices you hear when you call and she is always in the back helping offer comfort and TLC to our furry friends. Macaroni and Noodle (our clinic cats) have decided that Brittany is the bomb since she has been known to be conned into an extra snack or early meal. Brittany has always had a passion for animals as evidenced by her at home companions. Brittany has dogs, cats, snakes, rats, and even tarantulas as friends. So cool!
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!
Family Care Coordinators
Emily, our family care representative is here just to make your visit as smooth and pleasant as possible. If you ever call up here, I bet you will hear her sweet and thoughtful voice on the other end of the line. Although originally from the Glencoe area, she has a home here in the twin cities but 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 crazy, fun Siberian Husky, Ace.