Dr. Jennifer Clay is a 2003 graduate of the University of California at Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. During her time at UC Davis Dr. Clay received special training in Grief Support, Small Animal Dentistry, and Ultrasound. After graduating from UC Davis, Dr. Clay did a one-year rotating internship at the VCA Emergency Animal Hospital and Referral Center in San Diego, California, where she was Intern of the Year. Dr. Clay’s internship included rotations in Internal Medicine, Surgery, Emergency and Critical Care, and Exotic Animal Medicine. Dr. Clay is a member of the Association for Veterinary Family Practice (AVFP), the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the Memphis Shelby County Veterinary Medical Association (MSCVMA), the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), and Veterinary Information Network (VIN). She is currently the President of the Academy of Veterinary Family Practice, the Immediate Past President of the Association for Veterinary Family Practice (AVFP) and on the Board of Directors of the MSCVMA. Dr. Clay received her Credential in Veterinary Family Practice in November of 2009 and is currently helping to form a specialty in Veterinary Famly Practice. Dr. Clay moved to Memphis in the summer of 2004 and practiced at Greene Animal Hospital for two years before joining the staff at Downtown Animal Hospital in August of 2006. She founded Utopia Animal Hospital in 2008. Dr. Clay and her husband, Chip, have one cat, Marty. They welcomed their son James to the world in the summer of 2009 and will be adding a daughter to their family in February of 2013.
Dr. Frances Bertasi Smith is a native Memphian, and a 2003 graduate of Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine. She is a current member of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the Memphis Shelby Country Veterinary Medical Association (MSCVMA). She is a past member of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP). Dr. Smith’s initial school focus was equine, and she spent the first two years out of school at an equine referral hospital. After marrying, Dr. Smith decided small animal would fit better with family life, so although she retains a passion for hoses, she now focuses on her family and small animal patients. She has worked in the St. Louis, MO area as well as the surrounding greater Memphis area. She is excited about being a part-time member of the Utopia Animal Hospital team!
Dr. Smith’s major area of interest, other than horses, is surgery, especially reconstructing lacerations and challenging occular problems.
Along with her husband, Bart, Dr. Smith has two boys, ages 5 and 3, and a daughter born on Christmas Eve, 2012! They also have a female German Shepherd, Jasmine, who helps to keep the boys in line, as well as recently added 9 fish to their collection.
Carla Pittman has been working in Veterinary Medicine since 1998. She has worked with several area veterinarians, including Dr. Barden Greenfield, who is a Veterinary Dental Specialist. Carla has a special interest in both human and animal dentistry. Carla and her husband have 2 boys at home who keep them very busy!
Heather Birkhimer began volunteering at Westwood Veterinary Hospital in Stubenville, Ohio in 2000. She spent seven years there serving as kennel assistant, technician and office manager. Heather is currently taking classes to become a Registered Veterinary Technician and a Veterinary Practice Manager. Heather, her husband Dee and her two daughters, Emma and Katie moved to Memphis in 2008. Heather joined the Utopia team during the summer of 2009. She has two dogs, Biscuit and Rudy.
Annie Martini came to Utopia in the summer of 2009 after working for PetSmart in the PetHotel. She has a degree in English Education, but decided that she prefers to work with animals. Annie received her Certificate in Veterinary Techology in the spring of 2012 from San Juan College. Annie’s hometown is Cloverport, Kentucky. Annie shares her home with her two dogs, Molly and Alistair.
James Clay joined the Utopia staff at the end of August 2009. James enjoys being the offical Utopia greeter. As you can see from this photo, he has a special interest in surgery. He is also training to be a dog-walker. James has one cat named Marty.
Jennifer Sager joined the staff of Utopia in the winter of 2010. She comes to us with 14 years’ experience in veterinary medicine. She has worked as a receptionist, a technician and a groomer. Jennifer and her husband share their home with a great group of dogs and cats.
Alexus Sullivan joined the Utopia team in October of 2010 as a Registered Veterinary Technician. He first came to help us out during Carla’s maternity leave. Then, we were lucky enough to have him join us part-time on a regular basis starting in March 2011. Alexus has been working in Veterinary Medicine since 1995 and has a degree in Animal Science. His “day job” is at Pet Med Emergency Center here in Memphis. Alexus has extensive experience in general medicine, emergency medicine and management. Alexus is a native Memphian and shares his home with his dog Nelly.
Jerica Burgette joined us in March of 2012. She has been working as a Veterinary Technician since 2008 and has a great passion for her job. Jerica has lived much of her life in Memphis, but also considers St. Louis home. She has enjoys and has studied music, including music therapy. Jerica shares her home with her son Rowan and her dog Henry.
Hilda Fitts-Orejel joined the Utopia staff in October of 2012. She moved to Memphis from Modesto, California in the summer of 2012. Hilda has been caring for animals for almost a decade, first in a boarding facility, then as a technician in an animal hospital. Hilda received her Certificate of Veterinary Technology in 2007 and is currently studying to take the exam to become a Registered Veterinary Technician. Hilda and her husband share their home with thee cats (Frankie, Hobo and Staten Island) and one dog (Sweetie Pie).
Would you like to become a member of our staff? We are not currently hiring, but keep employment applications on file. When we have an opening, we will call persons who have previously submitted an application first.