You’re in Good Hands
Technical Staff and Client Service Team
Veterinary assistants and technicians play a vital role in the care, safety, and comfort of every hospitalized patient. As in a human hospital, these skilled professionals interface closely with patients and doctors, ensuring that each patient receives expert attention around the clock. We are very proud of the team of caring and highly-skilled veterinary assistants and technicians on our staff; we believe they provide the finest level of care available.
Our skilled and compassionate client service team understands the challenges of caring for a sick or injured pet. These talented individuals have elected to work in the veterinary field because they, too, are “animal lovers.” Their goal is to help you and your pet through a difficult time by providing consistently friendly and efficient service.
It takes a special kind of doctor to dedicate her or himself to the veterinary emergency and critical care field - one willing to face long hours, challenging medical and surgical cases, distressed pet owners, and stressful working conditions. Despite these hardships, emergency doctors thrive on the opportunity to help clients and pets at a time of real need. They enjoy the intellectual challenge of managing diverse and complex medical conditions in a constantly changing, fast-paced environment. Succeeding in this field requires highly developed medical skills, strong empathy for clients, and true compassion for patients.
Dr. Chris Shacoski is a SPEC owner and Hospital Director. He received his veterinary degree from the University of Florida in 1993. After three years in small animal general practice in the Eastern U.S., he and his wife, a veterinary specialist in reproduction, relocated to California. Chris began working as an emergency veterinarian in 1996 at Veterinary Emergency Services (VES) in Fresno, where he spent two years. While at VES Chris had the opportunity to work closely with veterinary emergency and critical care specialists, including Dr. Roger Gfeller. Chris then returned to small animal general practice for two years before joining the Bay Area Veterinary Emergency Clinic (BAVEC), where he served as both a staff emergency doctor and as a co-practice manager prior to joining SPEC. He is a member of the Veterinary Emergency & Critical Care Society. Chris’ primary professional interests are in emergency and critical care medicine, strategic planning, and practice innovation. His hobbies are soccer, fly-fishing, hiking, reading, and many sports.
Dr. Ilsi Medearis is the head staff veterinarian of SPEC. Ilsi grew up in the San Francisco Bay area and graduated from the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine In 1990. She initially worked as an equine practitioner in Portola Valley, CA before joining the Peninsula Humane Society as staff veterinarian and also working part-time as an emergency veterinarian in San Francisco. Ilsi moved back to the Davis area in 1992 and began working at SPEC as a full-time emergency veterinarian. She became the managing veterinarian at SPEC in 1993, and has remained on staff since. Ilsi is a member of the Veterinary Emergency & Critical Care Society. In addition to her passion for emergency practice, Ilsi is a very active horse owner and equestrian competitor, participating in show jumping and dressage.
Dr. Nancy Ramsey is a part-time staff emergency doctor at SPEC. She graduated from UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in 1991. Upon graduation, Nancy worked in general practice at Oak Animal Hospital for three years before leaving to start her own mobile small animal practice. In addition to working in her busy mobile practice, she also worked part-time for Family Pet Hospital for several years prior to joining SPEC in 2000 to pursue her interest in emergency and critical care medicine. Nancy hold a private pilot’s license and enjoys flying, reading, and spending time with her pets and family.
Dr. Waka Blair was born and raised in Japan. She worked as a registered veterinary technician and as a small animal kidney transplant coordinator at UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital for many years prior to attending the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. She graduated from vet school with honors in 2010. Dr. Blair trained in a medicine and surgery internship at Texas A & M for one year and then another year at UC Davis in an emergency and critical care specialty internship. Her main areas of professional interest include emergency medicine, neurology, and integrative medicine. She is currently studying to be a certified veterinary acupuncturist and traditional veterinary Chinese Herbalist. She likes spending time with her family, cooking, skiing, gardening, and studying traditional Chinese veterinary medicine in her free time.
Laurie Davis is SPEC’s Technical Supervisor and Practice Manager. In addition to her years of “hands on” training as a veterinary technician and then manager, she has also completed coursework at the American Animal Hospital Association’s School of Veterinary Practice Management in Colorado. Early in Laurie’s career she was active in real estate and worked for many years in property management in the San Francisco east bay area. Based on her longstanding fondness for animals, she transitioned into the veterinary field, working at a small animal hospital in the Napa Valley prior to joining SPEC in 1996. Since that time she has developed her management expertise while also remaining active as a skilled veterinary technician. Laurie is now responsible for all day-to-day hospital operations. She lives in Fairfield with her partner, Dr. Mark Doverspike (a surgical specialist in mobile practice). Laurie also oversees a busy home that includes 4 dogs, 3 cats, and one horse. She enjoys spending time with her family, relaxing in Baja, kayaking, hiking, camping, horseback riding, and dirt bike riding.
is SPEC’s Administrative Coordinator, overseeing many aspects of the hospital’s business operations, as well as those at SPEC’s “sister hospital,” PETS Referral Center in Berkeley. Brenda has many years of experience in the veterinary management field, having worked in both general and emergency/specialty practice prior to joining SPEC/PETS in 2004. Brenda has an Associate of Arts Degree in Business Administration and was attracted to the veterinary field due to her compassion for animals. She has volunteered regularly at an animal shelter since 1993 and at a feral cat spay/neuter clinic since 2003. Her hobbies include softball, soccer, and spending time with family and friends. Brenda has two large rescued dogs.