Dr. Frank M. Virga graduated in 1990 from Oklahoma State University College Of Veterinary Medicine. Since that time, he has practiced in American Animal Hospital Certified Veterinary facilities in the Bakersfield area, gaining valuable surgical and internal medical experience. Dr. Virga is experienced in veterinary emergency medicine and has done relief veterinary medicine at many veterinary hospitals in the Southern California area. Dr. Virga is the previous owner of Kern Home Veterinary Services, which provided in-home medical care for the pets of Kern County from 1992 - 1995. Dr Virga has completed the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society Veterinary Acupuncture course and became a Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist (CVA) by successfully sitting for the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society written and practical examinations. Dr Virga is the only certified veterinary acupuncturist in the southern San Joaquin Valley. Prior to his career in veterinary medicine, Dr. Virga was a successful dog trainer and handler, specializing in the retriever breeds. Dr. Virga also has professional experience in customer relations and takes special pride in making the clients at North of The River Veterinary Hospital feel special. Additionally, Dr. Virga is interested in animal behavior and nutrition and is eager to assist his clients in these important areas of pet care.
Sabrina was born and raised in the Bakersfield area, and currently resides in the North of the River communities. She has been a veterinary assistant for 15 years and a member of the North of the River Hospital team Since October, 1997. Sabrina is our senior veterinary assistant and therefore performs a lead role in surgical preparation, collection of diagnostic samples and performing diagnostic tests including, radiology, electrocardiograms, blood chemistry, patient monitoring and treatment. When you encounter Sabrina in the examination rooms where she will gather medical history about your pet's condition and collect specimens and vital signs from your "special friend". Sabrina chose a career working with animals due to her love for all animals. She has a long history of rescuing "strays". She is currently studying at Bakersfield Community College so that she can qualify to sit for the very demanding, California Registered Veterinary Technician Examination and become a licensed veterinary technician. Sabrina has a very special love for our feline friends and is the proud mother of "Wyatt" her kitty. Oh! By the way, she is also the mother of three very nice girls. In addition to animals, Sabrina enjoys antique collecting, camping, a fan of the auto races, and last, but certainly not least, swap meets! Sabrina's outgoing and friendly personality are a natural for any customer service oriented business and we are very fortunate to have her as a member of our veterinary medical team! Please feel free to discuss any concerns you have about your pet's health with Sabrina so that she can accurately record them in the medical record before you see the doctor.
Lona is our Office and Reception manager with responsibility for making your visit to North of the River Veterinary Hospital as efficient and user friendly as possible. Lona has been with us since fall 2004. She will often be the one you are talking to when scheduling appointments of any kind, refilling medication. She is somewhat of an expert between the front desk / reception area and the back where all of our medicine is done. Lona will give you tips that make you and your pet's visit in the reception area as safe as possible. Lona is married with 1 child of her own, and married into an additional 6 children. She is also a grandmother to 4, any of which she will be happy to brag about when asked and sometimes without being asked. Lona and her husband have a kitty, a Border Collie baby, and Sadie. They enjoy camping, dirt biking, boating and fishing. Please ask for Lona any time you are interested in our interest free financing program or other administrative concerns you may have.
Jessica has been a member of the reception staff for the past 2 years. She has a very out-going personality and excellent phone etiquette. Jessica is always willing to answer your questions or find out the answer and communicate it to you. Often Jessica will be scheduling your pet's appointments, calling you to see how your pet is doing after treatment or surgery. Many times she will be responsible to review the recommended treatment plan with you so that you can approve it, allowing the doctors and staff to begin diagnostic procedures and/or treatment on your "special family member". Jessica is more than willing to help you register for use of our on line pharmacy as well as discuss pet health insurance options with you. Jessica plays an important role in our veterinary team. Please feel free to ask Jessica any questions you may have regarding your pet's health and/or treatment.
Tahara has been raised in the North of the River Veterinary Hospital family. She began working here as a volunteer and eventually was hired full time. Our previous groomer had to leave due to non-work related injury. Tahara "stepped up to the plate" and has successfully taken over the grooming and is instrumental in keeping the kennels, cages and reception exam areas clean and smelling nice. Tahara also helps restrain patients for procedures or diagnostic tests and is a valuable technician assistant. Her gentle restraint, and patient demeanor with the stressed patient keeps the patient calm, allowing the treatments and/or procedures to much easier to perform and less stressful for the patient. Please feel free to communicate to Tahara how you want your pet to look. Do not be afraid to discuss your petscompleted groom with Tahara at pick-up especially if you would prefer a change in the grooming technique or style. As a groomer Tahara is always aware that it is how you, the client, want your pet to look that is important.
Samantha has been with North of the River Veterinary Hospital for over 2 years. She began as a volunteer, putting in required intern hours to qualify for her Registered Veterinary Technician certification. She displayed such a high level of dedication to patient care that it was decided to invite her to become a full time member of our staff. She is attending accredited Veterinary Technician course at Bakersfield Community College. She only has very few courses left before she will be able to sit for the California Registered Veterinary Technician examination. Samantha is very a very outgoing individual with a wonderful sense of humor and is always willing to discuss your "special friend's" needs with you. Samantha has become an integral part of our health care team.
Crystalis a very friendly and detail oriented individual. Crystal is an avid feline fan! She is currently has 4 cats, 2 of which are sphinx cats (hairless) that keep her warm on cold nights. Crystal has shown both her cats and aspires to do more cat shows. Crystal in currently is studying to become a Registered Veterinary Technician, which requires about 2 years of part time classes! She also must document 4000 hours of on the job experience in a Veterinary Hospital. This is a big commitment to quality veterinary care for your pets. Crystal has lived in Washington State, and relocated to Bakersfield where her father is in the oil business. You will often encounter Crystal when you check in your pet for medical care. You will find her especially attentive to the needs of your "special Friends.