Bjorn Barrè, D.V.M., Medical Director
Dr. Bjorn Barrè’s family immigrated from Denmark to California, where he was born. At the young age of four, Dr. Barrè convinced his family to adopt a stray, pregnant, Santa Ana River cat. This cat along with frogs, fish, birds, mice, and dogs were part of his childhood family. Thus, began his love and passion for animals.
Dr. Barrè stayed in California to attend college. Bjorn’s undergraduate studies were at UCSD, where he majored in Biochemistry and Cell Biology. He spent a summer studying in Copenhagen, Denmark, learning about his family’s language and culture. He graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2004. His graduate studies then took Bjorn to UC Davis, where he received a nutrition scholarship, volunteered at the spay and neuter clinics for the pets of the local homeless population, participated in Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation fundraising events and finished Veterinary School in 2009. Dr. Barrè’s extended family includes a chocolate lab, Kahlua, a mastiff mixed- breed dog named Piggy, and assorted reptiles and fish. Dr. Barrè enjoys racquetball, surfing and fishing, even though his love, passion and work with animals keeps him very busy. His extended family continues to grow and now includes the patients and clients at Kearny Mesa Veterinary Center.
Emily Cross, D.V.M., DABVP(Canine/Feline)/ Dietician
As many of you already know, Dr. Emily Cross recently earned diplomate status with the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (canine/feline), making her one of the only two veterinarians in San Diego to achieve this prestigious medical distinction in this specialty.
Dr. Emily Cross grew up in Syracuse, NY. At the tender age of 5 she declared to her parents that she wanted to be a veterinarian. Wanting her to get a real world experience in animal care, her parents encouraged an externship at the Syracuse Zoo when she was 13. After shoveling up a lot of monkey poo all summer, she was still committed to veterinary medicine and her parents started to take her seriously! She graduated in 2003 from Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine as a member of the Phi Zeta honor society. She worked in a high volume general practice and referral hospital in Syracuse for 2 years before joining the team at Purina Veterinary Diets as a Veterinary Communications Manager in August 2005. Her special interests include nutrition, dermatology, and internal medicine. She says, “I love being able to help an animal who has been feeling sick without always having to reach for long term medications. Sometimes it is just as simple as the right diet change.” She greatly enjoys having left the cold Syracuse winters behind her and plays beach volleyball regularly. At home her cat Dewey keeps her very busy when not working at her two jobs!
Kirsten Ronngren, D.V.M.
Dr. Kirsten Ronngren was born and raised in Washington State, spending time on both the west and east sides of the state. She attended Washington State University in Pullman for her undergraduate degree which she obtained in 2011, as well as her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Degree which she obtained in 2015 (Go Cougs!). She relocated to Southern California in the fall of 2017. Her interests in medicine include diagnostic imaging, feline medicine, and preventative care. Dr. Ronngren enjoys outside activities like hiking, biking, spending time with family, and running with her golden retriever Jasper. She is also an avid sports fanatic, and loves traveling and cooking in her free time.
Laura Halsey, D.V.M, cVMA
Laura Halsey grew up in San Diego, earning a BS in biology at San Diego State University before attending the University of California, Davis to earn her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. After graduation, Dr. Halsey returned to San Diego to complete a rigorous 1-year internship in emergency and specialty veterinary medicine before entering general practice. To compliment and expand on traditional medicine, Dr. Halsey became certified in veterinary medical acupuncture and has incorporated this into her general practice.
Dr. Halsey’s special interests include acupuncture, soft tissue surgery, pain management, internal medicine, behavior, and most of all, being a part of each family and providing the best veterinary care to her patients in an open and compassionate manner. Dr. Halsey is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the California Veterinary Medical Association, and the San Diego County Veterinary Medical Association.
When not at work, Dr. Halsey enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband and their two human children, playing with their two Border collie mixes, Huxley and Nellie, and cuddling up at night with Annie the cat.
Craig Marvil, D.V.M.
Please note that Dr. Marvil is enjoying his much deserved retirement! Dr. Marvil grew up in the Pasadena, California area. He always had animals and began working in an animal hospital as soon as the veterinarians would let him. “I was too young to drive, so I got rides or took the bus to work.” His most memorable moment was raising an abandoned collie puppy from two days of age, bottle feeding around the clock, and having it become a treasured family member. Following graduation from the University of California at Davis, Dr. Marvil joined a multi-doctor practice in Covina, a suburb of Los Angeles. “It was a very busy practice with a large case load. I developed extensive experience in surgery and internal medicine.” In 1975, he and his wife Joan, a special education teacher, moved to San Diego. His son and daughter were raised in San Diego. Dr. Marvil formed Kearny Mesa Veterinary Center in 1998 by merging Dr. Broady’s practice with his own. “I find veterinary medicine a constantly stimulating and exciting profession. I look forward to going to work each morning. It’s not just the medicine, but the people I meet and the staff I work with, that make it rewarding.” Dr. Marvil is a past president of the San Diego County Veterinary Medical Association and has chaired the peer review committee for the association the last several years. When not practicing medicine, he enjoys bicycling, golf, skiing, scuba diving and underwater photography. “The whole family enjoys these activities and we have had some great experiences.”
Tyler McGuckin, RVT – Hospital Manager
Tyler originally started with KMVC in July of 2004 as an assistant. He grew up in South Lake Tahoe, where his growing intolerance of constant snow pretty much destined him for a life in Southern California. He escaped to UCSD, earning his bachelor’s degree in animal physiology and neuroscience in 2004. Tyler was a great employee, quick learning and thorough. Then in September of 2006 he was forced by circumstance to move back to Lake Tahoe. Once there, he worked at a very busy multiple doctor practice, and got his Veterinary Technician license in Nevada. Our loss was their gain, and we whined a lot when we heard. But wait, the saga continued to unfold and lo, he came back to us in April of 2007, having found the snow no less annoying and the small town pace stifling. Shortly thereafter he passed his boards and became Registered Veterinary Technician in California. Lucky us, and no more whining! He is now our lead technician and no one cares more about the little beings under their care than he. In 2015 Tyler became our new hospital manager.
He lives with his two cats Phoenix and Sphinx and he couldn’t be happier. A technophile, Tyler understands computers, MP3 players, and anything digital and is willing to share his knowledge freely with the rest of us.
Charlotte was born and raised in San Diego and always had a deep love of animals. After studying at UC Santa Cruz she was eventually able to start off her animal career, putting in all her effort into caring for various kittens and puppies. She was often the one fostering kittens that were too young to go to homes, or caring over night for sick puppies that needed extra TLC. From knowing Dr. Marvil through her work he took notice of her unwavering devotion to animals and offered her the opportunity to join us here at KMVC. She is overjoyed to be here and continues learning all she can in the veterinary field. She is now our current cat lady, having a special fondness and way with our feline patients. She has two cats of her own; Crysta and Cheeseball. She is also our first graduate of the CVMA assistant program.
Shana is an enthusiastic technician/receptionist and a graduate of the PIMA Medical Institute’s veterinary assistant program. She hopes to one day get her RVT license and even own her own rescue. She’s currently working on her RVT applications right now! She has a pet family of 2 dogs, Dalila and Lightning. We all appreciate her bubbly nature and willingness to help both in the back and up front with the receptionists.
Michelle was born and raised in San Diego and has always had animals growing up. She graduated from the Pima Veterinary Assistant program in 2013. Currently she has one dog named Abbie. She enjoys anything outdoors, especially riding dirt bikes and going to the beach. Michelle has always had a soft spot for animals in her heart and has known all her life that she wanted to work with them. She’s very excited to start here at KMVC and continue learning everything that the vet field involves.
Chris was born and raised in San Diego. Currently attending San Diego Mesa College to become an RVT. He enjoys hanging out with friends, playing basketball, and listening to music and of course being with his two dogs Tito and Tobby. He previously had work in power washing and carpet cleaning so we greatly appreciate his cleanliness! He’s very happy here at KMVC and is constantly learning new things every day. While he’s still quite young he’s enjoying life while helping out all our patients here.
Kurtis was born and raised in Coon Rapids, MN. He graduated from the University of Minnesota-Duluth majoring in Psychology and Criminology in 2015. In the Summer of 2016, Kurtis moved to San Diego, CA with his two energetic Siberian Huskies, Kaiser and Chance, to pursue his Juris Doctorate (JD). After his first year of law school, Kurtis decided that he wanted to add on a Master of Business Administration to his JD, which meant that he would need to take the Graduate Records Exam (GRE). Not wanting to take focus away form his law studies, he decided to put them on hold for a year while he studies for his GRE. It was at this time that Kurtis, having already been a client of ours, was informed of an open receptionist position. After applying he has been with us ever since. On his off-time Kurtis enjoys playing hockey and soccer, listening to all sorts of music, and going on long runs with Kaiser and Chance. Though his time with us may be limited, he has been a great addition to our team, and is always willing to go above and beyond for our patients here at Kearny Mesa Veterinary Center.
Ayla was born and raised in San Diego. After finishing high school in 2011 she acquired her first job in the animal field as a veterinary assistant at a small hospital in her home town of Mira Mesa. A series of events and corporate closure of her center led Ayla to looking for a new place to call home. From her connections through friends in the veterinary field Ayla found a position here at KMVC. Ayla is very happy with her new position and is already expanding her knowledge and skills by starting the RVT program. In her free time she likes to explore all scenic and edible opportunities southern California has to offer. She has 7 rescued kitty cats; Missy, Sassy, Toby Blue, Sam, Diego and Sabine. It’s true when they say cats don’t have owners, they have slaves.
Ali was born in San Diego, Ca. and raised in San Marcos, Texas since the age of 1 and grew up on a duck farm up until 2012. She came back to San Diego and finished High school here in 2015. She went to San Diego Miramar College after high school and has changed her major many times before deciding on working in the veterinary field. Ali volunteered at the San Diego Humane society for 3 years and decided to continue her education at Pima Medical Institute to pursue Veterinary Assistant. She is currently in school to become a veterinary technician. Eventually she will return home to enroll in Texas A&M Veterinary School to become a Veterinarian, even though she is a Longhorn at heart. In her free time she enjoys cars, food, Harry Potter and being with her 3 dogs Ami, Panda and Spot. She loves what she does and is glad to be here at KMVC.