204 W. Granger Ave., Modesto, CA 95350
(209) 527-5855(209) 527-5855
Mon-Fri: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sat: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.
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Meet Our Staff


Dr. Jeff Kahler
DVM, Practice Director

Jeff Kahler

Jeff Kahler spent his childhood on the San Francisco Peninsula exploring the open fields, discovering the wonders of the animal kingdom. He developed a keen interest in reptiles and amphibians that continues today in his veterinary practice.

Dr. Kahler attended California State University, Fresno and received his undergraduate degree in biology. For 2 years, he worked in a veterinary hospital where he started as veterinary kennel attendant and later to a veterinary assistant. Then he moved to Davis to study at the University of California, Davis (UCD), working toward a PhD in comparative pathology. He then attended veterinary school at UCD, where he received his doctor of veterinary medicine in 1987.

Dr. Kahler began working at Veterinary Medical Associates in 1991, and became the director of the practice in 1996. His special interests include: internal medicine and surgery for small animal companions such as dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, reptiles, rodents, ferrets, goats, fish . . . and the list goes on.

Above all else, Dr. Kahler enjoys the special bond that is created between pet owners and their beloved companions. He is rewarded on a daily basis as he helps establish these relationships. His experience solidifies that he could have chosen no greater profession.

Dr. Hilary Wert

Hilary Wert

Dr. Hilary Wert grew up on the San Francisco Peninsula with a wide variety of pets, including cats, dogs, guinea pigs, snakes, and fish.  She developed a passion for animals, and with her accompanied love of science, spurred an interest in veterinary medicine.

Dr. Wert graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2006 with an undergraduate degree in biology. After graduation, she worked at a family-owned business for 4 years.  Meanwhile, in her free time, she volunteered at local wildlife rehabilitation facilities, barns, and veterinary clinics.  She then attended the University of California, Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, where she received her degree in 2014.  After graduating from Davis, she joined Veterinary Medical Associates in July 2014.

Her special interests include: small animal medicine, soft-tissue surgery, and behavior of small animal and exotic pets.

Outside of work, she enjoys cooking, gardening, and relaxing with friends.

Veterinary Staff

Cheryl Kirkbride
Office Manager

Cheryl  Kirkbride

I started with VMA in 1983-so you can say I have been here awhile. I’ve seen the many stages of a pet’s life, as well as our clients. It’s so rewarding to see the children of our clients coming in with not only their pets, but also their children and family.

I enjoy spending time with family, traveling and crafting.

Autumn Espejel
Registered Veterinary Technician

Autumn Espejel

My career at VMA started in 2003 while I was attending Western Career College(now Carrington College).  I have gained knowledge pertaining to many different species of animals which we have seen here at VMA. My work even comes home with me as I have adopted several birds, dogs and cats.

I am married with a daughter and twin boys. As a family we enjoy spending time together rooting for the Oakland A’s.

Miranda Welch
Registered Veterinary Technician

Miranda  Welch

I recently graduated from the Veterinary Technology program at Carrington College. Caring for animals has been my passion, even as a child I knew that caring for animals is what I was meant to do. Growing up, I was a part of the 4-H club at my school. Throughout high school, I was a part of a Goat showing team that traveled to various shows. I have experience working with livestock animals. I look forward to all the experience and knowledge I will gain working.
When I’m not working I enjoy camping, fishing, hiking, and horseback riding. I also love spending time with family.

April Valentin
Registered Veterinary Technician

April Valentin

I graduated with my A.S. in Animal Health Technology from San Diego Mesa College and received my license from the state of California as a Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT) in 2007. My area of interest has been in working with exotics, with a special interest in avian medicine.

Throughout my veterinary career I have had the pleasure of working in exotic specialty practices, wildlife rehabilitation centers, and the San Diego Zoo Wild Animal Park. I moved from San Diego to the Central Valley to be closer to my family and go back to school. I am currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing with a Biology minor from CSU Stanislaus. I am a native Californian, full-time mother of two young children, two cats, one dog, and three cockatiels. Recreationally I enjoy yoga, gardening, trips to the beach or the zoo, and volunteering. I am thrilled to be part of the Veterinary Medical Associates team! I look forward to serving our community by contributing to the health care of pets like yours.

Christina Brown
Front Office Manager

Christina  Brown

Christina Brown joined VMA in 2001. She enjoys all aspects of the veterinary field. When she is not at VMA, she tries to keep up with her two small children with all their various activities.  She has a small zoo at home, which includes dogs, cats, turtles, and chickens.

Jennifer Stephens
Veterinary Assistant

Jennifer Stephens

I have been a resident of the VMA family since 2001. I started here as a kennel assistant after leaving a career as a fast food restaurant manger. I have been able to progress into a position as a technician through my many experiences here at VMA. My favorite part of this job is interacting with our clients and their companion pets.

When not at work, I enjoy spending time with my husband and daughter. I also have the privilege of sharing my home with two wonderful dogs and a cat who crawled into my husband’s car while he was at work and hitched a ride to our house.

Alba Vasquez
Veterinary Assistant

Alba  Vasquez

I've always had a love for animals ever since I can remember and wanted to help them in any way possible. I volunteered at different animal shelters in Modesto and Santa Cruz. I also worked at a veterinary office during my time as an undergraduate student.

I graduated from the University of California Santa Cruz in 2015 with my bachelor's degree in biology. I work at Veterinary Medical Associates because I know I'll gain valuable insight from the doctors and support staff. I plan to further my education in the veterinary field and become a DVM.

In my spare time I love to be outdoors in the sunshine drinking a cup of tea with my two Siamese cats or watching my dogs playing together.




Bella Cebreros
Veterinary Assistant

Bella  Cebreros

I grew up mostly in Modesto, but have also lived in Arizona and Nevada. After returning to California for the last time, I attended MJC. I graduated from the Veterinary Technician program, earning a Certificate of Achievement. I also volunteered at our local animal shelter working closely with the Doctors and technicians. I enjoy working at Veterinary Medical Associates and appreciate all their mentoring and support. I plan on continuing my education to achieve my AS Degree in Animal Science, as well as my RVT license. I enjoy working with all species of animals, including exotics, pockets, as well as all the others.

When I am NOT studying, I enjoy watching movies, playing video games and spending time with my fur babies, playing fetch and training them to do new tricks.




Elvira Cabrera
Veterinary Assistant

Elvira Cabrera

I started in the veterinary field volunteering at the animal shelter for a year before I stared working here at VMA in July of 2017. Ever since I was a little kid I knew I wanted to work with animals. In high school I took an animal science class and since then I knew this was the field for me. So I continued my education at MJC and working towards becoming a RVT. I never really saw myself working with exotics but I am very glad I do because I love it. I love the fact that I can learn new things every day. When I am not at work I love hanging out with my family, friends and my fur babies.

Kayli Lebow
Veterinary Assistant

Kayli Lebow

I’ve been in the veterinary field for 4 years. I’ve known since I was a kid that I wanted to work with animals. I have three labradors: Ella, Abby and Kodiak. I enjoy being outdoors, hiking, camping, fishing and spending quality time with my family and friends. I absolutely love being a veterinary technician and wouldn’t change it for the world.

Ms. Alyssa Stubbs
Kennel Technician

Alyssa Stubbs

I started working at VMA in 2018 as a kennel tech. It is an amazing experience to see what comes through the front door every day and I'm constantly learning so much. I have a passion for exotics & reptiles, so VMA is great for me! 

Prior to working here, I also volunteered at the Stanislaus Animal Services Agency. I attended MJC and received a certificate of completion for their Vet Tech program and am now working hands-on to become an RVT.

When I'm not at work, I'm usually playing video games, attending concerts, or spending time with my family & pets.

Cynthia Yates

Cynthia  Yates

I started my veterinary career in 2002 in Reno, NV. I relocated back to Modesto and started my receptionist position at Veterinary Medical Associates. My favorite part of my job is seeing all the amazing animals that we see here, both big and small.
I got married in 2007 and we have one wonderful son. We have 3 small dogs. In my free time, I love to spend time with my family, barbecuing, shopping, gardening and going swimming.

Jennifer Corriente-Ruiz

Jennifer  Corriente-Ruiz

I've always had a love for animals. I remember as a child i would bring home animals all the time just to give them something to eat and somewhere to sleep.

I started working for VMA this year as a receptionist and have enjoyed everyday learning something new. I'm still in college, hopefully to one day become a technician.

Outside of work my favorite thing to do is hang out with family and play soccer.