Meet Our Team

Our Desert Veterinary Medical Specialists team looks forward to caring for your pets. Our entire staff of doctors, veterinary technicians and staff are animal lovers and we promise to care for each pet as they are our own furry family members. 


Whit Church, DVM - Cardiology

Whit ChurchDr. Church earned his veterinary degree from Oregon State University in 2002. After graduation he completed a one-year internship at Cornell University followed by a cardiology residency and Master of Science degree at the University of Illinois. He finished the last year of his residency at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Church moved to Arizona with his family in 2006 to provide specialized cardiology services. He enjoys partnering with primary care veterinarians to care for patients and their families throughout the region. His special areas of interest include pericardial diseases, echocardiography, and interventional cardiovascular procedures. Dr. Church received a number of grants and awards which include: the ACVIM Cardiology Resident Research Grant, the University of Illinois Small Animal Departmental Research Grant, and the Salsbury Scholarship. He lectures all over the country at both national and local continuing education conferences. Dr. Church is also a founding member of the Cardiac Education Group.


Melissa Riensche, DVM - Internal Medicine
Angie Mexas, DVM - Internal Medicine
Victoria L. Heffelman, DVM - Radiology
Amy Roth-Jones, DVM - Radiology
Sasha Naugler, DVM - Radiology Resident


Kathy Wilson, CVT - Practice Manager

Kathy 150x225Since she was a child, Kathy knew she wanted to work with animals. In high school she was involved in FFA (Future Farmers of America) and grew up with a variety of family pets. As Kathy began her career, she found herself in management in the retail and food industry. But her passion for the animals motivated her to move into veterinary medicine where she has worked for over 20 years. Beginning as a veterinary technician, Kathy continued to pursue additional training and responsibilities and now enjoys business administration by working as a practice manager. Outside of work Kathy enjoys reading, volunteering at Angel Acres Inc. and spending time with her husband and two daughters as well as her family pets, 1 dog and 1 cat (all rescues).

Customer Care

Darlene Wetzstein

DarDarlene is originally from East St. Paul, Minnesota, and moved to Arizona 15 years ago. Darlene has been a veterinary receptionist for 10 years and joined Desert Veterinary Medical Specialists in 2012.  We are happy to have her as part of our team as she is always smiling and enjoys assisting our clients and patients. She is a mother of two great girls, Krissy and Tina. She has a Border Collie mix named Charger, a chocolate lab grand-dog named Sadie, and has had the experience of owning and riding horses.  In her spare time, she enjoys reading and riding motorcycles.


Ashley Cox
Mikaela Mora
Brooke Benecke

Certified Veterinary Technicians

Danette Alley, CVT

DanetteDanette grew up in Montana and graduated from the University of Montana with a BS in Business Management. She moved to Arizona in 1994 and worked for several years as an Office Manager before deciding to change career paths. She attended and completed the Veterinary Technology program at Pima Medical Institute and has been working as a technician in general practice since 2004. She joined the Desert Veterinary Medical Specialists team in August of 2012 and thoroughly enjoys working in our Internal Medicine department. We are fortunate to have her on our team, as she always has a positive and determined attitude. Danette currently has 1 cat, Wyle, and 2 dogs, Moon and Starla. She enjoys walking and training her dogs, is an avid reader and likes to spend her leisure time with her friends or relaxing at home.

Dina Berriochoa, CVT
Megan DeMarco, CVT
Amber DeOliviera, CVT
Allison Hagy, CVT
Nicole Lauer, CVT
Jennifer Miller, CVT
Megan Miller, CVT
Bailey Oppedisano, CVT
Lauren Pysher, CVT

Veterinary Technicians

Katie Herlehy

Katie Katie was born in Germany and, as a military child, has lived in many places throughout the U.S.  Her family eventually settled in Arizona. She has wanted to work with animals since she was a child when she discovered her dog loved her back rubs! She completed a nursing and veterinary technician program through her high school and began work as a veterinary technician in 2004. She joined Arizona Veterinary Internal Medicine, now Desert Veterinary Medical Specialists, in 2007. She has loved learning more about Internal Medicine every day and we love that she is so sweet and caring to our clients and patients! Katie and her wonderful husband, Sean, have 3 dogs, Red, Seamus and Camber, and 2 cats, Wesley and Butters.  Recently, they have added 2 new member to their family – a son, Izaak, and a daughter Khloe. We  are sure Izaak and Khloe will love animals as much as their parents. In her spare time, Katie enjoys going out to eat, watching movies, and riding dirt bikes with her husband.

Shiloh Overson

Contact Us

Phone: 480-635-1110 ext. 7
Fax: 480-892-0540

Arizona Veterinary Specialty Center
86 W. Juniper Ave.
Gilbert, AZ 85233

Canyon State Veterinary Specialists
7823 W. Golden Lane
Peoria, AZ 85345

(Cardiology patients only / 1 day a week)
22595 N. Scottsdale Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85255

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Locations in Gilbert, Peoria & Scottsdale
Phone: 480-635-1110 ext. 7

Fax: 480-892-0540
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