Meet Our Staff
We take pride in our friendly, compassionate, and knowledgeable staff at Midnight Sun Animal Hospital + Emergency Care. Our veterinarians represent over 70 years of practice experience combined. Our practice administrator, licensed veterinary technicians, veterinary technician assistants, receptionists, and kennel assistants are highly experienced, well-trained and eager to meet your needs and the needs of your pet. Our team is ready to handle all routine treatments and surgeries as well as comprehensive procedures and emergencies. Case rounds are conducted every morning and evening allowing each patient to benefit from the wide range of experience of all our doctors and staff.
CARA ELTON, DVM
Dr. Elton is a lifelong Alaskan. She was born and raised in Anchorage and her childhood pets were cared for at Diamond Animal Clinic, which later evolved into Midnight Sun Animal Hospital + Emergency Care. Dr. Elton graduated from Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine and is happy to be practicing high quality veterinary medicine in her hometown with a dedicated team of professionals.Dr. Elton enjoys general veterinary medicine, surgery, and has a special interest in endoscopy as a relatively non-invasive means of diagnosing and treating patients.
GINNY KUNCH, DVM
Dr. Kunch graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine and has been practicing in Alaska ever since. Her special interest and training in ultrasound and surgery enhance the quality of care that Diamond Animal Hospital + Emergency Services offers. Dr. Kunch has lived in Alaska since 1997, both in Fairbanks and Anchorage.
MARION VARMAN, DVM
Dr. Varman graduated from Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1991 and has been a small animal veterinarian in Alaska ever since. She enjoys practicing general medicine and surgery for both cats and dogs.
MELISSA DIEDERICH, DVM
Dr. Diederich worked in a mixed animal practice during high school and undergraduate studies, where she fell in love with veterinary medicine. Dr. Diederich received her doctor of veterinary medicine degree from Oklahoma State University in 2000. She continued her professional training through a one year internship in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery and then a three year residency in Emergency Medicine and Critical Care. Dr. Diederich has practiced in Anchorage for over 10 years. Her interests include soft tissue surgery, emergencies, and internal medicine. Through the years; Dr. Diederich has volunteered with Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, Northern Lights Sled Dog Race, and Kuskokwim 300. Her furry companions include Tikka, a blonde 4 year old canine and Ronin, a year old orange tabby. In her free time she enjoys all the wonderful outdoor activities Alaska offers. She and boyfriend “OE” enjoy flying to secluded locations around the state for camping, hunting, hiking, and biking adventures.
CAT HEFLEY, DVM, CCRT
Cat Hefley grew up all over the East Coast, spending most of her time in North Carolina. After graduating from North Carolina State College of Veterinary Medicine she successfully completed an Internship in Emergency Medicine and Surgery. Following years of practicing emergency medicine on every animal she was presented with from pot bellied pigs and goats to tigers, binturongs and kinkajous, she settled into dog and cat practice in Wasilla. An avid continuing education fan she has studied infectious disease in the American southeast and acupuncture in China. Most recently she left Alaska to complete a one year Internship in Surgery and gained certification as a Canine Rehabilitation Therapist. She brings to our team her passion for top notch medicine, advanced surgical procedures, and emergency care.
EMILY MEHLMAN, DVM
Dr. Mehlman grew up in Durango, Colorado and attended veterinary school at Colorado State University. She visited Anchorage on an externship as a veterinary student and instantly fell in love with the area and all the outdoor recreational activities it had to offer. After honing her veterinary skills at a rotating internship in Saskatoon, Canada, she was anxious to get back to the mountains and moved to Alaska almost immediately. Dr. Mehlman has a particular interest in ophthalmology, surgery, wound management and emergency medicine.
AMANDA TAYLOR, DVM
Amanda Taylor is a life-long Alaskan who was raised in Eagle River, Alaska. She attended Oregon Institute of Technology and studied Health Sciences and Nuclear Medicine prior to acceptance into veterinary school at Oregon State University in 2005. After completion of veterinary school, she finished a one year internship in small animal medicine and surgery at Atlantic Veterinary College at the University of Prince Edward Island. After 11 years away from Alaska, Dr. Taylor found her way back to her home state in 2010 where she has been practicing ever since. Her interests include internal medicine, oncology, emergency medicine and surgery. Additionally, she is the current alternate delegate for the Alaska Veterinary Medical Association representing the State of Alaska on a national level.
MARIAN FROST, DVM
Dr. Marion Frost graduated from Oregon State College of Veterinary Medicine in 1990 and took a job in Alaska. She planned to stay for 2 years but this turned into 24 years at practices in Chugiak and Eagle River. After a 2 yr absence working at emergency hospitals in Arizona Dr. Frost has returned to Alaska with her 2 intrepid cats Frank and Lillian. Dr. Frost enjoys all aspects of small animal care both routine and emergency and is thrilled to be back in Anchorage!
TES MUTTON, BSc BVMS
Dr. Tes Mutton grew up in country south-west, Western Australia surround by bush and animals. She moved to Perth, the most isolated capital city in the world, to pursue her goal of becoming a veterinarian. Despite a love of horses, Dr Mutton worked in a small animal clinic in Perth before re-locating to Newcastle, a surfing town 2 hours north of Sydney in New South Wales. She worked in a mixed practice on creatures great and small... rats to snakes, donkeys, alpacas, cows and horses. Stepping back into small animal practice, Dr Mutton worked at a veterinary emergency center prior to travelling through south America, north America and Canada before landing in Alaska in August this year. Here to find adventure in the outdoors, Dr Mutton flew over her pooch, Charlie Murphy, an Australian Kelpie x cattle dog to help her make it through the cool winter months.
MARGOT FAIRBANKS, DVM Dr Margot Fairbanks completed her undergraduate degree at Columbia College in NYC. She then went on to complete her veterinary training in Ireland at the University College Dublin. After working as a mixed animal veterinarian in Wyoming and Montana, Dr Fairbanks relocated to the Mat-Su Valley where she worked as a small animal veterinarian. She joined our team in the spring of 2018. With her she brought a profound compassion for the human/animal bond and a joyful demeanor which has quickly made her an integral part of our hospital. Her primary interests include small animal surgery and medicine but extends to most aspects of animal husbandry. Moved by the spirit and athleticism of the dog, she loves to be involved in sled dog racing and care. In her free time Dr Fairbanks is an avid audible listener and outdoor adventurer. She is typically found out and about with her border collie, Joyce
SAMANTHA YELTATZIE, DVM
A life long love of animals and a cat named Socks is the reason Dr Yeltatzie pursued veterinary medicine. Dr Yeltatzie is Alaska Native (Haida) but grew up in Texas. After graduating from Texas A and M University in Kingsville 2002, Dr Yeltatzie moved to New York to attend Cornell University of Veterinary Medicine. She has practiced in New Mexico and Texas before moving to Alaska in 2010. Her work on the Iditarod prompted her move to Alaska. Dr Yeltatzie and her husband have 2 and 1/8th of a dog…Mateo, a perfect Hungarian Vizsla, Suka a sassy Alaskan Husky and Panda- a dachshund with hydrocephalus and the 1/8th member of the family. When not working overnights she loves to read, go boating on Resurrection Bay, travel and work on sled dog races. Her interests include emergency medicine and surgery, working on sled dogs and transfusion medicine.
Midnight Sun Animal Hospital + Emergency Care has developed a team of highly trained support staff, which includes a practice administrator, licensed veterinary technicians, vet assistants, receptionists, and kennel assistants to maintain efficient quality patient/client care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our staff has many years of experience in the veterinary field and their dedication to the profession is reflected in the compassionate care they give to each and every patient and pet owner. Continuing education is a top priority for our entire staff. Employees are encouraged to attend conferences outside the hospital in order to continue the education process. Our team philosophy is to treat each pet as if it were our own, providing quality compassionate care at any time of the day or night.