Meet Our Team in Alpena, MI
Our team is a dedicated and talented bunch. Each of our members excel at various skills, so your pet is always in expert hands. We thrive on giving you and your pet the best experience we can—including exceptional veterinary medicine and compassionate customer services. Meet our fantastic team below or feel free to stop in and meet us in person!
Jill Preston Fournier, Veterinarian/Owner
Dr. Fournier is originally from Troy, MI. She always knew as a young girl that she wanted to be a vet, a mixed (large and small) animal vet to be exact. Her journey toward becoming a veterinarian started at MSU, where she graduated in 2001 with a BS in Animal Science. Immediately after, she was accepted into vet school at her alma mater and received her DVM in 2005.
While in vet school, she decided against becoming a farm vet. She practiced her first year out in Cadillac, MI and then transferred back to her "home" clinic in South Lansing for a few years. In February 2008, she moved up to Sunrise Vet in Alpena and has been here since! In December of 2013, she became the practice owner.
Dr. Fournier has a passion for anything dogs. She enjoys perfecting surgeries, understanding dog behavior, and being involved in reproduction/breeding. In fact, she breeds and owns English and French Bulldogs and has six house dogs herself, ranging in size and breed. Her free time is spent on her funny farm with her two children, Autumn, Ethan, and her husband Andre. They have chickens, peacocks, and hunting Blue Tick Coon Hounds. When she is not playing with dogs, Dr. Fournier enjoys gardening, working on her succulent collection, reading a good book, or enjoying time with family and friends.
Heidi LaCross, Veterinarian
Heidi was born and raised right here in Alpena, MI. She earned her B.S. in Zoology from Michigan State University and her DVM from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine. She lived and practiced in Madison, WI until moving back to Alpena in 2015. Heidi has four children: two girls and two boys as well as several pets, which include two dogs (a Labrador and a golden retriever), two rescue cats who are sisters, and one guinea pig.
Brandi Stone, Veterinarian
Dr. Brandi Stone is excited to be back at Sunrise Veterinary Services! Some of you may recognize her from when she worked with us as a veterinary assistant during her undergrad. She did a year of emergency medicine at a 24-hour clinic in Pennsylvania after graduation from MSU's College of Veterinary Medicine in 2019. She enjoys emergency work, ultrasounds, and surgeries. She has two dogs, Gunner and Stewart, who love to go camping, hiking, and fishing with her. She's so happy to return to Northeastern Michigan and can't wait to meet all of your furry family members!
Larissa Digue, Veterinarian
Dr. Larissa was born and raised in a small town in Brazil. In 2014 she began attending Michigan State University through a study abroad program and in 2015 she met her husband. She went back to Brazil and finished vet school in 2017. She is currently working to transfer her veterinarian credentials to the US and will be able to start officially practicing at that time. In her free time she enjoys working out, reading and traveling
Ruth Krawczak, Receptionist
Ruth was born and raised in Rogers City and moved to Alpena over 30 years ago. In September 2002, she started working at Sunrise Veterinary Services and has been happy to be here helping people care for their beloved pets. She is a versatile team member as she is cross-trained to help wherever needed! Yet, her main position is as a receptionist---and she loves it!
Ruth has four amazing adult children and is blessed to be "granny" to five little people. When she is not at work she enjoys daily walks, riding her bike, kayaking, reading, baking, volunteering, traveling and spending time with family and friends.
Brandi Urbach, Veterinary Assistant
Brandi has worked 6 years as a veterinary assistant and has been with Sunrise since July 2018. She has a lot of experience, and we're grateful to have her on our team! At home, she has 2 dogs and 1 cat. Outside of work, she enjoys boating and kayaking.
Shelly Olsen, Veterinary Assistant
Shelly has worked at Sunrise Vet since 2002. Prior to that, she was on active duty in the Navy and a Navy wife for 19 years. In 1998, she returned to Alpena along with her three children. She also has two senior cats at home, and in her spare time, she enjoys all forms of needlework and goes kayaking! Her fondest memories are those of family camping trips.
Tabitha McDonald, Veterinary Assistant
Tabitha has worked for the clinic since February 2011. Her duties include the ordering of our pet food, retail items, and clinic medications. At home, she has 3 dogs and 2 cats and enjoys gardening, scrapbooking, raising livestock, camping, and spending time with family and friends.
Dana Barnhardt, Veterinary Assistant
While she was raised in Alpena, Dana moved away for some time, and then moved her family (husband and son) back nine years ago when she was offered a job at Sunrise Vet! At home, they have five pets total: two dogs, a Pitbull and a Chiweenie named Hamlet and Greta, as well as a tortoise named Bob, and two fish named Lucy and Ethel. Dana works as a vet assistant helping wherever she is needed. She counts herself very lucky to be doing what she loves!
Bri Eveler, Receptionist/Veterinary Assistant
Bri is is very excited to be a part of Sunrise family! She moved to Alpena in October of 2017 with her fiancé, David, when he got a job as an organist. Bri has a big fur-baby family made up of eight cats and two dogs, and she brought them all to Sunrise for their health services. She loved being a client so much that she jumped at the opportunity to work here! Prior to living in Alpena, Bri lived in New England where she worked at an ER veterinary clinic and also interned at Stone Zoo. In her spare time she can be found at Island Park with her dogs or reading on the couch with the cats.
Tammi Cernat, Veterinary Assistant
Tammi is a Veterinary Assistant who has been in the field for 14 years. She grew up in Hubbard Lake and was a Coast Guard wife for 20 years. Prior to moving back to Alpena, Tammi lived all over the country, but her favorite place was Hawaii. She has two adult children and is “gammy” to two beautiful grandchildren. She and her husband share their home with three Golden Retrievers: Tucker, Ruby and Oakley, and their yard is home to many chickens and ducks! In her spare time she enjoys going for walks, traveling and biking with her family and friends.
Danielle Lafeldt, Veterinary Assistant
Danielle was born and raised in Spruce, MI and lived in Montana for 9 years before coming to Alpena in 2016. Her two kids, aged 2 and 8, keep her very busy at home! When she's not devoting her extra time to Sunrise, she loves to hunt and spend time with her family. Danielle is attending the Penn Foster Veterinary Technician Program and is set to obtain her degree in 2021.
Megan Rea-Riopelle, Veterinary Assistant
Megan was born and raised in Alpena and has worked in the vet industry for 2 years. She loves both cats and dogs but describes herself as a cat person. She also loves plants! She has a kitty named Theodor who is diagnosed with Cerebellar Hypoplasia or "wobbly cat syndrome." When it's nice out, Megan loves to be outdoors, but she also doesn't mind a rainy day that she can spend watching Netflix!
Kaydee Berg, Veterinary Assistant
Kaydee was born in Alpena and left to attend college before returning. She has worked at Sunrise since 2019. She graduated with honors from Alma College with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Chemistry. She's got big plans to continue her education all the way to vet school! Kaydee's heart is stolen by her Labradoodle, Puck. Her favorite activities include spending time outdoors, boating, traveling, spending time with family and curling up with a good book.
Taddy the Maine Coon, Greeter/Model
When you visit Sunrise Veterinary Services, you can expect to be greeted by our professional greeter and part-time model, Taddy, the Maine Coon. Taddy loves to show off for anyone and everyone that walks through the doors. Attention is the name of the game, and with Taddy strutting around the room, he's hard to ignore!
Cubby the Tail-less Cat, Empathetic Cat Comforter
Cubby is our resident cat comforter who puts all of our cat patients at ease while they wait to see the vet! He has a calming presence and makes friends with every cat who comes into Sunrise Veterinary Services.
We brought our cat Maizey in for a wellness check and immunizations this morning. The office staff were so nice! Dr. LaCross and Ruth were so gentle with Maizey and were so sweet to her. The services were very affordable. You need to stop by just to say hello to their "Greeter Cats"
Professional and friendly. They treat my fur babies like their own. Very thorough and willing to speak to you about everything.
I came here with my cat and am so happy that I did! They all care so much and are very affordable.
I always get 5 star service. I wouldn't go anywhere else.
The staff is the absolute best!!!
I would rate five stars in all aspects of the visit very pleased with the great service and prices! Thank you
We love Dr. Heidi! Her enthusiasm is infectious; her love of all living things very apparent. She is gentle and kind with my kitty boys, encouraging and respectful to me. It is very much appreciated!
Staff is always friendly, compassionate and helpful. The doctors are gentle, thorough and knowledgeable. We always leave knowing our pets have been well cared for and we are so grateful for the manner in which they not only care for our fur babies but also the manner in which they care for us.
The staff was AMAZING. They went above and beyond. I would highly recommend this veterinarian practice to anybody looking for a good place to take your pet.
It's the feeling of being with family (the ones you like), safe & trusting. I wouldn't consider taking our two boys anywhere else! Thank you to the doctors and professional staff at Sunrise Vet.
I have never met more compassionate or caring staff in a veterinary office until I went to Sunrise. They really care about the animals they treat as well as their owners! Kudos to you all!