Jen Bean Kierstead ’02
Today’s SJA Shining Star is Jen Bean Kierstead ’02. She is a Certified Veterinary Technician and Medical Manager at Companion Pet Care in Littleton, New Hampshire.
Throughout the pandemic, there have been changes to how health care is provided to people. There have also been changes and challenges for those providing care to animals in our communities. At Companion Pet Care, this has meant that services are provided curbside and pets are cared for without their owners present. Cleaning and practice protocols have also changed almost weekly.
Jen has played a key role in helping to make everyone as comfortable as possible and in ensuring the continuity of service. Dr. Billie Winter (current SJA Parent) shared the following with us:
Jen has been an essential member of my staff at Companion Pet Care for 15 years. Her dedication to patient care and client education is unparalleled, and she has recently become a member of my leadership team, spearheading our fear-free initiative to decease stress in our patients and their owners during veterinary visits. During the coronavirus pandemic, Jen has played a key role in shifting our care delivery model to curbside visits so we could continue to provide essential veterinary services for area pets while keeping our staff and community members as safe as possible.
When asked about how things have changed for her at work, Jennifer shared:
A big part of my job is obviously working with animals, but there is a huge component that is one-on-one communication with my clients! I love educating and being a source of information and support for them and their furry family members. Since we are still mostly offering curbside service, we have to take our patients away from their owners for their exams and treatments. Some of our more social patients could care less, but this has been a real struggle for the more nervous animals. We try our best to make everyone as comfortable as possible, which is why we go through tons of treats and peanut butter every day! I have to admit that working this way has been stressful, but I love what I do and feel fortunate that we are considered essential.
Jen resides in Barnet, VT with her husband, Eric, and three children – Lucas, Ella and Zola. Eric is also an essential worker. He is a Registered Nurse at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Hanover, New Hampshire. He works in the Cardiac Cath Lab where he supervises a team of highly skilled nurses that save people’s lives on a daily basis. They have both shown great resilience in serving in these important roles while also caring for their children.
Thank you to Jen, for being a leader and ensuring that the pets and people who utilize Companion Pet Care are provided a safe and comfortable experience!