Thank you to our vet staff for your service! Please select a staff member to read their bios.
+ Chief Veterinarian - Dr. Jerry Vanek
Dr. Jerry Vanek’s career with sled dogs has taken him from the southern tip of Chile to the northern tip of Norway to the Karoo of South Africa; from Boston to Nome; and from North Dakota to the Yukon. He has served as a sled dog veterinarian on 90 races and expeditions including the Iditarod, Quest, Beargrease, CanAm, UP200, Femundløpet, and Finnmarksløpet; the Mount Vaughan Antarctic Expedition, and three 1925 Diphtheria Serum Run reenactments. A musher since his teens and former sprint race competitor, he still drives dogs whenever he can. He is an honorary life member of the North Star Sled Dog Club; a recipient of both the Maeb Bayers’ Lifetime Achievement in Mushing award and the White Oak Classic Musher Tribute award; and a past president, life member, and charter board member of the International Sled Dog Veterinary Medical Association. Over the past two decades, Dr. Vanek has presented more than 130 lectures and publications on sled dogs and sled dog medicine to veterinarians and mushers on three continents. He is a certified canine rehabilitation therapist (CCRT) with a veterinary practice focused on sled dog medicine, and he is the co-inventor of the Ultimate Wrist Wrap, still the most commonly-used carpal wrist wrap in use today. He divides his time among his family’s 1881 homestead in Minnesota’s northern Red River Valley; his lake cabins near Bemidji, Minnesota; and his home with Jill by the shores of Gichigami in Grand Marais, Minnesota.
+ Trail Veterinarian - Dr. Gregg Phillips
Dr. Gregg Phillips owned and operated a recreational team of Siberian Huskies for over 10 years. Time spent on the runners with his own team led him to veterinary medicine. He has worked on the veterinary teams for local, national, and international races, including the Empire 130, White Oak Classic, John Beargrease, Yukon Quest, and Finnmarksløpet. Dr.Phillips no longer mushes dogs, but acting as a trail vet allows him to touch the energy that surrounds sled dogs, and to work with colleagues and mushers from around the world. He is a member of the ISDVMA, and currently works at Dakota Pet Hospital in Lakeville, MN.
+ Trail Veterinarian - Dr. Nicole Reynolds
Dr. Nicole Reynolds is pleased to join the Voyageur Classic again as a trail veterinarian. Dr. Reynolds is a graduate of the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine and she holds a Master of Public Health degree in Epidemiology with a concentration in infectious diseases. Dr. Reynolds maintains a strong interest in emergency preparedness and response and critical care medicine and she volunteers her extended training through the Minnesota Veterinary Reserve Corps, the National Veterinary Response Team, and the Region 5 Veterinary Medical Assistance Team (VMAT). She is a member of the International Sled Dog Veterinary Medical Association (ISDVMA) and she has been hooked on mushing since vet school. She now skijors competitively and when she is not running or skijoring with her one-dog team, she’s in Colorado, traveling abroad, seeking backcountry snow opportunities, or finding any excuse to be active outside.
+ Trail Veterinarian - Dr. Kim Rozinka
(Photo by Denny Warner)
Dr. Kim Rozinka is happy to be returning to the Voyageurs Classic veterinary team again this year. Dr. Rozinka is currently a relief veterinarian in the St. Paul, Minnesota area and is staff surgeon and adjunct professor for the veterinary technician program at the Minnesota School of Business. She graduated from the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine in 1994 and has volunteered as a trail veterinarian since 2003 at races such as the John Beargrease Marathon, the Grand Portage Passage, the UP200 in Michigan, the Apostle Island's Sled Dog Race, and the Can-Am Crown in Maine. When she’s not playing with her children or her dog, or working, she enjoys skiing, camping, hiking, and Guinness.
+ Trail Veterinarian - Dr. Michael Lindeen
Dr. Michael Lindeen, is a 1974 graduate of Iowa State University. He practiced in California for 3 1/2 years before returning to Iowa where he started a small animal/equine practice, which he operated for 30 years. Dr. Lindeen has been a veterinarian on the Iditarod since 2008 and on the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon since 2010, where he is currently the Chief Veterinarian. Now semi-retired, he lives in Coralville, Iowa, with his wife Ruth and their two dogs where he works with his draft horses and pursues painting, woodcarving, and gardening in his free time.
+ Trail Veterinarian - Dr. Gregg Sonstegard
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+ Trail Veterinarian -
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