By Jennifer McDaniel
Lindsay Mitchell knew she wanted to be a veterinarian when she was just a child.
Using her toy stethoscope, the 6-year-old would try to detect a heartbeat under her stuffed animals’ furry exteriors.
Even at an early age, Mitchell says, she had a passion for animals and a fascination with veterinary medicine. And with each passing year, that same love and compassion continued to grow. Years later, she’s a veterinarian with a growing practice that knows no bounds.
And this weekend, Lincoln residents will get the opportunity to meet Mitchell and learn more about the veterinary services she’s bringing to the county.
“My desire to be a veterinarian spawned from a love of animals, grew through an interest in science and came to fruition through the pursuit of a career in the medical field that would allow me to do a little bit of everything,” she said. “What other medical profession would allow someone to perform medical and surgical care, take and interpret radiographs, perform routine dental care, ensure public health through disease screening and herd health programs and offer behavioral, training and nutritional consultations on a daily basis? I also enjoy the challenge of having to be a detective at times – our patients can’t verbally communicate what is wrong. Veterinary medicine is a constant challenge. New developments in products and treatments are occurring all the time, so you never stop learning.”
Mitchell, who grew up in Kansas City, Kan., graduated in 2005 from Kansas State University with her Bachelor’s of Science in animal science and industry. Four years later, she earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree. As a veterinarian, Mitchell’s interests include small animal surgery and medicine along cow/calf herd work and consultation. She is also certified in bovine artificial insemination.
Today, Mitchell owns and operates Hoisington Veterinary Hospital, which has served central Kansas for more than 50 years. Shortly after receiving her degree, Mitchell joined the practice in 2009, and later purchased it in March 2015. Since taking ownership, she’s continued to offer the same services, but has continued to expand on those to include laparoscopic surgery, cremation, pet-wellness plans and the mobile outreach hospital.
“Working in a mixed animal practice since 2009, I have grown to love the diversity of my job,” Mitchell said. “I have worked on a wide array of animals from birds to bunnies, ferrets to llamas and kittens to cattle. The bulk of my work has been with bovine, feline and canine patients, and my interests have evolved to meet the needs of my patients and clients. Since graduating from vet school, I have become AI-certified, and have done a lot of consulting for producers in various settings. I have also become one of the only practitioners in the area to offer laparoscopic procedures on cats and dogs. Laparoscopic surgery allows us to perform surgeries inside of the patient by using a small camera and long instruments. Incisions are the size of the end of your finger, resulting in quicker recovery times, less pain and less bleeding. I have also developed a passion for providing services to shelter and rescue animals. We work closely with our local humane society, and are hoping to work with several other shelters, rescues and humane societies in the near future.”
Although her practice is based in Hoisington, Mitchell will soon be offering veterinary care in Lincoln County once a week. Her mobile vet service, Your Other Family Doctor, is a new initiative she is introducing to Lincoln residents this weekend. The mobile hospital, which received its license earlier this year, provides services from routine check-ups to surgeries.
“The mobile veterinary hospital will offer all of the services you would expect from a bricks-and-mortar practice,” she said. “We can provide everything from routine examinations to surgeries. We are fully equipped to perform radiographs, vaccinations and have a full lab. We will have some limited retail facilities and can provide for most of our clients’ needs. Unfortunately, the mobile hospital does not have a chute or grooming facilities, but we can provide our producers with consultations, vaccines and can make farm calls, if we have some notice. Our staff can perform laparoscopic procedures in the mobile hospital if they are scheduled in advance. Our team takes pride in being Your Other Family Doctor, and we are committed to providing care for your animals through their full life cycle. We offer everything from ultrasound technology to cremation services for our clients that are interested in these options.”
Mitchell is hosting an open house from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Saturday at the corner of Fifth Street and Lincoln Avenue. The meet-and-greet event is designed to introduce Mitchell and her staff to the public while residents can chow down on free barbecue. Beginning June 7, the mobile vet service will be in Lincoln from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., each Tuesday. Beginning June 18, the service will also be in Stafford County.
The idea for the mobile vet service was hatched, she says, after learning there were several neighboring counties which didn’t have access to quality veterinary services. Mitchell said she felt compelled to address those shortages, and soon developed a concept for the mobile hospital. Once a plan was in place, Mitchell began looking for underserved areas across the region. Once she discovered Lincoln was one of those communities, Mitchell reached out to city and local economic development officials.
“Heather (Simms) and Kelly (Larson) reaffirmed the region’s need for veterinary services and helped make it clear that Lincoln County was a place that we wanted to work,” she said. “The region has done their homework and can illustrate the need for veterinary services in Lincoln County. We are excited to bring top of the line veterinary services to the region in the near future.”
Mitchell said she hopes to add another vet to the practice in the next 12-18 months to help serve the region more effectively.
In addition to a growing practice, Mitchell and her husband, Jonathan, have what she describes as “two ornery boys and one amazing dog.” Their children, Chance and Wesley are 5 and 3, respectively, and Wiley is their 8-year-old Rottweiler.
“My entire team and I are excited about the opportunity to serve the residents and animals of Lincoln County,” she said. “We are committed to being your other family doctor. Whether an animal is a part of your family or central to your livelihood, there is nothing more rewarding to our team than knowing we have been entrusted with their welfare. We look forward to becoming a part of the Lincoln County community.”