Our Veterinarians

JEFF HIGHBARGER, DVM, MEDICAL DIRECTOR

Veterinarian

Dr. Jeff Highbarger joined the Chimacum Valley Veterinary Hospital and Pet Townsend Veterinary Clinic team in 2010, when he and his partner Dr. Abbie Doll purchased the practices. He did not always know he wanted to be a veterinarian. “I went to veterinary school thinking I would be a veterinary researcher,” Dr. Jeff recalls. “But, along the way, it was seeing what veterinarians could do to help nurture the bond between pets and people that made me understand my calling.”

As it turned out, he made the right decision. “I get great joy out of being able to find solutions to sometimes complicated medical conditions and thereby aid those pets’ quality of life. Seeing a happy client with a pet that has improved medically or surgically is very rewarding.”

Originally from Columbia, Missouri, Dr. Jeff received his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry with honors from the University of Missouri in 1993 and his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine in 1997.

A member of the American Association of Feline Practitioners, the American Veterinary Medical Association, and the Washington State Veterinary Medical Association, Dr. Jeff’s professional interests include internal medicine, ultrasound diagnostics, surgery, and dentistry.

Dr. Jeff volunteers his time to provide low-cost spays and neuters for Olympic Mountain Pet Pals and Rescue Every Dog (RED), a local animal rescue organization. He also provides many volunteer and low-cost procedures for Center Valley Animal Rescue.

When he is not practicing veterinary medicine, Dr. Jeff enjoys hiking, camping, travel, scuba diving, and beekeeping. He and Dr. Abbie have five furry children: Boudreaux, a French bulldog; Dutch, a yellow Labrador; Donnie, a Boston terrier; Simon, an FIV+ cat; and Sophie, a white house rabbit.

LAUREN CLARKE, DVM

Veterinarian

Dr. Lauren Z Clarke began working at Chimacum Valley Veterinary Hospital & Pet Townsend in 2017. She has called the Pacific Northwest home for almost a decade, but originally grew up around Chicago. She completed her undergraduate degree in marine biology at Brown University with a semester abroad at the University of Otago in New Zealand. After college, she worked in fisheries science spending two years out at sea working alongside fisherman.

She received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Oregon State University. While she enjoys working with wildlife and has interned in the San Juan islands with the SeaDoc society, she always knew that she would end up working as a general practitioner.

Taking care of people’s pets and in turn helping them develop positive relationships with those animals that enrich their lives is one of the reasons she changed careers. Working as a scientist has taught her that knowledge is only powerful if it can be shared and put into practice. Dr. Clarke appreciates an integrative approach to animal care and is certified in acupuncture and has further goals to become certified in rehabilitation.

Dr. Clarke and her husband C.W. have travelled the country together while moving from the east coast to the west coast. During that trip and additional trips afterward they visited at least 17 national parks altogether. Two Australian cattle dog mixes, Banksy & Archer help keep her active and grounded. During her free time, she enjoys swimming, hiking, camping, sailing, ceramics, cooking and good conversation.

AMANDA RAMAGE, DVM

Veterinarian

Dr. Amanda Ramage has been a team member of Chimacum Valley Veterinary Hospital and Pet Townsend Veterinary clinic since September of 2018. What Dr. Ramage finds most satisfying about being a veterinarian involves working with clients and their pets to improve quality of life for both the pet and owner. She does so by finding a treatment plan and strategy that fits each individual patient, whether it be a more traditional western medicine approach, holistic approach, or a combination of both.

Some of Dr. Ramage’s professional interests include integrative holistic medicine, nutrition, behavior, and internal medicine. She is a member of the American Holistic Veterinary Association and the American Veterinary Medical Association. At Washington State University, Dr. Ramage pursued an undergraduate education in Zoology. She received the Zoology Alumni Undergraduate Scholarship of 2010 for her passionate pursuit of education in the field of zoology. Dr. Ramage went on to achieve her doctorate in veterinary medicine from Saint Georges University in 2016. There she was given an award as the most active fundraiser for the International Veterinary Student Association Spain, having raised over $3,000 for hosting the exchange students.

A great motivation behind Dr. Ramage’s professional interests in veterinary medicine was her mother. Growing up Dr. Ramage was invoked by helping her mother in her dog obedience classes. She always knew she had wanted to work with animals, and once she received a puppy of her own she grew fascinated with becoming a veterinarian. Dr. Ramage loved bonding, training, and showing her puppy. At 12 weeks old her puppy had broken her leg, introducing Dr. Ramage to the setting of a veterinary hospital and the powers of veterinary medicine.

At home, Dr. Ramage and her husband, Dr. Conner Ames share their home with their furry family. They own a Beauceron named Orac, a rescued mix breed from Grenada named Rosie, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Cassy, and two cats named Hansel and Desi. In her spare time, Dr. Ramage enjoys training her dogs in various sports including obedience, rally obedience, agility, schutzhund and herding. She also likes going hiking, backpacking, rock climbing, road biking, running, cooking, traveling, and horseback riding.

RAE HAMBLIN, DVM

Veterinarian

Dr. Rae Hamblin joined the team at Chimacum Valley Veterinary Hospital in June of 2021. She has special interests in feline medicine, internal medicine, and geriatrics. She loves solving complicated medical problems and supporting the bond between pets and their families throughout their lives. She especially enjoys working with families to support the health and quality of life of her patients as they age.

Dr. Rae grew up near Seattle and received her BAS in Biological Sciences from the Evergreen State College in 2013. She graduated with her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2017. She is a member of the American Association of Feline Practitioners and has earned their Cat Friendly Veterinarian Certificate.  She is also a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and the Washington State Veterinary Medical Association. She is excited to be starting the certification program in Veterinary Chinese Herbal Medicine through the Chi Institute.

A lifelong animal lover, Dr. Rae grew up training and showing dogs in 4H and AKC, cleaning stalls in exchange for horseback riding lessons, volunteering with a feline rescue organization, and cleaning cages at a parrot store. She has been working in the veterinary field since 2012, first as an intern for a mobile large animal practice and then as an assistant at a small animal emergency clinic. She began her work as a veterinarian working in an animal shelter but transitioned to private practice because she wanted to be able to build longer lasting relationships with her patients. 

Dr. Rae lives in Sequim with her partner K, pointer mix Brier, and three house cats Kazul, Brigan, and Saturday. She spends much of her free time working on their house and property under strict supervision by their small colony of feral barn cats. She also spends a lot of time training, playing, exploring and hiking with Brier, who aspires to graduate to running and backpacking buddy when she grows up. Dr. Rae also enjoys reading, listening to podcasts, snuggling with her kitties, and watching the “cat cam” in the barn.

KRISTEN ROOKER, DVM

Veterinarian

Dr. Kristen Rooker knew from a young age she wanted to work with animals when she grew up. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in biology from Bridgewater College (located in the Shenandoah Valley, which is where she fell in love with mountains), then went on to receive her DVM from the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech. Many large mountains and the outdoor lifestyle drew her to Washington, and she is loving life on the West Coast! She enjoys all aspects of general practice but has a special interest in animal behavior and training. When not in the clinic, she is usually outdoors – hiking, doing volunteer trail maintenance with WA Trails Association, or skiing. She is also an avid reader and enjoys knitting and crocheting. She shares her house with Dodger the terrier mix.

JAMIE WALKUSH, DVM, CVA

Veterinarian

Dr. Walkush moved here from the Midwest and loves everything the PNW has to offer.  She studied Animal Science at the University of Wisconsin River Falls and worked as a licensed veterinary technician before advancing to veterinary school.  She studied vet medicine abroad on St. Kitts at Ross University and did her clinical year at the Royal Vet College in London, England.

After graduation, Jamie did a small animal internship for extra training and mentorship in general practice, emergency medicine, and soft tissue surgery. She then moved out to Washington and has been working in both general practice and emergency ever since.

Jamie studied acupuncture at Chi University and is excited to learn more about holistic medicine.  Her interests include palliative care, integrative medicine, management of chronic pain, soft tissue surgery, and wound care.

In her free time, Jamie enjoys volunteering and works to bring veterinary care to underserved populations.  She also is an avid hiker and backpacker and enjoys gardening, travel, photography, kayaking, and cooking.  She shares her home with the best dogs in the world! 

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