Our Staff

Dr. Brian H. Birthright

Dr. Brian H. Birthright

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Birthright's love of the mountains, since childhood, brought him from Tuscaloosa, Alabama to Waynesville, NC. Since graduating from Auburn School of Veterinary Medicine, he has wanted to open his own hospital and practice a high level of medical care including internal medicine, surgery, and emergency/critical care.

When not working or spending time with his family Dr. Birthright can be found riding his bicycle on the scenic roads of Haywood County or on his mountain bike exploring the trails. He has completed the Assault on Mount Mitchell and several other challenging races that show his stamina and determination.
Dr. Rachelle McKinnon

Dr. Rachelle McKinnon

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. McKinnon began working with us in 2013 and is now a part of our team two to three days a week. She is a native of Haywood County and a blessing to us. More later!
Dr. Nancy East

Dr. Nancy East, DVM

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. East attended Auburn University's College of Veterinary Medicine and settled down in Waynesville after graduating in 1997. She worked full time as a small animal veterinarian until she became a mother, trading in her stethoscope for a diaper bag. She continued to work part-time, working as a relief veterinarian in regional hospitals, ultimately working exclusively at Maple Tree Veterinary Hospital. She immensely enjoys working with Maple Tree's clients, patients, and the amazing staff.

Dr. East and her husband, Larry, have three beautiful children--Aidan, Paige, and Wogene (who joined their family through adoption from Ethiopia in 2012). She home schooled her children for five years but ultimately helped start a charter school where they now attend school. She enjoys being a member of Haywood County's Search and Rescue Team and she loves spending time with her family and their beloved dog, Josie, as well as hiking, backpacking, and traveling.
Kate Birthright

Kate Birthright

Hospital Manager

Kate and Dr. Birthright have been working together since designing, building and finally opening the hospital in July of 2005. In 2012 Kate joined the team at Maple Tree Veterinary Hospital on a regular basis working as the hospital manager.

Kate grew up in the panhandle of Florida and moved to Boone, NC to attend Appalachian State University. After graduating she spent the next two years in Honduras serving as a Peace Corps Volunteers. Upon returning to the United States she chose Asheville as her home. Working with Catholic Social Services and Children First were rewarding jobs but a love for Spanish and the move to Waynesville after marrying Dr. Birthright led her to obtain her certification as a Spanish teacher for Haywood County Schools. While working as a teacher Kate also did work on evenings and weekends for Maple Tree. After having their second child in 2012 it seemed like a good fit to move full time into a management position with the hospital.
Meghan Fortner

Meghan Fortner

Veterinary Technician

Meghan joined our team in 2012 after becoming a registered veterinary technician. She has led us to improve services to keep pets healthy with laser therapy.
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Q&A with Meghan

What did you want to be when you were little?
A marine biologist

What's your favorite meal?
My dad's biscuits and gravy

Why did you choose to become a veterinary technician?
I was able to blend my love for science and medicine with my passion for animals.

What is your favorite part about working at Maple Tree?
We have an amazing team that works so well together and our amazing clients
Farrah

Farrah South​​​​​​​

Veterinary Technician

The newest member of our team is not new to veterinary medicine. She came to us in September with 9 years of experience in veterinary medicine.Why did you become a technician? “Because so much of our lives are spent at work, I want my work environment to have moments of joy. Working with animals and helping them brings joy and makes life fuller.”
Brittany Heathman

Megan Katzfey​​​​​​​

Veterinary Technician

Megan is a Registered Veterinary Technician who celebrated her year anniversary with Maple Tree in September 2016.

Q&A with Megan

Why did you become a veterinary technician?
"To marry my love of medicine and my passion for pets” Her pets family: Lily, Moose and Bean - kitty litter mates that were a birthday present to her husband.

Her favorite part about working at Maple Tree:
“The fantastic staff and wonderful clients (the 2 and 4 footed varieties), and DOG CAMP – best stress reliever ever!”

Favorite book or movie?
Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins

If you could play one instrument what would it be and why?
“Xylophone because my husband bought one and I can play about two songs (Ba Ba Black Sheep & Twinkle Twinkle Little Star)
Brittany Heathman

Brittany Heathman

Veterinary Assistant

Brittany Heathman joined us in 2014 as a graduate of the Univesity of Tennessee. She is currently studying to become a Certified Veterinary Technician through the program at AB Tech in Asheville. We are proud of her hard work in school and dedication to caring for pets and their families with us. You may have seen her little cutie, Crissa, at the front desk helping us greet people!
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Q&A with Brittany

What is my favorite part of working at MTV?
The awesome team! I have never worked with such a wonderful group of people.

If you could play one instrument what would it be and why?
If I could play one instrument it would be the violin. I've always thought it was a beautiful and versatile instrument.

Favorite book or movie?
I don't have one favorite book or movie but I am a huge fan of anything by J.R.R. Tolkien.
Brittany Heathman

Maddie Feigl

Veterinary Assistant

Maddie began working in the veterinary field in 2012 and joined our team in 2015. She became a veterinary assistant because pets are what make her happy! She loves pets and they love her.

Maddie has 2 dogs, Deets is her wild boy and Slash is a sweet, old man. Falcor and Strider are her 2 sweet, sweet kitty boys who act like dogs themselves.
Her favorite part about working at Maple Tree: “the sweet patients and the people I’m lucky enough to work with. And, Dog Camp!”
Brittany Heathman

Christina Hepner

Veterinary Assistant

Coming Soon...
Gayle

Gayle

Client Care Specialist

Coming Soon...
Sarah

Sarah

Client Care Specialist

Sarah joined us in July of 2015. She comes from a background of working with families in Western North Carolina and is equiped with a deep compassion and commitment to helping others.
Brie Pope

Brie Pope

Client Care Coordinator

Coming Soon...
Rick Best

Rick Best

Camp Groomer

Rick started with Maple Tree Veterinary Hospital in December 2010. He retired from a successful career in the restaurant industry six years ago to pursue his passion of working with dogs. In this time he developed extensive experience working with dogs and understanding their behaviors and temperaments in dog day care environments. His interest in understanding the importance of proper health and maintenance throughout a dog's life cycle led him to grooming where he became certified and has continued to enjoy success and building new relationships with his four-legged friends.
Spring McKenzie

Spring McKenzie

Camp Leader

Spring McKenzie is born and raised here in Western North Carolina. Tucked in Balsam mountain, she lives with her partner and 6 animals. She began working with animals while in school, double majoring in psychology and biology to get a base for animal behavior. She started off at home with a small husky rescue and continued to adopt purebred huskies from local shelters. Time was spent getting them trained and rehomed to the right family. After graduating from Western North Carolina University, Spring started managing local fine dining restaurants, which led to a beautiful job at a nature preserve. She feels truly grateful that the opportunity came into her life to become a Dog Camp leader here at Maple Tree’s new business. When not at work Spring spends time hiking our beautiful area with her 3 dogs.
Camp Counselors

Camp Counselors

Camp Counselors

We have a wonderful group of loving, caring, observant Camp Counselors who have been trained by Kim Brophey to monitor and guide play between dogs. They come from various backgrounds but what the Camp Counselors have in common is a passion for providing a safe, fun place for animals to play. We are blessed to have staff that feels this is their happy place!
Camp Counselors

Paige McClaine

Groomer

Coming Soon...