Barrington Veterinarians

Barrington VetsBarbara L. Stapleton, DVM, FAVD,
Diplomate AVDC, Owner

Caring for pets and improving their quality of life is very important to Barrington Animal Hospital's owner Dr. Barbara Stapleton. As a child growing up in Wilmette, Illinois, she often performed "surgeries" on her stuffed animals and spent many hours removing and reattaching eyes, stuffing and plush toy animal parts.

Dr. Stapleton earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago where she was the top chemistry student in her class and held a 5.0 GPA. She went on to earn her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1985. She completed the requirements and examination to become a Fellow of the Academy of Veterinary Dentistry, as well as the requirements and examination to become a Diplomate of the American Veterinary Dental College — the highest level of veterinary dentistry training in the United States. Dr. Stapleton purchased Barrington Animal Hospital in 1991.

Over the years, Dr. Stapleton has acquired a library of fond veterinary recollections and memories. "My consistently memorable cases," she says, "are those that require the surgical removal of foreign bodies, including: coins, clothing, peach pits, string, a chain collar, a rubber door stopper, ear plugs, golf balls, a toy snake, half a tennis ball and many, many more."

Dr. Stapleton's professional interests include internal medicine and board certified in veterinary dentistry. She is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Chicago Veterinary Medical Association, Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association, Academy of Veterinary Dentistry and the American Veterinary Dental College. She is also a Fellow of the Academy of Veterinary Dentistry.

At home, Dr. Stapleton cares for four dogs: Todd, Alice, Maizy and Roxie. When not working, Dr. Stapleton enjoys spending time with her husband, Bill, a retired building engineer and Vietnam veteran, watching movies, and cooking.

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Barrington VetAlison Wolfgram Duke, VMD

Dr. Alison Duke's childhood was spent in three different locations: Indianapolis, Omaha and Barrington, Illinois. She earned her bachelor's degree in chemistry from Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio in 1998 and went on to earn her master's degree in animal science from the University of Arizona in 2002. While there, she focused on the use of infrared technology to identify heat stress in lactating dairy cattle. Dr. Duke earned her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in 2006. She joined our veterinary staff in April 2011.

"Some of my most memorable experiences occurred in veterinary school," Dr. Duke recalls. "We spent time studying and treating a camel, a gazelle and an Anheuser-Busch Clydesdale, which presented some of the best learning opportunities." She attributes her early interest in veterinary medicine to Nebraska's public education system which focused her attention on state history and the old pioneer days. "Images of oxen and pioneers working together to make their way across the prairie had a profound effect on me," she recalls. "I wanted to explore the profession that supported that relationship."

Dr. Duke's professional interests include internal medicine, soft tissue surgery and general veterinary medicine. She is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and the Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association.

At home, Dr. Duke cares for Greta, her German wirehaired pointer, and Winthorpe, her domestic short hair cat named after Dan Aykroyd's character in Trading Places. She belongs to the Barrington Breakfast Rotary Club and in her spare time enjoys cross country skiing, and gardening. Dr. Duke also has two children with her husband Grant, whom she met in 4th grade at Barrington's Countryside Elementary School.

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Barrington VetKimberly Ford, DVM

When Dr. Kimberly Ford was a child in Palatine, Illinois, one of her family's young dogs developed cancer. After the dog's affected leg was amputated, he continued to live a very spirited life, characterized by years of running, jumping and playing. Witnessing her dog's recovery made a significant impact that motivated her to pursue a career in veterinary medicine. She studied animal science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and was accepted to veterinary school there after three years of undergraduate study. She earned her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 1998. Barrington Animal Hospital was fortunate to have Dr. Ford join our staff in June 2005.

"Every day is different," says Dr. Ford when asked which aspect of her career she finds most satisfying. "Sometimes trying to find the source of a sick patient's illness can feel like a mystery but it is a privilege to be part of a patient's life from the start to the very end."

Trained by Dr. Stapleton, Dr. Ford has a professional interest in veterinary dentistry. She is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association and the Chicago Veterinary Medical Association.

At home, Dr. Ford cares for two miniature pinschers. Outside work, she enjoys gardening, knitting and baking.

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Barrington VetCaroline Washington, DVM

Dr. Caroline Washington is an Associate Veterinarian and Barrington Animal Hospital. She joined the team in March of 2016.

An Illinois native, Dr. Washington first knew she wanted to become a veterinarian when her childhood dog, Coco, was diagnosed with a heart murmur. "This event triggered a desire to learn more about veterinary medicine," she says. "Thankfully with close monitoring, Coco lived a long and full life."

After graduating high school Dr. Washington attended the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign where she majored in Animal Sciences/Pre-Vet for her undergraduate degree. She stayed at the University of Illinois to earn her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 2012. She is a member of the Chicago Veterinary Medical Association, the American Veterinary Medical Association and the Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association. Dr. Washington’s professional interests include dentistry, public health and infectious diseases.

"Caring for pets both young and old and being a resource for the community to provide health care for pets and their people is the most satisfying thing about being a veterinarian," says Dr. Washington.

At home, Dr. Washington has a Pitt Bull named Blue, and two cats named Bear and Popcorn Chicken Kitty. She enjoys cooking, baking and watching movies and spending time with her husband and daughter in her free time.

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Barrington VetBridget Vlakancic, DVM

Dr. Bridget Vlakancic joined the veterinary staff at Barrington Animal Hospital in January 2017. As a girl living in Saint Charles, Illinois, she grew up with a wide variety of pets, including a horse, dogs, cats, chinchillas, gerbils, hamsters, fish, a rabbit, a gecko and a guinea pig. Dr. Vlakancic began volunteering at the local animal shelter and at nearby veterinary clinics. She quickly learned that veterinary medicine was the way she wanted to work with animals.

"I loved the fact that no two days were the same and no two cases were the same," Dr. Vlakancic says. "There is always room for growth and the sky is the limit for where your degree can take you."

Dr. Vlakancic earned her Bachelor of Science in Animal Science with a minor in Chemistry from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 2008. She earned Dean's list throughout her undergraduate studies. Dr. Vlakancic continued on to University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Veterinary School, where she earned her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine with honors in 2012.

As a veterinarian at Barrington Animal Hospital, Dr. Vlakancic is professionally interested in internal medicine, preventive medicine and cardiology. She is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association and the Chicago Veterinary Medical Association.

"The most satisfying part of being a veterinarian is being an integral part of a very special bond between a pet and an owner," Dr. Vlakancic says. "It is an amazing feeling when we are able to improve the quality of life for both." Her most memorable moments as a veterinarian have been moments when the recovery of a pet seems impossible. Early in her career she worked in as an emergency veterinarian, and says "in the cases that pets pulled through, I was always reminded why I went into this profession."

Dr. Vlakancic and her husband Jake Vlakancic, a claims team manager for Liberty Mutual, have an 8-month-old son named George. They share their home with a Newfoundland/retriever mix named Duke, a Great Pyrenees named Keely and a pug named Oliver. While at veterinary school, Dr. Vlakancic and Duke volunteered at a retirement center, a place which she has many fond memories of. In her free time, she enjoys long-distance running and has run five marathons—including the Boston Marathon. Dr. Vlakancic also enjoys being outdoors, traveling and spending time with her family and friends.

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Barrington VetHeather E. Williams, DVM

Veterinary associate, Dr. Heather Williams grew up in Hamilton, Massachusetts. She received her Biology degree in 1995 from Grinnell College, and continued her studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine, graduating in 2001. Dr. Williams is a proud member of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Dr. Williams finds veterinary medicine to be the perfect fit for her as it combines her love of animals, fascination with medicine, and desire to problem solve in one challenging career. The satisfaction of seeing pets’ lives improve with proper treatment and the joy of their families is irreplaceable.

Dr. Williams and her husband Jimmy, have three children, Nicholas, Madelyn, and Hayden. They also have two dogs, Wookie and Joey, as well as three cats, a rescue named Mr. Kittybiscuits, Elly, and Mr. Pickles. She enjoys baking, skiing, sand volleyball, watching movies, and attending her children’s sporting events in her free time.

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Barrington VetMary Hernandez, DVM

Dr. Hernandez has 23 years of veterinary experience: 15 years in private practice, 7 years in industry and 1 year in academia. She is energetic and passionate about veterinary dentistry having completed a residency and taught a dental elective at the University of Florida from 2006-2008.

She has honed her communications skills through membership in Toastmasters International and has been a featured speaker at many professional meetings, including the World Small Animal Veterinary Association in Sydney Australia, the World Dental Congress in Kyoto Japan, the Wild West Veterinary Conference, and the Veterinary Dental Forum.

Dr. Hernandez enjoys discussing cases and learning new things. A strong work ethic and proficiency in medicine, dentistry and soft tissue surgery make her an excellent addition to our staff. She builds rapport with clients and believes in presenting the best medical/surgical options then works with the client to provide the best option possible for their four-legged family member.

Dr. Hernandez loves photography and scrapbooking special memories. She shares her home with her Chihuahua Lil’ Bit.