The Brookville Veterinary Hospital was started in 1918 by Dr Constintine Chistinopolis. Dr Christinopolos, who later changed his name to Christy, was a native of Greece. He went to undergraduate school in France and finally graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in veterinary medicine.
When he was reaching the time of retirement he approached a young man named Jimmy Shields who was at the time was perusing a degree in Dairy Management. Dr Christy told the farmer that if he was interested in becoming a veterinarian the practice would remain open until he finished school. After doing some research, it was found that Jimmy was just 2 credits away from being able to apply to vet school. Well, not only did Jimmy get accepted to The University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, but he also received a full academic scholarship.
In 1968, after graduation from theUniversityofPennsylvaniawith a degree in Veterinary Medicine, Dr Shields moved Brookville Veterinary Hospital into a small sun porch attached to the side of his home onSouth Pickering Street. Dr Shields’ only staff was his loving and always supportive wife Cathy, who would even accompany him on large animal calls. It was here that he made his first purchase for the hospital, an anesthesia machine which, although rarely used, is still in working order at the hospital today.
After four years, Dr Shields purchased a building which was formerly a restaurant know as “The Beanery”. He remodeled it into a hospital with 2 exam rooms, a surgery room, kennel, laboratory, and reception area. This building, which was located on the corner of Route 36 andSheep Farm Roadin Brookville, would be his base of operation from 1972 until November of 2006. 1972 brought the arrival of Dr Shields’ first associate veterinarian, Dr Clifford Hixon. Dr Norman Smith, Dr Richard Rawson, and Dr Catherine Shoemaker would also join the staff during the stay at this location. Other members of staff were also added during this period including Judy Wilson, Bonita Clever CVT, Debra Shriver, Andrew Shields, Janice Craig, Amy Haag CVT, Tiffany Brubaker, and Danielle Wolfgong CVT, and as well as other members of staff that our no longer with them.
Dr Christy had tried to instill the importance of always searching for knowledge so Dr Shields constantly strived to be on top of technological advances in veterinary medicine. Unfortunately this conflicted with his charitable ways and in 1994 the business hit massive hardship. Dr Shields’ combination of high quality veterinary care and low prices could no longer sustain the costs of the business. Instead of declaring bankruptcy, he made the difficult decision to raise prices to an amount that would still be fair to the clients yet be able to make profit for the business. This decision, although difficult at the time, paid off in the end. The business began to grow and Brookville Veterinary Hospital was able to continue and serve the community.
Between 2002 and 2006 the business made such growth that it was becoming difficult to practice quality medicine in such a cramped environment. Dr Carol Winsley and Dr Patricia Lyon had both come and gone, off to pursue other adventures. There was one doctor who stuck around though. In August of 2004, the Lord blessed the hospital with Dr Marin Boghean. A Native of Romania, Dr Boghean received his degree in veterinary medicine from Perdue University before joining the staff.
On November 9, 2007, after years of planning, The Brookville Veterinary Hospital moved to their new home at103 Allegheny Boulevardin Brookville. They had been bursting at the seems in their old building so it was a welcome change. Their new 7000 square foot home had a few benefits that were hard to ignore. If the spacious reception area, 4 separate wards (dog, cat, intensive care, and isolation), 6 exam rooms, imaging room complete with digital radiology, and dental suite weren’t enough to knock your socks off then perhaps you would enjoy the surgery suite, complete with two heated surgery tables. Scott Ward, Gail Carpenter, Susan Madden, and Vickie Butzin were also welcomed to the family, as well as a few others that have come and gone.
In June of 2007, the hospital faced a great tragedy. During a day out with her family, senior technician Judy Wilson was in a motorcycle accident which left her in the critical care unit of Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh. The accident came as a shock to the entire staff but they pulled together in prayer for her and never lost faith. Finally, after a 4 month rehabilitation process, this very important piece of Brookville Veterinary Hospital puzzle was able to return. Several months later, in late October, the hospital faced heartbreak once more when they learned of the passing of their beloved architect, and family friend, William Snyder.
In 2008, associate veterinarian Jason Chamberlin joined the staff and shared 2 years with the practice. After he left to pursue other ventures the search once again started for a new member of the team. We were looking for an educated and passionate veterinarian with love of not only animals but people as well and in May of 2010 we found that in Dr Deborah McClaine. Dr McClaine, a Clarion native, obtained her degree fromNorth CarolinaStatein 2010 then returned to her hometown area to share her skills with the community.
Now, with 40+ years of practice, Brookville Veterinary Hospital is doing better than ever. Throughout Dr Shield’s ownership of the practice his goals have remained the same. Through the work of himself and his associates, Brookville Veterinary Hospital offers the highest quality of medicine, the most advanced technology, and the personalized care that their clients have come to expect.
“Our desire has always been to have a business place where the spirit of God is evident”
– Dr James Ben Shields