Dr. Kara is a 2000 graduate from the University of Missouri, College of Veterinary Medicine. She grew up in Springfield, Missouri and returned to the area after attending veterinary school. She is the Owner and Medical Director of Hometown Veterinary Hospital, established in 2002. In 2013, she became certified in Canine Rehabilitation through the Canine Rehabilitation Institute. That same year, she also became a Certified Veterinary Pain Practitioner, through the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management. In 2018, she attended International Veterinary Acupuncture Certification to provide acupuncture treatment to dogs and cats.Dr. Kara is a Faculty Member of Canine Rehabilitation Institute and the Associate Editor for Veterinary Information Network Pain Management and Rehabilitation Section.
She is a Resident in the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, working towards board certification in the upcoming years.
Outside of her continual pursuit for knowledge to improve her patient’s lives, she is the mother of 4 busy, creative, and talented children and the wife to her high school sweetheart, Dwight. They have 3 dogs and 4 cats. The entire family loves to travel, be outdoors, explore and find adventure.
Dr. Heywood grew up in Kansas and Missouri, where she landed in Springfield, Missouri at the age of 10 with her family. She left Springfield for most of her “adult” life and came back four years ago to be closer to family. Dr. Heywood graduated from Drury with a B.A. in psychology, then completed her M.A. at the University of Northern Colorado before joining the U.S. Army.After proudly serving in the U.S. Army Military Police Corp (K9), she realized that she had a strong passion for dogs (and cats) and the people who love them. She also had a passion for medicine, so she left the military to attend veterinary medical school at Western University in Southern California.
Dr. Heywood feels very fortunate to have been invited to be a part of the Hometown Team. She looks forward to many years of practicing medicine with a special interest in dentistry at Hometown Veterinary Hospital. She presently lives in an old house with her beloved menagerie of misfit dogs, cats and one rat. In her personal time, she enjoys spending time outdoors with her dogs, where they especially enjoy running or hiking. Dr. Heywood is also an avid reader and, believe it or not, she does in fact enjoy knitting!
Julie Mease grew up in Republic, Missouri, on 10 acres where she had horses, Shetland ponies, mini pigmy goats, dogs, cats and a rabbit (plus any stray pets that she could convince her parents to keep!). She received her B.S. in biology with a minor in psychology from MSU in 1992 before completing her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Missouri in 1996. Julie has been a vet in Springfield for the last 22 years, with the last two of those years being at Hometown Veterinary Hospital.She is the lucky pet parent to a puggle named Sonny Rover (whose friends call him Biscuit and is her heart) and his harem of five cats: Skitty, Ringworm (aka Dingdong), Gary (who, together with Sonny are “Sonny and Gare”), Louis and Francine (aka Pigpen). In her free time, Julie loves spending time with her husband and her boys, where they enjoy kayaking, hiking, walking really fast (as if she’s running but-not-quite) and cruising with the top off in the Jeep (her mid-life crisis toy).
Dr. Kim grew up in both Ohio and in Seoul, Korea. As a six-year old girl, she noticed a sharp contrast between Ohio and Seoul in the 80s—while living in Korea, she really missed the nature and animals.
Later in her teen years, she was able to visit her hometown of Ohio again. One experience she recalls involves her parents’ friends as they were nursing a baby deer back to health with the help of a veterinarian. This amazing experience led the future Dr. Kim to pursue her dream of becoming a vet.
Coming back to the U.S. at the age of 17 was no easy task, however Dr. Kim persevered to pursue her dream. She eventually received her B.S. in Bioveterinary Science from Utah State University. Then, she graduated from the Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2008.
Dr. Kim has worked at various settings of veterinary medicine including a mixed-animal practice, exotic-animal practice, small-animal practice, emergency hospital and non-profit organizations seeking the best ways to provide service for people and their pets.
The thirst to practice veterinary medicine with compassion and integrity in a loving environment led her to open her own practice in Michigan. After working as a practice owner for five years, she had to move to Missouri due to her husband’s job. She is looking forward to her next adventure at Hometown Veterinary Hospital.
In her spare time, Dr. Kim likes to go to fitness classes, travel, read, write, snowboard and spend time with her husband and Simba, a golden retriever.