Dr. Van Esch grew up in Calgary, Alberta, and obtained a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture (majoring in Animal Science) from the University of Alberta (Edmonton) in 1994, and her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM, Saskatoon) in 1999.
After graduation, she obtained a position here at the Cremona Veterinary Clinic, and she became the solo owner of the clinic in 2002.
Heather loves working with the “big four” species: dogs, cats, cattle and horses. More recently, she has also been enthusiastic to learn about and offer veterinary services to backyard/small flock poultry keepers, as well as beekeepers. According to her, the variety of species she deals with is one of the most enjoyable aspects of this type of practice.
Dr. Van Esch’s growing interest in small flock poultry led to her decision to take on a big challenge in January 2019, and with the support of her family and clinic staff, she has been working toward her Master’s degree in Veterinary Medical Science at the University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (UCVM). Her research involves Alberta backyard poultry flocks and the transmission of the respiratory virus, ILT (Infectious Laryngotracheitis) within this population. She is expected to complete this program in the spring of 2021. When not studying or working at the clinic, Dr. Van Esch, her husband, Casey, who is a journeyman plumber/gasfitter and owner of “Redbeard Plumbing Ltd” (403-710-1456), and their daughter enjoy camping and skiing. Heather is also an avid photographer. They currently have one cat named “Mimi Two Toes” that was a stray rescued from the bitter cold on Christmas Eve, 2018.
Dr. Van Esch is a proud member of the Cremona, Water Valley and District Chamber of Commerce, and donates her time as well as financial support from the vet clinic to many local fundraising efforts such as the Lions Auction, the Cremona Show and Shine, the Water Valley Stud Auction, the Cremona 4H Club, the Cremona School Enhancement Society, and the Water Valley Playschool.
Dr. Van Esch holds memberships in a number of different veterinary associations, currently volunteers on the ABVMA Animal Welfare Advisory Committee, and regularly attends continuing education seminars on a wide variety of subjects to ensure she is providing the most up to date medical, dental and surgical services possible to her valued clients and their animals.
Dr. Erin Kolodziej – Veterinarian
Dr. Erin Kolodziej (bonus points if you can pronounce that last name right!) grew up just outside of Calgary, Alberta and has always had a love for animals big and small. She graduated from the University of Alberta in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, majoring in Animal Science and completed her Doctorate of Veterinarian Medicine from the University of Calgary in 2018. Upon graduation from vet school, Erin decided to pursue a one-year, intensive equine internship with Burwash Equine Services just outside of Cochrane Alberta to advance her equine medicine.
After spending a summer of vet school working in Oyen, Alberta, Erin was drawn to working in mixed animal rural practice. She loves the people, variety and challenges that come with rural medicine. Her passion for veterinary medicine has taken her to working on dairy farms in California and Quebec, with the horses at Spruce Meadows, wildlife at the Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, snow leopards at the Calgary Zoo and feedlots across Southern Alberta. She grew up with all sorts of critters fueling her desire to become a veterinarian and perform the best care possible for whatever animal walks through the door.
Having shown miniature horses, and as a varsity track and field athlete during her time at the University of Alberta, Erin is passionate about sports medicine. She strives to ensure her patients are not only healthy, but able to perform their daily activities and achieve their optimal performance. She thinks it is important to work closely with owners to help provide quality to their animal’s health. Erin is a member of numerous veterinary associations, striving to always learn and grow in her medicine to better serve you and your pets/livestock.
When she is not at the clinic, Erin is an avid hiker, climber and volleyball player. She enjoys horseback riding, driving her miniature horse, camping, traveling and getting up to all sorts of adventures with her soon to be husband, Grant. She is excited to meet you and your animals!