Caring & Dedicated
Erik Strunck, DVM, Veterinarian
Dr. Erik Strunck was born in Pittsburgh, PA, and grew up in Ohio, near Cincinnati. He attended North Carolina State University, obtaining a BS in Animal Science in 1998. Dr. Strunck then attended Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine, graduating with Magna Cum Laude honors in 2003.
Dr. Strunck has been practicing small animal medicine since graduating in 2003, and opened Grace Park Animal Hospital in 2008. Dr. Strunck lives in Cary, and has a happy family at home. His wife, Amy, is also involved in the practice, and takes on administrative duties while not at home with their children and house full of pets.
Elisa Sumakeris, MS, DVM, Veterinarian
Dr. Elisa Sumakeris is a native of San Francisco California, although she spent most of her childhood in North Carolina. She attended NC State University for her undergraduate work, obtaining a BS in Zoology in 1989. She then obtained her Masters Degree in Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics at UNC-Chapel Hill in 1993. She attended the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine, graduating in the class of 1997. She has worked at Grace Park Animal Hospital since it opened in November 2008.
Dr. Elisa has a very busy household that consists of her husband Joe, and 3 teenage children: Kathryn, Joanna, and Luke. Her family is completed by her Labradoodle Biscuit, her Miniature Poodle Lulu, and the cockatiel Dink. She and her family live in Carpenter Village in Cary.
Dr. Elisa enjoys spending time with her family outdoors, especially hiking, swimming, and tending her organic vegetable and flower gardens. At the practice, she particularly enjoys internal medicine, infectious disease, and pathology.
Jennifer Traficanti, DVM, Veterinarian
Dr. Jennifer Traficanti was born and raised in Hinsdale, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. She attended the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign for her undergraduate studies obtaining a BS in Animal Sciences and continued her stay at U of I for veterinary school, graduating in 2012.
In a quest to escape the Chicago winters, Dr. Traficanti relocated to North Carolina and was lucky enough to find the wonderful team at Grace Park Animal Hospital. Her professional interests include dermatology, internal medicine, and emergency medicine.
Outside practice, she enjoys spending time outdoors (hiking and kayaking are two favorite activities), relaxing by the ocean, and always looking for the next traveling adventure. Dr. Traficanti has a beloved boxer, Lady. Dr. Traficanti knows how special our furry family members are. She strongly believes in the benefits of routine preventative care. Together, we will work to keep our pets happy and healthy
Ruth West, CVA, CCRP, DVM
Dr. Ruth West was born in Michigan, but has lived in Illinois, Hawaii, Oregon, California and Florida. She graduated from Concordia University in River Forest, IL with a degree in Natural Science.
Dr. West taught middle and high school science for several years before embarking on a new career in Veterinary Medicine. She graduated from University of Florida with a Master of Agriculture in 2007 and a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 2011.
Dr. West is certified in Veterinary Acupuncture and is also became a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner from the University of Tennessee in 2015.
Ruth enjoys hiking and exploring her new home of North Carolina with her husband Dave, their three dogs Crash, Biscuit and Atom.
Caroline Brewer, DVM, Veterinarian
Dr. Caroline Brewer was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. She attended Louisiana State University for her undergraduate work, obtaining a BS in Psychology in 2008. She then obtained her Masters Degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from UNC Charlotte in 2011. After working as a consultant for a few years, Dr. Brewer returned to school to pursue her passion for Veterinary Medicine. After completing the needed prerequisites, Dr. Brewer attended North Carolina State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and graduated in 2019. She is the recipient of several senior veterinary student awards:
Excellence in Anesthesia Clinical Proficiency Award
Bayer Animal Health Dermatology Award
AAHA Award for Outstanding Proficiency in Primary Care
Department of Clinical Sciences Companion Animal Faculty - Clinical Proficiency Award
Outside of work Dr. Brewer loves to spend time with her husband, Dustin, and their two fluffy rescue pups Hailey and McKinley. Her favorite activities include going on hiking/backpacking trips, enjoying local greenways on foot or bike, and spending time in the kitchen trying out new recipes!
Bethany Riego, DVM, Veterinarian
Dr. Bethany Riego was born in Wisconsin, but moved to North Carolina with her family when she was young. Aside from a brief stint in Maryland, she has lived in North Carolina ever since. She attended North Carolina State University and obtained her B.S. in Biological Sciences in 2003, returning again to obtain her veterinary degree from NC State College of Veterinary Medicine in 2009.
She has been practicing small animal medicine since 2009 and she was very excited to join the great team of Grace Park Animal Hospital in March 2020. Her professional interests include internal medicine, soft tissue surgery, and ophthalmology.
Her amazing family includes her husband, Dustin, and their three young girls, Reagan, Aubrey, and Kendall. They also have a goofy hound mix, Otter Potter, and a variety of tropical fish. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with family and friends doing pretty much anything. While leisure time looks different after kids, she still enjoys travel when possible, being in or around water, hiking, reading, gardening, and being outside in any way possible.
Amy Strunck, BS, Hospital Administrator
Amy was born in New York and grew up in northern Virginia, until her family relocated to Raleigh, NC. Amy attended North Carolina State University where she received a BS in Business Management in 1998. Amy has always been interested in pursuing a career in the veterinary field. She started as an animal care taker while in college and later performed medical transcription for a local veterinary clinic. In 2008, Amy joined her husband, Dr. Strunck, as the Hospital Administrator of Grace Park Animal Hospital.
Amy resides in Cary, NC with her husband, Erik, their 3 children, 3 dogs, and 2 cats.
Bilal T., Veterinary Assistant
Bilal was born in New Jersey and moved to NC 9 years ago. Bilal started working at Grace Park Animal Hospital in 2013. In 2015, he began training within the hospital to become a Veterinary Assistant. Bilal has 2 dogs, one is an American Eskimo named Snow, and the other is a pitbull named Lamron. He enjoys fishing and riding his motorcycle in his free time. Currently, Bilal is studying at both Wake Tech and NC State in the Pre-Vet Program. He really enjoys working at Grace Park Animal hospital and loves what he does!
Brandy B., Veterinary Assistant
Brandy was born in upstate New York and graduated from Paul Smiths College with a B.S. in Wildlife Management in 2011. From there she moved to South Florida where she worked at the South Florida Wildlife Care center for several years. She moved to North Carolina in 2016 and has been with Grace Park Animal Hospital since July 2016. Brandy has a love of all animals, wild and domestic alike. She loves working with any animal she can get her hands on and learning all about different species of animal. She lives with her dog named Juno, a Military Macaw named Peggy, two Cockatiel's named Cheeko and Freya, and a Ball Python named Killface. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, camping, fishing, bird watching, reading and spending time with her family.
Carissa C., Veterinary Assistant
Carissa was born in Panama, Central America but has lived in North Carolina for a large portion of her life. She graduated from Miller-Motte with an Associate’s in Veterinary Technology. Carissa has always had a passion for animals, even as a young child. Carissa grew up with having dogs, cats, birds, small rodents, and even reptiles as pets. She joined the Grace Park team in January of 2018. Her background consists of rescue and shelter medicine. She loves making a difference in the animal community, as well as supporting client education. When she is not working, she enjoys playing fetch with Shadow (a pitbull mix) or relaxing at home with her cockatiel, Chiple.
Kate M., Office Manager
Kate moved from New Jersey to North Carolina 9 years ago. Kate has worked in the veterinary field since 2001. She loves the bonds she makes working with pets and their owners. Kate enjoys spending time shooting sporting clays with her husband Jason. Kate has two dogs - Joan her lovable beagle and Chevy her goofy lab. In her down time, her favorite thing to do is snuggle with her dogs and a good book.
Leigh Anne M., Veterinary Assistant
Leigh Anne was born and raised in North Carolina. She lives in Raleigh with her husband, Tim and her daughter, Adalynn. She has a dog, Toby, and a cat, Chloe at home also. In her spare time, she enjoys being outdoors, hiking, swimming, and spending time with her family. Leigh Anne has a passion for animals and her favorite part of working at Grace Park is the relationships she builds with the animals and their owners.
Lori H., Groomer
Lori is originally from the Midwest and moved to Cary in 1997. She has been with Grace Park Animal Hospital since it opened in 2008. She strives to form a bond with each of her furry friends and their owners. Lori has been grooming since 2003 and has experience in all breeds of dogs and cats. Outside of work, she enjoys making jewelry, painting, and the arts. Lori has 2 dogs, Sadie Mae, and "little" Willy, and loves to take them on walks.
Megan C., Veterinary Assistant
Megan graduated from NC State in 2009 earning her BS in Animal Science. She has always loved animals, and actually spent the majority of her teenage years working at a local farm riding and training horses. She now resides in Roxboro with her husband and their slew of animals. Their menagerie consists of 4 dogs (Lucy, Tucker, Faye and RB), 3 cats (Lark, Hendrix, and Gail), 1 horse (Humble), and 4 chickens (dubbed “the chickens”). Megan loves all aspects of working at Grace Park Animal Hospital including the awesome pets she meets every day, the amazing clients she gets to chat with, and the thrills of assisting with the complete inner workings of a veterinary facility anywhere from wellness exams to critical surgeries. In her spare time, Megan loves music, nature, and especially woodworking. Most of all, however, she loves her pets, and she will love yours, too!!
Stephanie B., Veterinary Assistant
Stephanie was born and raised in North Carolina. She attended North Carolina State University between 2010 and 2014 earning a B.S. in Animal Science. She has always known a deep compassion and respect for all animals. At home, she enjoys the company of two cats named Marley and Nugget.
Sue K., Canine Behavior Consultant and Instructor
A born animal lover, Sue has been enthusiastic about training dogs and other animals since early childhood. After she settled in the Triangle in 1996, Sue began studying the science of animal behavior in earnest. As a certified dog training instructor, Sue became known locally for her Tricks training workshops, and has also enjoyed competing in Agility with her Rat Terriers. She now works as a Canine Behavior Consultant, trains foster caregivers through rescue groups, and teaches Puppy and Pet Obedience classes at Grace Park. “What I love about teaching at Grace Park,” says Sue, “is seeing my students discover, through positive training, just how clever and fun their dogs truly are!” Sue lives with two Rat Terriers, a Kangal Dog, a (toilet-trained) cat, and a flock of chickens.
Tiffany L. Veterinary Assistant
Tiffany was born and raised in North Carolina and graduated from North Carolina State University with a B.S. in Animal Science. She joined the Grace Park team in March of 2017. Tiffany has spent most of her life around or working with animals. In her spare time, she is usually with a four legged companion; either her Corgi mix, Madi, her bob –tailed cat, Hemi, or her favorite horse, K.C.
Travis C., Veterinary Assistant
Travis was born in Las Vegas, NV. He moved to Roxboro, NC with his family and currently lives there with his wife and multitude of pets, including dogs (Faye, Lucy, and Wayne), cats (Hendrix, Lark, and Gale), pygmy goats (Joe, Vinny, and Elle), and about 20 chickens! His favorite part of working here is interacting with all the pets!