Tanya Boris-Cass, RVT
I grew up in a small town on the Jersey Shore. After graduating from the University of South Carolina with a degree in Biology, I moved to the DC area and began working as a veterinary technician. I originally had set out to become a veterinarian, but I fell in love with the nursing care side of veterinary medicine and the connection with the patients and pet owners that it allowed me to have. I went on to obtain my license in veterinary technology in 2009.
I have been with Friendship since May of 2003. I started my career here as an Emergency/ICU technician and worked in multiple specialty departments before joining our management team. Friendship has given me the opportunity for a dynamic and rewarding career in veterinary medicine.
Outside of Friendship, I enjoy running, taking ballet class, and spending time with my husband and daughter. We love our bearded dragon, Tortie. We are new to owning reptiles, so it’s a fun adventure!
I grew up in Northern Baltimore County in Maryland. I always knew from a young age I wanted to work with animals in some capacity. Since I was 16, I have been working in animal hospitals as various roles from kennel assistant, to veterinary assistant, to veterinary technician, to my current role as a supervisor. I just recently received my associates in Veterinary Technology and am in the process of obtaining my veterinary technician license to become a Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT).
I joined the Friendship team in May 2021 as a surgery technician. I love specialty medicine and working as a technician is so rewarding. Prior to Friendship, I have worked in a variety of settings including general practice, emergency medicine, shelter medicine, zoo medicine, neurology specialty, orthopedic specialty, and rehabilitation and pain management. Specialty medicine is where my true passion is due to the wide variety of treatment options we can offer our patients. Joining the Friendship team has been unlike any other hospital where I’ve worked. The culture and quality of medicine are unmatched.
When I’m not working, I enjoy exploring DC and all it has to offer and spending time with my Jack Russell Terrier, Leo.
Patti Garra, LVT
Patient Care Supervisor
I was born in Germany (military family) and lived in Kansas and Florida before settling in Northern Virginia when I was 7 years old. I grew up loving animals and was probably 4 years old when I decided I wanted to work with animals when I grew up. I spent several summers working at my uncles Veterinary Practice in Tennessee. I attended George Mason University and earned my bachelor’s degree in Biology.
Upon graduation, I immediately started working for a small Primary Care Clinic in Northern Virginia. I worked there until I joined the Friendship Family in May of 2011. I started as an emergency technician and became a Patient Care Supervisor in December of 2013. Emergency medicine is one of my greatest passions within Vet med. Helping patients and their people when they need it most is incredibly rewarding and I love that it is constantly evolving and I am therefore, constantly learning.
When I am not working, I like to spend time with my husband, Chris and our 3 kids, Hattie, Maddie and Kyle. I love everything Disney, and one day would love to work with the animals there. I am an avid reader, and if I am not at Disney, you can find me at the beach. My husband and I also enjoy spending time with our two pups, Holly and Dodger.
Compliance and Billing Administrator
Since joining FHA in 2007, I have held many positions within the hospital, ranging from ER/CC Technician, Oncology Technician, Technical Supervisor, ER/CC Veterinary Assistant, Patient Care Manager and Training & Development Manager. I recently transitioned into the role of Compliance and Billing Administrator and I look forward to continue providing support to management, doctors, technicians, client care technicians and our clients in order to maintain Friendship values.
I currently live in Mechanicsville, MD with my giant puppy, Bowser and queen of the house, my orange lady cat, Hank! In my downtime, I enjoy cooking, watching food network, drinking coffee and taking a million pictures of my pets being cute.
Veterinary Relations Manager, Community Outreach
I came to Friendship as the Veterinary Relations Manager after a long career in the pharmaceutical industry. My history with Friendship has allowed me to watch the hospital evolve over the years and it has been very fulfilling to be a part of such an incredible team. As the relations manager I work closely with all of our specialists to strengthen our partnership with referring practices as well as focusing on educational outreach in the veterinary community. My pets are of the four legged kind but a bit large for our facility. I have had horses and ridden since childhood which is a huge part of why I am and always will be an animal lover.
Lee Manson, LVT
I have worked in in the veterinary field for 20 years. I started working at Friendship in 2010. During my time here, I acquired my LVT and have moved through various departments, gaining valuable knowledge. I accepted the role of Specialty Supervisor in an effort to continue to grow within Friendship and maintain the excellent level of care that this hospital has build its excellent reputation on.
I live in Maryland with my wife and our dog, Simba. In my spare time, I enjoy watching and playing basketball as well as traveling.
Cami Phelps, CVPM
Practice Manager, General Practice
I grew up in Northern Virginia and was fortunate to be able to visit downtown and the museums growing up. I have also lived in Annapolis, MD, San Diego, CA as well as Charlotte, NC. I am back home here at Friendship and love being in the DC area again.
I have been in veterinary practice management since 2007 which is when I fell in love with the veterinary field. My favorite part of my job is getting to know our patients and clients and interacting with as many pets as I can. I love being around animals and am very fortunate to have a small part in veterinary medicine. Every day is an opportunity to improve the life of our patients and to help support our clients. To that end, I became a certified veterinary practice manager (CVPM) in 2014, in order to continue growing my knowledge and skills as a leader.
One of my favorite things to do is hike and go for walks with my Miniature Schnauzer, Fritzi. I love trying new restaurants and going to the theater and just being out and about.
I grew up in Lake George, NY but moved to Maryland for high school and college, graduating from Rockville High and Garrett College where I studied Forestry.
I ran a printing press for a couple decades and then moved into building maintenance.
I live in Kensington, MD with my wife and our 20 year old son. I enjoy cooking, ping pong, darts, reading, boating, fishing, and fixing things. At this point in time we have just one cat, Mo, who is hopelessly devoted to me.
Kathy Waite, LVT
Patient Care Manager
After graduating from the University of Maryland-College Park with a degree in Wildlife Conservation and Resource Management, I spent nine years working with small animals and exotics. Eventually I returned to school to further my education as a veterinary technician, graduating and earning my license in 2008. I joined Friendship in 2012 to expand my horizons and dive into the world of emergency and critical care, which is both challenging and deeply rewarding. When not working, I enjoy hiking, amusement parks, and embarking on adventures around the DC area and hanging out with my dog Gretchen. While I love working with all the wonderful veterinarians, technicians and support staff at Friendship, my dream is to rescue and care for sloths in Costa Rica.
A D.C. native, I joined FHA in 2004 after spending several years working in accounting and restaurant management. I currently live in Ellicott City, MD with my son Robby and daughter Grace. I have a Beagle mix named Rocky, a Whoodle named Lucy, and I love football season (Go Commanders!!).
Meg Yagatich, LVT
Practice Manager, Specialty and Emergency Services
Being part of a military family, I moved a lot as kid. The one constant, no matter where we lived, was our pets. My parents always made every effort to show me how we can care for animals of all sorts, which I credit for my commitment to veterinary care today. I took my passion for animals to North Carolina State University where I earned a Bachelor’s degree in Zoology with a minor in Environmental Science. Shortly after graduation, I moved to Maryland and began my vet med journey.
I spent a few years at Banfield and joined the FHA family in 2013. When I started as a veterinary technician and immediately felt at home. I took every opportunity to learn more and develop my skills for patient care and became a licensed tech in 2015. Trusted with more responsibility as a supervisor, I pushed myself and everyone around me to live up to Friendship’s mission of providing the best patient care possible. I am grateful to continue that work in my current position as Practice Manager, where I strive to provide the support each department and employee needs to do their best work while fostering Friendship’s core values.
I currently live in New Market, MD with my husband, William, and two kids, Brody and Griffin. We share our home, beds and hearts with our fur family, two dogs, Tiny and Tonks, and two cats, Sena and Splotch. In my downtime, I enjoy crafting, running and outdoor adventuring with family and friends.
Janay Austin-Carlson, LVT, CCRP
I grew up in a small town in Delaware. While I have always loved animals it didn’t become clear that the veterinary field was my calling until later in life. I received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Arts from Catawba College in Salisbury, North Carolina.
In my prior work life, I worked in Public Relations for the State of Delaware and Constituent Relations for a US Senator. After adopting my first pug and volunteering with animals in my free time, I soon realized that I had found my true passion.
I started working at Friendship Hospital for Animals in August of 2006 while I went back to school. I finished my Canine Rehabilitation Program at the University of Tennessee in 2009. After working as a Rehabilitation Practitioner at several specialty practices in the DC area I returned to Friendship in 2014 to launch our Rehabilitation Department.
All of this combined experience has led me to my current role of Marketing Manager where I plan to use my industry knowledge to help highlight the amazing work and staff at Friendship.
In my spare time, I enjoy traveling, reading, hanging out with friends and spending some down time at home with my husband Roy and our rescued pugs, Gidget and Louise.