Doctors and Staff
Dr. Bryce Gilson, DVM
Dr. Bryce Gilson grew up in south central Pennsylvania. She attended Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine where she earned her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 2019.
Dr. Gilson has always been very passionate about cats and feline medicine. During college, she volunteered with a local Trap-Neuter-Return feral cat group. At Purdue, she was an active member and president of the student chapter of the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP). She went on to receive the AAFP outstanding senior student award in recognition of dedication and excellence in the study of feline medicine and surgery.
Rush Holt, DVM
Rush Holt is originally from Morgantown and attended WVU for both his undergraduate and graduate degrees. He graduated from Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine in 2018.
After graduation, Dr. Holt spent two years practicing in southern West Virginia as a small animal private practitioner. He then spent two more years as a large animal practitioner in central Pennsylvania before returning to Morgantown to be closer to his family. Rush has been with the CLAH/FVC teams since 2022 and loves the honor of serving the community.
Matthew J. Kessler, DVM, DACLAM
Dr. Kessler earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Cornell University and is board-certified by the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine. After graduating from veterinary school, he served as a Captain in the USAF Veterinary Corps for five years. After leaving the military, he joined the staﬀ of the Caribbean Primate Research Center at the University of Puerto Rico as a clinical veterinarian later serving as Director for 13 years. While in Puerto Rico, he co-founded a small animal clinic in San Juan at which he practiced part-time for 17 years. Shortly after establishing this clinic, he built a computer and wrote one of the first commercially-available software programs for veterinarians.
He also co-founded a company in Puerto Rico that for a decade produced recycled plastic lumber products made from 100% waste plastic. After leaving the island, he was a consulting lab animal veterinarian, practiced part-time at a small animal clinic, and then served as Associate Director at the Center for Comparative Medicine at the University of Virginia for eight years. In 2011 he was recruited to become Chair of the Division of Veterinary Resources at Harvard’s New England Primate Research Center. With the impending closure of this center, in 2013 he joined WVU’s Oﬃce for Laboratory Animal Resources. After retiring from WVU, Dr. Kessler joined the staff of the Cheat Lake Animal Hospital and Feline Veterinary Care of Morgantown where he works part-time in the wellness clinics. His hobbies include photography, computers, model trains, environmental affairs, current events, history and writing. He has authored or co-authored over 135 publications mostly on naturally-occurring monkey diseases, epidemiology and zoonoses. Dr. Kessler is married to Ava Gaa Ojeda, a former herpetologist, human reproductive biologist, science and Spanish teacher. She currently is a watercolor artist and home chef. The Kesslers have two sons who recently graduated from WVU, and an adopted cat with diabetes.
- Office Manager -
Kirsten grew up in Southern Maryland and has always known she wanted to work with animals. Her mother was a veterinary technician so she grew up in vet clinics. As soon as she turned sixteen, Kirsten got her first job as a kennel attendant at a clinic. In her spare time, she volunteered at a local shelter, fostered animals, and rode horses.
Kirsten went on to attend West Virginia University where she earned a degree in Animal and Nutritional Sciences. In between classes, she volunteered with the service dog organization, Hearts of Gold.
After graduation, Kirsten joined Cheat Lake Animal Hospital as a receptionist. Since then, she has also worked in management and as a veterinary assistant. In April 2022, Kirsten stepped up to become the office manager at FVC.
Kirsten lives in Morgantown with her husband, Kevin, and their animals (a dog, Nyx, and a cat, Pixel). When she’s not at work, Kirsten loves spending time with her animals, hiking, and kayaking.
- RVT - Registered Veterinary Technician -
Kiersten is an RVT at FVC. She graduated from Pierpont C&TC in 2020. Kiersten has 3 cats; Lilo, Stitch, and Checkers. Kiersten loves working at FVC and spending all her time with just the kitties.
- Veterinary Assistant -
Sydney first met the FVC team in the summer of 2022 during her veterinary technician preceptorship. Following her graduation in June 2023, Sydney officially joined the CLAH/FVC team. She has three cats (Squirrel, Tuna, and Gen) and two dogs (Mac and Buddy).
- Veterinary Assistant -
Brittany is a certified cat friendly friendly veterinary professional and has been a veterinary assistant since 2015. She shares her home with several pets including cats, dogs, reptiles and spiders. Some of her kitties even go hiking with her and her dogs.
- Veterinary Assistant -
Sara joined the CLAH/FVC team in June of 2022. She attended the Vet Tech Institute in Pittsburgh and graduated in January of 2020. She has three cats; Dolly, Delilah, and Dill Pickle. In her free time she enjoys cuddling her cats, hiking, and horseback riding.