Helen grew up on a 100-acre hobby farm near Guelph, Ontario, surrounded by animals of all kinds. She spent her childhood playing with horses and crashing about with four other kids on the farm. During her years at the University of Guelph, she maintained equilibrium by playing varsity soccer and rugby and as many intramural sports as she could manage. After graduating from the Ontario Veterinary College in 1998, Helen packed her worldly possessions in a pick-up truck and moved to Nanaimo to accept a job at Petroglyph Animal Hospital, where she worked with horses and small animals. Helen moved to Victoria in 2001, testing the waters as a locum for a year before settling full time at McKenzie. She has a special interest in dentistry and enjoys soft tissue surgery and ophthalmology. In 2016, Helen took over ownership of McKenzie along with her colleague, Dr. Diane Cruickshank. Ownership is a family affair with Helen’s husband James filling the role of General Manager.
Outside of work, Helen is a proud parent of two boys, an avid non-competitive trail runner and dabbler in Pilates. If she could manipulate time, she would also do yoga and garden more often. She has an inexplicable affection for puffins and meerkats and a frog collection generated entirely by gifts from her sister. She loves found natural objects, especially bones. Her least favourite thing in life is never having enough time to fit everything in. Her long-term goal is to be a healthy centenarian.