Featured Practice: River Heights Veterinary Hospital & Veterinary Dental Center
Name: Stephen Juriga DVM, DAVDC
Year Degree Received: DVM/1987, Alternate Pathway Dental Resident/2002-2006
Years in Current Location: 20
Specialty/Type of Practice: AAHA-accredited, small animal practice and veterinary dental referral practice, including patients at Brookfield Zoo and Shedd Aquarium.
What are the biggest challenges and rewards of your practice? Managing the growth of our practice. Fortunately my wife, Alexandra, received her business degree from the University of Illinois in 1991. This has allowed me to hire great associates, focus on patient care, surgery and dentistry. Alexandra strives to ensure that our staff, the facility, and each client experience will exceed our clients’ expectations. We both treasure the relationships we have with our clients and their pets.
What are some of your favorite memories from your time as a DVM student at Illinois? Thinking you have arrived early (5:30-6:00 am) to perform treatments on a busy service only to have Dr. Small pass you in the hallway.The Super Bowl Shuffle skit for the talent show was also a lot of fun.
What lessons did you take away from your DVM education and how have they applied to your practice? I had great professors and clinicians throughout my fouryears of veterinary school. Dr. Manfra was an outstanding mentor for veterinary dentistry and maxillofacial surgery. I learned to ask open-ended questions & listen, develop relationships with my clients, and to have strong problem solving skills.
Were you involved in any student clubs or organizations? We had a great group of guys that competed in a variety of intra mural sports, ISVMA, and AAEP. I didn’t join OTS, but attended all of their parties.
Are you currently involved with University of Illinois? Do you have a favorite fund to support? In the past, I served on various committees, as a mentor, and CVM Alumni President. We support the Companion Animal Fund, Class of 1987 Endowment Fund and the Veterinary Dental Donation Fund.