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To Our Clients

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To Our Clients

Dear Family,

As many clients have seen in the last few months, Dr. Hellenga has been struggling with complications from Long Covid. Her dedication to the Winter Park Vet Family has driven her to keep trying to see appointments and care for the pets and people of Winter Park through a variety of different and changing symptoms. Through this she has perfected the non-verbal, writing on a notepad as she has had difficulty speaking. Our leadership team meetings have been quite interesting as different team members have served as Dr. Hellenga interpreters throughout the meeting to get her points across. We make the best of things here 🙂

After discussing what is best for the long term, we have determined that despite her heroic efforts,  in order to ensure Dr. Hellenga can fully recover and get these Long Covid type symptoms under control, she will need to see a very limited appointment schedule for the next few months. We are confident that this will give her time to recover so she can get back to full strength. She is in good spirits and looking forward to continuing to mentor and support our amazing DVM’s behind the scenes.  

As medical director, she will still be in the hospital 5 days a week guiding and working closely with our team to help care for all the patients at WPVH. She will be consulting with doctors on the care for any of her regular patients so don’t worry, you and your pet will get all her knowledge and expertise, just in a slightly different way. 

On that note, we are happy to welcome Dr. Nichole Crainick to the Winter Park Vet Family. She will be one of the veterinarians helping to support Dr. Hellenga during this transition.

Dr. Nichole Crainick comes to Winter Park Vet having served as the medical director of a local Central Florida veterinary hospital for the last 5 plus years. In addition, she worked with Dr. Hellenga in St. Louis for a few years so she comes highly recommended. 

Dr. Crainick enjoys emergency medicine, along with ultrasound, and geriatric medicine. She also participated in a program at the University of Tennessee for Canine Rehabilitation.   

Dr. Hellenga wants to say thank you and share her love with the entire WPVH family for helping her through this challenging time. She is looking forward to seeing you all back in the exam room soon.

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns and please send Dr. Hellenga all your healing thoughts. 


Billy Hess

Hospital Manager