The team at Summer Street Animal Clinic is comprised of highly trained and experienced animal health professionals who have a genuine love for working with pets.

Our staff treats every patient with the highest quality of medical care as well as a gentle touch.


merlin_bwDr. Merlin Van Zee, Veterinarian/Owner

Dr. Merlin Van Zee graduated with distinction from Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine in May of 2003.

After receiving his degree, Dr. Van Zee moved to Burlington and began to practice at Summer Street Animal Clinic, where his professional interests include surgery – both orthopedic and soft tissue, anesthesia and pain control.

Dr. Van Zee is a native of Pella, Iowa, who completed his undergraduate work at Iowa State University studying Animal Science.

Dr. Van Zee and his wife, Magon, have 3 children, Ty, Meadow and Amos. Their family has two cats, “Sammich” and “Scribbles.”

Outside of practice, Dr. Van Zee enjoys outdoor activities, motorcycling, Cyclones athletics and tinkering in his shop.

Dr. Van Zee also takes great joy in spending time with his family and church activities. He is a member of the local Kiwanis Club and the Burlington Chamber of Commerce.

heath_bwDr. Heath Hillyard, Veterinarian/Owner

Dr. Heath Hillyard is a local native of the Mediapolis area who received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Simpson College in 1999 in Biology, Chemistry and Mathematics.

Dr. Hillyard then went on to Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine and graduated with his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in May 2003. While at Iowa State University, he pursued a degree in Entrepreneurship as well.

Professional interests include internal medicine, especially dermatology and reproduction, and equine medicine.

Dr. Hillyard and Miranda currently reside in Burlington with their daughter, Harlynn. They also have 2 dogs; a Dachshund named Yadi and a Morkie-Poo named Mecca. His personal interests include all outdoor sports, boating, snow skiing, bicycling and traveling.

He enjoys following Hawkeye athletics throughout the year. He is also active in the Burlington Kiwanis Club, Great River Connections, American Red Cross and the Chamber of Commerce.

Becky-BWDr. Becky Gibilisco, Veterinarian

Dr. Gibilisco graduated with honors from Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in May of 2012. She also received her bachelor’s degree in Animal Science at Iowa State.

After graduating veterinary school, Dr. Gibilisco practiced small animal medicine in Naperville, Illinois before she and her husband decided to move back to Iowa in April 2013.

Her professional interests include soft tissue surgery, diagnostic imaging and dentistry.

Dr. Gibilisco is a native of Oakland, Iowa. She enjoys spending time with her husband, Nathan, and their son, Toby; being outdoors when the weather is warm and traveling. She also has dog named “Rita” who is a regular friendly face around the clinic.


abbey_bwAbbey, Office Manager

Abbey is the Office Manager here at Summer Street and is originally from Russia, Ohio.

Abbey graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in Strategic Communications. She and her husband, Kurt, reside in Mediapolis with their children, Rosalie and Eli, along with their 2 furry kids, Gizmo and LuLu Belle.

When Abbey does get spare time, she enjoys drinking coffee while it’s still warm, running, napping, watching Buckeye football, drinking the occasional glass of wine and time with her family and friends.

MBMisty, Veterinary Assistant

Misty is at Veterinary Assistant at Summer Street Animal Clinic. Originally from Morning Sun, she now resides in Burlington with her husband, Brian, and their two children, Tyce and Bryn.

Misty graduated from Winfield/Mt. Union in 1995 and also attended Kirkwood Community College and SCC after graduating high school.

Not only does Misty have her hands full with her two children, she also has two dogs, Snoop, a Britney Spaniel, and Zoey, a Lhasa-Poo.

Misty enjoys spending time with her family, boating, and being at her cabin on the Mississippi River.

KDKayla, Veterinary Assistant

Kayla is one of our Veterinary Assistants at Summer Street Animal Clinic. She is a 2013 Mediapolis High School graduate. She also graduated from Southeastern Community College with a degree in Agriculture Management.

Kayla and her husband, Daniel, currently reside in Denmark with their three dogs, Dixie (Australian Shepard), Sophie (Pembroke Welsh Corgi) and Dollie (Australian Shepard).
When not at Summer Street, Kayla enjoys spending time with her husband, playing with her puppies, going to car shows, hunting and spending time with family.

KDMiranda, Veterinary Assistant

Originally from Burlington, IA, Miranda grew up in Boonville, Missouri where she also graduated from high school there in 2008. Upon graduating, she moved to Springfield, Missouri where she attended cosmetology school and received her licensing for both Missouri and Iowa.

After moving around and doing some travelling, Miranda decided it was time to settle down and moved back to Burlington where she started at Summer Street in the fall of 2015. She is also currently enrolled at Southeastern Community College pursuing a degree in Applied Science.

When not at work, she enjoys boating, fishing, being outdoors and spending time with her boyfriend, Jon, along with her pups, Hank (lab mix) and Earl (German shepherd mix).

KelseyKelsey, Veterinary Assistant and Technician

Kelsey doubles as both a Veterinary Assistant and Technician- so you can find her all over the place any given day at the clinic.

She is originally from Sullivan, IL, and graduated from Sullivan High School in 2008. She completed her Bachelor Degree in Biology at Eureka College in May of 2012, and she has future plans of continuing her education.

Before coming to Summer Street Animal Clinic, she mentored at her hometown veterinary clinic where she gained great experience.

While residing in Gladstone, IL, Kelsey likes to spend her time hunting, fishing, playing sports and spending time with her family in Carman and back home in Sullivan. As for her furry friends, she and her husband, Josh, have 2 dogs- a Pitbull named Baby and a black Lab named Kyah, and 1 cat named Miss Kitty.

LRLynsey, Veterinary and Technician Assistant

Lynsey is one of our Veterinary and Technician Assistants.

She is a 2012 Danville High School graduate and she also has graduated from Southeastern Community College with an Associate of Arts Degree.

Lynsey and her husband, Edward, currently reside in Burlington with their German Shepherds, Lucy and Apollo.

Lynsey loves the outdoors including camping, boating, running and spending time with her little family.

susan_bwSusan, Technician

Sue has been with Summer Street since 1992. She is a 1982 graduate of Union High School and attended Southeastern Community College on a basketball scholarship.

She graduated from SCC in 1984 with an Associate Degree in Agricultural Business.

She then went to Iowa State University where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science, in 1988.

Sue says her favorite part of working at Summer Street Animal Clinic is the equine work which she specializes in, and all the interesting surgeries with which she gets to assist.

Sue enjoys riding her Quarter Horse, Sandy, and spending time with her yellow Lab, Kinze.

JamieJamie, Technician

Jamie is a registered Veterinary Technician. She graduated from Kirkwood Community College where she earned her Technician degree in 2004.

After graduating, Jamie joined Summer Street Animal Clinic and worked as a technician for 4 years.

In January, 2008, she moved to northeast Iowa (where her husband, Jeremy, was originally from).

In 2012, they moved back to Salem, Iowa where Jamie and Jeremy are now raising their 3 children, Emily, Haylee and Henry.

Jamie’s family has a cat named Bell and a dog named Fred She enjoys spending time with her family, sewing, scrapbooking and golfing.

chrissie_bwChrissie, Technician

Chrissie is a Veterinary Technician at Summer Street Animal Clinic.

She originally graduated from LaHarpe High School and now lives in Fort Madison with her husband, Brent, their son and their five dogs: Diesel, Aloha, Boolynn- both American Eskimos; Cash who is half American Eskimo and half Pomeranian and Jackson, a long coated Chihuahua.

Before joining Summer Street Animal Clinic in August of 2006, Chrissie worked as a veterinary assistant for a year and spent a summer as an intern at Brookfield Zoo in Chicago.

When not at Summer Street Animal Clinic, Chrissie enjoys scrapbooking, reading, writing, and spending time with her dogs.

valerie_bwValerie, Technician

Valerie is a Veterinary Technician here at Summer Street.

She is a graduate of Dallas City High School and the Veterinary Technician program at Coastal Carolina College in Jacksonville, North Carolina.

She and her husband, Joshua, live outside of Dallas City, IL and have three sons: Dakota, Dustin and Drake as well as dogs, cats, a pig and horses as family pets.

Their family enjoys motorcycle riding, boating and camping.

BetsyBetsy, Technician

Betsy is a Veterinary Technician here at Summer Street Animal Clinic. She is originally from Paris, Illinois and moved to Monmouth, Illinois in 2014 with her husband, Travis.

They have 1 dog, a Boxer named Kobe and a cat named Mew.

Betsy graduated from Cedar Valley College with a degree in Veterinary Technology through the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) accreditation program.

When not at Summer Street, Betsy enjoys spending time with her husband boating and golfing, and cuddling with her pets.

Nicole, Technician

Nicole is a Registered Veterinary Technician at Summer Street Animal Clinic. She graduated from Muscatine Community College in 2014 where she earned an Associate in Applied Science degree from the Veterinary Technician program. She also has an Associate in Arts degree from Southeastern Community College.

She and her husband, Chris, live in Burlington with their mini-schnauzer, Ava, schnauzer/poodle mix, Otto, Casey the cat, a Bearded Dragon and fish. In her spare time she likes to go on walks at Crapo Park, restoring their 116 year old house and traveling.

Olivia, Technician

Olivia is a Registered Veterinary Technician who received her degree from Kirkwood Community College’s Veterinary Technician program. Though she is a full time technician at Summer Street, she is also pursuing a part-time career as a model for medical scrubs catalogs.

When not at work and not modeling, Olivia enjoys drinking mixed drinks and taking naps. She also enjoys spreading her love for sarcasm, making Pinterest recipes and moving heavy objects.

Breanna, Techncian

Breanna is a Veterinary Technician here at Summer Street Animal Clinic.

She is a graduate of Western Illinois University where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Biology with an emphasis on Zoology and Animal Science. She was also on the track team at Western, where she competed in the 400 hurdles.

Breanna has two rescued fur-babies; a Great Dane/Mastiff mix named Silas and a cat named Mc, short for McDonalds, where she was found as a stray.

When not at Summer Street, Breanna enjoys running, camping, reading, four-wheeler riding and spending time with her pets.

MKMarie Kelly, Boarding Assistant

Marie works in boarding and lives in Burlington with her three dogs: Riley, a Jack Russell/Pug mix; Oreo, an American Bulldog mix and Steven, a Pug.

She likes to spend her down time reading, walking her dogs, being active and spending time with family.

KEKayla, Boarding Assistant

Kayla is a student at Burlington High School where she is an active member of the softball, track, cheerleading and dance teams.

She has 3 dogs and a cat.

Kayla hopes to attend Iowa State University to study veterinary science after graduation.