There is a bright warmth and openness pervading the new Door County Veterinary Hospital in Sturgeon Bay that Dr. Jordan Kobilca purposely designed into the building that overlooks Highway 42 from the Old Highway Road.
“This building was two years in the planning, but it’s really been a dream of ours for a long time to have a clinic closer to home,” said Kobilca, who opened the new veterinary service on May 30 with his wife, fellow veterinarian and Sturgeon Bay native Dr. Jennifer Kerley.
Kobilca, from the Chicago area, met his future wife while both were attending veterinary school at the University of Wisconsin. After graduation, they moved to the West Coast.
“We lived in Portland, Ore., and practiced there for five years,” he said. “We liked it there, but it wasn’t home. We’re Midwesterners. We decided to get married and have a family, and we wanted to be in the Midwest. She convinced me Sturgeon Bay is a wonderful place to live.”
But it was not easy for a pair of young veterinarians to establish themselves in a new community.
“It was hard finding work for both of us,” Kobilca said. “Jennifer. worked in town part-time, and I worked in Luxemburg the past 12 years.”
It was that daily commute to Luxemburg that prompted the idea of opening a clinic in Sturgeon Bay.
“We have two small boys and I’ve been missing out on a lot of things,” Kobilca said. “I don’t get home until 7 or 8 at night, so having a place where I could be closer to home and enjoy my family is important to me. That’s a lot of why this has happened.”
They intend to keep the Luxemburg Pet Clinic open as well.
“Jennifer and I trade off working there and we plan to keep it open,” Kobilca said. “We really like our clientele and I love my staff. I do really enjoy having that place, but I want to be close to home a few days a week.”
While the Sturgeon Bay pet clinic was been in the works for the past couple of years, Kobilca said he started planning his own clinic almost a decade ago.
“It’s always been my dream to have a clinic the way I want to, which is what we have,” he said. “I worked really hard at getting non-obstructed views. That was a challenge. I wanted to be able to see everything that is going on in the hospital. Both my wife and I love what we do, and working at different places over the years, you learn how not to set things up.”
To celebrate the new veterinary practice, Door County Veterinary Hospital will hold an open house from 10 am to 4 pm on Saturday, Oct. 28.
“There is a lot that goes into starting a practice from scratch,” Kobilca said. “One of the things unique to this start-up, our computer system in Luxemburg and Door County use the same server. That delayed our start date, getting that set up, but I felt it was essential to have that shared database. I would love to say it was without any troubles, but there are always some growing pains, and, frankly, there’s a learning curve for new technology. That’s why we wanted to wait a little bit for a grand opening to feel comfortable. My focus was on making sure I can work the way I need to before I can share it.”
Kobilca said most of the staff will be on hand for the grand opening.
“We’ll be here to show the public what we have to offer, what our services are, probably some education on Lyme disease and fleas and ticks. It’s a big problem in the fall. People worry about it less because it’s not hot anymore, but we see a lot of them,” he said. “There will be food and drinks, and I hope to find some time at the grill. There’s a rumor about a costume contest for pets, but not sure if that is going to happen.”
The Door County Veterinary Hospital is located at 3915 Old Highway Road, Sturgeon Bay. For more information visit doorcountyveterinaryhospital.com.