Christian Veterinary Mission Canada
Serving Canadian Christian Veterinary Professionals

Staff

Lisa Balzer

CVM Canada Executive Director

Lisa Balzer comes to the CVM Canada Executive Director position from the world of cross-cultural missions. She and her family spent fifteen years working with a media and healthcare organization in Singapore and throughout Southeast Asia. She brings a background in communication, development, refugee protection, and leadership. Lisa is called and passionate to support veterinary students and professionals in Canada, and to see them use their skills to serve God’s creation around the world. She currently resides in rural Saskatchewan with her husband, Steve, and their dog, Delilah, and volunteers at a small animal hospital which she loves.

Dr. Debbie Hoffele

Advisor

Dr. Debbie Hoffele graduated from Ontario Veterinary College in 1988 and has worked full time, part time and as a locum in small animal practice in Ontario and Nova Scotia. She currently resides in Fonthill, Ontario with her husband, Stephen, who is a professor at Brock University and 2 teen boys. She has travelled to Northern India and Honduras with CVM and is also a member of the missions committee at her local church and has travelled with/led teams to various countries for ministry. Dr. Hoffele joined us as the Western Canada Regional Represenative in 2018.

Dr. Becky Holvik

Board Member

Becky has served on the CVM board for nine years!  With a passion for students she makes every effort to be at their events.  This is not easy as she works as a full time small animal veterinarian (OVC Class 1999), runs a hobby farm and has a family of her own to care for.  She even has managed to serve in Kenya on short term mission and sits on the CVM USA board, representing Canada.

Dr. Neil Connery

Board Member

Dr. Connery graduated from Dublin, Ireland in 1995 and after a time in practice and a surgical residency, gained specialization in small animal surgery in 2002 and a master’s degree in 003.  Neil Moved to Calgary with his family in 2003 and has worked offering surgical services to the surrounding community since then.  He is married to Jan for 22 years and has 4 daughters and 3 cats (but is always rescuing the one with the crooked leg!)  He enjoys reading and writing poetry and is engaged in small group leadership to children in the local church.  Neil first learned of CVM during his residency in Dublin when he attended the prayer breakfast at the ACVS surgeons conference.  He has been involved with CVMC since 2014 and is committed to seeing a flourishing CVM fellowship group at the University of Calgary vet school.

Michelle Larkin RVT

Board Member

Michelle Larkin is a Registered Veterinary Technician that graduated from Dalhousie University’s Faculty of Agriculture in 2015. She currently works in Bedford, NS in a Small Animal Practice. She lives in a small rural town on her family’s beef farm with her horse Flynn, and dog Aghy. Michelle has traveled to Northern India with CVM, is the Beef Leader for her local 4-H group, and she plays the fiddle in her Church’s praise band.

Dr. Pat Higgins

Board Member

Dr. Higgins became a Christian while at veterinary college. He graduated from the University of Saskatchewan in 1978.  He and his family served as missionaries in Kenya for 6 years. since returning, Dr. Higgins has been in private practice in Red Deer for 30 years and has no plans to retire.  He joined as a CVMC board member in 2018.

Dr. Jessica Semper

Board Member

Dr. Jenna Noordenbos

Board Member

Jenna was born and raised in Ashern, Manitoba, and currently works as a mixed animal practitioner at Central Veterinary Services in Oak Bluff Manitoba. Jenna graduated from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in 2020 and played an active role in the CVM student group during the 4 years of her degree program.  While at the WCVM, Jenna led the CVM group through twice weekly prayer meetings and weekly devotionals.  She joined a short term mission trip to Honduras in 2019 and has been waiting to go back ever since.  As a recent graduate she has been enjoying all the avenues as a mixed animal vet and was led to join the CVM Canada Board in 2022.  Jenna is looking forward to brining awareness of the CVM to others within and those interested in the profession.  When she is not working, Jenna enjoys adventuring outdoors with her dog, Nala, and baking!

Dr. W. Ben Stoughton

Board Member

Ben is from Merritt Island, Florida, and is a large animal veterinarian and professor at the Atlantic Veterinary College (AVC) on Prince Edward Island (PEI). He is currently an AVC CVF advisor and has been involved with CVM (USA) since 2004. He joined the CVM Canada Board in 2022. Prior to God calling his family to PEI in December 2017, he was a Lecturer at Texas A&M University (TAMU). He completed his undergraduate and DVM degrees at the University of Florida, and an internship at the Equine Medical Center of Ocala. After this, he completed a Large Animal Internal Medicine (LAIM) residency at TAMU and became Board Certified in LAIM in 2013. He then completed a Ph.D. studying Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.  His family includes his beautiful wife, 4 children, 3 horses, 4 cats, 5 chickens, cattle and 2 dogs. He lives Coram Deo and loves teaching, photography and vegetable gardening.