History of Veterinary Practice

The Summitview Cowiche Veterinary Clinic was established in 1989 by Dr. Michael Lust. Construction of our log building began in 1989 and took two years for its completion. Dr. Ken joined his father in the veterinary clinic after completion of his veterinary degree in 1992. Then in 2005, after his father’s retirement, took over ownership of the vet clinic in Yakima. Dr. Ken continues to practice on a daily basis, having special interests in Internal Medicine and Laser Surgery.

Kenneth J. Lust, DVM

Dr. Ken is a lifelong native of the Yakima Valley. He grew up in the Cowiche area, then attending Washington State University for both his Bachelor’s degree (‘88 Zoology) and his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine (1992). Completion of schooling brought Dr. Ken back to Yakima where he joined his father, Dr Mike, in his veterinarian practice at the Summitview Cowiche Vet Clinic in Yakima. Their veterinarian services were established in 1989. In 2005 Dr. Ken purchased the vet clinic from his father upon his retirement. Outside interests include traveling with his family, working with their horses, and volunteering with the White Pass Ski Patrol. He owns several cats, two Labradors, Gus and Bug (you may see these two wandering at the clinic!) and a two very demanding Chihuahuas.

Christine Ramsey, DVM

Dr. Chris is a native of Washington. She received her Bachelor’s degree (Animal Science ‘97) and her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine (2000) from Washington State University, and is still a big Coug fan. She works as a relief veterinarian all over Washington State, but tends to call the Summitview Cowiche Veterinary Clinic her home or main site of practice. Her outside interests focus on family, traveling, Logger Sports Competitions, gardening and home improvement projects. She currently has two cats.

Natalie Hurst, DVM

Natalie graduated with her DVM from Washington State University in 2021. As a student, she did a stint in immunology research at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, but was happy to head back to the Columbia River Gorge when all was said and done. She was a born and raised ranch kid in Centerville, Washington, two hops and a skip from Goldendale. This place is home. When she’s not at the clinic, she’s enjoying the good life with friends and family, cooking or eating something special, or heading to the river with her border collie/cattle dogs, Kiwi and Rainier.

Meet the Vet Techs


Brittany Towell, LVT

Brittany graduated from the YVC technician program in 2013. She worked as an assistant at this clinic prior to that, starting in 2010. She spends her free time with her husband, two sons, dog and two cats. She enjoys travel, photography, the beach, reading and gardening.

Bethany Basore, LVT

Bethany Basore is a Licensed Veterinary Technician. She graduated from the Yakima Valley Community College Veterinary Technology program in 2014. Bethany’s love of animals and involvement with 4H from an early age fueled her decision to pursue a career in animal medicine. Bethany, her husband, their three daughters, and son reside in Granger with their dogs, cats and chickens. In her free time, Bethany enjoys teaching violin lessons and serving on the worship team at church.

Tara Ruffcorn, LVT

Tara has lived in the West Valley and Cowiche area for most of her life. She graduated from the Veterinary Technology Program at Yakima Valley Community College in 2006. Tara joined our team in 2013. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and spending time with her husband and their daughter.


Joelle Hand, LVT

Joelle was homegrown in the small town of Goldendale, Washington. She developed a love for animals at a young age, living on a farm. Her curiosity fueled her desire to always incorporate helping all creatures – big and small – in her life. After graduating from high school, she moved on to bigger and better things. She graduated from the Veterinary Technology program at YVC in 2018.

Adriana Aparicio, LVT

Adriana graduated from YVC in 2015. She worked in emergency medicine for 6 years, until recently. She loves spending time with her triplet girls and son, reading, and wine!

Katie Garcia, LVT

Meet the Vet Assistants

Brittany Petty

Brittany Petty

Brittany was born in Minnesota and raised in southern Idaho. She met her husband Jake and shortly after moved to the Yakima Valley. She enjoys spending time with her daughter and husband, hunting, fishing, camping, and raising any and all kinds of animals. She currently has (and counting) 2 toy Aussies, two German Shepherds, a dachshund, a lab, too many chickens, a horse, a pony, rabbits, cats and a pig! She is addicted to 90 Day Fiancé and coffee!

Morgan Hollesen

Morgan was born in Tacoma, Wa and moved to Tieton at the age of 3 years old. She graduated from the Highland School District in 2018. Following her graduation, she leaped into volunteer/foster work with multiple animal rescues and still continues that work to this day. Prior to SCVC, she worked as a phlebotomist – drawing human blood. She joined our team in August 2022. Animals have always been Morgan’s biggest passion. She has also found a new love for dog training and the hard work it takes from both the dog and owner to create the perfect relationship. She currently has two dogs… for now. It didn’t take long after her starting employment with us to take a dog home! In her spare time she enjoys camping, travel, training her dogs and watching slow pitch softball.

Nikquel Emard-Jones

Nikquel joined the assistant team in 2019, following the closure of the retail chain store, Shopko. After 7 years in retail, she was ready to re-enter the animal medical field having graduated from WSU with a Bachelors in Animal Science. Nikquel has always loved animals, having grown up around a vast variety including horses, dogs, cats, chickens, lizards and cows-the list goes on. Recently she has discovered a love for nano aquariums and keeps a variety of fish and aquarium invertebrates. In what spare time she has, she also enjoys spending time with her family, drawing and taking care of her assortment of furry, scaly and aquatic pets.

Cassie Coltrane

Cassie graduated in 2010 from West Valley High School. She recently earned her Bachelor of Animal Sciences from Washington State University in 2020. During her time at WSU, she worked with the dairy cows that make the sweet cougar gold! Working with dairy cows was an amazing time for her and she was able to have many experiences. Working with small animals brings her so much joy. In her free time she spends time with her dog, enjoys gardening and watching too much Netflix.

Meet the Front Desk & Admin Staff

Jennifer Wells

Jennifer Higbee Wells

Jennifer grew up in the Yakima Valley with all kinds of critters. She is a mother of 4, and grandmother to 8 (currently). Her hobbies include playing with her grandkids and practicing yoga. She has worked at the clinic for about 17 years. Jenn believes everyday is an adventure and delight- she loves our clients and staff she works with.

Joanne Briscoe

JoAnn is a part time receptionist. She has been in the vet field since 2013. JoAnn started with 6 years in the emergency field and transferred to a life of building rapport with clients and their pets at Summitview. She has a degree in public relations and advertising, loves Akita’s, wine and functional fitness.

Kassie Colepaugh

Kassandra Colepaugh

Kassie was born and raised in Cowiche. She graduated from the Highland School District (2011) and YVCC (2015).  Her interests include golfing and attending rock concerts. Animals are Kassie’s passion and have always been her lifestyle choice. She currently owns four dogs and two cats, and wouldn’t want it any other way! Her spare time is spent working outdoors on the property and spending time with her husband and two kiddos.

Erin Moore

Erin started on our team in July of 2016. For 7 years prior, she had worked at a boarding and daycare facility learning valuable information about canine behavior and body language. She has been raising and showing Miniature Shetland Ponies since she was 14 years old. Her heart has a soft spot for a big ol Rottie face. Erin has 1 cat, 3 dogs, 13 horses and a handful of baby ponies.

Delaney Lust

Julie Muir

Julie was born and raised in Selah and joined our team in late summer of 2022. Julie has had the honor of being a stay at home mom for the past 11 years, raising her son and step daughter and being a loving wife to her husband Ryan. Family will always be her priority, but her love for the clinic staff and all animals has brought her here. She currently has 3 crazy boxers, 22 chickens, 2 parakeets and an aquarium of fish and snails. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family fishing, camping, boating, and pretty much anything to do with the outdoors. In the spring and summer, when she is not at her son's baseball tournaments (or at work), she finds peace spending time in her garden or tending to her chickens.

Giving Back to the Community

The Summitview Cowiche Vet Clinic is a proud member of the Cowiche and Yakima Valley communities. We strongly believe in charitable giving and annually donate to support our local schools  - Highland Schools and Riverside Christian School.

We also support the Yakima Police K-9 Unit, Pegasus Project, and the White Pass Ski Patrol.

We support our retired police and military working dogs with Project K9 Hero

K-9 Unit Support

Yakima Police K-9 Unit

Little Girl Riding Horse

Pegasus Project

Summitview Cowiche Vet Clinic Logo