Dr. Faith Banks D.V.M.
Dr. Faith Banks graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph in 1996. Since then she has been practicing veterinary medicine in Toronto, Ontario. While working in a busy downtown veterinary clinic, she became interested in geriatric medicine and pain management for pets while caring for her own geriatric Bernese Mountain Dog, named Smudge. After learning about the developing area in veterinary medicine called animal hospice, Dr. Banks knew she had found her passion.
She has completed numerous course relating to geriatrics, animal hospice, pain management, canine massage and trigger point therapy. She has completed a Pet Loss and Grief Companioning Certification course through Two Hearts Pet Loss Center, in addition to certification as a Pet Loss Counselor through the Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement.
She is currently enrolled in the first ever animal hospice and palliative care certification course through the International Association for Animal Hospice and Palliative Care. She has written two chapters in a newly released textbook called "Treatment and Care of the Geriatric Veterinary Patient." She is a guest lecturer at the Ontario Veterinary College for the Art of Veterinary Medicine course on animal euthanasia. She has begun certification as a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist through the Canine Rehabilitation Institute. Her goal in providing compassionate in-home palliative and hospice care and ultimately, end-of-life care, is to allow people to strengthen and lengthen the bond they share with their much loved pet.
When not working, Dr. Banks enjoys photography, travelling, spinning, reading, cottaging, collecting vintage flea powder tins and spending time with her friends and family. She shares her home with her husband and 2 teenage children, a chihuahua named B.D (Baby Dog) and a lovable Bernese Mountain Dog named Maple.
Dr. Karen Stekel D.V.M.
Dr. Karen Stekel graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph in 1997. She has been practicing companion animal medicine in Toronto since that time, primarily in the hospital setting, dividing her time between medicine and surgery. She is thrilled to join Dr. Banks in offering this valuable in-home service for geriatric, palliative, hospice and end-of-life care for your beloved pets. She is pleased to find that in-home consultations and euthanasia allow for more compassionate, relaxed and complete care than is usually possible in a busy hospital environment.
Dr. Stekel enjoys keeping up-to-date with the latest in veterinary medicine through regular continuing education with a passionate focus on end-of-life care and comprehensive pain management. She has recently completed a course through the Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement and has received certification as a Pet Bereavement Counselor. She is a member of the CVO (College of Veterinarians of Ontario), OVMA (Ontario Veterinary Medical Association), IVAPM (International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management) and the APLB (Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement).
When not working in the clinic or making house calls, Dr. Stekel enjoys volunteering in her children’s school, reading, traveling and spending time with family and friends. She shares her home with her husband, two daughters and two cockapoos, Lennie and Raffi.
Dr. Rachel Ellis DVM
Dr. Rachel Ellis is a graduate of North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Prior to veterinary school, Dr. Ellis earned a Bachelor of Science at the University of Vermont with a major in Animal Science. Dr. Ellis joined the team at MMVS in 2015 and is honoured to be a part of such a unique and accomplished practice. Preserving the relationship between pets and their parents is very important to Dr. Ellis, as she supports pet parents through the difficult decisions that need to be made at the end of a pet's life.
Prior to beginning her formal education, Dr. Ellis worked in theatre for several years which took her from her hometown of Toronto to the United States where she lived for 16 years. Dr. Ellis is delighted to be back in Toronto where she lives with her husband, Luca, their two cats, Flip-Flop and Eunice and future puppy, Mulligan Hornblast.
In her spare time Dr. Ellis enjoys playing tennis, baseball, horseback riding, attending all kinds of live music venues and sporting events as well as exploring the city’s many unique neighbourhoods by bicycle. She also loves traveling and getting lost with her husband in new places throughout the world.
Barb Cook – Hospice Team Manager
Barb Cook joined Midtown Mobile Veterinary Services as our Hospice Team Manager in April 2017. She brings lots of experience from her career with a large healthcare company and really enjoys the many roles she fills with MMVS, especially knowing that we are providing such an important service.
Barb found us like many of you do. She and her husband have raised two children and three handsome German Shepherd dogs; Bear, Murray and Gordon. When Gordon was diagnosed with a terminal illness at the age of 7, they set out to find a vet who could euthanize him in their home, found Dr. Banks and discovered in-home palliative care. Dr. Banks helped them care for Gordon at home until his last day.
Compassionate, kind and very organized, Barb is often the first person you will speak to when you call us. Like the rest of the team at MMVS, she considers it an honour to help pet owners at this very difficult time. Although she is no longer a pet parent, helping others navigate end of life is a way of still being involved in the lives of pets, just in a different way.
Barb grew up in a large family with a cat, dogs, rabbits and even a few ducks. She loves to golf, travel, cook and spend time with her family and friends.