Mainstay Veterinary Practice is actively shaping the way people in a home, family, and community ‘experience’ a mutually beneficial and health promoting bond—one person, one animal, and one visit at a time!
Mainstay Veterinary Practice is a full-service small animal veterinary practice that first opened its doors to the public in early 2013 as a product of Dr. Kristen Hitt’s vision and dedication to excellence in veterinary medicine. Mainstay serves the following areas in Virginia: Fairfax, Vienna, Oakton, Falls Church, Mosaic District, Alexandria and more!
The practice received its name from the English noun ‘Mainstay’ meaning:
Mainstay [meyn-stey], noun
- a person or thing that acts as a chief support or part
- something that is depended on, or something that is necessary
- a pillar of support
Our name is indicative of our commitment to be a main support system for the “furry” members of your family. You can depend on us to give you the best veterinary care and advice to ensure the utmost health of your pets.
Dr. Kristen Hitt, Owner
Dr. Kristen Hitt has been practicing Veterinary Medicine in the northern Virginia area for several years. Prior to attending vet school, Dr. Hitt was a registered nurse at a local hospital. Using her nursing skills while caring for a stray dog injured by a car, she realized that her dream job would be to combine her long love of animals with medicine. With the love and support of her family, Kris returned to school and earned her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine and she became “Dr. Hitt”. As a student, Dr. Hitt was awarded the American Animal Hospital Association’s Student Achievement Award for outstanding achievement in Small Animal Medicine. After graduation, Dr. Hitt worked at a practice in Falls Church and did relief veterinary work for hospitals in Centreville, Chantilly, Clifton, Upper Marlboro and Germantown as she worked toward her goal of opening her own hospital. And now MVP is born.
[expand title=”Read more…”]Dr. Hitt has a strong interest in surgery and has completed multiple continuing education courses in ultrasound. She also believes in ‘giving back’ and started a feral cat program in Falls Church. She has traveled to Kentucky, and most recently to North Carolina, to perform surgeries on rescued puppy mill dogs and animals from low socio-economic areas and she has donated her time to the Animal Welfare League of Arlington.
While not busy being a Vet, Dr. Hitt enjoys spending time with her dogs, RB and Emmy, her barn cat, Daisy and her ‘mutt’ herd of horses, which includes three rescues. Of course, she also enjoys any time she has with her four children, but that time is dwindling as her nest is officially empty. In addition to vet medicine, Dr. Hitt loves traveling, scrapbooking, organizing, and diet coke. She resides in Arlington with her husband.[/expand]
Dr. Caroline Chamarande
Dr. Chamarande (Dr. C) was born and raised in Fontainebleau, France. After she received her French baccalaureat, she earned her Bachelor of Science and her Masters degree in Chemistry from American University. She worked for the chemistry department at the Naval Research Laboratory in DC, but abandoned her career as a chemist to follow her lifelong dream of becoming a veterinarian. She graduated Cum Laude from the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine (VT) in 1989. After 24 years of service at a practice in Falls Church, Dr. C. decided that it was time for a change. She joined MVP where the owner and staff share her values in providing quality yet affordable veterinary care and believe in strengthening the bonds between pets and their families to assure a long and happy relationship. She enjoys the atmosphere at Mainstay for it allows time to get to know the pets and their owners, educate owners on veterinary care, discuss training, play with puppies and kitten, and just plain socializing pets!
[expand title=”Read more…”]Dr. C has an active interest in Internal medicine and Animal Behavior and Training. She is a longtime member of AAHA, VVMA, NVVMA, and D.C. Academy of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Chamarande is federally accredited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which authorizes her to perform evaluations and issue International Health Certificates for pet travel.
In her free time, Dr. C enjoys time with her husband, three children, and her furry pets. Currently the pet population at Dr. C’s household consists of Fancy (adopted Yorkie), Lazarus (a rescued Yorkie), Sophie (a rescued Dachshund mix from St. Croix), Chewy (a rescued Anatolian Shepherd), and Roxy (French Bulldog). That is about all the animals her poor allergic husband can tolerate at this time.[/expand]
Dr. Kelly Vida (Dr. Kelly Grimes)
Dr. Vida, previously Dr. Grimes, is originally from Nashville, Tennessee and received both her undergraduate and veterinary education at the University of Tennessee–Go Vols! She moved to Northern Virginia after graduation from veterinary school and has been practicing in the area since that time.
Dr. Vida has a strong interest in ophthalmology cases, ultrasound, and soft tissue surgery and has attended multiple continuing education courses on each of these topics. Over the past several years, she has worked with various rescue groups and gained a vast amount of experience in a variety of surgical procedures. Dr. Vida is an active member of the AVMA and the International Veterinary Ultrasound Society. She is also a USDA accredited veterinarian.
[expand title=”Read more…”]When she is not working, Dr. Vida enjoys taking barre classes, cooking, and trying different restaurants in the area. She and her husband also enjoy hiking, camping, and all the different outdoor activities available in the D.C. area. Dr. Vida currently lives at home with her husband and 3 cats (Java, Sydney, and Chloe).[/expand]
Brittany, Licensed Veterinary Technician
Brittany grew up in Lorton, Virginia and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and a minor in Communications from Christopher Newport University. She was originally in school to become a teacher, but after taking a volunteer position at The Virginia Living Museum, she realized her true passion was working with animals. She has three years of experience working at a dog and cat boarding facility. There she really developed her skills in animal care and furthered her love for the furry four-legged community, especially those of the English Bulldog variety. Brittany also has experience working with animal rescue organizations such as the Norfolk SPCA and SPCA NoVA. In her free time, Brittany enjoys playing Disney Princesses with her young nieces and spending time with her family and friends. You can often find her shopping for Vera Bradley bags, eating lots of Pho soup or relaxing at home with her husband and two dogs.
Allie, Licensed Veterinary Technician
Bio coming soon!
Erin, Veterinary Assistant
Erin has lived in Northern Virginia for most of her life. She went to Madison High School where she developed her interest in animals after taking an oceanography class. Erin went on to work at an animal daycare and training facility where she helped rehabilitate dogs with aggressive behaviors. She has always loved animals from a young age and as she gets older, Erin has found that working with animals is her calling. Erin is currently taking college courses and hopes to one day get a degree in either biology or zoology. Erin’s dream job (if Mainstay didn’t exist obviously) would be to work as a wildlife rehabilitator, specifically in Africa and Asia to work closely with the elephants and wildlife that inhabit those areas.
Lily was born and raised in Northern Virginia. She has loved animals all her life — all the way from having a rabbit when she was younger to now owning a six-year-old German Shepherd named Smokey. Lily is currently taking classes to become a licensed Veterinary Technician! Her favorite part about working with animals is being able to help them and make them feel better. Some of Lily’s favorite things are spending time with her family, dog, and boyfriend as well as fishing, hockey, soccer and fall weather.
Emmy is an 11 year-old French Bulldog that resides with Dr. Hitt. She enjoys nestling in her bed as well as sleeping on her heating pad. Emmy has a chocolate lab brother, Dibs, and a shepherd mix sister, Moxie. Emmy can frequently be found stealing the other dogs’ beds. While not sunbathing, she can easily be located by listening for her unique snorting noises. Frequently breaking the rules, Emmy becomes an angel at the sight of Twizzlers. She loves little kids that are “her size” although deep down Emmy thinks that she is a giant dog. She isn’t even afraid to greet horses! Her big personality makes up for her small size. Emmy wants everyone to know that she is not a pig and that she did not run into a wall and that the noise she makes is how she breathes. She thinks she is perfect in every way and so do we!
Laz, also known as jumping bean, was turned over to Dr. C when a couple opted to euthanize him at only a couple weeks old as he was comatose from Parvo. Asking if she could try to save him, Dr. C spent days nursing him around the clock until he finally pulled through! You would never know his rough start to life by his cheerful attitude, happy demeanor and wiggling body. Laz loves all dogs and people and is a little energizer bunny. He runs frantically around the practice with his own jumping-like gait and all you see is flowing hair darting by! We appreciate the extra “mopping” he does for us as he covers a lot of ground quickly!
Reese is Brittany’s 5 year-old Pekingese/Basset Hound mix. She basically looks like a Pekingese head attached to a miniature Basset-shaped body. She has a silly personality to go with her silly shape. Reese loves running sprints up and down the practice hallway and wrestling with her best friend, Laz. Reese is a ham when it comes to wanting attention and will try to be as cute as possible so someone will come say “Hello”. Her go to position is usually on her back so she can get a belly rub. Reese puts a smile on everybody’s face and is a dog who can cheer you up when you’re having a bad day.
Skeeter is owned and loved dearly by Erin. Erin was a foster fail from the beginning as she fell in love with Skeeter and his tiny size at a mere two-weeks-old. He was the runt of the litter, and we knew from the start that he was a little special in his own way. He’s a talkative little guy who loves to yell at his mom for everything from food to playing or just for attention. If you can’t find him in the house, all you need to do is call his name and he comes running. He loves to greet everyone that comes in, just like a dog would, which the house guests love about him. Skeeter loves to touch and play with everything, including his geriatric dog brother, Casper. When he isn’t terrorizing his family, you can catch him snoozing on his mom or staring out the windows watching everything and anything that passes by.
Roo is Brittany’s Husky mix. She has the voice and mannerisms of a husky and the hunting instinct of a hound. She is always on squirrel patrol, but we think she really just wants to be friends with them. Being part husky, she always has a lot to say. She is very talkative and can be demanding when she wants something. She loves to give handshakes and high fives. Roo is Reese’s younger sister and they are best friends. You can often find them playing tug of war, cuddling or grooming each other. She always keeps us laughing. She loves to run and play but is also happy to cuddle on the bed at night. There is never a dull moment when Roo is around. She keeps life entertaining.