Jamie L. Rettig, VMD- Associate Veterinarian 


​Dr. Rettig grew up in Hollidaysburg, graduating from Hollidaysburg Area High School in 2005. She attended Pennsylvania State University where she graduated in 2009 with high distinction as an Animal Sciences major with minors in Equine Science and Biology. She then attended the University of Pennsylvania, where she obtained her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine degree in 2013. After graduation, Dr. Rettig worked at Ebensburg Animal Hospital for nearly 3 years performing surgery and seeing patients in clinic. Through this job she also gained a great deal of experience in urgent care and emergency medicine. Dr. Rettig has many interests in veterinary medicine some of which include ophthalmology, soft tissue surgery, and internal medicine. She loves caring for all animals but especially enjoys small mammal/exotics medicine and feline medicine. Dr. Rettig is married to her husband Eric, and they currently live in Hollidaysburg with their son Simon, their two dogs Dodger (schnauzer mix) and Ruby (shepherd mix), and their cat Joey. She also has two horses, Cisco and Lilly, and a pony named Whinny. Her interests outside of her career include crafting, cooking, playing her flute, riding horses, Penn State and Steelers football, and spending time with friends and family. 

Abby Wessner- Receptionist/ Technician


​Abby graduated from high school in 2003 in Newnan, Georgia where she went on to receive her Bachelor's Degree in Animal Sciences from the University of Georgia in 2009.  Following graduation she went on to work as a veterinary technician in South Carolina, Arizona, and various parts of Pennsylvania before settling down in Hollidaysburg with her three cats (Meesha and Vizzini) and her Ball Python, Freddie.  She is thrilled to join the staff at Sylvan and get to know the people and pets of Altoona.  In her free time she enjoys baking, cooking, homesteading, the outdoors and watching the wildlife in her backyard. 

Raelle Ferlitch, CVT- Practice Manager/Technician

Raelle graduated from Moshannon Valley High School in 2009, and from there attended the Vet Tech Institute in Pittsburgh, PA.  She completed her internship at Metzger Animal Hospital of State College and upon graduating passed the Veterinary Technician National Exam to become certified.  She worked as a certified veterinary technician for four and half years before joining Dr. Kissell to help with the opening of Sylvan Veterinary Hospital.  Raelle not only provides patient care but she plays an integral role in the management of the practice.  Raelle currently lives in her hometown of Houtzdale, PA with her three fur babies Ibbie, a Lhasa apso, Maya, a Siberian husky, and Beefcake, a Boxer/Pit mix. When she's not working, she enjoys anything with her dogs, cooking, gardening, traveling, being outdoors, and just enjoying life.

Ashley Mignogna-Receptionist/Technician


Growing up in Altoona, Ashley graduated from Bishop Guilfoyle in 2008. She has always had a passion for animals so in the fall of 2008 she attended The Pennsylvania State University where she dual majored in Animal Sciences and minored in Agricultural Business Management.   After graduating in 2013, Ashley began working at Ebensburg Animal Hospital.  Since then she has happily joined the staff of Sylvan Veterinary Hospital and is excited to serve the people of her hometown.  Ashley has two fur babies at home which she loves dearly. Snickers is her 13 year old Cocker Spaniel/English Setter mix she rescued from the Humane Society as a puppy and Daisy is her English Spot mixed rabbit.  In her free time, Ashley enjoys spending time with her family and pets, traveling, hiking, painting, and attending Penn State games in the fall. 


Our Team

Brad Kissell, VMD- Owner/Veterinarian


Growing up in Altoona, Dr. Kissell graduated from the Altoona Area High School in 2002.  He attended Juniata College where he majored in Biology and graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2006.  He went on to obtain his doctorate of veterinary medicine from the University of Pennsylvania in 2010.  Following graduation, he traveled back to central Pennsylvania where he practiced for over 4 years with his mentor.  Dr. Kissell also had the great opportunity to work 6 months at CPVETS, a 24 hour emergency clinic in State College.  Dr. Kissell is thrilled to open Sylvan Veterinary Hospital and offer his services to the folks of Blair County.  Dr. Kissell's veterinary interested include but are not limited to orthopedic and soft tissue surgery and emergency medicine.  Dr. Kissell is happily married to his wife Meghan and they have two beautiful daughters, Claire Emma and Paige Harper. They currently reside in Altoona with their Affenpinscher (Lenny) and their Siamese cat (Cecelia).  In his spare time, Dr. Kissell enjoys spending time with his family camping at Raystown Lake, attending Penn State and Steeler games, and working at his parents family farm.

Alisa Baker- Receptionist/ Technician 


​Following graduation from Tyrone Area High School in 2011, Alisa attended the Vet Tech Institute in Pittsburgh  where she received her Associate's Degree in 2013. Prior to joining the team at Sylvan in September 2016, Alisa gained valuable experience at both State College Veterinary Hospital and Mount Nittany Veterinary Hospital in State College, PA.   She has five loving dogs at home Jacks, Nala, Lyla, Biggie, and Teddy. In her free time, she enjoys going on hikes, traveling, and spending quality time with her family. 



Abby Repko- Receptionist/ Technician


Born and raised in Altoona, Abby graduated from Altoona Area High School in 2009. She then began college in the fall at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. Knowing she wanted to work with animals but unsure of which direction to go, she completed a year and then went off to the Vet Tech Institute of Pittsburgh. After completing her externship at a local animal hospital, she graduated with her Associates degree in 2012. She worked as a veterinary technician for three and half years before joining the hard working team at Sylvan Veterinary Hospital. Abby enjoys spending time with her family and friends, and playing with her crazy pup, Harlee. After losing her first dog in March of 2014, not a day goes by that Gracie girl isn’t on her mind.


Rebecca DePaolis- Receptionist/ Technician 


Born and raised in Altoona, PA, Rebecca attended Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic High School and graduated in 2011. From there she continued her education at Penn State where she received her Associate Degree in Letters, Arts and Sciences. After college, Rebecca worked to become certified as both a Phlebotomist and as a Veterinary Assistant. During this time period, Rebecca worked as a waitress at The Dream Restaurant, a job which fostered her customer service skills.

During her spare time, Rebecca enjoys spending time with her husband and their daughter, Evelyn. She is also a tennis player and enjoys cooking. In connection with her deep love of animals, Rebecca is an avid aquarist and fishkeeper. 

Heather Krull, CVT- Receptionist/ Technician 


Heather graduated from Bellwood-Antis High School in 1997, she then attended Harcum College in Bryn Mawr, PA where she received her Associates Degree in Animal Science in 2000. Following graduation she completed her internship at University of Pennsylvania Veterinary Hospital and New Bolton Center Large Animal Hospital. When she finished her internship she passed the Veterinary Technician National Exam to become a CVT. Heather has worked as a certified veterinary technician for 15 years, 13 of those years she worked at Blair Animal Hospital then eventually became the head technician. During her time at BAH she attended Mount Aloysius College and received her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration in 2011. She is so excited to continue her journey as a CVT working with the staff of Sylvan Veterinary Hospital and caring for their client’s pets. Heather currently resides in Altoona with her husband Patrick, daughter Jaiden, Isabella (Bulldog), Diesel (Boston Terrier), Nigel (British Shorthair) and Serenity (Bengal). In her free time she enjoys spending time with family and friends, going to Jaiden’s basketball games and dance competitions.