Dr. Paul Kern, Veterinarian & Owner
Dr. Paul Kern established Balsam Animal Hospital in June of 1986. After graduating cum laude from the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine, in 1980, Dr. Kern spent the next two years practicing in New Orleans. Having grown up in the Carolina's, the lure of the mountains brought him back to work in Asheville. After graduation Dr. Kern worked in small animal emergency clinics learning both technical and intuitive skills to be proficient in critical life saving situations. In addition, doing relief work for other veterinarians gave him insight on practice design and management. An avid hiker, Dr. Kern enjoys the beauty of Haywood County. He later decided to open his practice in Waynesville. In his spare time, Dr. Kern enjoys riding BMW motorcycles with his wife Trudy. They enjoy the company of Tashi, a beautiful long haired cat, and three dogs. Bistro, a black Pomeranian mix, rescued from Cherokee Animal Shelter and a favorite visitor to the Silver Bluff Village skilled nursing facility, Rio, a miniature pinscher, also rescued from the Cherokee Animal Shelter (and winner of the Sarge’s tail wagging contest), and Finn, a terrier mix also rescued from Cherokee Animal Shelter. Dr. Kern has served on the board of the Haywood County Health department and is currently a board member for Feline Urgent Rescue of WNC.
Kalynn Baker, Practice Manager
Kalynn works as the Practice Manager here at Balsam Animal Hospital. She's been working as part of Balsam Animal Hospitals team since 2016. With Bachelor's degrees in Microbiology and Buisness Administration, an Associates degree in Computer Science, and a Certification in Veterinary Practice management, Kalynn is a well rounded leader of our team. Before joining on with Balsam Animal Hospital, she served a college internship with The WNC Nature Center. Having worked with with raptors and large carnivores (mountain lions, black bears, red/grey wolves, and bobcats!) she became certified in Wildlife Rehabilitation. When not at work helping care for your furry family, she spends her time volunteering at the local shelter, doing digital art and traveling! When comfy at home, she shares her love with her husband Joseph and their four cats, Nova, Pixel, Sora, and Cactus.
Caroline, Registered Veterinary Nurse
Caroline is our state registered veterinary nurse. She received her degree through AB tech along with a fine arts degree. After a short break from her 10+ years in the veterinary field, Caroline has returned to our team after welcoming her son into the world. Taking care of her duo of dachshunds, Stanley and Willow, in addition to her son, she has plenty of experience taming the chaos. From rabbits to reptiles and everything in between, Caroline is experienced and ready for any challenge thrown her way!
My name is Amber and I am a Receptionist at Balsam Animal Hospital. I joined the Balsam team in 2018. I have worked in various roles of customer service for the past 20 years and have my degree in Workforce Management. I am originally from Augusta, GA but have been fortunate to call the mountains home for the past 12 years. I have 2 dogs, Piper and Maple. In my free time, I enjoy camping and gardening.
Kaylynn, Veterinary Assistant & Receptionist
My Name is Kaylynn and I am a Veterinary assistant and receptionist here at Balsam Animal Hospital. Originally from Charlotte I relocated to WNC in 2015 to study Biology at Western Carolina University. I joined the Balsam team in 2018 during an internship and have remained here, fulfilling my dream of helping animals both big and small. With aspirations of tech school, I hope to continue my education while making new furry friends along the way.
Christopher, Veterinary Assistant
My name is Christopher and I work as both a veterinary assistant, as well as a receptionist here at Balsam Animal Hospital. Since a young age, my ambitions have always dwelt in the field of science. After moving to Jackson County in 2005, my attention turned to the animals that inhabit the Appalachian Mountains. I enjoy finding the various reptile and amphibian species that make up one of the most beautiful ecosystems in the world. In 2018, I graduated from Western Carolina University with a degree in Biology and joined on at Balsam Animal Hospital. I aspire to gain my doctorate in veterinary medicine and continue to service animals in need. In my free time, I enjoy taking hikes with my wife Jade and my dogs Andy and Ender, playing music, and looking for critters in the woods and water.
Aimee, Veterinary Assistant
Aimee has worked as a veterinary assistant here at Balsam since 2022. With a background in human phlebotomy and pediatric assisting, Aimee came to us with looking for a change of pace. With a history of working with horses as well as her own collection of animals, she has no problem getting her hands dirty to care for your pets. Aimee cares for an array of animals; from her german shepards and flemish giants, to her red foxes and boston terrier, she has an array of animal knowledge. When not working or tending to her animals, Aimee enjoys time with her family and doing photography.
Jade, Veterinary Assistant
Joining the team in 2022, Jade came to us as an Intern from Western Carolina University and stayed on, joining our staff as a veterinary assistant. With a passion for animals, Jade continues to pursue her education while working with the aspiration of one day becoming a Veterinarian herself. She cares for her wonderfully sweet, family dog, Smitty as well as their gorgeous cat, Zora.