Our Staff

Waynesville Veterinarian Dr. Paul Kern, Balsam Animal Hospital

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. Abby is a fourteen year-old German Short-hair Pointer rescued by Sarge’s Animal Rescue, Bistro, a black Pomeranian mix, rescued from Cherokee Animal Shelter and a favorite visitor to the Silver Bluff Village skilled nursing facility, and Rio, a miniature pinscher, also rescued from the Cherokee Animal Shelter, winner of the Sarge’s tail wagging contest. 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 a Bachelor's degree in Microbiology, Associates degrees in Computer Science, Business, and a Certification in Veterinary Business management, Kalynn is a well rounded part of our team. Before joining on with Balsam Animal Hospital, she served a college internship with The Western North Carolina Nature Center. Having worked with with raptors and large carnivores (such as 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 and traveling! When comfy at home, she shares her love with her husband Joe and their four cats, Nova, Pixel, Sora, and Cactus.

Veterinarian Office Waynesville, NC 28786

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. 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.

Veterinarian Office Waynesville, NC 28786

Amber, Receptionist

My name is Amber and I am a Receptionist at Balsam Animal Hospital. 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 fulfilling my dream of helping animals both big and small. With aspirations of tech school, I hope to continue my education while making new fury friends along the way.

Mary, Receptionist

Mary has been a part of our Balsam family for a year, coming to us with an education centered in electronics as well as cosmetology. Though she is well rounded and quite experienced in many fields, it has always been a passion to try her hand in veterinary medicine. With a new schnauzer puppy of her own, Mary has more than enough love to share for creatures big and small!

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 and his puppy brother, Stanley. From rabbits to reptiles and everything in between, Caroline is experienced and ready for any challenge thrown her way!