I was born and raised in Commack, New York. I've always wanted to be a veterinarian - when the other kids were playing with Barbie Dolls I was catching toads on the miniature golf course; when they were hosting pretend tea parties I was looking at murky pond water under a microscope. I even tried to hatch an egg in the couch cushions (didn't work!). I attended University of Florida for undergraduate school and earned a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture degree in Microbiology. During my undergraduate years I worked in the Wildlife Ward of the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (VMTH), now called the College of Veterinary Medicine at University of Florida. I trained with some outstanding exotic animal veterinarians - we treated everything from eagles, owls, snakes, turtles and alligators all the way to elephants, bats, bears, and large cats. It was fascinating and fueled my passion for animal medicine. I also discovered that I was allergic to deer, rabbits, cows, and cats... I took a lot of Benadryl in those early years! I graduated from UF VMTH in 1996 with a doctorate in Veterinary Medicine. I originally planned to go back to New York to practice but friends and family kept me in Florida. I practiced in Gainesville for several years then relocated to Jacksonville in 2000. I've been with Harbour Place Animal Clinic ever since. I enjoy this city and it's multiple cultural facets - you can kayak the St John's River, enjoy wonderful performing arts, listen to the symphony, watch a Jaguar game, go to a festival in Five Points or a farmer's market on Beaver Street.
I have a home close to the clinic that I share with my four year old Lhasa Apso Matisse. My hobbies include anything that has to do with water (boating, fishing, swimming, scuba diving, even standing in the rain), travelling, photography, and gardening - I love getting my hands dirty and growing my own produce. I also consider myself a 'mild' expert on plants and tomatoes.
Jillian FiedlerOffice Manager
Hello! My name Is Jillian and I am the office manager at Harbour Place Animal Clinic. I keep everything running smoothly for Dr Szachacz so she can focus on what she does best - veterinary medicine! I've moved around my whole life but I am happy to call Jacksonville my home now. I have a wonderful husband and two fantastic teenagers as well as a lazy lab and a feisty cat. I enjoy reading, baking and spending time outdoors. I also enjoy the people and the four-legged friends I meet at the clinic.
Cody RhymeKennel Technician
Hello! I am new to Jacksonville. My love for animals brought me to Harbour Place as a kennel technician. I specialize in bathing, nail trims, and keeping the hospital spotless as well as making sure all the pets are entertained! I'm so excited to be a part of the team and to meet all your furry loved ones.
Kristi CheesmanVeterinary Technician
Hey! My name is Kristi and I am a vet tech here at Harbour Place. I am originally from Arizona and recently moved to Jacksonville from Marietta, Georgia. I live with my daughter, my rescue pup Marlo and our bearded dragon Dude. I went to school for Medical Assisting and Phlebotomy and graduated in 2014. I wanted to follow my heart and true passion with animals so I choose to make a switch to Veterinary Medicine.