June 18, 2002
Serving Western Deschutes County
Sisters, Oregon

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Sisters vets are easing into retirement
By Kathryn Godsiff

Drs. Sharon Sharpnack and Susan Connor have turned over their business to Dr. Carl Berg.

After 24 years of serving the community, Dr. Sharon Sharpnack and Dr. Susan Conner of Sisters Veterinary Clinic are entering semi-retirement.

In a uniquely convivial move, they will continue to see some patients while turning over day-to-day management to a new owner -- Dr. Carl Berg.

Doctors Sharpnack and Conner were the first identical twins to graduate from veterinary school in the United States.

"We always wanted to be veterinarians," said Dr. Conner.

"There was never any doubt," added Dr. Sharpnack.

Competition was never an issue for the sisters as they worked their way through vet school.

Shortly after graduation, they married fellow vets who were roommates. Dr. Conner's husband did further studies at Cornell University in New York, and they worked on race tracks on the east coast.

Meanwhile, Dr. Sharpnack and her husband practiced in California. Always though, the sisters held a dream of being able to practice together one day.

The dream became reality when Dr. Sharpnack and her husband decided to purchase the newly established Sisters Veterinary Clinic in 1978. Dr. Conner's marriage had ended by then and she was persuaded to move west again and join them.

After a year, Dr. Conner became a partner in the clinic. The practice then comprised both large and small animals.

When the Sharpnacks' marriage also ended, Dr. Sharon kept the small animal patients and the clinic and her husband established himself elsewhere with the large animal practice.

Over the years, one of the hallmarks of the Sisters Veterinary Clinic has been a tremendous compassion for animals. The entire staff is committed to provide the best care they can to their patients.

The twin vets have been wanting to make the transition to part-time practice for some time. They imagined it would be very difficult to find the right person to take over, but knew they would recognize when that person came along.

When they met Dr. Berg they knew the search was over.

"After working with him, we're convinced he's the right person," the twins agreed. "He has a huge work ethic and is committed to his patient."

The tradition of compassion looks set to continue with Dr. Berg at the helm.

In a further change for the clinic, Dr. Laura Waters, an associate veterinarian, will be leaving at the end of June for family reasons. The rest of the staff will continue at the clinic.

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