Our Team

Dr. Najla Bell, Medical Director

Dr. Najla Bell is a lifelong pet lover and owner, so she knows exactly what it means for the community’s families to have compassionate, client-centered animal care. She makes it her mission every day to help pets live happier, healthier lives. And Dr. Bell couldn’t be happier to do that as a part of the MuraBella Animal Hospital family!

Dr. Bell is a native of Jacksonville Beach and now calls St. Augustine home. She earned her undergraduate degree from Queens University in Charlotte, North Carolina, before continuing on to veterinary school at the University of Florida. She’s worked in 24-hour emergency practices, as well as in wildlife rescue, medicine, and rehabilitation, and has extensive experience in preventative medicine and critical care. Dr. Bell can’t wait to meet you and your family here at the clinic—she looks forward to providing you the very best in veterinary care.

At home, Dr. Bell lives with her husband and their two wonderful children.

Dr. Noreen Jay

Dr. Noreen Jay has always found herself fascinated by all living things. When she started studying biology and learned more about the inner workings of life, her curiosity only grew deeper. Dr. Jay knew that she wanted to put her passion to good use by helping others—veterinary medicine was a perfect choice! She’s proud to serve as an Associate Veterinarian with the MuraBella Animal Hospital team.

Dr. Jay’s veterinary journey started when she began shadowing veterinarians and working at a clinic in her hometown of Arlington Heights, Illinois. She earned her undergraduate degree at Winona State University in Minnesota, interning and working at a veterinary center during her time away from classes, before moving on to veterinary school. Dr. Jay attended the University of Illinois’ College of Veterinary Medicine in Champaign-Urbana, and came here to MuraBella Animal Hospital during her final year to complete her externship. When she was offered a job, she was more than happy to accept!

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Medically, Dr. Jay has a special interest in dentistry. Whether it’s removing a chunk of dental tartar or pulling a painful tooth, she loves the way her work can help a pet look and feel better almost instantly. She’s also passionate about preventative medicine and enjoys using her skill set to help a pet stay healthy in the long term. Above all, Dr. Jay likes interacting one-on-one with the area’s pet owners and their adorable animal companions.

Outside of work, Dr. Jay is an avid runner and ran her first half-marathon during her veterinary school years. She’s also fond of swimming, snorkeling, and diving—she’s even a certified scuba diver, and has dived in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef! Dr. Jay shares her life with one pet, Maggie, an energetic Catahoula dog. Maggie’s favorite pastimes are running alongside her mother, jumping in the waves at the beach, and hunting for lizards in the backyard.

Dr. Kimberly Kern

Dr. Kimberly Kern has wanted to become a veterinarian ever since she was seven years old. Her interest was first piqued while spending time around her aunt and uncle’s horses, and that passion just never quit. Dr. Kern made her dream become a reality! Now, she’s an Associate Veterinarian with the MuraBella Animal Hospital family.

Dr. Kern is originally from Castle Rock, Colorado, where she started volunteering at a small-animal emergency clinic during her high-school years. She stayed in the state for her undergraduate studies at Colorado State University, working as an undergraduate research associate in a laboratory there and serving as a Veterinary Technician in the University’s small-animal internal medicine department. Next, Dr. Kern moved to Oklahoma to attend Oklahoma State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and earn her Doctorate.

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Dr. Kern first came to MuraBella Animal Hospital through an externship during her senior year of veterinary school. She immediately fell in love with the clinic, its staff, and the area’s pets and animal parents. When she was offered a job, she didn’t hesitate! Dr. Kern has been a part of the team ever since.

Medically, Dr. Kern enjoys internal medicine cases, soft-tissue surgery, and all things feline medicine. Above all, she loves to interact directly with the area’s pet owners and help their animal companions feel happier and healthier.

In her free time, Dr. Kern likes playing tennis, hiking and skiing in the great outdoors, and doting on her own pets at home. She has two cats, JJ and Joey, who might as well be dogs. Both love to play fetch, and they even know how to sit on command!

Dr. Robert Burleigh

Dr. Burleigh attended Purdue University as an undergraduate and then received his V.M.D degree from the University of Pennsylvania. During his last year, he was privileged to spend a rotation at the prestigious Angel Memorial Animal Hospital in Boston. Following graduation, he did an internship at the Delaware Valley Animal Hospital in Pennsylvania. He then went on to complete a combined medical and surgical residency at the Henry Bergh Memorial Hospital of the ASPCA in New York City. After finishing his residency Dr. Burleigh practiced at the Central and Scarsdale Animal Hospitals in Scarsdale, New York. Following that he owned the Abington Animal Hospital in the Philadelphia suburbs for many years. After selling his practice Dr. Burleigh and his wife Susan moved to Florida to be closer to his daughter and grandchildren. He is enjoying the sunshine, the people, and the pets of Florida.

Monica Sastoque, Practice Manager

Monica considers bettering the lives of animals part of her love language—for her, caring for pets and their owners is more than a job. It’s her true calling! She’s proud to serve the pets and animal parents of the area as MuraBella Animal Hospital’s Practice Manager.

Monica is originally from Colombia, where she spent hours around her family’s many dairy cows. It was those early experiences with animals that made a permanent impression. After graduating from veterinary school in Colombia, Monica moved to the United States and began working as a corporate manager at a clinic in Boston, Massachusetts. She would remain there for 12 rewarding years before deciding to make a change—Monica relocated to Florida, where she worked in emergency speciality and critical care for eight years. Upon deciding to return to general practice, she came across an opportunity here at MuraBella Animal Hospital and joined the clinic family in early 2020. The rest is history!

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Around the hospital, Monica loves problem-solving and working toward the practice’s mission of changing veterinary medicine for the greater good. She’s also an avid teacher. Monica used to serve as the clinical coordinator for a Veterinary Technician school, and she’s especially proud of seeing 25 of her students graduate from veterinary nursing school and earn placements in respected clinics and hospitals.

Most of Monica’s free time away from the office is spent with her family. She has a teenage son and also cares for her aging mother. The family shares their home with two loveable pets: an albino cat named Vanilla and a betta fish who goes by Mochachino.

Maddie, Director of Patient Services

Maddie is a pet owner herself. She knows just how she would like her own animal companions to be treated at the vet’s office—she strives to impart that experience to each and every visitor to the clinic, whether they have four legs or just two! Maddie is the Director of Patient Services with the MuraBella Animal Hospital family.

Maddie hails from South Florida and joined the hospital team in July of 2015. She brings with her a wealth of experience, compassion, and motivation to help as many pets as possible.

Maddie’s personal animal family includes Woody the Basset Hound, a Husky named Zazu, two adopted dogs named Daphny and Emily, and a fish who goes by Bruce.

Paige, Veterinary Nurse

Growing up, Paige’s best friends in the world were the family pets. She’s been obsessed with the earth’s creatures ever since she can remember. To put it simply, animal care is her true calling! Paige couldn’t be happier to launch her journey in veterinary medicine right here at MuraBella Animal Hospital.

Paige hails from the suburbs of Chicago, and frequently volunteered and fostered with Humane Societies and aquariums during her childhood. She moved to Fort Myers, Florida for college, and started volunteering with the local Humane Society shortly afterward. When she relocated again to Jacksonville to return to school at the University of North Florida, Paige decided to dive into the veterinary world. She joined the MuraBella Animal Hospital family in October of 2020 and hasn’t looked back since!

One of Paige’s favorite parts of her job is getting to meet a wide variety of animal personalities on a regular basis. She’s particularly fond of working with pregnant patients. Of course, getting to dote on adorable puppies and kittens is always fun, too!

Outside of work, Paige’s interests include music, art, traveling, astrology, and spending time with her own pets at home. Currently, she shares her life with three cats: Junior, who is obsessed with hair ties and Q-tips, as well as two adorable kittens named Atlas and Rhea.

Alisha

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Hannah

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Veronica

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Kaycee

Bio coming soon!