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Our Staff

Dr. Adam Ballard

Dr. Adam Ballard became interested in veterinary medicine while working for a mixed animal practice in Creston, Ohio, in 1985. He is a 1993 graduate of Berea College, Kentucky, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in biology. He then graduated from The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1997 and has been in general practice since. Dr. Ballard married Dr. Leah Carpenter after meeting in the large animal operating room while in vet school in 1996. Three kids, six cats, three dogs, and seven chickens later, he and Dr. Carpenter have designed and

built the only AAHA accredited hospital in the Delaware area. Their goal is to have a “country-style” practice where personal, friendly service, a relaxed atmosphere, and outstanding medicine and surgery are practiced every day. Areas of interest for Dr. Ballard include internal medicine, cardiology, dermatology, dentistry, and laser surgery. He is an adjunct faculty member of The Ohio State University Veterinary Medical Center and has been on the Admissions Committee for the College of Veterinary Medicine since 2004. Dr. Ballard is also past president of both the Miami Valley Veterinary Medical Association and the Columbus Academy of Veterinary Medicine, and serves on the Small Animal Practitioner Board with Dr. Carpenter. When able, he also speaks to high school classes about veterinary medicine as a career and lectures for Zoetis Animal Health. Dr. Ballard really enjoys teaching, and Cheshire Crossing Animal Hospital is an approved off-site location for senior vet students to do their Senior Clerkship Rotations. He likes to encourage common sense and problem-solving in his students, and will often quiz them in the exam rooms.

Occasionally, students from Columbus State’s Vet Tech program will also come and add to the excitement! In his spare time, Dr. Ballard enjoys cooking, working outside, landscaping, biking, reading, hiking, and traveling to the nearest beach with his family.

Dr. Leah Carpenter

Dr. Leah Carpenter grew up in Lancaster, Ohio on a farm with horses, cattle, sheep, goats, cats and dogs. She spent a great deal of her time working with horses up to and throughout college. She went to Ohio University and earned a Bachelor Degree in English, with an emphasis in creative writing in 1990. In 1992, she received her Master’s Degree in English from Ohio University. Dr. Carpenter went on to teach at Wright State University for a year before deciding to return to school to pursue a degree in veterinary medicine. In 1999, Dr. Carpenter earned her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from The Ohio State University. She particularly enjoys feline medicine, dermatology and animal behavior. It has been a long time dream of hers to have her own veterinary clinic that is much like the family-oriented practice that she grew up with. That dream came true in June of 2007, when Cheshire Crossing Animal Hospital opened its doors.

Dr. Carpenter is married to Dr. Adam Ballard and they have three children – Charlie, Ella, and Jimmy. They share their home in Delaware with their dogs, cats and chickens. When not working, Dr. Carpenter enjoys reading, gardening and fiber arts. She is the past president of the Columbus Academy of Veterinary Medicine. She also serves as an emeritus member of the Small Animal Practitioner Advancement Board for The Ohio State University.

Dr. Carpenter has a strong interest in behavior medicine and strives to make your pets visit as stress free as possible. She has recently completed the Fear Free ℠ Certification Program and is recognized as a Level 2 Fear Free℠ Certified Professional.

Additionally, Dr. Carpenter is Certified Silver in Low Stress Handling.

Tanja Hughes, RVT

Tanja Hughes, RVT earned an Associate of Veterinary Technology degree from Columbus State Community College in 1994 and has been a part of the CCAH family since the dream began for Dr. Carpenter and Dr. Ballard in 2007. Tanja says that she has been honored to help build Cheshire Crossing from the first shovel of dirt into the thriving practice that it is now. Tanja has worked in private practice and has been part of the Adjunct Faculty at Columbus State Community College in the Veterinary Technology Department. She is currently a member of the Ohio Association of Veterinary Technicians. While she loves everything about her job, her passion is surgery. She loves the whole process from the moment people and their pets walk in the door until they are discharged. Her goal is to make sure everything flows as smoothly as possible, pets are comfortable and stress free, all of the client’s questions get answered, and everyone has the best experience possible.

Tanja shares a home with her husband, Steve, son Nicholas, and daughter Erin. Her family supports the pet hair roller companies with their brood of one very large dog, Reno, and three very crazy cats, N’ Name (this is the name that happens when children can’t agree on a name for the new cat ☺) Charlie Bosco and Franklin Rufus.

Tanja calls herself a runner and cyclist but she’s not a fanatic. Once when she was asked by someone in the running store if she was training for a race she replied, “No, I run to eat!” She has had the privilege to ride in Pelotonia for three consecutive years and will continue to do it as long as she can.

She loves to eat and, if given the choice, dessert would be her main dish. The only food she really doesn’t like is bananas! She is a sweet vs salty, sand and ocean vs snow and mountains, wind in her hair with the music cranked loud vs the windows up and books on tape, hot pink vs taupe kind of girl!

Gina Swearingen, RVT, Director of Human Resources

Gina Swearingen, RVT, grew up in Pataskala Ohio and attended Columbus State Community College where she earned an associate’s degree in Veterinary Technology in 1999.

Before joining CCAH in 2011, she worked at a small animal hospital for 14 years where she gained experience and knowledge in many aspects of the veterinary profession. She enjoys working with clients and their pets, and strives to have a one-on-one bond with all the pet families that come in for medical care. When Gina isn’t at work, she shares a wonderful and very social life with her husband Matt, and two children Mason and Makenna. Both of her children are athletes, so most of Gina’s evenings and weekends are spent watching them play whatever sport the season brings. Her family extends into a large group of friends that she, Matt, Mason and Makenna do many things with. They are quite the social

family. Gina also enjoys camping, four wheeling, volunteering at her children’s school, playing volleyball and softball, shopping, crafts, taking trips to the beach and hanging out with friends. Gina’s very special sidekick is Stella, a mix breed she rescued in 2010 from the Cell Dog Program. Stella is always with Gina; she even comes to work with her every day and is the pride and joy of Gina’s entire family. Stella’s CCAH family spoils her rotten too and you can usually find her behind the reception desk with Anita either helping or being an instigator. Gina also has a fiery new kitten, Maverick, who is the newest addition to the family. Last, but not least, is the family bird, a Green Cheek Conure named Squirt, who acts as the alarm clock on the weekends which means you’d better be up by 8am or she’ll wake you up.

Raven Ridenour, Hospital Coordinator

Raven grew up in Waynesfield, Ohio, and is currently attending the AAHA Distance Education Veterinary Technology Program through Dallas, Texas, working towards an Animal Science degree and becoming a Registered Veterinary Technician. Her love for animals and hard work ethic are true assets at CCAH in her role as a veterinary assistant. Raven has a large animal family. She has a Whippet named Splash that she showed in AKC shows. Spurs, Bud, Solo and Suzie are her four Australian Cattle Dogs that help work the horses, or at least keep them company. Raven also has a black German Shepherd, Zayda, that she got when she helped train police dogs. Last, but not least of her canine family, she has little Miss Ginger, her one-eyed Jack Russell, who attempts to be the top dog amongst the family. Raven has a cat named Polka-Dot that she adopted from CCAH. She has a Quarter Horse named Houdini that she barrel races. Houdini shares a pasture with seven other family-owned horses.

With all these pets, Raven has made a very special home and family that she revolves life around daily.When Raven is not at work, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends and riding horses. Her special interest is barrel racing, which she does most weekends. When she’s not traveling throughout the state for competitions, she loves taking rides on her Harley alongside her boyfriend Ben. Her love for animals doesn’t stop at the vet hospital or the barn. She also pet sits on a regular basis. She takes pride in traveling from house to house each day to help out clients and friends with their furry family members.

Anita Costello, Head of Client Services

Anita grew up in Upper Sandusky, Ohio and has been a part of the CCAH family since 2009, bringing many years of experience in client services. She is the smiling face that greets our clients at the front desk and is also the go-to person for our client family as well as our staff. She helps hold everything together from beginning to end.

Anita and her husband, Ray, live locally in Delaware, Ohio. When she is not holding down the fort her at CCAH she enjoys antiquing, cooking, going to country music concerts, and spending time with family and friends. She enjoys traveling and learning about other places and especially enjoys going to Lake Erie to spend time with family at her sister and brother-in-laws’ summer home.

Anita has always had a special place in her heart for animals. She was an excellent pet mom to both Gracie and Stella – both whom we all miss greatly. While waiting for a new four-legged friend to find her she dotes on all the pets here at the vet hospital. She especially likes to spoil Gina’s dog, Stella, the official-unofficial clinic dog!

Olivia Slykhuis, Client Services

Olivia has been in the veterinary field since high school, so that is over 20 years of experience. She is happily married to Rob, has a little boy, Wilson, and a goofy dog, Floyd. She likes to cook, hike, camp, garden and dabble in photography and horses in her spare time.

Kim Waters, RVT

Kim Waters was born in Tennesse and lived in the Nashville area until 2016. She went to Columia State Community College in the Veterinary Technician Program and graduated in 1999. She is married to Gabe and they have one son named Isaac. Kim enjoys spending time with her family, riding bikes, and watching movies. In Tennesse she helped out a few dog rescues by fostering and transporting. She has a Boston Terrier named Agnes, a Lab mix named Leo, a Siamese mix named Memow, and an Orange Tabby named Finn. Her family likes to name thier pets after cartoon characters. Kim and her family moved to the Columbus area in 2016 and she joined Cheshire that October. Her special interests are surgery, dentistry, and behavior. She would love to one day be able to work with big cats such as Tigers, Lions, and Leopards.