Meet Our Staff
Dr. Jacobo Balairon, DVM, grew up in the beautiful city of Madrid, Spain. He graduated within the top 10% of the students of his promotion from the Complutense University of Madrid in 2004, and became part of a research project on bone grafting materials for orthopedic surgeries. His first contact with California was during the spring of 2005, when he came to participate in a prestigious externship with Dr. Frances Mcgulland, one of the highest ranked experts in the world in marine mammal medicine. At this point he decided to focus his full attention to the care of companion animals, and started a series of externships & internships in small animal medicine in the South Bay of Los Angeles, leading him to the validation of his European Veterinary license. Dr. Balairon has participated in several research projects in the fields of radiation therapy and orthopedic surgery, but he is enthusiastic about all aspects of veterinary practice with a special emphasis on orthopedic and soft tissue surgery.
Dr. Carlos Cuervo, DVM, was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota but grew up in Madrid, Spain where he developed a genuine love for animals. After graduating from the Veterinary Medicine Faculty in the Complutense University of Madrid in 2005, he did an internship in the Norwegian School of Veterinary Medicine, institution that runs the National Animal Hospital, a 24-hour teaching hospital with clinics for companion animals, horses and production animals. Upon completion of this internship and having long desired a medical practice in the United States, he moved to Los Angeles and obtained his California Veterinary Medical Board License in 2008. On 2012, he and Dr. Balairon partnered to build Primary Care Animal Hospital and turn it into one of the most successful veterinary hospitals in Long Beach. Dr. Cuervo specializes in internal medicine and abdominal and cardiac ultrasonography.
Dr. Kate Raczak is one of our Associate Veterinarians here at Primary Care Animal Hospital. She is originally from Aspen, Colorado. She graduated from Colorado State University’s Professional Veterinary Medicine Program in 2013 and shortly after graduation she moved out to California. She has an interest in small animal and exotic animal medicine. She is a Certified Advanced Veterinary Acupuncturist. She goes down to Playa del Carmen, Mexico annually to volunteer with ViDAS, a non-profit organization that provides safe spay/neuter for dogs and cats in less fortunate communities. Dr. Kate has two Rhodesian Ridgebacks, Veda and Sopris, a cat, Achoo, and a chinchilla, named George. Outside of veterinary medicine, Dr. Kate loves yoga, travelling, and just about anything outdoors.
Bio coming soon.
Dr. Cara Nguyen, who grew up in Gardena, graduated from The Western University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2013. She loves all aspects of veterinary medicine with a particular interest in small animal surgery. In her spare time, she enjoys watching movies and spending time with her family and her furry friends Toby, Lacey and Bambi.
Dr Natalie Magallanes is the newest addition to the PCAH team. She is a California native and graduated from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Western University in 2016. She has a special interest in internal medicine and is passionate about strengthening the human-animal bond. A true animal fanatic, Dr Magallanes and her husband live in Orange County with their 5 dogs and 2 cats. When she’s not busy caring for animals she enjoys traveling, Kings games and Disneyland!
Dave is the most recent addition to the Primary Care Animal Hospital Team. A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Dave decided to become a permanent resident of Southern California to study Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of California at San Diego. Always knowing what he wanted to do, he got his start in the industry at the age of 14 by striking a deal with the owner of a small, local, one-doctor practice. Every day after school he would shadow the doctor and team, learning and absorbing all they would teach him, and in turn, once the practice closed, he became a janitor and a kennel assistant. Countless years later, performing in all roles and functioning in every hospital capacity, Dave is proud of how he got he got his start in the industry, crediting his success to this early foundation and the opportunities it afforded him.
Dave has over 16 years of experience in practice management, developing practice mission, vision and values. He has used his expertise by directing a six doctor small animal practice in the bay area which grew to a fourteen doctor AHAA approved hospital with 100 + support staff. Through staff training and development, he has positively impacted client service and the capacity to build relationships. With his strong knowledge of communication and information technologies, he is able to bring a unique perspective offering our industry the opportunity for dynamic change.
In his free time, he enjoys backpacking, camping, and winetasting, though he says it’s difficult being so far from Napa Valley.
Nancy has been with Primary Care Animal Hospital since its inception in 2012. She's a vital part of the day-to-day operations and functions as inventory manager for the practice. Her long-time connections within the community and her capacity to build relationships has made her a driving force in our local industry. She lives in Torrance with her 2 dogs Patty and Scraps.
Lauren Van HeyningenRVT
Lauren has been in the veterinary field for seven years and has been a valued team member at Primary Care Animal Hospital since 2013. She attended Carrington College California and graduated with an associate's degree in veterinary technology and received Registered Veterinary Technician license in 2015. Lauren is passionate about preventative medicine and diagnostic medicine with a special interest in dental care. She has completed specialized training and continued education in advanced dental techniques. Lauren lives in Long Beach with her 3 dogs Rico, Zuco, and Lurch, cat P-tree, and solcata (tortoise) Zeus.
Andrea has been in the veterinary field for eight years and has been a valuable team member at Primary Care Animal Hospital since 2013. She attended Mount San Antonio College in California and Graduated with an associate’s degree in veterinary technology and received her Registered Veterinary Technician license in 2015. Andrea is passionate about surgery and her technician department leadership role. She lives in Lakewood with her Bichon Frise Daisy and two conures Dilly and Willy. On her time-off she enjoys working out and going on outdoor adventures such as hiking.