Pulse - February 2021 - 5

JIM BELL

SCVMA PROFILE

Darlene Geekie Honored for Work
Providing Charitable Aid to Needy

D

arlene Hernandez Geekie, a 2021 winner of the
SCVMA Para-Professional Award, is a veterinary
technician with an amazing record of achievement. She owns a practice she started - quite unusual
for an RVT - as well as a nonprofit that provides disaster
relief and help for underserved communities.
" I am extremely humbled and grateful for the award, " Darlene
said, " and I am so thankful to the veterinary community for recognizing our hard work. There are a lot of people who are deserving
of this. "
Allyne Moon, former member of the Board of Trustees, nominated Darlene " because of her enormous body of charitable work
with animals and people. "
The owner of Veterinary Angels Veterinary Center in her hometown of Agoura Hills, Darlene is founder of The Little Angels Project, a 501(c)(3) charity that " provides free and low-cost veterinary
care for the underserved and financially impacted, as well as emergency aid during natural disasters, " Allyne said. " She has done so
much I have problems putting it all into words. "
During the 2018 Woolsey Fire that slashed its way through
Agoura Hills, forcing evacuation of her own hospital, Darlene's
charity set up a triage/treatment clinic at Pierce College that
treated animals injured in the fire.
They were treating " all types of animals - cats, chickens, a swan,
reptiles, a pig - so many different species with fire-related injuries, all requiring different treatments, " Allyne said. " There was an
overflow of everything to be handled, organized, delegated - and
Darlene did it all.
" One other instance that shows her love of people and animals:
During the 2018 fires, she met an elderly lady with a terrier mix,
who needed emergency housing. The only available housing did
not allow pets. Darlene and Little Angels got the money together
to get the lady and her dog into a nice assisted-living facility. "
If there's a wildfire, an earthquake or other natural disaster
within driving distance, the Little Angels Project will be there.
Darlene was working as an RVT at a Palmdale hospital early
in her career. The practice owner, who was not a veterinarian,
decided to sell the practice. She told Darlene that she had confidence in her ability to run the practice successfully. Darlene
agreed to buy it. But not everybody saw that as a good idea.
" Many banks said 'no' and many people told me: 'You can't do
that.' I kept changing my business plan until it happened, " she said.
She was 26 years old at the time.
" I've always had an entrepreneurial spirit and I was very passionate about what I was doing when the [ownership] opportunity
presented itself. I'm a sink-or-swim kind of person and when I
have my mind set on something, I don't take no for an answer. I
just do it. I figured that it was a good move for me. "
Today she owns Veterinary Angels, Inc., opened in 2013. She
founded The Little Angels Project in 2016 and in and 2019,

PULSE

FEBRUARY 2021

VEMA, which
provides
an
education platform and sells
first-aid
and
disaster
relief
products.
The Covid19
pandemic
has had an
impact on both Darlene's business and her nonprofit. Her life has
changed significantly, she said. " I'm a little bit more stressed and a
lot busier and I definitely am reflecting more on life's values and
what's most important to me, my goals, my purpose. "
She said that the rescue part of her nonprofit had to be shut
down, although the HELP Program of Little Angels is doing very
well and is the major focus of Little Angels now. " It's about disaster relief, intervention and veterinary care for those financially
impacted. We are doing our best to be flexible and not put ourselves at risk of Covid-19 infection, while still being able to help
our LA community pets and there families stay together..
" My hands are really full with this right now. I do see it expanding. I'm hoping we will one day be able to help more people in the
U.S. and not just in California. " I love what I do. I know a lot of
people get burned out with compassion fatigue and work stress -
but I've learned to manage that and keep my focus on my purpose. "
In the VEMA startup, " we're going to start education subscriptions and teaching people how to do care for their pets. I think it's
really important that people learn more and not just rely on their
first responders, their veterinarians. "
This, she said, would help them navigate their pets' problems and
be able to do more self-care at home prior to going to the hospital. " That really helps us in the clinic, " Darlene said, " when we have
somebody a little bit more knowledgeable and educated about pet
care so they are able to navigate husbandry, aftercare, post-care, postsurgical care, as well as an emergency at home so it doesn't blow up
in their faces because nothing was done. I want to be able to provide that to our community and to people who own pets. "
Darlene has been working in veterinary medicine since 1996.
She went through the RVT program at Pierce College and
obtained her RVT certificate in 2001.
She is married to Paul Geekie, a pilot for Skywest Airlines.
They have one child, a five-year-old daughter named Brooklyn.
She and her husband trade off on family duties when necessary in
support of their daughter, Darlene said, but " he follows his passion
and I follow mine. " P

5



Pulse - February 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pulse - February 2021

Pulse - February 2021
Chapter Meetings & Calendar
President’s Perspective
SCVMA Profile
SCVMA Profile
Pulsepoints
Practical Pathology
Cover Feature Story
21 to watch in 2021
Medical Leeway
UC Davis Update
Tools for Success
Angel Fund
Dear Tabby
The RVT
Industry Insights
Quick Reference
Digital Photography for Veterinarians
AVMA Diplomates
Resources
Disease Table
From the SCVMA Office
Pulse - February 2021 - Pulse - February 2021
Pulse - February 2021 - Cover2
Pulse - February 2021 - 1
Pulse - February 2021 - 2
Pulse - February 2021 - Chapter Meetings & Calendar
Pulse - February 2021 - President’s Perspective
Pulse - February 2021 - SCVMA Profile
Pulse - February 2021 - SCVMA Profile
Pulse - February 2021 - Pulsepoints
Pulse - February 2021 - 8
Pulse - February 2021 - 9
Pulse - February 2021 - 10
Pulse - February 2021 - Practical Pathology
Pulse - February 2021 - Cover Feature Story
Pulse - February 2021 - 13
Pulse - February 2021 - 21 to watch in 2021
Pulse - February 2021 - 15
Pulse - February 2021 - Medical Leeway
Pulse - February 2021 - UC Davis Update
Pulse - February 2021 - Tools for Success
Pulse - February 2021 - Angel Fund
Pulse - February 2021 - 20
Pulse - February 2021 - Dear Tabby
Pulse - February 2021 - The RVT
Pulse - February 2021 - Industry Insights
Pulse - February 2021 - Quick Reference
Pulse - February 2021 - Digital Photography for Veterinarians
Pulse - February 2021 - 26
Pulse - February 2021 - 27
Pulse - February 2021 - 28
Pulse - February 2021 - AVMA Diplomates
Pulse - February 2021 - Resources
Pulse - February 2021 - Disease Table
Pulse - February 2021 - 32
Pulse - February 2021 - 33
Pulse - February 2021 - 34
Pulse - February 2021 - 35
Pulse - February 2021 - 36
Pulse - February 2021 - 37
Pulse - February 2021 - 38
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Pulse - February 2021 - 50
Pulse - February 2021 - 51
Pulse - February 2021 - From the SCVMA Office
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Pulse - February 2021 - Cover4
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