Meet the Bemidji Veterinary Hospital Staff

Dr. Andrew Piller
Dr. Andrew Piller, the practice owner, graduated from Wartburg College in 1992. While enrolled at Wartburg he studied tropical parasites for a semester at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa. He is a 1998 graduate from Iowa State University- College of Veterinary Medicine. As a vet student he studied tuberculosis in Kruger National Park, South Africa. He was involved in elephant relocation projects and lion capture. He moved to Bemidji in 1998 and continues to be passionate about helping pets in the area. When he isn't working, Dr. Piller loves spending time with his wife and 5 sons! Dr. Piller's favorite hobby is playing basketball with his friends at Bemidji's "Old Timers League."


Dr. Brandi Johnson
Dr. Brandi Johnson received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Minnesota in 2007. She obtained her Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Wisconsin in 2003. Dr. Johnson has previously practiced at mixed animal clinics in Hutchinson, MN and Grantsburg, WI. She has been practicing here at the Bemidji Veterinary Hospital since 2016. She shares her home with her husband Andy, her daughter Lena, a loveable pug named Sophie, and a mischievous tuxedo cat named Spencer. In her spare time you can find her kayaking, camping, cross-country skiing, or biking.


Dr. Lauren Alsaker
She received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine summa cum laude in 2019 from St George’s University in Grenada, West Indies, with her 4th year clinical training at the University of Minnesota. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in biology and chemistry from Concordia College, Moorhead, MN in 2014. Her professional interests include internal medicine, emergency, soft tissue surgery and ultrasound. She enjoys spending her free time outdoors hunting, fishing, camping and hiking with her husband Tyler and their black lab name Tig.


Dr. Jennifer Pitkanen
She received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Minnesota in 2020. As a vet student her focus was exotic and wildlife medicine, working with multiple different rehabilitation centers and zoos throughout the country. She is passionate about exotic medicine, particularly avian medicine, and small animal preventative care. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, birding, and crochet.


Dr. Jim Hanson
He grew up in S.W. Minnesota on a small farm with a variety of livestock, horses, cats and dogs. He received his Bachelor's Degrees in Biology and Chemistry from Southwest Minnesota State University in 1989; and his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) from the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine in 1993.

His professional career includes working with cats, dogs, cattle, pigs, horses, commercial turkey farms, and farmed elk, deer, and bison. Dr. Hanson is also pursuing a Masters of Public Health from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. His wife Erin, and two daughters Elaine and Irelynn, enjoy camping, horse riding, fishing, and the Great Outdoors in general.