Hospital and Emergency Room Doctors 2017-05-05T10:19:42+00:00

Hospital and Emergency Room Doctors

Dr. Heidi Helgeson, MD, Chief Medical Officer

Biography:

Dr. Helgeson graduated from Hamline University in St. Paul, MN with a double major in Biology and Theology. After graduation, she spent a year working with AmeriCorps at an AIDS hospice in Washington, D.C., followed by a year working with juvenile probation services in Minneapolis. She then moved to Colorado to attend medical school as well as her residency where she served as Chief Resident. Dr. Helgeson joined RGH in August of 2009. She has special interests in obstetrics, women’s health, and pediatrics and is currently on Faculty with the University of Colorado as a clinical instructor in family medicine. Dr. Helgeson most enjoys the continuity of care and relationships with patients and their families that develop as a part of rural medicine.

Medical Training:

University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver, CO

Residency Training:

Fort Collins Family Medicine Residency, Fort Collins, CO – Family Medicine; Chief Resident

Board Certifications / Additional Medical Training:

Board Certified in Family Medicine

Dale Berkbigler, MD

Biography:
The American College of Physicians (ACP) recently elected Dr. Berkbigler as a Fellow, and honor only 1 other Coloradoan and only 227 Physicians nationwide received this year. The American College of Physicians (ACP) recognized personal integrity, superior competence, professional accomplishment and scholarship.

Hobbies include: He has climbed all 54 mountains in Colorado over 14,000 feet high (“fourteeners”) and he is an accomplished pilot who flies his own airplane.

Residency Training:

Chief resident in Internal Medicine at St. Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City MO.

Internal Medicine Residency at St. Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City, MO.

Board Certifications / Additional Medical Training:

Board Certified in Internal Medicine

Jennifer Harbert, MD

Biography:
Dr. Harbert was born and raised in Connecticut but spent many summers in Creede with her family. Dr. Harbert came to Creede between college and medical school and ended up falling in love with the community and her husband. She returned to Creede in 2000 as the town’s only physician for the next 11 years. Dr. Harbert is now practicing emergency medicine at Rio Grande Hospital in order to be able to spend more time with her husband and her two sons. In her free time she enjoys running, hiking, and spending time with her boys!

Medical Education:

Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, OH

Residency Training:

St. Mary Corwin Hospital, Pueblo, CO – Family Medicine

Board Certifications / Additional Medical Training:

Board Certified in Family Medicine

Donna Nelson, MD

Biography:
Dr. Donna Nelson, MD is a board certified emergency medicine doctor in Del Norte, Colorado. She is currently licensed to practice medicine in Colorado and New Mexico. Emergency Medicine: General Emergency Medicine

 

Board Certifications / Additional Medical Training:

American Board of Emergency Medicine

American College of Emergency Physicians – ACEP Fellow

Patrick Thompson, MD

Biography:
Dr. Thompson served his country as a United States Marine after high school. Dr. Thompson then returned to the San Luis Valley to complete his undergraduate degree and began his career in the health care field as an Emergency Medical Technician. Thompson then received a scholarship to attend medical school. Dr. Thompson also served our country in the United States Air Force and retired in 2010. Dr. Thompson is excited to return to the San Luis Valley to complete his medical career.

Medical Education:

Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD

Residency Training:

Saint Louis University, Bellville, IL – Family Medicine

James Ely Walker, MD

Biography:

Dr. James Walker brings a wide variety of experience to Rio Grande Hospital. He received his MD from the University of Colorado School Of Medicine in Aurora and completed his Family Residency at the John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas. Dr. Walker has served at the Mulago Hospital in Uganda and the Kudjip Nazarene Hospital in Papua New Guinea, doing inpatient, outpatient and obstetrical care. Dedicated to the progress of the medical field, Dr. Walker has instructed first and second year medical students in providing care to the homeless population at the Stout Street Homeless Clinic in Denver, provided free health screenings to uninsured farmers and ranchers at the National Western Stock Show and the Cinco de Mayo events in Denver and coordinated the Colorado Rural Health Scholars Program.

Dr. Walker and his wife, Dr. Kelsey Jo Hurley Walker, enjoy the outdoor recreational opportunities that the valley has to offer. He enjoys gardening, backpacking and fly fishing, as well as throwing pottery. He moved to the valley to be close to family and currently works at the Del Norte Clinic and Rio Grande Hospital.

Medical Education:

University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, CO

Residency Training:

John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas

Kelsey Jo Hurley Walker, MD

Biography:

Dr. Hurley Walker came to the San Luis Valley to be closer to family and to continue the family legacy of medicine that includes her father, Grant Hurley, who is also a local doctor, as were her Great Granddad and Granddad. Her mother is also a Public Health Nurse. Her hobbies include riding horses, backpacking with her husband, Dr. James Ely Walker and cooking.

Medical Education:

  • Fellowship – University of Colorado School of Medicine and Denver Department of Veteran’s Affairs. Geriatric Fellowship Program: Advanced training in care of the elderly across multiple settings including inpatient, outpatient, consultations, nursing home, rehab, home care and hospice with an additional emphasis on developing competence as a teacher of medical residents and students.
  • Post Graduate: John Peter Smith Hospital, Fort Worth, TX
  • MD: University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, CO: Hippocrates Award, Gold Humanism Honor Society, Colorado Trust Health Profession Scholar
  • BS: Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO: CSU Honor’s Program, Cum Laude Graduate, Phi Betta Kappa Honor Society

Board Certifications / Additional Medical Training:

Full, unrestricted physician licensure in Colorado and Texas

Current certifications in BLS, ACLS, PALS

Medical Volunteer Experience:

  • Kudjip Nazarene Hospital – Volunteer at a 200 bed mission hospital in Papua New Guinea
  • Stout Street Elective – Participated in a free student-run Saturday clinic in downtown Denver. Additionally, was on the steering committee for this elective and assisted in organizing the experience for other medical students.

Tiffany Ward, MD

Biography:

Dr. Ward grew up on a small farm in Western Nebraska. During her residency, she also completed the advanced obstetrical track to specialize in high risk obstetrics and women’s health.  While in Texas, she found the love of her life, Johnny, and as a result became a season ticket holding Aggie fan!  They have two Siamese cats that keep them on their toes. Along with Aggie football, Dr. Ward loves to watch college basketball, especially March Madness!  She enjoys outdoor activities like hiking, running, and biking.  Dr. Ward prides herself by her Christian faith and is thankful for the opportunity to work at Rio Grande Hospital and looks forward to providing exceptional care to the San Luis Valley. She joined RGH in 2014.

Medical Education:

University of Nebraska, Omaha, NE

Residency Training:

Texas A & M, College Station, TX – Family Medicine