Primary Care Doctors2018-10-09T10:01:49+00:00

Primary Care 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

Joni Adelman, NP

Biography:

Joni Adelman was born and raised in south-western Colorado. She received her BSN from Carrroll College in Helena, MT. Joni practiced as an RN in Montana, Southeast Alaska, and Del Norte when she moved to Creede in 2010. She has worked as the Mineral County Public Health nurse for the last 5 years while attending the University of Colorado Nurse Practitioner distance education program. Joni is now a licensed FNP and is excited to be working at Creede Family Practice. Her special interests include Diabetes Management, Woman’s Health and Pediatrics. Her husband Casey is originally from Creede. She lives on Humphrey’s Ranch with her three daughters Shelby, Josie and Sydney. She also enjoys reading, quilting, and just about any outdoor activity.

Medical Education:
University of Colorado, Denver, CO

Board Certifications / Additional Medical Training:
BSN, RN, FNP

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

Barton Giessel, M.D.

Biography:

Coming soon.

Jackie Bennett, FNP

Biography:

Coming soon.

Debra Parra, WHNP

Biography:
Debbie enjoys playing all types of sports including softball, basketball, volleyball, soccer, and snowboarding as well as reading and spending time with her family. She joined RGH in 2001 as a registered nurse and has been working as a nurse practitioner since 2007.

Medical Education:
University of Colorado Health Science Centers, Denver, CO

Board Certifications / Additional Medical Training:
Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner

Jon Peterson, MD

Biography:
Hobbies include: Golf, water skiing, motorcycling and horseback riding.

Medical Education:
University of Texas Health Sciences Center at Houston, TX

Board Certifications / Additional Medical Training:
American Board of Family Medicine (formerly American Board of Family Practice

Date of Hire: June 12, 2008

Patricia Roberston, FNP

Biography:
Patty originally came from Romulus, Michigan just outside of Detroit. I enlisted in the Air Force at age 17 and have spent 26 years in the Air Force, 10 years on active duty and the last 16 in the Reserve or Guard. I’ve served as a ground support mechanic, air transportation specialist, flight nurse and am currently serving as a Nurse Practitioner with the New Mexico Air National Guard. I have done four deployments to the Middle East with two to Iraq, one to Afghanistan, and one to Qatar as an Aeromedical Evacuation Flight Nurse. I have been a Nurse Practitioner for 7 years. I have worked in an OB/GYN clinic while in Utah and joined Dr. Pinkerton’s practice in 2006 when we moved back to Del Norte after my husband retired from the Air Force. He originally hails from Del Norte. I joined the RGH Monte Vista clinic in February, 2011 when Dr. Pinkerton sold his practice. Prior to that, I was a Medical/Surgical and Trauma ICU nurse.

In my off time, I work with the Civil Air Patrol as a Senior member. I teach the Wilderness First Responder course at Trinidad State Junior College and am a member of the Rio Grande County Search and Rescue. I am a certified divemaster and help with diving courses through Valley Dive and Snorkel. I also volunteer as an EMT with the Monte Vista Ambulance Service. When not teaching, I like to ski, ride motorcycles, ride horses, camp, hike and read.

Date of Hire: February 15, 2011

Beuford Durmon, MD

Biography:

(information coming soon)

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
Double boarded in Family Practice and Geriatrics
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.

Board Certifications / Additional Medical Training:
Wound Care Certified

Medical Education:
University of Nebraska, Omaha, NE

Residency Training:
Texas A & M, College Station, TX - Family Medicine

Kim Woodke, PA-C

Biography:

Kim Woodke is a physician assistant who has been with the Rio Grande Hospital since 2005.  She is a San Luis Valley native in that she graduated from Centauri High School and then Adams State College with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a minor in Chemistry and Psychology.  She spent six months in Venezuela to learn Spanish and volunteered at a local hospital.  She then graduated from University of Colorado Health Science Center’s; Child Health Associate Program.  She worked for Valley Wide Health Systems in the Alamosa High School Clinic and with Dr. Carter in Monte Vista.  She received her Master’s of Physician Assistant Studies from the University of Nebraska.  Kim and her husband Aaron moved to Roswell, New Mexico during the years 2000-2003.  In September of 2003 they relocated to Creede, Colorado.  Kim started practicing with Valley Wide Health Clinics as their float provider, and covered their coumadin clinic for a while.  She worked occasionally in ER at Rio Grande Hospital starting in 2004.  In 2005 Kim came to Rio Grande Hospital full time.  During that time she has been in the ER, all of the satelitte clinics, started the nursing home coumadin clinic, and is now based out of the clinic in Del Norte.  She loves to spend her free time with her husband and two daughters along with camping, painting, and is learning about photography.  She is bilingual in English and Spanish and loves patients of all ages.

Date of Hire: March 1, 2005

Amanda L. Lewis, PA-C

Biography: 

Amanda comes to Rio Grande Hospital with broad experience as a Physician Assistant having worked in several subspecialties, as well as, general practice.  Over the years she has worked in Rheumatology, Interventional pain management, in addition to Hematology (Lymphoma) and Hospice and Palliative care.  She studied at the University of Arizona graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Molecular and Cellular Biology, then completed her Physician Assistant studies in 1988 at Midwestern University.  She practiced in Phoenix Arizona for 16 years before moving to the valley; she enjoyed working for large companies like the Mayo Clinic and Cancer Treatment Centers of America, as well as smaller community practices.

She has been visiting the valley since she was 7 years old to fish and enjoy the outdoors.  Amanda relocated here permanently in 2014.

She and her husband love to get outside to fish and hunt, they have been known to enjoy the sunsets from their porch in the summer.  She has multiple dogs and enjoys yoga, swimming, and skiing.