Located in our Specialty Clinic at the north entrance of our Rifle Campus.
501 Airport Road, Rifle, Colorado 81650
For more information on our After Hours Clinic out-patient hospital services, call 970.625.1510
Please note: Emergency rooms treat patients based on the severity of condition. Patients with life-threatening injuries are treated first.
Dr. Nelson grew up in rural Alabama living on a plot of land that was surrounded by a National Forrest, 30 minutes outside of the closest town. His family spent much of their time outdoors, or traveling to backpacking adventures or to compete in triathlons.
Dr. Nelson earned his undergraduate degree in Biomedical Science from Auburn University in Auburn Alabama, and graduated with a Doctorate of Medicine from the University of Alabama in Birmingham. After completing his Residency in Emergency Medicine in Louisville, Kentucky, he worked in several facilities where he became familiar with hospital systems both large and small.
Being an avid rock climber, Dr. Nelson had spent many vacations in Rifle Mountain Park. When a job became available at Grand River, he was excited to move to the Valley. When asked how he feels about working in rural medicine, he replied “I appreciate the diversity of cases that I get to see in a smaller hospital. I feel I get to make a bigger impact in the patients’ lives and enjoy the variety of experiences. While I may see more patients in a larger hospital, quantity does not equate to quality.” Dr. Nelson takes pride in taking care of his patients and treating them as if they were a member of his own family.
Dr. Nelson enjoys rock climbing, mountain biking, whitewater kayaking and skiing in his spare time. He lives with his partner Leah and his Blue Heeler, Bouji.
Catharine McLean received her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from the University of Virginia. She then went on to receive her masters in Exercise Physiology from University of Virginia in 2010. She returned to school a few years later to receive her Masters of Medical Science, Physician Assistant at Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston Salem, North Carolina.
McLean comes to Grand River Health from Dispatch Health as well as University Hospital Emergency Department in Denver where she served as a Physician Assistant.
McLean is no stranger to the Roaring Fork Valley, she previously worked at Aspen Valley Hospital as a Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Specialist as well as an EMT-B at Aspen Valley Hospital before embarking on her path as a Physician Assistant. McLean is an avid skier and even worked for Aspen Ski Patrol from 2010-2015.
Originally from Tucson, Arizona, Dr. Donovan completed his medical education at the University of Arizona, then moved to the northeast and completed his emergency medicine residency at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire, serving as chief resident in his final year.
During his time in New Hampshire he and his wife decided they liked being out of the big city and started looking for a rural setting to settle in. Since his wife grew up in Vail, they relocated to Colorado with his wife and 2 daughters in the fall of 2021, and are enjoying have a yard for their daughters and Golden Retriever Cooper to play in. Dr. Donovan would like his future patients to know that he is dedicated to caring for them with compassion and will always treat his patients in the manner he would want to be treated himself.
Dr. Donovan’s interest includes cardiac emergencies, airway emergencies, sports injuries/trauma, as well as department efficiency, and patient satisfaction. He is an outdoor enthusiast and spends his free time fly fishing, mountain biking, skiing, paddle boarding, hiking, golfing, and spending as much time as possible outdoors.
Dr. Brotherson grew up in Roosevelt, Utah, a rural agricultural community of about 5000 where he graduated from Union High School. He attended Southern Utah University and went on to complete his Bachelor of Science in Biology from Dixie State University in St. George UT.
Wanting to return closer to where he grew up Dr. Brotherson began his career at Community Hospital in Grand Junction where he continues to practice. He lives in Fruita with his wife and children and their Labrador. The Brothersons enjoy the outdoor life which includes camping, hunting and fishing.
When asked what drew him to Emergency Medicine he says “I enjoy the variety of the cases you see in the ER, all kinds of people, of all ages. It runs the gamut from a broken arm to severe trauma. You never know what any given day will bring you. It can be very fast paced which is also intriguing.” His guiding principle in practicing medicine “I strive to treat each patient as if they were member of my family”, adds Brotherson.
- Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine
- Allegheny Health Network Satin Vincent Hospital – Emergency Medicine Residency
- American Osteopathic Board of Emergency Medicine
- University of Colorado School of Medicine
- Carolina’s Medical Center (Internship/Residency)
- American Board of Emergency Medicine
Dr. Knight grew up in Kalamazoo Michigan. He Joined the Navy after high school and spent 5 years as a hospital corpsman with the Marines in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
- Western Michigan University after military service and graduated with a degree in Biomedical Science.
- Medical school at Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, Michigan.
- Residency training in emergency medicine at Michigan State University Kalamazoo Center for Medical Studies in Kalamazoo, MI.
- Worked at Borgess Hospital as an attending physician in the emergency department before joining Grand River Health
Graduated from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine
Internship at University of California Davis in General Surgery
Residency at Kern Medical Center/UCLA in Emergency Medicine
Board certified through the American Board of Emergency Medicine
Lynda is a board certified Family Nurse Practitioner who specializes in Emergency Medicine. Prior to becoming an NP, she has 20 years of nursing experience in the ER. She completed her Undergrad at Grand Canyon University and her MSN at Maryville University in 2016 graduating with honors. Lynda has dedicated her career to education and quality care for all patients.
In her free time, she loves to spend time with her family in the outdoors. Hiking with her dogs and husband, rafting, ATVing and snowmobiling.
Graduated from Maryville University with a Master of Science in Nursing
Certified by American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP)
Chief of Staff
Dr. Skwiot was born in Boulder, CO and realized he wanted to be an ED doctor during EMT training for Western State College Mountain Rescue Team in Gunnison, CO. He loved his rotations at Jackson Park Hospital and John Stroger Hospital Trauma Unit (formally Cook County Hospital) but that experience further cemented his desire to practice in the mountains of Colorado. Providing emergency medical care to people at Grand River Health is a dream come true for Matt and he values the opportunity to make some good out of bad things that happen to people. He and his wife, also a physician, have four boys and enjoy doing anything outdoors.
- Medical School: St. Matthew’s University, Grand Cayman B.W.I.
- Fellowship trained in Emergency Medicine
- Certified by the American Board of Family Medicine
Dr. Duehrssen was raised in Rifle where his step father, Jerald Sisk, was the local family doctor. In medical school he enjoyed the challenge of treating traumatic injuries and the variety of that particular care setting, hence he went into Emergency Medicine. Michael served as medical director of the Emergency Department in Cortez for 14 years and was highly involved with the hospital and county EMS. Returning to the Midwest, he later developed the Bachelor of Science program, International Rescue and Relief. The next five years he directed this first of its kind program, traveling around the world to train college students in disaster and humanitarian aid. Four years ago Michael developed Leukemia and says by God’s grace, survived! After the arduous treatment, he and his family re-evaluated their lifestyle and priorities and decided to return to the area they loved. Michael says it has been his pleasure to be back, working and serving people of Garfield County.
- Christian liberal arts college in the midwest
- Medical school: Loma Linda University, Southern California
- Certified by the American Board of Physician Specialties in Emergency Medicine
- Certified by the American Board of Family Medicine
Rakhat Ashymov entered the medical field as an EMT in Washington D.C., which fostered his interest in emergency medicine. He went to St. John’s University in New York City for physician assistant studies and had clinical rotations there. After graduation, he practiced family medicine in the small town of Dolores, CO. Rakhat moved to the Roaring Fork area to join Grand River Health’s Emergency Medicine team in providing high quality care. He enjoys traveling, biking, skiing and swimming. He speaks fluent Russian and Kyrgyz.
Emergency Department Medical Director
Dr. Lawton was born in Denver, then moved to Kansas as a child. Growing up, he remembers his mother loving the Glenwood Springs area. They visited often, and he fondly recalls getting his first sunburn there. When asked what drew him halfway across the country to Rifle, CO from Chicago, he told the story of how his great grandparents, John and Nora May Ruple, actually arrived in Western Colorado from Ohio in the early 1900’s. They were both teachers and John was also a photographer. They were on a trip to Yellowstone with a group of other teachers in 1905 when John Ruple proposed to Nora May with the stipulation that they live in Colorado. They first settled in Grand Valley (now known as Parachute) where they both taught. John Ruple was offered the principal position in Rifle and rode his bike there nearly every day to build their home. After retiring from teaching, the Ruples bought a farm in Rifle. John sold their produce to people in Aspen, Carbondale, and all around. Dr. Lawton says he has always loved Western Colorado and hearing about his family’s history here. He is excited for the opportunity at Grand River Health and feels very fortunate to be able to call this area home now!
When asked about what drew him to emergency medicine, he states how much he enjoys the variety of cases he is able to see. “Every day is completely different in the ER, you have the privilege of treating all ages and the entire spectrum of medicine from sore throats to severe trauma”, adds Lawton. “You have the opportunity to help people in what could be one of their worst possible moments.”
- Medical School: University of Southern California School of Medicine
- Emergency Residency: Northwestern University in Chicago, where he served as Chief Resident
- Certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine
Pediatric Medicine & Internal Medicine at Grand River Health Clinic 2
Grand River Health Emergency Services
501 Airport Road in Rifle
Dr. Feeney came to Grand River from McNairy Regional Hospital in Selmer, Tennessee, where she practiced Pediatrics, Internal Medicine, and Emergency Medicine.
Dr. Feeney moved to the area with her husband Ryan, an attorney, and four children. She also adores horses and owns four Tennessee Walkers. She calls them her “therapy”. The Feeney family also loves acting and theater and would very much like to get involved in the local arts community, once they get settled in.
When asked what drew her to rural medicine, Dr. Feeney says, “Rural health care allows me to give total patient care and the opportunity to be more involved in the community. It makes it more personal. I grew up in the country…I love this area and all it has to offer.”
What does Dr. Feeney like most at Grand River Health? “The wonderful medical community, helping my patients and a more balanced lifestyle for myself and my family” replies Dr. Feeney.
- Bachelor of Science: Rhodes College in Memphis, TN
- Internship: University Of Tennessee College Of Medicine
- Residency: University of Rochester, in Rochester, NY and was Chief Resident of Pediatrics
- Pediatric Medicine – Certified by the American Board of Pediatrics
- Internal Medicine – Certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine
Sara Shainholtz grew up just west of Denver and has been a Physician Assistant since 2003. She moved to the Roaring Fork Valley after working at Swedish, which is a Level One Trauma ED in Denver, for almost 8 years. She enjoys almost any outdoor adventure including back-country and alpine skiing, mountain biking, and fly fishing. She has 6 nieces and nephews and a very sweet black lab. She looks forward to providing excellent medical care and getting to know the communities we serve.
- Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences – Masters in PA Studies
- University of Colorado at Boulder – Pre-med/Environmental Biology B.A.
- NCCPA Board Certified,
- Licensed in Colorado AAPA and CAPA member
- BCLS and ACLS provider
Sarah has been at GRHD since January 2021. She was attracted to Grand River’s sense of community among patients and staff, the talent amongst our providers, and the opportunity to help provide care in a rural environment. Sarah grew up in Kalamazoo, MI, graduated from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, and knew she wanted to be a PA-C after working as an ED Tech in a busy Denver emergency department. The most rewarding aspect of her job is when she is able to take her patient’s concerns, illnesses, fears, or questions and provide them with reassurance, relief, and answers.
Sarah loves traveling and camping with her partner and dog Scoobie. She enjoys music (The Black Keys, Lake Street Drive, Yo Yo Ma and Pink Floyd), hiking and has been dabbling at golf. She is inspired by the beauty of mother nature, the good within people and the love of dogs.
Some of the most common reasons to go to an emergency room are:
- Severe chest pain
- Severe abdominal pain
- Wheezing or shortness of breath
- Intestinal bleeding
- High fevers or rash, especially among children
- Vaginal bleeding with pregnancy
- Repeated vomiting
- Severe head or eye injuries
- Allergic reactions