A member of our Neurology team, Maria Gonzales, FNP-C, is a nurse practitioner who works closely with neurologists and other clinical staff to assess, diagnose and treat patients with neurological conditions such as stroke, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease and chronic headache. Born and reared in the Philippines, she earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing before emigrating to the United States in 2005. She practiced 17 years in healthcare settings in New York. In 2017 she joined Trinity Health, where she cared for patients in the Emergency/Trauma Center before completing her Master of Science degree in Advanced Nurse Practice from Walden University, Minneapolis. Maria is certified by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. She enjoys traveling when she’s not taking care of patients.
Robert Fischer, MD
A member of our Ear, Nose and Throat team, Robert Fischer, MD, is an otolaryngologist, dedicated to providing high-quality, up-to-date care to adults and children with ear, nose and throat conditions. Dr. Fischer is board-certified in Otolaryngology with three decades of ENT experience. He is well-equipped to provide medical and surgical care for the full range of disorders, from ear and sinus problems, to head & neck surgery and facial plastic surgery. A magna cum laude graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Dr. Fischer earned his medical doctorate from the Medical College of Wisconsin and completed his Otolaryngology residency at Portsmouth Naval Hospital in Virginia as part of a 10-year association with the U.S. Navy Medical Corps. After discharge, he practiced at Duluth Clinic in Minnesota and Wind River ENT in Lander, WY, before joining Trinity Health in 2015. He practiced four years with Sanford Health in Bemidji, MN, before returning to Trinity.
Melissa Andreasen, FNP-C
A member of our pediatrics team, Melissa Andreasen, MSN, FNP-C, is a board-certified family nurse practitioner, dedicated to providing compassionate, evidence-based care to children and adolescents. A graduate of Minot State University, Melissa earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2013 and began her nursing career as an RN with Trinity Health. She served patients in the addiction services, intensive care, and same day surgery units before shifting her focus to advanced practice nursing. While pursuing a Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Cincinnati, she worked part time as a clinical nurse instructor with Dakota College at Bottineau. She completed her Family Nurse Practitioner training 2020 and joined a private primary care practice as a family care provider, helping pediatric, adult, and geriatric patients manage the full range of acute and chronic health conditions. Melissa is board certified by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. She loves spending time with her two children when she’s not at work.
Laken Kittelson, CRNA
A certified registered nurse anesthetist, Laken Kittelson, CRNA, provides anesthesia care to patients across a wide spectrum of surgical cases. A Burlington, ND, native, she earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from North Dakota State University, Fargo, and worked as a critical care nurse in the ICU at Sanford Health and Trinity Health. Later, she completed her Doctorate in Nursing Practice at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks. A member of the North Dakota Association of Nurse Anesthetists, Laken and her husband, Collin Kittelson, have two children.
Donna Verhasselt, PA-C
Donna Verhasselt, PA-C, is a board-certified physician assistant with nearly 20 years of experience caring for patients in clinic and hospital settings. She works with patients in Trinity Health’s Pre-Admission Testing Unit, providing pre-admission testing and education to ensure the health and safety of patients as they prepare for a surgical procedure. A graduate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha with a bachelor’s degree in business management, Donna received her Master of Health Sciences in Physician Assistant Studies from the University of South Alabama in Mobile. She served patients in Ohio and Arizona, and from 2007 to 2019 was associated with Trinity’s orthopedics team, where she served as first assist in the OR and managed the care of new and post-operative patients. Prior to returning to Trinity Health, she worked at Altru Health System in Grand Forks in the areas of orthopedics and neurosurgery. Donna is originally from Williston.
Jewel L. Sandy, MD
A member of our eye care team at Trinity Regional Eyecare – Western Dakota, Jewel Sandy, MD, is a board-certified ophthalmologist, board-certified, fellowship trained Oculoplastics Specialist., Orbital, Reconstructive Surgery. She provides high-quality medical and surgical care to patients for the full range of eye conditions and is specially trained to perform reconstructive and cosmetic surgery of the eyelids, eye socket and face. Dr. Sandy earned her Doctor of Medicine degree at Loma Linda University School of Medicine in California and completed her ophthalmology residency at UAB Callahan Eye Hospital at the University of Alabama Birmingham. In addition to her residency, she spent an additional two years of advanced fellowship training at Dean McGee Eye Institute in Oklahoma and Allegheny Ophthalmic & Orbital Associates, PC, in Pittsburgh, focused on Global Eye Care and Orbital/Ophthalmic Plastic surgery respectively. Prior to joining Trinity Health, she was Assistant Professor at Loma Linda University School of Medicine Ophthalmology Department. In addition to being recognized for her academic achievement, Dr. Sandy has been an advocate for improving patient access to quality eye care, pioneering domestic and international medical missions and outreach. A member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and American Medical Association, Dr. Sandy enjoys hiking, reading, and international cuisine.
Joseph Stonehocker, CPNP-PC
Trinity Health is pleased to announce that Joseph Stonehocker, CPNP-PC, has joined our team of providers at Trinity Health Western Dakota in Williston. A board certified pediatric nurse practitioner, Joseph has spent the last three years serving the healthcare needs of Williston-area young people. He provides primary care to children ages 0 to 18, with an emphasis on general and acute pediatric care, annual well-child visits, and mental health support, including ADHD diagnosis and treatment. He’s also trained in various surgical procedures such as circumcision and tongue-tie correction. Originally from Canada, Joseph was reared in Edmonton, AB, and moved to the United States with his family at an early age. He graduated from Utah State University and earned both his Master of Science in Pediatric Nurse Practice and his Bachelor of Science in Nursing from UT Health San Antonio, part of the University of Texas system. A devoted husband and father, he and his wife have five children. They enjoy family time and attending youth sporting events.
Christian Eby, MD
A Diplomate of the American Board of Anesthesiology, Christian Eby, MD, has extensive experience in both adult and pediatric anesthesia. He is highly qualified to provide safe and effective anesthesia care to ensure the comfort of patients undergoing the full range of surgical procedures. A graduate of Finch University of Health Sciences/The Chicago Medical School, Dr. Eby completed a pediatric residency at the University of California, San Diego, and fulfilled his anesthesiology residency at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. His training also includes advanced clinical instruction in pediatric anesthesia and pediatric critical care, which he completed at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Dr. Eby has provided pediatric anesthesia care at hospitals in California and Nevada, and in 2014 began a lengthy association with Sanford Health, providing leadership for anesthesia and critical care programs at Sanford Health in Fargo and Aberdeen, SD. Most recently he served as medical director of anesthesia services at Sage West Healthcare in Lander, WY. Dr. Eby is a member of American Society of Anesthesiologists and Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society.
Diane Schmidt-Krings, MD
A member of our anesthesiology team, Diane Schmidt-Krings, MD, provides safe and effective anesthesia care to patients undergoing the full range of surgical procedures, from elective surgeries to emergency and trauma care. Dr. Schmidt-Krings has extensive experience in the medical field, having spent more than a decade practicing in the specialty of plastic and reconstructive surgery before becoming an anesthesiologist. The Minneapolis native received her Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Minnesota in 1995 and completed a surgical residency at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis. She completed her fellowship in plastic and reconstructive surgery at Cleveland Clinic and spent the next 13 years providing plastic and reconstructive surgical care to patients in St. Cloud, MN, Eau Claire, WI, Fargo, ND, and Jacksonville, FL. She received her residency training in anesthesiology at West Virginia University, where she was recognized for academic excellence. Dr. Schmidt-Krings enjoys painting, camping, and spending time with her family.
William Sisa, MD
Dr. Sisa is a pediatrician, dedicated to providing holistic care that promotes the well-being of children, adolescents, and their families. He is specially trained to manage the full range of children’s physical, mental, and emotional health problems, including acute and chronic conditions, behavioral difficulties, and developmental disorders.
Dr. Sisa earned his Doctor of Medicine degree from St. George’s University School of Medicine, Grenada, and completed his pediatric residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center, a teaching hospital affiliated with Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City.
Dr. Sisa grew up in Ghana, where he won the Presidential Award for being the best student from one of the 10 regions in Ghana at the Junior High School level, after which he proceeded to Major in Science at the best high schools in Ghana. Upon completion of high school, he started a remedial school in his hometown which is currently a high school in Ghana.
He proceeded to the University of Ghana where he majored in Chemistry. Upon arrival in the USA, he worked as a quality control chemist at NicePak PDI helping to develop some of the HPLC methods used to test the Super Sani Wipe the most popular hospital disinfectant used in hospitals in the USA. Dr. Sisa was pursuing a graduate Studies in Biochemistry at The City University of NY before he decided to pursue medicine at the St. George’s University School Medicine.
During clinical years in NYC, he got interested in teaching and mentoring of high school students in the science field, and completed several hours of volunteer work teaching. During residency, he participated in various research projects and had one of his research topics presented at the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM) 2020 Conference in Washington, DC.
He loves driving, playing volleyball, and soccer.