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.
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.
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.
Maria Li, MDCM
Maria Li MDCM, MSc, FAANS is a board-certified specialist in neurosurgery. With over 20 years of experience as an attending neurosurgeon, she brings an abundance of expertise to help patients afflicted with a wide breadth of conditions affecting the brain, spine, and peripheral nerves. Dr. Li earned her medical degree, completed her neurosurgery residency including an enfolded orthopedic spine fellowship, and earned a Master of Science in neuroscience in Montreal. Following her training at McGill University and the Montreal Neurological Institute, she did a post-doctoral laboratory fellowship in neurophysiology at the University of California at San Francisco and later completed a clinical fellowship in skull base and cerebrovascular surgery at the Seattle Neuroscience Institute.
She has practiced general neurosurgery in the USA for a decade, trying to improve the services available to local patients, including recently implementing a cranial neurosurgery program where none existed. Her academic career practicing, teaching, and doing clinical research spanned almost a decade in Montreal teaching hospitals affiliated with McGill University and the University of Montreal. Her neurosurgical practice consisted of 50% cranial and 50% spinal surgeries, with a focus on brain tumors.
Dr. Li is dedicated to maintaining the highest, most up to date standards, participating in the annual maintenance of certification program of the American Board of Neurological Surgery, which fosters excellence and lifelong learning. Dr. Li is a member of several medical and neurosurgical organizations. She continues to serve as a reviewer for the journal Neurosurgery.
Earl Brewley, Jr., MD
Dr. Brewley is a board-eligible, fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon who specializes in treating complex diseases of the upper extremity. His expertise includes advanced shoulder and elbow arthroscopy as well as primary and revision joint replacement surgery of the upper extremity. He earned his medical doctorate from Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, DC, and completed his orthopedic residency at Albany Medical Center in New York, where he served as chief resident. He completed a highly coveted shoulder and elbow fellowship in Tampa, FL, with Drs. Mark Frankle and Mark Mighell at the Florida Orthopaedic Institute. Under their supervision, Dr. Brewley performed over 150 shoulder replacements and over 100 arthroscopic shoulder procedures. Upon graduation, he completed additional training in Japan under Hiroyuki Sugaya, MD, and Teruhisa Mihata, MD, PHD, to learn additional arthroscopic techniques, including superior capsular reconstruction for irreparable rotator cuff tears. Dr. Brewley’s research interests include age-related outcomes in shoulder arthroplasty, alternative treatments for post traumatic elbow arthritis, and biomechanics stability in revision shoulder arthroplasty. He is a fellow member of the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons and an editorial reviewer for the Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery. In his leisure he enjoys reading, hiking, writing poetry, and cheering for the New York Yankees.
Julius Ngaile, MD
A member of our Anesthesiology team, Dr. Ngaile provides safe and effective anesthesia care to patients undergoing the full range of surgical procedures, from elective cases to emergency/trauma. Dr. Ngaile received his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver, and completed his four-year Anesthesiology residency at the UC School’s Department of Anesthesia, located in Aurora. Prior to pursuing his medical career he worked as a registered nurse in Colorado and Kenya. He’s a member of the American Society of Anesthesiologists, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, and the American Medical Association. He enjoys swimming, soccer, hiking, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.
Emily Stevens, FNP-BC
Emily Stevens, FNP-BC, is a board certified nurse practitioner specializing in Orthopedic Medicine. She works with physicians and other members of the orthopedic team to manage the care of patients affected by a broad range of musculoskeletal conditions, including sports-related injuries. A longtime Minot-area resident, Emily earned an Associate of Science in Nursing from Dakota College at Bottineau, where she received the “Excellence in Nursing” award and was selected for membership in the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Concordia University Wisconsin and completed her Master of Science in Nursing as a Family Nurse Practitioner through the University of Cincinnati. Emily’s clinical experience includes seven years working as an RN in Trinity Hospital’s Surgery Department. She and her husband, Ryan, have two daughters. They enjoy spending time together at her husband’s family ranch. She’s a member of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners and North Dakota Nurses Association.
Brent Knudson, DO
Dr. Knudson is an orthopedic surgeon who brings advanced expertise to the care of people with bone, joint, and muscle disorders. His areas of focus include joint replacement surgery of the knee, hip, and shoulder. He is also passionate about sports and taking care of sport-related injuries, as well as routine fracture care.
Originally from Mandan, he earned a bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry/Nutrition from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, and received his medical degree at Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences. His residency training was completed through Michigan State University at McLaren Oakland, known for its advanced orthopedic program. During his residency, Dr. Knudson trained in all aspects of orthopedic surgery, with special emphasis on joint replacement, direct anterior hip replacement, sports medicine, and trauma care.
His experience also includes five years as a flight surgeon with the US Air Force and Air Force National Guard, two and a half years of which were spent with the 5th Medical Group at Minot AFB. The remaining time was spent in Japan, Afghanistan, and Michigan.
Dr. Knudson and his wife, Kelly, have three children. Whether fishing or hunting, they enjoy spending their free time in the beautiful North Dakota outdoors.