Maternal-fetal medicine specialist Debra Guinn, MD, joined Kalispell Regional Healthcare in June 2015, opening the Montana Perinatal Center to care for mothers with high-risk pregnancies and perform diagnostic ultrasound, prenatal diagnosis and fetal therapy. She works together with obstetrical providers, neonatologists, pediatricians, nurses and anesthesiologists to develop an optimal plan of care to promote the health and well-being of both mothers and unborn children. Dr. Guinn serves as the medical director for Kalispell Regional Medical Center’s maternal and fetal medicine program.
Having earned her medical degree from Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, Michigan, Dr. Guinn completed her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago. She then sought additional training and completed a fellowship in maternal-fetal medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Dr. Guinn has continued to develop her unique skills throughout her career. She has an extensive academic career resulting in multiple publications primarily in the area of prematurity prevention and strategies to improve neonatal outcomes. She has worked in some of the finest institutions in the country. In 2002 she was named chief of obstetrics and maternal-fetal medicine and associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology and maternal-fetal medicine for Denver Health and Hospital Authority at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. Over the years, Dr. Guinn realized she missed direct patient care. In 2004 she joined a large private perinatology practice in Portland, Oregon. The years were very fulfilling, caring for thousands of women and babies with a wide variety of needs and services. Her family opted to move to Montana in 2013 and then discovered the wonders of Kalispell. She was thrilled to join Kalispell Regional Healthcare.
Dr. Guinn’s practice philosophy is to be proactive. She works closely with the OB providers to identify risk factors, anticipate problems and put a plan in place to optimize outcomes. She relies heavily on her referring providers and patients and does everything possible to reduce obstacles to care. She believes each patient and case is unique and special and deserves her attention.
In her leisure time, Dr. Guinn and her husband enjoy the outdoors, horseback riding and skiing. They also foster children and have three adult children continuing with their higher education and careers.
Tessa Pitman, MS, CGC, is a certified genetic counselor based out of the Montana Perinatal Center at Kalispell Regional Medical Center. She earned her bachelor of arts degree in psychology from Augsburg College in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and her master’s degree in genetic counseling from the University of Utah Graduate School in Salt Lake City, Utah. Her experience includes working in medical and biochemical genetics and serving as the genetic counselor for the Montana Metabolic Program, Newborn Screening Follow-Up Program and regional Craniofacial Specialty Clinic. She spearheaded the first Montana Metabolic Days in 2009 for individuals with metabolic conditions to network and receive education relating to care for these rare conditions. She greatly enjoyed her experience working with the medical genetics program at Shodair Children’s Hospital in Helena, Montana, from 2008 to 2015. Tessa joined the KRH family in November 2015 with the goal of serving as a local genetic resource for both patients and providers, particularly with the increasing availability of genetic testing options. She is passionate about providing patient-centered care to rural Montana and empowering patients to make informed decisions about genetic testing as it pertains to their values and medical care. She provides genetic counseling services at Kalispell Regional Healthcare to pediatric and adult patients for a broad range of genetic indications and concerns. She is thrilled to be part of Montana Perinatal Center and to collaborate with other providers at Kalispell Regional Healthcare. Activities that rival her love for her profession include spending time with her husband and two young children, cooking, skiing, hiking and chalk painting.
Kelli McMahon-Staats, RNC, BSN, is the perinatal clinical nurse coordinator at KRMC’s Montana Perinatal Center. Kelli is a certified obstetrical registered nurse who has devoted nearly 22 years of expertise to improving the health and welfare of women and children. Her passion has been demonstrated by working as a full-time acute care obstetrical nurse in labor and delivery, postpartum and newborn nursery, and then as the obstetrical nurse manager at KRMC for the last eight years. Kelli’s combination of clinical education, leadership and expertise fueled her desire to assist in the growth of the much-needed field of perinatology in Flathead County and surrounding areas. Education of patients, families and nursing staff has been a constant thread throughout Kelli’s career, evidenced by her participation as a longtime member of the Rocky Mountain Childbirth Committee. Kelli is a strong proponent of a holistic approach to patient care. She considers the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects for each patient.
Linda Bond, ARDMS, ARRT, is the newest addition to our ultrasound staff at Montana Perinatal Center. Linda became interested in the field of sonography during her internship to become a radiologic technologist. After working for several years in different areas of radiology, she was accepted into the Portland Adventist School of Ultrasound. For 17 of the last 25 years, Linda has been scanning in an obstetrical/perinatal environment. In addition to being credentialed with the American Registry for Diagnostic Sonography, Linda is certified in first trimester screening and cervical length assessments. She enjoys guiding her patients through the ultrasound exam and collaborating with the perinatologist to give each patient the best possible experience. She enjoys being a part of the growing perinatology services here in the Flathead Valley and considers this a great opportunity to grow as a sonographer and serve the community. Lind a enjoys spending time outdoors hiking, biking, skiing and gardening.
Beth Darnell performs ultrasound exams for Montana Perinatal Center. She is passionate about guiding families through the process of seeing their unborn child, often for the very first time, offering emotional support as needed. Having extensive experience in ultrasound, Beth initially worked in a community hospital setting as a clinical instructor, later serving as the lead sonographer. Following the birth of her triplets, Beth developed a heightened interest in obstetrics with a desire to pursue training in specialized fetal studies. An opportunity to work with Northwest Perinatal Center in Portland, Oregon, allowed Beth to follow her dream and obtain credentialing in fetal echocardiography, first trimester screening and cervical length. She supervised a growing, multicenter ultrasound program, obtaining accreditation with the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine and organizing continuing education opportunities for clinicians and staff. Beth looks forward to using her skills to serve the Kalispell region and is very happy to be part of the Montana Perinatal Center team.
Ali Applegate is a Flathead High School graduate who has worked as the practice associate for Montana Perinatal Center since the summer of 2015. In her free time Ali enjoys being with her family and friends, crafting, and spending time on Flathead Lake in the summer.
Laura Poitra, a graduate of the University of Wisconsin La Crosse, is the practice manager for Montana Perinatal Center. Laura has been a Kalispell Regional Healthcare employee since the spring of 2008, assuming the role of manager for the clinic in February 2016. In her leisure Laura enjoys spending time with her family and friends hiking, kayaking, cooking, and exploring the many sights and sounds the world has to offer.