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HRRMC hires two general surgeons

Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center announced today it has hired two board-certified general surgeons, Karen Johnson, M.D., FACS, and Charles Bellows III, M.D., FACS. Both physicians will offer general and trauma surgery services at the hospital in Salida.stethoscope shaped into heart

Dr. Johnson has provided surgical services at HRRMC since January 2012 through Surgical Specialists of Colorado (SSOC). She will continue to see patients as an HRRMC-employed physician rather than through the SSOC practice. Her office remains in the same location in the hospital.

Prior to joining SSOC, Dr. Johnson worked for 17 years in private practice as a general surgeon. She was affiliated with Yale-New Haven Hospital, the Hospital of Saint Raphael and Temple Surgical Center.

Board-certified in general surgery, Dr. Johnson has a special interest in diseases of the breast. She earned her medical degree from Texas A&M University and completed her residency in general surgery at the Hospital of Saint Raphael. She also holds a master’s degree in nutrition.

Dr. Bellows recently relocated to our area from Cortez, Colorado, where he practiced at Southwest Memorial Hospital. Prior to his time in Cortez, Dr. Bellows served as chief of surgery and professor of surgery at the University of New Mexico Sandoval Regional Medical Center in Rio Rancho for two and a half years. From 2007-2013, he held a number of positions at Tulane University in New Orleans, including chief of general surgery and director of surgical research.

Dr. Bellows earned his medical degree from the Medical College of Pennsylvania, now part of Drexel University, in Philadelphia. He completed a surgical residency and research fellowship through the Department of Surgery at Tulane University. Dr. Bellows is board certified in general surgery and will see patients in the former SSOC office location in the hospital.

To learn more about Drs. Johnson or Bellows, visit To make an appointment with either provider at HRRMC General and Trauma Surgery, call (719) 530-2000.