The Pathology Group is closely monitoring the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic and we are regularly updating our staff on the situation and taking the necessary precautions for our employees, partners and customers in order to remain safe.
Common Questions about the Mesa County Coroner
PATHOLOGISTS & LABORATORY PROFESSIONALS
Dean Havlik, MD
Dr. Havlik is board certified in anatomic pathology, clinical pathology and forensic pathology. He is the laboratory director at Community Hospital in Grand Junction, CO where he has been practicing pathology since 2001. Dr. Havlik went to undergraduate school at Arizona State University, medical school at Medical College of Pennsylvania and completed his pathology training at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center. He completed a 1 year neuropathology fellowship after his general pathology training and then completed a forensic pathology fellowship at the Office of the Medical Investigator in Albuquerque, NM. Dr. Havlik’s special interests relate to both hospital and forensic pathology.
Katherine Phillips, MD
Dr. Phillips is board certified in anatomic pathology, clinical pathology and cytopathology. She came to our group in 2016, brings her expertise in cytopathology and is the laboratory director at the Grand Junction Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Dr. Phillips went to undergraduate school at Florida State University, medical school at University of Florida College of Medicine and completed both her general pathology training and cytopathology fellowship at the University of Florida College of Medicine. Dr. Phillip’s special interests are surgical pathology and cytopathology.
John Hegstrom, MD
Dr. Hegstrom brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our practice. He has been with our group since 2015. He previously had practiced pathology for many years in Colorado Springs. Dr. Hegstrom is board certified in anatomic pathology and clinical pathology and currently works with our group on a part-time basis. He has special interests in breast pathology and renal pathology.
Kathy Stern, Joni Myers and Raelynn Tempel: Our three account professionals have all been with our group for a number of years. Joni has been a trusted employee since 2008 and has specialties in coding, billing and accounts receivable. Kathy came to us in 2009 and specializes in insurance billing and accounts receivable. Coding and billing are Raelynn’s specialties and we were honored to have her join us in 2015. Our account professionals are responsive and available to help with any questions that may arise.
Tara Jochim, HTL; Ginger Sprague, HT; Amber Pruitt, HTL; Kate Bowman
Our histology staff are top-notch. The histologists are the professionals who are responsible for processing the tissue specimens and ensuring quality slide preparations are generated for the pathologists to review. Good histology is of the upmost importance and having an outstanding histology staff can’t be overemphasized.
Several laboratory professionals at Community Hospital provide services to The Pathology Group in all the fields of laboratory medicine including microbiology, general chemistry, specialty chemistry, molecular, serology and transfusion medicine. The team at Community Hospital provides a valuable service to The Pathology Group.
Forensic pathology services are provided by key members of our team. Dean Havlik, MD is a board certified forensic pathologist who completed his forensics training at one of the most prestigious training programs in the nation (Office of the Medical Investigator in Albuquerque, NM). Dr. Havlik is well trained and experienced in all aspects of forensic pathology. Three autopsy pathology assistants are invaluable to the practice and they are Chuck Nelson, Ginger Sprague and Amber Pruitt. These assistants are responsible for making the autopsy process run smoothly and efficiently.
Chuck has been with our office for several years. He has a background and emergency medical services and has been certified as an investigator with the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators. He has the knowledge and skills to perform expert death scene investigations and has been involved with hundreds of these types of investigations. He is also a seasoned autopsy assistant and has experience in all the usual autopsy assistant procedures. Chuck’s communications skills with the families and loved ones of the decedent’s we interact with are one of his many strong points. Chuck is very professional, kind, compassionate, works hard and is a very valuable staff member.
Amber Pruitt, HTL
Amber is both a valued member in our histotechnology department and as an autopsy assistant. She came to us from Utah a few years ago and she provides her skills in all aspects of histology including gross examination of biopsy specimens, embedding of tissue specimens, sectioning and staining. One of Amber’s specialties’ is safety procedures, and she is our lead safety officer for our entire laboratory. Amber assists with autopsies and interacting with families, coroner’s offices, funeral homes and other agencies involved with death investigations.
Tara Jochim, HTL
Histotechnology is Tara’s specialty. She has been working with our group for over 15 years and has been our lead histotechnologist for over 13 years. Our histotechnology department operates at a high level and our laboratory is certified through the College of American Pathologists (CAP) which is the premier accrediting organization for pathology laboratories. Tara ensures our lab follows all the necessary standards and procedures in regard to quality and safety. In addition, Tara’s specialty is immunohistochemistry which involves a staining procedure involving targeting proteins expressed on tumor cells and normal cells and having them highlighted on glass slides. Tara brings skills to our organization that are very important and they cannot be overemphasized. Pathologists rely heavily on professionals such as Tara.
Kate Bowman, BS
The newest member of our pathology team is Kate. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry and this is her first professional job out of graduation. Kate is currently learning the skills to become a proficient Histotechnologist. There is a lot of training involved with this profession and Kate is learning quickly. We are happy to have Kate as a member of our team and she is a valuable addition.
Ginger Sprague, HT
Ginger started with our organization many years ago as a laboratory assistant primarily performing phlebotomy. She has worked herself up the ladder and now is one of our outstanding histotechnologists. Ginger has the skills of a seasoned histotechnologist and can perform essentially any task in our pathology laboratory. She excels at tissue processing and immunohistochemistry. Ginger is also one of our lead autopsy assistants. She has the ability to perform all the usual autopsy assistant procedures. Ginger is also always willing to further her education and skills and is currently studying medicolegal death investigation procedures.
The Pathology Group provides general pathology services which includes both anatomic pathology and clinical pathology. The practice is based at Community Hospital in Grand Junction, CO and can provide services to any patient but is the primary provider of laboratory and pathology services to both Community Hospital and the Grand Junction Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VA Hospital). Pathology is the study of disease in tissues and fluids and how it affects the human body. Anatomic pathology includes services such as biopsy interpretation, tumor resection interpretation, cytology (e.g. pap smears and fine needle aspirations) and autopsy pathology. The pathologist is the medical doctor who is responsible for determining if a tissue sample/biopsy represents cancer or Is something less worrisome such as a benign process. Surgeons, other specialists and general practitioners rely on their pathologist to give them accurate and timely diagnoses. Clinical pathology is laboratory medicine and includes the directorship of laboratories, interpretation of laboratory results and ensuring laboratory tests are of high quality and are accurate. The pathologist is the key doctor who oversees the laboratory and is responsible the laboratory complies with all local, national and professional organizational standards.
The Pathology Group provides forensic services in the areas of autopsy pathology, injury interpretation in both deceased and living individuals and consulting services for families, law enforcement agencies and attorneys. Our facility is based at Community Hospital and we have forensic accreditation through the National Association of Medical Examiners (NAME). NAME is the professional accrediting agency for forensic pathology offices and The Pathology Group is one of only approximately 90 offices in the US that have achieved accreditation. Being accredited is important and ensures that the office is following all the recommended protocols and standards. Our board certified forensic pathologist (Dean Havlik, MD) is proud of the quality work that has come from his office. There are only approximately 500 practicing board certified forensic pathologists in the US and The Pathology Group is pleased to offer forensic pathology services for any of those in need. Our group serves several agencies most notably those in Western Colorado counties but also offer services to any other communities in Colorado, Utah or really anyone that is interested in asking for forensic services from our group.
The pathologists of The Pathology Group are all board certified through the American Board of Pathology, which is the nationally recognized board certifying agency for pathologists. Our laboratory at Community Hospital is accredited by the most prestigious and rigorous laboratory medicine and pathology organization which is the College of American Pathologists (CAP) . The CAP ensures that laboratories are adhering to all the regulations and standards that are necessary to report accurate laboratory and pathology results. The Pathology Group is also accredited for their forensic services through the National Association of Medical Examiners (NAME). NAME is the professional accrediting agency for forensic pathology and they are the group that develops the forensic standards.
The pathologists of The Pathology Group are members of several pathology and laboratory medicine professional organizations including the College of American Pathologists and the American Society of Clinical Pathology, United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology, Colorado Society of Clinical Pathologists, National Association of Medical Examiners and American Academy of Forensic Sciences.
MONDAY 7:00 am – 4:00 pm MST
TUESDAY 7:00 am – 4:00 pm MST
WEDNESDAY 7:00 am – 4:00 pm MST
THURSDAY 7:00 am – 4:00 pm MST
FRIDAY 7:00 am – 4:00 pm MST
We have personnel on-call who are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
LOCATION & DIRECTIONS
2351 G Road
Grand Junction, CO 81505
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The HIPAA Privacy Rule provides federal protections for personal health information and gives patients rights with respect to that information. At the same time, the Privacy Rule is balanced so that it permits the disclosure of personal health information needed for patient care and other important purposes.