Primary Care Physicans
Emily Edwards, DO
Dr. Edwards, a graduate of Bridgewater College, was a member of the inaugural class of the Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine in Blacksburg and completed her residency at Carillion Clinic in Roanoke. As a Doctor of Osteopathy, Dr. Edwards utilizes many of the same diagnostic methods as an MD, but also focuses on the musculoskeletal system—the bones, muscles, ligaments and tendons. She uses many of the same types of treatments as our other physicians to manage disease or symptoms, but also uses a form of therapy called osteopathic manipulative treatment for a range of conditions. In addition to her skills, her volunteerism and mission-minded approach to life attracted us to Dr. Edwards. She and her family reside in Nelson County.
Gerald W. DeWitt, MD, FAAP
Dr. DeWitt has the distinction of being the first pediatrician at Blue Ridge Medical Center and to Nelson County. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia and medical degree from the UVA School of Medicine. He was an intern and a resident at the University of Virginia Medical Center. Dr. DeWitt practiced for many years at Pediatric Associates of Williamsburg before moving to Nelson County. He has had numerous academic appointments and has been appointed to many prestigious local, regional and state-wide committees. Dr. DeWitt brings to Nelson County a strong commitment to treating children with ADHD and to preventing childhood obesity.
Michael Hurst, MD • Chief Medical Officer
Dr. Hurst is a 1991 graduate of the Eastern Virginia Medical School. He completed his residency in 1994 at the Children’s Hospital of the Kings Daughters in Norfolk where he also did a fellowship in Pediatric Emergency Medicine from 1994-1995. Dr. Hurst was a pediatrician at the OBICI Health System in Smithfield for 8 years then served as their medical director for an additional 4 years. For the past 9 years he has been a pediatrician with a community health center in central Virginia. He is a member and Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatrics.
Primary Care Nurse Practitioners
Lois Alderfer, FNP
Lois Alderfer received her bachelor's degree in nursing from Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg in 1986. She received a Master of Science in nursing from the University of Virginia in 1990 and her Family Nurse Practitioner, also from UVA, in 1991. Her initial Family Nurse Practitioner credentialing from the American Nurses Credentialing Center was done in 1992. Ms. Alderfer worked for two years at King's Daughter's Hospital in Staunton, Virginia from 1987 through 1990. She started at Blue Ridge Medical Center in 1991, and has since been a vital part of the medical care provider team. Although she can treat everyone, Ms. Alderfer sees the majority of our pre-natal and OB-GYN patients. A Nelson County resident, she is active in her community and cares deeply for her patients.
Steve Alderfer, FNP
Steve Alderfer joined the medical team at Blue Ridge Medical Center in 2001. He brought with him a wealth of experience gained at Carillion Family Medicine-Associated Physicians (1997-2001) in Waynesboro and Augusta Medical Center's Emergency Department (1989-1999). Mr. Alderfer was also an instructor in nursing at Eastern Mennonite University for four years. He earned his Bachelor’s of Science in nursing from Eastern Mennonite in 1986 and his Master’s of Science in nursing from the University of Virginia in 1990, and worked as a nurse at various facilities from 1987 until he received his Nurse Practitioner certification from UVA in 1987. Mr. Alderfer provides chronic care to many of our patients. He is very involved with our Relay for Life team and is a member of many community groups.
Heidi Kelly, FNP
Heidi Kelly graduated from UVA with a double major in history and Spanish. She went on to earn a Masters in Public Health from Thomas Jefferson Univ. in Pennsylvania, and a Bachelors and Masters in Nursing from Columbia University in New York. Ms. Kelly has experience working in community health, with migrant and inner city populations, and in corporate health and wellness. She is fluent in Spanish and works for Blue Ridge Medical Center and for our Rural Health Outreach Program.
Benjamin Nissley, FNP
Petheree Nissley, FNP
Heather Keyes, LCSW
Heather is a seasoned LCSW. She has extensive experience in serving adults in a variety of settings including crisis stabilization, detox, outpatient counseling, brief short-term therapy, groups and assessments. “Heather is an intelligent, competent, and skilled clinician who believes in peoples’ ability to change, grow and succeed.” She is an alum of Longwood University where she earned her BSW and of Radford University where she earned her MSW.
Ralph L. Chester, MD
Dr. Chester graduated Summa cum Laude in Medical Science with a Minor in Sociology from Boston University, and received his MD in 1981. He took post graduate training through Tulane University in New Orleans and did a residency in General Psychiatry and interned in Internal Medicine, Neurology and Psychiatry at Charity and Tulane Medical Center. He pursued further Fellowship Training through Tulane in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and in Medical Psychoanalysis. Dr. Chester has consulted across multiple school, hospital, and clinic systems, and has taught Family Practice Doctors and other mental health providers. He has practiced general and child psychiatry in private practice since 1986 and has been Chief Child Psychiatrist for Horizon Behavioral Health since 2005. Dr. Chester primarily sees children and teens at Blue Ridge Medical Center. He has special interest in working with adults, teens and children needing complex diagnostic understanding and treatments involving psychotherapies and medications, applications of Medical Hypnosis, and children impacted by trauma, including trauma caused by burn injuries.
Kenneth E. Fore II, MD
An Alaska native, Dr. Fore received his BS degree from the University of Maine at Orno and his Doctorate of Medicine from the University of St. Eustatius School of Medicine, Netherlands, Antilles. After residency, Dr. Fore moved to Lynchburg where he worked with piedmont Psychiatric Center. In 2014 he started Central Virginia Psychiatry where he provides general Psychiatry, caring for adolescents through geriatric patients. He joined the staff at Blue Ridge Medical Center in march 2016. He lives in Lynchburg with his wife and son.
Janet Ngai, PT
Physical Therapy services at BRMC are provided by Janet Ngai, PT. She graduated with her Bachelor’s of Science in Physical Therapy from the University of Pennsylvania. She works with adults and children, provides one-on-one sessions through scheduled appointments at BRMC or through home visits, and accepts all insurances. Patients who qualify for the Sliding Scale Discount Program at Blue Ridge may also receive therapy services. She has been trained in strain/counterstrain, as well as manual therapy techniques to help her patients return to their maximum function with less pain. Appointments are made directly with Ms. Ngai, but contact BRMC to find out more.
Aba Mills-Robertson, DDS
Dr. Mills is a 2005 graduate of Lynchburg College where she earned her BS in Psychology with a minor in Biology. She earned her Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of Iowa College of Dentistry in 2011. Prior to joining the Blue Ridge Dental Center team, Dr. Mills practiced at clinics in Victoria and in Dinwiddie. She provided comprehensive dental care to patients of all ages while managing the staff and the day-to-day operations of the two clinics. Dr. Mills thrives on learning and implementing new, cutting-edge dental technologies and techniques.
Christie Hope, RDH
Christie studied Biology at George Mason University before relocating to Florida where she later started her dental career as a Certified Dental Assistant specializing in Pediatric dental care. She then returned to school and received her degree in Dental Hygiene from Valencia College in Orlando, Florida. Christie completed her internship and clinical requirements at neighboring community health centers, and practiced Dental Hygiene for five years with a strong focus in periodontal therapy and treatment. She has volunteered her time at such events as, Give Kids A Smile , as well as traveled to Nicaragua to provide oral health education and preventative care to school aged children. Christie recently returned to Virginia and now holds dual licensure, here and in the State of Florida, and is bilingual in English and Spanish. She joined BRMC in November 2013 as the first Dental Hygienist in the growing dental center.