About Us

More than a Dozen Years of Healthcare Service in Bend

Our History

Fall Creek Internal Medicine, LLP is private practice that was established in Bend Oregon in February 2003. The founding Physicians, Brenda Johnson, Kathryn Kocurek, Patricia Nibler and Gerda Tapelband, all came together with a goal to offer personalized, compassionate care to the Central Oregon Community. In February 2016 Dr. Brenda Johnson left Fall Creek to pursue her passion for lifestyle medicine, please click on the link to find out more about her new practice at: http://brendajohnsonmd.com. Dr. Kristin VanDomelen joined Fall Creek in February of 2016 and assumed care of Dr. Johnson’s panel. We have been grateful to our Central Oregon community for supporting our wonderful practice! Dr. Gerda Tapelband retired from Fall Creek Internal Medicine at the end of 2016 after many years of dedicated practice in Central Oregon. She will be missed. Dr. Laura Nicholson joined Fall Creek in February 2017 and will assume care of Dr. Tapelband’s patients.

The Mission & Purpose of Fall Creek Internal Medicine

Fall Creek Internal Medicine, LLP provides comprehensive preventive care and management of complex health challenges for adult patients, with an emphasis on compassion, respect, and empowering the patient to be a partner in their health.  We emphasize healthy lifestyle, prevention, and use state of the art medical care with a strong foundation in evidence-based medicine.  We provide the cornerstone primary care relationship from which we coordinate a patient’s referrals and interactions with the health care community at large.

Meet Our Staff

Shelly Partridge
Clinic Administrator

Shelly is the Clinic Administrator for Fall Creek Internal Medicine, she has been with Fall Creek since 2012.  She has over 20 years’ experience in the medical field, she enjoys the challenges of primary care medicine and continues her education in leadership and medical administration. She moved to Central Oregon in 2000 from the Seattle area to raise her children in a smaller community. In her free time, she loves spending time with her wonderful husband, her two lovely teenage daughters, family and friends. She enjoys watching her daughters play sports, spending time at the beach, camping, boating, riding dirt bikes, snowboarding, hiking, mountain biking, and traveling the beautiful state of Oregon.

Billing Supervisor

Patti has been the billing supervisor at Fall Creek Internal Medicine since November 2015.  She has over 30 years’ experience in the medical field.  She enjoys the new experience of learning Internal Medicine and the challenge of the ever changing medical billing field.  She is a native Oregonian and has lived in Central Oregon for 35 years.  She enjoys going on long day hikes and the challenges of long multi-day backpacking on the Pacific Crest Trail and international traveling/hiking.  She also is an avid mountain biker, enjoys cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. 

Billing Specialist/Front Desk Receptionist

Tillie has been a part of the Fall Creek team since October 2013. She has an Associates Degree in Health Information Technology. She enjoys medical administration because it is ever changing, which allows her to learn and apply new skills. She was raised in Central Oregon and loves being a part of her community. When she is not at Fall Creek Internal Medicine, she is spending time with her family and friends taking advantage of everything Bend has to offer.

Front Desk Supervisor

Kervin Villalobos recently joined the Fall Creek Internal Medicine team.  He has been working in the medical field for over 3 years and enjoys helping others and taking on new challenges.  He has been living in Central Oregon since the age of 7 and enjoys the outdoors where he loves to spend time with his wife and son.  He enjoys mountain biking, snowboarding, hiking, traveling, and everything Oregon has to offer!  Kervin is also bilingual and brings his Spanish language skill set to Fall Creek.


Front Desk Receptionist

Gale joined the Fall Creek front desk team in December of 2016 and has served the Central Oregon Community for many years, working with patients and advocating for them in the health care system. She brings experience and dedication to her work, and in her free time she enjoys hiking, biking, motor sports, cooking, photography, and all that beautiful Central Oregon has to offer, and she is passionate about keeping in touch with her family.

MA for Dr. Nibler

Emily is a Certified Medical Assistant and has worked alongside Dr. Nibler since 2008. She has worked in the Bend medical community since 2001. She loves to connect with her patients and support them in all aspects of their care. She enjoys the challenging intricacies of internal medicine and continues her education in this area. She has lived in Bend since childhood. She is married and has a sweet but sassy son and a dog that is full of energy. Together with her family she enjoys biking, camping, hiking and traveling. She loves a great book that she can get lost in. As music and her faith are a big part of her life, she is also involved in the music ministry at her church.

Sarah MA for Dr. VanDomelen

Sarah has been working with the wonderful women at Fall Creek since 2015. Before she moved to Bend, she worked as an EMT in California and at Urgent Care in Grants Pass. Working in the primary care setting allows her to get to know her patients and be involved in many aspects of their care. For fun she enjoys spending time with her family and going for long walks and hikes with her dog, Bo.

Goody MA for Dr. Kocurek

Goody is a Certified Medical Assistant for Dr. Kocurek. She recently moved from the Portland area along with her significant other, Mother and Mother-in-Law. She loves connecting with patients, getting to know them, and supporting them in anyway she can. She recently bought a home on 5 acres and moved all her sheep with her. She has 3 border collies that she trials with at sheep herding. Goody has two adult kids and four grandchildren, she just took up kayaking and plans on making many kayaking trips. She loves reading, gardening, nature, and spending time with her family.


Care Coordinator and Medical Assistant

Crystal is our Care Coordinator and Medical Assistant here at Fall Creek Internal Medicine. She has worked in the medical field for many years with experience with Internal Medicine, Behavior Health, Orthopedics and Primary Care. She enjoys connecting with patients on a personal level and being an advocate for those in need. She is a native Oregonian but has only been here in Central Oregon for the past 3 years. when she’s not at work she loves spending time with her audacious, sassy 13-year-old daughter, loving boyfriend, friends and family. Whether it’s paddle boarding at the lake, floating the river, hiking or camping she truly enjoys simply being in the great outdoors and soaking up all the beauty the high desert has to offer.


Celia MA for Dr. Nicholson

Celia has been working at Fall Creek Internal Medicine since October of 2013. She completed her Medical Assistant Certification at COCC. She has always been interested in the medical field and started pursuing in high school. She has lived in Central Oregon since she was 3 years old. Outside of work she enjoys being at the lake and hanging out with her friends and her pet cat named Odin.