Experienced surgeon joins St. Gabriel’s

Jonathan Zellmer
Jonathan Zellmer

People throughout Central Minnesota have expanded access to general surgery services, thanks to the addition of a board-certified and experienced surgeon to the medical staff of St. Gabriel’s Hospital and Family Medical Center in Little Falls.
Jonathan Zellmer, MD, who is certified by the American Board of Surgery (ABS) and is in the process of completing his Fellow in the American College of Surgeons (FACS) certification, grew up in Faribault. He attended St. Cloud State University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 2003. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota School of Medicine and completed his residency in general surgery at Gundersen Lutheran Medical Foundation in LaCrosse, Wis.
“I was a Rural Physician Associate Program (RPAP) student while in medical school,” Zellmer said. “I got to know the general surgeons in Crosby and Aitkin and developed an interest in pursuing general surgery as my specialty. I’ve always been a person who gets satisfaction from solving problems. General surgery as a medical specialty fits well with that personality characteristic. You diagnose a patient’s problem and then you perform surgery to fix the issue.”
The general surgery residency program in LaCrosse offers excellent training, Zellmer said.
“The program is well known for training general surgeons who are adept at performing a wide range of procedures and who fit well in rural communities,” he says. “It also has a great reputation for training surgeons in laparascopic procedures.”
Zellmer, who joins the medical staff Sept. 26, will be performing a wide range of surgical procedures at St. Gabriel’s Hospital and seeing patients at Family Medical Center. The list of procedures includes some of the more common surgeries like gall bladder removal, hernia repair, appendectomies and colonoscopies, as well as advanced laparascopic procedures such as reflux surgery, foregut surgery, surgery for colon cancer and complex hernia repairs.
Family ties brought Zellmer to Little Falls from Fairview Northland in Princeton. Morgan, his wife, is the daughter of LuAnn Hintze, a physician assistant at Little Falls Orthopedics. He and Morgan have three children — Claire, 6; Lainey, 3; and Sam, 17 months.
When he’s not performing surgery or spending time with his family, Zellmer enjoys spending time outdoors.
“I enjoy fishing, pretty much any activity outdoors,” he said. “I like hunting, especially deer hunting, although I haven’t had much opportunity to hunt in recent years.”
Zellmer is teaming up with fellow general surgeon Saung Park, MD, to grow the general surgery program at CHI St. Gabriel’s Health. The goal is to expand surgical services to neighboring facilities to make general surgery services more readily available to people in central Minnesota.
People interested in making an appointment with Zellmer can talk to their family physician or call the Family Medical Center’s appointment line, (320) 631-7000.