Dr John Nelson.jpg
Karen Ayers.jpg
Jennifer Heidmann_2019.jpg

 John Nelson, MD

Medical Director


Dr. Nelson graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Loyola University in New Orleans and attended medical school at the University of California, San Francisco. He did his residency in Family Practice at the

University of Connecticut.


Dr. Nelson has been the Medical Director at Hospice of Humboldt since 2003. Previously he worked for the United Indian Health Services, in the Mad River Emergency Room, and as the Medical Director of the Six Rivers Medical Clinic in Willow Creek. Dr. Nelson was a Commander in the US Navy Medical Corps and

lives in McKinleyville.


Dr. Nelson oversees all of the medical services provided by Hospice of Humboldt to our patients. He also provides professional training for our clinicians and consults on pain management issues.


As of May 2019, Hospice of Humboldt has a contract with St. Joseph Hospital to provide hospital-based palliative care services through Dr. Nelson as the Medical Director of the St. Joseph Hospital inpatient

palliative care program.

Karen Ayers, RN, MS, ACNP

Nurse Practitioner

Ms. Ayers graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Humboldt State University where she also completed her pre-med requirements. She received her Masters of Science at the University of California, San Francisco where she completed the Acute Care Nurse Practitioner program in 2003.


Ms. Ayers has worked for Hospice of Humboldt since 2011 and continues to work at St. Joseph Hospital. She loves running and gardening in the Humboldt area.

Jennifer Heidmann, MD



Dr. Heidmann received her music degree and later her medical degree from the University of Wisconsin. She completed her internship and residency in Internal Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.


Dr. Heidmann has been interested in end of life care since medical school and was mentored by some of the nation’s leaders in palliative care during residency. Since coming to Humboldt in 2002, she has worked in clinical and hospital settings in internal medicine.


Dr. Heidmann joined Hospice of Humboldt in April 2014. She lives in Arcata with her husband, three teenagers, dogs and chickens.

Our Medical Providers

JoniMcAtee_2021 crop_edited.jpg

Joni McAtee, MD


Dr. McAtee attended Humboldt State University and received a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, then Medical School at the University of California, Davis. She moved to Duluth Minnesota for residency and trained as a full spectrum Family Medicine physician with emphasis on study in critical care, toxicology, geriatrics, and end of life care.


Dr. McAtee has been a physician with Hospice of Humboldt since 2018. She previously worked at Open Door in Fortuna in Family medicine and obstetrics before starting her own private practice. She continues to work as a hospitalist at Redwood Memorial Hospital and on the Palliative Care Service at St. Joseph hospital.


Dr. McAtee lives in Eureka. When she is not working she may be found kayaking, hiking, or biking in our beautiful area.

Katie Schoenfield-1_2019.jpg

Katherine Schoenfield, PhD,


Nurse Practitioner


Ms. Schoenfield received a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from Humboldt State University in 2007 and in 2009 a Master of Nursing degree from Sonoma State University. In 2014, she received her Doctorate of Philosophy in Nursing from Washington State University.


Ms. Schoenfield has a longtime commitment to the health and wellness of her community. Before joining the Hospice of Humboldt medical provider team in 2018, her extensive local professional history includes providing care as a nurse practitioner at Eureka Family Practice and the College of the Redwoods Health Center and as nursing faculty at both College of the Redwoods and Humboldt State University.


She enjoys gardening and spending time with her two children.