Rural Physicians Group

Saving Hospitals. Saving Lives. Saving Communities.

Rural Physicians Group is an expansive physician network of rural-focused hospitalists, general surgeons and APPs that are passionate about helping rural hospitals meet the needs of the communities they serve. We offer a true, permanent solution to the crisis facing more than 1,600 rural hospitals across the United States, and we are actively growing our network of exceptional providers to help us achieve this mission.

By working with Rural Physicians Group, our hospital partners receive full-time, dedicated providers on site, filling a critical void in care coverage and allowing for better patient outcomes. Better outcomes lead to expanded inpatient services. Expanded inpatient services revitalize the hospital. And a revitalized hospital improves the entire community. This is the way rural medicine should be. An extraordinary solution to a very complex problem.

Our Vision

Our Vision

We help rural hospitals better fulfill their community charters by providing local access to high-acuity care.

“We Keep Local Patients Local®”

We aspire to provide:
* An exceptional patient experience
* Excellent partnerships with the best physicians
* Excellent medical outcomes

Our Mission

Bringing rural hospitals and providers together to enhance the care of their community.

Our Values

Inclusion, Collaboration, Accountability, Respect, Excellence



Dr. Sukhbir Pannu

Founder - Executive Chairman of the Board

Dr. Sukhbir Pannu is the Founder and Executive Chairman of the Board at Rural Physicians Group. With over 30 years of medical experience, Dr. Pannu enjoys combining his love for medicine with his passion for starting businesses. His current role allows him to serve rural communities and hospitals by affording him the opportunity to constantly seek improvements in both the quality and quantity of what RPG can provide. Dr. Pannu is motivated by RPG because he feels it accomplishes the synergistic mission of using best business practices as a foundation to support, enhance, and grow the healthcare industry. In his free time, Dr. Pannu enjoys spending time with his wife, kids, and dogs.


Mike Patterson, FACHE

Chief Executive Officer

Mike is the Chief Executive Officer at Rural Physicians Group. He has 3 decades of business experience including being a Staff Accountant in the health insurance industry, a Controller in the park and recreation industry, Chief Financial Officer of a small rural hospital and Chief Executive Officer in rural hospital settings. Most recently, Mike was a Market President in Northwest Arizona and had responsibility over two rural hospitals. He has had the opportunity to work at hospitals in Wyoming, Colorado, and Arizona.

Mike earned a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting at the University of Utah and a Master’s in Business Administration from Utah State University. He is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE).

Mike has been married for over 27 years and has 6 children. He likes to spend time with his family, doing anything outdoors, traveling, doing projects on his house, and going for drives in his car.

The mission of RPG is right in line with Mike’s passion. Bringing great healthcare to rural communities is what Mike has been focused on for almost 20 years. He understands the needs of rural communities and rural hospitals. He is excited to utilize his passion and skills as part of the leadership team at RPG who are working hard to realize the vision of helping rural hospitals better fulfill their community charters by providing access to high-acuity care, keeping local patients local!


Dr. Matt Pappy

Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Matt Pappy is the Chief Medical Officer of Rural Physicians Group. Over the past decade, he has worked in both large urban hospitals as well as rural Critical Access Hospitals across the country. With RPG, he has served as Chief Hospitalist, and later as Regional Medical Director, prior to working in his current dual-capacity role as both CMO and Hospitalist on the frontlines.

Rural hospitals are the lifeblood of their communities. Dr Pappy shares a passion for RPG’s mission to deliver high-acuity care to hospitalized patients in rural communities, keeping local patients local, which helps revitalize rural hospitals and their local economies downstream. He fully understands what’s at stake. Physician leaders are a crucial part of that transformation.

In his own words, “… As CMO, I am deeply committed to fostering a culture of excellence at RPG, to help each other grow, to challenge, inspire, and elevate those around us, to maximize our potential both individually, and collectively as an organization. It is through that incredible work and collaboration between our teams, physicians, and partner hospitals, that our rural communities receive our very best, every single day – that is the bedrock of RPG’s success. I’m honored to be a small part of it.”

“… At the heart of the rural hospital crisis, RPG has a tremendous platform from which physician leaders can be the catalyst for revitalization and healthier living across rural America. That RPG is committed to the cause with physicians leading the way, is a force multiplier.”

Dr. Pappy also works to ensure RPG is perpetually positioned to be the destination of choice for Hospitalists seeking the ultimate career opportunity. He states, “… On a personal level, from bedside to boardroom, I have had the privilege of living out the full arc of what RPG has to offer – physicians thriving at the crossroads of practicing medicine with full autonomy and group governance, through the lens of entrepreneurship, and enriched with opportunities for professional growth and leadership.  I want other physicians to be able to experience RPG the same way.”

In his free time, Dr. Pappy enjoys spending time with his wife, family, friends, and draws inspiration from his faith. He enjoys football, basketball, working out, mixed martial arts, and music production.


Dr. Sandra Guidry

Chief of Staff

Dr. Guidry is the Chief of Staff of Rural Physicians Group. With 23 years of internal medicine experience, she is passionate about bringing medical care to underserved populations and ensuring that they receive high-quality healthcare. Joining RPG after working in a private practice setting was a natural transition for Dr. Guidry; she went to medical school in order to help others and feels that RPG’s noble mission accomplishes what she has dedicated her life to do. When she’s not at work, Dr. Guidry enjoys outdoor sports such as biking, hiking, and snowboarding, spending time with her family, and martial arts.


Michele Howard, MBA, BSN/RN

Vice President – Hospital Solutions – Operations

Michele is the Vice President of Hospital Solutions and Operations at Rural Physicians Group. As a registered ED nurse for over 20 years, she developed critical-thinking skills and the ability to stay calm under pressure. As Michele’s career advanced, she moved into leadership roles that enhanced her knowledge of nursing as well as the business administrative side of healthcare, and she brings these valuable skills to her role at RPG. Michele is passionate about working for RPG because the company’s mission, vision and core values speak to her and she experiences them every day as part of RPG’s team. As a previous CNO in a critical access hospital, she also understands first-hand the structure of care that is necessary in rural medicine and the importance of having a 24/7 care model. When she’s not working, Michele enjoys spending time with family and friends and cheering on her four children at competitive cheerleading, football, basketball and baseball sporting events.


Cameron Byers, PA-C

Vice President of Clinical Services

Cameron is the Vice President of Clinical Services at Rural Physicians Group. With almost two decades of patient care experience, Cameron is focused on blending the world of business with the ever-changing world of medicine, and believes our responsibilities lie first and foremost in caring for people, but doing so with an eye toward resource management. Growing up and practicing in a rural setting has shaped Cameron’s passion for revitalizing inpatient and surgical services in rural communities across the U.S. Cameron believes that by expanding both access and services, and truly aligning with rural facilities in quality, community, and financial partnership, RPG makes that difference for thousands of patients across the U.S. every day. Cameron is driven by the opportunity to help reshape the standards of quality and accountability for critical access communities and enjoys working with hospitals to grow their services. In his free time, he enjoys motorcycle riding, traveling, photography, and mountaineering.


Jessica Steinat

Vice President – Physician Solutions – Operations

Jessica is the Vice President of Physician Solutions and Operations at RPG. With a background in physician practice management, billing and revenue cycle, and physician contracting, Jessica brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the RPG team. One reason she is passionate about the service RPG provides to rural communities is because she has a direct tie to one of our partner hospitals. She was born at Richland Hospital in Richland Center, Wisconsin and all of her extended family still lives in the area. Jessica values the RPG mission and being part of an organization that prides itself on serving those in need. In her free time, Jessica enjoys spending time with her husband, three children and two dogs. She likes to have dinner as a family, talk about their days and laugh together. She believes in family, laughing a lot, being loyal, trusting herself, exhausting her limits and protecting her health. She prides herself on team inclusion and treating others as you want to be treated.


Christopher Dick

Vice President – Finance

Chris is the Vice President of Finance at Rural Physicians Group. Chris enjoys working for a company that brings high-quality healthcare to communities that might otherwise not receive it, and feels it is rewarding to know his work is helping to support a mission that has an impact in others’ lives across the United States. Before joining the RPG team, Chris earned his bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Wichita State University and worked at Enterprise Holdings for nine years, five of which were spent in the accounting department. During his free time, Chris enjoys adventuring in the Rocky Mountains with his wife, hiking, camping, backpacking, slow-pitch softball, and Denver sports.


Christopher Anderson

Physician Recruiter

Christopher is a Physician Recruiter at Rural Physicians Group with 5 years of recruitment and candidate sourcing experience. He enjoys the challenge of finding candidates uniquely suited to the mission of RPG and making a direct, positive impact in small communities that are often woefully underserved when it comes to local medical care options. Christopher currently resides in Nashville and loves to travel, spend time with family and friends, take in a good concert when not getting in a workout, or check out the newest restaurant opening in town.


Taelore Fehr

Physician Recruiter

Taelore is a Physician Recruiter at Rural Physicians Group. Taelore initially set out to be a teacher after graduating from CSU Fort Collins but quickly moved into the Corporate World via Human Resources and eventually Recruiting. She hails from the agency world where she has learned to work with diligence and urgency as well as an appreciation for the art of the match!

Taelore is also a Gymnastics Coach for a High School Team, August – November. She and her newlywed husband are building a home which will be ready for them this coming May or June, in Littleton, CO. Taelore loves spending time with her family, especially her new niece, Karson.


Kate Good

Physician Recruiter

Kate brings with her five years of Recruitment experience- She started Recruiting LPNs/RNs in homecare for 3 years before moving into a HR and Recruitment role where she partnered with 27 offices to hire entry level to director positions. She enjoys the challenge of finding the right candidate for each position that works well with the team already in place.

Living in Georgia, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two kids- daughter that is 8 months old and son that is 19 month old, that’s right Irish twins. If she isn’t chasing the babies around you will most likely find her on a boat, at the beach, or at a winery with friends!


Kevin Nicholls


Kevin is a Pennsylvania native with a wide-range of physician recruiting experience, having spent 20 years working with providers ranging in specialties from Internal Medicine to Radiology.

Kevin is a long-time resident of Florida and a self-proclaimed VERY high handicap golfer. Kevin states that when he is not frightening trees and other golfers, he enjoys time with his wife and kids and three dogs.


Kerianne Wright

Director of Physician Recruiting

Kerianne is a Senior Physician Recruiter at Rural Physicians Group. She has six years of direct physician recruitment experience and has enjoyed utilizing her master’s studies in management practice to connect the dots between adequate staffing structure and performance management. Furthermore, the mission of Rural Physicians Group is a reality for Kerianne – she currently resides in a small Kentucky town of only 800 people, and understands firsthand the struggles of finding adequate healthcare in such a rural community. When she’s not working, Kerianne enjoys hiking with her pet boxers, riding her horses, gardening, and fixing up her and her husband’s small farm.


Dr. Jay Afzal

Regional Medical Director

Dr. Jay Afzal currently serves as the Regional Medical Director for the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Kansas, and Wyoming at Rural Physicians Group. Having grown up in Northern Virginia, he embarked on a journey to pursue medical education. Channeling his initial passion for 2D art, he ultimately developed an affinity towards the art and science of medicine. Throughout his academic and professional pursuits, he has served as a Hospitalist in both urban and rural communities. Dr. Afzal derives great satisfaction from collaborative growth and prioritizes the positive impact that can be made on rural communities. He looks forward to supporting RPG in enhancing physician leadership and individual contributions to their hospital.

When he is not practicing medicine, Dr. Afzal enjoys exploring topics such as history, religion, and influential people. He also remains physically active through performance training, as well as playing futbol and basketball. His interest in traveling serves as an opportunity for him to gain perspective and escape from complacency.


Dr. Caitlin Brandsdorfer

Regional Medical Director

Dr. Caitlin Brandsdorfer received her D.O. Degree from Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine in New York, New York. She then completed her residency in internal medicine at the University of Connecticut. As a resident of the east coast, Dr. Brandsdorfer is a Regional Medical Director for Rural Physicians Group (RPG) for most partner hospitals located in the eastern time zone. She feels RPG has provided the opportunity to use her training and knowledge broadly not only by providing care to an underserved population, but also by working with hospital staff and administrators to implement changes that improve patient care and safety overall in rural communities.

In her free time Dr. Brandsdorfer enjoys spending time with her family, oil painting, restoring antique furniture, and skiing.


Anna Craig

Regional Program Director

Anna Craig is a Regional Program Director for Rural Physicians Group. She holds a Masters degree in Teaching & Applied Behavior Analysis and an additional graduate certificate in Organizational Behavior Management. Anna is also a Board Certified Behavior Analyst with more than a decade of experience working in behavior analysis in an applied setting, as both a clinician and a Clinical Director, serving predominantly rural communities.

After years of living all over the country during her husband’s military career, Anna is proud to call Kansas City, MO, home once again (Go Chiefs!). Outside of work, she enjoys gardening, decorating, and spending time with her husband, three children (3 under 3), family, and two dogs.

Anna is passionate about Rural Physicians Group’s mission. She was born in a Critical Access Hospital and grew up in a rural area in South Arkansas where access to medical care continues to be a challenge for her family members. Being part of an organization that helps connect patients with quality medical care in their home communities, near their support systems, is both an honor and blessing.


Dr. Jacob Kalliath

Regional Medical Director

Dr. Kalliath is a Regional Medical Director for Rural Physicians Group. Since becoming a physician he has worked as a hospitalist in both large academic hospitals as well as a hospitalist in several critical access hospitals throughout the country. He is also currently the chief hospitalist at Richland Hospital in Richland Center, Wisconsin. Dr. Kalliath has found that providing excellent care to rural communities is his true calling in medicine.

“Giving patients the opportunity to receive their care locally so that they can be close to their family and friends during the most vulnerable time of their lives has given me true purpose.”

Dr. Kalliath grew up in rural Alabama. His experience there fostered his love for small rural communities in which appreciates the deep bond that is shared amongst the population of the community. His interests outside of medicine include going to see live music, skiing, camping, playing tennis, playing piano, and spending evenings watching Netflix with his wife.


Abby Krone

Regional Program Director

Abby is a Regional Program Director at Rural Physicians Group. Abby has her Masters in Healthcare Administration with an undergrad in Psychology. Abby is also a certified life and health coach with four years of coaching experience in healthcare settings. Abby has experience working in project management, organizational change management, population health and chronic disease management. Abby has spent several years working in the mental health field and healthcare settings providing services for pediatric and adults patients. Abby has a passion for working with providers, care teams and patients to promote efficient coordination and continuity of care for quality healthcare. In Abby’s free time, she enjoys hiking, paddleboarding and spending time at the dog park with her two dogs.


Dr. Faraaz Osmani

Regional Medical Director

Dr. Faraaz Osmani is a Regional Medical Director (CA) at Rural Physicians Group. Dr. Osmani grew up in Chicago and went on to complete his residency at Mercy Hospital in Detroit followed by a fellowship in nephrology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Hollywood. Dr. Osmani is passionate about working for RPG because he enjoys the autonomy he has over patient care as well as cherishes the opportunity to provide medical care to an underserved community. In his free time, Dr. Osmani likes to travel, read, work out, and play soccer and volleyball.


Zachary Sien

Regional Program Director

Zachary is a Regional Program Director at Rural Physicians Group. He holds a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Healthcare Management and is a Registered Radiologic Technologist. Zachary holds a certification as a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and has worked with hospital leaders implementing quality improvement projects throughout their organizations. As a Radiologic Technologist for over 10 years, he has worked with multiple departments, a variety of providers, and a multitude of hospital leaders. Zachary is excited to use his experience to improve healthcare in rural communities by helping our partner hospitals work toward operational excellence in quality and patient safety initiatives. When he’s not working, Zachary enjoys spending time with his wife and dogs, traveling, riding motorcycles, playing golf, and going to Kansas City Chiefs football games.


Dr. Frederick Workman

Regional Medical Director

Dr. Workman completed his internal medicine residency at The Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Cleveland Ohio. Following residency, he completed a sports medicine fellowship in Toledo Ohio. He practiced traditional internal and sports medicine and for eight years in Toledo prior to becoming a full-time Hospitalist in 2008 in Colorado. Growing up in a small town in Indiana, he wanted to provide service in a rural setting and simultaneously make an impact in mentoring and leadership roles.  He joined RPG in 2017.He continues to practice sports medicine as a Team USA volunteer physician and travels internationally with the US Figure Skating Team.

He is married with three grown kids, two are serving on active duty in the US Army and one is at Chick-fil-A headquarters in Atlanta. When not working, nor visiting his kids,  Dr. Workman, enjoys golfing with his wife, weight training, hunting and fishing.


Corine Borbon

Licensing & Credentialing Coordinator

Corine is the Licensing & Credentialing Coordinator at Rural Physicians Group. As an experienced licensing specialist, Corine helps provide licensing services for RPG physicians across the United States and is an invaluable asset to the RPG team. Corine is passionate about working at RPG because she loves the teammates and physicians that she works with. When she’s not working, Corine enjoys hiking, softball, and family time.


Chelsea Brooks

Credentialing Specialist

Chelsea is a Credentialing Specialist at Rural Physicians Group.  Newer to the credentialing field, but a real asset to RPG, Chelsea is enjoying learning and collaborating with her team to achieve goals and take on new challenges, which she is accomplishing daily.  As a Colorado Native, Chelsea enjoys family time while exploring the outdoors, paddleboarding, movies, and music.


Bree Duncan

Credentialing Specialist

Bree is a Credentialing Specialist at Rural Physicians Group. As part of the credentialing team at RPG, Bree prides herself on the accuracy and detail of the research that the team does. Bree loves working with the strong, passionate, and charismatic people on her team at RPG and feels it is a blessing to be able to work with people who have similar goals. Originally from Hawaii, Bree enjoys anything outdoors including water sports like paddleboarding, kayaking, swimming, adventuring with her family, and finding new places to explore.


Tammy Gunnink

Administrative Assistant

Tammy is the Administrative Assistant for Rural Physicians Group. Tammy enjoys working for a company that promotes healthcare for the rural communities, who otherwise wouldn’t have it. Before joining RPG, Tammy worked for 9 ½ years in the clinic setting for health imaging, providing customer service and compassion for the patients and support for their families while they were having their imaging done. Tammy brings a wealth of knowledge in healthcare with 25 years of experience in care, compassion, and administrative needs, along with the support of the teams she has worked for. Tammy enjoys spending time with her husband, 2 grown children, 1 of whom is her oldest daughter and is a special needs adult and their Brittany spaniel. She loves being together with her family, anytime, in any setting. In her spare time her biggest passion is for the less fortunate, she has volunteered for many programs, such as food banks, assisted living communities, operation Christmas child & the homeless at The Denver Rescue Mission.


Karlita Hall

Provider Operations Manager

Karlita is a Provider Operations Manager at Rural Physicians Group. As a former veteran, 13 year military spouse, and former service industry leader, Karlita has learned the importance of teamwork, good communication, and maintaining a strong workflow. She is always interested in working on ways to improve processes and increase efficiency. Coming from a small town in southern Alabama where the population relied heavily on one hospital to provide all healthcare needs, Karlita experienced the disadvantages of an overworked healthcare system firsthand. With this experience she is able to bring a unique insight to her role at RPG and enjoys working with her team to make sure the hospitals and physicians that we work with are thriving. In her free time, she enjoys fishing, hiking, spending time with her family and watching college football.


Martha Kintzler

Director of Credentialing

Martha is the Director of Credentialing at Rural Physicians Group. With over 30 years of experience in medical staffing services, credentialing, and management, Martha’s expertise is invaluable to the RPG team. Martha enjoys building collaborative relationships with RPG staff, physicians, and hospital partners, and is especially passionate about process improvement. In her free time, Martha enjoys taking adventures with her husband, riding their Harleys together, and cuddling with their fur babies.


Vanessa Madrid

Medical Billing Specialist

Vanessa is a highly accomplished health care professional with over 14 years of experience in Medical billing, Accounts Receivable and Coding. She holds a certified professional coding certificate with AAPC. Vanessa worked previously with large medical companies in the Denver Metro area. Vanessa is very family oriented and enjoys spending her free time with family and friends. She enjoys the outdoors and loves to read and learn new experiences.


Dani New

HR Coordinator & Admin Support

Dani is the HR Coordinator and Admin Support at Rural Physicians Group. Dani is excited to work at RPG because she loves that the company brings high-quality healthcare to communities that otherwise might not receive it. It is rewarding to know her work is helping to support a mission that has an impact in others’ lives across the United States. Dani has her Bachelors in Business Management. When she isn’t working, Dani enjoys spending time with her husband and three cats, volunteering at local animal rescues, and going on long road trips around Colorado.


Cody Patten

Director of Business Development

Cody is the Vice President of Business Development at Rural Physicians Group. He has over 7 years of sales experience, primarily focused in the healthcare industry. Cody’s career began in physician recruitment so he has a true understanding of the daily challenges of staffing a rural hospital. His passion for providing rural communities with access to great healthcare is what drives him to connect Rural Physicians Group with more facilities across the country. In his free time, Cody enjoys golfing, hiking with his golden retriever, and spending time with family.


Evan Weber

Senior Accountant

Evan is a Senior Accountant at Rural Physicians Group. After originally studying Economics at Bradley University, he switched to an Accounting major because the concepts of accounting come naturally to him and he enjoys the structure and foundation of the field. Evan is excited to work at RPG because after growing up in a rural town, he understands firsthand what it is like to have healthcare that is lacking in capabilities and resources. By joining RPG, Evan believes he can help similar communities get the resources that his small town did not have. In his free time, Evan enjoys playing video games to unwind and stay in touch with friends, watching and playing sports, and cheering on the Chicago Bears!

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Fields of Care Magazine (Spring 2024)

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