Our Staff

Physicians

Richard L.  Kern, Jr., MD

Dr. Kern currently serves as the Department Chair of Neurological Surgery at United Regional Health Care System in Wichita Falls, Texas.

Dr. Kern received his Doctorate of Medicine from East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. He completed both his General Surgery Internship and Neurosurgical Residency at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas.

Before coming to Wichita Falls, Dr. Kern was in practice for 15 years with faculty appointment at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, working with the Neurosurgical Group of Chattanooga. There, he performed a wide variety of cranial and spinal procedures and was involved in medical staff leadership, including serving as Chief of Staff at Erlanger Medical Center.

EDUCATION
  • Neurosurgical Residency Training – July 1997-June 2002 
    • University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas/Parkland Hospital Dallas, TX
  • General Surgery Internship — July 1996-July 1997
    • University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas/Parkland Hospital Dallas, TX
  • Doctor of Medicine – May 1996
    • East Carolina University School of Medicine, Greenville, NC
  • Bachelor of Science, Computer Science – May 1992
    • North Carolina State University, College of Engineering, Raleigh, NC
CERTIFICATION
  • Board Certified, Neurological Surgery – 2028
RESEARCH & WORK EXPERIENCE
  • Neurological Surgery Specialists of North Texas, PLLC – July 2019 – Present
    • 3808 Kemp Blvd., Suite A
    • Wichita Falls, TX  76308
    • (940) 234-3000
  • Richard L. Kern, Jr., MD, PLLC – July 2017 – Present
    • 3808 Kemp Blvd., Suite A
    • Wichita Falls, TX  76308
    • (940) 234-3000
  • Neurosurgical Group of Chattanooga — July 2002 – July 2017
    • 1010 E. Third Street, Suite 202
    • Chattanooga , TN 37403
    • (423) 265-2233
  • Neurosurgery Department Internet Web Site contributions on Chiari Malformation-UT Southwestern – January 2001
  • Investigative Neurosurgery Senior Elective – Duke University – July & November 1995
    • Mentor: Dennis A. Turner, MD Associate Professor of Neurosurgery & Neurobiology, Department of
    • Surgery, Division of Neurosurgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC
  • Hartford Student Scholar – Neuroscience Research – Duke UniversityJune-August 1993
    • Funded by a Hartford Foundation Grant
    • Mentor: Dennis A. Turner, MD Associate Professor of Neurosurgery & Neurobiology, Department of
    • Surgery, Division of Neurosurgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC
  • Software Engineer–Telecommunications Division, 1988-1992 
    • Alcatel Network Systems/Transcom, Raleigh, NC
PROFESSIONAL SOCIETIES, OFFICES & EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES
  • Erlanger Medical Center
    • Chief of Staff 2015-2017
    • Vice Chief of Staff 2013-2014
    • Secretary of Staff 2010-2012
    • Chief of Surgery 2009
  • American Medical Association 
    • President, Medical Student Section East Carolina Chapter 1994-1995
    • Director of Residency – Day Fair fundraising event 1994
    • President-Elect AMA Medical Student Section 1993-1994
    • Director of Freshman Medical Student Recruiting Reception 1993
  • North Carolina Medical Society 
    • Member of NCMS Medical Education Committee 1995-1996
    • Governing Council 1994-1995
    • Finance Committee Representative, Governing Council 1995-1996
HONORS AND AWARDS
  •  Psychiatry Clerkship Honors 1995, East Carolina University 
  •  Merck Leadership Award 1995, East Carolina University
  •  Hartford Student Scholar 1993, Duke University
  •  Alpha Epsilon Delta National Premedical Honor Society 1991, NC State University
  •  Best Actor Award 1989, NC State University 
PUBLICATIONS
  • REVIEWS, BOOK CHAPTERS
    • MACKENZIE, WH, KERN, RL 1989 “Genetics in Human Affairs” COURSE SYLLABUS REDESIGN North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC
  • PRESENTATIONS AND ABSTRACTS
    • SENZEL, L, KERN, RL, AFSHARI, C, BARRETT, JC – “Role of Proteoglycan Components on Tumor Suppressor Gene Function”- -STUDENT RESEARCH PRESENTATION 1991 – National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, NC

Sven Hochheimer, MD

Neurosurgeon
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Dr. Hochheimer specializes in disorders of the spine using contemporary minimally invasive techniques as well as offering modern options for disc replacement or disc arthroplasty, neuromodulation for pain management, and surgery for disorders of peripheral nerves like carpal tunnel syndrome and ulnar neuropathy. He has interests in treating brain and spinal conditions using minimally invasive endoscopy approaches which serve to improve the recovery times and outcomes for patients. Dr. Hochheimer, through many years of military experience and service, offers some of the most novel and innovative options for the care of traumatic conditions involving the brain and spine. 

Dr. Hochheimer grew up in Fort Collins, Colorado where he graduated from high school demonstrating academic excellence. He entered the Air Force after high school where he initially trained as a physician assistant mastering the program which he completed with highest honors. Thereafter, he completed medical school training followed by the Air Force neurosurgical residency program. Dr. Hochheimer cared for Air Force patients serving at multiple different locations including deployments overseas where he gained valuable experience caring for our wounded military as we as foreign citizens.

Dr. Hochheimer has actively trained neurosurgical residents in the Air Force in the United States where he excelled in academic neurosurgery until he retired in 2019, after a decorated career

A common theme which has followed Dr. Hochheimer through his education and training has been his unparalleled academic honors and achievements. He has received honors bestowed on few in literally every aspect of his education. He relentlessly pursues knowledge related to surgical techniques to achieve the best possible outcome for his patients. 

He enjoys time spent with his family. He enjoys outdoor activities like rafting, skiing, mountain biking and shooting guns.

Physician Assistant

Randy E. Benish, PA-C

Kenneth J. Jenkins, Jr

Nurse Practitioner

Kara R. Shurtz, APRN, MSN, FNP-C

Nurses

Caitlin Stubblefield, LVN

Briana Rojas-Paoli, LVN

Gabriela Ortiz, LVN

Medical Assistants

Crystal Canales

Referral Coordinator

Pamela Payne

Amy Schmoe

Patient Care Coordination

Angela Faubion, RN

Registration

Elizabeth Costilla

Patricia Launza

Staff

Angela Gibbons

Practice Administrator

254-918-5499

940-357-0295

254-918-0335