Local doctors share a special bond

by Kelly Johnson
ECM Publishers

Drs. Heather Gammon and James Shold share more than a mutual desire to provide their patients with the best possible care.

The pair practice together at RiverWay Clinics, a part of the HealthPartners group, in Coon Rapids, which has 10 OB/GYNs and two nurse practitioners on staff.

Drs. Heather Gammon and James Shold

And while all the doctors share their knowledge and experiences with one another, Gammon and Shold have a special bond.

That’s because Shold is the doctor who delivered Gammon and her twin sister at Mercy Hospital.

Neither remembers the experience, though.

“I’ve delivered a lot of kids,” Shold said.

Shold has delivered both the father and mother of a baby he was delivering, he said.

But Gammon’s mother remembered Shold’s name and has even run into him at some gatherings of mutual friends.

After the birth, Shold and Gammon’s paths crossed at Regions Hospital, where the pair worked together some three years ago as Gammon was completing her second year of residency.

Shold, who lives in Ramsey, had recently come to Regions Hospital after practicing at Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids since 1977, when he began practicing at the former Mork Clinic in Anoka.

Gammon, a Blaine resident, was always interested in working at the hospital where she was born.

He was asked to help out at Regions.

The two future colleagues’ paths crossed after Shold had been there just a month.

It was her mother who made discovery

The pair’s connection became known after Gammon shared stories of her experience with her mother, who put two and two together.

Gammon shared that knowledge with Shold as they were scrubbing in for a cesarean section.

“I let her do the C-section,” Shold said with a laugh.

Gammon was “a very good resident,” he said.

While this is not the first time Shold has met one of the babies he has delivered, Gammon is the first to become a colleague.

“It’s kind of special,” Shold said.

“My mom thinks it’s pretty cool,” Gammon said.

After Gammon completed her schooling, there was an opening at the Coon Rapids clinic.

She was excited to be able to practice and deliver at Mercy Hospital.

Shold said he was excited to work with and eventually pass the torch to Gammon.

Gammon said their unique connection and the relationship forged during her training has helped her feel more comfortable going to Shold for advice.

“Our group is good with helping the more experienced physicians help the younger ones,” Shold said.

Today, Shold has cut back his hours, and he stopped taking calls when Gammon was hired.

Shold joined Mork Clinic in 1977 and was one of three physicians.

In 2000, HealthPartners merged with Mork Clinic.

Gammon practices at both Coon Rapids and the Elk River RiverWay clinics.