Our Core Faculty & Staff

Program Director

Dr. Darrick Nelson

Originally from a small mining town in Arizona and a U.S. Army Veteran, Dr. Darrick Nelson obtained his medical degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Texas at Dallas with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. Prior to joining HMS, Dr. Nelson was a professor and a core faculty member at Texas A&M University Health Science Center, Department of Family and Community Medicine, Corpus Christi Family Medicine Residency Program where he was responsible for the teaching and supervision of residents in outpatient clinics, inpatient hospital, intensive care unit, newborn nursery, labor and delivery, including C-sections, high risk obstetrics, and indigent care. Dr. Nelson is a Fellow in Medical Informatics and was physician liaison for implementation of electronic clinical documentation system with CHRISTUS Spohn Shoreline Hospital.

Dr. Nelson serves as the Chief Medical Officer at HMS and the founding Program Director of the HMS Family Medicine Residency Program. Dr. Nelson directs the delivery of patient-centered primary care services for HMS as well as leadership and innovation on projects and programs to improve clinical and overall health outcomes for the residents of Southwest New Mexico. Dr. Nelson is one of the founders of the FORWARD NM – Pathways to Health Careers workforce program at HMS. This 5-stage program reaches students from secondary education throughout graduate degrees and includes the accreditation of the HMS Family Medicine Residency Program, the first Teaching Health Center designation in New Mexico.

In 2012, Dr. Nelson was named the New Mexico Primary Care Association’s “Community Health Center Medical Provider for the Year.” Dr. Nelson is a Fellow of the National Institute for Program Director Development. In addition, Dr. Nelson serves the Board of Directors for The National Rural Training Track Campus Collaborative (“The RTT Collaborative” or “RTTCC”), a newly established 501(c)(3) organized to sustain medical education in rural places

Associate Program Director

Dr. Hernandez

Dr. Hernandez serves the HMS Family Medicine Residency Program as the Associate Program Director. Dr. Hernandez is a native of California. Born in Fresno and raised in the small rural farming community of Reedley, she is the second youngest of seven children. Dr. Hernandez is very proud to have become the first Physician in her family. Dr. Hernandez attended Reedley High school and graduated from the University of California at Los Angeles, (UCLA) with a degree in Psycho-Biology. She attended St. Matthews University School of Medicine in the Caribbean, and completed clerkships in both Chicago, Illinois and Brooklyn, New York. Dr. Hernandez began her Family Medicine residency at the University of Illinois in Springfield.

After completing her Family Medicine residency in 2012, Dr. Hernandez practiced with an urgent care center and walk-in clinic, until she accepted a locum tenens position with the Indian Health Service (IHS), San Carlos Apache Indian Hospital, located in Arizona. She accepted this position in the fall of 2013, and later served as a Medical Officer, with the IHS’ Northern Navajo Medical Center in Shiprock, New Mexico. Throughout her medical career, Dr. Hernandez has always wanted to provide services to patients in medically underserved communities. Her own childhood and family experiences, which included a lack of access to care and language barriers, instilled in her the desire to become a Family Physician in a rural community.

As a Family Physician, it is Dr. Hernandez’s mission to successfully assist in the retention and training of physicians who serve rural communities, while continuing to promote legislative changes in the State of New Mexico to finally resolve physician shortages.

Core Faculty

Dr. Brandon Ferguson

Dr. Brandon Ferguson grew up in Orem, Utah. As a teenager he spent as much time as he could outside, hiking, biking, backpacking, snowboarding, fishing and hunting. Dr. Ferguson worked in construction for many years building high-end homes before finally returning to school at the age of 25. He obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in biology, with a minor in biochemistry, from BYU Hawaii on the beautiful island of Oahu where he graduated Magna Cum Laude. Dr. Ferguson enjoyed island life and after leaving Hawaii he spent 2 years on the island of Grenada, West Indies followed by 2 years in Brooklyn, NY where he obtained his Medical Doctor degree from St. George’s University. Dr. Ferguson completed his Family Medicine residency at the Hidalgo Medical Services Family Medicine Residency Program in Silver City, NM which allowed him to become a board certified Family Medicine Physician with the American Board of Family Medicine.

Dr. Ferguson chose a career in Family Medicine because he enjoys broad spectrum medicine. He loves being able to care for patients of all ages as well as the flexibility that Family Medicine provides. Dr. Ferguson is dedicated to his patients in Silver City and is a true believer in the HMS mission, working to positively impact the health, well-being and quality of life for those he cares for by providing comprehensive, integrated and affordable healthcare.

Behavioral Health Faculty

Dr. Teresa Arizaga

Dr. Teresa Arizaga is the Chief Mental Health Officer at Hidalgo Medical Services. A native New Mexican, Dr. Teresa Arizaga learned the importance of serving her community and medical profession at a young age. As practitioners in the medical field, her parents were instrumental in instilling a good work ethic, compassionate care and a people centered approach in her practice. Dr. Arizaga is a product of the Silver Schools (Class of 1991) and obtained her B.A. in Psychology and Chemistry from New Mexico State University. Choosing to remain in New Mexico to be near her family, she earned her M.D. in 2000, completing her residency in psychiatry in 2004 from the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. She practiced at Gila Regional Medical Center beginning in 2005 and remained there for 15 years. She also ran a part time private practice for several years in Silver City, NM.

It is her hope to continue developing best practices with existing programs and to collaborate with GRMC, county detention centers, local providers, and with others. It is her vision to enhance behavioral health systems for children as well as proactive measures that can come with outpatient support, including drug and alcohol treatment. She believes that together, the potential for continued high quality behavioral health systems can be attained.

Program Coordinator

Amanda Castillo

Amanda Castillo serves the HMS Family Medicine Residency Program as Program Coordinator. She is an East Coast transplant to New Mexico since 2015 and is enjoying her time working at HMS and serving the Silver City community. She works daily with Drs. Nelson, Hernandez, and Ferguson to ensure quality graduate medical education at HMS. She is a member of the HMS C.A.R.E Team. Mrs. Castillo is honored to be a Member of the Advisory Board for the FORWARD NM Area Health Education Center (AHEC). Mrs. Castillo received her Bachelors in Biology from Arcadia University in Glenside, PA. Amanda lives in the mining district with her husband and son and enjoys cooking, yoga, hiking, biking, camping, and traveling.