About Gila Valley Clinic

Interior exam room at Gila Valley Clinic

Compassionate Healthcare since 1978

Gila Valley Clinic is a family-owned and operated clinic in Safford, AZ. Since 1978, we’ve been providing high-quality obstetrician and family healthcare to patients from all over the community. Patients deserve to feel like part of a family, and we work hard to ensure they do. Our doctors are experts in their fields, teaching other doctors while keeping us current on the latest medical trends. We treat the whole family—babies, adults, pregnant women, and the elderly—and have received awards from numerous insurance companies for being one of the best practices in town!

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About Us

Mitchell Family Medicine Logo |Family Clinic in Marion, AR | Mitchell Family Medicine

Gila Valley Clinic has provided high-quality medical care to patients in the Safford area since 1978. Our clinic consistently focuses on meeting the medical needs of our community and has grown to five Board Certified Family Medicine Physicians, two Board Certified Pediatricians, three Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioners, a Certified Physician Assistant, and one Licensed Professional Counselor.

Gila Valley Clinic lobby

Our Team of Leading Experts

Our Family Medicine physicians have been trained to care for patients of all age groups in the clinic and hospital settings. For example, many of our providers have cared for several generations within a family—from delivering and caring for newborns and children to caring for parents and grandparents. Our Family Medicine physicians have over 60 years of combined experience providing obstetrical care, including cesarean sections and managing high-risk patients in partnership with TMC Obstetrics, the Maternal Fetal Medicine specialists in Tucson.

Our Pediatricians specialize in children’s physical, mental, and social health from birth to young adulthood. They provide preventative care for healthy children and those who are acutely or chronically ill. They are also involved with the prevention, early detection, and management of other problems that affect our patients, such as behavioral difficulties, developmental disorders, and functional problems.

Our family medicine and pediatric nurse practitioners work alongside our physicians, allowing for more appointments in a day to accommodate our patient’s needs. They work closely with our physicians to ensure you receive quality care. They also staff our extended hours and answering service allowing you to speak to a provider from our clinic even when the office is closed. One of our nurse practitioners just completed certification as Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner.
Gila Valley Clinic also has a Licensed Professional Counselor who provides counseling services to patients of all ages and walks of life to help with depression, anxiety, loss, anger, and relationship issues.

All our physicians have admitting privileges at Mount Graham Regional Medical Center and admit our clinic patients to the hospital. This promotes continuity of care, allowing you to see a familiar face who knows your medical history.
Gila Valley Clinic will be your medical home for your family’s journey through pregnancy, infancy, childhood, adolescence, and adulthood, helping everyone to be healthy and well.

Meet Our Providers

Medical Doctors

Dr. Janelle Lee, MD at Gila Valley Clinic

Janelle Lee, MD

Residency: Swedish Cherry Hill Rural Family Medicine, Seattle and Port Angeles, WA

Medical School: University of Arizona College of Medicine Tucson

Dr. Lee was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest and completed her undergraduate education in mechanical engineering at the University of Washington. She completed a master’s in engineering from UCLA while working in the aerospace industry in Southern California. She eventually turned her focus to medicine, developing a passion for rural and global health as well as integrative therapies while studying at the University of Arizona. In her residency, she honed her skills in acute hospital and primary care, obstetrics, reproductive health, addiction medicine, and full-spectrum rural family medicine. She believes in meeting patients and their families where they are and collaborating with them to reach their health goals throughout their life stages. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and traveling. Dr. Lee is board certified in Family Medicine.

Dr. Susan Jones MD at Gila Valley Clinic

Susan Jones, MD

Residency Training: Santa Monica Family Family Practice Residency Program, UCLA

Medical School: University of Arizona

Languages: English and Spanish

Special areas of expertise: Geriatrics-Hospice and Palliative care, Obstetrical care, and Women’s Care.

Dr. Susan Jones has worked at Gila Valley Clinic since 1984 and was the AzAFP Family Medicine Physician of the Year for 2014. She is Board Certified in both Family Medicine and Hospice & Palliative Care. She is the medical director at the Nursing home, Haven of Safford, as well as for the local Hospice. She enjoys practicing the full spectrum of family medicine, from delivering babies to caring for the elderly.

She is married to Tom Hamm. She enjoys traveling and loves spending time with her grandchildren.

Catherine Harmon Romero MD at Gila Valley Clinic

Catherine Harmon Romero M.D.

Residency: North Colorado Family Medicine

Medical School: the University of Arizona

Languages: English and Spanish

Special areas of expertise: Pregnancy and Childbirth, Preventive Care, Diabetes

Dr. Cathy Romero was raised in Willcox and wanted to return to southern Arizona after completing residency. She loves caring for people of all ages and especially enjoys the continuity of knowing several generations of the same family, having managed for residents of southern Arizona since 2000. She treasures the opportunity to care for patients in the hospital when they are ill, deliver babies, care for newborns, and then, complete the full spectrum of family medicine by treating people in the outpatient setting. She and her husband, E.J., a high school principal, have three grown children and they enjoy outdoor time and traveling. Dr. Romero feels fortunate to be a part of the best primary care clinic in southern Arizona and works hard to ensure that the Gila Valley Clinic is up-to-date on the latest recommendations and that there are good policies in place to help provide excellent quality care to patients.

Gail Guerrero, MD at Gila Valley Clinic

Gail Guerrero-Tucker MD-MPH

Residency Training: UC Davis Mercy Medical Center Merced California

Medical School: University of Arizona

Languages: English and Spanish

Special areas of expertise: Women’s health, obstetrical care, geriatrics, and preventative medicine.

Dr. Guerrero was born in Nogales, Arizona, and grew up in Tucson. Dr. Guerrero chose to return to rural Arizona so she could practice Family Medicine the old-fashioned way. She went back to school after a career in banking, so she was not the typical medical student. Dr. Guerrero feels preventative healthcare is as important as treating diseases and welcomes a collaborative model of personal health. She has always been interested in people and public health issues, leading her to pursue her master’s in public health.

She also enjoys global health issues and has been on several medical missions to Nigeria, Honduras, and the Dominican Republic. She hopes to expand her horizons by traveling to other parts of the world.

Dr. Guerrero is married with three children and five grandchildren and hopes to continue delivering babies and seeing patients in the hospital until she retires.

She has been president of the Arizona Association of Family Physicians and serves on the National Board of AAFP.

Richard Keith, MD at Gila Valley Clinic

Richard Keith, MD

Residency: Phoenix Children’s Hospital Pediatric Residency Program

Medical School: Creighton University School of Medicine

Special areas of expertise: Pediatrics – infancy through adolescence, and ADHD management

Dr. Keith was born and raised in the Gila Valley and was thrilled to have the opportunity to return home after completing his pediatric training. He considers it a great privilege to treat children and families in the Gila Valley. Dr Keith prefers a practical approach to pediatrics, embracing no perfect children and no perfect parents. He is excited to work with families and children to encourage each one of us to do our best.

He and his wife Jenny are very active in the community and especially enjoy working with the children of the community. He enjoys singing, biking, barbecuing, running, working in the yard, and spending time with his wife and four children. It is easy to locate him by listening to the constant whistling.

Paul Cluff, MD at Gila Valley Clinic

Paul Cluff, MD

Residency: Phoenix Children’s Hospital Pediatric Residency Program

Medical School: University of Nebraska College of Medicine

Special areas of expertise: Pediatrics

Dr. Cluff was raised in Thatcher, Arizona. He is the son of Ron and Patsy Cluff. He served a mission for his church in the Dominican Republic.

He attended Eastern Arizona College and graduated from the University of Arizona.

He is married to Erika Cluff and they have four children; two boys and twin girls. Before joining the Gila Valley Clinic, he practiced pediatrics in the Phoenix Valley for 14 years. He enjoys golfing, woodworking, traveling and spending time with his family.

Dr. Caroline Flowers, MD at Gila Valley Clinic

Caroline Flowers, MD

Residency: University of Arizona Tucson Family Medicine South Campus
Fellowship: Full Circle Health Surgical Obstetrics Fellowship
Medical School: University of Texas Southwestern Medical School
Special areas of expertise: Obstetrics

Dr. Flowers grew up in Houston, Texas. She attended Carnegie Mellon University for her undergraduate education. After this, she completed two years of teaching high school science in Houston, Texas through Teach for America. She attended medical school at University of Texas Southwestern and then residency at the University of Arizona Tucson Family Medicine South Campus program. Most recently, she completed a year of surgical obstetrics fellowship in Boise, ID with extra experience in high risk obstetrics management.

Dr. Flowers’ specialty is Family Medicine with Obstetrics. Her areas of interest include women’s reproductive care, adolescent medicine, preventative health care, and complex care management, including diabetes and heart disease. She is excited to make her home in Safford with her husband, Ryan Kostrzewa, and their dog, Duncan. In her free time, she enjoys reading, hiking, and spending time with family and friends.

Nurse Practitioners & Physician Assistants

Shelley Vaughn, Nurse Practitioner at Gila Valley Clinic

Shelley Vaughn, DNP, FNP-BC

Family Nurse Practitioner
Education: Doctoral of Nursing Practice, Northern Arizona University
Master of Science, Family Nurse Practitioner, Northern Arizona University

Special areas of expertise: Women’s Health

Shelley is a proud United States Air Force Veteran. She has been a nurse practitioner since 2011 and with Gila Valley Clinic since 2014.

Shelley was born and raised in Clifton, Arizona. She feels that it is a privilege to provide healthcare within her hometown community.

She is married to Jeff Vaughn. They have two sons, Anthony who graduated from Arizona State University and William who is a helicopter pilot.

Tajma Palma, Family Nurse Practitioner at Gila Valley Clinic

Tajma Palma, FNP-C, PMHNP-BC

Family Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Education: Master of Science, Family Nurse Practitioner, Northern Arizona University. Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions

Special areas of expertise: Chronic Disease Management and Prevention, Mental Health Illnesses

Tajma Palma is a Family Nurse Practitioner and a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner proudly serving Arizona’s Gila Valley.

Prior to joining Gila Valley Clinic in 2016 Tajma worked as a registered nurse for Mt Graham Regional Medical Center and Northern Cochise Community Hospital. Tajma has extensive experience treating acute and chronic conditions, and mental health illnesses for patients of all ages. Tajma is passionate about patient centered care and shared decision making with her patients. She prides herself in taking the extra time to listen and educate her patients.

It is in the giving that we truly receive! “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shake together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38

Tajma enjoys her free time spent with her husband and 3 children.

Garrett Hunter, Physician's Assistant at Gila Valley Clinic

Garrett Hunter, Physician’s Assistant

Education: Northern Arizona University

Special areas of expertise: Pediatric Care

Garrett is a native to Arizona and excited to call the Gila Valley home.

Before entering PA School, He worked as a Physical Therapy Technician where he found his passion for helping people. He learned that creating a relationship with the patient based on respect, and creating a comfortable environment are important. Garrett strives to provide a safe space of open communication where provider and patient work together to achieve the desired outcomes.

Garrett is married to his wife Meghan and they have a young son. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, traveling, playing board games, and spending time with family and friends.

Todd Schwallier, Nurse Practitioner at Gila Valley Clinic

Todd Schwallier, FNP-C

Education: Master of Science, Family Nurse Practitioner, Simmons University: Boston MA

Special areas of expertise: Sports Medicine, Pediatric Care, and Men’s Health

Todd worked as a registered nurse for Mount Graham Regional Medical Center, Intermountain Medical Center, and Banner Baywood prior to joining Gila Valley Clinic in 2017. He grew up in the Gila Valley and is excited to return to raise his family and serve his community.

Todd believes that building relationships of trust through open communication is essential in promoting a safe and comfortable environment. This facilitates open discussion about medical concerns, health education, and helps improve health by allowing patients to make informed choices about their health.

Jamie Biggers, Family Nurse Practitioner at Gila Valley Clinic

Jamie Biggers, FNP

Jamie was born and raised in the Gila Valley. She is a graduate of Eastern Arizona College’s nursing program. Jamie obtained a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Arizona State University, a Master of Science in Nursing-Leadership from Western Governors University, and a Family Nurse Practitioner Post Graduate certificate from Northern Arizona University.

Jamie’s medical practice interests include women’s health, pediatrics, and family medicine. She also has nursing experience in other areas such as Cardiology, Neurology, Emergency Medicine, and Medical Surgical at different hospitals in the state. Jamie served the communities of the Gila River reservation by working in a mobile unit for Gila River Healthcare. This mobile unit provided health care for women through STI testing, treatment, and preventative medicine.

Jamie was previously employed at Eastern Arizona College where she worked for the nursing program helping students gain experience in different hospital settings and assisted in the lab teaching skills. She is passionate about providing a safe space for her patients by using open communication and building a trusting relationship to resolve concerns and provide safe care.

Jamie feels blessed to be able to work in the Gila Valley where her roots are. She has lived
in many different areas while working and going to school, but the Gila Valley has always been her
home. She is married and has 2 children. Together they love to travel, see new things, eat
good food and explore.

Drumstick the Puffer Fish at Gila Valley Clinic

Drumstick the Puffer Fish

Drumstick is a porcupine puffer fish that has lived in the Gila Valley for almost 2 years now and has been working at the Gila Valley Clinic since relocating. He works in patient relations and is quick with a smile and a wave. He is unfortunately quite carnivorous and has dispatched several of his tank mates over the years. Thankfully he is not likely to eat anything much bigger than his mouth, so patients and staff have remained completely safe. We have noticed that he has an unusual fear of dogs of any size most likely due to his recognition that they too are carnivores and bigger than he is. As long as his tank is climate controlled and he is fed a steady diet of large frozen shrimp (sufficiently thawed), he remains in his happy place and will be anxious to greet you when you stop in.

Mental Health Counselors

Vicky Schwallier, Mental Health Counselor at Gila Valley Clinic

Vicky Schwallier, LPC

Education: Master of Science, General Mental Health, Walden University and Trauma certification, Grand Canyon University

Special areas of expertise: Trauma and Crisis Counseling

Vicky is a Licensed Associate Counselor and works under the direct supervision of Carlton Perk, LCSW and Jared Wilhelm, LPC. Prior to joining Gila Valley Clinic in 2018, Vicky worked as a crisis clinician for Community Partners. Vicky worked with other agencies to stabilize individuals who were experiencing different types of crisis situations.

Life is full of challenges. Vicky is a firm believer in the benefits of unbiased support during difficult periods in one’s life. Vicky has worked with people of all ages and walks of life to help address depression, anxiety, loss, anger, and relationship issues. Vicky enjoys helping others to improve their current situation by offering a warm, safe and reliable therapeutic environment.

Tailoring therapy specific to the client is important to Vicky. For example, some clients seek therapy for a safe place to vent, cry or simply sit. Other clients seek therapy for specific coping skills to help reduce debilitating anxiety. Vicky’s goal is to accommodate the client as best she can.

Mark Smith, LMFT at Gila Valley Clinic

Mark Smith, LMFT

Mark Smith is a licensed marriage and family therapist with over 15 years of experience. He holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from ASU and a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas. 

Throughout his career, his focus has been on helping individuals, couples and families navigate through various challenges. His expertise is in working with teenagers, addressing relationship issues, substance abuse, depression, and anxiety. He also has experience providing support to parents and families of autistic children. 

As a therapist, he follows a philosophy grounded in cognitive-behavioral and solution-focused therapy. This empowers his clients to navigate challenges, overcome obstacles, and achieve positive changes in their lives. 

Outside of his professional life, Mark finds immense joy in being a father to his five kids and five bonus kids. He cherishes spending quality time outdoors with them and attending their sporting events. He also enjoys playing pickleball and traveling.




For more information about our healthcare services please contact us at 928-428-1377 today!

Mitchell Family Medicine Logo |Family Clinic in Marion, AR | Mitchell Family Medicine

Monday - Friday 8 A.M. to 6 P.M.
Saturday 9 A.M. to 12 P.M. (acute care only)
Closed Sundays