Family medicine specialist joins Dan C. Trigg Memorial Hospital

Kevin Wilson

Dan C. Trigg Memorial Hospital has added Darrell Willis, a family medicine specialist, to its medical group.

Willis, 55, who started Aug. 1, comes from Casper, Wyoming, where he has practiced at Sage Medical group for the past two years. He has more than 15 years of clinical experience, and also practiced family medicine in Crestview, Fla.

The former software engineer said he came to a point in his life where he wanted to work with people instead of machines.

“Our medical group is excited to gain the added versatility that a family medicine specialist can offer. Having a doctor that can offer comprehensive care to families will be a great asset to Tucumcari, as well as Quay County in general,” said Lance Labine, Trigg Hospital administrator.“Dr. Willis complements the two other physicians in the clinic, Dr. Jani Kothalanka in Internal Medicine and Dr. Karen Raburn in Psychiatry.

Willis holds a 1979 bachelor’s degree from the University of West Florida, received his medical degree in 1997 from the University of South Alabama and completed his residency at the University Of Alabama College of Medicine. Between degrees, Willis was a software engineer for the U.S. Army Strategic defense command.

“I was waking up with a headache every day, not enjoying being at work. My son, who was in fifth grade at the time, didn’t want to do his homework one night.”

Darrell Willis Sr. told his son if he didn’t apply himself in school, he couldn’t do what he wanted to do in life. Darrell Willis Jr. asked his father why he should apply himself, since his father wasn’t doing the job he wanted.

“He threw the gauntlet down,” Willis said of his son, now an accountant in Chicago. “I went out the next day and signed up for organic chemistry; I hadn’t been in the classroom for 14 years.”

He decided to practice in Tucumcari because he enjoys the landscape and climate of the southwest.

“I’m loving it,” Willis said. “It’s really nice to be in a small town again. i’m getting to know the people here.”

Trigg Memorial Hospital is a Quay County-owned facility leased and is one of eight New Mexico facilities operated by Presbyterian Healthcare Services.