Desert Pain Specialists
Same Day Appointments Available
With 6 convenient locations across Southern Utah and Nevada, our providers give extraordinary patient care, giving hope to those suffering from chronic pain.The expertise offered by Desert Pain Specialists is second to none. We provide our patients with a cutting-edge advantage in the diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic pain conditions.
Court Empey, MD
Dr. Empey is fellowship trained in interventional pain medicine. He completed this training at the world famous Mayo Clinic.
Dr. Empey is a native to St. George, Utah and graduated from both Dixie High School and Dixie College. He then completed his Bachelors degree at the University of Utah in Biochemistry with honors. He was also an honor graduate of the George Washington University where he obtained his Medical Doctorate degree (MD). After medical school, he returned to the University of Utah to complete an internship in Internal Medicine and a medical residency in Anesthesiolgy. Lastly, he completed his training in Interventional Pain Medicine at the Mayo Clinic in both Scottsdale, Arizona and Rochester, Minnesota.
Dr. Empey has had the highest level of training available for a pain specialist and in addition to his expertise in interventional pain medicine, has had extensive training in medical management, physical medicine/physical therapy, cancer pain therapy, psychology and life style modification. He believes in a multidisiplinary approach to pain treatment.
Dr. Empey has also been involved in the research of pain. He has published a paper reporting the NIH funding patterns in pain research in a peer reviewed journal. Another study he published evaluated the biochemistry and function of flaggelar motors.
Dr. Empey has spent countless hours volunteering with the Boy Scouts of America, coaching youth sport teams and serving in his church. Away from work, he enjoys spending time with his wife and five children, waterskiing, snowboarding, shooting hoops and playing guitar.
Spencer Wells, MD
Dr. Spencer Wells is a fellowship trained interventional pain specialist. As a native of St. George, he returns to provide care for patients with chronic pain after completing his pain fellowship training at the University of Louisville. Dr. Wells attended Dixie High School, Dixie College, and received his bachelor degree in English from Southern Utah University.
He earned his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Louisville where he also stayed on to complete his training in anesthesiology and is a board certified anesthesiologist.
Dr. Wells is married to Shana Burgess Wells, also a native of St. George. They have four children. Dr. Wells enjoys spending time with his family in Pine Valley, swimming, and playing softball.
Rachel Allen, MD
Dr. Allen is a native Utahn, born in Salt Lake City. When she was 10 years old, she moved to Green Bay, WI to be closer to family and stayed in Wisconsin and received an undergraduate degree at St Norbert College, a small liberal arts college where she graduated summa cum laude with a major in Chemistry and minor in Biology. She then attended medical school at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, WI where she met a Southern Utah boy and love of her life. They later got married their first year out of medical school where they both decided to go into the field of Anesthesiology.
Dr. Allen eventually moved back to Utah to complete a residency at the University of Utah. While there, Dr. Allen received the devastating news that her mother-in-law, Momma Joni, was diagnosed with Stage 4 colorectal cancer. Momma Joni’s struggle with cancer would be the catalyst that would catapult her into applying for a Chronic Pain fellowship.
Both Dr. Allen and her husband stayed on at the University following the completion of their fellowships (hers in Chronic Pain and his in transplant Anesthesia). During their time at the University, they welcomed daughters Audrey Joni, and Cora Jane.
Dr. Allen is excited to raise her two little ones here in Southern Utah, and to work alongside Dr. Empey and the other providers at Desert Pain Specialists to serve the great people of southern Utah and Mesquite.
Ryan Workman, DO
Dr. Workman attended medical school at Midwestern University—Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine. He completed a surgical internship at the University of Arizona Medical Center in Tucson, Arizona. He went on to complete his residency in anesthesiology at the University of Arizona Medical Center where he was awarded the prestigious Burnell R. Brown Award for Outstanding Resident and served as academic chief resident.
Dr. Workman received his fellowship training in Interventional Pain Management at Dartmouth College-Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire. Active in medical societies, Dr. Workman was appointed as resident component delegate on the Board of Directors for the Arizona Society of Anesthesiologists for three consecutive years. He has also published a number of research publications in peer reviewed journals.
Dr. Workman was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. At Skyline High School he enjoyed football and track and was elected Junior and Senior Class President. After graduation, he spent two years in church missionary service in Siberia, Russia and then returned to study at Brigham Young University where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Neuroscience. Dr. Workman is a husband and proud father of eight who enjoys hiking, camping, and the outdoors. Most of all, he enjoys spending time with his family.
Melissa Hinton, DNP, FNP-BC, CARN-AP, CEN
Melissa Hinton is a Doctorate Nurse Practitioner with education and training in family practice, pulmonary specialty, and addiction medicine. She is board certified as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse and is nationally certified as an Advanced Practice Addictions provider.
Melissa received her Master’s and Doctorate degrees from the University of Utah Summa Cum Laude and has been practicing in the medical field for over 20 years, starting as a LPN, RN, BSN, and having a strong foundation in Emergency (in which she is also certified) and Critical Care nursing, as well as inpatient/outpatient mental health and addictions. She has also been an Invasive Life Flight nurse and has had administrative and extensive leadership experience.
Melissa and her husband were raised in Cedar City, Utah. They moved to St. George in 1994 and have a busy family of 5 children with 2 grandsons that are their pride and joy. Melissa enjoys the outdoors, has run 4 marathons, enjoys the grandeur of our local national parks and loves hiking. She also has a passion for music, traveling throughout the US in orchestral, choral and solo performances, and as a featured musician in the southwestern states with vocal, theater, violin, and piano performances.
Cortney Bernardo MS, PA-C
Cortney Bernardo grew up in Circleville, UT where she graduated from Piute High School. She then went on to Southern Utah University were she received a bachelor’s degree in Biology with honors. During her undergraduate schooling she worked as a medical assistant in a pain management center giving her great understanding in this field of medicine.
Cortney then was accepted to Pacific University in Forest Grove, OR where she graduated with honors as a Physician Assistant with a master’s degree in science. She is a very dedicated, sensitive healthcare provider with over 6 years of experience. She works with Dr. Empey and Dr. Wells to provide comprehensive pain management to the patients of Southern Utah.
Cortney is married to her high school sweetheart and they have two beautiful daughters. They have resided in St. George since finishing her schooling. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, swimming, running, reading and doing Crossfit.
Mark Udy, PA-C
Mark Udy received both his bachelor degree in Health Education and postgraduate degree in Physician Assistant Studies at ldaho State University. He then worked for five yearsin family practice and emergency medicine, gaining valuable experience addressing a wide variety of medical conditions.
Mark moved to St. George in 2007 and began practicing in pain management and physical medicine and rehabilitation. He is proficient with diagnosing and treating all types of pain syndromes. He is a strong patient advocate and has a genuine desire to help his patients through all manner of painful conditions.
Mark is married to his wife Becky and has three children, Brianna, and twin boys, Dustin and Drew. He enjoys running, hiking, and any other activity which can be enjoyed in beautiful Southern Utah.
Brian Jorgensen MS, PA-C
Brian Jorgensen attended Dixie State College where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. He worked as a medical assistant for our clinic for two years, where he was introduced to the Physician Assistant profession and developed a strong foundation in pain management and gained a desire to serve patients with chronic pain. He was accepted to Pacific University in Hillsboro, Oregon where he received his degree in Physician Assistant Studies and a Master of Science.
Brian was raised in Idaho Falls, Idaho and grew up playing baseball. He met his wife in St. George, Utah and they have lived here ever since. They have four beautiful children. He enjoys spending time with his family. He also enjoys four-wheeling, playing softball, snow-skiing, wakeboarding and just about anything outdoors. He and his wife have a goal to attend a baseball game at every Major League Baseball stadium in the country.
Nicholas Stucki, MS, FNP
Nick Stucki MS, FNP grew up in West Jordan, UT then moved down to St. George, UT, where he graduated from Snow Canyon high school. Nick then went on to UNLV and SUU were he received a bachelor’s degree in Biology with honors. Nick was then accepted to Graceland University, in Lamonia, Iowa where he graduated with honors as a Nurse Practitioner.
Nick has a strong background in nephrology and critical care. While going to school, Nick’s previous work experience includes working in critical care for the hospital and as a dialysis nurse. Nick is married to Renae and they have three kids. He enjoys spending time with his family which includes watching and coaching his kids play sports, camping, traveling, and snow skiing.
Craig Skousen, LCSW
Craig Skousen, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, has been in healthcare since 1978. He has worked at the University of Utah Medical Center, Five County Association of Governments, Dixie Regional Medical Center, and Southern Utah Homecare in clinical and leadership positions. He has also maintained a private & consulting practice over the years.
He graduated from Dixie College in the early 1970’s and later attended the University of Utah for dual bachelors in psychology and political science. He obtained his MSW from the University Of Utah Graduate School Of Social Work and his clinical license a few years later. He participated in post graduate programs at Johns Hopkins and the University of Wisconsin.
He has been an adjunct professor in social work for the University of Utah and UNLV. His specialties include psychosocial pain management treatment, crisis management, and treatment of depression & anxiety. Was social worker of the year for the state of Utah in 2009.