MSN, APRN, FNP-C
Graduated with honors from Georgia State University in 2008 with master's in nursing as a family nurse practitioner
Graduated with honors from Columbus State University in 2004 with bachelor's in nursing
Board certified in family medicine with The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
20 years of experience in healthcare of which 14 of those years have been spent as a nurse practitioner
Varied experiences in multiple fields of medicine including emergency department, urgent care, correctional facilities, travel nursing, cardiac cath lab, med surg, expert witness consultant, family practice, industrial medicine, hospital medicine, former adjunct faculty member at Columbus State University teaching pathophysiology and pharmacology as well as clinical courses.
Katie is recently married to Darby native, Barri Twardoski. They have 3 children between them: Carson 10 yo in 5 th grade, Anna 16 yo a Junior in high school, and Derek 18 yo and in his first year of college at MSU. Katie and Barri have a home located in Corvallis where they have 6 horses, 5 dogs, 3 cats, and 2 goats. When not working, Katie can be found spending time with the new family, going to kids sporting events, painting, riding and training with her horses, tinkering in the flower beds, hiking, biking, or enjoying the company of friends.
Katie was born in Columbus, GA and moved frequently throughout the US during her childhood as the daughter of an Army officer. She lovingly considers herself an Army Brat. She has an older brother, Chris, that lives in Florida with his wife and 3 children. Her younger brother (2005), mother (2016) and father (2022) are all deceased and missed very much.
She graduated with honors from Columbus State University with her bachelor’s degree as a registered nurse in 2004 and started her career working in the emergency department and cardiac cath lab of a local hospital. In August 2005, her career would take a different turn due to a tragic family accident when her 16 yo brother sustained a mortal head injury.
During her 4 years working as a registered nurse, she took travel nurse assignments at places like Yale New Haven Emergency Department in New Haven, CT where her eyes were opened to true inner city trauma hospital work. This work made her realize that she wanted to provide a higher level of care to her patients. She entered the Family Nurse Practitioner Program at Georgia State University in Atlanta, GA the fall of 2006 and graduated with honors in the Spring of 2008.
Her first job out of NP school was at a family practice under the mentorship of Dr. Woody Jones, at Emory Clark-Holder clinic in West Point, GA. She admired how he connected with the community with his humor, down-to-earth attitude, kindness, care, and commitment. While conversing with one another over lunch hours, she and Dr.
Jones would often talk of their future dreams to move out west. Katie voiced her love of Montana which began after reading the book, The Horse Whisperer by Nicholas Evans.
After 4 years in family practice alongside Dr. Jones, she left Emory Clinic to seek full time employment back in the emergency department where her career in nursing had initially begun. This change offered better life balance after the birth of her son, Carson in 2012.
Her mother developed metastatic lung cancer just before the birth of Carson and she experienced a slow decline in health, related to vascular dementia caused by the cancer treatments, over a period of 6 years. She and her father were put in the roles of home caregiver and Katie witnessed firsthand how caregiver fatigue can impact loved ones. Her mother passed peacefully under the care of hospice services in Katie’s childhood home in August of 2016.
In early 2016, Katie was contacted by her dear friend and former colleague Dr. Woody Jones, who had made his dream move to Montana just 3 years prior. He presented her with an opportunity offered by Marcus Daly Hospital, to be the independent nurse practitioner at their future clinic in Darby, MT. A formal visit to Montana for the interview would seal the deal for Katie to make the trek cross country in July 2016.
Katie lived her dream of being like one of her childhood idols, “Dr Quinn Medicine Woman” working for 6 wonderful years at the Darby clinic for Marcus Daly Hospital, later becoming Bitterroot Health, staffed with just one nurse and one office assistant. This clinic grew despite being centered in a very close-knit community that was a little wary of outsiders - you don’t get much more outsider than being a Georgia native. Darby quickly stole her heart, and she became an accepted member of the Bitterroot community.
The rapid growth of the clinic, starting with COVID in 2020, quickly outpaced available resources and she became overwhelmed and unable to balance work-life boundaries. The course she wanted to take for patient care and for her personal life could no longer be served working with Bitterroot Health.
She decided to set down one torch and pick up another that was to mark a new season. A season where she was able to give back to the community in a way that was still meaningful to her while also taking time for living a full-hearted life with her new family.
Thus, Serenity Health was born.
Serenity Health Care Model
Serenity: The state of being calm, peaceful, and untroubled.
While we can't guarantee that life will be untroubled, we can say that it is our hope that those who enter our doors will feel a sense of peace, empowerment, and belonging.
At Serenity, we don't believe that there is a one-size-fits-all approach to healthcare. Approaches to treatment and care that work for one, may not work for the next and it is our goal to treat each person as a unique individual with their own story. We use an interdisciplinary, collaborative, and integrative approach to medicine. We empower
people to consider new disciplines and to take charge of their own healthcare journey.
At Serenity, we take into consideration the whole person: physical, mental, emotional, social, intellectual, and spiritual. We have a great deal of respect for patient's autonomy, acknowledging and supporting their right to make decisions regarding their care, even when their decisions contradict the standard of care. Those in the community that pay us a visit, will feel seen and it is our promise that we will be fully present in the moment with you. Feeling seen is to accept without judgment that everyone's experience, no matter how big, small, or different, is valid.
Our bodies are incredibly intuitive if we pause long enough to listen. We don't believe that issues can be completely resolved with another pill. Movement of the body, nutrition, and mental health are imperative to experience health and wellness. At Serenity, we search for root causes of symptoms. We determine what our patient's goals are and then help create a treatment and preventative care plan collaboratively.