Saint Joseph Hospital General Surgery Residency


Physician faculty members of the general surgery residency program at Saint Joseph Hospital are recognized for their excellence in both clinical and academic medicine. There is a high level of collegiality among the residents and faculty.

Jason Johnson, DO

Jason Johnson, DO, FACS, FASMBS

Program Director, General Surgery Residency Program
Medical Director - Trauma and General Surgery 

Dr. Johnson was born in North Carolina, but raised in Broomfield, Colorado. He earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. He then earned his medical degree from the University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kansas City, Missouri. He went on to complete a general surgery residency at Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System in Spartanburg, South Carolina followed by a laparoscopic and bariatric surgery fellowship at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia.

Dr. Johnson’s original plan was to go into the Air Force and become a pilot. However, in high school, his mother, who was the director of medical staff at a local medical center at the time, gave Jason the opportunity to shadow a surgeon for a day. Ever since that day, he knew he wanted to go into the medical field.

“I believe in a holistic, patient-centered approach.” Dr. Johnson loves being able to help his patients get back to their daily routine in a relatively short amount of time.

While Dr. Johnson is trained in all areas of general surgery, his areas of clinical interest include:

  • Bariatric and weight loss surgery
  • Minimally invasive and robotic surgery
  • Surgical education

When he is not at work, Dr. Johnson enjoys spending time with his wife and their three children doing outdoor activities such as skiing and fly fishing, as well as going to baseball games to cheer on the Colorado Rockies.

Peterson Wendy

Wendy Peterson, MD, FACS

Assistant  Program Director, General Surgery Residency Program  

Dr. Peterson was raised in Lincoln, Nebraska. She earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Loyola University in Chicago, Illinois, followed by her medical degree from the University of Nebraska College of Medicine in Omaha. After earning her medical degree, Dr. Peterson completed a general surgery residency at the University of California San Francisco-Fresno.

With her father being a plastic surgeon, Dr. Peterson was exposed to surgery from an early age. Becoming a surgeon herself was something she always had interest in and the pursuit was a natural progression for her. In fact, she got the chance to operate alongside her father during her medical school training. 

Surgery can be a scary time for both the patient and the family. As such, Dr. Peterson’s philosophy is simple, “I treat every patient as if they were my own family member.”

While Dr. Peterson is trained in all areas of general surgery, her areas of clinical interest include:

  • Endocrine surgery (thyroid, parathyroid and adrenal glands)
  • Hernia and abdominal wall reconstruction
  • Alimentary tract (small bowel and colon)
  • Minimally invasive and robotic surgery

When she is not at work, Dr. Peterson enjoys spending time with her husband and two children as well as outdoor activities such as running, snowboarding and mountain biking.

Muratore SydneySydne Muratore, MD

Faculty, General Surgery Residency Program
Medical Student Clerkship Director

Sydne Muratore was born and raised in Hulett, Wyoming. She grew up on a cattle ranch, which she acknowledges instilled an early work ethic and a dedication to "something greater than oneself." She circuitously developed an interest in surgery due, in part, to the collective traits she acquired from her formative years. "Working with my hands, fixing things on the ranch, thinking about the bigger picture all came from my father. Curiosity, creativity, and the fluidity of the arts came from my mother." She went on to earn a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a minor in Leadership from Dickinson State University in North Dakota. She then earned her medical degree from the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Denver. Subsequently, Dr. Muratore moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota to complete her general surgery residency at the University of Minnesota where she also engaged in two years of clinical research. Her research there spanned perioperative infection and sepsis identification and reduction, total pancreatectomy islet autotransplantation for chronic pancreatitis, medical student surgical education, and clinical outcomes in trauma/critical care. 

Moving back to Colorado was a natural choice for Dr. Muratore. She and her husband met while in medical training here in Colorado, and it has always felt like home to them. She says SCL Health drew her "because of the juxtaposition of being able to help both medically complex patients as well as the opportunity to care for the underserved." Growing up in a rural area, she brought with her an early interest in access to care issues. Throughout her training, she has developed a passion for caring for patients from all walks of life. She has been on numerous surgical brigades to Latin America as a result. These collective experiences have taught her great respect for the art and science of surgery and it's impact on her patients' lives. "Each day, I realize what a privilege we have as physicians that patients choose to let us take care of them and put their trust in us in their most vulnerable moments. I believe in empowering my patients through education about their condition and choices, and helping guide them through the surgery process."

While Dr. Muratore is trained in all areas of general surgery, her areas of clinical interest include:

  • Acute care surgery
  • Hernia and abdominal wall reconstruction
  • Alimentary tract (small bowel and colon)
  • Minimally invasive surgery
  • Breast care
  • Surgical education
  • Perioperative quality improvement

When she is not at work, Dr. Muratore likes to enjoy everything the beautiful Colorado outdoors has to offer, namely: hiking, skiing, and landscape photography. She also tries to find time to explore the world with her husband and young daughter.

Jijllian Ciocchetti, MD, FACSJillian Ciocchetti, MD, FACS

Faculty, General Surgery Residency Program  
Medical Director Downtown Surgery Specialists

Dr. Ciocchetti was born in Portland, Oregon and was raised in Arvada, Colorado. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Biology and Religious Studies from the University of Denver. She then earned her medical degree from the Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City. Wanting to come home to Colorado, she completed her general surgery residency at Saint Joseph Hospital.

Dr. Ciocchetti has always wanted to use her knowledge, work ethic and skills to improve the quality of life for others. “It is my honor and privilege to assist my patients and their families. Most days, I am meeting someone on the worst day of their life. The ability to fix life-threatening problems and then assist my patients in getting back to their daily routine is what I love about being a surgeon.  It lines up exactly with my values: to make the world a little bit better by the end of the day than it was when I got out of bed that morning.”

While Dr. Ciocchetti is trained in all areas of general surgery, her areas of clinical interest include:

  • Acute care surgery
  • Venous insufficiency
  • Breast cancer
  • Complex abdominal wall reconstruction
  • Resident well-being
  • Surgical resident education and mentorship

When she is not at work, Dr. Ciocchetti enjoys traveling with her husband and two daughters.  She owns and operates a medical spa in north Denver, and also bakes a mean cherry pie.

Dr. Ciocchetti is honored to return to SCL Health in 2017 after spending seven years in private practice in North Denver. She is excited to be a partner in Downtown Surgery Specialists and to help bring quality emergent and elective surgical care to our downtown campus.

Speer EmilyEmily Speer, MD

Faculty, General Surgery Residency Program  

Dr. Emily Speer is a fellowship-trained Foregut and Minimally Invasive Surgeon with a particular interest in antireflux procedures.  Dr. Speer attended medical school at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, and completed her residency in General Surgery at the University of Colorado.  During this training, she developed a passion for minimally invasive, and particularly foregut, surgery.  This led her to a fellowship in Advanced GI and Minimally Invasive Surgery with Lee Swanstrom, MD and colleagues in Portland, Oregon.  During this fellowship, Dr. Speer became proficient in the most up-to-date surgical and endoscopic techniques for foregut problems such as gastroesophageal reflux, esophageal disorders, diaphragmatic hernias, and obesity.  Her special interests include laparoscopic tailored fundoplications, myotomies, and reoperative paraesophageal hernia repairs, as well as newer technologies such as POEM (Per Oral Endoscopic Myotomy) for achalasia and LINX for GERD.  She is also trained in BARRX for Barrett’s esophagus, flexible endoscopic cricopharyngeal myotomy to treat Zenkers diverticulum, esophageal dilation and stenting, laparoscopic and endoscopic feeding tubes, pyloroplasty and gastrectomy for treatment of gastroparesis, and bariatric weight loss surgery.  Dr. Speer is a general surgery residency teaching faculty member as well as medical student director at St. Joseph Hospital and is active in research.  She is the author of multiple publications on reflux surgery, is an invited speaker at national meetings, and sits on national committees for furthering excellence in foregut surgery. Patient satisfaction and safety are at the core of Dr. Speer's decision-making, and she strives to provide the very best and most compassionate care to each patient by individually tailoring treatment plans to fit each person’s need.  Dr. Speer aims to provide patients with the education they need to make informed treatment decisions in order to provide them with superior surgical care in the least invasive way possible. While Dr. Speer is trained in all areas of general surgery, as a fellowship-trained Foregut and Minimally Invasive Surgeon, her areas of clinical interest include:

  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) surgery
  • Esophageal disorders such as achalasia
  • Hiatal hernia surgery
  • Gastroparesis surgery
  • Weight loss surgery
  • Advanced endoscopy
  • Gallbladder surgery
  • Robotic surgery 

Price ColinColin Price, MD

Faculty, General Surgery Residency Program

Colin Price was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona. Although he comes from a family of physicians, he initially leaned toward the arts, pursuing and graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and Portuguese from the University of Arizona (magna cum laude). With his Spanish skills and family’s background in medicine, he became involved in Flying Samaritans in college, an organization that provides free primary care across the border, and this is what helped him realize medicine was his true passion. He attended the University of Arizona College of Medicine where he continued to volunteer with Flying Samaritans and even met his now wife who was  a volunteer interpreter.  He matched into the St Joseph general surgery residency program, graduating in 2019. During residency, he was a leader amongst his peers and was a respected teacher amongst medical students, earning him initiation into the Alpha Omega Alpha medical honorary. He has developed interests in colorectal surgery, abdominal wall reconstruction, trauma and acute care and robotic surgery. He especially enjoys using his fluency in Spanish and Portuguese with his patients.  Taking the time to help patients fully understand their disease processes is extremely important to him. He is very excited to continue his career at SCL Health St Joseph Hospital.

Dr. Price’s clinical interests include:

  • Acute care surgery
  • Abdominal wall reconstruction
  • Gastrointestinal and colorectal surgery

In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his wife and two dogs, tending to his gardens and backyard chickens and ducks, mountain biking, traveling and spending time with friends.

John Raheb, DOJohn Raheb, DO, FACS, FASMBS

Adjunct Faculty, Downtown Surgery Specialists
Medical Director, Bariatric Surgery

Dr. Raheb was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Muhlenberg College in Allentown Pennsylvania, and a master’s degree from Rutgers in New Jersey. After earning his medical degree from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, and completing an internship, Dr. Raheb served as a Flight Surgeon for the Navy and Marine Corps. Following his general surgery residency at Wilford Hall – University Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, TX, he served as a general surgeon and leader. He completed a fellowship in minimally invasive and bariatric surgery at the Eastern Virginia Medical School in Portsmouth, Virginia. Inspired by the family’s general practitioner, he always knew that he would be a physician and soon realized that surgery interested him most. “Although I still enjoy general surgery, the rewards of bariatric surgery are unique. The patients are a very special and motivated group. I greatly enjoy the long-term relationship while sharing in their challenges and victories.” While Dr. Raheb is trained in all areas of general surgery, his areas of clinical interest include: A sailing family at heart, we have embraced the wonderful natural beauty of Colorado. It is amazing to be skiing at 10,000 feet on a mountain and sailing at 9,000 feet on a lake!

Heydari AmirAmir Heydari, MD, FACS, FASMBS

Adjunct Faculty, Downtown Surgery Specialists
Bariatric Surgery

Dr. Heydari was born in Tehran, Iran and immigrated to Denver when he was 17 years old.  He earned a bachelor’s degree in biology and then a medical degree from the University of Colorado before moving to Iowa for his residency and for the opportunity to be trained by the “Father of Weight Loss Surgery”, Dr. Edward Mason, at the University of Iowa.  Following his training, Dr. Heydari established a successful general and bariatric surgery practice in the suburbs of Chicago, however, it was always his goal to return to his family back in Colorado.   

Dr. Heydari was always interested in surgery because of its complexity and gratification, but he had a special interest in bariatric surgery because like many other people, he struggled with his eating habits and feels he fully understands the needs of his patients. 

 “I want to be the advocate for my patients, who have trusted and honored me to take care of them, with regard to supporting them not only through difficult surgeries, but in the pre and post-operative period as well.” 

While Dr. Heydari is trained in all areas of general surgery, his areas of clinical interests include:

  • Advanced bariatric weight loss surgery
  • Minimally invasive surgeries
  • Foregut and anti-reflux surgeries (LINX, fundoplication)
  • Advanced endoscopy

When he is not at work, Dr. Heydari enjoys spending time with his wife and three adult children, cooking and playing tennis.

Teacher of the Year 2018 - 2019


Dr. John G. Raheb

Dr. Raheb joined the SCL Health group in 2019 but has been working with residents since 2017. He trained at the Naval Medical Center and subsequently completed a fellowship in Minimally Invasive Surgery. He now specializes in weight loss surgery. His technical expertise in advanced laparoscopy and commitment to surgical education make him an invaluable role model for trainees. He was therefore recognized for his excellence in teaching by popular vote.

Colorado Permanente Medical Group

Residents also work closely with the variety of surgical specialists employed at CPMG. Though many of these faculty are fellowship trained minimally invasive or thoracic surgeons, they typically build general surgery practices with a focus on their areas of expertise. Through their exposure to the Kaiser system, residents are also privy to another practice model that can help to evaluate future career opportunities.

Peggy Schrieber, MD

A faculty member through CPMG, Dr. Schrieber is a talented surgeon who is active in administration – an excellent role model for future physician leaders. Through her decades-long relationship with the Mwandi Mission Hospital in Western Zambia, Dr. Schrieber has provided longitudinal surgical care to patients in this region. Residents have the opportunity to accompany her for 10 days on an annual to biannual basis and gain global health experience. Procedures commonly performed include: thyroidectomy, open cholecystectomy, hernia repair, and lipoma excision.

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