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Our Team

Christopher Sayers, M.D.

Medical Director and Occupational Medicine Physician, La Porte

Dr. Christopher Sayers graduated from Indiana University School of Medicine, and completed his internal medicine residency at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. Dr. Sayers has over 20 years of experience in occupational and environmental medicine, and has been with Northwest Health Occupational Medicine for over 16 years working in our La Porte and Valparaiso clinic. He is a certified Medical Review Officer, and is on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners for the Department of Transportation. Dr. Sayers also has special expertise with overseeing fitness for duty programs regulated by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Saligrama Ranganath, M.D.

Occupational Medicine Physician, Valparaiso

Dr. Ranganath has been practicing in the occupational medicine field for over 25 years, and has been with Northwest Health Occupational Medicine since 2011. He has completed residencies in both Internal Medicine and Occupational Medicine, and has a Master’s in Public Health degree. Prior to coming to Valparaiso, he worked for Methodist Occupational Health Centers, working as the medical director at both the Ford (Indy) as well as the Honda (Greensburg) plants. He has worked for Cummins Engine Company in Columbus, IN, and was the medical director for the Columbus Occupational Health Association. Dr. Ranganath is also a federally certified Medical Review Officer.

Heidi Bickel, N.P., FNP-C

Occupational Medicine Nurse Practitioner

Heidi Bickel has been a provider at Northwest Health – WellPorte since 2020. She has practiced in various roles and areas throughout the Northwest Health La Porte organization since 2013, including critical care. She obtained her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree from Purdue University, and she is board certified through the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board. She is a member of the Mu Omega chapter of the Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society as well as the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. She is passionate about preventive medicine and maintains a focus on integrating evidence-based guidelines into her clinical practice in order to provide up-to-date, consistent, quality patient care.

Wendy Dutcher, DNP, FNP-BC

Occupational Medicine Nurse Practitioner

Wendy Dutcher was born and raised in Laporte County, Indiana. She has been in the medical field since 1994 where she started as a medical assistant and continued her education to where she is today. Wendy obtained her Master’s degree as a family nurse practitioner in 2012 from Purdue University. She has been practicing as a nurse practitioner, at Northwest Health, since 2012 at the community health center, urgent care, and family practice settings. Wendy obtained her Doctor of Nursing degree in 2021 with a focus on COPD. She is an active member of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners since 2011 and is certified through that organization. Wendy specializes in general and preventive medicine from newborn to geriatrics.

Todd Ellis, PTA, CEAS III

Occupational Medicine Physical Therapy Assistant/Ergonomic Specialist

Todd C. Ellis received an Associate of Arts (AA) in general studies from Indiana University with an emphasis in healthcare, and an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in the physical therapist assistant program at Brown Mackie College, South Bend, IN. Todd has been with the Northwest Health Organization since 2012 working in the inpatient/acute care, wound care, outpatient, and occupational service settings. He is a certified ergonomic assessment specialist II (CEAS II), certified clinical instructor (CI), astym certified and workwell certified to do job site analysis (JSA) and pre-work screens (PWS).

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