Dr. Heffner attended Michigan State University earning a bachelor's degree in veterinary science and his doctorate in veterinary medicine in 2003. He then completed an internship in New Jersey and a residency in emergency and critical care at Tufts University in 2007. Here, he developed his current interests in therapeutic ventilation, cardiovascular resuscitation, monitoring and hemodialysis. Dr. Heffner subsequently underwent additional post-graduate level hemodialysis training at the University of Florida, under the mentorship of Dr. Carsten Bandt.
From 2009 – 2014, Dr. Heffner practiced at a specialty hospital in Denver, successfully building the first intermittent hemodialysis ward in Colorado, and the only one between California and Wisconsin.
He then accepted a position at Colorado State University as an assistant professor, providing clinical, teaching, and research expertise. Here, he opened a renal replacement program and hemodialysis which has since become an integral part of hospital services offered to this region of the country. He expanded extracorporeal treatment options, offering plasmapheresis to patients with myasthenia gravis, toxin ingestion, and immune-mediated disorders. Dr. Heffner also contributed research in cardiopulmonary bypass, coagulation, dialysis, ureteral obstruction, and trauma.
Dr. Heffner has authored several textbook chapters and provided numerous lectures at international conferences. He and Dr. Nolan co-authored a peer-reviewed publication describing novel application of plasmapheresis as a life-saving measure for a patient affected with severe jaundice as a result of immune-mediated hemolytic anemia (IMHA). Dr. Heffner also resides on several committees within the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care medicine.
Since moving west, Dr. Heffner has embraced the outdoor adventures and natural beauty of Colorado, Utah, and Montana. He enjoys hiking in the mountains, is an avid skier, and tries to get out boating, mountain biking, and fly fishing when he can. At the end of the day, he enjoys relaxing with his wife, Dr. Karen Hilling over a savory meal and glass of wine.