At Cooley Dickinson Medical Group General Surgical Care, we’re committed to taking care of you during the current health care crisis and to upholding our safe care commitment. Telephone, virtual visits and in-person visits are available.


Welcome to Cooley Dickinson Medical Group General Surgical Care. At our community-based general surgery practice, you’ll find a team of compassionate, highly trained providers who are committed to improving health and lives through their advanced expertise.

Our approach to every case centers on the unique needs of the individual patient. Beyond the strictly medical, we consider the many social, emotional, and practical factors involved with any surgical option. Once we’ve worked with the patient and their family to determine the most effective course of action, we provide reliable, steadfast support through every step that follows.

View our Treatments and Services

Cooley Dickinson Medical Group General Surgical Care offers surgical treatment and services in the following areas:

  • Abdominal
  • Breast
  • Colorectal
  • Dermatological
  • Surgical Oncology

Since 2018, our practice has also been fully integrated with the new Cooley Dickinson Breast Center, and we have surgeons onsite at the hospital.

General Surgical Care offers the assurance of:

  • Exceptional care close to home
  • The combined cutting-edge skills and experience of a seasoned surgical staff
  • Affiliation with one of the world’s most renowned hospitals
  • Advanced minimally invasive/laparoscopic techniques across all procedures
  • A comprehensive range of specialties, including surgical oncology and pediatric surgeries
  • Prompt appointments (typically same-day for newly diagnosed cancer patients)

Call 413-584-4637 today for an appointment, or visit our Treatments & Services page to learn more.


michaelson-holly-sizedHolly Michaelson, MD, FACS

Dr. Holly Michaelson is Chief of Surgery and the Director of Minimally Invasive Surgery at Cooley Dickinson Hospital. Dr. Michaelson was raised on a farm in Chester County, Pennsylvania. She was always on the go riding with her pony club, trimming her parents Christmas tree crop, and helping her father, a physician. Prior to matriculating at Temple University Medical School, Dr. Michaelson lived on Andros Island in the Bahamas and worked as a SCUBA instructor. She completed a general surgical residency at Drexel University College of Medicine and earned board certification from the American Board of Surgery in 2005. Dr. Michaelson has been recognized with induction into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society and most recently with a “Patient Giving Back Award,” at Cooley Dickinson. In 2014, Dr. Michaelson became a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (FACS), having met the highest professional standards set by the world’s largest organization of surgeons. Outside of the office, Dr. Michaelson enjoys the quiet of the Hilltowns with the various animals on her farm. She enjoys tennis with her wife, skiing with her son, and equestrian sports with her daughter.

michelle_helms_MD-SIZEDMichelle Helms, MD, FACS

Dr. Michelle Helms is a board certified general surgeon who joined Cooley Dickinson General Surgical Care in 2016. She was born and raised in suburban New Jersey, where her parents still reside. Ever since childhood, she has been very close with her older sister who is now a third grade teacher. The two spent endless hours riding their bikes, swimming, and doing crafts. Dr. Helms talked about becoming a doctor in kindergarten and never took her eyes off her goal. She graduated from Lehigh University after only three years to follow her wanderlust abroad to West Africa and Europe for a year before medical school at Rutgers University, New Jersey Medical School. She completed a general surgery internship at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and a general surgery residency at Morristown Medical Center in Morristown, New Jersey. After training, Michelle practiced in a rural community in southern Virginia prior to relocating to Western Mass. She has been recognized with a Gold Foundation Humanism in Medicine Award and with various teaching awards. She loves hiking, mountain biking, reading, and cooking. She cherishes her two dogs, a French Bulldog and a Great Dane.

Alvah Hinckley, MDAlvah Hinckley, MD

After more than 35 years of taking care of community members in his medical practice, Associates in Surgery, Inc., Dr. Hinckley joined the practice at Cooley Dickinson Medical Group General Surgical Care in July of 2018. “Putting the patient first” has always been a guiding principle in his role as a general surgeon, and he considers Cooley Dickinson’s affiliation with Mass General and Partners HealthCare to be one of the most significant changes he has witnessed in his professional career in the area, affording the community greater access to more medical subspecialists and resources than at any previous time. Dr. Hinckley performs both routine surgeries for common problems like hernias and gallbladders, and also emergency procedures such as appendectomies. When Dr. Hinckley is not in the office or rounding on his patients, you’ll usually find him in the Operating Room consulting with nurses, doctors and other staff.

casey_fowler-headshotCasey Fowler, APRN

Casey Fowler, APRN, is an experienced acute care nurse practitioner and an instrumental member of our surgical team. Born and raised in Northampton, she is a graduate of Northampton High School. She joined the Navy where she served as a Navy Corpsman in San Diego and on the USS Holland (AS-32) in Guam and Japan, then returned home to attend nursing school. After graduating from Our Lady of the Elms College with a bachelor’s degree in Nursing, Casey earned a master’s degree from the Acute Care Nurse Practitioner program at UMass-Worcester’s Graduate School of Nursing. In addition to providing expert post-op care for general surgery patients, Casey performs a range of dermatological procedures, including the removal of cysts, lipomas, and skin/subcutaneous lesions. She also specializes in the treatment of abscesses and cellulitis.

Casey is the mother of two very active boys who keep her busy with their many sports teams. She has inspired her oldest to pursue a career in nursing. She has carried her natural athleticism from her childhood years as a gymnast and swimmer into adulthood as an aerobics instructor. She teaches a class to Cooley staff at 22 Atwood Drive, inspiring others to enjoy fitness with the help of her ’80s playlist. In her free time, Casey can be found in the garden with her Puggle dog nearby.

  • INSIDE STORY: Appendix Removal

    View a laparoscopic appendectomy in the latest installment of our INSIDE STORY HD surgery video series. Whether or not you are personally having the surgery, watching the procedure (from inside the abdominal cavity) is absolutely fascinating.

    Learn More
  • When the Surgeon Becomes the Patient: CDMG Physician knows Both sides of the Experience

    Trust in her team: This spring, Cooley Dickinson General Surgeon Michelle Helms became a patient of her own practice.

    Learn More

Cooley Dickinson Medical Group General Surgical Care

CONTACT 413-584-4637

Location & Directions 15 Atwood Drive
Suite 201
Northampton, MA 01060
View Map & Directions

Making a Difference:

Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Casey Fowler

Learn what matters to this veteran nurse practitioner and why she values her work, her team at Cooley Dickinson General Surgical Care, and the connection she has to the community she was born and raised in.


Now Seeing Patients in Easthampton

General Surgeon Dr. Michelle Helms will be seeing patients in Easthampton beginning April 6th, at Valley Medical Group‘s 238 Northampton Street (Route 10) location. Her office hours in Easthampton will be Fridays from 9 AM-12 PM, and patients can schedule appointments for all of the same services Dr. Helms offers at our Atwood Drive location in Northampton (new patient consults, pre-op, post-op and procedures).

Call our main General Surgical Care office to make an appointment at 413-584-4637.