We believe that every person deserves great primary care. We believe that great primary care is care that is able to respond to the needs of a community. We believe that primary care is joyful and fulfilling work. We are a full-spectrum Family Medicine training program based in scenic Asheville, NC. Our community focused, not-for-profit residency program at the Mountain Area Health Education Center is set in the Blue Ridge Mountains and primarily serves urban and rural underserved populations of the Western NC region. In June of 2022, MAHEC became an FQHC, expanding our ability to offer the high quality care our patients have come to expect and upon which our community depends. Our primary practice site has consistently maintained the highest-level status as a Patient Centered Medical Home, helping to provide the best possible care for our patients and the best education for our residents.
Our goal at the MAHEC Family Medicine Residency Program in Asheville is to develop residents into highly skilled and compassionate physicians through collaborative, team-based care, quality education, innovative practice and evidence-informed decision making. Our graduates’ skills extend beyond the care of the individual patient into population health, community needs assessment, healthcare advocacy, scholarship and practice management in an evolving healthcare system. We train family physicians who can practice full-spectrum and community informed Family Medicine anywhere, from rural to urban and regional to global settings.
For more than 40 years, our curriculum has offered outstanding training in our Family Health Centers and our world-class hospital system. Residents have always been key contributors to our program’s environment of innovation. This comprehensive training is highlighted by strong commitments to global and community-based care, maternity care/women's health, behavioral medicine, geriatrics, sports medicine and rural medicine. We embrace the care of marginalized populations including patients with intellectual and developmental disabilities, substance use disorders, infected with HIV and Hepatitis C, needing gender affirming care, experiencing homelessness and transitioning out of correctional facilities. We remain committed to the care of our patients without regard to their ability to pay.
We encourage you to apply for a position with us!
Lisa LaVallee, MD
Program Director Family Medicine Residency
Special Interests: Osteoporosis, dermatology
Susan Alexander, MD
Assistant Program Director Family Medicine Residency
Special Interests: Simulation and inpatient medicine
Jan Westphal, MD
Assistant Program Director Family Medicine Residency
Special Interests: Treatment of substance use disorders, innovations in primary care and auricular acupuncture
We are pleased to offer Acting Internships (AI) to students interested in doing residency at the MAHEC Asheville Family Medicine Residency Program. Several options are available. If you are interested in doing an AI with us, please contact GMEvisitingstudent@mahec.net.
Come work with us on our full-spectrum Family Practice Service for four weeks. On this service, you will participate in caring for our family practice patients when they are admitted to the hospital. You will take care of adult medicine, pediatric, obstetrical, and laboring patients with our talented team of residents and family medicine faculty.
Join our family medicine faculty and residents as they care for their continuity patients in our beautiful family medicine clinic. Beginning July 2023, you will experience outpatient clinic work done in a team-based clinic-first model. We practice outpatient medicine with a cohort of residents on a team comprised of clinical pharmacists, behavioral medicine faculty, peer support specialists, and nutritionists. In addition to our broad scope of pediatric adult medicine, geriatric, sports medicine, and obstetrical patients, you will have the opportunity to care for a diverse group of people needing gender-affirming care or with Hepatitis C, HIV, intellectual and developmental disabilities, psychiatric diseases, and substance use disorders.
MAHEC is committed to creating an equitable and inclusive place to work, learn, and receive care. We actively recruit physicians, staff, and students from underrepresented minorities, and we strive to implement policies and procedures that value and support diverse backgrounds and experiences. MAHEC does not discriminate on the basis of socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, spiritual practice, geography, disability, or age.
This program is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $1,656,886 with 0 percent financed with non-governmental sources. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement by, HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit HRSA.gov.
We train community oriented family physicians by promoting sustainable and fulfilling careers as leaders among diverse and innovative healthcare teams. We do this in order to address evolving needs of Western North Carolina and improve quality and access to primary care for everyone.
Excellence: We deliver quality activities and services that our customers and partners value.
Diversity: We promote equity and inclusivity.
Integrity: We act with fairness, transparency, and the highest level of ethics.
Collaboration: We value partnerships and support interprofessional approaches.
Improvement: We continuously innovate and improve our work.
Civility: We treat all people with respect and kindness, all the time.
Inclusivity: We value the contribution of people different than ourselves and the merits of an
organization that reflects differences in our teams and our community.
Empowerment: We value engagement, commitment, and ownership of MAHEC’s mission, work, and
Faculty and Alumni Comments
What makes the MAHEC Family Medicine Residency Program so
"The people! An incredible team to work with—I wouldn’t want to train
— Marina MacNamara, Class of 2016
"The culture—peers and faculty are supportive, are looking to change
medicine for the better, and are just fun to be around."
— Kate Rasche, Class of 2015
"The energy of innovation, the incredibly positive and committed people
with a vision for the future of healthcare."
— Lisa LaVallee, Program Director
"Would you choose the Asheville Family Medicine Residency all over again?"
"Looking back on my medical training, I am so glad I got to do my residency training at MAHEC. It is a rigorous program that produces highly skilled full scope family physicians, but more importantly the culture at MAHEC is one of love and care for our patients and our community. I consider myself privileged to have learned from the incredible faculty, and have built lifelong friendships with many of my co-residents. I felt supported by our faculty, while also being pushed to reach my potential. It is true that residency years are some of the more challenging you will face, but they also were some of my favorite years so far. If I could go back and match anywhere, I'd still come back to the people of MAHEC and the city of Asheville; it truly is one of a kind."
— Brian Atkinson, class of 2021
What makes it a great place to practice medicine?
"The healthcare community is very unique… for a population of 80k, we
have high quality specialists, lots of respect for primary care, and a
bunch of doctors (primary care grads and specialists) who are innovators
— Kate Rasche, Class of 2015
What kind of relationship do the faculty have with
"The faculty have a collegial relationship with the residents. We look to
the residents as peers who are in training. They often teach us just as
much as we teach them. We want to be available for any questions or
concerns that they have."
— Blake Fagan, Department Chair
What are the inpatient and outpatient experiences like?
"I have especially enjoyed my inpatient experiences here in Asheville;
working closely with full-time hospitalists, ER physicians, as well as
MAHEC faculty members. Practicing in a large, mostly 'unopposed'
hospital has prepared me well to work as a hospitalist upon graduation."
— Bart Steen, Class of 2015
What opportunities are available internationally?
"Wonderful opportunities. We have a strong global health curriculum that
is inspired by the long-term and sustainable relationship we have with
Hombro a Hombro (Shoulder to Shoulder), which is a non-profit,
non-governmental organization based in rural Honduras. Twice a year, our
residents and faculty—along with many others—travel to Honduras to offer
their services and skills to the rural healthcare network. That is only
the beginning. Many of our residents choose to spend their elective time
traveling and providing healthcare around the globe."
— Keith Whiteman, Class of 2017
How does MAHEC serve the diverse community of Asheville?
"As residents, we get plenty of opportunities to interact with our
community. Asheville is a mix of people from many cultures. We have a
large Latina population as well as Moldavian, Black American, LGBTQQ,
along with more of the people who come from the WNC Mountains and
downtown West Asheville Bohemians. I love spending time with the
Mentoring Minorities in Medicine program and have worked with students
one-on-one along with speaking at some of their large events. As a
member of the Mission Diversity committee, I get to participate in all
of the Asheville festivals and let everyone know that MAHEC is a safe
space for everyone. We’ve started weekly Spanish classes so that I can
learn, and we can all work on communicating with all of our patients in
their own language. We get out into the schools and work on health goals
of the school communities. Asheville has something for everyone and it
is a privilege to walk down the halls of Mission and hear people call
out ‘Hey Doc.’"
— Margarette Shegog, Class of 2016
What is the most challenging part of residency? What support
systems are in place for the residents?
"Residency is hard, no matter what. It’s long hours and the learning
curve is steep. As a result, it’s important to find the right fit. For
me, it meant finding somewhere that would be sure to challenge me
intellectually in a supportive environment. In addition to the built-in
support groups here (heavy in the first year) to help discuss challenges
you might be facing, there are regular meetings with your advisor as
well as the residency program director. There is also a built-in back-up
system so that a resident will ALWAYS be able to cover for you should
you be called away to a family emergency, get sick, whatever. Finally,
MAHEC simply embodies support—I have never heard a grumble or a
complaint when someone needs to cover another person’s shift."
— Marina MacNamara, Class of 2016
What do our graduates do?
Class of 2017:
MAHEC Faculty, full scope inpatient/outpatient + non-surgical OB
IHS in New Mexico, full scope inpatient/outpatient + non-surgical OB
Private practice in NY, full scope inpatient/outpatient + non-surgical OB
Maternal Child Health (MCH) Fellow at MAHEC, then BRCHS rural Western North Carolina, does C-sections, full scope inpatient/outpatient + surgical OB
MCH Fellow at MAHEC, then rural Western North Carolina, full scope inpatient/outpatient + non-surgical OB
Celo Health, rural/outpatient FM – addiction medicine
MAHEC Faculty, Geriatric medical director of Deerfield Retirement community, full scope inpatient/outpatient + non-surgical OB
IHS, Cherokee, NC
IHS, Cherokee outpatient FM
Works for NCDHHS, MPH, CDC fellowship following residency
Adolescent Fellow at GWU, FM/Peds in Emory University
Class of 2018:
A married couple did a year of locums in New Zealand before coming back to private practice
70% research (but also inpatient, outpatient and addiction) at Boston Med Center
Team doctor for Georgetown University
EPIC leader for local hospital system and is now shifting to private practice at the family health centers
Palliative care at the VA
FQHC including inpatient obstetrics in Oregon then in Wilmington, NC
MAHEC faculty at Hendersonville, inpatient, outpatient and non surgical obstetrics
After a hospitalist fellowship, doing a job share for half inpatient half outpatient in Burnsville
Class of 2019:
Two graduates from this class restarted deliveries by FM docs in rural Western North Carolina
Graduate helped develop the precision med/DPC practice at Vickery Family Practice
Did a health policy fellowship at Georgetown before joining Duke Faculty
Full spectrum outpatient care in rural clinic in Linville, NC
Did an obstetric fellowship, previously faculty at W Virginia, now with HCA and now in the surgical obstetric call pool in rural Western North Carolina
Two graduates do sports medicine
Outpatient family medicine
Class of 2020:
Winner of Florida Academy of Family Physicians leader award for their work around expanding access to addiction medicine in their HM
Working at the Michael Jordan clinic
FQHC in the piedmont, followed by an academic job in Wisconsin
MAHEC faculty behavioral health
Two graduates are doing full spectrum family medicine on island in Alaska
Started a methadone clinic in Alaska and is running a “first step” clinic for those experiencing homelessness
Outpatient and newborn in Flagstaff
The head of WCMS (Western Carolina Medical Society) and working for local FQHC
Inpatient, outpatient, and addiction medicine faculty at Oregon Health Sciences University
Outpatient family medicine and addiction
2 graduates from this class are providing comprehensive reproductive health care including abortion care
Class of 2021:
Completed Sports Medicine Fellowship, and now faculty and Assistant Program Director of the Sports Medicine Fellowship at MAHEC
Practicing outpatient primary care in hometown of Midland, TX
Completed Sports Medicine Fellowship, now practicing sports medicine in Louisville, KY, physician to the jockeys at Kentucky Derby
Practicing outpatient primary care in Berkeley, CA
Practicing outpatient primary care in Spartanburg, SC
Faculty at St. Francis Family Medicine Residency in Midlothian, VA; full-spectrum inpatient, outpatient, and OB
Core faculty at MAHEC, doing full-spectrum inpatient, outpatient, and OB
Practicing outpatient primary care in Huntington Beach, CA
Completed OB fellowship, now practicing outpatient primary care and OB (including surgical obstetrics) as faculty at Providence Family Medicine Residency Program in Eureka, CA
Completed Palliative Care fellowship, now practicing palliative care in Corvallis, OR
Practicing outpatient primary care in Chapel Hill, NC
Practicing outpatient primary care in Exeter, NH
Beginning July 2023, we will be launching a new Clinic First curriculum with a 2+2 schedule. This restructuring is the result of our desires to make outpatient learning a central focus of the curriculum and to meet the 2023 ACGME New Core Program Requirements, which facilitates 6 months of elective time over the course of the residency program.
Below you will find our clinic first curriculum. Please reach out to our residency team with any specific questions you have and we would be happy to answer them.
See their own panel of continuity patients on their clinic team on a set schedule
Are supervised in person and via video by family medicine and behavioral health faculty
Learn about coding, billing, and practice management models
Access a variety of community resources for their patients
See patients in variety of specialty clinics such as diabetes, healthy living (Lifestyle Medicine), Next Steps (hepatitis C), osteoporosis, colposcopy, vasectomy, chronic pain, OMT, sports medicine, geriatrics, medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD), and skin conditions
Gain procedural skills such as skin biopsies, toenail removal, vasectomy, joint injections, casting, laceration repair, and sphenopalatine ganglion blocks
Age Distribution of FHC Patients for 2017-2018
Payor Mix for the Division of Family Medicine
Residents on the Family Practice Service at Mission Hospital......
Care for geriatric, adult, pediatric, newborn, postpartum, antepartum, and laboring patients all on one comprehensive and interdisciplinary service
Work one-on-one with our family medicine and pharmacy faculty
Work with the patient’s primary care provider and specialists to provide continuity and comprehensive care
Lead the code team in ACLS as the first responders to all adult codes in the hospital
Weekly protected time for a full afternoon of simulation training, dynamic classroom instruction, and resident support
Simulation training on adult, pediatric, newborn, and maternity care is woven throughout didactic sessions
Use of innovative and interactive "flipped classroom" model of teaching that includes problem-based learning, case presentations, procedure rodeos, role-play, and audience response systems
Other didactic activities include an innovative evidence-informed decision-making curriculum and wellness workshops focused on resident well-being
Our state-of-the-art Simulation Center is a 15,000-square-foot facility which opened in 2018. It includes high-fidelity manikins, standardized patients, task trainers, and laproscopic surgery, endoscopy/bronchoscopy, point-of-care ultrasound, and virtual reality simulators. This allows residents to work through patient case scenarios led by our own family medicine faculty and guest faculty. Residents are grouped by class to support optimal learning based experience and scenarios are typically grouped by teaching topic to hone specific skills and learning points. Each session highlights unique and powerful learning opportunities in key competencies including communication, teamwork, emergent conditions, and tasks that require well-practiced manual skills such as diagnostic and surgical procedures.
Residents on the adult medicine service at Mission Hospital...
Work closely with MAHEC Internal Medicine faculty and Team Health hospitalists.
Manage patients on the adult medicine unit, cardiac and pulmonary step-down units, med-surg ICU, cardiac ICU, and neurotrauma ICU
Work in teams with interns from FM, IM, psychiatry, and transitional year programs, IM and FM senior residents, pharmacists and pharmacy residents and students, and UNC Chapel Hill medical students.
Attend daily morning report
Residents on the inpatient pediatrics, newborn, and family practice rotations...
Work closely with pediatric hospitalists and newbornists
Gain procedural skills including circumcisions and lumbar punctures
Attend community-wide pediatric conferences and neonatology seminars
Become comfortable managing neonatal abstinence syndrome through the Eat, Sleep, Console model
Residents in the outpatient setting...
Care for a high volume of pediatric patients—one-third of the visits in the residents' continuity clinics at the Family Health Center are with children
Work in pediatric practices in our community
Explore pediatric specialties in cardiology, orthopedics, obesity, hypertension, asthma, sleep, oncology, dermatology, endocrinology, neurology, allergy and asthma, developmental issues, and genetic disorders
Obstetrics & Gynecology
Participate in outpatient ob/gyn care including family planning clinics and STD clinics at the health department and Planned Parenthood, gyn clinics with local specialists, and dedicated prenatal clinic at the Family Health Center
Gain procedural skills including colposcopy, IUD and contraceptive implant insertion, endometrial biopsies, miscarriage management, ultrasound, obstetrical laceration repair, pessary fittings, induction of labor and intrapartum procedures, and vasectomy.
Weekly didactics cover preconception care, breast and cervical cancer screening, contraception, vulvar disease, abnormal uterine bleeding, sexual dysfunction, menopause, natural childbirth, and management of pregnancy complications and chronic disease in pregnant patients. We also use the Simulation Center for skills practice during some ob/gyn didactic sessions
Collaborate with the MAHEC ob/gyn residency program during high-volume rotations on the labor and delivery unit at Mission Hospital
Interested residents can pursue optional high-volume experiences at outside hospitals during elective time
Follow pregnant patients longitudinally through their prenatal care in the Family Health Center and through their deliveries on the Family Practice Service at Mission Hospital. We do everything possible to facilitate residents attending the births of their continuity prenatal patients
Note: Our maternity care curriculum is designed to accommodate the needs of those who are committed to practicing obstetrics and those who are sure they will not provide maternity care after graduation. The 3-year curriculum will prepare you to practice obstetrics after graduation if you wish.
Some residents choose to pursue more intensive maternity care training. We have designed a 4th year maternal-child health fellowship to accommodate those residents’ educational goals. Feel free to reach out if you want to learn more about this fellowship opportunity.
Residents enjoy the benefits of an integrated care model in their outpatient continuity clinic. This means that Behavioral Health faculty providers will work together with residents to co-manage patient care and will be available for real-time consults as needed. This model affords innumerable learning opportunities as residents partner with an interdisciplinary team of providers for daily patient care.
Additional scheduled learning opportunities included working directly with MAHEC behavioral medicine faculty, peer support specialists, and psychiatry faculty as well as community providers.
Perform initial surgical consults in the Emergency Department
Opportunities to assist with surgeries, intubation, and pre- and post-operative care
Perform office-based procedures in primary care and surgery clinics
Attend procedure rodeos to practice procedures in the Simulation Center
Electives & Scholarly Activities
We value individualizing the curriculum to meet resident’s personal educational objectives. Examples of resident elective activities listed in the table at the top of the page.
Continuous quality improvement is the fabric of how we practice medicine. All residents will participate in team-based quality improvement projects and initiatives in collaboration with nurses and other clinical staff.
Supervision by emergency medicine faculty in the third-busiest emergency department in North Carolina (and one of the busiest in the nation)
Improve procedural skills with the “fast-track team” including EKG interpretation, incision and drainage, laceration repair, fracture reduction and splinting, point-of-care ultrasound, and ATLS
Spend time in rural emergency department settings in McDowell County
Attend monthly collaborative morbidity and mortality (M&M) sessions with emergency medicine faculty
Longitudinal care for older adults at the family health center, at two skilled nursing facilities, and through home visits
Acute care for geriatric patients in the hospital
Participate in our home visit curriculum care retirement communities we serve, as well as with local palliative care and hospice services
Orthopedics & Sports Medicine
Attend primary care sports medicine clinic and provide continuity orthopedic care based at the MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore under the supervision of sports medicine faculty
Work with community-based general orthopedists, hand surgeons, spine specialists, physical therapists, chiropractors, and podiatrists
Administer sports physicals and provide side-line care at local sporting events and races
Diagnose and stabilize common musculoskeletal trauma and sports injuries, and inject soft tissues and joints
Gain procedural skills including shoulder and knee injections, aspirations, splinting, and casting
Obtain high-yield ultrasound experience through direct patient care and in the MAHEC Simulation Center
Community & Global Health
Provide primary care for underserved and underinsured patients in our office, at Mission Hospital, and at a free medical clinic through Project Access (a volunteer physician community-based healthcare initiative)
Collaborate with local schools under the School Healthy Lifestyle Collaborative
Visit multiple rural hospitals and clinics under a national Teaching Health Center grant
Participate, if interested, in a two-week trip to rural Honduras with the not-for-profit nongovernmental organization Shoulder-to-Shoulder
Assist Hispanic and underserved populations with navigating the healthcare system
Volunteer with local housing developments and equity organizations
Rotate with area federally qualified healthcare centers
I grew up in Atlanta and graduated from Emory University Medical School. I moved to Portland, Oregon for residency at Oregon Health Sciences University. Following residency, I stayed in Portland for 5 years where I was in a full spectrum private family practice with an emphasis on OB and Pediatrics. I decided to move back to the SE to be closer to my family in Atlanta and I specifically wanted to live in Asheville because of its location and the wonderful character of the town. Serendipitously, there was a faculty position available at MAHEC and I took the job in 2000. It has been the best decision I've ever made both professionally and personally. I have two beautiful daughters, Erica and Ava. Our family enjoys going to our lake cabin and hiking with our dogs Bella and Ruby. I love cooking, gardening, tending to my turn of the century house and growing orchids.
MAHEC is a wonderful place to be. The people here are committed to a set of core values of service, community focus and innovation. One of the things that I love the most about working here is that we have powerful inter-professional relationships that have allowed us to create a rich integrated care model of practice that serves the needs of our patients at a high level, is an ideal learning environment and a really fun way to practice medicine. MAHEC has always been and continues to be the kind of organization that calls me to be my best self. I am inspired by the residents, staff and my tremendous faculty to try something new, to stretch myself personally and to grow professionally.
Clinically I have special interest in osteoporosis and dermatology. As an educator I am interested in how we nurture the doctor patient relationship in a technological world and how racism, sexism and imposter syndrome can impact our development as physicians.
Assistant Program Director Family Medicine Residency
Special Interests: Simulation and inpatient medicine
I grew up in Charlotte, attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for my undergraduate studies, and then attended Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem. I moved to Asheville to complete my residency here at MAHEC, where I served as Chief Resident and fueled my passion for caring for patients in rural areas, from various cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. And I have had the privilege to continue here at MAHEC as a faculty member ever since! My husband, Heath, teaches middle school, and our son, Thomas, is full of energy and eager to learn and try new things! We enjoy all of the local biking, climbing, paddling, and hiking of these Appalachian Mountains, but we also love to travel to pursue outdoor adventures in beautiful places around the world!
I truly love being a part of MAHEC Family Medicine. Having the opportunity to train here as a resident, and then continue as a faculty member, has built long-lasting relationships with my colleagues who have mentored and fostered my own growth as a family physician. I have so much respect for my fellow faculty, who demonstrate such support for our community and our teaching responsibilities for the region. I practice full spectrum care at our office in Enka/Candler, where I have established close relationships with my patients and their whole families. Here I also enjoy working with our clinical pharmacist to provide an integrated model of care and shared clinical visits for many of our complex patients to ensure the highest quality and most consolidated care.
Teaching is a big part of what I love about my job. I work closely with residents and medical students in my own office, in the residency clinic, and on our inpatient family practice service. I am the Internal Medicine curriculum director, and I enjoy working with the chiefs, IM faculty, and Mission hospitalist faculty to continue to improve our resident learning experiences. I also direct our Simulation curriculum; I believe simulation is a very rewarding way to teach high-stakes scenarios in a hands-on and low-risk environment - where mistakes are welcomed and remedied! I also enjoy taking my teaching to the regional level, where I am able to facilitate many virtual didactics and discussions among western North Carolina’s regional providers through Project ECHO at MAHEC.
Assistant Program Director Family Medicine Residency
Special Interests: Treatment of substance use disorders, innovations in primary care and auricular acupuncture
I grew up in the tiny town of Steeleville, Illinois. I attended undergraduate at the University of Southern Indiana, where I received my Bachelors in Biophysics and did a year of vaccine development research at the NIAID in Bethesda, Maryland, before starting medical school at The Ohio State University College of Medicine (Go Bucks!). I interviewed at MAHEC for residency after hearing many glowing reviews from physicians I met during my clinical years and was pleased to match into the program. After residency, I moved back to Ohio where my husband was living and spent time both in private practice and also as faculty at the OSU Family Medicine Residency. The mountains were always calling and my husband and I choose to return to Asheville in 2020 with our two kids, dog, and cat in tow.
I am so happy to be back in WNC working at MAHEC. MAHEC has a culture of curiosity, innovation, and service that highlight the importance and scope of primary care for a patient and within a community, and I am happy to be a part of that once again.
I currently serve as an Assistant Program Director, which allows me to working with residents particularly in the outpatient space and help them with their transition to practice as an attending. I also work with our special projects team, through which I assist some of our most vulnerable populations’ access substance use treatment and also help train clinicians across the state about substance use and safe opioid prescribing. Not surprisingly my professional interests include medical education, innovation in primary care, preventative care, behavioral medicine, and substance use treatment.
Outside of medicine, I love watching the sunrise over the mountains with a good cup of black coffee, spending time with my family, cooking, reading, traveling, and the occasional game of volleyball or ultimate.
Special Interests: Osteopathic manipulation and dermatology
Hi y’all! My name is Nicole, and I am very excited to be part of the faculty here at MAHEC. I was born and raised in the wonderful, quirky little college town of Athens, GA (Go Dawgs!). I stayed in Athens to attend the University of Georgia, where I majored in Biology and Psychology and developed a passion for medicine. The summer before graduating college, I participated in a medical research program at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX. The highlight of this program was volunteering at Texas Children’s Hospital working with very sick children. It was this experience that confirmed my desire to pursue a career in medicine. After finishing undergrad, I spent a year doing a premedical internship with a local dermatologist, working with patients on a daily basis, getting see a variety of disease processes and assisting with surgical procedures.
After living in the same town for our whole lives, my husband, Tyler, and I decided to make a big change. We moved all the way to the other side of the country so I could attend medical school at Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine in suburban Los Angeles. Attending an osteopathic medical school allowed me to see a holistic side of medicine and learn Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine to treat my patients. During my clinical rotations, I found myself loving every rotation, whether it was delivering babies on obstetrics or treating a heart attack patient on adult medicine. I soon realized that Family Medicine was the place for me.
I am constantly impressed by the residents and faculty, the support they have for each other, and their dedication to teaching. The hospital and clinic are amazing and the patient population is extremely diverse. And then there is all that Asheville has to offer: amazing restaurants, great local breweries, gorgeous landscape and endless outdoor activities. Contact me if you have any questions about our awesome program!
Special Interests: Global health, caring for Spanish-speaking patients
As a recent MAHEC Family Medicine Residency graduate, I am delighted to join the MAHEC faculty and continue working and learning in this stimulating community. After growing up in Tanzania, China, Washington D.C., Canada, and India, I attended Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania with my heart set on medical school. While in my sophomore year, I read Paul Farmer’s book Mountains Beyond Mountains and shifted my perspective on health, health care, and international development. Instead of heading straight to medical school, I studied global disease epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and then spent two years as a community health volunteer in Peru with the Peace Corps. After returning to the U.S., I attended medical school at the University of Virginia and participated in a primary care track where I learned about the breadth and versatility of family medicine. I was delighted to match at MAHEC not only because of the vibrant cultural and outdoorsy community of Asheville, but also because of the depth of the training at this residency program, and the kindness of its people.
My interests in medicine include global health, women’s health, and caring for Spanish-speaking patients. Outside of work, I love hiking, jogging, reading, bicycling, cooking and eating plant-based foods, and am starting to try my hand at pottery.
Special Interests: Maternal Child health and rural medicine
Hello! I am a late-bloomer to medicine. As a young adult, I fled to the west coast (go banana slugs!) after growing up in Charlottesville, VA. Then I spent almost five years in sub-Saharan Africa (including over two years in Togo with the Peace Corps), worked in a bagelry, and got my masters in public health at Yale. Ultimately, while managing an HIV/AIDS clinic in northwestern Kenya, I decided to become a physician. I completed med school at Brown University in Rhode Island.
For residency, I was looking for a program that offered well-rounded training to provide care either domestically or internationally, and where I could develop my interest in maternal and child health, as well as addiction medicine. Asheville is also a great fit for my entire family including my husband who enjoys gardening, brewing beer, and raising chickens (not necessarily in that order). After residency, I worked for a local hospital system in rural western North Carolina for six years, allowing me to apply the skills that I developed at MAHEC.
Now, I am so excited to return to MAHEC as a faculty member. I am thrilled to be a member of the program that was so inspiring to me as a resident. My colleagues are intelligent and thoughtful providers who continually strive to work for the betterment of our community.
Outside of medicine, I am steadily working on turning my acre-yard into a garden, in the company of our dogs, cats, and chickens. And I cook, (almost) every day.
Special Interests: Rural medicine and women with substance use disorder
Hi everyone! I hail from the wonderful small town of Marion, Virginia in rural Appalachia where I spent my formative years. I then went to college at the College of Wooster in Wooster OH and while I loved my liberal arts undergrad, I discovered Midwest winters and lack of mountains were not quite for me. After graduating with a degree in Neuroscience, I spent a year with Americorps building houses for Habitat for Humanity in Washington DC. I then took the trip 100 miles south to Richmond for medical school at the Medical College of VA, also known as VCU School of Medicine. I then was lucky enough to come to MAHEC for residency which got me closer to home (2 hours!) and back into the mountains. Someone told me Asheville was a black hole you will never leave and so far this has proven to be true – I met my spouse here and we now have two children, a dog, a cat, and, some years, a respectable garden. I’ve enjoyed getting involved in the soccer community here in Asheville as well as the outdoor community which is awesome.
I started my career after residency at a rural health clinic in Madison County and transitioned back to MAHEC in 2019 as faculty. I enjoyed my years in rural practice and felt well prepared for it with my training but I had a life goal of reevaluating my career after a few years and I realized I wanted to be more of a part of the “solution” for healthcare, working in an innovative place that fosters ideas and creativity as well as allowing for teaching and good camaraderie among staff. I jumped at the opportunity to join MAHEC.
I was hired as a substance abuse educator and do a lot of training and grant funded work around safe prescribing of opioids, treatment of opioid use disorder, and education about vaping and tobacco use disorders. I am also working in a collaboration with Project CARA, a division of MAHEC OB, working with women with substance use disorders in the postpartum period, helping them with their SUD as well as chronic medical problems and treatment of hepatitis C.
Curriculum Lead for OB and Women's Health
Special Interests: Reproductive health and gender-affirming care
I am from Connecticut and lived in the Northeast for my entire life before Asheville captured my heart and I relocated here for residency! I went to Johns Hopkins for medical school, Brown for a year of OB/GYN internship, MAHEC for Family Medicine Residency, and Brown for a Maternal Child Health Fellowship. I moved back to Asheville in 2015 for a faculty position here at MAHEC. I love baking, reading novels, doing puzzles, and tending to my houseplants (not a very outdoorsy Ashevillean)! I also play the cello and am always looking for opportunities to play music with others.
MAHEC is so important to me. I had the most wonderful faculty mentors in my years here during residency. They modeled the myriad paths your career can take as a family doctor. I jumped at the opportunity to come back here in a faculty position to work with so many fabulous faculty and residents who share the same mission- we aspire to be (and train students and residents to be) the doctor that our community needs. Our flexibility and can-do spirit allow us to change our scope of practice as community needs shift. It is inspiring and humbling to have such phenomenal colleagues.
My passions are in the reproductive health care realm. I am the director of our Obstetrics curriculum and facilitate our prenatal care program. I teach residents in our colposcopy clinic, vasectomy clinic, and reproductive health clinic, as well as on Labor and Delivery. I facilitate our residents' elective experience in abortion care at Planned Parenthood. I do point-of-care ultrasound in pregnancy. I offer medication and procedural/surgical management of miscarriage in our office. I offer gender-affirming treatments for transgender/non-binary patients. I organize simulation training sessions for residents in obstetrical emergencies and lead our annual Advanced Life Support - Obstetrics (ALSO) course.
Special Interests: Care of adults with Intellectual and/or Developmental Disabilities
Hey y'all! I'm from Austin, Texas and went to the University of Colorado where I fell in love with full-spectrum family medicine. I was considering doing a fellowship after I graduated residency, but couldn't decide whether to do hospice/palliative, addiction medicine, or obstetrics. I came to MAHEC because I felt like the scope of care I would experience here would not close any doors for me.
When I was a third year resident here at MAHEC I worked with our local Medicaid payor to develop a pilot clinic focused on primary care consults for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. I was so lucky to get hired on as faculty and have the opportunity to expand these needed services. Since the start of COVID I have also been serving as the medical director of our Acute Care Clinic, which was the first clinic in WNC to have resources to regularly test and treat COVID-19.
I really feel like I get to live my professional dream here at MAHEC, where my colleagues are just as focused as I am on meeting our community's changing needs. When I was an intern we were not regularly prescribing medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder, gender-affirming hormone therapy, or curing hepatitis C, but these are now regular parts of my day-to-day patient care. I also appreciate the opportunity to teach, both residents, UNC medical students, and pre-professional students. I am also on faculty for our Transitional Year residency that started in 2021.
My favorite part of being a family doctor is getting to stick with my patients through all of life's transitions. In addition to IDD care, my special interests include pediatric care, women's health including prenatal care, procedures, addiction medicine, genetic disorders, and working with patients to develop goals of care.
In my free time I enjoy hiking, maintaining my garden, cooking, and most of all spending time with my Asheville-local husband and adorable son.
Special Interests: Lifestyle medicine and system based practice
I grew up in Iowa and attended Grinnell College and then medical school at the University of Iowa before completing residency in Family Medicine here at MAHEC. I am so happy to be living in Asheville with my husband, who works for the US Forest Service, and our two really fun kids. I love enjoying great local restaurants and running through my wooded neighborhood. My daughter LOVES seeing bears dig through our garbage, the rest of us are less enthusiastic.
After residency I stayed at MAHEC to open our Newbridge clinic north of Asheville. I wanted to continue working with underserved populations and particularly have enjoyed lots of women’s health, pediatric care and working with Latinx populations. I adore teaching and mentoring residents and students. MAHEC is family; the people here are amazingly supportive. MAHEC continuously helps me grow as a physician. I believe that MAHEC is an exceptional place for residents to learn because it balances support and independence for our learners.
As a Lifestyle Medicine Certified physician I have enjoyed helping to develop our pediatric Healthy Living Group visits and our adult Healthy Living Clinic. I enjoy running, reading, and spending time with my family as wellness practices. I enjoy helping patients focus on comprehensive wellness through guidance on nutrition, exercise, stress reduction, and social connection.
I help to keep the gears turning and work with our team to help the clinics run well so that we can all be our best in patient care. I want all of our providers and staff to feel supported so that we can all grow together. Continuity is the foundation of family medicine and I have cherished knowing my patients for over a decade.
Please reach out to anyone who sparks an interest as we are all really excited to answer your questions and we would love to be part of your medical education!
Special Interests: Trauma-informed care and resiliency
Mary Lynn Barrett, LCSW, MPH, has dual master’s degrees in social work and public health from the University of Washington. She is the former Director of Behavioral Medicine in the Family Practice Residency Program at MAHEC’s Family Health Centers. Her current position as faculty in the program involves both teaching physicians to manage the mental and behavioral health aspects of primary care and treating patients who experience these challenges to their overall well being.
Mary Lynn has always been very interested in the relationship between stress, trauma and chronic disease and is passionate about disseminating information about the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study along with resiliency tools so that individuals, agencies and systems can become more trauma and resiliency informed and promote well-being for all.
Mary Lynn is part of the leadership team of resiliency trainers who started the local non-profit agency, Resources for Resiliency, and the curriculum Reconnect for Resilience. She has taught about resiliency for many years locally in North Carolina, nationally, and internationally, having trained people in resiliency skills in Honduras, Rwanda and Tanzania.
Offers shorter-term counseling for Family Health Center patients referred by their physicians as part of the Integrated Care Model.
I am one of the new members of the MAHEC Family Medicine Residency Program faculty, but I am no stranger to this program or our community. I graduated from this residency program almost forty years ago.
I began my medical career in public health and for the last 35 years, I have been working in a private family medicine practice in Asheville. My medical career has also included work in community and hospital nutrition, medical staff leadership, medical administration, practice management, and teaching. I have also participated in several international medical programs.
A career-capping experience came in 2011 when I received a Duke Endowment grant to assist primary care medical practices throughout Western North Carolina achieve their designation as Patient-Centered Medical Homes.
As my professional career is winding down, I have found great satisfaction working in our community with those who are experiencing homelessness and sometimes caught in the web of mental illness and substance use. My work with MAHEC will focus on working with and teaching this population.
I am a husband, a father, and a grandfather. I am a fitness junky (hiking, biking, martial arts, weight training, some running… something every day), a gardener, a woodworker, a traveler, and a part-time in-home cook and sometimes baker.
Assistant Professor of Clinical Education, UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy
Anne “Andy” Warren grew up in rural South Boston, Virginia and received her undergraduate degree from Virginia Tech in Animal and Poultry Sciences. She finished her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy in 2015. She completed an ASHP accredited PGY-1 residency with Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital in Virginia and moved back to NC to complete her PGY-2 ASHP accredited residency in academia and ambulatory care at MAHEC. During her PGY-2, she had the opportunity to create her own practice sites with Mission Health and developed a passion for Team-Based Care. She currently serves as an Inpatient Clinical Pharmacist where she splits her time between the inpatient Family Practice Service at Mission and in clinic at the MAHEC Family Health Center. Her areas of interest include transitions of care, collaborative interdisciplinary practice, diabetes management, and population health. Her involvement in academia includes responsibilities for teaching of medical and pharmacy learners as well as precepting pharmacy students and PGY1 pharmacy residents. Outside of work, Dr. Carrington enjoys riding her horse, Triple Down, spending time with family/friends, travel, running/hiking, and anything Disney!
Family Medicine Faculty Physician
Physician Medical Director Cane Creek satellite clinic
Special Interests: Medical acupuncture and rural medicine
Greetings! I am excited to be on the MAHEC team as it is a privileged place to be indeed - surrounded by hard-working, intelligent, fun, and committed physicians with supportive staff in the midst of an excellent medical community. Combine that with the cultural and outdoor opportunities of our progressive mountain town, Asheville can’t be beat.
I am originally a westerner (from southern California), turned northerner, (undergraduate degree in anthropology and psychology at Rutgers University), now southerner, (medical school at the University of Virginia and residency here in Asheville). My wife and I have traveled the planet and have decided we love living, working, and raising our family in this beautiful corner of the world.
My interests outside of medicine include trail running, camping, mountain biking, traveling, music, beekeeping, gardening, yoga, and aikido. My professional interests include full-spectrum care, primary care procedures including vasectomy, integrative medicine, and work-life balance.
I grew up in the suburbs of Atlanta, and I spent my childhood summers falling in love with the natural beauty of western North Carolina during visits to my grandparents’ cabin in Otto. I studied at Duke University, and upon graduation I commissioned as an Army officer and was stationed at Fort Carson. While on active duty in Colorado, I met the love of my life, Hannah. After my military service, I started at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, and we had our first child, Ollie, during my third year.
The breadth, depth, continuity, and endless possibility drew me to family medicine. The people, energy, and innovative adaptability drew me to MAHEC. My interests within family medicine include humanism, education, the quadruple aim, point of care ultrasound, and substance use disorders. And I’m excited to discover and develop new passions with my teammates in Asheville.
I love spending time outside – whether backcountry camping or just a walk around town. Hannah and I like to take Ollie on our adventures. I am a passionate furniture maker, and I’m excited to explore the woodworking community in western North Carolina.
Clinical Director of Substance Use Disorders at MAHEC
Professor of Family Medicine, UNC Chapel Hill
Diplomate of the American Board of Preventative Medicine, Board-Certified in Addiction Medicine
Special Interests: Treatment of opiate use disorder
I am from Missouri and still a big Cardinals baseball fan. I went to undergraduate school at the University of Missouri at Columbia and spent the coldest winter of my life in Chicago for a year before starting medical school in Nashville, Tennessee. I completed my residency at MAHEC in 2001 and have been on the faculty ever since.
What brought me to the residency, and what keeps me here as faculty are the people at MAHEC. The faculty are very committed to helping the underserved and teaching residents and students. The Asheville area made the choice to stay here a lot easier.
I love mountain biking and trail running, and the hiking around here isn’t bad either. I hope you get to visit us and see what a great city Asheville is, see the great outdoor activities available here, and the high quality residents and faculty.
Hey there! I’m Carriedelle Fusco and I’m a Family Nurse Practitioner. I grew up in Wilmington, NC on the coast but was lucky enough to spend part of the summer in Montreat just outside of Asheville. I attended undergrad in Raleigh and spent some time in Wyoming and Southern Sudan before returning to nursing school. The mountains have always had a piece of my heart and I moved here in 2006. I worked as an ER nurse for several years before attending graduate school at Vanderbilt. My husband Matt and I have two cattle dogs. We enjoy being outside as much as possible and traveling in our camper for biking, hiking, and other adventures.
I joined MAHEC in 2012 as part of a grant focused on appropriately and safely prescribing opioids. That work led me to work with a team to launch a clinic for treating opioid use disorder at MAHEC Family medicine. This work expanded to training healthcare providers about safe opioid prescribing and treating substance use disorders. I was the first advanced practice provider approved to teach the buprenorphine waiver training in the US. In 2018 we launched a Substance Use Disorders elective through the UNC-SOM and in 2020 we started an Addiction Medicine Fellowship. I’ve also worked with WCU to train FNP students since 2016. I absolutely love working with an organization that is always ready to respond to the needs of our community and I’m excited for what our future holds!
Special Interests: Community engagement behavioral pediatrics and ACES
I came to MAHEC in the fall of 2012 after 33 years of practicing full spectrum family medicine in Madisonville, a small town in East Tennessee. My wife, Barbara Levin – also a family doctor – and I settled there immediately after residency at the University fo Missouri. We raised our four children there and are now proud grandparents….feel free to ask me about the grandkids any time! Thirty-three years of small town medicine have left me with some firm convictions. I can’t imagine a more satisfying life than primary care and I believe integrated and holistic care is the best care. We have to do more as a society to look after all our members. American needs to be a healthier place for our kids to grow up and we in family medicine can make a difference; and they are all our kids.
What brought me to MAHEC was my sense of a shared idealism with the faculty and the residents. I have not been disappointed. I could not imagine a brighter and more committed group, working together to learn and improve our community of Western North Carolina, our country, and beyond. Since coming here, I’ve continued full spectrum practice, and have been involved with projects around a diverse set of interests including community engagement, behavioral pediatrics, ACEs and resiliency, behavioral teaching in family medicine, intellectual/developmental disability, and geriatrics.
When not practicing medicine I enjoy hiking and reading. I am depply engaged in Torah reading, and believe that chant is an ancient art form designed to breathe life into the words of Scripture. Oh, and did I mention my grandkids?
Rural Fellowship Director, MAHEC Family Medicine
Director, Rural Health Initiatives
My name is Benjamin Gilmer. Originally a native of rural TN, I moved to North Carolina to attend Davidson College and have now been a Tarheel for 3 decades! I first studied medicine at the Sorbonne in Paris, France and later at East Carolina. Inspired by a fellowship experience in West Africa at the Albert Schweitzer Hospital, I have committed my career to Global Health and have the great fortune to lead MAHEC’s global health program in Honduras. I was a student, resident and Global Health fellow at MAHEC and plan to be a “lifer” here. MAHEC enables me the perfect opportunity to pursue many of my academic passions, including serving a rural community, teaching and practicing full spectrum family medicine. Some of my other passions in medicine include point of care ultrasound, and team-based care. As the clinical director of our Rural Health Initiative and MAHEC’s Rural Fellowship, I am passionate about advocating for rural medicine and finding jobs for all of our residents! More recently, I have embarked on a mission to learn and promote social justice in medicine, focusing on the humane treatment of mental illness in the prison system. I recently published my first book, “The Other Dr. Gilmer” speaking to this injustice. My lovely wife’s name is Deirdre and our two proudest accomplishments are Kai and Luya. Together, we love to travel and explore the wonders of Western North Carolina and the world.
Transitional Year Residency Program Director
35 years experience in Primary Care and OB
I am a true product of the MAHEC program, having completed my FM residency here in 1987, then joining the faculty in late summer of that same year. I have stayed here due to the fine caliber of the faculty, residents, and staff I have the privilege to work alongside every day.
I did take a one year LOA in the early 1990’s, to spend some time pursuing interests in outpatient care of HIV/AIDs. There I worked with the Family Medicine Department and the ID Department at East Carolina University School of Medicine. I learned a lot, but boy was I ready to return to the cool beauty of these WNC Mountains!
I was born in the Mid South- in Arkansas; and spent my “growing up” years in Arkansas, Mississippi and Missouri. As the daughter of a preacher and a teacher, I learned the value of education and service, lessons that led both my brother and me into vocations of medicine. After attending college at Arkansas (now Lyon’s) College, I graduated from Medical School at University of Missouri, Columbia, MO., as did my older brother. My brother is now a physician in Chattanooga, TN.
It is a privilege to live and work in this progressive southern community, with a fine medical community that embraces education. We enjoy working for MAHEC and living close by on our “urban farm” where we have a few chickens, a bunny, dogs, and get to experience the joys of being able to walk to good food and fun activities. Outside of work we enjoy traveling, cooking, working in our local church’s community garden and trying to stay fit and healthy. We rejoice in watching our 2 adult children blossom and find their way in the world!
Within MAHEC and Medicine, I find great joy in caring for patients I have now known for MANY years, seeing families grow up into their own families, providing family maternity care, doing and teaching gynecologic procedures, and helping residents and students learn and find their passion in Family Medicine. I am excited by our increased ability to provide international experiences, and our local commitment to providing care to the underserved, through our office and through our community volunteer efforts.
Assistant Professor of Clinical Education, UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy
Special Interests: Infectious disease and transitions of care
Bill Hitch is the Director of Pharmacotherapy at MAHEC in Asheville, NC and an Assistant Professor of Clinical Education at the University of North Carolina Eshelman School of Pharmacy. He received his PharmD degree from the University Of North Carolina Eshelmen School of Pharmacy and completed a specialty residency in Ambulatory Care through Mission Hospitals and MAHEC. Dr. Hitch serves as the Assistant Director of the Pharmacy Practice Residency Program at Mission Hospital practiced in the Ambulatory Care setting and serves as a preceptor for pharmacy students as well as PGY1 and PGY2 residents. His practice is in inpatient family medicine where he rounds with physicians on the Family Practice Service at Mission Hospitals. He is a Clinical Pharmacist Practitioner at MAHEC Family Health Center, which has been recognized as a Level III Patient Centered Medical Home. Areas of interest include interdisciplinary education, transitions of care, infectious disease, and global health.
Special Interests: Curriculum development and sports medicine
I was born and raised in New York City and, through a series of fortunate events, have had the privilege of living in Western North Carolina for most of the past two decades. My wife, Tina, and I met in Philadelphia where I completed medical school and Family Medicine residency training at Jefferson Medical College and Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. With our baby daughter, Rachel, we moved to an Apache Indian reservation in San Carlos, Arizona in 1984 for two of the most exciting years of our lives, in the Indian Health Service. The environment was wonderful for professional and personal growth and recreation. In 1986 we loaded up our expanding family, now including the twins, Ben and Emily, and transferred to Cherokee Indian Hospital. The following year I joined the faculty of the MAHEC Family Medicine Residency Program, focused on Maternity Care, Children’s Health, and curriculum planning. I was honored with the opportunity to become the Residency Program Director in 1993, and the Division Director from 2008-2021.
My family has now grown up in Asheville. All the kids have attended the University of NC - Chapel Hill and are looking for the next great thing to do with their lives. We all still spend a lot of time together cooking, mountain biking, hiking, and playing tennis. Though New York was a great part of my history, I can’t imagine a more lovely environment, full of opportunities for my family and my career, than Western NC.
Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship Program Director
I grew up in Erie, PA in a tight knit family. I started my training as an undergrad at Penn State Behrend where I was inducted into the college’s Athletics Hall of Fame in 2014 for my achievements as a long-distance runner that included being named Female Athlete of the Year twice among other awards. Then continued to stay in my home town and went to Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine for her medical training. While in medical school, I served as head coach for high school and middle school cross country and track teams. Then I decide it was time to get out of the snow belt and trained in Wilmington, NC for family medicine and then completed a sports medicine fellowship at the University of Connecticut. After my fellowship, I worked as core faculty at Tufts Family Medicine Residency and spent several years teaching the physical exam courses at Tufts School of Medicine and Harvard School of Medicine. We decided to move out of the city in 2018 to be closer to friends and family, leave the snow, and enjoy the mountains! Since moving we have had our daughter Jane whose pics grace my presentations.
MAHEC has been a great organization to move to. We have made friends within the department and community. Teaching learners is absolutely my favorite part of my job and energizes me. I appreciate how willing MAHEC has been to embrace change culture.
I am very interested in research and over the past few years earned the Young investigator’s Research Grant Award and Humanitarian Award from the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine. I serve as the national subcommittee chair for Faculty Development American Society of Sports Medicine and completed the North American Primary Care Research Group Research Fellowship. My work focuses on female athletes and disordered eating, body image issues, the female athlete triad (energy deficiency, menstrual disturbances, and bone loss), the benefits of sports participation for young girls, group visits to encourage pediatric patients to get moving, health equity, and managing change.
Hello and welcome to the MAHEC Family Medicine Residency website! We are glad you may be considering our residency program!
I have been at MAHEC as a Behavioral Medicine Faculty member since 2008. I have lived in Asheville for many years and worked in the Charlotte area behavioral health system prior to the move to Asheville. My experience working in the MAHEC Program has been a wonderful blend of ongoing learning, in a stimulating environment, alongside incredible colleagues. The concept of team-based care is woven into all aspects of the MAHEC philosophy and I greatly appreciate the atmosphere of teamwork and comradery. I am grateful to be a part of the residency experience and feel honored to collaborate each day with so many dedicated and caring people.
Our program utilizes an Integrated Behavioral Health model which means that behavioral health services are available in the clinic and offered in tandem with medical care. This not only offers patients easier, more immediate access to care, but also provides multiple opportunities for our residents and behavioral health faculty to collaborate in caring for patients. I am especially passionate about being able to offer behavioral health services to patients who have experienced trauma and who may not have had prior access to therapy. Being able to provide trauma informed care to patients in a primary care setting is especially rewarding and meaningful.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you would like to chat more about MAHEC or our Integrated Care Model.
Best of luck on the interview trail!
Offers shorter-term counseling for Family Health Center patients referred by their physicians as part of the Integrated Care Model.
Faculty Physician, Deerfield CCRC Medical Director
Special Interests: Full Scope Family Practice OB - Geriatrics, Home-Based Primary Care
I was born here in Asheville and after a number of years away, I am thrilled to be coming back to serve the community in which I grew up. Since leaving Asheville after high school, I’ve been lucky to get out, see a little bit of the world, and realize how good we have it in the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina.
My early indoctrination as a Cavalier led me to the University of Virginia for a degree in History. While in Charlottesville, I grew interested in the larger systems in which physicians work, an interest that led me to New York City to work for the Medicare Rights Center—a non-profit that works with patients who have problems with their Medicare coverage.
At UVA, I was also lucky enough to meet my wife, Caroline, the woman I have to thank for getting me to where I am today. She went straight to UNC law school after graduating, and after my time in NYC and an interlude in Asheville, I joined her in Chapel Hill. There, I was fortunately and gratefully admitted to the UNC School of Medicine.
I had the privilege of running into a couple of outstanding family doctors over the years and had a gut feeling that I wanted to follow in their footsteps. In medical school, I tried to keep an open mind, but the combination of getting to know my patients over long periods of time, the diversity and complexity of the illnesses we’d be treating, and the opportunity to improve our nation’s healthcare system through family medicine was too much to pass up.
One of the best parts of deciding to do family medicine was the fact that in MAHEC, I found a residency that shares and values those same interests that brought me to this specialty. Not only did I receive terrific, full-scope training, but I was also in an environment where we are working towards innovative, systems-based solutions to challenges in healthcare. PCHM’s, ACO’s, new practice models—they are all happening here in the mountains. Above all, at MAHEC, I received quality support from faculty members and fellow residents that enabled me to be the best physician I can be.
Like most good Asheville-ians, I love getting outside in my spare time, whether it be through hiking, gardening, or the occasional sail. Cooking, keeping up with the news, a good novel, travel, and time with my wife also keep me happy.
Special Interests: Patient education, empowerment, women's health
Born in Bronx, NY, to Jamaican immigrants, I have traveled all along the East Coast becoming the woman I am today. I completed my undergraduate studies at Kean University in New Jersey receiving a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology with dreams of becoming a doctor. I traveled farther south to the beautiful island of Cuba where I was fortunate to study medicine, learn a second language (Spanish), and grow as a person. Now that is efficiency. I completed my residency at MAHEC Hendersonville Rural Family Medicine and I am continuing my journey as Community Faculty at MAHEC Asheville Family Medicine. My understanding of being on the other side of the doctor’s table—whether for personal or familial reasons—fuels my passion to continue to provide compassionate care to my patients. My interest includes patient education and empowerment, prenatal care, and women’s health. When I am not doing medicine, I love to sing, dance, and be nerdy with video games, board games, anime, and documentaries about astronomy. Life has humbled me to realize that we are always learning, growing, and changing. I am excited to see where the wind takes me next.
Hi! I grew up in Gainesville, Florida (Go Gators!) as a first-generation Sri Lankan Tamil. I then had a chance to experience the northeast and completed my undergraduate degree at Wellesley College in neuroscience and music, followed by medical school at Columbia University School of Physicians and Surgeons. For training, I split the geographic difference and completed my family medicine residency at University of North Carolina as part of the Underserved Track, where I had the amazing experience caring for patients in a rural federally qualified health center (FQHC). After completing a Career Development Fellowship in reproductive health and advocacy through UNC Family Medicine, I provided full-scope rural outpatient care at an FQHC in Chatham County, NC. I had the wonderful opportunity to become the medical director of the Chatham County Health Department and have also provided abortion care in the region.
My experiences in rural community health, public health, abortion care, and working with immigrant and uninsured and underinsured patients deepened my belief in the importance not just of equitable access to healthcare for all, but in the importance of community, equity, education, and basic resources to live a healthy life. I believe equity, social justice, and advocacy are integral to my role as a family physician and educator. In addition to providing outpatient and inpatient family medicine at MAHEC, I also provide colposcopy, miscarriage management, substance use disorder treatment, and am involved in equity, diversity, and inclusion initiatives. My clinic interests are broad, but include comprehensive reproductive health, social determinants of health, substance use disorder treatment, and refugee health as well as medical student and resident mentoring and teaching.
My spouse and I are proud parents to 2 great kiddos, a fabulous dog, and an ornery cat. We love the beauty of Asheville and the mountains as well as the amazing people we are surrounded by. I enjoy cross-stitching, quilting, baking with my kid, and attempting to keep plants alive.
Transitional Year Residency Program Assistant Director
Special Interests: Lifestyle medicine
Ginger Poulton, MD, MSEd, DipABLM, is board certified in Family Medicine and Lifestyle Medicine. She is a former educator for Teach for America and a graduate of the University of Michigan Medical School. Ginger completed her family medicine residency at the Mountain Area Health Education Center in Asheville and joined MAHEC’s faculty in 2013, and has enjoyed working in a variety of roles at MAHEC since then.
Currently she is the Assistant Program Director for the Transitional Year Residency Program, the lead physician for the Community Health Worker Project at MAHEC and the Family Medicine Clerkship Director for the UNC School of Medicine for the Asheville campus. Additionally, she is the Program Director for the Lifestyle Medicine Residency Curriculum which is offered to all MAHEC residents.
Outside of work Ginger is an active runner, cyclist and sports enthusiast. She loves adventuring outdoors with her husband and sons in the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina.
Special Interests: Group visits and healthcare system leadership
I joined the MAHEC team in April of 2013 after living in Colorado for 17 years. I initially completed my undergraduate degree at Emory University in Atlanta, then received my Medical Degree at ECU School of Medicine in Greenville N.C. I completed my residency in Colorado at University of Colorado’s Community Health Center residency tract at Clinica Campesina.
I worked at Clinica for 17 years and served in a leadership role for 13 of those years. As the organizations medical director, I led a team of 80 medical providers and 10 behavioral health professionals who care for 42,000 low income, uninsured people in the Denver metropolitan area. As an organizational leader in clinical quality improvement, I was involved in initiatives to implement advanced access and team based care through office redesign. For over ten years I have been fortunate to be able to provide care for my patients in groups. I am experienced in CenteringPregnancy, CenteringParenting, as well as group care for patients with chronic conditions.
Joining MAHEC has given me the opportunity to be a part of an amazing team of faculty, residents and staff in a growing, innovative organization. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to teach residents and share my experience with practice management, community health and group care. My husband and I both grew up in rural North Carolina, so it has been wonderful to return to the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.
Josh joined the MAHEC faculty in December 2014. He has worked in adult mental health since 1999 and adult/child mental health since 2007. Before coming to MAHEC Josh helped established walk-in counseling and assessment services for adults and children in an outpatient community mental health setting . Additionally, he regularly consulted with DSS on complex cases in Rutherford and Polk County. Prior to this, Josh worked in an adult substance use program and partial hospitalization programs.
Josh completed his undergraduate at the University of Massachusetts and Master's in Social Work at the University of Georgia. He works with patients to build on their strengths and resiliency, while working to connect them with resources in their own community. Josh believes strongly in matching interventions with patients’ readiness to change and having the relationship as the focal point for the change agent.
Offers shorter-term counseling for Family Health Center patients referred by their physicians as part of the Integrated Care Model.
I joined MAHEC Family Medicine in December of 2021, amidst the COVID pandemic. I am originally from Missouri, completed my medical school at the University of Michigan (Go Blue!), then spent almost 10 years in the lovely state of Colorado for residency, fellowship, and my early faculty years. In January of 2021, my wife and I welcomed our daughter into our family, and very quickly found ourselves juggling two careers and two young children without any family support in Colorado. Thus, I started to look at other opportunities and found a wonderful professional fit with MAHEC that also landed us near my family.
My professional interests are focused in primary care research, particularly dissemination and implementation science. I am passionate about studying the best ways to implement evidence-based interventions and programs in primary care and community settings with a focus on health equity. My work has been focused in various clinical conditions, including opioid use disorder, sleep apnea, cardiovascular disease prevention, cancer prevention, and vaccination. I provide outpatient primary care to patient of all ages, including pregnant patients, and have a special focus on the treatment of opioid use disorder and gender affirming care including hormone therapy. Within MAHEC, I have found a place where I am not only allowed to, but strongly encouraged to pursue my passions.
Outside of work, my main interests include cycling of all disciplines and coffee. I previously was the co-owner a bike shop, and still enjoy building, fixing, and tuning up bikes.
Medical Director Enka satellite clinic
Special Interests: Rural medicine, hepatitis C, QI
I was born and raised in Sevierville, TN and grew up camping, hiking, and fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I went to the College of Charleston in SC. While it was an amazing four years, I got my fill of the sand and heat and missed my mountains. So I came back to TN for medical school at ETSU. I met my wife, Dawn, in Charleston and we got married in my second year of medical school. We had fallen in love with Asheville and so were thrilled to match at MAHEC for residency. After residency, I was given the amazing opportunity to open the MAHEC Family Health Center at Enka/Candler and have been the associate medical director there ever since!
MAHEC has allowed me to practice full-spectrum family medicine, including prenatal and in-patient hospital care, just as I envisioned in medical school. MAHEC also not only allows, but encourages expanding opportunities for family medicine physicians to treat the patient and community with innovative and practice changing initiatives. It is a pleasure working for an organization so forward thinking and it’s invigorating to have colleagues as excited about full spectrum family medicine and with hearts focused on the health of the community!
My particular interests include rural health and creating access to care for families in our community outside of Asheville proper. I particularly enjoy prenatal care and pediatric care, expanding treatment in our region of Hepatitis C, and lifestyle and pharmacologic treatment of diabetes!
I am originally from New York City. I have lived in New York, New Jersey, Washington, Maryland and North Carolina. I received my Bachelor Degree in Biological Sciences from Binghamton University. My first career was in secondary education. I spent 10 years as a high school science teacher in NYC during which time I earned my Master’s Degree in Education from Queens College. I also had a brief career in the photography industry during a hiatus from teaching.
I moved to Asheville with my wife and two daughters in 2004. In 2007, I returned to school to study Nutrition and Dietetics. I earned my credentials as a Registered Dietitian and Licensed Nutritionist in 2010. Since then, I have worked to create Nutrition Care programs in primary care practices throughout the area. In 2007, I came to MAHEC to develop Nutrition Care and with the support of so many wonderful colleagues, we have built a robust program that offers Medical Nutrition Therapy to all MAHEC patients as well as patients from other practices in the community. I also serve as the clinical nutrition and dietetics educator providing didactic and participatory learning opportunities for all MAHEC learners from all disciplines. Working with patients, providers and learners at MAHEC has been the most rewarding professional experience of my career. I am always grateful for the opportunity to participate in the interdisciplinary care we provide, cooperate with so many special people, help our community improve their health, and provide our next generation of health care providers with knowledge and resources to integrate nutrition into patient care.
As my colleagues at Family Medicine will attest, I am passionate about incorporating healthful eating patterns and lifestyle practices into disease prevention and management. I believe that my role as an advocate for lifestyle intervention is as important as my role as a counselor in this treatment. It is always exciting for me to meet and work with residents and other learners who share this passion and show interest in collaborating with me in this advocacy.
Now that my daughters are grown and on their own, I have plenty of time for my other passion of exploring the forests by bike and foot. I have been an avid cyclist for over 20 years. I spend the majority of my free time mountain biking, running, hiking and enjoying our empty nest with Karen, my wife of 30 years.
Integrated Behavioral Health Care Provider, Behavioral Medicine Faculty
I joined MAHEC as a Behavioral Medicine Faculty member in 2022. I have lived in Asheville since 2013 and worked at the Asheville VA Medical Center prior to coming to MAHEC. While at the VA, I provided mental health care to Veterans and their families who were experiencing grief, end of life, cancer, life transitions, health challenges, relationship challenges, and aging.
I was drawn to work at MAHEC for the diversity of clinical opportunities and client populations. MAHEC’s Family Medicine Department is widely known for its dynamic learning environment, which I have experienced firsthand while consulting alongside the talented family medicine team. I find all staff to be accessible, friendly, and incredibly smart and motivated. I feel fortunate that my colleagues continuously stimulate my own learning and make me a better therapist. Working alongside multiple disciplines allows me to think through clinical concerns from multiple perspectives and address client needs in a holistic manner. Working within the MAHEC Family Medicine clinic provides a solid community I can lean on for intellectual growth, emotional support, and innovation. It is truly an inspirational institution.
I hope to provide residents a safe and exciting environment to learn about the integrated care model, develop skills to build rapport with clients to ask challenging questions, and learn methods to motivate clients to engage in healthy behaviors.
Please don't hesitate to reach out to me if you would like to talk about the integration of behavioral health care within MAHEC Family Medicine.
Offers shorter-term counseling for Family Health Center patients referred by their physicians as part of the Integrated Care Model.
I grew up in Cary, North Carolina and attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for both my undergraduate and PharmD degrees (go Heels!). I moved to Asheville in 2012 to complete my residency training at Mission and MAHEC. After residency, I took a position establishing and growing clinical pharmacy services at two MAHEC satellite clinics. In this role, I also advise pharmacy learners from the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, particularly in the Rural Certificate Program. I love the character and personality of Asheville and am grateful to have settled here. I met my now-husband here in 2014, and we have grown our little family to include 2 dogs, 2 donkeys, 4 goats, and the most recent and precious addition, our beautiful daughter Ila.
I feel immensely fortunate to be able to work at MAHEC, a health care pillar in the community and leader of innovation. As a pharmacist, it is truly a gift to work with providers on interdisciplinary teams with one shared purpose – provide the best quality of care possible for every patient. Above all, the sense of family at MAHEC is especially unique and difficult to find. The relationships I have developed with other faculty members and residents has made me a better person and pharmacist.
My clinical interests are in patient-centered management of chronic disease states, especially diabetes, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia. I am also passionate about equity with a particular focus in providing accessible, quality health care to transgender and gender diverse patients. In the profession of pharmacy, I am most interested in pharmacy practice models focused on clinical pharmacist integration and sustainability.
Faculty Physician – Substance Use Educator, MAHEC
Board Certified in Addiction Medicine
Associate Professor of Family Medicine UNC School of Medicine
Special Interests: HIV substance use disorders and LGBTQ care
Genevieve Verrastro, MD, is a Family Medicine Physician and an Addiction Medicine Specialist. She completed her residency at MAHEC and worked at several Community Health Centers in Western North Carolina as a primary care physician. In 2020 she returned to MAHEC for the inaugural Addiction Medicine Fellowship and continues there as a faculty physician in the Addiction Medicine program. Her areas of interest include perinatal substance use disorders, care of people with HIV, and the LGBTQ community. Outside of work, her interests include biking, whitewater kayaking, gardening, and restoring her Craftsman bungalow.
Program Director, Pharmacy Residency PGY2 Geriatrics
Co-Director, MAHEC Center for Healthy Aging
Associate Professor of Clinical Education, UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy
Tasha Woodall graduated with her PharmD from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana in 2011. She moved to Asheville to complete her residency in ambulatory care with Mission Health and MAHEC and accepted her current position as Associate Director of Pharmacotherapy in Geriatrics with MAHEC in 2012. She is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Education with UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy and serves as adjunct faculty with UNC School of Medicine, and as such has been engaged in training pharmacy and medical students, in addition to family medicine residents and geriatric fellows during her time with MAHEC. She currently serves as a Co-Director for MAHEC’s Center for Healthy Aging and sits on the Board of Directors for Council on Aging of Buncombe County and the Executive Committee for North Carolina Association of Pharmacists’ Chronic Care Practice Forum, in addition to being an active member of American Geriatrics Society. Dr. Woodall is a Board Certified Geriatric Pharmacist. Her clinical practice is split between two continuing care retirement communities, where she functions under her own scope of practice as a Clinical Pharmacist Practitioner.
On a more personal note, outside of work Tasha spends most of her time caring for two small (demanding but adorable) children. She enjoys hiking and camping with her husband Waylon, dog Polly, and the kids.
Integrated Behavioral Health Care Provider, Behavioral Medicine Faculty
I have my Master’s degree from the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Social Work. My clinical practice began in the late nineties when community mental health was a team-based approach. This shaped my belief which is that people can thrive when offered the opportunity for integrated care. My training is primarily with families and children (0-18 years) as well as pregnant and post-partum women. I’m passionate about supporting caregiver/child relationships because it can shift entire family dynamics and improve outcomes for all family members. My specialties include attachment, caregiver/child interactions, and anxiety reduction for children and adults using CBT strategies, mindfulness, and acceptance.
Offers shorter-term counseling for Family Health Center patients referred by their physicians as part of the Integrated Care Model.
I grew up in Northern Kentucky, attended Eastern Kentucky University for my undergraduate studies, and moved just up the road for my MD/MPH at the University of Kentucky. Throughout college and medical school, I spent free time playing many intramural sports and heading up I-75 to visit family and, most often, to watch my little brother excel in every sport he played! My family is a priority in my life and it won’t take long talking to me before you know more than you’d probably like to about my brothers and nieces, parents, grandparents, fiancé, and dog!
Some of the most important and formative interactions I have had with the healthcare system were as a patient advocate for my own family members. Experiencing both the good and the bad of medicine through that lens paired with my experience in public health and passion for caring for people across all ages and backgrounds led me toward a career in family medicine. I am drawn to the specialty because of the way family doctors are encouraged to think about patients and the vast opportunities available to us after training.
When it comes down to it, I chose MAHEC for the reason so many others did – the great training but mostly, the people. I was looking for a program that would embrace my passion for not just medical illness, but the person behind the diagnosis. My priorities and values are echoed at MAHEC; I feel supported and surrounded by people who share the view that we can make a positive impact not only on those patients we serve but our colleagues and the community around us. And after interviewing with the program, my face hurt from smiling so much... I think that was enough to know it was the perfect place.
Outside of medicine, some of my favorite days have been spent in the Red River Gorge climbing and trail running with my dog Luna, as well as cycling the Legacy Trail and finding all the new places we can bike to with my soon-to-be husband, Elliot. The three of us are thrilled to be moving to a place where we will be surrounded by such a unique and thriving community, one where we can continue our hobbies and play in the mountains in our free time!
Brendan Crow was raised in Charlotte, NC spending an excessive amount of time swimming and bicycling. He first attended college at UNC Wilmington studying accounting and business before working several years in health informatics. While living in California and volunteering in several community organizations, he was drawn toward practicing primary care and learning the structural causes of disease and health inequities. He completed a post-bacc at UC Berkeley Extension before attending medical school at Georgetown University in Washington, DC.
He was drawn to MAHEC by its broad scope primary care training and interest in delivering equitable care. His professional interests include anti-racism and social medicine. Among his other interests he enjoys open water swimming, bicycle touring, and spontaneous local adventures with his partner, Lisa, and their two kids.
Hello everyone! My name is Andrew Currieo. I was born in Honolulu, HI but raised in Tallahassee, FL. Growing up a diehard Seminole fan made my decision to attend Florida State University a no-brainer. In fact, I received both my undergraduate and medical degrees there.
Growing up in a household where my father was a practicing family doctor provided an awesome introduction to this wonderful field. I too felt called to Family Medicine throughout medical school because of the ability to care/advocate for people of all ages and ailments, while forming long lasting relationships along the way.
This past interview cycle was unique in that it was entirely virtual. MAHEC stood out to me with their strong in-patient and out-patient training all within an environment that is welcoming and supportive. Everyone within the program was incredibly genuine and passionate about what they do both in and outside of medicine.
In my free time you can catch me cheering on FSU, hiking, fishing, cycling, and being outdoors with my wife, Cora, and our pup, Theo! We are pumped to be trading the gulf coast for the mountains and to be joining the awesome MAHEC family!
Hey all, my name is Julia Draper. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to continue my training at MAHEC after spending my clinical years of medical school as a UNC student at the Asheville campus. I was born and raised in Tallahassee, Florida but I spent many holidays falling in love with the Carolina mountains. I moved to North Carolina as soon as I could and went to school at a small liberal arts college nestled in the woods of Greensboro, Guilford College. I designed my own major in Integrative Healthcare so I could examine the bio-psycho-socio-political-cultural drivers of health. I entered medicine with this perspective and continued to study how sociocultural forces shape personal and community health and disparities. My interests in medicine include (but are certainly not limited to) building social justice healthcare curricula with an antiracism lens, Adverse Childhood Experiences, reproductive justice, and best practices in rural primary care.
I enjoy living close to the land and learning about the ecological and social histories of the communities I live in. When I'm not at work you can find me in my garden, studying Spanish, off for a walk in the woods, or dreaming up affordable off-grid housing solutions.
I truly look forward to working with each and every one of you.
Howdy, folks! My name is Everett Engstrom and I am thrilled to be joining the MAHEC team. I hail from Mt. Pleasant, SC, the town across the bridge from Charleston. Growing up in the lowcountry was a real treat, but undergrad took me to the upstate region at Clemson University. I cut my mountain teeth by way of collegiate cycling, and after my first race in Western NC, I was smitten. I graduated from Clemson early and went to work for a summer program for pre-professional health students.
For medical school I landed in the middle (and famously hottest) part of South Carolina at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine in Columbia. I chose to do my clinical years at the rural campus in Florence, SC. In doing so, I realized both the value of strong primary care and the ongoing desperate need for primary care providers in underserved areas throughout this country.
What attracted me most to MAHEC was the level to which their program is attuned to the needs of the community, and is always striving to produce physicians to meet those needs. One phrase that really stuck with me from my interview was that MAHEC’s goal is to “well-equip its grads to practice and thrive away from the ivory towers.” I trust the rigor and high standards for care here will allow me to go on to practice high quality care even in the most challenging settings. If you need more evidence for this, look no further than the MAHEC alumni list and see what some of their people have gone on to do!
Personally speaking, when I get “away from the ivory towers” I love to hit the trails on foot or on wheels. I’m an avid home chef, and often find my zen while in my kitchen or at my grill. I also cherish time with my family and four older siblings and love to hang out with them whenever possible. Thanks for reading!
I grew up in Rutherfordton, NC, and I am honored to have the chance to serve the Western North Carolina community as a Family Physician. I attended Rutherford County public schools and UNC-Chapel Hill for both college and medical school. I am always excited to learn new things about the state and our communities every day.
My goal as a physician is to build meaningful relationships and make healthcare more efficient, equitable, and accessible to all. I want to offer comprehensive, integrative, and high-quality healthcare that is guided by the individuals or community I am working with. Because of my personal experiences, interest in health disparities, agriculture, and Latino culture, I have a particular passion for serving Spanish-speaking community members, immigrants, migrant farm workers, and refugees. I also love working with youth outside of the clinic, and I look forward to working with MAHEC’s education and mentorship programs that engage local and regional students.
I find it important to stay engaged with my community outside of the clinic walls, and I am always looking for ways to do this through art, food, music, dance, and conversation. I am also grateful to continue exploring my love for the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains, hiking, gardening, beekeeping, cooking, and mountain biking along the way.
Hello! I was born and raised in Greensboro and went down the road to Elon University for college, where I majored in biology. After graduating, I worked for a year at the Alamance County Health Department working on local public health projects, including health insurance enrollment and efforts to improve behavioral health care in the county.
I attended UNC for medical school and was quickly drawn to family medicine because of the opportunity to work with patients of all ages, the strength of family doctors’ relationships with their patients, and their focus on health equity and social determinants of health. I was also lucky enough to do most of my clinical training in Asheville through MAHEC, and I am super excited to be returning to the MAHEC team for residency!
I love the variety of family medicine, and I’m also particularly interested in treating substance use disorder. I’m also passionate about advocating for patients at the state and local level. Outside of medicine, I enjoy playing and watching sports, hiking, cooking and reading, and I’m looking forward to exploring more of the trails and restaurants around Asheville and Western North Carolina!
Hi everyone! My name’s Maura and I’m thrilled to join the MAHEC Family Medicine program in Asheville! I’ve lived in New England for most of my life. I grew up in central Massachusetts, played D1 soccer at the College of the Holy Cross, and then completed four years of clinical research in the Boston area before starting medical school in Maine at the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine (UNECOM).
During my third-year rotations at UNECOM, my passion for family medicine was made clear. I loved all of my core rotations, but especially enjoyed the broad scope of the family medicine outpatient clinic: preventative and therapeutic visits for all ages, in-office procedures, and an emphasis on strong patient and physician relationships. I am really excited about lifestyle medicine and helping patients achieve optimal health through diet (especially whole-food plant-based diets!), stress management, exercise, etc. MAHEC’s Lifestyle Medicine Curriculum was a huge draw for me and I’m so excited to get involved and learn more.
MAHEC’s tight knit community and team atmosphere shone through during residency interviews. I wanted a combination of exceptional training as much as I wanted a supportive environment and after my interview, I knew MAHEC was for me. I love hiking, running, road and mountain biking, and can’t wait to experience the trails that Asheville has to offer. Although I am used to a lot of the winter sports that New England winters offer, I think I’ll quickly get used to the warmer climate in Asheville, NC!
Hey everyone! I’m Connor Jacobsen and I am excited to introduce myself as a MAHEC Asheville Family Medicine resident. I grew up in Colorado and attended the University of Colorado for my undergraduate education, where I participated in sports medicine, conducted research in a cell physiology laboratory, and built public health infrastructure in rural Nicaragua. Afterwards, I moved to West Texas to attend medical school at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, where I focused my time on community outreach and various public health and patient education projects.
I believe that family medicine is made up of individuals who enjoy the entirety of medicine, educate and empower patients, plant roots in a community, engage in constant outreach, enjoy building relationships over time, and love connecting with patients and their peers. These are my personal values and I feel that MAHEC has an incredible collection of people who fit this mold. Additionally, it completely suits my desire for a rigorous, full-scope training that will prepare me for any future career path.
My passions outside of medicine lie in the outdoors—I could not be more excited to return to the mountains like those of my childhood. On the weekend, you can find me hiking, running, skiing, biking, climbing, and playing with my dog. I also possess a love for cooking and coffee.
Hey everyone! It is a privilege to be joining the MAHEC Family Medicine program. Although I was born in Marietta, GA, I have come to consider North Carolina my home. During my undergraduate studies at UNC, I developed a passion for mental health. The integration of behavioral health in all aspects of medicine along with the privilege of being able to connect with patients on a physical, mental, and spiritual level steered me towards pursuing primary care. I was fortunate to become a double Tar Heel by attending the UNC School of Medicine. My interests further expanded into ultrasound, procedures, and working with Spanish-speaking communities. I quickly discovered my home in the field of Family Medicine and committed to a rural fast track program offered through UNC and MAHEC.
What resonates with me about the MAHEC program is its core objective of training to the bar of rural medicine, equipping its residents to be patient-centered leaders both in Western North Carolina and nationally. Our program values the significant impact that full-spectrum Family Medicine offers underserved communities and constantly strives for innovation in practice, notably through its emphasis on Point of Care Ultrasound and Medication-assisted treatment. MAHEC offers a rigorous blend of ambulatory care, inpatient adult medicine, OB-GYN, behavioral health, pediatrics, and procedural skills – all in high acuity settings – that truly prepares us for the complex challenges we will ultimately face as physicians. My goal is to develop the skills to serve rural North Carolina through a mix of inpatient medicine and outpatient primary care.
Outside of medicine, you can find me playing tennis or basketball (pre-COVID). My other hobbies include cooking, baking, and specialty coffee. My Christian faith is a fundamental aspect of my life, and I value the community and opportunities for service that it provides. The decision to train in Asheville is rewarding in both an academic and personal way. The city has everything to offer in terms of food, breweries, music venues, etc., all while being surrounded by a wide range of outdoor activities. I couldn’t be more fortunate than to spend my residency in such a great city surrounded by such great people!>
Hello everyone! My name is Boone Marois and I am excited to join the MAHEC Family Medicine program in Asheville! I have spent my entire life in Michigan but I am excited to call the mountains of North Carolina my future home.
My passion for medicine and the outdoors led me to Asheville. I grew up camping in Northern Michigan and discovered the thrill of backpacking during my college years at Hope College in Holland, MI. Here I also grew more interested in medicine as I received a degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and performed research in nuclear chemistry; exploring how radiotracers can be used in medical imaging.
Having been a collegiate sprinter, I initially explored medicine through the lens of sports medicine and orthopedic surgery. After college, I worked as a cast technician for an orthopedic office in my hometown of Traverse City, MI. Given my interest in athletics, I thought I would certainly pursue orthopedics as a career. However, as I went through medical school at the University of Michigan, I realized that I became intensely interested in every aspect of a patient’s health, not just their bones and joints. Particularly, I became passionate about Lifestyle Medicine, which focuses on the pillars of nutrition, exercise, sleep, stress, substance use, and healthy relationships to empower patients to create habits that allow them to live their best possible lives. This interest blossomed into creating a Lifestyle Medicine Interest Group and led me to Asheville where a Lifestyle Medicine Residency Curriculum is offered and emphasized.
As I learned about Lifestyle Medicine, my lifestyle changed, too. I went from omnivore to a vegan whole food, plant-based diet. I stopped sprinting and transitioned to triathlons and ultramarathons. I focused on restorative practices such as yoga and meditation and found myself advocating for my colleagues and patients to also make lifestyle changes, big or small. It was in this space that I felt compelled to pursue Family Medicine, which serves as the perfect platform to form lasting relationships with patients and to help them make sustainable lifestyle changes.
The supportive community of the faculty at MAHEC and the presence of a Lifestyle Medicine Curriculum offered the perfect combination for my residency training. In addition, the ample opportunities in Asheville will allow me to recharge by running in the mountains, camping with friends, gardening into late autumn, and experiencing new plant-based cuisine. I could not be more excited to start practicing Family Medicine in such a wonderful place.
Hi there! My name is Dallas Peters and I am so excited to be joining the MAHEC family!
I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and spent my childhood exploring my beautiful home state of California. After attending a very small high school in San Francisco, I headed south to a much larger school to study biology and anthropology at UC Irvine. The four years I spent at UCI really opened my eyes to how social determinants of health impact communities and started me on my path towards medicine. After graduation, I worked in various areas of healthcare for several years including working as a scribe in an emergency department and as a laboratory assistant at UC Davis. My path to medicine next took me to Boston where I completed my Master's Degree in Medical Science at Boston University, and finally to Creighton University School of Medicine where I received my medical training.
I was drawn to Family Medicine for many reasons including the emphasis on making long-term lasting connections with patients, patient advocacy, caring for people of all ages and stages of life, and addressing the biopsychosocial aspects of medicine. My medical interests include (but are not limited to) full-spectrum family medicine, women's health, rural medicine, preventative medicine, and caring for medically underserved communities.
Interviewing for residency looked a little different for everyone this year as it was entirely online, but the minute the virtual interview day started I could tell MAHEC was special. I think it was a combination of knowing I would receive excellent full-spectrum training and being very impressed by the people and the supportive atmosphere of the program. I knew MAHEC was where I needed to be.
Outside of medicine you'll find me baking (especially cheesecake), traveling, exploring the outdoors, discovering a new restaurant or brewery, binge-watching a TV show, or losing myself in a good book.
Hi everyone! My name is Garrett Burrell and I’m excited to be joining the Family medicine program at MAHEC! I was born here in Western North Carolina and have lived in the surrounding area my whole life. I attended undergrad at Mars Hill University and lived in Brevard working as a building contractor for several years before embarking on a career in medicine. The last few years of my life have been spent in Spartanburg at VCOM-Carolinas, and at my clinical site here in Asheville. I love living in the mountains of North Carolina and can’t wait to spend the next few years training among the community I call home.
I am passionate about family medicine, as it involves taking care of people of all ages and from all walks of life. While my interests in family medicine are broad, I have a particular interest in preventative and sports medicine.
As an avid outdoorsman, on my days off you can find me out fly fishing, rock climbing, mountain biking or hiking through Pisgah National Forest.
Hi there! My name is Julia Ceglenski, and I’m very excited to be completing my post-graduate medical training at MAHEC’s Family Medicine Residency.
I was born and raised in Jefferson City, Missouri then moved to St. Louis to attend Saint Louis University for both my undergraduate and medical degrees. While in medical school, I was initially drawn towards primary care due to its high level of confrontation and effective interventions with social determinants of health, health equity, and healthcare systems. I had the amazing opportunity to act as Co-director of our fully student-run free medical clinic which further solidified my love of community medicine and population health.
I had always felt Midwest was best until I met my partner who hails from Johnson City, Tennessee. He put Asheville on the map for me and after a brief visit, I fell in love with the mountainous roads and dense forests. The family medicine program at MAHEC resonated with me because of their strong commitment to teaching full spectrum medicine that extends to all communities – rural, native, LGBTQ+, housing insecure, etc. Following my virtual interview day, the faculty and residents had made me feel welcomed and valued almost instantaneously. As a NHSC scholar, I felt strongly that MAHEC was going to prepare me for any setting I wished to practice in after residency.
Outside of medicine, you’ll find me hiking, planning my next big road trip, checking out historic architecture, hitting up estate sales/thrifting, cooking without a recipe, or snuggling on the couch with my cat. I can’t wait to make western North Carolina my new home and join the MAHEC family!
Hello! I am so excited to be joining the MAHEC and Asheville community! I grew up in Vernon, CT with dreams of owning a bakery. I changed my mind after taking business classes in college (Marketing, I’m looking at you!). After college I spent several years working various healthcare jobs and realized I wanted to be a doctor. I went to medical school at Tufts in Boston where I had special interests in medical education and primary care. I was drawn to this program because of the passionate and engaged people I met during my interview, and the beautiful mountain town that has so much to offer. A few of my interests in family medicine include rural medicine, women’s health and medical education. In my free time you can find me knitting (my goal is a handmade wardrobe), cooking for my family, hiking and swimming.
Hi everyone! My name is Katie Crider and I’m beyond excited to be joining the MAHEC Family Medicine Program! I’m from Dawson Springs, a small town in Western Kentucky. After high school, I attended undergrad at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green and completed my medical training at University of Louisville School of Medicine. After spending my entire life in Kentucky, I’m thrilled to move to Asheville and begin my dream job!
During my undergraduate studies, I developed an interest in leadership. Specifically, I enjoy helping my peers identify what types of leaders they aspire to be and supporting them towards that goal. This passion ultimately fueled my desire to become a family medicine physician, where I view every patient as the leader of their personal health care journey. My goal as a primary care physician is to encourage my patients to play an active role in their own health by increasing their health care literacy and forming long-lasting relationships.
MAHEC was unlike any other program. They are well integrated into the community, knowledgeable of the unique needs of each community member, and strive to provide unparalleled medical services to their patients. As a primary care physician, it is my job to address not only the physical, but the emotional and social needs of my patients as well. I felt as though MAHEC was the only program that would truly prepare me to provide for all the needs of any given patient. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to continue my training here.
Not only is the program itself remarkable, but Asheville has everything I could want! I’m looking forward to waking up in the mountains every day. I enjoy being outside as much as I can hiking, kayaking, and playing fetch (for hours on end) with my dog, Cocoa. I also appreciate nights in cooking pasta from scratch with and having scary movie marathons with my friends. One of my goals while in Asheville is to visit as many unique breweries as I can! have no doubt that this place will feel like home and look forward to starting this new journey.
Coming from a farming family, I was born and raised in a tiny village in Ohio. My large, supportive family and loyal community taught me the value of hard work, showing up for my people, and being fearless in my dreams. This seeded my love for rural communities and community outreach but also a deep desire to explore cultures different from my own.
Traveling to new places and taking on new challenges is my favorite outlet. At 19, I took my first trip overseas to research global poverty in Bangladesh and found that delaying pregnancy was the single greatest impactor in reducing generational poverty. This knowledge and my belief in preventative and sustainable initiatives has made me determined to be a women’s health advocate and practitioner. With degrees in nutrition and exercise science, I was enticed by MAHEC’s extensive lifestyle medicine curriculum, yet the strong obstetrics training was the deciding factor.
My top priority is to approach life with curiosity and a growth mindset, so my long-term goals are constantly evolving. Food sovereignty, reproductive justice, street medicine, human exploitation, and criminal justice reform top the list of my interests. I’m drawn to working with underserved and marginalized populations because healthcare shouldn’t be a privilege. I didn’t think it was possible for a program to support such diverse pursuits, but the people here are just as invigorated by my social medicine quest as I am. I’m so grateful to learn and grow with the MAHEC team!
Through research or education, I’ve found my way to every continent except Antarctica and I’m ALWAYS on the hunt for a way to get there. I’m recently engaged but we’ve had an ‘old married couple’ status for a while. Two adopted mutts plus a cat and here we are a decade later still pretending we know what we’re doing. We’re both adrenaline junkies, enjoy disconnecting outdoors with our dogs, traveling, and are (overly)ambitious DIYers. I enjoy gardening, mentoring, books, and triathlons. My goal is to contribute as much to MAHEC and the Asheville community as I suspect I will gain from it – a hard feat on my end as I know the program has so much to offer.
Hey-how-are-ya! I grew up in the suburbs of Toronto with 5 older brothers and sisters and parents (in the picture above). I lived a classic Canadian life growing up – playing hockey, snowboarding, and enjoying all the outdoor activities the great white north has to offer. I also played lacrosse competitively and ended up going to Florida State to play for the Seminoles as well as earn my Bachelor of Science in Biology. I then took a couple years after graduating to volunteer, coach at the local Tallahassee high school and work on applying to medical school application. I’m excited to be a part of the MAHEC Family Medicine residency to not only continue my medical education but also help the great people in the Asheville community achieve their health goals!
Hi, my name is Sidney Levingston. I grew up in McLean, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, D.C. I completed my undergraduate studies at Washington University in St. Louis, where I majored in chemistry and minored in psychology, and then attended medical school at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia.
I was drawn to the MAHEC Asheville program because of my interest in women’s health. I’m especially passionate about reproductive justice, patient advocacy, and improving access to comprehensive care, and I felt like those were reflected in the people and learning opportunities at this program. Asheville also seemed like an amazing place to live, so I’m excited to explore the community and all the area has to offer.
Outside of medicine, I love baking, cooking, reading, traveling, and college football. I was born and raised an Alabama Crimson Tide fan, so Roll Tide! I’m hoping living in Asheville will inspire me to pick up a couple more active/outdoorsy hobbies. Also, I absolutely love dogs and plan to get one as soon as I move to Asheville.
Howdy! I’m Megan Mikkelson and I am so very excited to be joining the MAHEC family. I’m from a lot of different places, but have lived most of my life in Wisconsin and Texas. I spent my pre-med years in central Texas studying Genetics, bovine embryology, and finally microbiome changes in cervical cancer treatment. I moved out to West Texas for medical school at Texas Tech HSC. There I fell in love with nearly every aspect of medicine, and through volunteering at our local Free Clinic, decided to join the Family Medicine Revolution!
I approach medicine from a very holistic, humanistic perspective. I’m very passionate about LGBTQIA+ centered healthcare, disability education and outreach, and providing high-quality, evidence-based medicine to generations of patients. My special interests include Women’s health, gender affirming care, adolescent medicine, and chronic illness. I love talking about goals of care, trauma informed medicine, and neurodivergency!
MAHEC means so much to me; during interviews I felt so wonderfully supported and connected with faculty and fellow residents! The continuous outreach and support has made me so excited to make the move to NC. I feel confident that I will be able to achieve all my goals and grow as a person and as a doctor.
Outside of the hospital, I love to hike, play volleyball, do lots of yoga and Krav Maga, and explore new restaurants. You’ll also likely find me with my cat, Goose, knitting or enjoying a good book.
Hi there! My name is Sarah Beth and a I am so excited to be joining the MAHEC Asheville Family Medicine program! MAHEC has been my dream program since I first heard about it during my third year of medical school. On my interview day I knew I had found my people and had that instant gut feeling I was home. The faculty and residents were so kind and welcoming, and I immediately knew this was the place for me! I am looking forward to a rigorous education that will prepare me to practice in a rural community in the future.
I grew up in a small city south of Richmond, Virginia called Hopewell where my family owns an independent grocery store. I attended Virginia Commonwealth University School of Engineering where I studied Biomedical Engineering with the intent of working in prosthetics or rehabilitation technology but ultimately found my interest lay with the people who wore them. I was lucky to attend medical school at Virginia Commonwealth University and spend more time in the amazing city of Richmond exploring the river and many, many delicious restaurants. I knew I wanted to pursue family medicine after working in a few small clinics in Richmond as well as in the rural part of the state!
In my free time you can find me doing anything outside – running, hiking, camping, or just reading a book on my porch. I also love to explore a good museum, play the piano, and drink any kind of coffee. My guilty pleasure is definitely playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons or MarioKart on my Nintendo switch. My husband Will and our cat Pippin (named after my favorite hobbit in the Lord of the Rings series) are so excited to be moving to the Asheville area!
Hi everyone! I am Ana. I am originally from Ukraine but have enjoyed traveling the world. I studied Environmental Economics and Policy at the University of California, Berkeley, for my undergraduate education. After graduation, I spent several years working and volunteering in the healthcare field and doing musculoskeletal research. I fell in love with the mountains during my time in Colorado, where I attended the University of Colorado School of Medicine. In my free time, I enjoy hiking, biking, running, and all things sports when the weather is nice or exploring restaurants, cooking, and reading when it is not. I am looking forward to joining the MAHEC family and exploring the gorgeous North Carolina mountains and the Asheville food scene!
Hello everyone! My name is Betsy Wright and I am excited to join the MAHEC family medicine program in Asheville! I am originally from the Boston area but have spent significant time living in Iowa, Vermont, and western Maine. I went to Grinnell College in Grinnell Iowa for undergrad where I majored in studio art with a focus in ceramics. I spent 6 years between finishing undergrad and starting medical school living in Vermont where I completed my pre-med coursework at UVM and worked as a nursing assistant at UVMMC. I also spent a good chunk of time traveling, hiking, taking art classes, and generally enjoying life.
For medical school I moved back to Iowa to attend Des Moines University. I was involved in the medical humanities club and volunteered with an organization that provides furniture for people moving out of domestic violence shelters. I met my partner Ivan at DMU and in our free time we enjoy kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding, going to new restaurants and breweries, and taking our adopted three year old corgi/dachshund mix on long walks.
I loved all of my core rotation third year but I was especially drawn to family medicine and Ob/Gyn because of the strong doctor-patient relationships that form. I am so excited to join a program that trains full-scope family physicians in a setting that emphasizes patient centered care. In my future practice I hope to incorporate my interests in breastfeeding medicine, women’s health, and reproductive justice.
I grew up in Asheville and was actually born here at Mission Hospital. I completed undergraduate studies at UNC-CH, after which I worked in renewable energy for about 5 years before deciding I wanted to become a physician. Along the way this brought me to Atlanta, GA, Denver, CO, Oakland, CA, and eventually back to North Carolina. My wife and I have twin boys which were born after my 2nd year of medical school. I took a gap year to be with them during the first year of their life. I am thrilled to return to Asheville to raise my kids where I grew up, and to join the truly wonderful crew at MAHEC. A few of my specific interests in Family Medicine are pediatrics, preventative care, chronic disease management and dermatology.
Outside of medicine I mostly like to ride bikes, hike, play soccer, or be with friends and family.
Hi all! I’m Cicely Krebill and I am incredibly excited to be joining the MAHEC team in Asheville as a family medicine resident! I grew up in Fairway, Kansas, close to Kansas City, and spent a lot of time visiting my family in rural parts of the Midwest. I had the opportunity to attend college at Northeastern University, where I enjoyed the city life in Boston. After that, I decided to stay up in New England for a bit longer and attended the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.
During my time in medical school, I connected with a lot of folks experiencing housing insecurity and found a passion for full-scope medicine that increases access to healthcare for underserved communities which is why family medicine felt like a natural choice. After interviewing at MAHEC, I knew it was the perfect fit for me. It was such a tight-knit community that was committed to meeting the needs of Western North Carolina and I cannot wait to continue to learn and grow as a physician in Asheville.
As a family medicine resident, it is unsurprising that my special interests are broad. They include maternal child health, reproductive justice, dermatology, and sports medicine, and I felt like MAHEC’s diverse opportunities would train me to be the type of physician that is able to serve whatever community I end up practicing in after residency.
Asheville was also an exciting move because in my free time, you can find me outside! I enjoy hiking, skiing, running, and camping with my partner Parker and dog Huck. We are thrilled to be moving to a mountain town and are excited to join the MAHEC community!
Hi! I’m Hannah and I was born and raised in the Kansas City metropolitan area. I graduated from Truman State with a degree in anthropology and went back to get a biology degree at UMKC, followed by a masters in Biomedical Science at A.T. Still University in Kirksville, Missouri, where I also completed medical school. I completed my rotations out in Jersey City, NJ, where I had great exposure to urban medicine and urban life, on top of the rural exposure from Missouri. I am so excited to join the MAHEC family. I was drawn to this program due to the emphasis on reproductive health, obstetrics, health equality and social justice. My interests include women’s health, obstetrics, reproductive justice, health inequality, and wilderness medicine.
I have a 9 month old little boy named Ronan, and my husband Jassour and I love to take him on our adventures. We are so excited to move to Western North Carolina, and get back into our outdoor activities, and explore what Asheville and the mountains have to offer. In my free time, you can find me with my family exploring the outdoors, making jam, gardening, and trying recipes from my cookbook collection.
Hello future friends! My name is Chad Owens, and I am honored to be joining the MAHEC (Mountain Area Health Education Center) Family Medicine program in Asheville soon. I grew up just a couple of hours down I40 West in the mountains of Eastern Tennessee. I was raised by an absolute angel of a single mother and have had the privilege of calling Tennessee home my entire life. I attended the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK) as an undergraduate and helped to institute Neuroscience as a major while studying the same subject. I worked various jobs while at UTK including Papa John's delivery driver, research assistant, dollar store manager, phlebotomist, and many more. I consider myself a Volunteer in heart and spirit and have always strived to be heavily involved in my community. I have had the honor of volunteering at local elementary schools, nursing homes, hospitals, and animal shelters and sincerely strive to give back whenever and wherever I can.
I attended the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in Memphis, TN for medical school. My passion for family medicine grew from the realization of disparities across Tennessee and opportunities to impact the community.
Aside from volunteering, my hobbies include basketball, disc golf, baking, grilling, gardening, board games, pinball, Skee-Ball, and spending time with my dog, among many more. I am so genuinely honored to be part of the Asheville community and look forward to striving to help in any way I can! I look forward to meeting you soon.
Hi there! My name is Bahtya Peterson and I'm excited to join the MAHEC-Asheville family medicine residency program. I was born in Philadelphia and spent most of my childhood in the sunny coastal town of Melbourne Beach, FL. I completed my undergraduate studies in Biology and Anthropology at the University of Florida and went on to work as a research assistant studying breast and ovarian cancer, as well as a medical scribe in a family medicine outpatient clinic.
The experiences from my childhood and work showed me the challenges of our healthcare system in providing equitable care to everyone, which motivated me to attend medical school at NSU -KPCOM. There, I initiated a plant-based health group on campus while volunteering with local organizations focusing on food waste, hunger, and reproductive justice.
I was initially drawn to MAHEC's program near the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains for their Lifestyle Medicine curriculum, but as I delved deeper, I found many other opportunities that align with my primary care goals. My interests include preventative care, nutrition and reproductive health literacy, gender affirming care, addiction medicine, and social justice centered healthcare. I am overjoyed to have the opportunity to join the supportive environment at MAHEC and learn from their incredible faculty and staff.
Outside of medicine, I enjoy swimming, biking, reading travel mystery and science fiction novels, cooking plant-based meals, and going on hikes with my partner, Mario, and our pup, Chewbacca! My personal goals for the next few years include flourishing a vegetable garden in our backyard and becoming part of the Asheville community.
Hi everyone! My name is Michaela Schreyer. I am originally from a really tiny, rural town in western Pennsylvania called Hastings. I grew up there with my mom, sister, and grandparents, who are my best friends and biggest supporters. I did my undergrad at the University of Pittsburgh, where I studied biology, and then moved down to Charlottesville, VA, where I completed medical school at the University of Virginia.
I am beyond thrilled to be joining the MAHEC team as a family medicine resident! MAHEC stood out to me for many reasons, but all come back to the same theme: community. MAHEC is a program unlike most, where I was able to truly see just how integrated this program is in the larger community of Western NC. With my interest in rural medicine, I loved that MAHEC would give me the opportunity to explore this passion in a place with such robust support for it, without having to give up the experience of also practicing within a larger healthcare system. Additionally, the passion that faculty and residents have at MAHEC for improving their community is contagious, and I can’t wait to be a part of that!
In my free time, I really enjoy hiking, singing (plug for a karaoke duet partner!), reading fiction (and re-reading the Harry Potter series of course), crocheting, and painting! I can’t wait to explore everything Asheville has to offer!
Hello! My name is Ashley. I’m originally from Santa Rosa, California, and went to medical school at the University of California Davis. I feel fortunate to have come from this sunny state to yours for residency and beyond.
I have an eclectic background that has provided fertile soil for connecting with others from all sorts of walks of life. For example, my recent work prior to medical school was in international research studying the impact of menstruation on school performance among adolescent girls from India and Kenya. While in these locations, I immersed myself in the different values and experiences of these cultures. I grew my capacity to see what life means from those various angles. In doing so, I continue to strive to be open-minded and welcoming to folks from all walks of life. As a medical provider, I look forward to walking alongside you as I have the pleasure of getting to know you and helping you actualize your future health and wellness goals.
Hello! My name is Liz Strauss, and I am from Norfolk, Virginia. I completed my undergraduate degree in public health at William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA before I returned to Norfolk for medical school at Eastern Virginia Medical School.
I am so excited to start my journey in family medicine at MAHEC! This program offers so many opportunities that align with my interests such as lifestyle medicine, global health, and reproductive healthcare.
Outside of medicine, I love food, Premier League soccer, and spending time with my partner Drew who is a general surgery resident at MAHEC and our dog Wren. We cannot wait to explore all the local breweries and restaurants as we learn about all that Asheville has to offer!
Hello, my name is Marcia Thacher and I am excited to be joining the MAHEC Asheville Family Medicine program! A prior career in engineering originally brought my husband and I to the Asheville area in 2011, and, in the time between then and now, I have been fortunate to realize a longtime goal of becoming a physician. I completed undergrad prerequisites from our very own outstanding UNC Asheville (go Bulldogs!) and medical school at East Tennessee State in nearby Johnson City!
Being originally from a rural Midwestern town and having settled in the mountains of WNC, I’m committed to the cause of improving rural healthcare. ETSU’s medical school has an excellent rural track training program that I am proud to have been a part of, and I can’t wait to continue my education in rural family medicine at MAHEC Asheville. A few areas of particular interest to me include studying rural socioeconomic histories that led to the present, as well as emerging concepts for primary care like integrated behavioral health.
I maintain my own physical and mental health through activities that balance life in the hospital. I enjoy experiencing nature through hiking, medicinal gardening, and scuba diving. My second love is working with animals through fostering with the Asheville Humane Society, and looking after our menagerie of pets- currently 6 in total- at home.
Hey y’all! My name is Trent Younts (rhymes with “fonts”) and I’m beyond excited to be joining the MAHEC Asheville family. I was born and raised in rural Lexington, NC, and attended Wake Forest University for undergrad and medical school. As a biology major, I developed a passion for science but soon found out that bench work was not for me, as it was missing the interaction with people. Through diverse experiences in medical school, I found that Family Medicine provided a great meeting of science and people.
I look forward to growing my skillset in Asheville while caring for patients of all ages and backgrounds. I’m particularly interested in the Lifestyle medicine curriculum and the care of rural patient populations that the program provides.
My lovely wife, Carrie, and I are ecstatic to be moving to our go-to “vacation” destination. We have our camping gear packed and ready to escape to the mountains at any chance we get, and have spent countless nights in the mountains of Western North Carolina. As a Double Deac, I’m an avid fan of all things Wake Forest athletics. We also love to spend time together in the kitchen, on the golf course, pickleball court, and at any of the myriad of local breweries!
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
The MAHEC Mary C. Nesbitt Biltmore Campus, constructed in 2013, houses the Family Health Center, Dental Health Center, Education Building, and Ob/Gyn Specialists. The newly constructed UNC Health Sciences at MAHEC building houses the UNC School of Medicine Asheville campus, UNC Gillings School's Master of Public Health Program in Asheville, the Center for Health Professions Education, the Rural Health Initiatives team, and the Center for Psychiatry and Mental Wellness. The Family Health Center includes 33 patient care rooms, behavioral health offices, group visit space, ultrasound, x-ray, and laboratory services.
MAHEC residents train at Mission Hospital, a part of the Mission Health system and a regional referral center for 16 counties in Western North Carolina and parts of TN, SC, WV, and VA. The medical staff is comprised of approximately 650 physicians, with nearly all subspecialties available. Mission is an 815-bed hospital, featuring state-of-the-art facilities. The Emergency Department at Mission averages over 95,000 patient visits per year.
In 2020, Mission Hospital was named North Carolina's Best Hospital by Business North Carolina; it is one of the busiest hospitals in the state. Read more about Mission’s various accolades here.
Welcome to a powerful approach for preventing, managing, and reversing
chronic health conditions through lifestyle and behavioral changes.
Our Lifestyle Medicine Residency
Curriculum, the first in North Carolina, builds on MAHEC’s tradition of delivering innovative medical education and whole-person care. It also takes advantage of Asheville’s abundance of outdoor sports and recreation, parks and greenways, local farms, and wellness practices.
A Whole-Person Approach
Lifestyle medicine focuses on six key areas:
avoiding toxic substances
forming and maintaining relationships
This evidence-based approach provides physicians with powerful tools to partner with patients to improve overall health and well-being. By preventing, treating, and even reversing conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol, lifestyle medicine can make a significant impact on health and well-being across the lifespan.
All MAHEC residents are eligible to participate in the LMRC and have the opportunity to become board eligible in Lifestyle Medicine if they so desire. Upon completion of the curriculum, residents will qualify to sit for the American Board of Lifestyle Medicine certification exam after graduation.
Lifestyle Medicine Modules
Introduction to Lifestyle Medicine
Role of Physician Health and the Physician’s Personal Health
Nutrition Science, Assessment, and Prescription
Physical Activity, Science, and Prescription
Sleep Health, Science, and Interventions
Managing Tobacco Cessation and Other Toxic Exposures
Fundamentals of Health Behavioral Change
Key Clinical Processes in Lifestyle Medicine
Emotional and Mental Well-Being Assessment and Interventions
The Role of Connectedness and Positive Psychology
Ginger Poulton, MD, MSEd, DipABLM Family Medicine Faculty Physician
Assistant Director, Transitional Year Residency Program
Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Clinic
Office-Based Opioid Treatment
Rural Health Initiatives
Behavioral Health Fellowship
Make Your Own 4th Year Fellowship
Sports Medicine Fellowship
Interview Dates & Second Looks
Our interview days are on Tuesday and Thursday. We will interview every week From October 11, 2022 through January 26, 2023 except for the weeks of October 24-28 for the in-training exam week and December 26–January 6 for the holidays. Our interviews begin with a casual catered dinner party hosted at one of our resident's homes the night before.
We welcome residents who would like to arrange a second look. Second look visits are arranged by appointment.
In compliance with AAMC recommendations, MAHEC Family Medicine Residency suggests that applicants signal their most interested programs regardless of whether they are home or away rotations. This is the most fair and equitable process for all applicant types (MD, DO, and IMGs) and provides all programs that participate in receiving signals with the same information about interest level. This signaling information will be used in the process of choosing applicants to interview but not for rank list ordering.
We invite you to apply to our program via the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). We will review your application and contact you if we wish to invite you for an interview. Typically, our interview season runs from mid-October through mid-December. We have 16 interview date options and welcome applicants back for informal second looks.
A complete ERAS application is required, including:
Curriculum Vitae (CV)
Three letters of recommendation from faculty who have directly supervised clinical performance (at least one letter should be from a family physician)
Medical school transcript(s)
Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE)
USMLE, COMLEX, or Canadian licensing exam scores (Step 1 required, Step 2 CK required before ranking, Step 2 CS preferred)
Questions regarding the application process should be directed to the residency program coordinators at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eligibility and Selection Criteria
The Graduate Medical Education (GME) programs will select from among eligible applicants on the basis of residency program-related criteria such as their preparedness, ability, aptitude, academic credentials, communication skills, and personal qualities such as motivation and integrity.
An applicant must meet or exceed the following minimum qualification(s) to be eligible for selection and appointment to MAHEC’s GME residency programs:
Be a graduate of a medical school in the United States or Canada, accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME); or
Be a graduate of a college of osteopathic medicine in the United States, accredited by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA); or
Be a graduate of a non-LCME- or AOA-approved medical school who also meets one of the following additional qualifications:
holds a currently-valid certificate from the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) prior to appointment; or
holds a full and unrestricted license to practice medicine in a United States licensing jurisdiction in his or her current ACGME specialty/subspecialty program; or
has graduated from a medical school outside the United States and has completed a Fifth Pathway program provided by a LCME-accredited medical school.
Passed USMLE Steps 1 and 2 or COMLEX 1 and 2 within three attempts, as required by the North Carolina Medical Board.
Be eligible for a NC resident training license.
Be eligible to work in the U.S. (citizen, permanent resident, eligible visa including J1). MAHEC does not sponsor H1B or other visas.
International Medical Graduates
Special laws and regulations apply to international medical graduates who wish to enter the United States to undertake graduate medical education. MAHEC's policies and procedures regarding graduates of international medical schools comply with federal and state laws and regulations and MAHEC's commitment to graduate medical education.
Graduates of medical schools outside the United States and Canada must have a currently valid certificate from ECFMG. Applicants must successfully pass both Step 1 (basic medical) and Step 2 (clinical knowledge and skills) of the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE).
While MAHEC does not sponsor a visa, the international medical graduate applicant must also possess a current/valid visa option or other status governed by the U.S. Immigration Regulations to participate in a GME program.
Finally, the North Carolina Medical Board requires that physicians who are graduates of schools that are not accredited by the LCME or the AOA (foreign medical schools) must be individually certified by ECFMG, have successfully completed at least three years of accredited graduate medical training, and have passed the USMLE or its equivalent to be eligible for application for full licensure. An international medical graduate must complete all other application requirements required by MAHEC and the GME program.