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Susan Alexander, MD Susan Alexander, MD
Family Medicine Faculty Physician
Family Medicine Residency Assistant Program Director

MAHEC Family Health Center at Enka/Candler map
25 Westridge Market Place
Candler, NC 28715
phone (828) 418-0040

Susan Alexander, MD, is a family physician at the Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) in Asheville. She is board-certified in Family Medicine and Lifestyle Medicine. She is a clinical assistant professor with the University of North Carolina School of Medicine.

Dr. Alexander practices full-scope family medicine at the MAHEC Family Health Center at Enka/Candler. She provides primary care for newborns, children, and adults, and she provides pregnancy care. Dr. Alexander also provides inpatient care at Mission Hospital, including some obstetrics and deliveries. She also offers a wide array of in-office procedures. Additionally, Dr. Alexander provides office-based opioid medication-assisted treatment services. She speaks Spanish, and interpreter services are available as needed.

Dr. Alexander completed her undergraduate education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, medical school at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, and her family medicine residency at MAHEC in Asheville.


Michelle Boose, MD, MPH, FAACP Michelle Boose, MD, MPH, FAACP
Faculty Physician

Special Interests: Wellness and coaching

Hello!  I’m originally from Northwest Ohio, and joined the MAHEC family at the end of 2020.  I completed my undergraduate at Kent State, and my MPH at the Ohio State University.  (Go Bucks!)  I completed my preclinical years of medical school at Howard University and my clinical training at the University of Toledo.  I completed residency at Flower Hospital, which was also in Northwest Ohio.

Relationship building and assisting in the process of another person’s growth is something I appreciate.  Coming to MAHEC I quickly realized the people here have a similar mindset, and had as much of a vested interest in me as I did in them. Coming to MAHEC has been a wonderful opportunity and has allowed me to focus on my special interests of both coaching as well as equity, diversity, and inclusion.  My clinical interests include health promotion and wellness.

Beyond that, who doesn’t want to wake up every day in an amazingly beautiful place?!  Consider it icing on the cake.


Sandra Clark, MD, MPH Sandra Clark, MD, MPH
Family Medicine Faculty Physician - Psychiatry Liaison

MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore map
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
phone (828) 257-4730


Mike Coladonato, MD Mike Coladonato, MD
Family Medicine Faculty Physician
Medical Director Cane Creek satellite clinic

MAHEC Family Health Center at Cane Creek map
1542 Cane Creek Road
Fletcher, NC 28732
phone (828) 628-8250

I provide full-spectrum family medicine to the local community, strive to teach our resident physicians small practice practicalities and survival skills, and inspire the community to be healthful. My interests inside of medicine include international work, integrative medicine, chronic disease management, low risk obstetrics, office procedures including vasectomy, resident and medical student education, nutrition and exercise as medicine, inpatient medicine, work/life balance, Latino outreach, and advanced care planning for end-of-life discussions.


Nicole Evans, DO Nicole Evans, DO
Family Medicine Faculty Physician

MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore map
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
phone (828) 257-4730


Blake Fagan, MD Blake Fagan, MD

Faculty Physician
Department Chair
Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UNC School of Medicine

MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore map
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
phone (828) 257-4730

Blake Fagan, MD, is a family physician at the Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) in Asheville, chief education officer at UNC Health Sciences at MAHEC, and a faculty member of the Department of Family Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Dr. Fagan directs the office-based opioid treatment services provided at MAHEC’s family health centers and trains healthcare providers and medical residency programs across the state in medication-assisted treatment, safe pain management, and safe opioid prescribing practices. Dr. Fagan completed his undergraduate education at the University of Missouri–Columbia, medical school at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, and his family medicine residency at MAHEC in Asheville.


Josh Gettinger, MD Josh Gettinger, MD
Family Medicine Faculty Physician

MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore map
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
phone (828) 257-4730


Benjamin Gilmer, MD Benjamin Gilmer, MD
Family Medicine Faculty Physician
Rural Fellowship Director
Director, Rural Health Initiatives

MAHEC Family Health Center at Cane Creek map
1542 Cane Creek Road
Fletcher, NC 28732
phone (828) 628-8250

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.


Jeff Heck, MD Jeff Heck, MD
Family Medicine Faculty Physician

MAHEC Family Health Center at Deerfield map
1617 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
phone (828) 274-1531, ext. 3286


Melissa Hicks, MD Melissa Hicks, MD

Faculty Physician
Transitional Year Residency Program Director
35 years experience in Primary Care and OB

MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore map
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
phone (828) 257-4730

Areas of special interest include the full scope of family medical care, including caring for women during pregnancy and childbirth, along with the family.


Steve Hulkower, MD Steve Hulkower, MD
Family Medicine Faculty Physician

MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore map
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
phone (828) 257-4730

Areas of special interest include sports medicine, care of adolescents and children, prevention and health promotion.


Sylvia Kauffman, MD Sylvia Kauffman, MD
Family Medicine Faculty Physician

MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore map
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
phone (828) 257-4730

MAHEC Family Health Center at Enka/Candler map
25 Westridge Market Place
Candler, NC 28715
phone (828) 418-0040


Kyle Knowlson, MD Kyle Knowlson, MD
Family Medicine Faculty Physician

MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore map
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
phone (828) 257-4730


Robyn Latessa, MD Robyn Latessa, MD
Associate Dean and Campus Director, UNC School of Medicine Asheville
Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UNC Chapel Hill
Family Medicine Faculty Physician

MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore map
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
phone (828) 257-4730

Robyn Latessa, MD, is an innovative educator and leader, recognized internationally for her expertise in the longitudinal integrated clerkships (LIC) model of medical education that prioritizes continuity of care and relationships. As director and assistant dean of the UNC School of Medicine Asheville campus since 2012, Dr. Latessa has been a catalyst for growth, expanding the program from four students per year in 2009 to 35 students by 2021. Many of the graduates of the UNC School of Medicine Asheville branch campus have remained in our MAHEC residency programs and are practicing here in Western North Carolina. Dr. Latessa has been a family physician in Asheville since joining MAHEC in 1999 and is a professor in the Department of Family Medicine at UNC Chapel Hill. She enjoys mixed-methods educational research and has published several manuscripts, many specific to LIC medical education. Dr. Latessa is passionate about collaboration, mentorship, and transparent leadership in service to MAHEC’s mission for training healthcare professionals for Western North Carolina.

Outside of work, Dr. Latessa enjoys connecting with her daughters who are in college in Vermont, spending time with her partner and with her parents who recently moved to Asheville, cooking, hiking, and reading.


Lisa LaVallee, MD Lisa LaVallee, MD
Family Medicine Faculty Physician
Family Medicine Residency Program Director

MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore map
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
phone (828) 257-4730

Areas of special interest include women and children’s health, OB, dermatology and osteoporosis.


Marina MacNamara, MD, MPH Marina MacNamara, MD, MPH
Family Medicine Faculty Physician

MAHEC Family Health Center at Enka/Candler map
25 Westridge Market Place
Candler, NC 28715
phone (828) 418-0040


Susan McDowell, MD Susan McDowell, MD

Family Medicine Faculty Physician
Substance Use Educator

MAHEC Family Health Center at Newbridge map
218 Elkwood Avenue
Asheville, NC 28804
phone (828) 257-4747

Susan has been in the WNC region since 2010 and enjoys taking care of patients from age 0 to 100. She currently practices mainly at the MAHEC Newbridge site. Special interests include women's health, chronic disease management, substance use disorder treatment, and care of children.


William McLean, MD William McLean, MD
Family Medicine Faculty Physician

MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore map
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
phone (828) 257-4730

MAHEC Family Health Center at Deerfield map
1617 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
phone (828) 274-1531, ext. 3286


Jessica McSurdy, MD Jessica McSurdy, MD
Family Medicine Faculty Physician - Psychiatry Liaison

MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore map
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
phone (828) 257-4730


Kerriann Minott, MD Kerriann Minott, MD

Faculty Physician
Community Faculty

Special Interests: Patient education, empowerment, women's health

MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore map
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
phone (828) 257-4730

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 further south to the beautiful island of Cuba where I was fortunate to study medicine, learn a second language (Spanish), meet my amazing husband 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.


Rathika Nimalendran, MD Rathika Nimalendran, MD
Family Medicine Faculty Physician

MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore map
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
phone (828) 257-4730


Julia Oat-Judge, MD Julia Oat-Judge, MD
Family Medicine Faculty Physician
Assistant Director, Family Medicine Residency Program

MAHEC Family Health Center at Enka/Candler map
25 Westridge Market Place
Candler, NC 28715
phone (828) 418-0040

Dr. Oat-Judge is the Assistant Program Director and OB Curricular Director at the Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) Family Medicine Residency program in Asheville, North Carolina. She received her medical degree from The John Hopkins School of Medicine in 2010 and completed an OB/GYN internship at Brown Medical School in 2011, a Family Medicine residency at MAHEC in 2014, and a Maternal Child Health Fellowship at Brown Medical School in 2015. Dr. Oat-Judge provides comprehensive primary care for patients of all ages (newborn through geriatric) and all genders. She performs a variety of procedures such as skin biopsies, joint injections, ultrasound, and management of pregnancy loss/miscarriage. She has a special interest in reproductive health care and provides prenatal care for pregnant patients, hormonal treatment for transgender patients, and all forms of contraception including vasectomies, IUDs and contraceptive implants. Dr. Oat-Judge speaks Spanish and welcomes Spanish-speaking patients. Sehabla español!


Ginger Poulton, MD, MSEd, DipABLM Ginger Poulton, MD, MSEd, DipABLM
Family Medicine Faculty Physician
Assistant Director, Transitional Year Residency Program

MAHEC Family Health Center at Newbridge map
218 Elkwood Avenue
Asheville, NC 28804
phone (828) 257-4747

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.


Rebecca Putnam, MD Rebecca Putnam, MD
Family Medicine Faculty Physician

MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore map
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
phone (828) 257-4730

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.


Lisa Reed, MD Lisa Reed, MD
Family Medicine Faculty Physician

MAHEC Family Health Center at Newbridge map
218 Elkwood Avenue
Asheville, NC 28804
phone (828) 257-4747

Welcome to MAHEC Family Medicine! We want to be your medical home. I am very happy to be practicing at MAHEC Family Health Center at Newbridge in Woodfin. I consider myself very lucky because I love my job. I get so much joy out of taking care of patients, from babies to older patients and everyone in between. I am particularly interested in women’s health, pediatrics, behavioral health and caring for Latino patients. I also provide transgender care services. It is wonderful to work in and out of the hospital to take comprehensive care of patients.

I grew up in Iowa, where I studied at Grinnell College and the University of Iowa. I completed residency here in Asheville with MAHEC Family Practice. I have been lucky to travel some and see healthcare practices around the world. I am happy to call Western North Carolina home. My husband and I love the fabulous local food and I love going on hilly runs with our sweet dog, Maggie.


Amy Russell, MD Amy Russell, MD
Family Medicine Faculty Physician

MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore map
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
phone (828) 257-4730


Amy Santin, MD Amy Santin, MD
Family Medicine Faculty Physician

MAHEC Family Health Center at Cane Creek map
1542 Cane Creek Road
Fletcher, NC 28732
phone (828) 628-8250


Shuchin Shukla, MD, MPH Shuchin Shukla, MD, MPH
Family Medicine Faculty Physician
Opioid Educator

MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore map
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
phone (828) 257-4730


Matt Simpson, MD, MPH Matt Simpson, MD, MPH
Family Medicine Faculty Physician

MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore map
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
phone (828) 257-4730


Eric Smith, MD Eric Smith, MD
Family Medicine Faculty Physician

MAHEC Family Health Center at Enka/Candler map
25 Westridge Market Place
Candler, NC 28715
phone (828) 418-0040


Gloria Trujillo, MD Gloria Trujillo, MD
Family Medicine Faculty Physician

MAHEC Family Health Center at Givens map
2360 Sweeten Creek Road
Asheville, NC 28803
phone (828) 271-6946


Genevieve Verrastro, MD Genevieve Verrastro, MD
Pronouns: She/Hers/Her
Family Medicine Faculty Physician

MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore map
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
phone (828) 257-4730

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.


Jan Westphal, MD Jan Westphal, MD
Family Medicine Faculty Physician

MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore map
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
phone (828) 257-4730

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