Our People

Click on a category to show related people

Resident PGY1 Resident PGY2 Resident PGY3 Faculty Advanced Practice Provider

Resident PGY1


photo Grace Ball, DO
Resident
Phone: 828-257-4730 Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
Hi! My name is Grace Ball, and I am so excited to be joining MAHEC Family Medicine! I first fell in love with Asheville when visiting the Biltmore Estate with my family in elementary school and was always looking for excuses to return. During fall of my fourth year at medical school, I had the opportunity to spend a month rotating with MAHEC and was impressed by the supportive, challenging learning environment with a friendly cohesive group of residents! I felt that I had found “my people” who shared a love of family medicine and sincerely cared for their patients. In addition to the amazing program and people at MAHEC, it doesn’t hurt that Asheville is full of great food, music, and lots of outdoor adventures!

I am originally from Virginia and went to the University of Virginia for my undergrad where I studied the classics (aka Latin). Although the classics may not be the obvious major for someone interested in medicine, studying Latin allowed me to appease my love for ancient civilizations and provided a good basis for medical jargon. After working for two years as a scribe, I went to Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine for medical school and greatly enjoyed my time in Appalachia. I am glad to continue my medical training in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Growing up, I always had an interest in family medicine since my own dad was a family doctor and our dinner table conversations typically revolved around medicine and patient care. I am so honored to be following in my dad’s footsteps and pursuing a career in family medicine!

In my free time, you can find me running, practicing yoga, painting with oils or watercolors, and discovering new music!

photo Samantha Brothers, MD
Resident
Phone: 828-257-4730 Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
Hi! My name is Samantha Brothers and I am so excited to be joining the MAHEC family here in Asheville! I am an original North Carolinian, growing up just a few hours from Asheville in Charlotte, NC. I’ve always been drawn to the Blue Ridge Mountains and decided to make them my home while I received my undergraduate degrees in forensic science and criminology at Western Carolina University. After graduation, I decided to spend some time with my family in Philadelphia. It was there that I found my way to medicine and started this journey by attending medical school at Temple University.

Growing up, my family doctor saw me and my older brother as children all the way through our young adult lives and continues to see my 30-year-old brother to this day! There was something so enriching about developing this lifelong relationship, I knew that no other medical specialty would bring me the same joy as family medicine could.

While at Temple, my interest in primary care deepened as I completed most of my training in inner city Philadelphia. As I witnessed the struggle of our patients with limited access to resources, including quality healthcare, I decided to devote myself to the care of medically underserved communities. My other passions in medicine include health literacy, addiction medicine, obstetrical care, and women’s health. Joining the team at MAHEC was an easy decision. Besides the beautiful mountain setting, I was impressed by MAHEC’s dedication to training full-spectrum family physicians and their commitment to their community.

Outside of the hospital, my favorite pastimes include cooking (and eating), doing yoga, reading a good book, or enjoying a game night with my friends. I took my first trip out of the country to Iceland earlier this year, and it sparked a newfound love of traveling. Some of the places on my travel bucket list include the Czech Republic, Greece, Indonesia, and Thailand. But, for now, I am extremely grateful to be spending this next chapter of my life here in Asheville.

photo Kristen Cross, MD
Resident
Phone: 828-257-4730 Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
Hello there! My name is Kristen, and I’m so glad you found your way to the MAHEC Family Medicine Program!

I was born and raised in the suburbs of Atlanta, GA, where I developed a love of the Appalachian Mountains and Waffle House all-star breakfasts. I completed my undergraduate studies in environmental sciences and biology at Emory University, solidifying the concept that health and the environment are inextricably intertwined.

After graduating, I worked at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for two years, further exploring the role of public health and its influence on environmental determinants of health. Inspired by the positive influence physicians can have on individuals and their communities, I headed north to the University of Michigan for medical school, where I found a passion in working with individuals involved in the justice system and those suffering from addiction. For me, it was clear that family medicine would provide me with the broad range of skills I needed to impact the health and wellness of those affected by challenging environments.

I was thrilled to find the MAHEC Family Medicine residency, where the balanced broad-spectrum training will prepare me to work with under-resourced patients regardless of where I end up. I was also struck by familiar and supportive atmosphere of the program, proving that a program can be rigorous and fun at the same time. I interviewed all across the country, and always found myself comparing other programs to MAHEC. I’m biased, but the quality of training, combined with the MAHEC community and getting to live in beautiful Asheville, NC can’t be beat! I feel incredibly lucky to continue my training in the Blue Ridge Mountains with such an incredible and dedicated group of people.

In my free time, you’ll find me backpacking in the mountains with my husband Aaron, playing board games while enjoying local craft beer, or tending to our garden so we can cook delicious food for our friends.

photo Nathan Cutshall, MD
Resident
Phone: 828-257-4730 Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
Hey there! I’m Nate, and I have a rather circuitous path to medicine. I was born here in North Carolina, but I grew up in Maine. After high school, I went to a couple of different colleges (including Warren Wilson College just down the road), but decided that it wasn’t for me at that time and became a medic in the Air Force. My time stationed in Japan and experiences with relief efforts during the 2011 earthquake and tsunami led me to finally finish my undergrad degree in medical anthropology and global health at the University of Washington. After that, it was off to Colorado for a post-baccalaureate program where I was fortunate enough to stay for medical school!

For me, family medicine is all about the people. When I look back at why I went into medicine in the first place, it always comes back to people. From there the choice was easy. Getting to know whole families, forming relationships, and understanding who patients are outside of both clinic and hospital walls are incredibly important to me. Sports medicine, rural medicine, global health, and the intersection of society and medicine are a few other interests.

Outside of medicine I like to bake, travel, explore new breweries, and be active. Backcountry snowboarding and mountain biking are my favorites, but I love going on any adventure outside.

I’m so excited to be joining the MAHEC team. Between the quality of training, people, and place, I knew that MAHEC was the place for me. On my interview day, I asked one of the MAHEC team members what makes this a special place, and they replied: “First we approach our patients and coworkers with love.” You can’t ask for better than that!

photo Taylor Davis, DO
Resident
Phone: 828-257-4730 Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
Hi! My name is Taylor Davis, and I could not be more thrilled to be joining the MAHEC family! I was born in New Jersey, lived in Illinois for a while, then moved to Raleigh, North Carolina. I attended Elon University where I got a degree in biochemistry before heading to Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine in Spartanburg, South Carolina for medical school.

I can’t give a specific reason for initially wanting to be a physician other than that it’s a desire that’s been in my heart for as long as I can remember. I was the little girl in kindergarten telling my teachers I wanted to be a doctor. And the middle schooler requesting to shadow physicians on days we didn’t have school. Not many people took me seriously back then, but I never doubted that this is where I would end up. Of course, I have now developed a true passion for primary care and preventative medicine. I am eager to begin forming relationships with my patients and helping them to live their healthiest lives.

During my fourth year of medical school, I was lucky enough to do a month-long rotation with MAHEC’s family medicine residency in Asheville. I was immediately impressed by the commitment to patient care and dedication to training excellent family physicians. However, I was most drawn to the people. Every attending and resident I worked with was welcoming, friendly, and eager to teach. The environment was truly that of a family, and I knew beyond a doubt that it was where I wanted to train for residency.

I look forward to the city of Asheville itself since I love to ski and to hike. My dog Bentley is with me pretty often, whether it be at a dog park, brewery, or just exploring. We can’t wait to start our lives in Asheville!

photo Taylor Dayton, MD
Resident
Phone: 828-257-4730 Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
Hello future family medicine resident! I’m really happy that you’ve chosen family, and that you’re considering the program at Asheville.

My name is Taylor. I was born and raised in North Florida. I spent a lot of my childhood outside—exploring, kayaking, camping, hiking, and beaching. These experiences gave me a love and respect for nature, and made me very close with my parents and sister.

I moved to Gainesville for college and majored in zoology. Before starting medical school, I spent several months backpacking part of the Appalachian Trail. I fell in love with the mountains; they felt like a new home. I was tempted to finish the trail, but had to be back for something more important—the start of medical school. I enjoyed med school, and like many family docs, struggled to decide on a specialty. I loved both ob/gyn and family medicine. I ultimately decided on family because I felt I had more opportunity to make a lasting impact on patient’s lives through long-term relationships with them.

I decided on MAHEC Asheville for several reasons. One: the mountains! Two: strong obstetrical training. Three, and most importantly: the people. On my interview day, I could sense how happy the residents were. Everyone was welcoming, genuine, and truly passionate about family medicine. It was also really important to me that people brought up their passions outside of medicine. They were excited to talk about their families, dogs, recent books, trail runs, favorite hikes, and where to find the best brews. I can’t wait to be part of the MAHEC family. I hope you come interview with us; you may find your perfect fit.

photo Arman Elkaz, MD
Resident
Phone: 828-257-4730 Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
Hi everyone, my name is Arman. I was originally born in Bosnia, but moved to the United States with my family when I was two years old. I grew up in Jacksonville in northeast of Florida. I went to the University of Florida for both undergrad (where I got a degree in biology) and for medical school. Go Gators!!

I absolutely loved my time at UF. In both undergrad and medical school, I was involved with the Equal Access Clinic at UF, which provides care to the underserved and uninsured population of Gainesville. It was through this clinic that I discovered a love for increasing access to care and taking care of our most vulnerable populations. During medical school I also discovered a love for women’s health, behavioral health, and preventative health. I was fortunate that I had the opportunity to work with many incredible physician mentors who all demonstrated that at the end of the day, compassion and empathy are the most important things we bring to our patients. In the end, family medicine was the perfect choice for me!

While I loved my time at the University of Florida, after 9 years in Gainesville, I thought it was time for a change. Along the interview trail, I met many incredible people and programs, but MAHEC stood out above the rest. It combined many of the things that I was looking for in a program: broad training, a focus on underserved and at risk populations, integrated behavioral health, and a commitment to academic excellence. But what sold me on the program was the people I met on interview day. Every single person seemed genuinely caring and compassionate not only toward their patients but also toward each other. I knew I would be supported to achieve whatever goals I had in a field as diverse as family medicine. Ultimately, the program felt like home. It doesn’t hurt that I get to live in a gorgeous place like Asheville either.

My interests within medicine include preventative health, women’s health, underserved health, medical education, behavioral health, the physician-patient relationship, and addressing systemic factors that lead to illness and healthcare disparities. Outside of medicine, I love to run, go on hikes, watch some SEC football, or relax with a cold beer on a warm day. I’m also a huge fan of live music, and Asheville has plenty of great venues to catch some really talented acts. I also enjoy nerdy things like sci-fi and 80’s movies and shows. When it’s raining outside, you can usually find me sitting with a good book. I’m excited to hike the many trails and try the many breweries that Asheville has to offer.

photo Nicki Frost, MD
Resident
Phone: 828-257-4730 Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
Hello, my name is Nicki Frost, and I’m so excited to be joining the MAHEC family medicine community in beautiful Asheville, North Carolina. I’m originally from Lexington, Kentucky, where horse racing, basketball, and bourbon abound. I attended Centre College, a small liberal arts school in Danville, KY, where I obtained a degree in biochemistry and molecular biology and met my now husband Ben. After graduating, we moved back to Lexington so I could attend medical school at the University of Kentucky.

My interest in family medicine really grew during my third year clinical rotations. I always knew I valued the strength of the physician-patient relationship that develops in the primary care setting; however, during my third year, I found that I equally enjoyed the complex medical problem-solving of inpatient medicine and the procedure-heavy and rewarding nature of obstetrics and gynecology. Family medicine was the one specialty that would afford me the opportunity to provide the full spectrum of care from outpatient gynecology to inpatient medicine and pediatrics and everything in-between.

I chose MAHEC because it seamlessly combines community-based training with a university-level education. The faculty are knowledgeable and approachable, the residents are confident and eager to learn, and both the hospital and clinic are incredibly progressive and integrative in the types of care they provide to the community. My personal interests in women’s health, obstetrics, and academic medicine will certainly be fulfilled and allowed to grow in this amazing program.

Outside of medicine, my husband and I enjoy exploring Asheville by trying out the countless breweries and restaurants, going to the seasonal festivals, and hiking. I also enjoy cooking and baking, running, and playing board games with friends.

photo Rosemary Klassen, MD
Resident
Phone: 828-257-4730 Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
My name is Rosemary Klassen, and I am excited to be moving to Asheville and joining the MAHEC family medicine team!

I grew up in Tallahassee, Florida and spent much of my childhood playing competitive soccer. I moved to Gainesville, Florida to attend both college and medical school at the University of Florida. During college, I became very interested in learning about other cultures and was lucky to have a few exciting experiences internationally in Ghana and El Salvador. I also became interested in mindfulness and meditation and began to explore ways to incorporate these interests into my life.

In medical school, my international interests continued, and I spent some time in India and Nepal. Part of this time was spent setting up medical clinics in rural villages in northern India with a program called the Himalayan Health Exchange.

I cannot imagine a better career than being a family medicine physician. It cultivates close doctor-patient relationships that allow you to get to know your patients, and help them become the healthiest versions of themselves. I am confident that MAHEC will turn me into exactly the kind of doctor that I want to be. The training is strong and full spectrum, but in a friendly and welcoming environment.

The most important aspects of life to for me are family, close friendships, mental and physical health, mindfulness, and being a family medicine doctor. In my free time, I like to go backpacking, practice yoga, run, play soccer, and salsa dance.

photo Regan Maxwell, MD
Resident
Phone: 828-257-4730 Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
Hello! My name is Regan Maxwell, and I am very excited about joining the MAHEC community!

I was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi, to a civil engineer and a tennis coach. Eighteen years later, I headed a couple of hours north to Mississippi State University in Starkville where I studied biochemistry. A couple of highlights from college include studying abroad in Spain to complete a Spanish minor and realizing my love for people and biology. After spending some time shadowing in a Level 1 Trauma ER, I decided that I had to do the whole medical school thing.

I began my medical training in 2015 at University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson. My husband, who graduated from Ole Miss, loves to acknowledge that I have a much more important degree now from the school I grew up hating! It didn’t take long for me to realize that family medicine not only aligned with my skills but also satisfied my desire to build relationships with people—children, women, men, the elderly—and improve their everyday lives.

I first learned about MAHEC sitting around my kitchen table looking up different programs and figuring out where I wanted to apply. I stumbled upon this interesting program in the middle of the mountains that focuses on rural/underserved medicine and full-spectrum care. The rest is history. I am so happy and lucky to be a first-year resident and I can’t wait to see where I’ll be three years from now!

My husband, who will be a first year psychiatry resident at MAHEC, and our two cats, Ygritte and Sansa, will be joining me in Asheville. When I’m not at the hospital/clinic, I will be playing tennis, reading a book, or going on a hike.

photo Hayley Pionk, MD
Resident
Phone: 828-257-4730 Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
Hello! My name is Hayley Pionk, and I am so excited to join the MAHEC family! I am originally from Hermitage, Tennessee, a suburb just outside of Nashville. I attended Vanderbilt University and majored in psychology. Through my undergraduate courses, I was fascinated by the complexity of the brain and how it affected both the human body and behavior, which inspired me to learn more. Coupled with a desire to serve others, a career in medicine seemed like a natural fit. After graduating from Vanderbilt, I worked as an ER scribe and completed post-baccalaureate coursework before being accepted to Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans.

While attending medical school, I quickly fell in love with the vibrant and unique culture New Orleans had to offer. Tulane also stood out because of its emphasis on community service, and serving at Tulane’s student-run clinics further developed my passion for working with underserved populations. I entered medical school interested in primary care, and my clinical rotations solidified that goal. The challenging, broad scope of family medicine, along with the opportunity to form lasting relationships with patients and families, seemed to be the best path for me. Working with family physicians on rotations in rural Louisiana and Montana has led me to consider rural practice, thus allowing me to integrate myself with a community and provide care in an underserved area. My other interests within family medicine include women’s health and obstetrics and behavioral health.

I feel so fortunate to be training at MAHEC. This program offers everything I am looking for: rigorous full-spectrum training, dedication to the community, and a supportive learning environment.

Outside of medicine, I fully intend to get outdoors and hike in the Blue Ridge Mountains as much as possible. I’m a former competitive bowler, and I look for any excuse to get back on the lanes. I also can’t wait to explore the city, trying the many restaurants and breweries in the area. I’m thrilled to call Asheville my new home!

photo Evodie Versulien, MD
Resident
Phone: 828-257-4730 Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
Hey everyone! My name is Evodie, Evie for short. I am originally from a small city in West Palm Beach, Florida where I grew up. After fifteen years of enjoying the tropical weather, Caribbean cuisine, and the white sandy beaches, my family relocated to the metro Atlanta area.

I completed my undergraduate education at Emory University double majoring in neuroscience and Spanish and from there enrolled at Medical College of Georgia in Augusta. I chose family medicine because my passion for medicine reverberates within the community. I have always loved volunteering my time to immigrants, refugees, and the underserved community. Growing up in a region of the country with a dense immigrant population, I witnessed first-hand the difficulties of assimilating to a new infrastructure. My family background is Haitian (I speak both Haitian Creole and Spanish!), so I was able to empathize with the problems of immigrants.

As a family practitioner, I aim to educate patients about the importance of advocating for their own health and hope to witness their improvement overtime. Ultimately, I would love to engage in healthcare overseas.

In my spare time, I love watching forensic documentaries, trying new foods, traveling, dancing, and working out. I am excited to complete my residency here in Asheville and cannot wait to experience all that the city has to offer here!

Resident PGY2


photo Brian Atkinson, MD
Resident
Phone: 828-257-4730 Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
Hello, my name is Brian Atkinson. I was born and raised in a sleepy beach town called Melbourne Beach, on the east coast of Florida. I then went to Duke University, where I got my undergraduate degree in Biology. I also ran on the Cross Country and Track teams at Duke, and most importantly, started dating my wife, Kayla. We got married right after I graduated from Duke and right before starting medical school.

We then moved back to Florida for medical school at the University of South Florida. While at USF I got to go on two medical mission trips to Bolivia with the Christian Medical and Dental Association, and got very involved with BRIDGE Clinic, our school’s student-run free clinic. These experiences really shaped my views about medicine and led me to seek a specialty in which I could serve people. I found very like-minded people in the Family Medicine department, and then my love of sports medicine tipped the scales even further so that I knew Family Medicine was the specialty I wanted to pursue.

As I interviewed, MAHEC stood out because of the level of full-spectrum training with very strong hospital training, sports medicine opportunities, and an extremely friendly and welcoming atmosphere. Add the beauty of the North Carolina mountains and it was a perfect fit! Outside of medicine my wife and I enjoy serving our local church, running, hiking, and eating some good old-fashioned wood smoked barbecue (okay the barbecue part is more my thing, not Kayla’s).

photo Emily Baker, DO
Resident
Phone: 828-257-4730 Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
I was born and raised in Midland, TX and couldn’t be more excited to trade in a landscape of mesquite trees, pumpjacks, and drilling rigs for that of the mountains, trees and rivers of Asheville! I received a degree in biology with a minor in business from Texas A&M University (Gig ‘em Aggies!). After completing my undergraduate education, I worked in various aspects of the medical field and then went on to receive a Master’s degree in Biomedical Science from the University of North Texas Health Science Center. I taught a year of high school physics after receiving my graduate degree and then attended medical school at the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Throughout medical school, the plans I had for my career path changed several times. I finally landed on family medicine, and I couldn’t be happier with my decision. I love the flexibility and variability that this field offers. It allows me the opportunity to treat such a broad range of patient problems. I am interested in global health and have been on many medical missions to Costa Rica and Trinidad/Tobago. I felt that family medicine would serve me well as I continue to provide medical assistance on a global scale in the future. My other interests include women’s health, sports medicine, emergency medicine and fullspectrum care.

I have many interests outside of medicine. I love cooking and baking, and am always looking for new recipes to try. I love to travel, meet new people, and experience all that the world has to offer. I also enjoy Crossfit and being outdoors: hiking, fishing, camping, kayaking, the beach, etc. I felt that MAHEC was the perfect fit for me to not only get incredible training, but to also have the opportunity to support my many hobbies/interests.

photo Luke Beggs, MD
Resident
Phone: 828-257-4730 Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
I was born and raised in Paducah, Kentucky, and started my long collegiate career at the University of Kentucky, where I received my BS in biology. I worked my way through college as a personal trainer, and stayed at UK for a Master’s in Exercise Physiology. I then spent four years at the University of Florida where I completed a PhD in Applied Physiology & Kinesiology, with a research focus on ways to prevent muscle and bone loss associated with injury and aging. I enjoyed working in research, but found that deep down that my true calling was to be a physician. I wanted the personal connection to medicine and patients, so with the encouragement of my wife and family, I returned to UK and started medical school the same week I graduated from my PhD program.

I was interested in Family Medicine and primary care when I first decided to pursue medical school, and that interest never wavered. I love the variety, the breadth of training, and the chance to really get to know your patients. With my exercise science background, it is probably no surprise that I am especially interested in primary care sports medicine, and I plan to pursue a fellowship after residency. Other areas within Family Medicine that I have a particular interest in are preventive medicine, teaching, and research. I hope to continue keeping a hand in translational research as well, and hope that with my background I can bridge the gap between benchtop science and bedside care.

I take my job and my duty as a physician seriously, but myself…not so much. If I have an afternoon off, I try to make it to the gym. Once upon a time I even competed in bodybuilding, and have tried my hand at strongman and adventure racing. If I have the day off, and the weather is nice, I look for a reason to be outside with my wife, usually hiking, exploring, or going to fairs and festivals. We enjoy good coffee, food, and beer, often in that order. We also really enjoy going to see live music. I’ll give anything a shot and my taste in music is pretty diverse, but I love blues, Americana, soul, bluegrass, roots rock, jam bands, and hip-hop.

I feel very fortunate to be a part of the MAHEC team, surrounded by the natural beauty of Western NC and the wonderfully rich culture of Asheville. My wife, Emily, and dog, Rudy are with me for this adventure, and we’re excited to explore all that Asheville has to offer.

photo Brian Desmond, MD
Resident
Phone: 828-257-4730 Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
I am joining the MAHEC Family Medicine team from cold northern reaches of Ann
Arbor, Michigan, and looking forward to heading southeast to the Blue Ridge Mountains! I was born in Worcester, Massachusetts but spent most of my childhood in Ann Arbor. For my undergraduate studies, I attended Colby College in Waterville, Maine, where I majored in English and minored in Chemistry while also competing on the Cross Country and Track teams as a distance runner. Between college and medical school, I spent a year in Durango, a town in the mountains of southwest Colorado, working in a group home for adults with developmental disabilities. This work and the close relationships I developed in this setting sparked my interest in primary care.

I attended medical school at the University of Michigan in my hometown of Ann Arbor (Go Blue!). Here my passions for primary care and population health continued to grow and I found joy in many areas of patient care from the newborn nursery to the nursing home. I soon knew that Family Medicine was the perfect fit for me. As I thought about my residency, I was drawn to the thriving Asheville community, the beautiful mountain setting, the rigorous, broad-scope training and especially the people of MAHEC. Fortunately, MAHEC also offered a strong Ob/Gyn program which appealed to my significant other, Lisa; we feel extremely lucky to be taking the next step in our medical training and careers here!

I enjoy spending much of my free time in the outdoors – biking, running, skiing, hiking, or fishing – and I am excited by the prospects that Asheville offers in all of these areas. I also have a healthy appetite for good food and drink, and I am looking forward to exploring the cuisine of Western North Carolina. I can’t wait to learn, work, and play with the great people in this wonderful setting.

photo Alicia Gadomski, DO
Resident
Phone: 828-257-4730 Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
Hi! My name is Alicia Gadomski and I am so excited to be joining the MAHEC family! I am originally from the small town of East Hampton, Connecticut. I went to college at Boston University and then, after working a couple of years in the hospital laboratory, I wanted a new adventure. I moved to South Carolina where I attended VCOM for medical school. I fell in love with the south and never wanted to leave.

My passion for family medicine began at a young age as I lost my grandmother unexpectedly to a heart attack. She despised doctors and believed they sacrificed compassion for greed. I started this journey to give medicine a new reputation and become the family doctor my grandmother claimed did not exist. Medical school further confirmed my passion for primary care as I enjoyed every clinical rotation and the relationship I formed with patients. My mission work in Costa Rica, El Salvador, and the Dominican Republic emphasized the value of helping the underserved. Global health is very important to me. Family medicine allows me to combine all of my various interests, and meanwhile, make a significant impact on patients throughout their life.

During medical school, I would often visit Asheville and joke that I would move into the Biltmore one day because I loved the city so much. Fast forward a few years, I discovered that Asheville had a family medicine residency. I left that residency interview feeling so impressed and excited. I had not yet found a program that had strong training in every field and truly fit the definition of full scope family medicine. I also loved that this program allows me to continue my passion for global health and helping the underserved in general. I am confident that this program is going to provide me with the best training and best team of faculty and fellow residents.

In my free time, I love to spend time with my dog and boyfriend. We love hiking, kayaking, cooking(and eating!), and traveling. I also love sports and am a big New England Patriots fan. I can’t wait to continue exploring Asheville to see everything that it has to offer!

photo Charlotte Heppner, MD
Resident
Phone: 828-257-4730 Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
Hello! I’m thrilled that you’re exploring Family Medicine at MAHEC.

My name is Charlotte Heppner, I’ve journeyed to Asheville via Baltimore, Bangkok, and London, but mostly many towns in Virginia. Growing up in a medical-military family, the fire in my belly for healthcare’s power to transform so many different lives was kindled early.

At first, I approached this from the policy side—after all, Virchow says that “medicine is a social science, and politics is nothing else but medicine on a large scale.” I studied Economics at the University of Virginia, and International Health Policy & Economics at the London School of Economics. After working for three years outside Washington D.C., I realized that I wanted to work one-on-one with patients and returned to UVA for medical school.

During medical school, I was fortunate to be part of the Phronesis Project, four-year longitudinal patient care program that strives to cultivate wisdom in medicine. I treasured the long-term patient relationship and knew I wanted these relationships in my future practice. I love the encompassing approach of family medicine, taking care of people in the context of their stories, family, and community.

I fell in love with MAHEC because it offers full spectrum training with academic rigor, dynamic faculty and residents, in a beautiful place. I’m looking forward to exploring interests in global and public health, behavioral health, and wilderness medicine. I feel blessed to be in such a beautiful place, training with such passionate and fun people.

Outside of medicine, I am happiest with a violin or guitar in hand (though my joy far exceeds my skill), a trail beneath my feet, or a novel capturing my mind.

photo Sylvia Kauffman, MD
Resident
Phone: 828-257-4730 Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
Hi! My name is Sylvia and I am thrilled to be joining the Asheville community. As the globe-trotting daughter of a diplomat mom and a programmer-turned-stay-athome- dad, I had the privilege of growing up in Tanzania, China, D.C., Canada, and India. I recognized from an early age that I was lucky to have a loving family and access to an education, and I became determined to use the resources I have to give back to a world that has given me so much.

Curiosity and a love of science led me to study biochemistry and philosophy at Allegheny College in Pennsylvania, where my eyes were opened to the world of public health. I went on to earn a MSPH with a focus in global disease epidemiology and control from Johns Hopkins. Armed with plenty of theoretical knowledge, I then joined the Peace Corps as a Community Health Volunteer in Peru, where everything I thought I knew was challenged. As I worked towards fluency in Spanish, I taught sexual health education to teens, trained community health workers, managed a latrine construction project, ran youth leadership camps, and led exercise classes for senior citizens. In those two years, I learned more about communication, teamwork, community organizing, and humility than I had in my first two decades of life.

I attended medical school at the University of Virginia, where I participated in a primary care track. I chose family medicine because I want to treat patients of all ages, develop a flexible and versatile skill set, and surround myself with what I consider to be the most consistently thoughtful and kind group of doctors I have met. I am excited about the wonderful people at MAHEC and the many possible career paths that this residency program will prepare me for, whether here in the U.S. or internationally. When I’m not in the clinic or hospital, I look forward to playing outdoors, gardening, enjoying music, riding my bicycle, eating and drinking delicious vegetarian things, and developing a rich community of friends and neighbors.

photo Aleksandr Kovalskiy, MD
Resident
Phone: 828-257-4730 Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
Hello! I’m Aleks Kovalskiy and I’m coming to MAHEC after spending most of my life in Orlando, FL. I attended the University of Central Florida for undergrad where I studied Microbiology and Molecular Biology and couldn’t leave so I went straight to UCF for medical school as well! I first was introduced to the great city of Asheville when visiting on a snowboarding trip my senior year of undergrad and I enjoyed every minute of the city and the mountains.

During my 4th year of medical school, I was fortunate enough to have been able to do an elective rotation at MAHEC where I was reminded why I liked Asheville so much while also falling in love with the program. I absolutely loved my experience and how friendly and helpful everyone one was, from the staff, to the administration, and of course, the residents. MAHEC was my first interview of the season and I found myself comparing the rest to this great program (which is extremely difficult to do!). I was especially drawn to MAHEC because it filled my needs of having full-spectrum Family Medicine training as well as things such as a robust exposure to underserved medicine and Suboxone certification.

Outside of the hospital/clinic I like to exercise, play video games, visit breweries, play with dogs, and work on improving my (minimal) snowboarding skills. I’m very excited to bring my UCF Knight spirit to Asheville and begin my physician journey at MAHEC!

photo Sarah McGraw, MD
Resident
Phone: 828-257-4730 Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
I’m Sarah McGraw, one of the MAHEC Family Medicine Residents! I’m originally from the Hoosier State (Indiana!) I’ve spent most of my educational years in the Midwest and excited to trade the corn fields for the beautiful mountains of Asheville!

During undergrad, I studied Spanish and Biology at Indiana University with a year abroad studying Spanish and anthropology in Madrid. After undergrad I completed a Masters in Physiology and attended Indiana University School of Medicine for medical school.

For me, family medicine wasn’t love at first sight. However, excellent mentors and a wonderful community setting during medical school showed me how exciting, impactful and malleable the specialty is, and I quickly fell in love with Family Medicine. At MAHEC, I was very impressed by the full spectrum program with opportunities in global health and community outreach. Also, I intend to practice with an emphasis on maternal and child health and the strong OB and peds components of the program were very attractive!

In my free time I enjoy spending time in nature discovering new hiking trails hiking and exploring new running trails. I also love to bake all manner of sweets, breads, and try my hand at incorporating odd ingredients into a meal. I’m always up for trying new things and finding new hobbies!

I would love to answer questions and share my perspective, please feel free to reach out with any questions!

photo Nicole Tucker, DO
Resident
Phone: 828-257-4730 Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
Hey all! My name is Nicole Tucker and I am so excited to be joining MAHEC Family Residency! I was born and raised in Parker, Colorado, a smaller town just south of Denver. I come from a medical family- my pops is a general pediatrician, my momma an OR nurse, and my big brother is a pediatric hospitalist, so you can say medicine runs in our blood. I went to undergrad at the University of San Diego where I studied Biology and Chemistry and thoroughly enjoyed that daily 70 degree weather with a slight breeze off the ocean. I took a year off in between undergrad and medical school and worked for a nonprofit organization in San Diego called The Seany Foundation which provides quality of life programs to kiddos with cancer and their siblings. However, I missed those mountains and the smaller town feel, so I returned back to my home town in Colorado for medical school at Rocky Vista University COM. During medical school, I realized I couldn’t do anything but Family Medicine because I love working with all sorts of patient populations including kids, pregnant ladies, and the elderly.

During the fall of my fourth year of medical school, I was lucky enough to spend a month rotating at MAHEC and I got hooked. It was crystal clear that this residency program offers a holistic, broad spectrum and challenging learning environment for family medicine with unparalleled support and friendship between the residents and faculty. After doing a few rotations in rural Colorado and spending a month in a rural village clinic in Kenya, I also realized I needed to find a place that has opportunities to learn more about rural and global medicine, which MAHEC does without a doubt. I fell in love with the hiking, food, breweries, people and vibe that Asheville has. Also, can’t forget to mention, there is the Asheville Tourists, the farm team for my favorite team, the Colorado Rockies (yay baseball)!

Outside of medicine, I enjoy being outdoors (hiking, paddleboarding, camping), anything baseball, country music, traveling, cooking and getting lost in a good book. I love spending time volunteering, so if you need a buddy to go to a food shelter or participate in a fun run for a non-profit let me know!

I am so excited to be a part of the MAHEC family and to explore all that Asheville has to offer!

photo Nicholas Wilkinson, MD
Resident
Phone: 828-257-4730 Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
Hello! I’m Nick Wilkinson and I am excited to be joining MAHEC! Though my family has roots in NC, I was born and raised in Brasilia, Brazil, which was a wonderful place to grow up. When I was a teenager, my family made its way to Winston Salem, NC. I then attended UNC-Chapel Hill for college receiving a degree in Biology. I worked at the hospital in Chapel Hill and for the School of Medicine for a few years before enrolling at UNC Chapel Hill for medical school.

Learning about different specialties in medical school, I realized I wanted to be a generalist. I also observed the increasingly important role that primary care plays in an individual’s and community health. Then during my final year of medical school I had a chance to rotate with MAHEC residents and faculty at Mission Hospital and Family Health Center. It was a great experience and realized that this was the type of training I envisioned for myself.

Outside of work I value spending time with my wife, our families and friends. Being outdoors is restorative, whether through hiking, biking, playing soccer or just going for a walk around town. I also enjoy cooking a good meal and discovering new music and going to live shows.

photo Margaret Woodward, MD
Resident
Phone: 828-257-4730 Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
My name is Maggie and I am thrilled to be moving to Asheville and to be joining the MAHEC family!

I’m originally from Canada, but having grown up in New Hampshire and attended college in Vermont, New England is definitely home. I went to Middlebury College for undergrad and majored in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry while playing on the women’s ice hockey team. But I said goodbye to the snow (for the most part) and moved south to Richmond, Virginia to attend medical school at VCU School of Medicine.

I was drawn to family medicine from the beginning, but ultimate chose the specialty because of the of the incredible variety and constant challenges. I want to see and do everything, while also creating unique relationships with my patients. I am unapologetically indecisive and enjoyed almost all of my third year rotations, so Family Medicine seemed like the perfect choice. I have absolutely loved living in Richmond, but was ready to explore a new city during residency, and Asheville, NC was certainly calling my name.

While choosing a residency program, I was definitely trying to have it all - I wanted a hybrid academic-community type program with solid obstetrics and pediatrics training. As a rigorous, but supportive program with an emphasis on full-spectrum training, MAHEC definitely checked all the boxes!

In my free time, you can usually find me running, planning my next dessert, or facetiming with my adorable nephews, Henry and Max. I’m a huge foodie who - thankfully - also really enjoys exercising.

I love doing anything outdoors and can’t wait to explore all the food, beer, and recreational activities in Asheville!

Resident PGY3


photo Keith Arnold, MD
Resident
Phone: 828-258-0680
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
My name is Keith Arnold, a desert dweller born and raised in Phoenix, AZ and a recent graduate of the University of Arizona in Tucson, where the saguaros loom tall and the tacos can’t be beat! My lovely wife, Christina, trusty dog, Blue, and I recently completed the 2100 mile trek across country to make a home here in the lush mountains of Western North Carolina. We are very excited about exploring this verdant wonderland while learning the intricacies of life and culture in the Southeastern US. I look forward to the opportunity to work alongside and learn from the incredible and passionate MAHEC staff while serving the people of Asheville and beyond.

I spent my college years at U.C. Berkeley (go Bears!) where I studied International Political Economy, played Rugby, and expanded my horizons with the help of thought-provoking professors and an eclectic student body. I was fortunate to spend my summers outdoors under the vast skies of the Sierra Nevada mountains, where I nurtured a love for flora, fauna, and everything in between. Volunteering as an intern for the Foundation for Sustainable Development in Nicaragua and my subsequent travels throughout Central and South America have helped me develop a worldly perspective and have opened my eyes to health and medicine as a vehicle for growth and positive change. These experiences, combined with a passion for helping others and my role as a caretaker for family members during my youth, motivated me to embark on the journey to become a physician. I am excited for a career in family medicine, where I look to build meaningful relationships with patients, get involved in the community, and provide holistic patient-centered care.

In our free time, Christina and I love to travel, garden, explore the outdoors, cook, eat, drink, and be merry. We revel in all types of music but especially enjoy the sounds of soul, funk, reggae, blues, and latin grooves! Overall, It is a privilege to be here at MAHEC in beautiful Asheville, NC where I relish the chance to serve the community and learn full-spectrum medicine in a highly supportive atmosphere.

photo David Baker, MD
Resident
Phone: 828-258-0680
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
My name is David and I am excited that you are considering MAHEC! As a North Carolina native, I grew up in Charlotte and attended Davidson College, where I studied Religion. I always had a passion for social justice and service to others, but it was wilderness medicine training with Davidson Outdoors and experiences in Nicaragua and Mexico that convinced me medicine was my vocation. After a couple years of post-bac study, EMT training, and employment as a nursing assistant, I was accepted to the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC.

During medical school, I enjoyed every rotation during my third year but identified most closely with Family Medicine faculty and resident role models. As I learned more about family medicine and its emphasis on relationships, holistic care across the lifespan, preventative medicine, advocacy, and community health, I realized that this was the intersection of my passion and the world’s great need—this was my specialty. Interactions with patients in Eastern NC, Mexico, and Peru solidified my commitment to working with vulnerable, underserved populations and patients on the margins of society.

When applying to residency programs around the country, I hoped to find a program made up of talented and idealistic people with the comprehensive and rigorous training that would prepare me to practice full-spectrum family medicine. I discovered MAHEC at a 3rd year residency fair and got to know the program as a visiting fourth-year student. During that month here in Asheville, I witnessed outstanding training, strong pediatrics and OB programs, knowledgeable and collaborative faculty, and residents who could be my best friends. Additionally, the prospect of Spanish speaking patients, excellent opportunities in global health, and local community-based projects suited my passions. During interview season, I was privileged to interview at a wide variety of programs but always found myself comparing them to MAHEC.

My wife, Kate, our beagles, Molly and Rooney, and our son (due Sept 2017) could not be more excited to be relocating to Asheville. I grew up backpacking and mountain biking with the Boy Scouts in the nearby Pisgah National forest and revel in the prospect of living in the mountains fulltime! Besides the great outdoors, Asheville is a thriving city with a vibrant music scene, and countless local eateries and breweries. Thanks for considering our residency program, I hope you will come get to know us and feel free to contact me with questions!

photo Krista Brinkerhoff, MD
Resident
Phone: 828-258-0680
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
I was born and raised in Daytona Beach, FL and am making the jump from the sunny beaches to the serene mountain landscapes of Asheville to be at MAHEC. In Tampa, I studied biomedical sciences at the University of South Florida. After my undergraduate education, I worked as a medical assistant and later attended medical school at Florida State University.

Originally, I wanted to become a pediatric endocrinologist, but fate intervened when I met an amazing mentor who embodied what I believed a physician to be and I realized that family medicine was my true calling. At FSU, I developed an interest in integrative medicine. I am also interested in global health and have been on service learning trips in the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua. I have many interests, including full-spectrum care, pediatrics, women’s health, rural medicine, geriatrics, and more—the list could continue. Because of this and so much more, I wanted to be well trained across the board and MAHEC was the perfect place for me!

Outside of medicine, I love to garden, growing herbs and vegetables mainly but I throw in flowers to attract bees and add some color. I also enjoy spending my free time knitting or crocheting. Of course, baking is also an excellent way to spend free time. Who doesn’t love homemade cookies?

photo Kelsey Campolong, MD
Resident
Phone: 828-258-0680
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
My name is Kelsey and I grew up in metro Atlanta. I went to undergrad at the University of Georgia in Athens, GA (go Dawgs!). There, I studied biology and nutrition and discovered my desire to become a doctor, but not after first considering just about everything else—nursing, nutrition, public health, agriculture and food security, biomedical research, you name it. I was involved in both community health and global health outreach in Peru as well as lab bench research in cerebral malaria, and these experiences were well-aligned with my goals to support and empower underserved groups of people.

I could have stayed and played in Athens forever if not for medical school, so after college, I moved to Rochester, Minnesota to go to Mayo Clinic School of Medicine. I spent four bitter cold—but very nice—winters in Minnesota. Family medicine made the most sense given my interest in community health and because I truly enjoyed all of my third-year clerkships. I spent many rotations in family medicine clinics in the surrounding farming communities and decided that I wanted to be a full-spectrum family doctor. As I interviewed, MAHEC was the perfect combination of community and academic medicine with excellent obstetric and hospital training. The residents were happy and the beautiful mountains were calling! I am excited to be joining faculty and residents who are committed to underserved care and social justice.

Outside of medicine, I enjoy running, hiking, rock climbing, or any activity you can do outside! I love to cook and eat good food with friends and family. I am grateful to return to the South to be close to my family in Georgia again.

photo Corey Cox, MD
Resident
Phone: 828-258-0680
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
I am so excited to be back in the mountains and a part of the MAHEC family! I’m originally from a little town in Eastern Kentucky, most famously known for being the site of the Hatfield-McCoy feud. I’ve always enjoyed the sense of community and easy-going lifestyle you can find in small towns and have known that it is something I want to return to.

I attended medical school at the University of Louisville and had the opportunity to spend my clinical years in the school’s rural campus, where I was able to work in the local community clinics for the underserved. It was there that I really discovered my passion for family medicine. While looking at residencies, I wanted to find a program that offered a variety of training to prepare me to practice anywhere. MAHEC not only offered this, but balanced the rigor with a supportive and inclusive culture.

In my free time, I love visiting my friends and family. My dog and I enjoy playing in the river, hiking, and explorimg the beautiful scenery. Despite my best efforts and an agriculture degree, I’m not much of a gardener even though I continue to try. I hope you consider MAHEC and feel free to reach out with any questions!

photo Hallum Kirkwood Dickens, MD
Resident
Phone: 828-258-0680
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
My name is Hallum and I am one of the new Family Medicine residents at MAHEC in Asheville. I am originally from White Level, a small tobacco-farming community about 45 miles northeast of Raleigh. For my undergraduate studies, I went UNC Chapel Hill where I graduated with a degree in English Literature and minors in Biology and Chemistry. After graduation, I spent a few years doing bench research at UNC and Georgia Tech before accepting a job teaching English in the Republic of Georgia. After my time there, I spent some time living and working in South and Central America before making my way back home by thumb to start Medical School at UNC Chapel Hill.

Beginning medical school, I knew that I had a strong interest in social justice and care for the underserved and immigrant populations, so during my first year I applied to become a Kenan Primary Care Scholar and was fortunately accepted. This program helped to nurture my interest in underserved/safety net medicine and brought me to the MAHEC campus as a third year medical student, where I participated in the Asheville Longitudinal Integrated Curriculum. This curriculum differs from the traditional third year curriculum in that rotations run longitudinally for the entire year, which creates continuity in preceptors, patients, and place. This model allows third-year students a tremendous amount of independence in following their patients over time and taking ownership of their own learning.

Besides the amazing experiences I had learning here as a third-year medical student, I was drawn to MAHEC’s Family Medicine Residency because of their strong commitment to serving the underserved, excellent teaching, and the opportunity to learn full-spectrum family medicine in an academic/community hospital with passionate and supportive physicians in a place with lots of mountains and (more still) great people. There are too many reasons to list here why MAHEC’s is one of the best family medicine residencies in the country, and I am stoked to get started. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.

photo Katie Gray, MD
Resident
Phone: 828-258-0680
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
My name is Katie Gray and I am so excited to be a part of MAHEC family medicine! I was born and raised in Aiken, SC and after graduating from high school, I headed to the upstate where I majored in biochemistry at Clemson University. After four years of cheering on the Tigers, hiking and camping in the Blue Ridge mountains, and accruing more orange t-shirts than any one person should ever own, I decided to head down to the beach and attend medical school at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston.

During medical school, I loved every rotation I particpated in, especially my rural family medicine rotation. Family medicine kept me interested with the large variety of diseases, age groups, genders, and procedures that I was able to encounter every day. I also enjoyed the relationships between physician and patient that were especially close given the small size of the community. My particular interests in family medicine include obstetrics, hospital medicine, rural medicine, and international medicine.

As a resident of Asheville, I’m excited to do even more hiking and camping, tube the French Broad, listen to lots and lots of bluegrass, sample the local brews, and most importantly learn and grow as a physician and friend!

photo Jessica McSurdy, MD
Resident
Phone: 828-258-0680
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
My name is Jessica and I am so excited to be one of the new interns with the MAHEC family medicine team! I grew up in a rural town in the mountains of Vermont, but have been slowly migrating south since high school. In college, I studied behavioral neuroscience and art, and rowed on the crew team in New London, CT. It was also during college that I began exploring medicine and spent half a year studying and volunteering in a hospital in India. My time there exposed me to rural surgical and medical care and really helped me to focus my interests. After graduation, I moved to New York City where I spent 4 years dissecting fruit fly brains in a research lab, and became captivated by the people, art, music, and great food in the city.

Also during that time, I met and married my wonderful husband, Kevin. Together, we moved to North Carolina and I began medical school at Wake Forest School of Medicine. It was there that I really grew to love the practice of Family Medicine. When searching for programs, I wanted to find a place to call home where I could immerse myself in broad spectrum medicine, while still being part of a culture that truly valued each patient relationship. With all that in mind, MAHEC was a natural first choice! I love being back in the mountains and in a city with endlessly inspiring scenery and culture. Most of all, I am honored to be able to learn and practice medicine alongside such a passionate and empathetic group of caregivers.

Outside of medicine, I will always enjoy a cup of coffee and a good book in the sunshine, my 3-legged cat, and taking road trips with my husband. We are both so excited to be able call Asheville home now!

photo Hannah-Marie Roberts, MD
Resident
Phone: 828-258-0680
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
My name is Hannah-Marie and I am a resident at MAHEC family medicine. I spent my early childhood just down the road in Candler, NC before moving to Charlotte, NC. However, the mountains never left my heart and I found myself returning many times to enjoy the beauty and community of these peaks.

I attended Davidson College, where I was inspired by my experience working with the most gracious and kind physicians at a free community clinic and discovered that my love of science, stories, and community all intersected in medicine. I then attended Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston Salem, NC. During this time, I married my best friend, John Roberts, who is an Episcopal Priest serving a church in Flat Rock, NC. I chose family medicine for the relationships built between doctor and patient, for the opportunity to see families grow and change, and for the privilege to be present with my patients at all stages of life.

Being matched at MAHEC family medicine for residency is a tremendous blessing. From day one, I can see that this residency is made up of kind, brilliant physicians with a desire to serve their community. The strong obstetrics and pediatrics training at MAHEC also impresses me, as I plan to attend a fellowship in maternal-child care. Additionally, John and I are thrilled to call the mountains our home!

When I am not at the hospital or clinic, I find peace outdoors hiking with my husband and dog, discovering waterfalls and lakes, and long distance running. I also love to bake breads, sew, and read. I am so glad that you are also interested in MAHEC family medicine. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions and come for a visit to the mountains!

photo Tyler Wellman, MD
Resident
Phone: 828-258-0680
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
During fall of my fourth year at medical school, I spent a month at MAHEC as a visiting student. Those four weeks provided a window into the incredible culture of MAHEC and gave me an opportunity to get to know some of the faculty and residents who make MAHEC Family Medicine what it is. After that, I was convinced that MAHEC was the best place to train to become the kind of family physician I desire to become.

I grew up in Tampa, FL and spent my time at University of Florida studying religion and linguistics. Following graduation in 2009, I joined the Jesuit Volunteer Corps and moved to Micronesia for two years teaching high school. It was an incredibly rich and formative experience. Around that time, my older brother was enduring the worst of his trials of a rare kidney disease, FSGS (focal segmental glomerulosclerosis). Witnessing the profound effects of this disease on him physically, mentally, and spiritually and seeing the resilience of the human spirit in the face of disease and suffering led me to exploring vocations in health care. My time in Micronesia with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps also informed my interest in healthcare, particularly seeing medicine as a vehicle for social justice and service.

After returning from Micronesia 2011, I completed my pre-med courses and headed to Florida State University COM in 2013. I am deeply grateful for the education, primary care-focused culture, and mission at FSU—all of which are much in line with MAHEC. My love of medicine has been centered on how richly science and humanities are intertwined and for the reverence of each human life, which has been highlighted for me by historical figures like William Carlos Williams, William Osler, and Albert Schweitzer. Within medicine, my interests are broad: public health, social justice, global health, palliative care, and a more recently growing interest in health policy and economics. Outside of medicine, I love to spend time in nature, use my camera, travel, read/write, roast coffee, cook/eat, and spend time with my wonderful family and friends.

I am extremely grateful to be here and am excited for what lies ahead.

photo Rivers Woodward, MD
Resident
Phone: 828-258-0680
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
As a WNC native, I couldn’t be more excited to be joining the MAHEC team! I grew up in Franklin, NC where I was homeschooled by two incredible parents who were firm believers in experiential education. Whether we were traveling by bus through the steep hills of Guatemala or recording morning observations of tadpole behavior in the pond below our house, my education was always shaped by interacting with my surroundings. I like to think that I still retain some of that childlike fascination with the world that makes answer-seeking (not simply finding) a joyful process. Others that know me well might argue that the child in me is too busy with “dad jokes” and practical mischief to have time for much else.

I dove into public education at UNC Chapel Hill, where I majored in Theatre and Biology. During that time, I would regularly don my flying pig hat and circle the pediatric floors of UNC Hospitals dressed as a clown. In my sophomore year, I had the opportunity to design my own educational experience abroad. I spent five months in India, Nepal, and China exploring alternative and traditional modalities of healing. After four years at UNC, I was still loving my life in Chapel Hill and knew that there were few places in the country that would be more supportive of my path into primary care.

While I briefly flirted with a career in pediatrics, each interaction that I had in family medicine further cemented my feeling that this was my calling and these were my people. In my first year of med school, I joined the first class of Kenan Primary Care Scholars and set my sites on returning to rural WNC to practice. As part of this program, I spent all of my third year of medical school and a large part of my fourth year at MAHEC. During this period, I discovered that it was possible to have a training environment that was simultaneously rigorous, joyful, and compassionate. Call it a two-year audition elective, but by the time the interview season came around, no program came close to touching the place of MAHEC and Asheville in my heart.

Finishing my first night shift as a medical student and seeing the sun rise through the mist from the 6th floor windows at Mission. Leaving for clinic five minutes early to check the dew-soaked soil of my garden for signs of the first germinating basil plants. Warm summer afternoons of finding caves behind waterfalls and frolicking in swimming holes deep in the woods. A free day spent hiking, kayaking, or biking in which I would make it back to town just in time to watch the sun set from a favorite brewery. Sitting on my front porch, finishing a clinic note, serenaded by the lonely call of a whippoorwill as evening sets in. Whether I have a free weekend or a free lunch break, I know these mountains are what I need to feel rejuvenated each day.

photo Zachary Wright, DO
Resident
Phone: 828-258-0680
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
My name is Zach and I am from Indianapolis, IN and although I am proud to be a “Hoosier,” I am first and foremost a Butler Bulldog at heart. I graduated from Butler University and will always be a fierce Bulldog basketball fan. While I was an undergraduate student, I had the great opportunity of becoming heavily involved with an organization called Timmy Global Health. Through Timmy, I had the chance to be a part of several medical service trips to Guatemala. These trips allowed me to have my first exposure to providing primary medical services to communities in need. After graduating from Butler, I worked a few years for the county health department in Indianapolis, where I helped members of my community enroll in free and low cost health coverage programs and was an advocate for such individuals as they navigated accessing healthcare services.

In between my time with the health department and starting medical school, I was also fortunate to spend a year living and working in Ecuador, where I worked, once again, with Timmy Global Health. In Ecuador, I was involved with Timmy’s on-the-ground efforts and assisted with running mobile medical clinics in the amazon basin as well as in the urban areas of Quito. I was also part of a project to build an electronic medical records system, which now allows Timmy’s medical clinics to function entirely paperless and access computerized data that helps to provide better care to individuals and communities.

Upon returning from Ecuador, I had the privilege of being a part of the first medical school class at Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine (MUCOM). While at MUCOM, I was involved in starting a chapter of Timmy Global Health to continue my involvement with global health but to also provide access for my classmates to learn and become involved themselves. Our chapter at MUCOM takes 10-20 students each year, along with volunteer health professionals to the North Coast of the Dominican Republic to provide medical services to the communities throughout the province of Puerto Plata.

My experiences during medical school and over years prior have only increased my interest and desire to work with patient populations most in need. I have also found in my training that I have a wide range of medical interests. The combination of underserved patient populations, both in the US and abroad, and broad interests in medicine made Family Medicine the obvious specialty choice for me. I am thrilled to join MAHEC for my residency training. I am excited to be trained in full-scope family medicine all the while being a part of a program with a service-minded atmosphere. Having the chance to work in Western North Carolina for my residency training, as well as continuing to be a part of Global Health initiatives, were just two of the many things that led me to train at MAHEC.

In my free time, I love being active and being outside. I enjoy running, biking, hiking, and camping. I look forward to living in Asheville where incredible places to do such activities are closeby.

Faculty


photo Lisa LaVallee, MD
Director, Family Medicine Residency Program
Phone: 828-258-0670 Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803

I grew up in Atlanta and graduated from Emory University medical school. I moved to Portland Oregon for residency at OHSU. 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 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.

MAHEC is a wonderful place to be. From the start everyone made me feel welcome and I was struck by the quality of the residents, faculty and staff. I found that I love teaching and being in a residency where there is so much stimulation and interaction with other physicians.

I have two beautiful daughters Erica and Ava. Our family loves living in Asheville. It is incredibly beautiful and we love to be outdoors swimming, paddle boarding, mountain biking or hiking with our dogs, Pilot and Bella. We live in an old neighborhood in Asheville called Montford which is within walking distance of downtown. I love the diversity and remarkable cultural opportunities that Asheville affords. I can’t imagine raising my girls anywhere else.


photo Heidi Knoll, MD
Faculty Physician/Asst Residency Program Director
Phone: 828-257-4730 Fax: 828-257-4750
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803

I have been part of the MAHEC team since 2015 and continue to be inspired—there is such palpable enthusiasm here for quality, innovative healthcare with an eagerness to rise above the challenges in our system. Everyone is genuinely kind and supportive of each other! My story starts in Northeastern Ohio where I was raised, and continues in New England where I spent more than a decade for my education and training at Brown University (interrupted briefly for a wonderful year spent in Argentina), and soon thereafter settled in this beautiful and vibrant city.

My spouse and I were attracted to so many aspects of Asheville, but the nearness to family, the opportunity for outdoor activities, the cultural offerings, the weather, and the general attitude/feel were among our top reasons for making Western North Carolina our home. Our family life with young children keeps us busy, but I also enjoy music, tennis, hiking, crafting, and taking advantage of the city’s culinary offerings.

My scope of practice at MAHEC is full-spectrum and I have a particular interest in women’s reproductive health, group medical care including Centering Parenting, and resident teaching. I spend time in clinical care at both the Biltmore and Newbridge campuses.


photo Julia Oat-Judge, MD
Assistant Director, Family Medicine Residency Program
Phone: 828-257-4730 Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803

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’s clinical and research focus is on maternity care and reproductive health.


photo Susan Alexander, MD
Faculty Physician
Phone: 828-418-0040 Fax: 828-418-0041
MAHEC Family Health Center at Enka/Candler
1914 Smokey Park Highway
Candler, NC 28715

Hey there! My name is Susan and I’m thrilled to welcome you to MAHEC! A North Carolina native, I grew up in Charlotte and attended UNC Chapel Hill, where I studied Biology and French. I always had a passion for the medical sciences, but after spending two years working at the lab bench in a hematology research lab at Duke, I knew I needed a more personable approach to medicine. So I applied to medical school and had the opportunity to follow my dream of caring for patients. My husband, Heath, and I were excited to move a little closer to our beloved Appalachian mountains so I could attend medical school at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC!

Early on in my medical school career, I realized that I had a passion for primary care. I discovered I enjoyed essentially every rotation during my third year, and above all, I had excellent resident and faculty role models who encouraged me to pursue a career in family medicine. With rotations from North Carolina to Nicaragua and Peru, I also developed a sincere interest in working with patients from various cultural and socio-economic backgrounds, particularly in addressing concerns about navigating our complicated health care system and how access to quality primary care can be improved.

When I began applying to residency programs around the country, I hoped to find a program with comprehensive and rigorous training that would prepare me to practice full-spectrum family medicine. I discovered MAHEC’s residency program as a visiting fourth-year student here for an elective, and after spending a month with the faculty and residents here in Asheville, I realized this program had everything I was looking for – outstanding training, with strong pediatrics and OB programs, stellar faculty, and fabulous residents. Not to mention excellent opportunities for global health and local community-based projects! MAHEC set the bar very high, and I found myself comparing every other program around the country to this one! And it only gets better - the culture of Asheville is also a wonderful draw to the program. Asheville has an excellent music, local eateries and breweries, and above all, the great outdoors! Heath and I are avid climbers, hikers, and soon-to-be mountain-bikers, so we are thrilled to be here in the Appalachians (finally!) and become a part of the MAHEC community!


photo Mike Coladonato, MD
Family Practice Physician
Phone: 828-628-8250 Fax: 828-628-8633
MAHEC Family Health Center at Cane Creek
1542 Cane Creek Road
Fletcher, NC 28732

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 Amanda and I have traveled the planet and have decided we love living and working in this beautiful corner of the world. I thought my time being sleep deprived was over when I finished residency, but now our lives are even more wonderful and sleep deprived with the addition of our precious children Julian and Serena.

My interests outside of medicine include running, hiking, mountain biking, traveling, family, friends, music, beer, beekeeping, gardening, yoga, and aikido.


photo Tony Esterwood, MD
Geriatric Physician

MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803

photo Nicole Evans, DO
Faculty Physician
Phone: 828-257-4730
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803

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!


photo Blake Fagan, MD
Chief Education Officer, UNC Health Sciences at MAHEC
Faculty, Department of Family Medicine, UNC School of Medicine
Phone: 828-257-0670 Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803

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 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. This place rocks!!


photo Dan Frayne, MD
President, MAHEC
Phone: 828-258-0670 Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803

I am often asked ’how did you end up here?’ Good question...and not so easy to answer. I was born in Orange County, CA, and grew up in a large family (5th of 6). I went to undergrad at Boston University where I met my future wife Jill (from Georgia). Went back to CA for medical school and got married but Jill (and I...) was less than fond of living in Southern California. We moved to the ’right coast’ for residency where we spent 3 years in Lancaster, PA with the Amish. We wanted to live closer to Atlanta and were in search of a Southern home when I was introduced to the Appalachian region through the ETSU Appalachian Preceptorship Program. It worked! I loved the area, the mountains, the culture, the people, and the chance to practice full spectrum family medicine. I spent 4 years in rural private practice in Linville, NC (Avery County) with an eye to eventually move to Asheville and teach. I was fortunate enough to join the MAHEC Family Practice Residency in August 2006 and we have found our final resting place!

I am graced with 2 delightful children, Ari and Francesca, and 2 dogs, Kenya and Nala. Among my myriad of interests, I love hiking and camping, reading, linguistics, discussing and searching for Truth/spirituality, and playing cards. My medical interests include family centered maternity care and improving women’s health before between and beyond pregnancy, as well as improving access to quality healthcare for the underserved. I serve as the co-chair for the clinical workgroup of the National Preconception Health and Healthcare Initiative (check out our preconception health toolikit (http://beforeandbeyond.org/toolkit/) and on the leadership council for the FMEC-IMPLICIT Network to improve birth outcomes through interconception care at well child visits.


photo Carriedelle Fusco, FNP
Nurse Practitioner
Co-director, MAHEC Office-Based Opioid Treatment Services
Phone: 828-258-0670 Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803

Carriedelle Wilson Fusco, MSN, FNP-BC, holds a master’s degree in nursing from Vanderbilt University and is board certified as a family nurse practitioner. Carriedelle joined the MAHEC Family Medicine Residency program in Asheville in 2012 and works with an interdisciplinary team to care for patients with chronic pain on chronic opioid therapy and patients struggling with opioid addiction and other substance use disorders. She also teaches medical, nursing, and pharmacy students; medical residents; other learners; and community providers in the management of chronic pain and substance use disorders. Carriedelle is the co-medical director for office-based opioid treatment services at MAHEC Family Health Centers. 


photo Josh Gettinger, MD
Family Practice Physician
Phone: 828-258-0670 Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803

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 of 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. America 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 deeply 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?


photo Benjamin Gilmer, MD
Family Practice Physician
Phone: 828-258-0670 Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Cane Creek
1542 Cane Creek Road
Fletcher, NC 28732

As a native of Charlotte, North Carolina, I discovered the Asheville area as a young boy and always longed to live here. Following undergraduate studies in French and neuroscience at Davidson, I moved to Paris where I studied medicine at the Sorbonne for 2 years. This experience inspired me to return to my science roots. I returned to NC where I taught for 6 years and pursued a graduate degree in neurotoxicology prior to finishing medical school at East Carolina. While at ECU, I was inspired by the story of Albert Schweitzer and as a Schweitzer Fellow lived and worked at his hospital in Gabon, Africa. Since then, my wife, Deirdre, and I have not stopped traveling and serving in the developing world including Ecuador, Nicaragua and Honduras. MAHEC offers the perfect opportunity to pursue my passions which include serving in the developing world, teaching, and practicing full spectrum family medicine including OB, all while living in one of the most beautiful areas of the country. As a faculty member, I am interested in building upon an already strong global health curriculum through our Shoulder to Shoulder global health partners.
Since arriving, our family has doubled and we are blessed to have 2 year-old Kai, and the recent addition of his Thanksgiving sister, Luya. Sami, our Labradoodle, is enjoying his new siblings. Outside of medicine, we revel in the outdoors and continue to travel extensively. My wife is an Anusara yoga teacher and has established a wonderful community in Asheville. Together, we continue to discover the outdoor wonders of Western NC and I continue to practice my love of paragliding. I can’t imagine another place that would allow me to be so close to all of my loves.


photo Melissa Hicks, MD
Family Practice Physician
Program Director, Transitional Year Residency Program
Phone: 828-258-0670 Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803

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.


photo Steve Hulkower, MD
Director, Division of Family Medicine
Phone: 828-258-0670 Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803

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 assumed my current role as Division Director in 2008. 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.


photo Jessica Knapp, DO, CAQSM
Assistant Director, Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship Program
Phone: 828-258-0670 Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803

Dr. Knapp is a research fellow with the North American Primary Care Research Group. Her work and research 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, and group visits to encourage pediatric patients to get moving.

An athlete herself, Jess started her training as an undergrad at Penn State Behrend where she was inducted into the college’s Athletics Hall of Fame in 2014 for her achievements as a long-distance runner that included being named Female Athlete of the Year twice among other awards.

Jess went to Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine for her medical training. While in medical school, she was served as head coach for high school and middle school cross country and track teams. She trained in Wilmington, NC for her primary care residency and then completed a sports medicine fellowship at the University of Connecticut. After her fellowship, Dr. Knapp 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 Medical School. During that time, she earned the Young investigator’s Research Grant Award and Humanitarian Award from the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine.

Currently,Dr. Knapp serves as a subcommittee chair for the American Society of Sports Medicine in addition to her research fellowship.

Jess and her husband moved to Asheville a few years ago to be closer to friends and family and these beautiful mountains.


photo Kyle Knowlson, MD
Family Medicine Physician
Phone: 828-257-4730 Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803

photo Susan McDowell, MD
Family Physician Faculty - Opioid Crisis Educator
Phone: 828-257-4730 Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803

photo William McLean, MD
Family Practice Physician
Phone: 828-407-2400 Fax: 828-686-3365
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803

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.


photo Ginger Poulton, MD
Family Practice Physician
Phone: 828-257-4747 Fax: 828-257-4763
MAHEC Family Health Center at Newbridge
218 Elkwood Avenue
Asheville, NC 28804

I’m originally from Falls Church, VA. I graduated from the University of Virginia in 2004. It was there that I first became interested in medicine while serving as an impromptu Spanish medical interpreter at a free clinic in the area. After college I joined Teach for America. I worked as a high school science teacher in Phoenix, AZ, while enjoying lots of active pursuits out West. I spent my summers abroad working with healthcare personnel. My time in Honduras and Uganda solidified my decision that becoming a physician was the right career path for me. After two years of teaching, I went to University of Michigan, where I met my now husband, Tim. We were fortunate to couples match at the MAHEC program and both completed our training in 2013.

I chose Family Medicine because I was excited by the opportunity to form long lasting relationships with patients and to help connect patients to valuable resources they need in the community. I am thrilled to be working at the Newbridge Family Health Center, a satellite office of MAHEC on the North side of town.  My current interests in Family Medicine include prenatal care, pediatrics, women’s health, racial equity, patient education and efficiency in clinical practice and Lifestyle Medicine. I became board certified in Lifestyle Medicine in October 2019 and am now the Program Director of the Lifestyle Medicine Residency Curriculum. I really enjoy working with patients to use evidenced-based therapeutic interventions to improve health.

Good luck with your interview season. I hope you are invigorated by the variety of training options in Family Medicine. MAHEC is a great place to train and Asheville is an absolutely wonderful place to live. 


photo Rebecca Putnam, MD
Family Medicine Physician
Phone: 828-257-4730 Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803

I came to MAHEC for my residency after developing a love for full spectrum care during medical school in Colorado. I am blessed to now be on faculty where I run the Adult IDD (Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities) Assessment clinic and have the opportunity to work with many wonderful learners every day. My favorite part of being a family doctor is getting to stick with my patients through all of life’s transitions. 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 husband, who is an Asheville local.
Starting in 2021 I will also be involved with family medicine teaching for the new Transitional year residency.


photo Lisa Reed, MD
Family Practice Physician
Phone: 828-257-4747 Fax: 828-257-4763
MAHEC Family Health Center at Newbridge
218 Elkwood Avenue
Asheville, NC 28804

I grew up in Iowa and stayed there to attend Grinnell College and then the University of Iowa for medical school. Residency here at MAHEC was challenging but fulfilling. My clinical work is at our North Asheville clinic, MAHEC Family Health Center at Newbridge. I am particularly interested in women’s health, pediatrics, behavioral health and caring for Latino patients.

We have been very happy living in Asheville! I particularly love the picturesque, hilly runs with our old dog, Maggie, and the fabulous local food. My husband, Owen, works for the Forest Service; he works with trees, not people. We love our wooded backyard in Kenilworth. We are expecting our second child in early 2018.

If you are interested in coming to work with us, I cannot recommend this program more highly. My fellow faculty are dedicated teachers and our residents are given a lot of independence but also a lot of support. At MAHEC, we have a very challenging but rewarding practice. We work with a lot of under-served patients and patients with complex problems. The high volume of pediatrics makes the clinic very fun. As a Spanish speaker, I really enjoy working with our immigrant population. My interest in Global Health first exposed me to the MAHEC residency and I was lucky to take two trips to Honduras and a trip to Haiti during my residency. We are truly happy to answer any of your questions!


photo Amy Russell, MD
Family Practice Physician
Phone: 828-258-0670 Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803

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.


photo Amy Santin, MD
Family Practice Physician
Phone: 828-628-8250 Fax: 828-628-8633
MAHEC Family Health Center at Cane Creek
1542 Cane Creek Road
Fletcher, NC 28732

Originally from Annapolis, Maryland, Amy received her undergraduate degree from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA. Before going to medical school she worked in Washington, DC doing environmental policy work for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and also worked on Capitol Hill for the House of Representatives doing fisheries policy work. Dr. Santin attended medical school at UNC Chapel Hill and completed her residency at MAHEC in Asheville in 2010. Most recently, she worked at Blue Ridge Community Health Services, a federally funded community health center in Hendersonville. Amy speaks Spanish and practices full spectrum family practice including prenatal care and obstetrics.

Dr. Santin and her husband have two sons (ages 10 and 12) and a dog.They get out into the mountains of WNC whenever they can - hiking, backpacking and canoeing. Amy also enjoys trail running, mountain biking, gardening and reading.


photo Shuchin Shukla, MD
Opioid Education

MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803

photo Eric Smith, MD
Family Practice Physician
Phone: 828-418-0040 Fax: 828-418-0041
MAHEC Family Health Center at Enka/Candler
1914 Smokey Park Highway
Candler, NC 28715

Hello everyone! I am crazy excited to be writing to you as a part of MAHEC’s Family Medicine program in Asheville! It’s invigorating to have colleagues as excited about full spectrum family medicine and with hearts focused on the health of the community!

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 for marine biology, but quickly learned that didn’t mean I was going to be spending my days scuba diving off St. Croix, but rather in a lab. While it was an awesome 4 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 both loved Asheville and when I found out there was a family medicine program there, it was a perfect match for us! This city is incredible! Food, music, culture, and any outdoor activity you could want is 5 min away!

I feel family medicine is crucial to the future of our healthcare. It just makes sense for families to get their care from a single provider, granted the provider is competent and skilled. That is why it is so exciting to be here at MAHEC! It was during an away-rotation here as a student that, for the first time, I labored with a mom, delivered the baby and provided the post-delivery care to both of them. No disruption. No miscommunication between the peds team and the OB team. Here, I am confident I will get the training to provide loving care to my patients!


photo Gloria Trujillo, MD
Family Practice Faculty
Phone: 828-257-4730 Fax: 828-257-4750
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803

I am so passionate about the art of family medicine and its foundation. Here at MAHEC, I am so fortunate to be surrounded by amazingly dedicated folks to both the community and each other. The staff are engaged and enthusiastic in patient care and the providers here including residents are wonderful and involved in many levels across the breadth of family medicine.

Currently I am still an Assistant Consulting Professor for the Department of Community and Family Medicine at Duke University. I joined Duke Family Medicine as an attending faculty member in August 2006 and held the role of Medical Director for five years. I continued to be actively involved in teaching the residents and medical students, transforming clinical practice and seeing patients.

I graduated from George Washington University School of Medicine in 1992 and completed my Family Medicine Residency training at Fairfax Family Practice Centers outside Washington, D.C. in 1995. After residency, I worked for Fairfax Family Practice Centers in private practice for 3 years and precepted low risk deliveries with family practice residents. I also worked for Kaiser in the Rocky Mountain Division for three 3 plus years where I learned a great deal about cost containment, quality assurance and played a large role in rolling out the electronic medical record. For six years prior to coming to Duke Family Medicine I had the opportunity in South Berwick, Maine to set up and grow a practice as Senior Managing Family Physician. I joined the academic/teaching environment as an opportunity to share my experiences and to help develop new doctors in our changing healthcare environment. I try to bring to teaching a fresh perspective from the private practice realm to the academic/ teaching medical setting.

My professional interests include chronic disease management, sports medicine, pediatrics, office based procedures, medical acupuncture, quality improvement, practice transformation and the ongoing development of team based care.

I grew up in the Washington DC area and got married in 1990. My spouse works as a consultant to the federal government and on community health projects.
I enjoy time with my family which includes my two adult children. My daughter graduated from Elon University and is working for FDIC in Washington DC. My son graduated from UNC-Asheville and is in graduate school at University of Denver playing his last year of eligibility in NCAA Division 1 Soccer, position of goalie. We love to travel, to do outdoor activities especially hiking with my dogs. We are true sports buff fanatics for minor league and collegiate level teams in soccer, basketball and baseball!


photo Aaron Vaughan, MD
Director, MAHEC Sports Medicine, Director, Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship
Phone: 828-258-0670 Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803

Dr. Vaughan graduated from Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine and later attended the University of Virginia where he completed his residency in Family Medicine. Following his residency, he completed a primary care sports medicine fellowship at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill where he was the team physician for Carolina Hurricanes Professional Hockey team as well the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

Aaron moved to Western North Carolina in 2013 where he serves as the Sports Medicine Director at MAHEC as well as the Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship Director. He continues his appointment as a Clinical Assistant Professor for the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He is active at the national level with the AMSSM (American Medical Society for Sports Medicine) conducting research on a yearly basis.

Locally, he serves as the team physician for Warren Wilson College. He provides medical coverage for multiple local teams including Asheville Rugby Football Club. From a community perspective, Dr. Vaughan has been the medical director for multiple events including the 2018 and 2019 International Tennis Fed Cup, Biltmore Marathon, the Lake Logan Triathlon, the Asheville Turkey Trot, the Hellbender 100 mile trail race, and the Haute Route international cycling race. He is on the board of directors for the Asheville Buncombe Regional Sports Commission which brings in high-level athletic events to the Asheville and Western North Carolina region.

His primary professional interests are in non-surgical orthopedics, ultrasound medicine, regenerative medicine, Exercise is Medicine, and traumatic brain injury/concussion management.

Aaron is happy to call Asheville home and enjoys travel, trail running, cycling, among other outdoor activities.


photo MaryLynn Barrett, LCSW, MPH
Behavioral Health Professional
Phone: 828-257-4730 Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
Mary Lynn Barrett, LCSW, MPH, has dual master’s degrees in social work and public health from the University of Washington. She is the Director of Behavioral Medicine in the Family Practice Residency Program and MAHEC’s Family Health Centers. Her current position 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 trained extensively in several mind/body modalities for healing trauma and is very knowledgeable of the effects of trauma and stress on both physical and mental health. As a Master Trainer in the Trauma Resiliency Model and the Community Resiliency Model (CRM), she trains all types of individuals from physicians and licensed mental health providers to case managers, parents, lay providers, veterans and clergy. She recently joined the board of the Africa Healing Exchange and traveled with the group to Rwanda in February to teach CRM skills to those affected by the genocide. Locally, she participates in Buncombe County’s Innovative Approaches Initiative through work with the ACE Collaborative. Mary Lynn is fluent in Spanish. She has lived in South America and traveled throughout Latin America. She worked in Honduras with the Shoulder to Shoulder program, providing much needed mental health services and training medical students in the process. Currently, she lives in Asheville with her husband and young son.

photo Valerie Krall, MA, LCMHC
Director, Behavioral Medicine
Phone: 828-258-0670 Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803

Valerie obtained her Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from UNC-Charlotte in 1991 and is a Licensed Professional Counselor. She has worked with adults,children/adolescents, and families in a variety of settings including outpatient clinics, residential treatment, intensive outpatient, and private practice.

Before moving to Asheville she worked for many years in the Charlotte area with Carolinas Healthcare System -Behavioral Health Services. She has been with MAHEC as Behavioral Health Faculty since 2008. She is grateful for the chance to work in a field that allows her to interact with a variety of different people and to witness their resiliency and wisdom.

In her free time Valerie enjoys hiking, mountain biking, and Ultimate Frisbee. She enjoys the abundant outdoor activities available in Asheville as well as its vibrant music and arts community.


photo Rebecca Grandy, PharmD
Clinical Pharmacist
Phone: 828-771-3472 Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
I grew up in Western North Carolina and graduated with my undergraduate and Doctor of Pharmacy degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Go Heels! I was fortunate to be able to complete my student rotations and residency here at MAHEC and Mission Hospital. My husband and I love the mountains and culture of WNC. We love to hike, travel, and cook but spend most of our time trying to keep up with our two girls!

photo Bill Hitch, PharmD, BCPS
Director of Pharmacotherapy
Phone: 828-257-4464 Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
I grew up in Raleigh, NC and received my undergraduate and Doctor of Pharmacy degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I completed an ASHP accredited residency in Primary Care in 2005 and became Board Certified in Pharmacotherapy in 2006. I work closely with medical residents and faculty as the inpatient pharmacist for the family medicine service at Mission Hospital. I co-coordinate seminars for UNC pharmacy students with Mollie Scott and precept pharmacy students and residents in family medicine. I live in south Asheville with my St. Bernard Casey, and enjoy tennis, golf, volleyball, and hiking. I moved here 4 years ago, and the mountains of North Carolina have become my home. I am a fanatical UNC fan, and love all sports, except baseball.
Areas of interest include anticoagulation, heart failure, smoking cessation, and infectious disease.

photo Irene Ulrich, PharmD
Clinical Pharmacist
Phone: 828-771-3462 Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
I grew up in Cary, NC and graduated with my PharmD from the University of North Carolina Eshelman School of Pharmacy in May of 2012 (go Heels!). My passion is direct patient care and chronic disease management and completed my residency in ambulatory care at Mission Hospital and MAHEC from 2012-2013. Upon finishing residency, I worked as a clinical pharmacist in a specialized anticoagulation service at Mission Hospital before starting as a clinical pharmacist with MAHEC and Assistant Professor of Clinical Education with UNC. I practice primarily at the MAHEC clinics at Newbridge in Woodfin, NC and Cane Creek in Fletcher, NC. I feel fortunate to be a part of a truly interdisciplinary primary care with the common goal of providing outstanding care to the people of western NC.

I enjoy running, reading, traveling, and hiking with my dogs, Gryffindor and Bowie.

photo Courtenay Wilson, PharmD
Associate Director, Clinical Pharmacy
Phone: 828-257-4467 Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
Dr. Wilson received her undergraduate degrees from the University of Georgia followed by her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. She completed an ASHP accredited residency from the Boise VAMC in conjunction with the Idaho State University School of Pharmacy. Courtenay enjoys hiking, cooking, and watching Georgia football.

photo Tasha Woodall, PharmD, CGP, CPP
Associate Director of Pharmacotherapy
Phone: 828-771-3445 Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
I graduated with my PharmD from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana in May 2011. My husband and I moved to Asheville for my residency with Mission Hospital and MAHEC soon thereafter. We fell in love with the natural beauty of the area and feel fortunate to have been able to stay. I am now an Associate Director in the pharmacotherapy department specializing in geriatric ambulatory care, as well as an Assistant Professor of Clinical Education for UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy.

Advanced Practice Provider


photo Walter Accles, PA
Physician Assistant
Phone: 828-258-0670 Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
After graduating from the Duke PA program in 2001, I worked for two years in Internal Medicine. Since 2003 I have been working at the MAHEC Family Health Center.

* Denotes a healthcare provider not employed by MAHEC.