Our People

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Resident PGY1 Resident PGY2 Resident PGY3 Faculty Advanced Practice Provider

Resident PGY1


photo Brendan Crow, MD
Resident

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

Greetings! I am so glad to be joining MAHEC and the Asheville community. I was drawn to this program by its commitment to a mission of service, as well as the social and environmental support for my family. Meeting residents, graduates, and faculty further reinforced the caring and supportive culture in Asheville.

I grew up in Charlotte, NC with a lot of time spent swimming and cycling, including memorable trips along the nearby Blue Ridge Parkway. I initially studied business in college at UNCW then went to work in health informatics for several years before taking time off to find a more fulfilling path. A variety of short-term contract and volunteer positions exposed me to the immense value of primary care. I returned to school for post-baccalaureate coursework and several years later started medical school in Washington, DC.

My interests within family medicine are broad and evolving. I particularly enjoy learning how to think about the systems that affect health in order to improve health outcomes at an individual and population level. Among my interests outside of medicine are open water swimming, bicycle touring, and spontaneous local adventures with my partner, Lisa, and our kids. I am grateful for the opportunity to learn from and contribute back to the Asheville community.


photo Andrew Currieo, MD
Resident

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

Hello everyone! My name is Andrew Currieo. I was born in Honolulu, HI but raised in Tallahassee, FL. Growing up a diehard Seminole fan made my decision to attend Florida State University a no-brainer. In fact, I received both my undergraduate and medical degrees there.

Growing up in a household where my father was a practicing family doctor provided an awesome introduction to this wonderful field. I too felt called to Family Medicine throughout medical school because of the ability to care/advocate for people of all ages and ailments, while forming long lasting relationships along the way.

This past interview cycle was unique in that it was entirely virtual. MAHEC stood out to me with their strong in-patient and out-patient training all within an environment that is welcoming and supportive. Everyone within the program was incredibly genuine and passionate about what they do both in and outside of medicine.

In my free time you can catch me cheering on FSU, hiking, fishing, cycling, and being outdoors with my wife, Cora, and our pup, Theo! We are pumped to be trading the gulf coast for the mountains and to be joining the awesome MAHEC family!


photo Julia Draper, MD, MPH
Resident

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

Hey all, my name is Julia Draper. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to continue my training at MAHEC after spending my clinical years of medical school as a UNC student at the Asheville campus. I was born and raised in Tallahassee, Florida but I spent many holidays falling in love with the Carolina mountains. I moved to North Carolina as soon as I could and went to school at a small liberal arts college nestled in the woods of Greensboro, Guilford College. I designed my own major in Integrative Healthcare so I could examine the bio-psycho-socio-political-cultural drivers of health. I entered medicine with this perspective and continued to study how sociocultural forces shape personal and community health and disparities. My interests in medicine include (but are certainly not limited to) building social justice healthcare curricula with an antiracism lens, Adverse Childhood Experiences, reproductive justice, and best practices in rural primary care.

I enjoy living close to the land and learning about the ecological and social histories of the communities I live in. When I'm not at work you can find me in my garden, studying Spanish, off for a walk in the woods, or dreaming up affordable off-grid housing solutions. 

I truly look forward to working with each and every one of you.


photo Everett Engstrom, MD
Resident

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

Howdy, folks! My name is Everett Engstrom and I am thrilled to be joining the MAHEC team. I hail from Mt. Pleasant, SC, the town across the bridge from Charleston. Growing up in the lowcountry was a real treat, but undergrad took me to the upstate region at Clemson University. I cut my mountain teeth by way of collegiate cycling, and after my first race in Western NC, I was smitten. I graduated from Clemson early and went to work for a summer program for pre-professional health students. 

For medical school I landed in the middle (and famously hottest) part of South Carolina at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine in Columbia. I chose to do my clinical years at the rural campus in Florence, SC. In doing so, I realized both the value of strong primary care and the ongoing desperate need for primary care providers in underserved areas throughout this country. 

What attracted me most to MAHEC was the level to which their program is attuned to the needs of the community, and is always striving to produce physicians to meet those needs. One phrase that really stuck with me from my interview was that MAHEC’s goal is to “well-equip its grads to practice and thrive away from the ivory towers.” I trust the rigor and high standards for care here will allow me to go on to practice high quality care even in the most challenging settings. If you need more evidence for this, look no further than the MAHEC alumni list and see what some of their people have gone on to do!

Personally speaking, when I get “away from the ivory towers” I love to hit the trails on foot or on wheels. I’m an avid home chef, and often find my zen while in my kitchen or at my grill. I also cherish time with my family and four older siblings and love to hang out with them whenever possible. Thanks for reading!


photo Bronwyn Fadem, MD
Resident

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

I grew up in Rutherfordton, NC, and I am honored to have the chance to serve the Western North Carolina community as a Family Physician. I attended Rutherford County public schools and UNC-Chapel Hill for both college and medical school. I am always excited to learn new things about the state and our communities every day.

My goal as a physician is to build meaningful relationships and make healthcare more efficient, equitable, and accessible to all. I want to offer comprehensive, integrative, and high-quality healthcare that is guided by the individuals or community I am working with. Because of my personal experiences, interest in health disparities, agriculture, and Latino culture, I have a particular passion for serving Spanish-speaking community members, immigrants, migrant farm workers, and refugees. I also love working with youth outside of the clinic, and I look forward to working with MAHEC’s education and mentorship programs that engage local and regional students.

I find it important to stay engaged with my community outside of the clinic walls, and I am always looking for ways to do this through art, food, music, dance, and conversation. I am also grateful to continue exploring my love for the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains, hiking, gardening, beekeeping, cooking, and mountain biking along the way.


photo Zach Fisher, MD
Resident

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

Hello! I was born and raised in Greensboro and went down the road to Elon University for college, where I majored in biology. After graduating, I worked for a year at the Alamance County Health Department working on local public health projects, including health insurance enrollment and efforts to improve behavioral health care in the county.

I attended UNC for medical school and was quickly drawn to family medicine because of the opportunity to work with patients of all ages, the strength of family doctors’ relationships with their patients, and their focus on health equity and social determinants of health. I was also lucky enough to do most of my clinical training in Asheville through MAHEC, and I am super excited to be returning to the MAHEC team for residency!

I love the variety of family medicine, and I’m also particularly interested in treating substance use disorder. I’m also passionate about advocating for patients at the state and local level. Outside of medicine, I enjoy playing and watching sports, hiking, cooking and reading, and I’m looking forward to exploring more of the trails and restaurants around Asheville and Western North Carolina!


photo Maura Fox, DO
Resident

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

Hi everyone! My name’s Maura and I’m thrilled to join the MAHEC Family Medicine program in Asheville! I’ve lived in New England for most of my life. I grew up in central Massachusetts, played D1 soccer at the College of the Holy Cross, and then completed four years of clinical research in the Boston area before starting medical school in Maine at the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine (UNECOM).

During my third-year rotations at UNECOM, my passion for family medicine was made clear. I loved all of my core rotations, but especially enjoyed the broad scope of the family medicine outpatient clinic: preventative and therapeutic visits for all ages, in-office procedures, and an emphasis on strong patient and physician relationships. I am really excited about lifestyle medicine and helping patients achieve optimal health through diet (especially whole-food plant-based diets!), stress management, exercise, etc. MAHEC’s Lifestyle Medicine Curriculum was a huge draw for me and I’m so excited to get involved and learn more.

MAHEC’s tight knit community and team atmosphere shone through during residency interviews. I wanted a combination of exceptional training as much as I wanted a supportive environment and after my interview, I knew MAHEC was for me. I love hiking, running, road and mountain biking, and can’t wait to experience the trails that Asheville has to offer. Although I am used to a lot of the winter sports that New England winters offer, I think I’ll quickly get used to the warmer climate in Asheville, NC!


photo Connor Jacobsen, MD
Resident

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

Hey everyone! I’m Connor Jacobsen and I am excited to introduce myself as a MAHEC Asheville Family Medicine resident. I grew up in Colorado and attended the University of Colorado for my undergraduate education, where I participated in sports medicine, conducted research in a cell physiology laboratory, and built public health infrastructure in rural Nicaragua. Afterwards, I moved to West Texas to attend medical school at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, where I focused my time on community outreach and various public health and patient education projects.

I believe that family medicine is made up of individuals who enjoy the entirety of medicine, educate and empower patients, plant roots in a community, engage in constant outreach, enjoy building relationships over time, and love connecting with patients and their peers. These are my personal values and I feel that MAHEC has an incredible collection of people who fit this mold. Additionally, it completely suits my desire for a rigorous, full-scope training that will prepare me for any future career path.

My passions outside of medicine lie in the outdoors—I could not be more excited to return to the mountains like those of my childhood. On the weekend, you can find me hiking, running, skiing, biking, climbing, and playing with my dog. I also possess a love for cooking and coffee.


photo Lucas John, MD
Resident

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

Hey everyone! It is a privilege to be joining the MAHEC Family Medicine program. Although I was born in Marietta, GA, I have come to consider North Carolina my home. During my undergraduate studies at UNC, I developed a passion for mental health. The integration of behavioral health in all aspects of medicine along with the privilege of being able to connect with patients on a physical, mental, and spiritual level steered me towards pursuing primary care. I was fortunate to become a double Tar Heel by attending the UNC School of Medicine. My interests further expanded into ultrasound, procedures, and working with Spanish-speaking communities. I quickly discovered my home in the field of Family Medicine and committed to a rural fast track program offered through UNC and MAHEC.

What resonates with me about the MAHEC program is its core objective of training to the bar of rural medicine, equipping its residents to be patient-centered leaders both in Western North Carolina and nationally. Our program values the significant impact that full-spectrum Family Medicine offers underserved communities and constantly strives for innovation in practice, notably through its emphasis on Point of Care Ultrasound and Medication-assisted treatment. MAHEC offers a rigorous blend of ambulatory care, inpatient adult medicine, OB-GYN, behavioral health, pediatrics, and procedural skills – all in high acuity settings – that truly prepares us for the complex challenges we will ultimately face as physicians. My goal is to develop the skills to serve rural North Carolina through a mix of inpatient medicine and outpatient primary care.

Outside of medicine, you can find me playing tennis or basketball (pre-COVID). My other hobbies include cooking, baking, and specialty coffee. My Christian faith is a fundamental aspect of my life, and I value the community and opportunities for service that it provides. The decision to train in Asheville is rewarding in both an academic and personal way. The city has everything to offer in terms of food, breweries, music venues, etc., all while being surrounded by a wide range of outdoor activities. I couldn’t be more fortunate than to spend my residency in such a great city surrounded by such great people!


photo Payton Malone, MD, MPH
Resident

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

I grew up in Northern Kentucky, attended Eastern Kentucky University for my undergraduate studies, and moved just up the road for my MD/MPH at the University of Kentucky. Throughout college and medical school, I spent free time playing many intramural sports and heading up I-75 to visit family and, most often, to watch my little brother excel in every sport he played! My family is a priority in my life and it won’t take long talking to me before you know more than you’d probably like to about my brothers and nieces, parents, grandparents, fiancé, and dog!

Some of the most important and formative interactions I have had with the healthcare system were as a patient advocate for my own family members. Experiencing both the good and the bad of medicine through that lens paired with my experience in public health and passion for caring for people across all ages and backgrounds led me toward a career in family medicine. I am drawn to the specialty because of the way family doctors are encouraged to think about patients and the vast opportunities available to us after training.

When it comes down to it, I chose MAHEC for the reason so many others did – the great training but mostly, the people. I was looking for a program that would embrace my passion for not just medical illness, but the person behind the diagnosis. My priorities and values are echoed at MAHEC; I feel supported and surrounded by people who share the view that we can make a positive impact not only on those patients we serve but our colleagues and the community around us. And after interviewing with the program, my face hurt from smiling so much... I think that was enough to know it was the perfect place.

Outside of medicine, some of my favorite days have been spent in the Red River Gorge climbing and trail running with my dog Luna, as well as cycling the Legacy Trail and finding all the new places we can bike to with my soon-to-be husband, Elliot. The three of us are thrilled to be moving to a place where we will be surrounded by such a unique and thriving community, one where we can continue our hobbies and play in the mountains in our free time!


photo Boone Marois, MD
Resident

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

Hello everyone! My name is Boone Marois and I am excited to join the MAHEC Family Medicine program in Asheville! I have spent my entire life in Michigan but I am excited to call the mountains of North Carolina my future home. 

My passion for medicine and the outdoors led me to Asheville. I grew up camping in Northern Michigan and discovered the thrill of backpacking during my college years at Hope College in Holland, MI. Here I also grew more interested in medicine as I received a degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and performed research in nuclear chemistry; exploring how radiotracers can be used in medical imaging.

Having been a collegiate sprinter, I initially explored medicine through the lens of sports medicine and orthopedic surgery. After college, I worked as a cast technician for an orthopedic office in my hometown of Traverse City, MI. Given my interest in athletics, I thought I would certainly pursue orthopedics as a career. However, as I went through medical school at the University of Michigan, I realized that I became intensely interested in every aspect of a patient’s health, not just their bones and joints. Particularly, I became passionate about Lifestyle Medicine, which focuses on the pillars of nutrition, exercise, sleep, stress, substance use, and healthy relationships to empower patients to create habits that allow them to live their best possible lives. This interest blossomed into creating a Lifestyle Medicine Interest Group and led me to Asheville where a Lifestyle Medicine Residency Curriculum is offered and emphasized.

As I learned about Lifestyle Medicine, my lifestyle changed, too. I went from omnivore to a vegan whole food, plant-based diet. I stopped sprinting and transitioned to triathlons and ultramarathons. I focused on restorative practices such as yoga and meditation and found myself advocating for my colleagues and patients to also make lifestyle changes, big or small. It was in this space that I felt compelled to pursue Family Medicine, which serves as the perfect platform to form lasting relationships with patients and to help them make sustainable lifestyle changes.

The supportive community of the faculty at MAHEC and the presence of a Lifestyle Medicine Curriculum offered the perfect combination for my residency training. In addition, the ample opportunities in Asheville will allow me to recharge by running in the mountains, camping with friends, gardening into late autumn, and experiencing new plant-based cuisine. I could not be more excited to start practicing Family Medicine in such a wonderful place.


photo Dallas Peters, MD
Resident

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

Resident PGY2


photo Bailey Allen, MD
Resident

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

Hey everyone! My name is Bailey Allen and I am thrilled to join the MAHEC Family Medicine program here in Asheville! I grew up in Whiteville, North Carolina and have lived in this great state my entire life. 

I developed a love for the outdoors from a young age, spending a large amount of my childhood working/playing on the farm or fishing with my grandparents. After graduating high school, I left my hometown for college at UNC Charlotte where I studied biology and public health. In college I spent time exploring the difference in healthcare environments, especially those that exist between my rural hometown and the large urban city of Charlotte, NC. It was through these experiences that I cemented my interest of becoming a family medicine physician with an emphasis on community engagement. I was fortunate to complete my third year of medical school at UNC’s Asheville campus at MAHEC and knew early on that it would be the best residency fit for me to achieve that very goal.

Family medicine is one of the most diverse and broad fields of medicine. The most appealing aspect to me is the emphasis on the relationships formed with patients and the greater community – family medicine physicians are community leaders, patient advocates, and much more. Practicing full-spectrum medicine while also being connected with the community that I’m living in is my ideal career. 

The combination of community-focused full-scope medicine, a supportive work environment, and an abundance of outdoor activities made coming to Asheville an easy choice for me. Outside of medicine I enjoy powerlifting, hiking, kayaking, exploring restaurants/breweries, and spending time outside – all of which Asheville has ample opportunity for. 


photo Michael Crowgey, MD
Resident

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

Hi there! I am so excited to be joining MAHEC! I’ve had my eye on the program since I started medical school. My initial impressions were reinforced when I visited the booth at the AAFP Conference in Kansas City and my experience on interview day sealed my desire to come to Asheville. The residents and faculty are kind and sincere, the facilities are top-notch, and the full-spectrum training is highly respected and well-known across the country. MAHEC is exactly what I was looking for! 

I grew up on a cattle farm in southwest Virginia--a few hours north of Asheville. I studied commerce at the University of Virginia. I then took a non-traditional route to medicine by spending five years in Japan teaching English and then five years in San Francisco, CA as a grocery buyer. My interest in nutrition and wanting to help people make better dietary and lifestyle decisions brought me to medicine. I was delighted to be able to come back east and attend VCU School of Medicine in Richmond, VA. From the beginning of medical school, my goal has been a career in Family Medicine. 

My interests in family med lie in chronic disease management, lifestyle medicine, and integrative medicine. My interests outside of medicine include hiking, keeping fit, yoga, nutritious (and tasty) food, and traveling. MAHEC and Asheville are great places to pursue all those interests and my wife Kate and I are really looking forward to becoming a part of the community!


photo Graham Custar, MD
Resident

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

I grew up in the suburbs of Atlanta, and I spent my childhood summers falling in love with the natural beauty of western North Carolina during visits to my grandparents’ cabin in Otto. I studied at Duke University, and upon graduation I commissioned as an Army officer and was stationed at Fort Carson. While on active duty in Colorado, I met the love of my life, Hannah. After my military service, I started at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, and we had our first child, Ollie, during my third year.
The breadth, depth, continuity, and endless possibility drew me to family medicine. The people, energy, and innovative adaptability drew me to MAHEC. My interests within family medicine include humanism, education, the quadruple aim, point of care ultrasound, and substance use disorders. And I’m excited to discover and develop new passions with my teammates in Asheville.
I love spending time outside – whether backcountry camping or just a walk around town. Hannah and I like to take Ollie on our adventures. I am a passionate furniture maker, and I’m excited to explore the woodworking community in western North Carolina.


photo Katherine "Kate" Emery, MD
Resident

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

Hi guys, my name is Kate Emery. I was raised in a small town in Northeast Arkansas where spending time outdoors and watching high school football reigned supreme. I grew up with two younger brothers, Clark and Colin. I went to a small liberal arts college called Hendrix where I studied biology and chemistry and discovered my passion for basic science. However, being driven by positive social interaction and a service-based environment, I decided that medicine was the right path for me. I went on to medical school at University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock.
I decided on family medicine because the best type of medicine is prevention. It is also really important to me to know my patients well and address health from many different angles. I am passionate about helping people with intellectual or developmental disabilities and can’t wait to further this at MAHEC.
I got to spend a month in clinic at MAHEC during my fourth year of medical school as an acting internship. While there, I saw firsthand why this place is so amazing. The support from faculty and positive learning environment are unparalleled. It was a friendly place where I immediately felt welcome. Plus, it is not hard to fall in love with the city of Asheville!
My hobbies include hiking and biking and I like a good trip to the lake. I love to laugh, so if you can accomplish that we can definitely be friends! I’ve been getting into some true crime podcasts recently and love a good recommendation. I can’t wait to call MAHEC home and my husband Nelson and I are so excited to move to Asheville!


photo Prathyusha Larson, DO
Resident

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

Hello! My name is Prathyusha Larson, and I am so thrilled to be part of the MAHEC family! I grew up in Tallahassee, Florida, and had the pleasure of going to college at FSU in my hometown (Go Noles!). At FSU, I pursued a degree in Biological Sciences while also further developing my passion for social justice and environmental advocacy. 

I started medical school in 2016 at the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine (ACOM) in Dothan, Alabama, where I met my partner Taylor. At ACOM, I explored my commitment for prevention and lifestyle medicine and quickly realized that primary care is the right fit for me. During my rotations in north Alabama, Family Medicine became my clear specialty choice because of the endless opportunities for advocacy, patient education, and depth of relationships. 

During the process of applying for residency, I immediately realized that I would thrive both personally and professionally at MAHEC. I had the joy of rotating here early during my fourth year and was so inspired by the quality of care that residents were providing to their patients as well as the sense of community and camaraderie that exist among residents and faculty. Within the enormous scope of Family Medicine, I’m not quite sure yet what my niche will be - another reason why I love the true broad-spectrum training available here. 
 
In my free time, I love to cook, hike, swim, and just spend time in the sunshine. I’m so excited to explore all the beauty of western North Carolina. I also can’t wait to enjoy all the amazing brews and great vegetarian food that Asheville has to offer! 


photo Taylor Larson, DO
Resident

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

Hey everyone! My name is Taylor Larson, and I couldn’t be more excited to be starting my Family Medicine Residency with the MAHEC team in Asheville, NC. I’m originally from Birmingham, AL, but spent plenty of time growing up camping and hiking in North Carolina with family. I received my undergraduate degree from Auburn University in Biomedical Science as well as minors in Business and Public Health. After finishing my undergraduate degree, I worked in medical software in Birmingham but quickly realized that I wanted to pursue a career in medicine. Soon after, I followed my passion to the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine.

I was drawn to western North Carolina because of the experiences of my uncle, a rural primary care physician in Murphy. His commitment to his community and the relationships he was able to have with his patients inspired me to follow in his footsteps and pursue Family Medicine. I spent a month rotating with the MAHEC team in August of my fourth year of medical school, and I realized I would have a difficult time finding another program with such an amazing culture and devotion to patients. The faculty and residents I met during those four weeks emulated the type of physician I want to become, and I was convinced MAHEC was the perfect place for my wife Prathyusha and I to train.

When I’m not in the hospital, I enjoy camping, reading, playing soccer, cooking, traveling, and exploring local breweries. I’m extremely lucky that my favorite vacation destination growing up is now going to become my new home!¬¬¬


photo Lauren Lougee, MD
Resident

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

Hi! My name is Lauren Lougee. I was born and raised in Chicago and moved down to New Orleans in 2010 for my undergraduate degree in anthropology at Tulane University. I remained in Louisiana and completed medical school at LSUHSC in New Orleans. My interests in medicine include women’s reproductive health, underserved medicine and global health. In choosing a family medicine residency I was inspired by the diverse and inclusive culture at MAHEC that fostered a supportive environment for the residents. In my free time I like to sail, be outdoors, travel, continue to learn Spanish and play with my dog. 


photo Margaret "Maggie" McDonough, MD
Resident

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

My name is Maggie, and I was born and raised in upstate New York. I didn’t go far from home to attend a combined-degree program between Siena College and Albany Medical College with a focus on the humanities. I learned so much during those eight years, both in the formal curriculum and through domestic and international service-learning projects. Highlights included a longitudinal relationship with Habitat for Humanity and a summer of service in rural Honduras.
I thoroughly enjoyed my third-year clerkships because I loved being able to relate the diseases we had learned about first and second year to real patients. I was humbled then, and continue to be humbled now, by the immense privilege we have as doctors to bear witness to our patients’ stories. Family medicine was a natural fit for me because I have always been interested in primary care and intend to keep my scope of practice broad to best serve as a one-stop-shop to meet a variety of patient needs. During my interview at MAHEC, I was thrilled to find a group of like-minded, patient-centered, full-scope family doctors with whom I couldn’t be more excited to train.
 Outside of medicine, I enjoy hiking and long-distance running. I’m looking forward to exploring the Blue Ridge Mountains, having done most of my hiking to date in the Adirondacks of New York. My creative interests include making homemade cards, baking, and knitting. 


photo Clara Novotny, MD
Resident

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

Hello! My name is Clara Novotny, and I am so happy to be joining MAHEC’s Family Medicine Residency. 

I grew up in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia in a quite rural area, but a short hour drive from the heart of Washington DC. I attended West Virginia University for undergrad, studying biochemistry and Spanish. Attending a proud land-grant school definitely fostered my love for serving community, and I knew it was a culture I wanted to keep around me. I stayed at WVU for medical school and there found love for family medicine. 

Family docs act as the frontline of defense for a majority of their patients, and sometimes that requires a fiery advocated to speak up on their behalf. I have found this to be especially true in the rural populations I have observed in West Virginia, many battling resource limitations daily, and I am learning that western North Carolina is so similar. I am excited to be an advocate for these patients! 

I have lived in Appalachia most of my life, and like many members of the MAHEC family, I need mountains. I feel so fortunate to be starting residency at a program with not only the strength of MAHEC but also one nestled in an adventurer’s paradise. I cannot wait to run some trails in the Blue Ridge Mountains, paddle board on the French Broad River, and explore some of Asheville’s famous yummy breweries. 


photo Justin Riederer, MD
Resident

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

Hello future colleagues! My name is Justin Riederer and I couldn’t be happier to be a part of the MAHEC family! 

I was born and raised in Milwaukee, WI and stayed in state to complete my undergraduate degree at UW-Madison. After graduation I decided that it was time for a change of scenery. After a brief hiatus in Chicago, I found the country that truly inspires me and moved to the mountains of Colorado in order to research adolescent mental illness. The years I spent living in Denver was an opportunity for me to explore beautiful places, and more importantly, was a time when tremendous mentors guided me to family medicine. 

As I interviewed for medical school I found a home with the family medicine scholars track at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). Thanks to this track and my mentors, my passion for family medicine flourished. My specific interests include promoting health and wellness amongst underserved and vulnerable patient populations, teaching, full-spectrum family medicine, behavioral health, and healthcare equity. 

As I said from the outset, I couldn’t be happier to be joining the MAHEC Family and to be moving to Asheville! I had the opportunity to complete my third year family medicine clerkship in the Asheville area with a former graduate of VCU and MAHEC. It was at this time that my fiance and I fell in love with Asheville. In the end we chose Asheville because the program offers the best of all worlds and clearly supports my interests and goals in family medicine, but more so it was the people that sold us on this place. I found my people at MAHEC and they are truly amazing! The beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains with their countless trail running, cycling, and backpacking opportunities made the decision even easier!


photo Everett Wilson, DO
Resident

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

Hello! My name is Everett. I am from Raleigh, NC where I attended North Carolina State University for undergraduate and graduate school. Prior to medical school, I worked in Spinal Cord Injury research at the University of Miami, and attended medical school in Florida as well. However, I am so happy to return to my home state of North Carolina, and am so excited to start the next chapter of life in Asheville at MAHEC! 
 
In my free time, I enjoy fiction novels, watching Mixed Martial Arts, watching/playing soccer, and listening to music, particularly LoFi Jazz. I am also a dog father to my sweet baby girl Lyla. She is a Whippet mix and has been my heart since 2014. I have enjoyed exploring Asheville, and cannot wait to get started as a MAHEC resident!


photo Miryam Wilson Reardon, MD
Resident

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

Hi! My name is Miryam Wilson, and I’m thrilled to be joining the MAHEC family. I am originally from Connecticut, and I attended the University of Connecticut for both my undergraduate degree and for my MD/MPH (Go Huskies!). I’m grateful to my wonderful mentors at UConn who showed me the beauty of family medicine and set me on track to join this amazing specialty. While looking for residency programs, I fell in love with MAHEC’s warm atmosphere, full-spectrum training, and commitment to patient centered care, and for that reason am so excited to be here in Asheville with you all. I am especially interested in care for the medically underserved, health equity, women’s health, and LGBTQ+ health. 
Outside of the hospital, I enjoy hiking with my husband Mike and my pup Mo, which makes the Blue Ridge Mountains that much more exciting a destination for us. I also enjoy cooking, quilting, and Judaic studies in my free time. 

Resident PGY3


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!

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 Oregon Health Sciences University. Following residency, I stayed in Portland for 5 years where I was in a full spectrum private family practice with an emphasis on OB and Pediatrics. I decided to move back to the SE to be closer to my family in Atlanta and I specifically wanted to live in Asheville because of its location and the wonderful character of the town. Serendipitously, there was a faculty position available at MAHEC and I took the job in 2000. It has been the best decision I've ever made both professionally and personally.  I have two beautiful daughters, Erica and Ava.  Our family enjoys going to our lake cabin and hiking with our dogs Bella and Ruby.  I love cooking, gardening, tending to my turn of the century house and growing orchids.

MAHEC is a wonderful place to be. The people here are committed to a set of core values of service, community focus and innovation.  One of the things that I love the most about working here is that we have powerful inter-professional relationships that have allowed us to create a rich integrated care model of practice that serves the needs of our patients at a high level, is an ideal learning environment and a really fun way to practice medicine.   MAHEC has always been and continues to be the kind of organization that calls me to be my best self.   I am inspired by the residents, staff and my tremendous faculty to try something new, to stretch myself personally and to grow professionally. 

Clinically I have special interest in osteoporosis and dermatology.  As an educator I am interested in how we nurture the doctor patient relationship in a technological world and how racism, sexism and imposter syndrome can impact our development as physicians. 


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 a part of the MAHEC team since 2015 and have been one of the Assistant Program Directors for the Family Medicine Residency since 2018.  I was born and raised in Northeastern Ohio, then spent more than a decade in Providence, Rhode Island for my education and training at Brown University (interrupted briefly for a wonderful year spent in Argentina). Soon after, I settled in this beautiful and vibrant city with my spouse and children. We were attracted to so many aspects of Asheville—the opportunity for outdoor activities, culinary and cultural offerings, gorgeous weather (4 seasons but mild!), and progressive/artistic reputation of the city were top reasons for choosing western North Carolina as our permanent home.  Family life with young children keeps us busy, but I particularly enjoy music, tennis, hiking, kayaking, crafting, and culinary delights!

Beyond its beautiful setting, MAHEC is a special place to be. I continue to be inspired by the palpable enthusiasm here for quality, innovative healthcare. There is an eagerness to rise above the real challenges in our healthcare system and a track record of rising to our regional community’s needs as they evolve.  Though my official training falls further into the past, I haven’t stopped learning new skills since joining this organization, for example becoming a buprenorphine prescriber, learning to provide hormone replacement therapy for gender affirmation, and learning hepatitis C care. Everyone is genuinely kind and supportive of each other! I also love the design we have for interdisciplinary learning opportunities and support for direct patient care – for example with our behavioral health, pharmacy, and dietician faculty.

My scope of practice at MAHEC is full spectrum—inpatient/outpatient care of adult and pediatric populations including prenatal and delivery care. I am pleased to have been one of the 2019-2020 fellows of the UNC Faculty Development Fellowship to further build skills as a physician educator, scholar, and leader. In addition to residency education, I have particular professional interests in women's reproductive health and justice, care of transgender and gender non-binary patient populations, pediatrics especially early childhood literacy and development, and group medical care including Centering Parenting. I believe in MLK Jr’s quote that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” and in the concept of anti-racism, the pursuit of which continues to humble me personally and professionally. I welcome you to explore our program and the rich opportunities to keep growing with us here at MAHEC!


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

I am from Connecticut and lived in the Northeast for my entire life before Asheville captured my heart and I relocated here for residency!  I went to Johns Hopkins for medical school, Brown for a year of OB/GYN internship, MAHEC for Family Medicine Residency, and Brown for a Maternal Child Health Fellowship.  I moved back to Asheville in 2015 for a faculty position here at MAHEC.  I love baking, reading novels, doing puzzles, and tending to my houseplants (not a very outdoorsy Ashevillean)!  I also play the cello and am always looking for opportunities to play music with others.

MAHEC is so important to me.  I had the most wonderful faculty mentors in my years here during residency.  They modeled the myriad paths your career can take as a family doctor.  I jumped at the opportunity to come back here in a faculty position to work with so many fabulous faculty and residents who share the same mission- we aspire to be (and train students and residents to be) the doctor that our community needs.  Our flexibility and can-do spirit allow us to change our scope of practice as community needs shift.  It is inspiring and humbling to have such phenomenal colleagues.

My passions are in the reproductive health care realm.  I am the director of our Obstetrics curriculum and facilitate our prenatal care program.  I teach residents in our colposcopy clinic, vasectomy clinic, and reproductive health clinic, as well as on Labor and Delivery.  I facilitate our residents' elective experience in abortion care at Planned Parenthood.  I do point-of-care ultrasound in pregnancy.  I offer medication and procedural/surgical management of miscarriage in our office.  I offer gender-affirming treatments for transgender/non-binary patients.  I organize simulation training sessions for residents in obstetrical emergencies and lead our annual Advanced Life Support - Obstetrics (ALSO) course. 


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

I grew up in Charlotte, attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for my undergraduate studies, and then attended Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem.  I moved to Asheville to complete my residency here at MAHEC, where I served as Chief Resident and fueled my passion for caring for patients in rural areas, from various cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds.  And I have had the privilege to continue here at MAHEC as a faculty member ever since!  My husband, Heath, teaches middle school, and our son, Thomas, is full of energy and eager to learn and try new things!  We enjoy all of the local biking, climbing, paddling, and hiking of these Appalachian Mountains, but we also love to travel to pursue outdoor adventures in beautiful places around the world! 

I truly love being a part of MAHEC Family Medicine.  Having the opportunity to train here as a resident, and then continue as a faculty member, has built long-lasting relationships with my colleagues who have mentored and fostered my own growth as a family physician.  I have so much respect for my fellow faculty, who demonstrate such support for our community and our teaching responsibilities for the region.  I practice full spectrum care at our office in Enka/Candler, where I have established close relationships with my patients and their whole families.  Here I also enjoy working with our clinical pharmacist to provide an integrated model of care and shared clinical visits for many of our complex patients to ensure the highest quality and most consolidated care.

Teaching is a big part of what I love about my job.  I work closely with residents and medical students in my own office, in the residency clinic, and on our inpatient family practice service.  I am the Internal Medicine curriculum director, and I enjoy working with the chiefs, IM faculty, and Mission hospitalist faculty to continue to improve our resident learning experiences.  I also direct our Simulation curriculum; I believe simulation is a very rewarding way to teach high-stakes scenarios in a hands-on and low-risk environment - where mistakes are welcomed and remedied!  I also enjoy taking my teaching to the regional level, where I am able to facilitate many virtual didactics and discussions among western North Carolina’s regional providers through Project ECHO at MAHEC.  


photo Michelle Boose, MD, MPH, FAACP
Family Medicine Faculty, Special Projects
Phone: 828-257-4730 Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803

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 and I have traveled the planet and have decided we love living, working, and raising our family in this beautiful corner of the world. 

My interests outside of medicine include trail running, camping, mountain biking, traveling, music, beekeeping, gardening, yoga, and aikido. My professional interests include full-spectrum care, primary care procedures including vasectomy, integrative medicine, and work-life balance.


photo Brian Desmond, MD
Faculty
Phone: 828-257-4730 Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803

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, MAHEC
Professor, 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 ever since.

What brought me to the residency, and what keeps me here as faculty are the people at MAHEC. The faculty are very committed to helping the underserved and teaching residents and students. The Asheville area made the choice to stay here a lot easier.

I love mountain biking and trail running, and the hiking around here isn’t bad either. I hope you get to visit us and see what a great city Asheville is, see the great outdoor activities available here, and the high quality residents and faculty.

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

Hey there! I’m Carriedelle Fusco and I’m a Family Nurse Practitioner.  I grew up in Wilmington, NC on the coast but was lucky enough to spend part of the summer in Montreat just outside of Asheville. I attended undergrad in Raleigh and spent some time in Wyoming and Southern Sudan before returning to nursing school. The mountains have always had a piece of my heart and I moved here in 2006. I worked as an ER nurse for several years before attending graduate school at Vanderbilt. My husband Matt and I have two cattle dogs. We enjoy being outside as much as possible and traveling in our camper for biking, hiking, and other adventures.

I joined MAHEC in 2012 as part of a grant focused on appropriately and safely prescribing opioids. That work led me to work with a team to launch a clinic for treating opioid use disorder at MAHEC Family medicine.  This work expanded to training healthcare providers about safe opioid prescribing and treating substance use disorders. I was the first advanced practice provider approved to teach the buprenorphine waiver training in the US. In 2018 we launched a Substance Use Disorders elective through the UNC-SOM and in 2020 we started an Addiction Medicine Fellowship. I’ve also worked with WCU to train FNP students since 2016. I absolutely love working with an organization that is always ready to respond to the needs of our community and I’m excited for what our future holds!


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 fo Missouri. We raised our four children there and are now proud grandparents….feel free to ask me about the grandkids any time! Thirty-three years of small town medicine have left me with some firm convictions. I can’t imagine a more satisfying life than primary care and I believe integrated and holistic care is the best care. We have to do more as a society to look after all our members. American needs to be a healthier place for our kids to grow up and we in family medicine can make a difference; and they are all our kids.

What brought me to MAHEC was my sense of a shared idealism with the faculty and the residents. I have not been disappointed. I could not imagine a brighter and more committed group, working together to learn and improve our community of Western North Carolina, our country, and beyond. Since coming here, I’ve continued full spectrum practice, and have been involved with projects around a diverse set of interests including community engagement, behavioral pediatrics, ACEs and resiliency, behavioral teaching in family medicine, intellectual/developmental disability, and geriatrics.

When not practicing medicine I enjoy hiking and reading. I am depply engaged in Torah reading, and believe that chant is an ancient art form designed to breathe life into the words of Scripture. Oh, and did I mention my grandkids?

 


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 Sylvia Kauffman, MD
Faculty
Phone: 828-257-4730 Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803

photo Jessica Knapp, DO, CAQSM
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

I grew up in Erie, PA in a tight knit family. I started my training as an undergrad at Penn State Behrend where I was inducted into the college’s Athletics Hall of Fame in 2014 for my achievements as a long-distance runner that included being named Female Athlete of the Year twice among other awards. Then continued to stay in my home town and went to Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine for her medical training. While in medical school, I served as head coach for high school and middle school cross country and track teams. Then I decide it was time to get out of the snow belt and trained in Wilmington, NC for family medicine and then completed a sports medicine fellowship at the University of Connecticut. After her fellowship, I worked as core faculty at Tufts Family Medicine Residency and spent several years teaching the physical exam courses at Tufts School of Medicine and Harvard Medical School. We decided to move out of the city in 2018 to be closer to friends and family, leave the snow, and enjoy the mountains! Since moving we have had our daughter Jane whose pics grace my presentations.

MAHEC has been a great organization to move to. We have made friends within the department and community. Teaching is my favorite part of my job and the residents are so much fun. The energy from that interaction fuels my love for my job. I appreciate how willing MAHEC has been to embrace change culture for little and consider feedback as part of that change process.

I am very interested in research and over the past few years earned the Young investigator’s Research Grant Award and Humanitarian Award from the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine. I serve as the national subcommittee chair for Faculty Development American Society of Sports Medicine and completed the North American Primary Care Research Group Research Fellowship. My work focuses on female athletes and disordered eating, body image issues, the female athlete triad (energy deficiency, menstrual disturbances, and bone loss), the benefits of sports participation for young girls, group visits to encourage pediatric patients to get moving, health equity, and managing change.


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 - Substance Use Educator
Phone: 828-257-4730 Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803

Hi everyone!  I hail from the wonderful small town of Marion, Virginia in rural Appalachia where I spent my formative years. I then went to college at the College of Wooster in Wooster OH and while I loved my liberal arts undergrad, I discovered Midwest winters and lack of mountains were not quite for me. After graduating with a degree in Neuroscience, I spent a year with Americorps building houses for Habitat for Humanity in Washington DC. I then took the trip 100 miles south to Richmond for medical school at the Medical College of VA, also known as VCU School of Medicine. I then was lucky enough to come to MAHEC for residency which got me closer to home (2 hours!) and back into the mountains. Someone told me Asheville was a black hole you will never leave and so far this has proven to be true – I met my spouse here and we now have two children, a dog, a cat, and, some years, a respectable garden. I’ve enjoyed getting involved in the soccer community here in Asheville as well as the outdoor community which is awesome.

I started my career after residency at a rural health clinic in Madison County and transitioned back to MAHEC in 2019 as faculty.  I enjoyed my years in rural practice and felt well prepared for it with my training but I had a life goal of reevaluating my career after a few years and I realized I wanted to be more of a part of the “solution” for healthcare, working in an innovative place that fosters ideas and creativity as well as allowing for teaching and good camaraderie among staff. I jumped at the opportunity to join MAHEC.

I was hired as a substance abuse educator and do a lot of training and grant funded work around safe prescribing of opioids, treatment of opioid use disorder, and education about vaping and tobacco use disorders. I am also working in a collaboration with Project CARA, a division of MAHEC OB, working with women with substance use disorders in the postpartum period, helping them with their SUD as well as chronic medical problems and treatment of hepatitis C.

Please contact me if you have more questions!


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, MSEd, DipABLM
Family Practice Physician
Phone: 828-257-4747 Fax: 828-257-4763
MAHEC Family Health Center at Newbridge
218 Elkwood Avenue
Asheville, NC 28804

Ginger Poulton, MD, MSEd, DipABLM, is board certified in family medicine and lifestyle medicine. She is a former educator for Teach for America and a graduate of the University of Michigan Medical School. Ginger completed her family medicine residency at the Mountain Area Health Education Center in Asheville and joined MAHEC’s faculty in 2013. In addition to lifestyle medicine, her clinical passions include prenatal care, pediatrics, women’s health, health equity, and patient education. Ginger has been an active runner, cyclist, sports enthusiast, and home chef for many years. She loves adventuring outdoors with her husband and sons in the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina.

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 the University of Michigan where I met my now husband, Tim. We were thrilled to couples match at MAHEC and both completed our training in 2013.

I have loved the supportive, collaborative and equity minded culture at MAHEC. Since being here, I have been supported to complete the Racial Equity Institute, earn my board certification in Lifestyle Medicine and even establish MAHEC as a training site for Lifestyle Medicine for our residents. It continues to be a joy for me to work at the Newbridge Satellite clinic which I helped to open in 2013. The Asheville community offers a receptive environment for whole person care.  We have excellent relationships with our specialist colleagues and I love being in an organization that is so well respected in the community and continues to contribute to the overall well-being of the region.

My special interests and skills in Family Medicine include Lifestyle Medicine, racial equity, women’s health, efficiency in clinical practice and resident education.


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 attended Grinnell College and then medical school at the University of Iowa before completing residency in Family Medicine here at MAHEC. I am so happy to be living in Asheville with my husband, who works for the US Forest Service, and our two really fun kids. I love enjoying great local restaurants and running through my wooded neighborhood. My daughter LOVES seeing bears dig through our garbage, the rest of us are less enthusiastic.

After residency I stayed at MAHEC to open our Newbridge clinic north of Asheville. I wanted to continue working with underserved populations and particularly have enjoyed lots of women’s health, pediatric care and working with Latinx populations. I adore teaching and mentoring residents and students. MAHEC is family; the people here are amazingly supportive. MAHEC continuously helps me grow as a better physician and a better individual in a dynamic system. For our residents, I believe that MAHEC is an exceptional place to learn because it balances support and independence for our learners.

I have been excited to help support our Pediatric Healthy Living Group visits and our adult Healthy Living Clinic. As a Lifestyle Medicine Certified physician I enjoy helping my patients focus on comprehensive wellness through guidance on nutrition, exercise, stress reduction, and social connection. My greatest passion is helping to make the clinics run well so that we can all be our best in patient care. I want all of our staff to feel supported so that we can all grow together.

Please reach out to anyone who sparks an interest as we are all really excited to answer your questions and we would love to be part of your medical education!


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, MPH
Opioid Educator
Phone: 828-257-4730 Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803

Hey there!  I was born and raised in New Orleans, where I did my undergrad and medical school and public health school at Tulane.  Hurricane Katrina hit 2 weeks into my first year of med school, so that very much influenced my understanding of how race, place, socioeconomics, history, and health are all intertwined.  It also set me on a path of pursuing social justice through the practice of medicine.  I was so fortunate to develop skills to pursue this path at Montefiore family medicine residency in the Bronx, and also focus on underserved care, HIV primary care, Hepatitis C treatment, transgender health, substance use disorder, Spanish-speaking communities, un-documented communities… all of my favorite things!  I also met my partner in NYC and we stayed for years until our family expanded.  The prospect of childcare in NYC inspired us to head to Asheville, where my partner was born and raised, and we have been here since 2017.  I’m so blessed to be able to do the things I love at MAHEC since starting here in 2019!

MAHEC has shown me how much of an impact you can make in a rural region compared to an urban one.  The clinical issues I worked on in NYC are just as pertinent in Western North Carolina, except there are even scarcer resources, and so MAHEC’s work seems ever more relevant.  The scale of WNC combined with MAHEC leadership and clinical excellence allows for innovation to quickly develop initiatives to address a host of issues: doula-care for people of color, opioid addiction treatment for recently incarcerated persons, Hepatitis C curative treatment for the uninsured, COVID testing for remote populations… it’s been amazing to see how my colleagues and residents meet new challenges with brilliance and determination!  And the collaborative spirit with UNC School of Medicine, UNC school of Public Health, local/regional/state government, area non-profits, community members… it’s really been inspiring for me!

Currently, my professional focus is on substance use disorder: treatment, training, capacity building, equity, criminal justice reform.  We have an amazing team here working on this in family medicine but also OBGYN and psychiatry!  I also work on Hepatitis C and HIV initiatives, and contribute to public health initiatives.


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

I was born and raised in Sevierville, TN and grew up camping, hiking, and fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I went to the College of Charleston in SC.  While it was an amazing four years, I got my fill of the sand and heat and missed my mountains. So I came back to TN for medical school at ETSU. I met my wife, Dawn, in Charleston and we got married in my second year of medical school. We had fallen in love with Asheville and so were thrilled to match at MAHEC for residency.  After residency, I was given the amazing opportunity to open the MAHEC Family Health Center at Enka/Candler and have been the associate medical director there ever since!

MAHEC has allowed me to practice full-spectrum family medicine, including prenatal and in-patient hospital care, just as I envisioned in medical school.  MAHEC also not only allows, but encourages expanding opportunities for family medicine physicians to treat the patient and community with innovative and practice changing initiatives. It is a pleasure working for an organization so forward thinking and it’s invigorating to have colleagues as excited about full spectrum family medicine and with hearts focused on the health of the community!

My particular interests include rural health and creating access to care for families in our community outside of Asheville proper.  I particularly enjoy prenatal care and pediatric care, expanding treatment in our region of Hepatitis C, and lifestyle and pharmacologic treatment of diabetes!


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 Jan Westphal, MD
Family Medicine Faculty, Special Projects
Phone: 828-257-4730 Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803

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 former Director of Behavioral Medicine in the Family Practice Residency Program at MAHEC’s Family Health Centers. Her current position as faculty in the program involves both teaching physicians to manage the mental and behavioral health aspects of primary care and treating patients who experience these challenges to their overall well being.

Mary Lynn has always been very interested in the relationship between stress, trauma and chronic disease and is passionate about disseminating information about the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study along with resiliency tools so that individuals, agencies and systems can become more trauma and resiliency informed and promote well-being for all.

Mary Lynn is part of the leadership team of resiliency trainers who started the local non-profit agency, Resources for Resiliency, and the curriculum Reconnect for Resilience. She has taught about resiliency for many years locally in North Carolina, nationally, and internationally, having trained people in resiliency skills in Honduras, Rwanda and Tanzania.


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

Hello and welcome to the MAHEC Family Medicine Residency website!  We are glad you may be considering our residency program!

I have been at MAHEC as a Behavioral Medicine Faculty member since 2008. I have lived in Asheville for many years and worked in the Charlotte area behavioral health system prior to the move to Asheville.  My experience working in the MAHEC Program has been a wonderful blend of ongoing learning, in a stimulating environment, alongside incredible colleagues. The concept of team-based care is woven into all aspects of the MAHEC philosophy and I greatly appreciate the atmosphere of teamwork and comradery. I am grateful to be a part of the residency experience and feel honored to collaborate each day with so many dedicated and caring people.

Our program utilizes an Integrated Behavioral Health model which means that behavioral health services are available in the clinic and offered in tandem with medical care. This not only offers patients easier, more immediate access to care, but also provides multiple opportunities for our residents and behavioral health faculty to collaborate in caring for patients. I am especially passionate about being able to offer behavioral health services to patients who have experienced trauma and who may not have had prior access to therapy. Being able to provide trauma informed care to patients in a primary care setting is especially rewarding and meaningful.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you would like to chat more about MAHEC or our Integrated Care Model. 

Best of luck on the interview trail!


photo Jennifer Riley, LCSW, MSW
Behavioral Health Professional
Phone: 828-771-3493
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803

photo Joshua Schactman, MSW
Mental Health Professional
Phone: 828-257-4730 Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803

photo Rebecca Grandy, PharmD, BCACP, CPP
Clinical Pharmacist, PGY1 Residency Director, MAHEC
Assistant Professor of Clinical Education, UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy
Phone: 828-771-3472 Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803

I grew up in small community 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 love the mountains and culture of WNC, so I was happy to be able to complete many of my student rotations and residency here at MAHEC. Fortunately, I was able to stay on as faculty. The inter-professional collaboration here at MAHEC is second to none! All team members are valued which leads to highly innovative and collaborative care. My clinical interests include rural health, medication access, underserved populations, and Hepatitis C. Outside of work, I enjoy anything outdoors, traveling, and cooking.

 


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 Park, 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, North Carolina and attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for both my undergraduate and PharmD degrees (go Heels!). I moved to Asheville in 2012 to complete my residency training at Mission and MAHEC. After residency, I took a position establishing and growing clinical pharmacy services at two MAHEC satellite clinics. In this role, I also advise pharmacy learners from the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, particularly in the Rural Certificate Program. I love the character and personality of Asheville and am grateful to have settled here. I met my now-husband here in 2014, and we have grown our little family to include 2 dogs, 2 donkeys, 4 goats, and the most recent and precious addition, our beautiful daughter Ila.

I feel immensely fortunate to be able to work at MAHEC, a health care pillar in the community and leader of innovation. As a pharmacist, it is truly a gift to work with providers on interdisciplinary teams with one shared purpose – provide the best quality of care possible for every patient. Above all, the sense of family at MAHEC is especially unique and difficult to find. The relationships I have developed with other faculty members and residents has made me a better person and pharmacist.

My clinical interests are in patient-centered management of chronic disease states, especially diabetes, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia. I am also passionate about equity with a particular focus in providing accessible, quality health care to transgender and gender diverse patients. In the profession of pharmacy, I am most interested in pharmacy practice models focused on clinical pharmacist integration and sustainability.


photo Tasha Woodall, PharmD, BCGP, 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 grew up just outside Indianapolis, IN and went to Purdue University for undergrad and pharmacy school, then moved to Asheville for residency with Mission Hospital and MAHEC. I fell in love with the area and with MAHEC in particular and was extremely fortunate to get to stay! I’ve been in my current position as Associate Director of Pharmacotherapy in Geriatrics since 2012. Since then we’ve grown our family to include a couple of rambunctious kids who are growing up to appreciate all of the amazing natural wonders that western NC has to offer! We love hiking, biking, playing in streams and rivers, fishing, camping, and tubing. I also enjoy weaving and reading both fiction and non-fiction in whatever spare time I have left.

MAHEC first drew me in because of its people, all of whom seem driven by the same higher purpose of providing the best care possible for patients, especially those who are marginalized or underserved. Everyone has bought into the idea that patient care is a team sport, and the rigid hierarchy I’d observed in other places simply doesn’t exist at MAHEC – every discipline’s skills and expertise are valued and respected in equal measure. The Geriatrics team in particular is like a second family to me. I’m continuously impressed by the love, care, and empathy these providers demonstrate for their patients and their caregivers/families every single day. I also love having so many opportunities to teach learners from an array of professions and across multiple levels, from students and interns to residents and fellows.

Within the geriatrics space, my special interests include de-prescribing, home-based primary care and other innovative models of team-based care delivery, and interventions that address social isolation among older adults.

 

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.