Family Medicine Faculty
Max Bayard, M.D.
Professor & Program Director - Johnson City
I received my BS from University of Memphis and my MD from ETSU. Then I did residency at Bristol Family Medicine.
I have worked a total of 16 years in non-academic medicine, about 7 of which were as owner of a medical practice. Most of the remainder was working as a physician in federally qualified health centers, generally practicing in small communities with shortage of physicians. I am moving back to Johnson City from Vermont, where I have been doing clinical medicine for the last 11 years.
My wife, Deanna, and I mostly enjoy time with our 6 children and 8 grandchildren, geographically "challenged" with children in Texas, Tennessee, Indiana and Vermont. We are active in our church, and I have been a regular teacher of Sunday School classes for adults. I like to play bridge in mildly competitive forums.
I am inspired by octogenarians and beyond who don't dwell on what they are not able to do, but rather start from today and live their life fully, all the while being a source of joy to those around them.
Professor & Associate Dean for Graduate and Continuing Medical Education
I am originally from Atlanta, GA, but consider Northeast Tennessee home now. I graduated from Haverford College in Pennsylvania and received my medical degree from Emory University School of Medicine, cum laude. After completing my residency and a teaching fellowship at the Medical College of Georgia, I became "a simple country doctor" in Trenton, GA, a town of 1400. This experience opened my eyes as to how much fun practicing medicine can be, as well as revealed how bizarrely our medical education system is structured.
I decided to return to an academic setting to try to change what I could from within the system. I use my practice experiences to fill in gaps left by my traditional allopathic training. I am always looking to integrate different healing systems when caring for my patients, and routinely prescribe botanical and allopathic medications, discuss exercise and nutritional issues, explore a person's emotional and spiritual support systems, and refer to other healers, such as a local practitioner of Chinese medicine and Native American healers. Moreover, I have greatly enjoyed learning osteopathic techniques here in Kingsport.
My wife Alex and I relax at our home, a Certified National Wildlife Federation Backyard Habitat, with our wildflowers, herbs and family of dogs, cats, rabbits, and a fox. My hobbies include soccer, volleyball, reading, and going to 18th century period rendezvous. https://works.bepress.com/reid-blackwelder/about/
Pete Bockhorst, D.O.
Associate Professor - Kingsport
Born in Baltimore, Maryland, and raised everywhere else, I have tried to live as many lives as possible. Having tried my hand at several trades including culinary and photographic arts, none have suited me as does medicine. The opportunity to meld the arts and sciences is too enticing. Having finished a brilliant three years in the National Health Service Corps in a rural family medicine setting, teaching is my next move in finding the consummate balance in life.
Christopher Bridges, M.D.
Assistant Professor & Clerkship Director - Johnson City
I was born and raised in Greenville, SC. I am a Clemson University alum and completed my medical education at the Medical University of South Carolina. I completed residency at ETSU Family Medicine in Johnson City and upon graduation stayed on as faculty. In medicine, I have found a passion in point of care ultrasound, skin procedures, and preventative medicine. I love working with medical students and residents in both the clinic and hospital. Outside of work, I enjoy playing disc golf and ball golf, spending time with my family, significant other, and our dog Sweet Pea. The only thing that comes close to my love of medicine is my love of live music.
Mark Brummel, D.O.
Professor & Program Director - Kingsport
I grew up on a farm in northern Illinois, just outside of the suburban sprawl of Chicago. I attended college locally at Northern Illinois University, and medical school at the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine. While I did enjoy my time moving to progressively more urban environments, I next ventured to the Amish country in Lancaster Pennsylvania for residency training. While the training was excellent, I wanted to further develop areas within family medicine I found most interesting, and decided to stay an additional year to complete a faculty development fellowship. During this year I dedicated the majority of my time and efforts to sports medicine, inpatient medicine, and osteopathic manipulation.
The next step in my journey began with my wife looking for a school to attend, and ended with finding what I consider the perfect job opportunity for me. I promise I am not overtly selfish... but together we decided to accept the opportunity to enjoy the outdoor activities, beautiful weather, and wonderful people northeast Tennessee offers. Please feel free to contact me to discuss sports, outdoor activities, food, recycling, or even something you may be interested in...
Greg Clarity, M.D.
Professor & Associate Program Director - Bristol
Dr. Clarity is a native of New York state. He received an M.S. in mechanical engineering from Texas A & M and worked for six years as an engineer before entering medical school. He received his M.D. degree from ETSU and completed his residency at the Bristol Family Practice program in 1995. In the past, Greg and his wife Cathy enjoyed living on a small farm with their chickens, ducks, and dairy goats. Now they have five children and have left the animals behind. Greg enjoys spending time with the children, and may someday resume sailing on our area lakes.
Ivy Click, Ed.D.
Assistant Professor, Assistant Dean for Curriculum & MSEC Chair
I am a native of East Tennessee by way of Kingsport and I currently reside in Johnson City. I hold three degrees from ETSU including an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership as well as B.S. and M.A. degrees in Experimental Psychology. (Go Bucs!) I joined the Department of Family Medicine in January of 2006. Prior to accepting a faculty position in July 2013, I worked as Research Coordinator for the department. My research interests are broad and include health disparities, health policy, medical school practice outcomes, quality improvement, and social media and higher education.
I have a passion for research and enjoy mentoring fellow faculty, residents, and students in research methods and statistics. My husband, Charlie, and I have two young sons who keep us on our toes. I'm an avid reader and enjoy boating and other outdoor activities, gaming with friends and family, and anything and everything related to frogs. Please email me if you'd like to discuss research, statistics, or frogs! https://works.bepress.com/ivy-click/about/
Greg Cooper, M.D.
Assistant Professor & Clerkship Director - Kingsport
I was born in Knoxville, TN and went to UT Knoxville for undergraduate. Moved to Johnson City where I did medical school at Quillen College of Medicine and then completed residency with ETSU Kingsport Family Medicine. I chose this job because I enjoy working both in the clinic setting and in the hospital setting. I also enjoy teaching, and I get to teach both medical students and residents in this job. I am inspired by seeing learners truly understand information.
I enjoy running and hanging out with friends when I’m not working. I like to travel when I have the time. I enjoy going to see movies with friend and watching TV shows.
John Culp, M.D., FAAFP
Professor - Bristol
I am originally from Alabama, but am now an adopted Tennessean. I graduated from University High in Johnson City and received my B.S. from ETSU. I returned to Alabama to earn my M.D. from the University of Alabama in 1980 and completed my residency in Family Practice at Anniston, Alabama, in 1983. I worked in private practice in Anniston until joining the Bristol Family Practice Program in October 1986.I am a fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians and hold a Certificate of Added Qualifications in Geriatrics.
My wife Jane is a biology teacher who is presently busy at home taking care of our family, and is actively involved in church work and various community organizations. After hours, you will find me also involved in church work, community activities, and family life. I enjoy antique gas engines, hunting and shooting, and playing the guitar.
Brandi Dahl, Pharm.D., BCPS
Assistant Professor & Associate Medical Director, Family Medicine and Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy - Bristol
Dr. Dahl is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice at East Tennessee State University Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy. She also holds an appointment as clinical faculty with the ETSU Family Medicine Bristol. Dr. Dahl received her pharmacy degree and completed a 24-month combined PGY1/PGY2 pharmacotherapy specialty residency at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Pharmacy (TTUHSC SOP) in Amarillo, Texas. She is involved in the American College of Clinical Pharmacy, TTUHSC SOP Alumni Association, and American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. Her current practice interests include diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and transitions of care.
Joseph Florence, M.D.
Dr. Florence works closely with the rural programs at ETSU, which include the medical school's Rural Primary Care Tract - community partnerships program, Rural Health Fairs, and the Rural Family Practice Fellowship. Since 1983, Dr. Florence has been training medical students, family medicine residents, and other health care professionals including nurse practitioners, paramedics, and physician's assistants in an effort to prepare them for practicing in rural, underserved areas.
Dr. Florence grew up in Virginia, completing a Bachelor's degree in Chemistry and Religion at Duke University and a Masters degree in Biology prior to medical school at the Medical College of Virginia. After completing his family practice residency at Roanoke Memorial Hospitals in Roanoke, Virginia, he practiced as a National Health Service Corps doctor in Central Appalachia, in and around Hazard, Kentucky. During this time he worked as Medical Director of the SE Kentucky Area Health Education Center. In 1991, Dr. Florence accepted a full-time position with the University of Kentucky to help develop the East Kentucky Family Practice Residency Program. As Program Director of this rural training program, his duties also included directing clinical programs at the UK Center for Rural Health, which in 2000, received honors from the National Rural Health Association as the Outstanding Rural Health Program in the United States. Dr. Florence was also a member of the faculty of the Appalachian Osteopathic Postgraduate Training Institute Consortium. Early in 2002, Dr. Florence was appointed Vice-Chair of the Department of Family Practice at the University of Kentucky. During his tenure he had the distinction of being the first medical director of the East Kentucky Veteran's Center, a recently opened long-term care facility serving the veterans of Central Appalachia.
Dr. Florence's scholarly interests include rural health, public policy, diabetes, advanced cardiac life support and the use of technology to enhance rural health.
Beth Anne Fox, M.D., MPH, CPE, FAAFP
Professor & Interim Department Chair
I am a native of East Tennessee and received my undergraduate degree in Nursing, a certificate in Nurse Anesthesia, and a Masters Degree in Public Health before leaving nursing and returning to medical school at Quillen College of Medicine at East Tennessee State University. I returned to follow my desire to make a difference in the lives of the people of Appalachia and grow old with my patients. After receiving my medical degree, I completed my postgraduate education in Family Medicine at the Johnson City Family Medicine Residency Program. I worked in private practice for a few years before returning to join the Academic Faculty at East Tennessee Family Physicians of Kingsport. I seek to find additional methods to help my patients than just the ones I learned through by allopathic training. Patients are more than their medical issues and each has a story to tell. These stories help me to acknowledge and incorporate all aspects of their lives to provide health recommendations.
My interests are Clinical (Human Patient) Simulation, Womens Health, and Rural Health. My husband, Earl Aneas, and I enjoy spending time with our two dogs and with family and friends. We enjoy outdoor activities like biking and traveling and love exploring craft fairs and antique stores.
Christopher Garner, M.D.
Assistant Professor - Bristol
Dr. Garner moved to the area in 2011 for medical school at Quillen. Once he decided on family medicine, he wanted to stay in the area for residency to remain close to family. He always said being in residency was the best job he ever had, so he decided to stay on as faculty. He and his wife Joyce have two children, Luke and Leia. He enjoys weight lifting, running, hiking, and reading. He is also a huge Star Wars fan-he was born the year Episode 4 was released. See his kids’ names!
Fereshteh Gerayli, M.D., FAAFP
Professor - Johnson City
I received my M.D. degree from Mashad University in Iran in 1981 and practiced as a general practitioner with major work in OB-GYN in an underserved area in Iran for more than ten years. Then I completed an Acupuncture course in Germany and worked there in both acupuncture and family medicine practices for about three years. I started my family medicine residency in the U.S. in 1997 with the University of Kentucky (East KY Family Practice). I worked with the East KY Family Practice Residency Program in Hazard, KY as faculty from August 2000 to December 2004 and relocated to ETSU family medicine in January 2005.
I have a very supportive husband, Hamid, and one daughter, Bana, who is a junior in Centre College in Kentucky and is planning on going to dental school. My hobbies are traveling, jogging, and socializing.
Erin Harris, M.D.
Assistant Professor & Associate Clerkship Director - Kingsport
I have had a lengthy relationship with the Kingsport program as a student, resident, and now as faculty. I returned in 2010 after three years of primary care practice in Southwest Virginia. I am a graduate of the Quillen College of Medicine and completed an Accelerated Residency in Family Medicine at Kingsport and Holston Valley in 2006. I had long been drawn to the diversity, complexity, and continuity of Family Medicine and am proud to have pursued this field after medical school. My family and I lived in several areas of the country, but Southwest Virginia is the place that I call "home," and I consider the Tri-Cities of Tennessee and its population an extension of that. My professional interests include medical student education, adolescent medicine and pediatrics, and inpatient medicine.
Outside of medicine, I most enjoy spending time with my two lovely daughters, whose natural curiosity about the world and its people is a daily inspiration. We love to travel together and spend time with our extended family. Closer to home, we enjoy music and dance, local food and history, and time together at work and at play here in Northeast Tennessee. Please email me with any questions about the program or the area.
Laura Helmly, D.O.
Assistant Professor, Program Director & Director of Osteopathic Education - Bristol
Dr. Helmly is originally from Daytona Beach, but went to medical school at VCOM Blacksburg. She did several rotations in the southwest Virginia area and fell in love with the mountains and season that change. She is board certified by American Osteopathic Board of Family Physicians. She completed residency in Bristol and now is a faculty member in the Bristol clinic. She and her husband David have two daughters, Lily and Anna. She loves to do outdoor things such as running, hiking and spending time with her girls. She also enjoys cooking, baking, reading, and studying the Bible along with learning new languages.
McKenzie Highsmith, Pharm.D.
Associate Professor, Family Medicine and Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy - Kingsport
Having called east Tennessee home for nearly my entire life, I’m frequently accused of trying to convince all of our residents to stay here forever. I have tried to leave several times, but keep being drawn home. I attended the University of Tennessee and East Tennessee State University for undergrad before obtaining my Doctor of Pharmacy degree from ETSU’s Gatton College of Pharmacy. I then completed a Pharmacy Practice residency at the Veterans Affairs TN Valley Healthcare System in Nashville, as well as an Ambulatory Care with emphases in Family Medicine and academia residency at ETSU.
Being the clinical pharmacist for this residency program has been one of the greatest honors of my life thus far. Not only am I afforded the opportunity to work with the greatest faculty and residents in medicine, but I’m also able to help our patients who teach me something new every day. My areas of interest include chronic disease management (specifically diabetes and cardiovascular disease), transitional care and health care policy. I am full time faculty at the Gatton College of Pharmacy, where I teach and coordinate various courses in our didactic curriculum.
When I'm not working, I enjoy running, hiking, traveling and spending time with my family and friends. I can also be found in a football stadium most Saturdays in the fall. https://works.bepress.com/mckenzie-highsmith/about/
Jim Holt, M.D., FAAFP
Professor & Associate Program Director - Johnson City
I was born in Michigan, but raised in Baltimore. I am the fifth of six children. I attended Princeton University, receiving an A.B. in Biochemistry and a teaching license in math and science, graduating cum laude. I completed my medical school at the University of Maryland in 1982 and served my residency at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. I practiced at a rural health clinic in Warrenton, NC from 1985 to 1988 and at a private group practice in Lancaster, SC, from 1988 to 2001. Since joining the Johnson City Family Practice Residency Program in August 2001, I have served as the Medical Director. I have chaired the Curriculum Committee since March 2003. My wife Judy and I have five children. https://works.bepress.com/james-holt/about/
Andrea Hopkins, M.D.
Assistant Professor & Medical Director - Bristol
Dr. Hopkins is originally from Richmond, VA and was raised in Texas, but has deep roots in Southwest Virginia, where her extended family has lived for generations. She came to Bristol to take a job in journalism and has been here ever since. She earned both her undergraduate and medical degrees from East Tennessee State University and was fortunate to be able to complete residency in her adopted hometown of Bristol. She is currently the Medical Director for ETSU Health in Bristol. She maintains a full-spectrum family medicine practice that includes non-surgical obstetrics, and considers it a joy to be able to help bring new life into the world.
She and her husband Mike, have three children, Kathryn, Patrick, and Spencer. Her stepson, Michael, and his wife, Franchesca, have two daughters, Maia & Madison. Her hobbies are running, kayaking, yoga, camping, reading books, & raising chickens and ducks in her back yard. She is also trying to visit all 50 states and has already visited 31 of them.
Brian Ingalls, M.D
Associate Professor & Co-Medical Director - Johnson City
Born in Durham, NC when my father was in Surgery Residency at Duke, our family traveled to Oklahoma City, and then on to settle in the east-central Illinois town of Paris. My eventual medical career took me to Chattanooga, TN for 30 years of practice in Emergency Medicine/Family Medicine/Acute Care. Two of our children have attended ETSU, and when the opportunity to join ETSU Family Medicine Associates arose, I felt it was a natural fit. I enjoy the outdoors with family and pets, including hiking, biking and golfing. I especially enjoy taking care of patients and their families, seeing them for follow-up visits...something I missed during my time in the ER!
Kelsey Lloyd, M.D.
Assistant Professor - Bristol
I am a East Tennessee native who is passionate about my Appalachian roots. I went to Centre College in Danville, Ky for undergrad where I majored in religion and played soccer. I returned to east Tennessee to attended ETSU Quillen COM for medical school and I am excited to continue my medical education close to home. At Quillen, I participated in the rural primary care tract which cultivated my interest in providing care in small communities. Ultimately, I would like to practice in rural east Tennessee with an emphasis on obstetrics and women’s health. I consider myself a sports enthusiast, both paying and watching. I enjoy cheering on my Tennessee Volunteers and the United States national soccer team, winning as many intramural championships as possible, and enjoying the mountains with all they have to offer.
Alexander Melkonian, Ph.D.
Clinical Assistant Professor - Bristol
I was raised in Virginia, and graduated from Virginia Tech with a B.S. in psychology. I completed my Ph.D. in Psychology at the University of Arkansas and completed my predoctoral clinical internship at the Medical University of South Carolina/Ralph H. Johnson Veteran's Affairs Medical Center in Charleston, SC. I then completed a two year postdoctoral fellowship at the Charleston VAMC's Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center focused on concurrent substance use and posttraumatic stress disorder treatment and research.
Working as an integrated primary care psychologist in Bristol Family Medicine, I love the time I spend working with patients to help support their behavioral health goals and helping residents learn more about behavioral interventions in primary care. As a member of the College of Medicine's Institute for Integrated Behavioral Health, I appreciate the opportunity to contribute to the mission of growing integrated behavioral health services across ETSU Health through providing interprofessional clinical care and training.
After living in the lowcountry of South Carolina for several years, I am thrilled to be back in the Appalachian mountains- along with my wife and dog, I enjoy hiking and exploring local trails, biking, and cooking.
Gary Michael, M.D.
Associate Professor & Chief Medical Officer - Kingsport
Gary E. Michael, MD is a 1987 graduate from the Medical College of Pennsylvania, now the Drexel College of Medicine. He is board certified in Family Medicine, completing his residency at The Sacred Heart Family Practice in Allentown, Pennsylvania. A National Health Service Corp Scholar, Dr. Michael practiced in a Community Health Center environment from 1990 to 2017. As Medical Director of Clinch River Health Services since 1991, Dr. Michael has participated on and held office in many committees including the Co-chair of the Bureau of Primary Healthcare Data Workgroup, President of the Region III Clinical Regional Advisory Network, Chair of the EHealth Committee for the Community Care Network of Virginia, and the CareSpark Chair of the Outcomes & Evaluation Committee. He was the Provider of the Year for the Virginia Community Health Centers and twice received the Virginia Team Award for Performance Improvement efforts achieved by his staff at Clinch River Health Services. A long time Community Preceptor at ETSU Kingsport Family Medicine, he now joins as full time with the ETSU Kingsport Family Medicine. https://works.bepress.com/gary-michael/about/
Ralph Mills, M.D., FAAFP
Assistant Professor - Sports Medicine
Dr. Ralph Mills is a native of Madisonville, Tennessee. He graduated from Hiwassee College in 1978, received his Bachelor of Science degree from King University in Bristol, Tennessee, in 1980, and earned his medical degree from East Tennessee State University Quillen College of Medicine in 1984. He is board-certified in sports medicine and family medicine.
Dr. Mills is a clinical assistant professor at East Tennessee State University, where he is heavily involved with BucSports, and he is also a team physician for the university. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians and a member of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine. Dr. Mills also works with various high schools throughout the region providing sports medicine coverage.
Gigi Miranda, M.D.
Assistant Professor - Kingsport
It’s great to be back! For those of you who don’t know me, I am from the area, born and raised in Wise, Virginia, and completed my Family Medicine Residency at Bristol Family Medicine in 2017. I always welcome the opportunity to travel and live in different places and my studies have led me across the nation and internationally. I received my undergraduate degree in Biology from Boston College, in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, and a Master’s Degree in Kinesiology from California State University, East Bay in Hayward, California. While in California I worked as the Assistant Athletic Trainer, at California State University, East Bay, working mostly with women’s basketball, volleyball, and water polo. Once I decided to go back to school, I chose to go abroad and headed to the Philippines and received my Medical Degree from the University of the East, Ramon Magsaysay Medical Center, near Manila. Living, traveling and studying in the Philippines created my foundation of Integrative Medicine. I learned acupuncture and saw the fundamental importance of nutrition, physical activity, spirituality and environment on one’s health. Upon returning to The States and before my Family Medicine residency, I completed a course for Medical Acupuncture at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. After residency, I worked with Dr. Anton Borja (former JC family Medicine resident and faculty) at The Ohio State University Integrative Medicine Clinic. I am happy to be back in the area and look forward to working with everyone at the different clinics. I practice Integrative Medicine, which is a more holistic approach to patient care, looking at a patient’s nutrition habits, daily physical activity, sleep patterns, and daily stressors and integrate different modalities from acupuncture, meditation, nutrition, and exercise prescription to maximize my patients’ health. I enjoy helping patients to become the best versions of themselves through creating individualized care plans.
When I am not working at ETSU Health, I practice Emergency Medicine in local rural community hospitals (Smyth County and Russell County). For fun you can find me outdoors embarking on any outdoor adventures with my dog, Ohsen, from hiking to relaxing on the lake, laughing with family and friends, cooking, and traveling. https://works.bepress.com/renee-miranda/about/
Jason Moore, M.D.
Professor, Director of Medical Student Education & Clerkship - Bristol
I am a lifelong Ohioan and graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where I received my B.A. in zoology in 1995. I then attended Ohio State University College of Medicine to earn an M.D. degree and moved my family to Bristol to enter the Bristol Family Medicine Residency. As a second year resident I was selected to serve as Chief Resident and in my third year was chosen to receive the Bristol program's "Society of Teachers of Family Medicine Resident Teacher of the Year Award." I completed my residency in June 2002 and joined the faculty at Bristol in August, because "Bristol is 'a good place to live' and the family medicine center is a great place to work."
My wife and I are the parents of six beautiful children. In my free time, I enjoy playing with my children, hiking, fly-fishing, Bible study, and watching Ohio State football! https://works.bepress.com/jason-moore/about/
Trena Paulus, Ph.D.
Professor - Research Division
Dr. Paulus has 17 years of experience as a qualitative research methodologist and instructional designer. She specializes in the design and analysis of online conversations and the impact of digital technologies on research design and implementation. Her areas of expertise include observational methods, both online and offline, interview and focus group design, qualitative social media analysis and narrative and conversation analysis techniques. Dr. Paulus is a certified professional trainer for ATLAS.ti data analysis software.
Most recently a professor in the University of Georgia’s Qualitative Research program, Dr. Paulus moved to the research division of Family Medicine in the Quillen College of Medicine at ETSU in 2019. Prior to her time at UGA, she spent 11 years at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville coordinating the instructional design program and graduate certificate in qualitative research methods. https://works.bepress.com/trena_paulus/about/
Jodi Polaha, Ph.D.
Professor - Research Division
I am a native of Pennsylvania and received my B.S. in psychology from the University of Pittsburgh and my Ph.D. in child clinical psychology from Auburn University. My professional passion was lit at the start of my career in 1998 as an Assistant Professor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center where I helped develop a program of integrated behavioral health and pediatric practices. In 2006 I joined the faculty in Psychology at ETSU to develop curricular elements around a doctoral program in clinical psychology with a special focus on primary care.
Over the course of my career, I have seen patients in over a dozen primary care practices (pediatrics and family medicine), directed/managed start-up integration in over two dozen, and have supervised nearly 100 students from a variety of disciplines these clinics. I have played a role in the development of state policy around integrated practice and have an active program of research focused on integrated care as well as funded workforce development programs for developing integrated care in the region which have been federally funded. With these interests, I am very involved in ETSUs Interprofessional Education and Research Program, and was recently elected to the Board of Directors for the Collaborative Family Healthcare Association, a progressive professional organization committed to promoting comprehensive and cost-effective models of healthcare that integrates mind and body, individual and family, patients, providers, and communities.
The decision to relocate to ETSU was in part based on my husband and I being avid outdoors-people and weekends often find us and our two young sons exploring the mountains, lakes, rivers, and valleys of this beautiful region. https://works.bepress.com/jodi-polaha/about/
Allison Powers, M.D.
Assistant Professor - Johnson City
Dr. Powers received her M.D. from Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine in Richmond, Virginia. She completed her family medicine residency at the St. Francis Bon Secours Family Medicine Residency Program in Midlothian, Virginia. Dr. Powers additionally completed a fellowship in maternal newborn health at Beaumont Hospital — Wayne in Wayne, Michigan. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in public health from The College of William and Mary. She is board certified in family medicine and holds additional certifications in pediatric life support, advanced lifesaving in obstetrics, and in the neonatal resuscitation program.
Glenda Stockwell, Ph.D.
Associate Professor & Clinical Psychologist - Kingsport
With an undergraduate background in theater and speech pathology, I pursued a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology. Following internship, my career path included teaching psychology at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College and chairing the Department of Theology, Psychology and Philosophy there. I then had a private practice for nine years. I left private practice to design and implement a program for behavioral medicine training at the Union Hospital Family Medicine Residency Program in Terre Haute, Indiana. That circuitous route brought me to Kingsport. Although there were many things that appealed to me about coming to the program here, one of the most compelling reasons I wanted to join this faculty was the emphasis on communication skills and on teaching residents to attend to their personal well-being. With our intensive work in peer groups focused on self-reflection and on dealing with life events that happen during residency, we help residents prepare for the challenges they face personally and professionally. It's a privilege to work in an environment that values and supports emotional and physical health.
I enjoy reading, writing, herb gardening, and anthropomorphizing my Labradoodles Jake and Henry, and I love living here in the gentle mountains of Northeast Tennessee, just two hours away from my daughter Kelsea and granddaughter, Azra.
Amanda Stoltz, M.D.
Associate Professor - Bristol
Dr. Stoltz is a native of Bristol, TN. She received her undergraduate degree from King College in Bristol, TN and her M.D. degree from the Quillen College of Medicine in Johnson City, TN. She completed her residency at ETSU Family Physicians of Bristol. After completing residency, Dr. Stoltz practiced at a rural health clinic in Rogersville, TN from 2008-2013. Dr. Stoltz is board-certified by the American Board of Family Medicine. Dr. Stoltz and her husband, Mike, have two daughters - Madelyn and Ellie. She enjoys spending time with her family, reading, crafting, and going to University of Alabama football games. Roll Tide!
Ryan Tewell, Pharm.D.
Assistant Professor & Co-Medical Director, Family Medicine and Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy - Johnson City
I was born and raised in the small Southern Illinois town of Robinson, Illinois. I obtained my Doctorate of Pharmacy degree from Butler University in Indianapolis. Moving South, I completed my PGY-1 residency at the Salem VA Medical Center in Salem, Virginia. I then spent a year on the coast completing my PGY-2 Ambulatory Care residency in Wilmington, North Carolina at New Hanover Regional Medical Center. The family feel of ETSU, focus on interdisciplinary care, and beautiful landscape brought me to the area.
My interest areas include diabetes, hypertension, ASCVD risk reduction, and reducing polypharmacy. Outside of pharmacy, I enjoy hiking with my wife and two dogs, reading, playing guitar, and watching Butler basketball and Colts football.
Tom Townsend, M.D.
Professor - Bristol
I received my medical degree and postgraduate training at the University of Arkansas. I left my home in Arkansas about three decades ago to practice with the National Health Service Corps in Independence, Virginia. I remained in a community-governed practice for more than 16 years before joining the faculty at Bristol in 1991. I am board-certified by the American Board of Family Medicine and hold a Certificate of Added Qualifications in Geriatrics.
My special interests are in the philosophy of practice, medical ethics, geriatrics, and social medicine. I enjoy and need the outdoors and all of rurality.
Joyce Troxler, M.D.
Associate Professor & Addiction Medicine Program Director - Johnson City
I am Board Certified in Family Medicine and Addiction Medicine. The majority of my clinical experience was gained in a rural community in Southwestern New Mexico, and my personal history is that of a rural upbringing in Central Appalachia. The last 3 years of my career in rural New Mexico was largely focused on providing treatment for Substance Use Disorder. In 2018 I returned to Tennessee to join the Department of Family Medicine.
Working with the Department of Family Medicine at East Tennessee State University, I assisted with the formation of an ACGME accredited Addiction Medicine Fellowship in 2019. Our ADM Fellowship graduates two physicians per year who will address the impact of addictive disorders in rural and under-served communities. https://works.bepress.com/joyce-troxler/about/
Venkata Vedantam, M.D.
Hospitalist - Johnson City and Kingsport
Venkata Vedantam, MD, completed his residency in Internal Medicine at East Tennessee State University, Quillen College of Medicine in Johnson City, Tennessee. He received his medical degree from Alluri Seetarama Raju Academy of Medical Sciences, Malkapuram, India.
Board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine, Dr. Vedantam wished to offer the highest quality of medical care to his patients. Dr. Vedantam is dedicated to teach and work with our next generation of physicians.
Elizabeth White, D.O.
Assistant Professor - Bristol
Dr. White is a native of the Appalachian region and grew up in Richlands, Virginia. She attended Virginia Tech for her undergraduate degree and attended medical school at West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine in Lewisburg, WV. She completed her residency training in Family Medicine with ETSU in Bristol, TN. Dr. White practices Full Spectrum Family Medicine which includes non-surgical obstetrics. She enjoys being able to provide care for all ages from newborn patients to geriatric patients.
She and her husband Derek, enjoy spending time with their three dogs and spending time outdoors. She enjoys hiking, fishing, running 5ks with her parents, DIY projects, and baking.
Benjamin Whitfield, D.O.
Hospitalist - Johnson City
Dr. Whitfield grew up in a tiny town in the foothills of Georgia and in Chattanooga. He was privileged to earn his undergraduate degree from The University of Georgia and his Master’s degree from Columbia University in New York City. He completed his basic medical requirements at Temple University and earned his medical degree from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. Before he became a lifelong student, he worked with the Mayor’s Office of New York City, Doctors Without Borders in several African countries, FEMA, The Philadelphia Department of Health and as a top-notch motorcycle mechanic.
The only thing Dr. Whitfield enjoys more than practicing medicine is being outside. You can find him riding motorcycles, bear hunting, camping, hiking, gardening, or sitting around a bonfire with friends and cocktails. He has a weakness for chocolate chip cookies, homegrown tomatoes and dogs. Dr. Whitfield has a passion for providing medical care to underserved areas.