MAHEC Family Health Staff



 

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
Map & Directions

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. My clinical focus is on same-day appointments and acute care. I enjoy this role and the great work environment at the Family Health Center.

photo MaryLynn Barrett, LCSW, MPH, Director of Behavioral Medicine
Phone: 828-258-0670
Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
Map & Directions

Mary Lynn Barrett completed dual master’s degrees in social work and public health at the University of Washington in 1998 and 1999 respectively. She is fluent in Spanish having lived and studied in Buenos Aires, Argentina during her undergraduate training. Since finishing graduate school, Mary Lynn has worked in community health centers in Utah where she served a predominately Spanish-speaking and low-income population. She moved to North Carolina to be closer to family in 2005 and started working with the MAHEC Division of Family Medicine. She is the Director of the Behavioral Medicine department. Mary Lynn is married and has a one year old son. She enjoys gardening, photography, hiking, mountain biking, telemark skiing and spending time with family and friends. Areas of special interest include effects of trauma on the mind and body specifically as pertains to PTSD, anxiety, panic, depression and chronic diseases such as IBS, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue.

photo Julie Bass-Ransom, PA-C, Physician Assistant
Phone: 828-628-8250
Fax: 828-628-8633
MAHEC Family Health Center at Cane Creek
1542 Cane Creek Road
Fletcher, NC 28732
Map & Directions

Julie Bass Ransom is an Emory University trained physician assistant. She has worked for the past ten years in family practice with patients of all ages and backgrounds. She speaks Spanish fluently. Outside of work she enjoys spending time with her husband and two sons taking walks, cooking, gardening and contradancing. Julie’s special interests in medicine include adolescent and women’s health, wellness and preventive medicine, and diabetes.

photo Evan Beasley*, MD, Faculty
Phone: 828-696-1234
Fax: 828-696-1257
Hendersonville Family Health Center
709 N. Justice Street, Suite B
Hendersonville, NC 28791
Map & Directions

I’m so glad you have found yourself exploring our program.  I truly feel it is like no other program, and in a place like no other.  While I was at LSU Medical School in New Orleans, I knew I wanted to do Family Medicine in unique and challenging ways.  I wanted to be a part of something excellent, and my wife and I agreed on being in a place where every weekend could feel like vacation.  We definitely found that in our program here, and three babies later, I’m so proud to be a graduate of this program.

I started to form a clear picture of what I wanted professionally, and when the opportunity came to work in a Teaching Health Center, where I could still practice inpatient, obstetrics, and be a teacher, I was ecstatic.  It was even more amazing that it was happening right here under our noses.  It’s truly a place where we are large enough to be a part of that change.

I’m so happy to be practicing in a clinic where we truly sere all people, and also to work with such amazing faculty and residents.  And it doesn’t hurt to be surrounded by beauty, and to have some of the best mountain and road biking on the east coast.  I hope you will consider a visit and take hold of all the opportunities available.

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
Map & Directions

Greetings! I am excited to be on the MAHEC team as it is a privledeged place to be indeed - surrounded by hard-working, intelligent, fun, and committed physicians with supportive staff in the midst of an excellent medical community. Combine that with the cultural and outdoor opportunities of our progressive mountain town, Asheville can’t be beat.
I am originally a westerner (from southern California), turned northerner, (undergraduate degree in anthropology and psychology at Rutgers University), now southerner, (medical school at the University of Virginia and residency here in Asheville). My wife Amanda and I have traveled the planet and have decided we love living and working in this beautiful corner of the world. I thought my time being sleep deprived was over when I finished residency, but now our lives are even more wonderful and sleep deprived with the addition of our precious children Julian and Serena.
My interests outside of medicine include running, hiking, mountain biking, traveling, family, friends, music, beer, beekeeping, gardening, yoga, and aikido.
As Director of the Cane Creek satellite office, I provide full-spectrum family medicine to the local community, strive to teach our residents small practice practicalities and survival skills, and inspire the community to be healthful. My interests inside of medicine include international work, medical acupuncture, obstetrics, office procedures including vasectomy, resident education, nutrition, inpatient medicine, Latino outreach, and striving to be the best family doc I can be.

photo Steve Crane, MD, Assistant Division Director
Phone: 828-696-1234
Fax: 828-696-1257
Hendersonville Family Health Center
709 N. Justice Street, Suite B
Hendersonville, NC 28791
Map & Directions

Perhaps much like the crooked road that only looks straight when looking backwards, my path to Western NC and becoming program director of this residency program has had a number of twists and turns. My career in medicine actually started as a health economist, working in the Institute of Medicine and the Congressional Budget Office in Washington, DC for a time. Ironically, one of my tasks as a newly minted grad student, was modeling the effect of various national health insurance plans that were slated to be a cornerstone of Jimmy Carter’s second term as president. One can only wonder what the U.S. healthcare system would be like had we taken that step as a nation in 1980, instead of choosing the path we did. I traded the halls of Congress for the gray skies of Cleveland to attend medical school at Case Western Reserve University where I met and married my wife Kate. Our ’honeymoon’ was spent doing a two month rotation on a Navaho reservation in Chinle, AZ where we became convinced that rural family practice and serving populations in need should be our life’s work. Our residency training at the University of Columbia, MO was exactly the right mix of academic training and rural practice experience leading to our first practice in Mars Hill, NC (pop 2000) with a new baby in tow. We moved to Hendersonville, NC in 1989 to join a new migrant/community health center as their first full-time physicians. I served as medical director there from 1989 until 1997 and saw the program grow from 10 to 140 employees during the period. Kate took over a solo practice (affiliated with the health center) in the nearby isolated, rural community of Bat Cave. In our ’free’ time, we managed to have 2 more children; I helped start this residency program while Kate helped start a model charter school in the community. Community has always been a vital part of medical practice for Kate and me. Hendersonville has been a great place to raise children, practice medicine, and be an instrumental part of helping this become the type of caring community where health and accessible/quality healthcare are part of the fabric of everyday life. Residents who train here can experience firsthand just how rewarding this career path can be, and gain all those critical skills to be a community health leader. They also have a chance to work with Kate, who is still in solo practice in Bat Cave and appears to know intimately every soul living in the Hickory Nut Gorge and in my estimation is the best doctor in town. I also enjoy riding my mountain and road bikes on hundreds of miles of single track or country roads in Henderson County, or kayaking on the many flowing creeks/rivers in the region. This summer I did my second trip down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. Life here is very good! :) Areas of special interest include wellness and prevention, healthy aging and general adult medicine.

photo Emily Diznoff, MD, Physician
Phone: 828-626-2428
Fax: 828-626-2490
MAHEC Family Health Center at Big Ivy
540 Dillingham Road
Barnardsville, NC 28709
Map & Directions


photo Shannon Dowler*, MD, Faculty
Phone: 828-696-1234
Fax: 828-696-1257
Hendersonville Family Health Center
709 N. Justice Street, Suite B
Hendersonville, NC 28791
Map & Directions

Shannon Dowler has been the Chief Medical Officer at Blue Ridge Community Health Services since 2009. Since graduating from residency at MAHEC Asheville, she has worked exclusively for public health and non-profit organizations and has a special interest in marginalized and underserved populations. In addition, she has a special interest in Adolescent Health and Sexually Transmitted Infections and serves as a local, state and national speaker to physician groups on these topics. She has been actively involved with the North Carolina Academy of Family Physicians and is finishing her fifth year on the executive committee as President of that organization which represents almost 4,000 family doctors across the state.  Additionally, she serves on the Care Share Health Alliance and the Medicaid Physician Advisory Group at the state level. Since completely residency, Shannon has enjoyed teaching both medical students and family medicine residents in the clinical setting in the STD clinic at the health department, procedures in urgent care, colposcopy and womens health as well as routine clinic. Shannon actively volunteers to speak to teen/college groups throughout the region on issues related to sexuality, sexual health and pregnancy prevention.


When not in the pursuit of medical advocacy or the care of the underserved, she enjoys her husband of 20 years, Jared, and their two tweens, Jacob and Eli. They enjoy paddling, hiking, playing tennis and mountain biking for sport and spend a lot of time on weekend evening around the firepit listening to music and communing with friends. With her parents only a few miles away, they have elected to remain living in Asheville but enjoy the food, beer and adventure offerings throughout the entire area, including Hendersonville and Brevard!

photo Michael Dowling, MD, Faculty Physician
Phone: 828-257-4730
Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
Map & Directions


photo Martha Dysart+, CNM, Nurse Midwife
Phone: 828-696-1234
Fax: 828-696-1257
Hendersonville Family Health Center
709 N. Justice Street, Suite B
Hendersonville, NC 28791
Map & Directions

I started practicing midwifery in Atlanta, Georgia. For the past 17 years, I have been here in Hendersonville, North Carolina. Obstetric practice in Hendersonville is defined by a large population of women who view birth as a normal life process and who do not desire many medical interventions. We encourage midwifery skills that help the new mother and family feel positive about their choices. I knew I wanted to work as a midwife after experiencing the personal care and support of midwives with my own deliveries. The joy of seeing a mother take her new baby into her arms makes every delivery exciting.

photo Blake Fagan, 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
Map & Directions

I am from Missouri and still a big Cardinals baseball fan. I went to undergraduate school at the University of Missouri at Columbia and spent the coldest winter of my life in Chicago for a year before starting medical school in Nashville Tennessee. I completed my residency at MAHEC in 2001 and have been on the faculty since.What brought me to the residency and what keeps me here as faculty are the people at MAHEC. The faculty are very committed to helping the underserved and teaching residents and students. The Asheville area made the choice to stay here a lot easier. I love mountain biking and trail running. And the hiking around here isn’t bad either. I recently conned my wife into getting chickens and that is a great source of entertainment for my kids. 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!! Areas of special interest include low risk obstetrics, pediatrics, adolescent medicine and contraception.

photo Teresa Fralix*, MD, PhD, Faculty
Phone: 828-696-1234
Fax: 828-696-1257
Hendersonville Family Health Center
709 N. Justice Street, Suite B
Hendersonville, NC 28791
Map & Directions

As an avid runner, hiker, biker and gardener, Western NC is my outdoor paradise. As a family physician committed to accessible, quality healthcare for all, my faculty position with Blue Ridge Community Health Services is an opportunity to serve the most vulnerable population living in our mountains. After my Family Medicine residency with MAHEC in Asheville, I completed a Rural Faculty Fellowship at the Hot Springs Health Program in Madison County, followed by a faculty position with MAHEC in Hendersonville. I recently returned to WNC after six years at another community health center, and I am very excited to be part of the new teaching health center paradigm. There is no better way to enhance the health of our entire community, particularly our most vulnerable patients, than to train and retain family medicine doctors as part of our community health center work.
My clinical interests include geriatrics, wellness/prevention, and diabetes. In my free time, I enjoy trail running, live music, craft beer, and reading about politics, culture, and economics.

photo Dan Frayne, MD, Assistant Clinical Director, Assistant Residency Program Director
Phone: 828-258-0670
Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
Map & Directions

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 a dog, Kenya. 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 (currently co-director of our OB curriculum), caring for the Hispanic population both locally and globally, critical thinking/evidence based medicine, and really, everything else (that’s why I became a Family Physician, right?)
Areas of special interest include family centered maternity care (low risk obstetrics), indigent Hispanic population, integrated behavioral health and resident teaching.

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
Map & Directions

I came to MAHEC in the fall of 2012 after 33 years of practicing full spectrum family medicine in Madisonville, a small town in East Tennessee. My wife, Barbara Levin – also a family doctor – and I settled there immediately after residency at the University of Missouri. We raised our four children there and are now proud grandparents…..feel free to ask me about the grandkids any time!
Thirty-three years of small town medicine have left me with some firm convictions. I can’t imagine a more satisfying life than primary care and I believe integrated and holistic care is the best care. We have to do more as a society to look after all our members. America needs to be a healthier place for our kids to grow up and we in family medicine can make a difference; and they are all our kids. I came to MAHEC because of my sense of a shared idealism with the staff and the residents.
When not practicing medicine I enjoy hiking and reading. I am deeply engaged in Torah reading, and believe that chant is an ancient art form designed to breathe life into the words of Scripture. Oh, and did I mention my grandkids?

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

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.
Areas of special interest include toxicology, global health, infectious disease, OB, and ultrasonography.

photo Marisa Graham, , Physician Assistant
Phone: 828-626-2428
Fax: 828-626-2490
MAHEC Family Health Center at Big Ivy
540 Dillingham Road
Barnardsville, NC 28709
Map & Directions


photo Jeff Graham, MD, MPH, UNCA Medical Director
Phone: 828-251-6668
Fax: 828-250-2334
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
Map & Directions

I attended undergraduate and medical school in Arkansas, then came to Asheville, North Carolina for residency in Family Medicine and fellowship training in Sports Medicine. While here, I began a Masters in Public Health from UNC-Chapel Hill, after which I returned to Arkansas to complete a rural medicine obligation.

My family and I sought a change of scenery after that, and made a major move to Papua, Indonesia where I worked mostly with HIV, TB, and Malaria. During that time, we also became involved with an NGO in Tanzania, where we continue to occasionally work.

After all that travel, it has been wonderful to return to the mountains of Western North Carolina, a place that has never fully left me. My wife, an OB/Gyn physician, and my two children love the vibe here, not to mention the scenery and tremendous outdoor experiences available. Running, biking, music exploration, and yoga consume the time I have outside of work and family, and I feel there is no better place to enjoy these passions than Asheville.


photo Jim Hall*, PhD, Psychologist
Phone: 828-696-1234
Fax: 828-696-1257
Hendersonville Family Health Center
709 N. Justice Street, Suite B
Hendersonville, NC 28791
Map & Directions

I grew up, went to school and developed my career in the Midwest. I was engaged most of that time in pretty traditional clinical psych settings and activities. Gradually, I felt a shift toward mind-body perspectives and became intrigued by such things as Psychoneuroimmunology and Neurolinguistic Programming. My wife and I moved here from St. Louis in 2000 because we were drawn to the mountains. We both had been in private practice for some time, and I had been shifting gears toward working with chronic illness including chronic pain. I love it here, and we have only scratched the surface with all the area has to offer our family. I was starting to develop a group therapy approach to behavioral aspects of chronic pain treatment and Hendersonville Family Health Center became a setting in which to cultivate it. Now I find that the opportunity to interact with residents and learn from each other is a definite bonus, and actually fertilizes the growth process.

photo Magdalena Hayes, MD, Faculty
Phone: 828-696-1234
Fax: 828-696-1257
Hendersonville Family Health Center
709 N. Justice Street, Suite B
Hendersonville, NC 28791
Map & Directions

As a WNC native it has been my dream to return to this area for quite some time. I was excited to join the Hendersonville MAHEC Faculty because it allows me to continue doing all the things I’ve been trained to do, and to help teach residents and medical students.

After working at UCLA Medical Center and in the LA-County Health System, it’s a relief to join a smaller medical community. I am very impressed with the Pardee Health System, and the services that are available here. This is a great environment to learn, grow, and deliver high-quality patient care.
When I’m not working I enjoy hiking, cooking, traveling, and attending live music events. Living in Hendersonville is great for access to hiking trails, farmer’s markets, and concerts. I also have a 9-year-old German Shepherd Mix named Zora. My family is in Asheville and South Carolina.
I enjoy all areas of Family Medicine including low-risk obstetrics and inpatient medicine. My interests include contraception, prevention, and chronic disease management.

photo Melissa Hicks, MD, Family Practice Physician
Phone: 828-258-0670
Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
Map & Directions

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.
I am privileged to live and work in this progressive southern community, with a fine medical community that embraces education. Ann (midwife practitioner at MAHEC WHC) and I enjoy working for MAHEC and living on our 1.7 acre home base in “south” Weaverville. There we live with 2 dogs, a cat, 2 bunnies, chickens, and the occasional wild turkey, deer, bear, or other wildlife. Outside of work we enjoy meeting people through our little B&B cottage, traveling, cooking, working in our Church’s community garden, and staying fit and healthy. We rejoice in watching the now 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 find their passion in Family Medicine. I am excited by our increased ability to provide international experiences, and our commitment to providing care to the underserved here, through our office and through our community volunteer efforts.
Areas of special interest include the full scope of family medical care, including caring for women during pregnancy and childbirth, along with the family.

photo Bryan Hodge, DO, Faculty
Phone: 828-696-1234
Fax: 828-696-1257
Hendersonville Family Health Center
709 N. Justice Street, Suite B
Hendersonville, NC 28791
Map & Directions

Having just completed a National Health Service Corps Scholarship at a Community Health Center in underserved St. Louis, I have found myself re-committing to academic teaching here at Hendersonville Family Medicine. I was drawn to the dedication, innovation, and balance that I found in the residents and faculty at this program. My clinical passions include working with diverse patient populations, preventative medicine, and chronic disease management. This has led me to an array of experiences abroad in Honduras, Guatemala, and Kenya, as well as challenges closer to home like working with homeless diabetic patients and group visit models. I am constantly reminded how family medicine allows me the best opportunity to impact the lives of others in positive sustainable fashion as well as treat patients as whole individuals. I consider myself very fortunate to be practicing and teaching in an environment that enthusiastically shares this belief.

Out of the office, I am happily surrounded by the commotion of three young daughters, a supportive wife, and a one- hundred pound bloodhound. We enjoy traveling, camping, hiking, and swimming and are eager to explore more of Western North Carolina.


photo Richard Hudspeth, MD, Faculty
Phone: 828-696-1234
Fax: 828-696-1257
Hendersonville Family Health Center
709 N. Justice Street, Suite B
Hendersonville, NC 28791
Map & Directions

I returned to North Carolina by joining the MAHEC faculty in Hendersonville in June, 2005. Some years after completing an Obstetrics Fellowship, I am now bringing my passion to Hendersonville for serving underserved families. I am currently doing many procedures, such as cesarean sections, tubals and vasectomies and enjoy sharing the know-how with our residents in Hendersonville. I also continue to be an advocate for the underserved internationally and encourage our residents and faculty to spend time overseas in the Shoulder to Shoulder program. In addition to the ’normal’ responsibilities of a faculty member, I am the Medical Director of Access II Care, a network of primary care practices formed to improve the quality and cost effectiveness of care to our Medicaid population. I enjoy just about any activity (skiing, hiking, camping, soccer, basketball, playing games, playing music, helping with homework or learning to juggle) that I can do with my two kids and my wife. Come visit to see what Western North Carolina and the Hendersonville Family Medicine Residency Program can do for you!

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
Map & Directions

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

photo Travis Johnson, MD, Faculty
Phone: 828-696-1234
Fax: 828-696-1257
Hendersonville Family Health Center
709 N. Justice Street, Suite B
Hendersonville, NC 28791
Map & Directions


photo Geoffrey Jones, MD, Residency Program Director
Phone: 828-696-1234
Fax: 828-696-1257
Hendersonville Family Health Center
709 N. Justice Street, Suite B
Hendersonville, NC 28791
Map & Directions

Living and working in Hendersonville allows me to have it all, professionally and personally. My family and I moved here in 2005 from the Navajo reservation in New Mexico, where I spent four years with the Indian Health Service (IHS). That period provided an incredibly challenging clinical experience and a rich cultural opportunity in an isolated, rural setting. I cannot recall I time in my career when I felt more confident in my own clinical skills and medical judgment than working in that remote location. While my wife Mari and I loved living in the high desert, we are equally happy to be raising our children Lucas and Gabriela in beautiful western North Carolina. This region has some of the most stunning and easily accessible outdoor opportunities for families, with camping and hiking being favorite activities of ours. We are also fortunate to have top notch restaurants in town, which is important when your kids love sushi and Thai food. Hendersonville is a culturally vibrant town that is large enough to stimulate young imaginations, and small enough to feel like home. After completing med school in New York City and residency in Ann Arbor, Michigan, I fell in love with the balanced life that more rural living afforded. My patients provide daily evidence that my work has tremendous value and the need for caring and well-trained providers has never been greater. As Program Director, I can think of no better job than fostering the professional development of tomorrow’s family physician leaders. They constantly remind me why I chose this specialty, and share my passion for getting the most out of our work and play. I could not ask for a more dedicated group of faculty and staff, who constantly amaze me with their creativity and energy. I am fortunate to practice the full spectrum of family medicine, including obstetrics and office procedures. I speak Spanish every day at work and at home, as my wife is a native of Puerto Rico. As a family, we enjoy traveling, cooking, gardening, soccer, tennis and anything else outdoors. I have been incredibly fortunate to live and travel all over the world, and feel very lucky to call Hendersonville home. Areas of special interest include low risk obstetrics, office procedures and Spanish-speaking patients.

photo Valerie Krall, MA, LPA, LPC, Mental Health Professional
Phone: 828-258-0670
Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
Map & Directions

Valerie obtained her Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from UNC-Charlotte in 1991. She has worked with adults, children/adolescents, and families since that time. She has worked in a variety of settings including outpatient clinics, residential treatment, intensive outpatient, and private practice. Before moving to Asheville, Valerie worked as a therapist for several years in the Charlotte area at Carolinas Healthcare System-Behavioral Health Center. She is a Licensed Psychological Associate as well as a Licensed Professional Counselor. She is grateful for the chance to work in a field that allows her to interact with many different people and to witness their resiliency and wisdom. In her free time Valerie enjoys hiking, mountain biking, and ultimate frisbee. She enjoys the abundance of outdoor activities available in Asheville as well as its vibrant music and arts community. Areas of clinical interest include depression, anxiety and child behavioral issues. Valerie utilizes cognitive-behavioral strategies as well as mindfulness and acceptance based approaches.

photo Suzanne Landis, MD, MPH, Director, Center for Healthy Aging
Phone: 828-771-3425
Fax: 828-407-2887
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
Map & Directions

I have lived and raised my family in Asheville for more than 25 years. What a great place to live and work with a family practice friendly environment, a great arts community, and wonderful outdoor sports all year long. I graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in 1978, completed a med-peds internship and an internal medicine residency at the University of North Carolina in 1981, a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar Fellowship in 1986, and an MPH in epidemiology at the University of North Carolina School of Public Health in 1986. I also worked in rural health during a three-year National Health Service Corps stint in 1981-1984.

I have an active clinical and teaching practice which I love. But with my background in public health, I have been instrumental in developing a continuous quality improvement program at the FHC, use of quality indicators in practice, enhancing breast cancer screening among low income women, designing contact strategies for HIV infection, developing community coalitions to address health problems, and now use of team-based care especially with behavioral health providers and clinical pharmacists.

Work with the underserved has been a big part of my professional and service life. I helped to create HealthPartners, a community-based health coalition to improve the health status of our community and Project Access, the award winning structured volunteer physician program that provides low income uninsured people with free physician, lab, x-ray, and pharmacy services. I also consult with the American Project Access Network to support communities around the nation as they work towards 100% access/0 disparity.

My husband Bill McKenna is an infectious disease doc here in Asheville, and we have three adult children. Margaret and her husband Dave work in DC for the Government Accountability Office and have one son, Davey. Lizzie is a development officer fundraising for UNC-CH and her husband Ben is a dentist with Blue Ridge Community Health Center; they live here in Asheville (grandkids here we come). Andrew is a cartographer in DC and works for the Agency for International Development as their Middle East expert. I enjoy sports especially long distance cycling and tennis, crafts (some of my knitting projects are on sale in galleries in the community), and reading. Areas of special interest include geriatrics and practice redesign. Areas of special interest include preventive medicine, women’s health and geriatrics.

photo Robyn Latessa, MD, Campus Director, UNC School of Medicine-Asheville Campus
Phone: 828-257-4730
Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
Map & Directions

I joined the MAHEC faculty in 1999 after being on faculty at East Carolina University for two years. Prior to this, I attended University of Massachusetts Medical School and did my residency training at ECU.

My passion is teaching and developing fun innovative ways to teach. Two examples of this include computerized Stumpers (a jeopardy like game) and use of an audience response system (tallies responses from group immediately on power point screen). My primary role is now directing the Asheville longitudinal program for UNC School of Medicine (SOM) third and fourth year medical students. In addition, I lead a rural medical scholars program for the SOM and a UNCA undergraduate health careers summer internship program. Many of the residents enjoy interacting with and mentoring all these eager learners.

My husband, Tim Plaut, is a native of the area and also a family doctor in the MAHEC program. We have two daughters, Sarah (2/01) and Hannah (2/03). I enjoy time and travel with my family, running, reading, playing the piano, and watching my girls in their many drama performances (on and off the stage)! Areas of special interest include pediatrics, dermatology, and infectious disease.

photo Natascha Lautenschlaeger*, MD, Faculty
Phone: 828-890-4156
Fax: 828-891-9276
Hendersonville Family Health Center
709 N. Justice Street, Suite B
Hendersonville, NC 28791
Map & Directions


photo Andrew Morris, MD, Faculty
Phone: 828-696-1234
Fax: 828-696-1257
Hendersonville Family Health Center
709 N. Justice Street, Suite B
Hendersonville, NC 28791
Map & Directions

After completing residency at MAHEC in Asheville, I discovered an enjoyment of clinical education while supervising learners during a 2 year term at Clinica Hombro a Hombro in southern Honduras. Upon returning to the US, I was drawn to NC for the third time, the first being at Davidson College and this time to work with a great residency program that benefits from its relationship to four excellent organizations:  MAHEC, University of North Carolina, Blue Ridge Community Health Services, and Pardee Hospital. I count it a privilege to work alongside innovative and compassionate colleagues with expertise in resident education who are adapting to both local and national medical needs with new ideas about how to offer quality care to patients from all walks of life.  Hendersonville is a place where I have the opportunity to be a family physician, to do all the things I was trained to do.   Furthermore, keeping up with our residents is an intellectually and professionally rewarding endeavor.

My wife, Laura, and I love living in Western North Carolina with our three children: Luke, Gabriel, and Ana Gloria. For this season of life, they are my hobby. It is a joy to watch them grow up Hendersonville with a sense of community and an appreciation for God’s creation as we picnic below Triple Falls, pick apples at a local orchard, or explore the woods behind our home.  Once you come visit, you will realize why it is so hard to leave. 

photo Tamera Pearson, FNP, ACNP, Nurse Practitioner
Phone: 828-257-4730
Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
Map & Directions


photo Deb Phillips*, LCSW, Social Worker
Phone: 828-696-1234
Fax: 828-696-1257
Hendersonville Family Health Center
709 N. Justice Street, Suite B
Hendersonville, NC 28791
Map & Directions

I moved to the mountains in 2000 after living in St. Louis most of my life. My husband, son and I vacationed here, fell in love with the area, and wanted to live where we could do the things we enjoy outdoors. So, we hike, paddle, play tennis, garden and explore this beautiful place. I have been with Hendersonville Family Health Center for 3 1/2 years as a Clinical Social Worker. As a member of the Behavioral Health Faculty, my role is to help establish Integrated Care in our Primary Care Practice. It is a joy to work with the residents, diverse staff and patient population. Creativity, autonomy, and a team atmosphere are what make it fun to come to work every day. My 13 year old son attends The Mountain Community School, Henderson County’s only Charter School, which provides a great, non-traditional, public education. This is a great community to work, play and raise a family in.

photo Tim Plaut, MD, Family Practice Physician - Geriatrics
Phone: 828-258-0670
Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
Map & Directions

I grew up in Western North Carolina and love it here I joined MAHEC after a winding journey. I entered the Navy as a hospital corpsman out of high school and after spending 4 years in the service went to Mars Hill College. To help pay the bills while in school, I worked as a clinical assistant, home health aide, and Hospice Volunteer with the Hot Springs Health Program. It was during this time that I decided to go to medical school, and developed a love for family medicine, and geriatrics in particular. I attended Medical School at East Carolina University, and did my Family Practice training at Pitt County Memorial Hospital in Greenville. Subsequently I worked for two years as a clinical instructor at ECU. Prior to working at MAHEC I spent 10 years in private practice. I am married to Robyn, and we have two wonderful children, Sarah and Hannah. I enjoy cycling, hiking, nature, the Red Sox and spending time with my family.

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

Hello! Congratulations on choosing Family Medicine.

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 health care personnel. My time in Honduras and Uganda solidified my decision that becoming a physician was the right career path for me. After two years of teaching, I went to University of Michigan, where I met my now husband, Tim. We were fortunate to couples match at the MAHEC program and both completed our training in 2013. Tim now works for a great practice in Leicester with Mission Medical Associates.

I chose Family Medicine because I was excited by the opportunity to form long lasting relationships with patients and to help connect patients to valuable resources they need in the community. I am thrilled to be working at Newbridge Family Health Center, a satellite clinic of MAHEC on the North side of town.  My current interests in Family Medicine include prenatal care, pediatrics, women’s health, group visits, patient education and efficiency in clinical practice.

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

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 health care personnel in Honduras and Uganda and decided to switch career paths.

I graduated from the University of Michigan Medical School in 2010 and was thrilled to come to Asheville for residency training at MAHEC.  My husband and I have settled here with our son, born in 2011 and continue to enjoy all of the wonderful outdoor activities Asheville has to offer.

I chose Family Medicine because I was excited by the opportunity to form long lasting relationships with patients and to help connect patients to valuable resources they need in the community. I am thrilled to be working at the MAHEC Family Health Center at Newbridge, a satellite office on the North side of town.  My current interests in Family Medicine include prenatal care, pediatrics, women’s health, group visits and patient education.

photo Vicki Power+, CNM, Nurse Midwife
Phone: 828-696-1234
Fax: 828-696-1257
Hendersonville Family Health Center
709 N. Justice Street, Suite B
Hendersonville, NC 28791
Map & Directions

All good things come to those who wait.... It is true both for becoming a certified-nurse midwife and of finding a professional and personal home here in Hendersonville. I first discovered midwifery as a biology major at Florida State University, while finishing my pre-med curriculum and after I had already taken the MCAT and had been accepted to DO school. My pregnant advisor had the wisdom to introduce me to her midwives and it was immediately apparent that although I didn’t know that midwifery existed, the work was exactly what I had envisioned doing all those years ago when I day dreamed about what I would be when I grew up. While at FSU, I worked both in the microbiology lab and as a telephone counselor and supervisor for two statewide, nonprofit hotlines, the Florida HIV/AIDS Hotline and Healthy Baby Hotline. After graduation, I completed classes to apply to nursing school and worked many odd jobs, always trying to keep a hand in biology or medicine. Some of the more interesting ones were during my time in Los Angeles as a group methamphetamine counselor, as a researcher for an herbal supply company and as front office staff for a star-laden Beverly Hills dermatology office.

I completed my training at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, graduating with a Masters Degree in Nursing and midwifery specialty in December 2003. For four years, I worked in Florida providing care to the uninsured and underserved as a member of the National Health Service Corps in a community health center. As fulfilling as my work was, I longed for a professional environment with supportive and service-oriented health care providers and a balanced family life. I am deeply grateful to have found that in Hendersonville and moved here with my infant son in September 2007. In addition to professional satisfaction, I was drawn to the area by its beauty and the opportunity to raise my son in this warm and welcoming community and with an appreciation of nature and small-town life. Hendersonville Family Health Center is a family, as corny as that might sound, and we are supportive of each other through good times and bad. My friends here helped my son and I though a difficult separation and divorce, and have welcomed my new husband and stepsons with open arms.

I am proud to be a part of the Family Practice program, to call these doctors both my colleagues and my friends and to help educate our outstanding rural family practice residents each year. Midwifery and family practice philosophies of care are well-suited to work together, providing comprehensive, supportive and preventative care. We all believe in the power of women’s bodies to give birth and are supportive of that natural process and of the transition of the family to welcome this new, little life.

photo Lisa Ray, MD, Family Practice Physician
Phone: 828-258-0670
Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
Map & Directions

I grew up in Atlanta and graduated from Emory University medical school. I married my teenage sweetheart, Geoff, and moved to Portland Oregon for residency at OHSU. Following residency, Geoff and I stayed in Portland for five years where I worked in a full spectrum private family practice with an emphasis on OB and Pediatrics.

Geoff and I decided to move back to the Southeast to be closer to our families and we specifically wanted to live in Asheville because of its location and the wonderful character of the town. Serendipitously, there was a faculty position available at MAHEC and I took the job in 2000. It has been the best decision I’ve ever made both professionally and personally. MAHEC is an amazing place to work because of the people – our residents come from all over the country and are extremely talented and enthusiastic which makes teaching them both challenging and rewarding.  My partners are also a remarkable group of people with talent, vision, energy and idealism in equal measure.  MAHEC is also always evolving to meet the needs of our residents and to lead the changes occurring in our health care system nationally I can honestly say I look forward to work every day 

Since Geoff and I moved to Asheville, we have adopted two beautiful daughters from Russia -- Erica in 2004 and Ava in 2007. Our family loves living in Asheville. It is incredibly beautiful and we love to be outdoors swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding, mountain biking or hiking with our dogs, Pilot and Bella. One of our favorite things to do is to hike off the Blue Ridge Parkway which literally runs through town; it is especially great in the winter when the parkway is closed to car traffic and you feel like you have the whole national park to yourself. We live within walking distance of downtown in an old neighborhood in Asheville called Montford where we are forever restoring our house, built in 1915. We love the diversity and remarkable cultural opportunities that Asheville affords. Geoff and I can’t imagine raising our family anywhere else.
Areas of special interest include women and children’s health, team based care, dermatology and osteoporosis.

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
Map & Directions


I grew up in Iowa and stayed there to attend Grinnell College and then medical school at the University of Iowa. Iowa is a wonderful place, in case you have never been! Residency here at MAHEC was challenging but fulfilling. I am very please to stay on as MAHEC faculty to work for a low-overhead clinic in North Asheville, MAHEC Family Health Center at Newbridge. I am particularly interested in women’s health, pediatrics, behavioral health and caring for Latino patients.

We have been very happy living in Asheville! I particularly love the picturesque, hilly runs and the fabulous local food. My partner Owen works for the Forest Service; he works with trees, not people. We love our wooded backyard in West Asheville and our co-dependent dog, Maggie.

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

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

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

photo John Rowe, MD, Medical Director
Phone: 828-258-0670
Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
Map & Directions

John Rowe was born and raised in Vermont, educated at Harvard and the University of Vermont, and did his family practice residency at Shadyside Hospital in Pittsburgh. He met his wife, Linda, a nurse in the neonatal intensive care unit, there and they were married in 1979. They returned to Vermont to practice full-spectrum family medicine with John's father in the village of Wells River. They also began raising four children.

They decided to move to Asheville in 1992 so John could join the MAHEC faculty to teach, practice, and help run the Family Health Center, and Linda could pursue graduate school. Linda now has a psychotherapy practice in Asheville and works some with MAHEC's OB residency. John is now the clinical director of the Family Health Center and has been actively involved in the residency's quality improvement efforts in developing an electronic medical record system.

Their family has thrived in North Carolina, and they look forward to continuing life at their country home, tending to yard work, gardening, and playing an occasional tennis match.


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
Map & Directions

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
Map & Directions

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 Hayam Shaker, MD, Faculty
Phone: 828-696-1234
Fax: 828-696-1257
Hendersonville Family Health Center
709 N. Justice Street, Suite B
Hendersonville, NC 28791
Map & Directions

BA: College of Science, Cairo University
MS: Ain Shams University
MD: Kasr Al Aini Medical School, Cairo University

After graduating from the MAHEC Residency program in 2000, I immediately joined the faculty and have been a member of the program ever since. I moved to the United States in 1991 after serving as a physician in Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War. I discovered my passion for teaching after taking care of the underserved population in Egypt. Teaching students, mid-level professionals, residents and patients has always been the highlight of my career. Serving in a rural community has always been fulfilling for me because this is the same environment in which I grew up. Currently, I am interested in my community’s nutrition, as both malnutrition and over-nutrition carry significant health risks to the whole population. Outside of work, I am happily surrounded by my three precious sons, Andrew, Samuel and Mark and my lovely daughter Cheryl. I enjoy travelling, swimming, tennis and Middle Eastern cuisine.

photo Eric Smith, MD, Family Practice Physician
Phone: 828-258-0670
Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
Map & Directions

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

I was born and raised in Sevierville, TN and grew up camping, hiking, and fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I went to the College of Charleston in SC for marine biology, but quickly learned that didn’t mean I was going to be spending my days scuba diving off St. Croix, but rather in a lab. While it was an awesome 4 years, I got my fill of the sand and heat and missed my mountains. So I came back to TN for medical school at ETSU. I met my wife, Dawn, in Charleston and we got married in my second year of medical school. We both loved Asheville and when I found out there was a family medicine program there, it was a perfect match for us! This city is incredible! Food, music, culture, and any outdoor activity you could want is 5 min away!

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


photo Catherine Thrash, LCSW, LCAS, Mental Health Professional
Phone: 828-771-3448
Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
Map & Directions


photo Julie Todd*, MD, Faculty
Phone: 828-696-1234
Fax: 828-696-1257
Hendersonville Family Health Center
709 N. Justice Street, Suite B
Hendersonville, NC 28791
Map & Directions

After graduating from medical school at UNC Chapel Hill, I left my east coast roots and headed out to Ventura, California for my Family Medicine Residency training.  It was an awesome experience living in a new place and forming a close group of residency friends, but I always planned to come back to North Carolina to be closer to family.  It was also very important to me to practice in an underserved area and enjoy where I live.  Luckily, I found all of that in Hendersonville.


I was immediately drawn to Blue Ridge because of its mission to take care of the migrant farm worker population.  When it turned out I could work with residents and keep practicing inpatient medicine and OB along with this mission, I knew it was a great fit.   I am very excited to be joining such a creative, dedicated, and experienced team of providers all working toward the same goals: providing excellent care to those who need it most and training residents to be the best doctors they can be.  My favorite parts of family medicine are dermatology, procedures, women’s health, and everything to do with obstetrics! 


I moved back to North Carolina with my husband, Kevin, and my son Rowan.  We have enjoyed getting to know Hendersonville, Asheville, and the surrounding areas.  We love local produce, reading, movies, hiking, running, and watching the seasons change. 

photo Cynthia VanDeusen*, GNP, FNP, Nurse Practitioner
Phone: 828-696-1234
Fax: 828-696-1257
Hendersonville Family Health Center
709 N. Justice Street, Suite B
Hendersonville, NC 28791
Map & Directions

I have been a nurse practitioner for over 30 years. I still love what I do and feel very blessed to have touched so many lives. I have worked as a NP in Public Health, private practice, at a very rural health site, migrant health and at my current position (over 10 years) with the residency program. I am also a geriatric NP and enjoy supporting elders with the challenge of aging well and also being supportive of a ’good death’ if that is on the horizon. I have always recognized the need for our patients to be well educated regarding their health challenges in order to take the best care of themselves. I have always tried to be a proponent of patient education, thus allowing individuals to take the best care of themselves and whatever condition they may be facing.

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

Welcome to MAHEC. My wife, Bethany, and I are excited to call Western North Carolina home. We were born and raised in the Midwest, hailing from Cincinnati, OH and Canton, OH respectively. We met during medical school at a mutual friends wedding after a cheesy pick-up line or two. After living in Dayton, OH for a few years, our journey began in Charlottesville, VA where I completed my Family Medicine Residency training at The University of Virginia and my wife worked as a freelance artist and writer at The McGuffey Art Center. Our lives were colored by great friends and the stunning vineyards and mountains of the Blue Ridge. We later moved to Chapel Hill, NC where I completed a Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship at The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. I was privileged to rub shoulders with great physicians and high caliber athletes and became a Tar heel for life. Go Heels!

We look forward to starting the next chapter of our lives here in Asheville. We count ourselves lucky to be surrounded by outstanding people full of passion, excitement, and love for the community. We feel that Asheville has amazing opportunities to offer and is full of vibrant, funky individuals who work hard and play hard. I have always been an avid athlete and feel fortunate to combine my passion in sports and medicine. As Sports Medicine and Fellowship director I look forward to providing medical care for athletes of all ages, providing a service to the community, and getting athletes back to what they love doing most…PLAY! Whether doing ultrasound-guided injections, researching, or covering community events, running trails, or hunting and fishing, there’s no better place to live and work than Asheville.


photo Maggie Weshner, EdD, Mental Health Professional
Phone: 828-258-0670
Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
Map & Directions

Maggie Weshner, EdD, attended undergraduate and graduate school at the University of Georgia and spent 28 years in college student mental health before coming to MAHEC Division of Family Medicine in May of 2007. She is dedicated to integrated primary care, loves working with residents, and has recently become interested in studying the nature of resilience and well being. She enjoys cooking, hiking, reading and traveling, and has two beautiful daughters, Anna, 17, and Tobie, 14.

photo Carriedelle Wilson, FNP, Nurse Practitioner
Phone: 828-258-0670
Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
Map & Directions


photo Anja Woody, PA, Physician Assistant
Phone: 828-771-3448
Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
Map & Directions


photo MaryShell Zaffino*, MD, Faculty
Phone: 828-696-1234
Fax: 828-696-1257
Hendersonville Family Health Center
709 N. Justice Street, Suite B
Hendersonville, NC 28791
Map & Directions

We moved to Asheville in 2008 for my family medicine residency at MAHEC Asheville. We love the area so much and have met so many wonderful people that we never want to leave. I started working for Blue Ridge Community Health Services shortly after graduating from residency as I wanted to work in a Community Health Center. The work is fulfilling and challenging, and although some days are the latter more than the former, I love what I do and where I work. There are amazing people here, and my job gets more inclusive every day. Initially, I was seeing primarily middle aged adults with a few scattered well child checks. Now I am seeing those patients plus more children, prenatal patients, procedures, including colposcopy, and TEACHING! I’m excited that BRCHS and MAHEC have merged and to have residents in the clinic. It allows me to learn more and to be a better doctor in attempts to provide a better example to learning physicians.

We also love the community here. Between Hendersonville, Asheville, and surrounding areas, there is a lot to do! We particularly enjoy getting outside, riding bikes, hiking, and of course, just hanging out with our children and friends. There are many fun festivals, sporting events, and gathering places. It’s a great place to be!

photo Kate Zurich, PA-C, Physician Assistant
Phone: 828-258-0670
Fax: 828-257-4738
MAHEC Family Health Center at Biltmore
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
Map & Directions

I completed my Physician Assistant training at Emory University. I enjoy my work with older adults, as well as hiking, reading and meditation.