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UT Family Medicine Chattanooga Faculty

Leadership

James Haynes, MD, Chair, Department of Family Medicine

James W. Haynes, MD, Professor and Chair, Department of Family Medicine
President, Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society

James.Haynes2@erlanger.org

  • Hometown: Fayetteville, NC 
  • Medical School: Uniformed Services
  • University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD
  • Residency: Eglin Family Medicine Residency, Eglin AFB, FL
  • Interest: Resident/Student Education, Minor Procedures, Women's Health

Dr. Haynes is from Fayetteville, NC and attended medical school at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, MD. He completed his residency in Family Medicine at Eglin Regional Hospital, Eglin Air Force Base, FL and served 20 years in the Air Force. His most recent assignment prior to completing his military career and joining the University of Tennessee Faculty was as the Program Director of the Eglin Air Force Base Family Medicine Residency. His assignments took him to the Azores, Portugal; Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; Spokane, WA; Fayetteville, NC; Belleville, IL; San Antonio, TX; Washington, DC; Eglin AFB, FL, as well as two tours in the Middle East. Dr. Haynes was named the Uniformed Services Academy of Family Physicians' Family Physician of the Year in 2003 and was privileged to serve as the Family Medicine Consultant to the Surgeon General of the US Air Force from 2005 to 2007. He has taught in Graduate Medical Education for over 13 years and completed the Michigan State University Primary Care Faculty Development Fellowship in 2007 as well as the National Institute for Program Director Development Fellowship in 2010.

Dr. Haynes currently serves as President of the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society.  On August 31, 2020, he was named as the recipient of the 2020 Chattanooga Champions of Healthcare Awards for Physicians and Academics.

When not at work, Dr. Haynes spends time with his family, serving his community, performing missions work, and training for triathlons.

Leslie Griffin, MD, MPH, Program Director, Family Medicine Residency

Leslie Griffin, MD, MPH - Residency Program Director and Assistant Professor
Leslie.Griffin@erlanger.org

  • Hometown: Cookeville, TN
  • Medical School: St. George's University
  • Residency: University of Tennessee College of Medicine Chattanooga (Family Medicine)
  • Interests: Infant and Maternal Health and Preventative Health Care

Dr. Leslie Griffin entered St. George's University School of Medicine after several years of living internationally including two years in Peace Corps. She graduated in 2007 with dual degrees in Medicine and Public Health. She completed her residency at the University of Tennessee Family Medicine Program at Erlanger in Chattanooga, Tennessee. After completing her training, she joined the faculty of the University of Tennessee Family Medicine program where she practices full scope Family Medicine, from deliveries to geriatrics. She also participates in an annual medical mission trip to Haiti. Dr. Griffin was appointed the Family Medicine Clerkship DIrector (medical students) in January 2018.

Elizabeth Close, MD, Clerkship Director and Associate Professor

Elizabeth Close, MD, Clerkship Director and Associate Professor
Elizabeth.close@erlanger.org

  • Hometown: Chattanooga, TN
  • Medical School: The University of Tennessee College of Medicine
  • Residency: Family Medicine, The University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Medicine Chattanooga
  • Interests: Diabetes, Preventative Care

Dr. Close attended the University of Tennessee for undergraduate and medical school before returning to Chattanooga for residency. She also served as Chief Resident. After graduating, she worked for Erlanger for five years in outpatient practice and precepting at UTFP weekly.

She enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband Tim, son Charlie and twins Danny and Maggie. Each summer, Dr. Close volunteers as medical staff at Tennessee Camp for Diabetic Children (and welcomes residents coming along). 

Other Residency Faculty

J. Mack Worthington, MD, FAAP, Immediate Past Chair and Professor, Department of Family Medicine

J. Mack Worthington, MD, FAAFP, Immediate Past Chair and Professor
Mack.Worthington@erlanger.org

  • Hometown:  Winterville, NC
  • Medical School:  University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston
  • Residency:  St. Joseph's Medical Center, (now Via Christi Hospital) Wichita, KS
  • Interests: Family Medicine ambassadorship

After serving two years with the United States Air Force at the Eglin AFB Regional Hospital Dr. Worthington joined the faculty of the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Medicine, Memphis. There he was a strong supporter of medical students and residents, serving as program director, vice chair for academic affairs, and acting chair. He also served as the Chief of Family Practice at Baptist Memorial Hospital. 

Dr. Worthington moved to Chattanooga in 1995 to start the Department of Family Medicine and the associated Family Medicine Residency Program.  In addition to being past president of both the Tennessee Academy of Family Physicians and Tennessee Medical Association Dr. Worthington has held national positions with the American Academy of Family Physicians, the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine, and the American Medical Association.

Prior to medical school, Dr. Worthington worked on his family farm, taught college level mathematics, and pursued a career in aeronautical engineering. A former pilot himself, he also loves to play the trombone, which he does regularly for his church ensemble. “Family Medicine not only gives you an opportunity to care for your patients but also an opportunity to serve your profession and your community.”

Stephen M. Adams, MD, Professor, Department of Family Medicine

Stephen M. Adams, MD, Professor, Department of Family Medicine
Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Erlanger Health System

Stephen.Adams@erlanger.org

  • Hometown:  Chattanooga, TN
  • Medical School: University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Medicine
  • Residency: University of Alabama - Huntsville
  • Interests: EMR, Curriculum Development, Office Procedures

Dr. Adams is from Chattanooga, Tennessee. He attended the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, and completed residency at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Dr. Adams returned home to join the faculty in September 1997 and has led the program's efforts in office procedures, as well as EMR research and implementation. He was named Residency Program Director in April 2007. He has been named Outstanding Teacher of the Year multiple times during his tenure at UT, and in 2008 was honored by the first ever Excellence in Leadership award given by all graduating residents in that year. He is currently Chief of Family Medicine at Erlanger and served as Erlanger Chief Medical Informatics Office from July 2014 through June 2020.  Dr. Adams now serves as Erlanger Chief Information Officer in addition to his role as faculty in our Department of Family Medicine.

In his spare time, Dr. Adams loves to fish with his three sons and has been "caught" in the act many a morning before rounds.

Kelly Arnold, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Family Medicine

Kelly Arnold, MD, Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine
kelly.arnold@erlanger.org

  • Hometown: Memphis, TN
  • Medical School: The University of Tennessee College of Medicine
  • Residency: Family Medicine, The University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Medicine Chattanooga
  • Special Interest: Obstetrics and Ultrasound

Dr. Arnold enjoys seeing infants, children, adults, and geriatric patients, the full spectrum of family medicine. She is a bilingual physician, speaking both English and Spanish and practices medicine with a focus on the Latino community. Dr. Arnold is married to a Chattanooga native and enjoys spending time with her husband, Dr. Justin Arnold, and three children. In her free time, she enjoys reading, cooking, exercising and practicing yoga.  In October 2020, Dr. Arnold was named the 2020 Family Physician of the Year by the Tennessee Academy of Family Physicians.  Click here to view the UTK News article regarding this honor.

Steven Fox, MD, Assistant Program Director and Associate Professor

Steven Fox, MD, Assistant Program Director and Associate Professor
Steven.Fox@erlanger.org

  • Medical School:  Marshall University (Huntington, WV)
  • Residency: University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Medicine Chattanooga (Family Medicine)
  • Interests:  Lifestyle Medicine and Teaching

Dr. Fox was born and raised in Wheeling, WV, and attended Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, FL, where he obtained his BS in Biology and minored in Chemistry. He returned to his home state of WV to attend medical school at Marshall University School of Medicine where he found his passion for family medicine. He trained with our Family Medicine Residency in Chattanooga where he served as Chief Resident and completed the program in 2013. He is honored for the "privilege of joining the faculty that trained him in the challenge to teach the next generation of physicians." Dr. Fox has a particular interest in musculoskeletal medicine and teaching, but enjoys seeing 'everything that walks through the door." In his spare time, Dr. Fox enjoys spending time with his wife, 2 daughters and son, reading his Bible, and anything outdoors.

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April O. Gunn, DO, Assistant Professor
April.Gunn@erlanger.org 

  • Hometown:  Phoenix, AZ
  • Medical School: Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine of Midwestern University
  • Residency: Family Medicine Residency, UC Davis, Modesto
  • Interests:  Women's and Children's Health, including Obstetrics, and Global Medicine
  • Dr. Gunn joined the faculty of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine Chattanooga in November 2020 as Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Medicine.

Dr. Gunn is from the Phoenix, Arizona area, and loves the desert, but decided to come to Tennessee to explore a new area with her family. She likes working with a diverse population, and has a strong interest in international medicine, having worked in Guatamala prior to residency. She chose the UTCOM Chattanooga because she wanted to continue to foster an area of study in global health and obstetrics. Outside of medicine, she likes to spend her days with her family exploring new rivers or hiking new mountains that are nearby. Going forward, she hopes to continue to do the work that inspires her and enjoy time with her family.

Michael Shepherd, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Family Medicine

Michael Shepherd, MD, Assistant Professor
Michael.Shepherd@erlanger.org

  • Medical School: Loma Linda University
  • Residency: Hinsdale Hospital, Hinsdale III
  • Interests: Maternal Health and Preventative Health Care

Dr. Shepherd served the Public Health Department for two years as the only physician in a very small mountain town in Northern California. This little city had seven hospital beds and one ED bed with Dr. Shepherd as the sole physician. He practiced in Hanford, California for almost 20 years, and then moved to Northern California where he supervised a midwife and was one of two physicians to deliver babies. Dr. Shepherd is happy to be with UTCOM because he loves to teach and is able to live close to his children and grandchildren.

Malissa Talbert, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Family Medicine

Malissa Talbert, MD, Assistant Professor
Malissa.Talbert@erlanger.org

  • Hometown: Lawrenceburg, TN
  • Medical School: The University of Tennessee College of Medicine
  • Residency: Internal Medicine, The University of Tennessee Health Science Center (Memphis)
  • Fellowship:  Rheumatology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (Dallas)  
  • Fellowship:  Geriatric Medicine, University of Tennessee College of Medicine Chattanooga

Dr. Talbert grew up in south-central Tennessee. She graduated from Rhodes College in Memphis, followed by medical school at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in Memphis. She completed her Internal Medicine Residency in Memphis at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.   She also completed a Fellowship in Rheumatology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

Dr. Talbert joined the Family Medicine faculty in Chattanooga after completing her Geriatric Fellowship here. She currently spends much of her time caring for patients at Alexian Village, a premier continuum of care facility for seniors located just outside of Chattanooga on Signal Mountain.

Robert Zylstra, EdD, LCSW, Professor and Assistant Program Director, Family Medicine Residency

Bob Zylstra, EdD, LCSW, Professor, Director of Behavioral Science, and Assistant Program Director, Family Medicine Residency
Robert.Zylstra@erlanger.org

  • Hometown: Kalamazoo, MI
  • Graduate Schools: University of Michigan and University of Memphis
  • Interests: Geriatric Mental Health and Community Medicine

Dr. Zylstra grew up in Michigan where he earned his Master of Social Work degree from the University of Michigan. In addition to his involvement with family medicine, he has worked as a home health care social worker, supervisor of a community hospital's social work department, and business manager for an outpatient medical office.   Dr. Zylstra has also served as a faculty member in Family Medicine at Providence Hospital in Detroit, Michigan and the University of Tennessee-Healthplex in Memphis, before joining our faculty in Chattanooga and practicing at the UT Family Practice Center.

He earned his doctorate degree in educational psychology from the University of Memphis, and continues his research and teaching interests in the areas of community medicine, mental health, and geriatrics. He is married to Margaret, a public health nurse, and is the father of two adult children.

Clinical Faculty

Philip Sutherland, MD, Faculty, Department of Family Medicine

Dr. Philip A. Sutherland is a graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in Memphis, and he completed his Family Medicine Residency training at our program in June, 2014. Dr. Sutherland completed fellowship training in Advanced Obstetrics at Medicos para la Familia in Memphis, Tennessee in 2015. Dr. Sutherland currently precepts our residents, and he practices at Clinica Medicos in Chattanooga, TN.

Tiffany Meador, MD, Faculty, Department of Family Medicine
Born and raised in San Diego, California, Dr. Tiffany Meador traveled to the Midwest for university, medical school, and residency. She graduated from St. Vincent Family Medicine Residency in Indianapolis, Indiana with an emphasis in Maternal-Child Health and Global Health. Additionally, she completed an Advanced Obstetrics Fellowship in Memphis, TN at Médicos para la Familia. She and her husband, Andrew, recently moved to Chattanooga, where she looks forward to improving her Spanish skills while caring for patients. Her greatest passion is providing excellent and affordable healthcare to all her patients, especially within the Latino community, and she practices at Clinica Medicos in Chattanooga.

Last Published: Apr 16, 2021