Class of 2017
- Leah Anderson, MD
- Marian Babalola, MD
- Jannice Beckford, MD
- Gary Brown, MD
- D.P. Choudhury, MD
- Sasha Gittens, MD
- Todd Hewitt, MD
- Nam Huynh, MD
- Megan McNeil, MD
- Aaron Ward, MD
- Mary Watson, MD
- Mitchell Whitehead, MD
Class of 2018
- Heshani Abeysundara, MD
- Ivy Akid, MD
- Ishaan Arora, MD
- Anil Bajnath, MD
- Kristen Baker, MD
- Jessica Castaneira, MD
- Dairo Castillo, MD
- Ericka Mapp, MD
- Meredith M. Maxwell, MD
- Gayatri Patel, MD
- John Turner, MD
Class of 2019
- Daniel Bernabe, MD
- Claras Ellis, MD
- Sue Ellen Griffith, MD
- Holly Klopfenstein, MD
- Nakeisha Otto-Stewart, MD
- Robert Solomon, Jr, MD
- Dave Stewart, MD
- Mary Jane Tucker, MD
- Alex Vanderby, MD
- Rachel Vanderby, MD
- Kayleigh Ann Wright, MD
Leah Anderson, MD
Dr. Anderson grew up in the small town of Tremont, Miss. By the age of seven she was inspired by her local pediatrician to become a doctor. She attended Millsaps College and earned her Bachelor’s degree in Biology in 2008 with a concentration in Women’s Studies. She then entered into the Professional Portal Track Program at the University Of Mississippi Medical Center, where she completed a Master’s of Science degree in Biomedical Science with honors, in 2010. Dr. Anderson was then accepted into the University of Mississippi School of Medicine (class of 2014). In 2011, as a second year medical student, she was awarded the Mississippi Rural Physician Scholarship for the remaining three years of medical school. She is passionate about practicing full-scope family medicine with obstetrical privileges in rural, medically underserved areas. Dr. Anderson reports that she is very excited to join the TMH family and to train in such a strong, well-rounded, family medicine program. Dr. Anderson has two boys and a wonderful husband, with whom she is passionate about spending her spare time with. In addition to each other, the family enjoys the beach, camping, the outdoors and soccer.
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Marian Babalola, MD
Born in Nigeria, Dr. Babalola’s family relocated to the United States when she was nine. After several moves, Jacksonville, Fla. became and remains home. It is there that she completed high school and then a Bachelor’s in Biology with a minor in Public Health at the University of North Florida. Attending medical school at the University of Medicine and Health Science she graduated in 2013. She also completed a Master’s in Healthcare Management from Davenport University.
“Through my medical journey, I have come to appreciate the truth behind the saying that “Prevention is better than a cure.” That is why Family Medicine was the natural choice for me and I could not be more excited to continue this journey here at Tallahassee Memorial. In my spare time I love traveling, spending time with my family, watching sports, cooking, shopping and if there is any time left I also like to sleep.”
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Jannice Beckford, MD
A true “island girl,”Dr. Beckford was born and raised on the beautiful island of Jamaica in the West Indies so it is no surprise that she loves going to the beach for a relaxing day with family and friends, in addition to cooking, singing, and getting her hands dirty in the garden. Her undergraduate and medical degrees were obtained from University of West Indies in Jamaica. Her experiences following graduation have been diverse, including Pediatrics, OB/GYN, Internal Medicine, General Surgery and Anesthesia. Making a commitment to Family Medicine, she is able to draw on her work experience and brings that knowledge to residency training at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare.
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Gary Brown, MD
A native of the beautiful island of Jamaica, Dr. Brown attended the University of the West Indies in Kingston and obtained his medical degree in 2005. After graduation, he worked in various medical settings including a stint aboard a European cruise liner as an aesthetic physician. He also served in the United States Navy where he enjoyed contributing to the health care of the military community. His choice of Family Medicine was driven by the myriad of experiences the specialty offers coupled with the depth of medical knowledge required. He is excited at the opportunity to complete residency training at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare. An avid sportsman, Dr. Brown was an integral member of his university’s soccer and cricket teams, helping them to national collegiate titles in both sports. His fiancé is also a physician and is completing fellowship training in Adolescent Medicine.
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D.P. Choudhury, MD
Born in Kolkata, India but raised in Nassau, Bahamas, Dr. Choudhury found a strong interest in medicine at a very early age through his family doctor. After high school, he enrolled in St. George’s University School of Medicine earning a BSc in Medical Sciences, and completing his medical training in June 2013. He also found his choice of medicine reinforced by rotations during medical school in New Jersey. As the only child of a high school teacher and a university professor, it is no surprise he has an interest in teaching and educating others and taught summer classes during medical school vacations. Outside of medicine, Dr. Choundhurty is an avid tennis fan and player, having been nationally ranked in the Bahamas and also fortunate enough to play with a few legends of the game such as Mark Knowles, Jim Courier, James Blake and Serena Williams. In addition, he enjoys going to the gym, playing the piano and trumpet and trying out different cuisines.
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Sasha Gittens, MD
Born and raised on the Caribbean island of Barbados, Dr. Gittens is a graduate of the University of the West Indies, where she attended both the Mona Campus in Jamaica and the Cave Hill Campus in Barbados. Dr. Gittens graduated as one of the top students in her class attaining honors in surgery, and receiving The Lionel Stuart Prize for the best performance in the final surgery examination and the Merck Sharpe and Dohme Prize for the highest aggregate mark in the medicine examination. Following graduation from medical school in 2008, Dr. Gittens completed her internship and then worked in the public polyclinics on the island. There, she managed pediatric, antenatal, postnatal and other adult and geriatric patients daily in the clinic and at a nursing home in the community. She also cared for patients in their homes. Managing patients and their families and assisting them through crisis fascinated Dr. Gittens, and soon it was not just her job, it was her passion. Dr. Gittens was always intrigued by the plethora of conditions patients encountered, as well as the lasting relationships formed. Consequently, she decided to pursue formal training in Family Medicine. Dr. Gittens is truly excited to have the opportunity for residency training at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare, as this is where she sees her dream becoming a reality. In her spare time, Dr. Gittens likes cooking, reading, spending time with family and friends, traveling, and outdoor activities.
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Todd Hewitt, MD
Dr. Hewitt joins TMH after a successful career as a Chiropractor for 13 years in Pasadena, Calif. While in practice, he served on many professional, as well as volunteer health related organizations. Through his exposure and close work with other medical specialties (and with the support of an incredible family), he decided to fulfill a goal set as a child and left practice to enter medical school. He considers being active one of the key tenants in achieving and maintaining a healthy lifestyle and has been extremely fortunate to be involved in and associated with a wide variety of athletic activities in his life. He was a college football player and attended East Texas State University for undergraduate education and he earned his Doctor of Chiropractic from Parker College of Chiropractic in Dallas, Texas. While there he was a member of the U.S. National Rugby League team and a student member of an organization that provided care to professional Rodeo cowboys. He received his Doctor of Medicine from the University of Medical Health Sciences in 2014. While a medical student, he was privileged to serve as one of the Team Physicians for the nation of Nevis's Olympic Triathlon/Cycling team. He is extremely enthusiastic about returning to practice and thankful for the opportunity to continue his education in a dynamic community like Tallahassee. Through all of his experiences and training, Dr. Hewitt has maintained strong interest in Rural Medicine, Sports Medicine and Pain Management, but also appreciates the comprehensive role a Family Medicine physician is entrusted to play in the lives of their patients. Dr. Hewitt and his wife Michelle have been married for 18 years and welcomed a joyous and enthusiastic daughter, Campbell, to their family three years ago. As a family they celebrate any activity that allows them to be outside and on the water and are excited by the many unique opportunities in their new North Florida home. They share a passion for college football and thanks to Campbell, throw one heck of a "Fancy Tea Party."
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Nam Huynh, MD
Dr. Huynh immigrated to the U.S. from Vietnam at the age of eight and lived in several parts of the country before calling Florida home. He earned a bachelor in Biomedical Science at the University of South Florida, while working as a pharmacy technician and helping run a salon business with his mother. Attending Ross University School of Medicine, he graduated with high honors. Dr. Huynh had the opportunity to travel and work in many underserved countries during his time at Ross University. Fluent in his native language, he hopes to improve quality of care through effective communication with Vietnamese patients. In his spare time, he enjoys lifting weights, going to the movies, learning to play the electric keyboard, and enjoying his fiancé’s outstanding cooking.
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Megan McNeil, MD
Dr. McNeil, a Mississippi native, completed high school at Leake Academy in 2003 as an Honors graduate and All American Athlete in softball and basketball. After receiving a BS in Biochemistry with a minor in Psychology from Millsaps College in 2006, she worked as the Lead Chemist in a small start-up Biodiesel plant and spent her free time volunteering at local children's homes and nursing homes. In 2008, she obtained her Masters in Biological Medical Sciences from Mississippi College and began to pursue her true passion - Medicine. Finishing her medical degree in 2014 from the American University of the Caribbean in St. Maarten and having rotated as a student through TMH, she was instantly drawn to the Family Medicine program and all it had to offer, namely the altruistic nature and diversity. Special interests include Hospice/Palliative Care, Emergency Medicine, and Sports Medicine.
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Aaron Ward, MD
Born and raised in Valdosta Ga., Dr. Ward served as a paramedic in South Georgia for 18 years and a flight paramedic in Tallahassee, Fla. from 2002-2005. As a flight paramedic stationed in Tallahassee in 2005, he was fortunate to assist the rescue efforts in New Orleans during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Serving as a flight paramedic also led to strong relationships with several of the physicians at TMH and solidified dreams of becoming a physician. In order to earn the funds to attend medical school, he worked internationally in the Bahamas and the Middle East. Attending Windsor University School of Medicine on the island of St Kitts in May 2008, Aaron graduated in 2012. Upon returning to Florida he worked as a physician’s scribe in the Bixler Emergency Center while seeking a residency position.Married to Carla, while on the island of St. Kitts in August 2008, they now have four sons. Passionate about family time, he also enjoys hunting, fishing, and anything else that involves the sun and saltwater!
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Mary Watson, MD
After graduating from Florida State University in 2009, Mary did a year of psychiatry training and two years of internal medicine at the University of Florida. She has published articles in the New England Journal of Medicine as well as The Journal of Internal Medicine. Mary has a passion for primary care and would like to work in a clinic setting upon graduation. In her free time Mary likes to spend time with her son, read, run and travel.
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Mitchell Whitehead, MD
Born and raised in the small North Florida town of Cottondale, Dr. Whitehead has always had a passion for medicine in rural communities. He began his college education at Chipola College, where he was a founding tutor for the Academic Center for Excellence and a member of the nationally ranked Brain Bowl team. He was also a founding officer of the Pre-Med Society, active in Honors, Science Club and Phi Theta Kappa. He had the opportunity to shadow physicians in rural Jackson County, which inspired him to pursue family medicine. After transferring to Florida State University, Dr. Whitehead became part of the Latin and Greek honor society Eta Sigma Phi and Golden Key. Participating in the Honors in the Major program, he successfully defended his thesis entitled "Malaria: An Investigation into the View of Disease in the Classical World." This researched the concept of disease in the ancient Mediterranean and Near East, and focused on writings found in the Hippocratic Corpus. Dr. Whitehead graduated with honors from Florida State University with a Bachelor of Arts in classical civilizations and a minor in chemistry. He then attended the Florida State University College of Medicine where he was an active officer in AMA, FRHA, FMIG, and FMA. For his third year of medical school, he chose to be a part of the FSU Rural Track program, which allowed him to take his core third year clincals in rural Marianna, Fla. For his fourth year at FSU COM, Mitchell became part of the Pensacola regional campus and focused his electives on family medicine in the community. Mitchell graduated from the College of Medicine in May 2014 and is excited to now be a part of the family at TMH, where he hopes to continue pursuing his dream of practicing medicine in North Florida.
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Heshani Abeysundara, MD
Heshani Abeysundara, MD, was born in Sri Lanka and grew up in Abu Dhabi, UAE. At age 15, she moved to Toronto with her family. Four years later she moved to Edmonton and completed her undergraduate studies in Honors Cell Biology at the University of Alberta. Medical school took her to St. Maarten and New York; and she received her medical degree from the American University of the Caribbean (AUC) School of Medicine in December 2014. During her time at AUC, Dr. Abeysundara was listed in the Dean’s Honor Roll, received the Excellence Scholarship throughout her medical education and became a member of the Alpha Omega Phi Honor and Service Society. While at AUC, she volunteered with the Breast Cancer and St. Maarten AIDS Foundation and served as an Anatomy Teaching Assistant.
Dr. Abeysundara’s interest in family medicine continued to grow during the clinical rotations as she saw the importance of preventive medicine and the continuity of care this diverse field has to offer. She is excited to start her training in Tallahassee Memorial and hopes to acquire the many skills and knowledge to serve the community as a competent and compassionate physician. During her spare time, she enjoys listening to music, watching comedies, spending time with friends and exploring new places.
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Ivy Akid, MD
Raised in New York City, Ivy Akid, MD, has a passion for helping others from various backgrounds. At age seven, she united her class by creating the club, “Books Bridging Borders.” Throughout the years she has held diverse jobs, everything from tutoring and waitressing, to working for an engineering firm. Her ambitions led her to complete a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry at George Washington University. Later she received her MD from Ross University School of Medicine. Furthermore, she continued to pursue a degree in Masters of Public Health at Dartmouth University. Various research projects she’s involved in include studying the side-effects of the colorectal chemotherapeutic agent irinotecan, testing and detection of H1N1 Influenza during the swine flu epidemic and looking at in-hospital cardiac arrests in non-monitored units and factors that affect the time for defibrillation in those units. Dr. Akid is looking forward to working at Tallahassee Memorial.
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Ishaan Arora, MD
Throughout his childhood, Ishaan Arora, MD, grew up in various cities across India and England. In 2007, he moved to Canada to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Life Sciences from the University of Toronto. After graduating in 2011, he joined Saba University School of Medicine and completed his medical schooling in 2015. During medical school, he had the opportunity to complete some of his clinical rotations in Florida and he fell in love with the state.
Dr. Arora was inspired to join the medical field by his family doctor and was determined to specialize in Family Medicine. He has a special interest in Preventative Medicine and Emergency Medicine. After interviewing at Tallahassee Memorial, he was certain he would achieve the required training to excel in his field of interest. In his spare time Dr. Arora likes to travel, cook, experiment with exotic foods and spend quality time with his family. His fiancé is currently completing her final year at a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program in Canada and hopes to join him in 2016 in Florida.
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Anil Bajnath, MD
A native Floridian, Anil Bajnath, MD, graduated medical school with honors from Ross University School of Medicine in May 2014. He holds a double Bachelor’s degree in Molecular Microbiology and Medical Laboratory Sciences from the University Of Central Florida School Of Medicine. He has also completed a Masters in Business Administration with concentration in Healthcare Services from Keller University School of Business Management. Dr. Bajnath holds numerous certifications and diplomas from various organizations with additional training in fields of Clinical Nutrition, Functional Medicine, Clinical Homeopathy and Medical Acupuncture. Dr. Bajnath chose a career in family medicine because of the diverse patient population, broad spectrum of clinical exposure and emphasis on primary care. Dr. Bajnath’s interests outside of medicine include training Brazilian jiu Jitsu, traveling, cooking, and maintaining his salt water aquarium.
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Kristen Baker, MD
A true North Floridian, Dr. Baker was born and raised in Blountstown, FL. Always eager to help others and to know how to "fix stuff," the decision to practice medicine came naturally. She attended Florida State University and earned a B.S. in Exercise Science. With a strong desire for exposure to international healthcare and its associated disease epidemiology, she attended American University of the Caribbean in St. Maarten. She was then granted the opportunity to carry out a year of her clinical training in England. With a strong interest in the diversity of Family Medicine, she was delighted to become a part of the TMH family with its well-rounded program and continuous exposure to rural medicine.
As an outdoor enthusiast, Kristen enjoys running, mountain-biking, hiking, fishing, water- skiing and scuba-diving. She also enjoys spending time with her family and friends and the simple goodness of home-cooked meals.
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Jessica Castaneira , MD
Jessica Castaneira, MD, was born in Matanzas, Cuba, she migrated to the U.S. at the early age of seven through the Guantanamo Bay Exodus. She grew up in a loving family, who risked their lives to bring her to America. She states, “These life experiences have taught me to appreciate the priceless gift my parents gave me, the opportunity to grow up in a country of infinite opportunities, where you are the only obstacle to your success.”
Dr. Castaneira had a special connection with her grandfather. It was with him she experienced her first real encounter with medicine, as she became his informal caregiver when he fell ill. Her love for him and her ability to take care of him made her realize she would want to instill that same compassion onto her patients one day.
She received a Bachelor of Science in Biology at Florida International University where she had the opportunity to partake on a service trip to Haiti as part of the International Health Connection organization. There she got a chance to reconnect with an underserved community; similar to the one she grew up in.
Dr. Castaneira received her medical degree at American University of the Caribbean in St. Maarten alongside her husband, Dairo Castillo, MD. Today, Dr. Castaneira is excited to start a career in Family Medicine, where she will act not only as a clinician and confidant but also as an advocate for health prevention and an educator.
During her free time, Dr. Castaneira enjoys spending time with her family, friends and her cat, Luna. She is also passionate about traveling, movies and salsa dancing. She is happy to join the Tallahassee Memorial family and begin this new journey with her husband.
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Dairo Castillo, MD
Dario Castillo, MD, a native of La Habana, Cuba, migrated to the U.S. at the age of 16, to Miami. Having spent his youth in a country of poverty and being witness to the many struggles his parents had to face as immigrants, he grew up determined to achieve his dream of becoming a doctor. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology at Florida International University, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude. There he joined the International Health Connection organization and participated in a medical mission trip to the rural slums of Haiti. This eye-opening experience played a pivotal role in his medical career that reinforced his desires to become a physician and contribute to the healthcare conditions people are facing all over the world.
Dr. Castillo earned his medical degree at American University of the Caribbean alongside his wife, Jessica Castaneira, MD. During his clinical clerkships he realized the importance of prevention and primary care. Taking pleasure in being able to care for the underserved population, he finds a great sense of fulfillment. He states, “I look forward to being present throughout a patient’s life, sharing their moments of joy, hardship and accomplishment.”
In his spare time, Dr. Castillo is a sports fanatic, he especially enjoys basketball, weightlifting and spending time with his wife, family and friends. Today, he is excited to initiate this new chapter of his life as a physician at Tallahassee.
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Ericka Mapp, MD
Ericka Mapp, MD, completed her pre-medical education with a Bachelor of Science and Magna Cum Laude from Howard University in Washington. She is also has Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery from the University of the West Indies. Her one-year internship training was undertaken at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Barbados, where she gained valuable experience in the fields of Medicine, Surgery, Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology.
After her internship, Dr. Mapp served as a Senior House Officer with the department of Hematology at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Barbados. Her duties included diagnosis and management of benign and malignant hematological disease, however it was during her tenure that her love for the holistic care of patients blossomed. Later, her job as a Clinical Officer of Health with the Ministry of Health is where she worked at various clinics throughout the island sealed her fate as a hopeful family physician.
Dr. Mapp is excited about the field of Family Medicine, its scope and the opportunity for strong relationships with patients and their families. She is equally as excited about starting her residency training at Tallahassee Memorial. Outside of medicine, she enjoys traveling, reading, volunteering and time spent with her supportive family.
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Meredith M. Maxwell, MD
Born and raised in New Jersey, Meredith Maxwell, MD, came to the south in 2003 to attend Emory University in Atlanta. As an undergraduate, she double-majored in Psychology and Asian studies, which included a semester in India for a Tibetan Studies Program and neuroscience research in Emory’s Bird Brain Lab. She graduated in 2007 with highest honors and published her research in the peer-reviewed journal, Brain Research. Dr. Maxwell’s fascination with the connection between mind and body led her to medicine. She completed a post-baccalaureate pre-medical program at Agnes Scott College in 2009 and graduated as part of the inaugural class of the Georgia Regents University, University of Georgia Medical Partnership in 2014. Dr. Maxwell loves the comprehensive nature of Family Medicine and is excited to be joining the talented team at Tallahassee Memorial.
Special interests include integrative medicine, palliative care, hospice and women’s health. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband John, her toddler Caroline and her mutt, Bunny. She also enjoys scuba diving and the outdoors.
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Gayatri Patel, MD
Gayatri Patel, MD, and her family were relocated to Canada from India when she was 12. She completed her Bachelors degree in Biomedical Sciences at Brock University in Canada. To pursue her passion for medicine, she embarked to Grand Cayman Islands for medical education and she successfully graduated from St. Matthew's University. Dr. Patel was so impressed with Tallahassee Memorial while she was participating her Family Medicine rotation, that she decided to come back for residency training. In her spare time Dr. Patel enjoys cooking, music, traveling and most of all spending time with family and friends.
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John Turner, MD
A Tallahassee native, John Turner, MD, graduated from Lincoln High School where he earned several accolades while competing at the International Science and Engineering Fair for three straight years. As an undergraduate, he served as one of the first two co-presidents of the Honors Medical Scholars Society and was very involved in campus ministry. Dr. Turner graduated from Florida State University in 2011 with double degrees in Geography and Environmental Studies and a minor in Chemistry. While in medical school, he served in leadership positions with the Internal Medicine and Sports Medicine interest groups and was active with the Christian Medical Association and Family Medicine Interest Group. Ultimately he was drawn to Family Medicine because of its patient-centered culture and focus on general practice. Dr. Turner graduated from the Florida State University College of Medicine in 2015.
Outside of medicine, Dr. Turner has a broad spectrum of interests including playing the piano, painting, train travel, watching high school and college sports. His favorite thing to do is to spend time with his wife Rachel. He is excited to continue his medical training at Tallahassee Memorial and reach his dream of becoming a caring, compassionate family physician.
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Daniel Bernabe, MD
Born in Germany and raised in New Jersey, Danny moved to the small town of Bonifay, FL in 2004. He attended Chipola College and Florida State University and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Biological Sciences. While at FSU, Danny was active in several pre-medical organizations including MAPS and USSTRIDE serving as the public relations officer and co-coordinator, respectively. Danny completed a master's program in Biomedical Sciences through the FSU Bridge to Clinical Medicine Program where he helped develop the Dementia Caregiver Problem Inventory (DCPI). He then matriculated into the FSU College of Medicine as a member of the class of 2016 where he served as the Pensacola Regional Campus Vice President. Danny has always enjoyed the science surrounding medicine, but fell in love with family medicine after experiencing the variety and longitudinal patient care that family medicine has to offer.
In his spare time, Danny enjoys cooking, photography, basketball, FSU football, mixed martial arts and paintball. He also loves spending time with his wife, Brenna, of three years. Together, they have a son, Isaac, and a little dog named Leo. His special interests include adolescent medicine and sports medicine. Danny is excited to be returning to the Tallahassee area in which his family considers home. He is looking forward to joining the TMH family and creating a long relationship with the surrounding community.
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Claras Ellis, MD
Dr. Ellis was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti and immigrated to south Florida at the age of 8. She attended Florida State University where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science and a Master of Science degree in Biomedical Science. She went on to earn her Doctor of Medicine degree at Florida State University College of Medicine. She is a Florida State University Seminole through and through!
Claras’ career focus is on underserved populations, health education and women’s health. She hopes to empower her patients to take an active role in their healthcare and help to address health disparities within the community. Claras also envisions herself serving abroad through medical mission work, especially in her birth country of Haiti, where she can use her understanding of the culture and language to provide patient education and general medical care. Her personal goal is to be a mentor because as a first generation college student she experienced the value of mentorship first-hand.
During her free time Claras enjoys FSU football, watching movies, exercising, playing sports and outdoor adventures.
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Sue Ellen Griffith, MD
Completing a Bachelor of Science in Biology at the University of West Indies on her home campus in Barbados, Dr. Griffith pursued her Bachelor of Medicine and a Bachelor of Surgery. Following graduation she worked in Community Health Centers, where she enjoyed managing various cases and age groups, particularly with HIV/AIDS care. Pursuing her interest in expanding her skills she returned to the Pediatric Department in the hospital setting, confirming her interest in working with children.
Furthering her interest in expanding her knowledge and skills, she was able to complete 3 year training in the Department of Psychiatry. Managing patients from all age groups, many with other medical conditions reminded her of an ongoing passion for holistic care. A career in Family Medicine was the perfect next step for her and has brought her to the TMH Family Medicine Residency program.
As an island girl, Sue-Ellen cherishes being at the beach and touring Barbados, photographing the sights presented. Cooking and relaxing with a good book are other major interests. Dr. Griffith enjoys her family time and is grateful for their support given to her over the years that has allowed her to pursue her passion for medicine.
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Holly Klopfenstein, MD
A lifelong Floridian, Dr. Klopfenstein spent her childhood in the town of Oviedo, FL and went on to study at the University of Florida in 2006. It was there that she discovered her passion for medicine and science and graduated cum laude with a degree in Chemistry in 2010. During her time at Florida State University College of Medicine, she developed special interests in the fields of mental health, women’s health and adolescent medicine. She looks forward to a career in family medicine for its opportunities to care for a diverse patient population and to develop lasting relationships with patients and their families.
From an early age, Dr. Klopfenstein has been an avid reader, and in her spare time loves to read everything from modernist literature to mystery novels. She also enjoys attending concerts by her favorite rock bands, and stand-up comedy performances with friends and family.
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Nakeisha Otto-Stewart, MD
As long as she can remember, Nakeisha has always wanted to be a physician. It didn't take too long after starting medical school to realize she had a passion for primary care and public health. After graduation from the University of the West Indies, she worked as a general practitioner in both government-run free clinics and private practices. She later trained in Medical Microbiology. She is excited about the opportunity to train in Family Medicine at the Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare. A native Jamaican, Nakeisha enjoys reading a good book, sampling various cuisines and spending time with family and friends. She is married and has two beautiful daughters.
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Robert Solomon, Jr, MD
A lifelong Floridian, Dr. Robert Solomon Jr. was born and raised in the great city of Jacksonville, Florida. Robert attended Florida State University for all aspects of his professional education. He graduated from Florida State University with a Doctor of Medicine degree, Master of Science degree in Biomedical Sciences and Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science. A mentoring physician’s inspiring speech about his profession sparked Robert’s interest to go into a medical career. Through leadership and volunteer roles in various health and community service organizations, Robert expanded his scope of medicine and medical ambitions including his drive to work in underserved communities. Moreover, throughout his preclinical and clinical years Robert was very active working in communities within Leon County and Gadsden County. Also, while earning his medical degree Robert completed a blood pressure study on home monitoring in underserved populations at the Neighborhood Medical Center of Tallahassee. Out of all his experiences, the most influential experience that compelled Robert to become a physician was being a caregiver for his grandmother prior to her passing. Today, Robert strives to be a family medicine physician and is passionate about incorporating preventative care and patient-centered care into his practice to help others like his grandmother. Like many of his colleagues Robert feels it is a privilege to be part of such a prestigious and well-rounded program at TMH. Furthermore, he is very grateful to be receiving exemplary training and is making efforts to contribute to the facets that make TMH great.
Personally, Dr. Solomon has a friendly, fun and down-to-earth persona. He is very family-oriented and enjoys spending time with his wife, family and friends. During his spare time Robert enjoys working with computers and technology, attending church, being a movie buff and participating in various sports activities.
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Dave Stewart, MD
From Kingston, Jamaica, Dave fulfilled his lifelong dream of becoming a doctor at the University of the West Indies. Medicine for him is more than a job, for him it is a calling, a ministry to his patients. While he enjoys a variety of specialty areas which makes Family Medicine an ideal fit, Dr. Stewart has a love for radiology which he studied while in Jamaica.
When not at work Dave enjoys music and is both a trumpeter and a singer. He also enjoys playing table tennis and is always on the lookout for a challenging opponent. He enjoys spending time with his wife and 2 daughters.
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Mary Jane Tucker, MD
Mary Jane Tucker, M.D. is a Florida native. She was raised in Crawfordville, Fl just outside of Tallahassee. Dr. Tucker graduated from Wakulla High School before attending Florida State University for her undergraduate and medical degrees. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science at FSU. During her time at Florida State University College of Medicine, Dr. Tucker reaffirmed her interest in primary care. Her diverse interests in medicine as well as the patient-centered focus attracted her to family medicine. Dr. Tucker is also interested in global health and has traveled to Jamaica and Nicaragua on service learning trips with FSU. She enjoys horseback riding, running, yoga and sailing. Dr. Tucker is excited about continuing her medical education at Tallahassee Memorial, close to her family.
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Alex Vanderby, MD
Dr. Alex Vanderby grew up in Melbourne Florida and is extremely proud to be from the Space Coast. He graduated from Florida State with a degree in Biology with an emphasis on evolution and ecology. After graduation he spent several years traveling and working in environmental restoration and trail building for the National Park Service and the U.S. Forestry Service. He then decided to pursue his lifelong dream of becoming a physician at the American University of the Caribbean on St. Maarten. There he met his wife Rachel and they were able to travel and study alongside each other in London, Miami and New York City.
Dr. Vanderby was fortunate enough to complete his Family Medicine rotation at TMH where he felt incredibly supported and at home. He and Rachel were able to couples match into residency here in Tallahassee. When not in the hospital or clinic Alex likes to spend his free time filling his passport, running, spending time outside, hiking, fishing, scalloping, cycling, grilling and hanging out with friends.
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Rachel Vanderby, MD
Rachel grew up in the beautiful city of Santa Barbara, California drenched in sun and near perfect weather 365 days a year. Her youth was spent hiking the mountains and swimming in the Pacific. There she graduated from the University of California Santa Barbara with a degree in Physiology and continued her education at the American University of the Caribbean in St. Maarten. While on the island, she met her husband Dr. Alex Vanderby, became a certified dive master, was active in service projects and earned a position in the Honor Society. She and her husband Alex were happy to travel to London for their third year of clinical training and together published four posters at the World Congress for Maternal Fetal Medicine in Crete, Greece. Upon returning to the states they completed their clinical training in Miami, New York and California. Rachel decided to pursue family medicine because of its broad scope of practice and the impact she can have on long-term patients. Rachel chose TMH because of the strong reputation of the program, the engaging and supportive staff and the chance to be near family and friends.
Rachel likes to spend time with her husband cooking together, being outside, riding her bike, traveling and growing a new life here in Tallahassee.
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Kayleigh Ann Wright, MD
Born and raised in England, as a teenager Kayleigh moved to Houston, Texas. Kayleigh wanted to be a doctor from a young age, ever since an inspiring career day at school. To achieve this dream, she went to Norwich Medical School in England. Although studying a long way from home, she enjoyed and was successful at medical school and graduated in 2011.
After graduating from Norwich Medical School, Kayleigh then completed two years post graduate training in the UK. During this time she gained valuable experience in surgery, medicine, palliative care, obstetrics and pediatrics. This wide variety of experience helped solidify her interest in holistic care and shaped her desire to become a family physician.
Outside of medicine Kayleigh is a very active person, enjoying a large variety of outdoor activities. Some of her favorite things to do are sailing, swimming, playing rugby and having new experiences.
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