Walk into our offices and you will see happy familiar faces from your community, as many of our doctors, nurses, and staff live here in Bibb County. Our mission everyday is to make each patient feel well cared for and listened to, from our front desk receptionist, to the nurses and doctors, to our billing office.


Clinical Team

John Waits, MD, Chief Executive Officer & Faculty Physician

Dr. Waits is a practicing, board-certified Family Medicine / Obstetrician who serves as CEO of Cahaba Medical Care and the Program Director and DIO of the Cahaba Family Medicine Residency.  He served as Program Director of the Tuscaloosa Family Medicine Residency in Tuscaloosa, Alabama for five years.  He also has created Alabama's only Teaching Health Center, which has a dually accredited family residency program within Cahaba Medical Care.  He is currently serving as the co-founder and CEO of Cahaba Medical Care Foundation, a Federally Qualified Health Center in rural Bibb County, Alabama. He has active obstetric privileges at Bibb Medical Center and UAB Medical West and he works shifts at Bibb Medical Center in the Emergency Department. Dr. Waits completed an Obstetrics Fellowship at the University of Alabama, his residency training at In His Image Family Medicine Residency in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and earned his medical degree from the University of Alabama School of Medicine. He has a particular interest in health care policy and how it touches women and children in terms of maternity and infant care, the rural poor, health care access, and the care of the uninsured and underinsured.


Lacy Smith, MD, Chief Operations Officer, Chief Medical Officer & Faculty Physician

Dr. Smith joined Cahaba Medical Care in 2010 and worked with Dr. Waits to transition CMC into a FQHC as well as assisted in co-founding CFMR. Smith now serves as Chief Medical Officer and Associate Program Director but also has an active clinical practice. Smith went to medical school at the University of Alabama and then went to residency at Tuscaloosa Family Medicine Residency. She has also assisted in publishing several national publications as well as helped to successfully write numerous federal and state grants. 


Shelley Waits, MD, Faculty Physician /Physician at West End Office

Dr. Waits joined Cahaba Medical Care in 2013 after graduating from Tuscaloosa Family Medicine Residency and completing an obstetrics fellowship also in Tuscaloosa. Waits is originally from and also attended medical school in Texas. Currently, Dr. Waits serves as faculty for CFMR and sees family medicine and obstetrics patients at CMC. She has active obstetric privileges at Bibb Medical Center and works shifts at Bibb Medical Center in the Emergency Department.


Joshua Elledge, CRNP, Nurse Practitioner at Centreville Office

Mr. Elledge was born and raised, and currently resides in Tuscaloosa, AL. He obtained his MSN-FNP from Samford University in May 2016 and was subsequently certified through the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.  He has been married to his wonderful wife, Elizabeth, since July 2012. Mr. Elledge stated, "I am incredibly thankful and truly honored to serve the Centreville community with Cahaba. My ultimate goal is to simply love and obey the Lord God and His Son Jesus with all of my heart and in every aspect of my life. My true joy and peace in this life is found in walking with Him."  Mr. Elledge also enjoys playing basketball and softball as well as anything else that allows him to stay healthy, in shape, and have fun. 


Hannah Faulkner, CRNP, Nurse Practitioner at Centreville Office

Mrs. Faulkner joined Cahaba Medical Care in June, 2015. She is originally from Dothan, AL. She grew up in Tuscaloosa, AL and lives there currently with her wonderful husband TJ and her three sweet children, Caden, Carson, and Kensley. She received her MSN-FNP from Samford University in 2015. She is currently certified through the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. Mrs. Faulkner believes that providing care to our community is her calling from God. She enjoys scrapbooking, participating in community activities with her children, and spending time with friends and family. 


Nikki Savage, CRNP, Nurse Practitioner at Centreville Office

Ms. Savage was born and raised in Tuscaloosa, AL. She has worked as nurse specializing in Labor and Delivery for 8 years. She obtained her MSN-FNP from Samford University in May 2017 and is certified through the Academy of American Nurse Practitioners. She enjoys reading, dancing, and spending time with her daughter and animals.


Chasity Gibson, PA-C, Physician Assistant at Centreville Office

Miss Gibson, a native of Phenix City, AL, joined Cahaba Medical Care in 2016. She graduated from the University of Alabama in 2014 with a B.S. in Psychology and Biology. She then obtained her Master of Health Science in Physician Assistant Studies at the University of South Alabama. Miss Gibson is board certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants and is a member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants. She currently resides in Tuscaloosa, AL.  She enjoys reading and playing with her dog, Hazel, as well as attending football games with friends and family. 


Karen Ballard-Montgomery, MD, Physician at Woodstock Office

Dr. Ballard-Montgomery, a native of Montezuma, GA, graduated from Mercer University in Macon, GA with a BS in Biology and then obtained her degree in medicine at Mercer University School of Medicine.  She completed her residency in family medicine at UAB/University Hospital in Birmingham, AL and then pursued a fellowship in obstetrics and prenatal care also at UAB/University Hospital.  Prior to moving to Alabama, Dr. Ballard practiced Family Medicine/Obstetrics for four years at Bowman Medical Center, Royston, GA. She has been dedicated to the full-time practice of Family Medicine in Woodstock, AL for the past 10 years.  While working in Woodstock, Dr. Ballard has been employed by Bibb Medical Center, DCH Health System, & UAB Medical West. From 2009-2010, she worked at Vance Clinic and later returned to Woodstock Family Medicine.  Prior to joining CMC in 2015, she was in private practice at Woodstock Family Medicine for four years.  Dr. Ballard is a board certified and current member of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). She is married to Neal Montgomery and they have two children.


Suzanne Tompkins, PA-C, Physician Assistant at Woodstock Office

Mrs. Tompkins joined Cahaba Medical Care in 2015. She is from Troy, Alabama. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Sciences from Troy University. After completing her undergraduate degree, she attended the University of South Alabama Physician Assistant Program and graduated in 2015. She and her husband, Mason, live in Birmingham, AL. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, and running. She enjoys living life to the fullest, striving everyday to be more like Christ. 


Alexandra Clifton, PA-C, Physician Assistant at Woodstock Office

Mrs. Clifton, a native of Hoover, Alabama, joined the Cahaba Medical Care team in September 2016. She obtained a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Biology from UAB and then her Master of Medical Science in Physician Assistant Studies from LMU-DCOM in Harrogate, Tennessee. She is board certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants and is a member of The American Academy of Physician Assistants. She has been married to her wonderful husband, Craig, since May 2014. She enjoys shopping, watching movies, and playing with her dog, Kiba. 


Alice Bristow, CRNP, Nurse Practitioner at Woodstock Office

Mrs. Bristow works one day each week at Cahaba Medical Care, Woodstock, AL.  The remainder of her work time is spent as full time faculty at the UAB School of Nursing.  She grew up close to the clinic in which she works. She noted that she came to nursing later in life and by caring for patients in Bibb County, Alabama she has returned to her rural roots.  Mrs. Bristow considers her Cahaba patients and co-workers among her deepest blessings.  Past practitioner clinical experience includes the Foundry Clinic in Bessemer, and she has worked as a staff nurse at UAB Medical West (ICT) and UAB University Hospital (CICU, HTICU).  Mrs. Bristow loves playing the piano and photography and she has been married to Don for 42 years and she has three children, three fainting goats, one horse, one cat and one dog.  She and her husband are active members of Tannehill Valley Baptist Church.


Lauren Linken, MD, Physician at Bessemer Office

Dr. Linken joined CMC/CFMR as a Faculty Member and Family Physician in 2015. Since that time, Dr. Linken has primarily served as a preceptor on the Women’s Health / Obstetrics rotations for the PGY-2 residents. She also supervises during the resident continuity clinics and provides didactics. Dr. Linken earned her medical degree from the University of Alabama School of Medicine. She then completed residency at UMass Family Medicine Residency in Worcester, MA, and went on to complete an Obstetrics fellowship at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Dr. Linken is also fluent in Spanish.


Casey Hicks, MD, Physician at Bessemer Office

Dr. Hicks is from Haleyville, Alabama. He attended the University of Alabama at Birmingham where he earned a B.S. in Biology with honors. After completing his undergraduate education he attended medical school at the University of Alabama School of Medicine and graduated in 2012. Dr. Hicks chose to pursue speciality training in Family Medicine and completed his residency with the University of Kansas School of Medicine - Wichita at Via Christi. He has also completed a fellowship in International Family Medicine through Via Christi. Dr. Hicks joined Cahaba Medical Care in August of 2016. His interests include international medicine and obstetrics. Dr. Hicks currently lives in Bessemer, AL and is a member of The Church at Brook Hills.


Andreia Williams White, DO, Physician at Maplesville Office

Dr. White, a native of Marengo County, AL, is a 2016 graduate of Cahaba Family Medicine Residency's inaugural class.  She received her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Tuskegee University.  Upon graduating from college, she attended a post-baccalaureate program at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL.   She later attended medical school at University of Pikeville- Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine in Pikeville, KY.  During residency her peers voted her to serve on the Graduate Medical Education Committee.  She also received the Humanism in Medicine Award.  Dr. White was afforded the opportunity to complete three international mission trips:  Tegucigalpa, Honduras; Grand Goave, Haiti; and Nalerigu, Ghana.  She was a part of a team that had an article published in the Family Physicians Inquiries Network: “Should you treat an upper extremity DVT with anticoagulation?” Dr. White enjoys relaxing in the country with her family, shopping, and traveling.  She is married with two children.


Christy Hunter, CRNP, Nurse Practitioner at Maplesville Office

Mrs. Hunter has 16 years of experience in family practice, interventional cardiology, cardiac electrophysiology, and internal medicine with hospital groups.  She joined Cahaba Medical Care in October 2015 and was instrumental in establishing Cahaba Medical Care – Maplesville.  Mrs. Hunter earned a Master’s of Nursing Degree and Certified Nurse Practitioner qualifications from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.  She is married and has three children.


Jennifer Platt, PA-C, Physician Assistant at Birmingham (West End) Office

Miss Platt is originally from Branford, CT. She attended Northeastern University in Boston, MA where she completed a B.S in Pharmaceutical Sciences, graduating summa cum laude in 2013. After her undergraduate education, Miss Platt attended Quinnipiac University in Hamden, CT and earned her MHS with a focus in Physician Assistant Studies. Upon graduation she was awarded the Bruce Fichandler Community Service Award, which recognized her commitment to serving communities, both rural and urban, in the US and abroad. Her interests include gynecology and oral health. She joined CMC in September 2015.


John O. Waits, MD, General Surgery Specialist

Dr. Waits is a General Surgery Specialist in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He graduated with honors from University of Alabama School of Medicine in 1974. Having more than 43 years of diverse experiences, especially in General Surgery, Dr. Waits affiliates with many hospitals including DCH Regional Medical Center, Bibb Medical Center, and cooperates with other doctors and specialists in many medical groups including Cahaba Medical Care Foundation, Surgical Specialists of Alabama, PC -



Reatha Ballard, CRNA, Nurse Anesthetist at Bibb Medical Center

Mrs. Ballard stated, "First, let me say that I am so happy and blessed to be here at CMC.  Everyone has been so kind and welcoming."  Mrs. Ballard is from Jacksonville, AL.  She has worked in Maine, which she noted "is a beautiful place, but not Alabama."  She and her husband Jim returned to Alabama to be near their children and grandchildren.  She has been an RN for 43 years and a CRNA for 25 years.  She professed, "A vintage girl with lots of experience! As we all know, there is no place like home and no people as wonderful as Alabama people!"


Mark Etheridge, CRNA, Nurse Anesthetist at Bibb Medical Center

Mr. Etheridge received a BSN from the University of South Alabama and a MS Anesthesia from the University of Alabama Birmingham.  He joined CMC in November 2015.  Mr. Etheridge stated, "I had spent the last four years practicing in the Adirondack region of upstate New York.  As a person born and raised here in the south, it was an eye-opening experience.  It helped to cement my view that some of the best people in this country are rural Americans."  He further stated that he looks forward to providing quality anesthesia care to the community served by CMC.  Outside of work, he enjoys mountain hiking, skiing, and motorcycling. 


Jackie Palmer, RN, QIO

Mrs. Palmer's grandmother was a nurse and played a major role in her career decision. She has been with Cahaba Medical Care since 2012 and says she has felt truly blessed to be a part of the mission to care for all in the community. She received her Associate in Applied Science from Shelton State in 2007. She and her husband Landon have two daughters Lalyn and Avelyn. She is a member of Cahaba Junior Women’s League. When she’s not working, she likes to read and spend time with family.   


Amanda Wiggins, LPN

Ms. Wiggins has been part of the Cahaba Medical Care family for more than 7 years and an LPN for 12.  She stated, "I love this career because it is so rewarding; improving the lives of others, finding the problem and then treating it.  The “thank you’s”, hugs, smiles and trust I gain from our patients make it even better."  Ms. Wiggins grew up in Bibb County and her daughter Madison Marie Gilbert inspires her to be the best person she can.  When she's not working, she enjoys supporting her daughter in her interests – dance and cheerleading.  She stated, "Honestly I cannot picture myself doing anything other than nursing. My biggest goal in life is to raise my daughter to be the best she can be, to remember to thank God for everything, and to never forget life’s lessons."


Amelia Foster, MS, RD, LDN, Clinic Dietitian

Mrs. Foster received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Alabama in 2013 and 2014, respectively. She worked in both behavioral nutrition counseling & clinical nutrition in the Sevierville, TN area for one year before joining Cahaba Medical Care in March 2016. She is an active member of the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics. Millie’s professional interests include functional foods and glycomacropeptide as a dietary protein supplement. She sees patients in all CMC locations. She enjoys baking, backpacking, reading, and mountain biking.


Tamara Box, LMT, Massage Therapist at Centreville Office

Mrs. Box joined Cahaba Medical Care in 2016.  She received her Associates of Applied Science in Therapeutic Massage from Virginia College in Birmingham in 2012.  Since that time she has worked as an independent contractor for 2 Birmingham area chiropractic doctors while starting up her private practice in McCalla.  She is also working on her diploma for Craniosacral Therapy from Upledger Institute in Florida.  Mrs. Box is a manual therapist, easing the stress of emotional, physical, and mental aspects involved in a life of chronic pain or anxiety. She is interested in future research of touch therapies in modern medicine and talk therapies.  She also is a big fan of community support, donating her time and energy at educational events to help raise awareness, of massage therapy being more than a luxury.


Wesley Wright, DDS, Dentist at Dental Office

Dr. Wright completed his Doctoral Degree of Dental Surgery at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in 2012.  Soon after graduating he and his family decided to make Alabama their home.  Dr. Wright has a love and passion for Dentistry. He believes is personalized and comfortable care. He also values comprehensive care for his patients and considers himself highly proficient in all areas of dentistry, including:  placement of implants, root canal therapy, veneers and other detailed procedures that require the highest attention to detail.

“Every person and every smile is different. My goal is to provide my patients with a plan that fits them in every way.”



Jennifer Wright, DMD, Dentist at Dental Office

Dr. Wright came out of retirement in 2017 and joined Cahaba Medical Care in 2017.  She graduated from the University of Mississippi School of Dentistry in 1984 and completed the General Practice Residency Program in 1987.  After moving to Tuscaloosa in 1991, she began private practice working with Dr. Edwin Brannon where she eventually took over the practice.  Her favorite part of dental practice is getting to know her patients.  Some of her best friends are former patients. Watching children grow up, marry, and start their own families has given her great joy.   When she retired, she had 3 and 4 generations in her practice.  She and her husband Bob have 2 children and just became grandparents in 2016.  


Karen Sessoms, RDH, Dental Hygienist at Dental Office

Mrs. Sessoms joined the Cahaba Medical Care team with the opening of our first dental office in August 2016.  She has worked in Centreville for more than 20 years in the dental field.  Mrs. Sessoms received her registered dental hygiene license from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2002.  She and her husband Michael have two sons, Mason and Matthew.  

"Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him." Psalm 34:8

Karen Fondren, RDH, Dental Hygienist at Dental Office

Mrs. Fondren joined the Cahaba Medical Care  June 2017.  She is a native of Bibb County.  Her parents are Joe and Linda Barton of Centreville.  Mrs. Fondren has been in the dental field since 1989. She started her career in Greensboro as a Dental Assistant and received her Registered Dental Hygiene license from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1991. Mrs. Fondren has also worked in Demopolis before moving back to Bibb County in 1998 to raise her family in this great county.  She is proud to have been part of the Bibb County Purple Pride Marching Band.  Mrs. Fondren grew up attending Brent Baptist Church.  She is married to David Fondren and have two wonderful children, Brianna and Watson. The Fondrens are members of Four Points Baptist Church. 

Social Work and Community Development Team

Nese Morgan, LBSW

Ms. Morgan joined the Cahaba Medical Care team full-time in February 2015 after contracting with the office for three years.  She graduated from the University of Alabama with a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Work.  Her passion for Christ and humanity extends beyond the office and into the community, where she is a member of a Bibb County civic organization that serves local residents.  Ms. Morgan is also a youth advisor and missionary at her church.  She is the proud mother of an adult son and enjoys traveling, spending time with family and living life to the fullest. 


Darrinetta Williams, MSW

Ms. Williams became a part of the Cahaba Medical Care team May of 2015.  She received both her Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Social Work from the University of Alabama.  She enjoys reading, exercising, spending time with family, and traveling.  Ms. Williams is dedicated to helping families and individuals with life challenges as well as enhancing their well-being. 


Leslie Jones, LBSW

Mrs. Jones joined Cahaba Medical Care in October 2015.  She's a graduate from the University of Montevallo with a Bachelors of Science with a double major in Social Work and Sociology.  She has been a  Licensed Social Worker since 1998 mainly working with the geriatric population through long term, hospice and palliative care. Having been in Bibb county for almost 19 years, the opportunity to serve those within her community has been a blessing.  Leslie is married and has three children and is a member of Grace Life Baptist Church. 


Shamari Griffin, MSW, LCSW, PIP

Ms. Griffin joined Cahaba Medical Care in July 2016 as a licensed clinical social worker primarily responsible for providing counseling services. She graduated from The University of Southern Mississippi in 2012 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work. She earned a Master’s Degree in Social Work with a concentration in Children, Adolescents, and their Families from The University of Alabama in 2013. Ms. Griffin has strong roots in the Bibb County community where her maternal side of the family is originally from and where she is a member of Banks Chapel Community Church. She currently lives in Tuscaloosa and enjoys going to the beach, taking road trips, and spending time with family. She is passionate about the field of social work, helping others, and being a servant of Christ.


Patricia Cade, MPA, Assistant Coordinator for Grants & Projects

"If I can help one person along my way, then my living will not be in vain." This outlook on life is what has inspired Ms. Cade throughout her life.  Growing up in Thomaston, AL, a small town nestled in the Black Belt of Alabama, she learned at an early age the importance of taking advantage of the opportunities afforded her.  Ms. Cade graduated from the University of Alabama with a Bachelor of Arts in English and later went on to get a Masters in Public Administration from Ashford University. She has worked in many capacities, but her love for working with the underprivileged or under-represented has led her to focus on nonprofit management.  It was this vision of giving back that inspired her to accept a position with Cahaba Medical Care in June 2016.  Ms. Cade is the proud mother of four highly-favored young adults that include Dr. Arnelya P. Cade, a resident at Cahaba Family Medicine Residency.


Administrative Team

Kay Cox, Chief Compliance Officer and Counsel

Mrs. Cox graduated from the University of Alabama School of Law in 2011.  Before joining Cahaba Medical Care in July 2013, she served as Vice President for Legal and Compliance at Optimal Radiology. Since starting at Cahaba Medical Care Foundation, Ms. Cox’s responsibilities have included daily operations issues, facility lease and purchase negotiations, equipment purchases, and credentialing and insurance enrollment. Ms. Cox has also managed human resources issues, including oversight of payroll, recruiting, and new employee orientation during CMCF’s expansion from 20 employees in 2013 to over 100 employees in 2016.  In 2016, Mrs. Cox transitioned from her role in operations to Chief Compliance Officer, focusing on compliance with HRSA regulations and quality accreditation organization standards, in addition to continuing management of human resources.


Michelle Rogers, Chief Experience Officer

Mrs. Rogers has been a resident of Bibb County for her entire life, and joined Cahaba Medical Care in September of 2013. She graduated with her Bachelor's degree from the University of Alabama in 2002, and obtained her Master’s Degree of Science in 2014. Her duties at Cahaba Medical Care range from human resources and daily operating issues, with a primary focus on employee and patient satisfaction. She and her husband Brett have two children, Sophia and Bronson. She is a member of Brent Baptist Church and serves as a member of the Cahaba Junior Women’s League.


Brittany Shanks, Program Coordinator, Cahaba Family Medicine Residency

Mrs. Shanks attended the University of Alabama and served as Chief Operating Officer of Cahaba for more than 2 years before becoming Program Coordinator of Cahaba's Family Medicine Residency.  She stated, "The thing I love most about my job is getting to be a part of training the next generation of family physicians."  She grew up in the area and she is a member of Maplesville Baptist Church.  She and her husband Brandon have two sons (Bryant and Brooks).  When she's not working she enjoys cooking and baking,“yard-saling”, bargain hunting, singing in the church choir, and watching SEC football.  She noted that if she did not work at CMC, she would love to be an ESPN sideline reporter.