Quality, comprehensive, compassionate care for everyone
John B. Waits, MD, FAAFP - Chief Executive Officer & Faculty Physician
Dr. Waits currently serves as the co-founder and CEO of Cahaba Medical Care, a Community Health Center (Federally Qualified Health Center) that started in 2004 in rural Bibb County, Alabama, and has since grown to serve with additional offices in Perry, Chilton, and Jefferson Counties. Together in 2013, he and Dr. Lacy Smith co-founded Cahaba Family Medicine Residency, where he serves as the Program Director and DIO. He is a practicing, board-certified Family Medicine Physician/Obstetrician with active obstetric privileges at Bibb Medical Center and UAB Medical West. Dr. Waits earned his medical degree from the University of Alabama School of Medicine. He also completed an Obstetrics Fellowship at the University of Alabama, as well as residency training at In His Image Family Medicine Residency in Tulsa, Oklahoma. 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; healthcare access; and the care of the uninsured and underinsured.
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. She now serves as Chief Medical Director and Chief Operations Officer for CMC, Associate Program Director of CFMR, and also has an active clinical practice. Originally from Montevallo, Alabama, she attended medical school at the University of Alabama, then went to residency at Tuscaloosa Family Medicine Residency. She has also assisted in publishing several national publications and has helped to successfully write numerous federal and state grants. Outside of work, she stays busy with her four daughters and all their activities and in her spare time enjoys running, reading and college football.
Jamie Bishop, DO - Physician at CMC Centreville & CFMR Women's Health Fellow
Dr. Bishop grew up on a farm in rural Minnesota and earned her Bachelor’s degree from North Dakota State University in Fargo, North Dakota; however, Alabama has been her home for the past several years. She received her medical degree from William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. While in medical school, she rotated as a student at Cahaba Medical Care, where she was inspired to pursue a career in family medicine. She is a graduate of CFMR’s class of 2018 and recently began OB fellowship training with CMC. Outside of work, she enjoys running, swimming, cycling and spending time with her three children.
Joshua Elledge, CRNP - Nurse Practitioner at CMC Centreville & CRNP Residency Director
Mr. Elledge was born and raised, and currently resides in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. 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 amazing wife, Elizabeth, since July 2012 and together they have a daughter, Zoe. 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 in shape and healthy while having fun.
Hannah Faulkner, CRNP - Nurse Practitioner at CMC Centreville
Mrs. Faulkner is originally from Enterprise, Alabama and joined Cahaba Medical Care in June 2015. She grew up in Tuscaloosa, Alabama 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 and 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 CMC Centreville
Ms. Savage was born and raised in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. She has worked as nurse specializing in Labor and Delivery for nine years. She obtained her MSN-FNP from Samford University in May 2017 and is certified through the Academy of American Nurse Practitioners. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, dancing, and spending time with her daughter and animals.
Claire Ahalt, CRNP - Nurse Practitioner at CMC Centreville
Mrs. Ahalt was born and raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee. She moved to Tuscaloosa in 2010 to attend the University of Alabama for her BSN degree, where she was also a varsity member of the Cross Country and Track and Field Teams. After three years working in hematology/ oncology, she received her MSN-FNP from Samford University and joined Cahaba Medical Care in 2018. In her spare time, she enjoys being outdoors and traveling to new places with her husband, Justin, and their coonhound, Patton.
Chasity Gibson, PA-C - Physician Assistant at CMC Centreville
Miss Gibson, a native of Phenix City, Alabama, joined Cahaba Medical Care in 2016 and currently resides in Tuscaloosa. 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. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and playing with her dog, Hazel, as well as attending football games with friends and family.
Originally from Montezuma, Georgia, Dr. Ballard-Montgomery graduated from Mercer University with a BS in Biology, and obtained her degree in medicine from Mercer University School of Medicine. She completed bother her residency training in family medicine and a fellowship in obstetrics and prenatal care at UAB. She went on to practice family medicine/obstetrics for four years at Bowman Medical Center in Royston, Georgia, then practiced family medicine full-time in Woodstock for 10 years before merging with Cahaba Medical Care. Dr. Ballard-Montgomery is board certified and a current member of the American Academy of Family Physicians. She and her husband, Neal, have three children and two “fur babies.” She enjoys tennis and horseback riding, as well as playing basketball, football, and baseball with her family. She is an active member of Liberty Missionary Baptist Church in West Blocton where she serves in the youth and music ministries and participates in other community endeavors.
Arnelya Cade Chatman, MD - Physician at CMC Woodstock
Dr. Chatman is originally from the very small town of Thomaston, Alabama. She began preparing for a career in medicine in high school by participating in the Rural Health Scholars and Minority Rural Health Pipeline Programs at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. She then earned a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Alabama and went on to participate in the Rural Medical Scholars Program, through which she entered medical school. She received her medical degree from the University of Alabama School of Medicine in 2015. She completed her residency training with Cahaba Family Medicine Residency in 2018 and currently serves as a practicing physician at CMC’s clinic in Woodstock. Dr. Chatman was blessed to have the opportunity to complete three international medical mission trips to Yei, South Sudan and two trips to Grand Goave, Haiti. She has been married to her wonderful husband, Patrick, since March 2018.
Alexandra Clifton, PA-C - Physician Assistant at CMC Woodstock
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 CMC Woodstock
Alice Bristow works one day each week at CMC’s Woodstock clinic and considers her Cahaba patients and coworkers among her deepest blessings. The remainder of her week is spent working as a full-time faculty member for UAB School of Nursing. Mrs. Bristow came to nursing later in life and has returned to her rural roots by caring for patients in Bibb County. She has previously worked as a clinical practitioner for the Foundry Clinic in Bessemer, and was a staff nurse at UAB Medical West (ICT) and UAB University Hospital (CICU, HTICU). Outside of work, she loves playing the piano and photography. She and her husband, Don, have been married for more than 40 years, are active members of Tannehill Valley Baptist Church, and together have three children, three fainting goats, one horse, one cat, and one dog.
Andreia Williams White, DO - Physician at CMC Maplesville & CFMR Faculty
Dr. Andreia Williams White, a native of rural Marengo County, Alabama, is a graduate of CFMR’s inaugural class. She received her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Tuskegee University. She later attended medical school at the University of Pikeville - Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine. During residency, her peers voted her to serve on the Graduate Medical Education Committee. She also received the Humanism in Medicine Award. Furthermore, Dr. White was afforded the opportunity to complete three international mission trips to Tegucigalpa, Honduras; Grand Goave, Haiti; and Nalerigu, Ghana. Dr. White has always aspired to work as a physician in a rural area. Hence, training at CFMR was the perfect choice. After graduation she continued with the Cahaba family as an attending physician at the Maplesville clinic. She is married with children, and in her spare time she enjoys relaxing in the country with her family, shopping, and traveling.
Christy Hunter, CRNP - Nurse Practitioner at Maplesville Office
Mrs. Hunter has 18 years of experience in family practice, interventional cardiology, cardiac electrophysiology and internal medicine with hospitalist groups. She joined Cahaba Medical Care in October 2015 and was instrumental in establishing Cahaba Medical Care – Maplesville. Mrs. Hunter earned a Master’s degree in Nursing and Certified Nurse Practitioner qualifications from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She is married and has three children.
Lauren Linken, MD - Physician at CMC Bessemer, Assistant Chief Medical Officer & CFMR-OB Faculty
Dr. Linken grew up in New Jersey but moved to Huntsville, Alabama with her family during high school. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, where she also attended medical school. She then moved up north to complete residency training at UMass FMR’s rural continuity clinic. Knowing that she wanted to return to the south and practice obstetrics, she returned to Alabama to complete an OB fellowship in Tuscaloosa, where she connected with Dr. Waits and Dr. Smith and joined CMC/CFMR as a Faculty Member and Family Physician in 2015. Her professional interests include practicing obstetrics and providing opioid dependence treatment through buprenorphine, as well as managing Hepatitis C patients and helping to get them cured. Outside of work, she enjoys traveling, reading and music. She is currently a member of her church choir, as well as a group called the Iron City Singers in Birmingham. She also likes to crochet, is learning to quilt and is fluent in Spanish.
Dr. Hicks is from Haleyville, Alabama and joined Cahaba Medical Care in August 2016. 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 where he graduated in 2012. Having chosen to pursue speciality training in family medicine, he completed his residency with the University of Kansas School of Medicine - Wichita at Via Christi. He then completed a fellowship in international family medicine through Via Christi, as well as a family medicine obstetrics fellowship with CMC. His professional interests include international medicine and obstetrics. He currently lives in Bessemer and is a member of The Church at Brook Hills.
Kaylee Perkins, PA-C - Physician Assistant at CMC Bessemer
Kaylee Perkins, a resident of Helena, Alabama, joined Cahaba Medical Care in October 2017. She received a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology from Auburn University in 2014. She then attended the University of South Alabama, where she earned a Master of Health Science in Physician Assistant Studies, and is a member of of the American Academy of Physician Assistants. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, dancing, reading, and attending Church of the Highlands.
Shelley Waits, MD - Physician at CMC West End, CFMR Faculty & OB Fellowship Director
Dr. Waits is originally from Texarkana, Texas and joined Cahaba Medical Care in 2013. She attended medical school at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio and completed her residency at Tuscaloosa Family Medicine Residency, followed by an obstetrics fellowship through the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. She started her journey with CMC in Centreville, helping to grow the CFMR program from its first year and staffing the first rural labor and delivery to reopen in the state of Alabama in over 30 years. She transitioned to CMC’s West End clinic in the fall of 2017 where she sees family medicine and obstetrics patients and currently serves as CFMR Faculty and Fellowship Director of CMC’s OB fellowship program. She also continues to work shifts in the Emergency Department at Bibb Medical Center and has active obstetric privileges at Bibb Medical Center, UAB Medical West and Princeton Baptist Hospital. Her professional interests include women’s health and teaching, and in her spare time she enjoys cooking, reading, running, traveling and music.
Jeremy Crider, MD - Physician at CMC West End & CFMR Urban Track Director
Dr. Crider grew up in Monroe, Louisiana. He attended medical school at LSU - New Orleans and completed an internal medicine internship at LSU - Baton Rouge. Subsequently, he and his wife, Robin, moved to Memphis, Tennessee to join the inaugural class of the Christ Community Underserved and International residency tract. Realizing his passion for graduate medical education, he ultimately became the Program Director at Resurrection Health Family Medicine Residency in Memphis until its closing in 2018. Dr. Crider then joined the Cahaba Medical Care family to continue caring for patients in an underserved urban community and to help develop CFMR’s Urban Track, where he currently serves as Urban Track Director. In his spare time, he enjoys discipleship, camping and canoeing with his family, cooking large quantities of well seasoned food, and LSU athletics.
Adam Ross, MD - Physician at CMC West End & CFMR Faculty
Dr. Ross grew up in Brentwood, Tennessee and completed his undergraduate studies with a degree in Biology and Chemistry from Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. He then returned to his home state to attend medical school at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in Memphis. During his time in Memphis, he was inspired to become a family physician to care for poor and marginalized patients. He completed his residency training, then joined the faculty at Resurrection Health Family Medicine in Memphis, where he served until the program joined forces with CFMR and moved to Birmingham in 2018. His professional interests include musculoskeletal medicine, clinical ultrasound and hospital medicine. Outside of work, he enjoys being outdoors, especially in the mountains where his favorite activity is whitewater kayaking. He is married to his amazing wife, Sarah, and together they have two wild and fun little boys, Luke and Daniel.
Dakota Price, MD - Physician at CMC West End & CFMR Faculty
Dr. Price grew up in Elk City, Oklahoma. He attended medical school at University of Oklahoma COM and then completed his residency training at Resurrection Health Family Medicine in Memphis, Tennessee. His professional interests include HIV care and community health. He remains passionate about addressing health disparities that exist today and feels a strong calling from God to continue to serve the marginalized amongst us. He currently serves as a physician at CMC - West End and faculty for Cahaba Family Medicine Residency.
Austin Klint, MD - Physician at CMC West End & CFMR Faculty
Dr. Klint was born and raised in Michigan and attended medical school at Wayne State University in Detroit. He completed his residency training at Christ Community/Resurrection Health Family Medicine Residency, where the heavy focus on international/inpatient/emergency medicine helped foster his special interest in emergency medicine, procedures, post-traumatic counseling and underserved international medicine. His love of teaching brought him to Cahaba to participate in the training of the family medicine residents, and his love of God leads him to serve the hurting here in Alabama and around the world.
Ernestine Clements, DO - Physician at CMC West End & CFMR Faculty
Dr. Clements was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama and knew from the time she was a little girl that she wanted to be a physician. She attended undergrad at Tennessee State University on a full academic scholarship where she majored in Biology. She then received a Master’s degree in Public Health and certificate in International Global Health Studies from UAB. She earned her medical degree from Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2015. She is a 2018 graduate of Cahaba Family Medicine Residency and now serves as a physician at CMC - West End, as well as Family Medicine Faculty for CFMR. Her professional interests include women’s health, HIV care and osteopathic manipulative medicine. Personally, she enjoys singing, dancing, painting, reading and theatre.
Jennifer Platt, PA-C - Physician Assistant at CMC West End
Jennifer Platt joined Cahaba Medical Care in 2015 and is a primary care provider at our clinic in West End. Originally from Branford, Connecticut, she attended Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, where she completed a BS in Pharmaceutical Sciences, graduating summa cum laude in 2013. She then went on to attend Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut where she earned her Master of Health Science degree with a focus in Physician Assistant Studies. She was awarded the Bruce Fichandler Community Service Award, which recognized her commitment to serving both rural and urban communities in the U.S. and abroad. Her professional interests include gynecology and oral health.
Wesley Wright, DDS - Dentist at CMC Dental
Dr. Wesley 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 for Dentistry and believes in personalized, 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 CMC Dental
Dr. Wright came out of retirement 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 three and four generations in her practice. She and her husband, Bob, have two children and became grandparents in 2016.
Karen Sessoms, RDH - Dental Hygienist at CMC Dental
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 CMC Dental
Karen Fondren is a native of Bibb County and joined Cahaba Medical Care in June of 2017. She has been working in the dental field since 1989 and started her career in Greensboro as a Dental Assistant. She received her Registered Dental Hygiene license from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1991. After working several years in Demopolis, Mrs. Fondren moved back to her beloved Bibb County in 1998 to raise her family. She and her husband, David, have two wonderful children, Brianna and Watson, and are members of Four Point Baptist Church in Centreville.
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 -
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 - Chief Quality Officer
Jackie Palmer began her career at Cahaba Medical Care in 2012, serving as the Nurse Manager in Centreville and Quality Improvement Officer until her recent transition to Chief Quality Officer in 2018. In this role, she leads quality improvement projects, including Meaningful Use, Patient Centered Medical Home Accreditation, Joint Commission Accreditation, Infection Control and Uniform Data Systems submissions. She received an Associate degree in Applied Science from Shelton State in 2007, then went on to earn a B.S. in Nursing from the University of South Alabama in 2017. Her grandmother was a nurse and played a major role in her career decision. Since joining CMC, Mrs. Palmer has felt truly blessed to be a part of the mission to care for all in the community. She and her husband, Landon, have two daughters, Lalyn and Avelyn. When she’s not working, she likes to read and spend time with family, and she is also a member of the Cahawba Junior Women’s League.
Amanda Wiggins, LPN - Office Manager at School-Based Health Clinics & Vaccine Coordinator
Amanda Wiggins grew up in Bibb County and began working for Cahaba Medical Care in October 2004, only three months after it first opened in Centreville. She has worn many hats throughout her time time with CMC, handling duties such as triage, nursing, reception, inventory and purchasing, phone calls, scheduling, vaccines, OSHA/HIPAA compliance, new staff orientation and training, and many others. She recently transitioned to a new position as Office Manager and Nurse for CMC’s school-based health clinic, which opened in August of 2018 to serve students within the Bibb County School System. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her daughter, Madison, and supporting her interests and activities.
Mrs. Foster received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Alabama in 2013 and 2014, respectively. She previously worked in both behavioral nutrition counseling and clinical nutrition in the Sevierville, Tennessee area for one year before joining Cahaba Medical Care in March 2016. She is an active member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Dietitians in Integrative and Functional Medicine practice group. Her professional interests include functional foods and glycomacropeptide as a dietary protein supplement. She currently sees patients at CMC’s Centreville, Woodstock and Maplesville locations. Outside of work, she enjoys baking, backpacking, reading and mountain biking.
Tamara Box, LMT - Massage Therapist at CMC Centreville
Mrs. Box joined Cahaba Medical Care in 2016. She received her Associate of Applied Science in Therapeutic Massage from Virginia College in Birmingham in 2012. Since that time, she has worked as an independent contractor for two Birmingham-area chiropractic doctors while starting up her private practice in McCalla. She is also pursuing certification 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 the potential health benefits of massage therapy.
Pam Cunningham is originally from Selma, Alabama and has worked in Echocardiography for 40 years. She received an Associate degree in Nursing from Wallace State Community College in Selma and is licensed as a Cardiac Ultrasound Technician by Cardiovascular Credentialing International. She has completed echocardiogram preceptorship programs at both Carraway Methodist Hospital and UAB Kirkland Clinic in Birmingham, and she is also a member of the American College of Cardiology. In her spare time, Ms. Cunningham enjoys being outdoors, flying planes and motorcycling.