Pediatric Providers


Dr. Alex Brunner, Chief Medical Officer

Alex Brunner

BA: Dartmouth College
MD: Case Western Reserve University
Residency: Vanderbilt University Medical Center – Internal Medicine & Pediatrics

  • Fellow, American Academy of Pediatrics
  • Board Certified, Pediatric Medicine and Internal Medicine
  • Clinical Instructor, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Hospitals:

  • Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital
  • Williamson Medical Center

Languages: English & Spanish

Dr. Brunner and his family recently returned from two-years of medical missions work in Peru. Now back at Mercy, Dr. Brunner often shares stories of God’s presence and provision while in Peru. Invaluable to him is the support of his wife, Laura, and the love of his children, Alexandra, Sofia, Lydia, Joshua, and Daniel. He is most thankful for the Lord Jesus Christ, his Savior.  Dr. Brunner’s hope and prayer is to glorify God in all that he does – and an integral part of this purpose is reflecting Christ’s love through his service to the patients and staff at Mercy.


Dr. DeAnna Brown, Pediatrician

Deanna Brown

BA: University of Tennessee, Knoxville
MD: East Tennessee State University Quillen College of Medicine
Residency: Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital – Pediatrics

  • Fellow, American Academy of Pediatrics
  • Board Certified, Pediatrics
  • Clinical Instructor, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Hospitals:

  • Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital
  • Williamson Medical Center

DeAnna Brown, MD, is a board-certified pediatrician and a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics. She received her medical degree from East Tennessee State University’s Quillen College of Medicine in Johnson City, Tennessee, and completed her Pediatric residency at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee.

Dr. Brown sees patients of all ages ranging from birth through adolescence. Her clinical interests are very broad and include routine well child and preventative care, breastfeeding education and support, managing chronic medical conditions such as asthma and ADHD, along with promoting nutrition and weight management.

Being a Pediatrician allows Dr. Brown the opportunity to apply her skill set to the benefit of future generations, and she enjoys caring for children in collaboration with their parents. Dr. Brown is happily accepting new patients and welcomes the opportunity to meet and care for your child as he or she grows.

Originally from rural southwestern Virginia, Dr. Brown is now proud to call Middle Tennessee her home where she lives with her husband and two young sons. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, following UT football, reading, snowboarding, and traveling.


Dr. Juliet Soscia Collins, Pediatrician and Physician Nutrition Specialist

Juiett-CollinsBS: Barry University, Miami, FL, Magna Cum Laude

MD: University of South Florida, Tampa, FL

Residency: Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL

Fellowship: Pediatric Nutrition, University of Colorado School of Medicine

o Board Certified in General Pediatrics

Dr. Juliet Collins grew up in Florida and has been practicing Pediatrics there for over 7 years, primarily in her county’s local health department. She is proud to call Franklin, Tennessee her new home for over one year. She is married to her husband Dave, and they have two beautiful children, Madeleine and Matthew and two Golden retrievers, Lucky and Dexter who are certainly part of the family.

Juliet and her family attend Saint Matthew Catholic Church in Franklin where they are active in various ministries. She enjoys running, hiking, yoga and spending time with her family and doggies.

Juliet feels so blessed to be working in this Christ centered environment, and practicing medicine with Jesus as her guide in healing patients and their families. She felt instantly at home, when she walked through the doors of Mercy over 7 months ago. She has a special interest in Pediatric weight management and nutritional disorders. She loves praying with her coworkers and patients daily and strives to embody Mercy’s mission every day she is at work.


Dr. Merri Collins, Pediatrician

Merri Collins

BA: The University of the South (Sewanee)
MD: University of Tennessee, Memphis
Residency: University of Tennessee – Memphis, Internal Medicine & Pediatrics

  • Fellow, American Academy of Pediatrics
  • Board Certified, Pediatric Medicine and Internal Medicine
  • Clinical Instructor, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Hospitals:

  • Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital
  • Williamson Medical Center

Dr. Collins grew up in Cookeville and has spent most of her life in Tennessee. Her husband, Reid, is a pediatrician and together they have two wonderful children. At their church, Otter Creek, Dr. Collins sing on the praise team. She loves reading, running, hiking, being in theatrical productions, and spending time with her family. She is honored to work in a Christian healthcare environment where the primary mission is to care for children of all socioeconomic backgrounds and where there is true concern for all aspects of the lives of the patients, the families, and the staff.


Dr. Amy Vehec, Pediatrician and Chronic Disease Physician

Amy Vehec

BS: Indiana University School of Nursing
MD: Indiana School of Medicine

Residency: Vanderbilt University, Chief Resident – Pediatrics

  • Fellow, American Academy of Pediatrics
  • Board Certified, Pediatric Medicine
  • Clinical Instructor, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Hospitals:

  • Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital
  • Williamson Medical Center

After many years as a nurse, Dr. Vehec felt God’s call to return to school to become a doctor. Although she initially didn’t know what type of medicine she would practice, God has led her step-by-step into pediatrics, then to Tennessee, and now to Mercy. It is a tremendous blessing to know that she is doing the work that God has called her to do and to know that she have the support of her friends and family.


Dr. Abigail Ryan, Pediatrician and Chronic Disease Physician

Abigail Ryan

BA: Saint Louis University

MD: Saint Louis University School of Medicine

Residency: Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center, St. Louis – Pediatrics

  • Fellow, American Academy of Pediatrics
  • Board Certified, Pediatric Medicine
  • Clinical Instructor, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Hospitals:

  • Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital
  • Williamson Medical Center

Dr. Ryan is thrilled to be a part of the team at Mercy!  She has dedicated her career to caring for all children.  She feels that every child deserves outstanding medical care and is committed to building caring relationships with her patients and families to achieve that goal.  She feels honored and blessed to have been called to this vocation and is very happy to have the opportunity to provide this care through Mercy.

Dr. Ryan is a wife and a mother and loves spending time with her 2 boys.  She enjoys music, playing sports, cooking, reading, playing piano, and fishing.  She cherishes the time she gets with each patient and truly appreciates the opportunity to develop relationships with families as their children grow.


Julie Riedel, Family Nurse Practitioner

Julie Riedel

BSN: Emory University
MSN: Vanderbilt University

  • Board Certified, Family Nurse Practitioner

Languages: English & Spanish

Julie is grateful to be a part of the Mercy Healthcare team and the vision to reflect the love and compassion of Jesus Christ. She was privileged to be a part of a ministry in Franklin in the 90s which began dreaming of a place where all children could have access to excellent care in the name of Jesus. It is a joy to see the fruition of those dreams and join a team committed to holistic care for spiritual, emotional, and physical health. She first worked at Mercy as an RN/Nurse Manager many years ago and is now thankful to be back in the role of FNP/Nurse Manager. Prevention and health promotion are her passions.


Sam Paris, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Sam Paris

BS: Middle Tennessee State University
MSN: Vanderbilt University School of Nursing

  • Member, National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
  • Board Certified, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Sam Paris, MSN, CPNP-PC is a board-certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner who is looking forward to establishing and growing relationships with the patients and families of Mercy. He is focused on providing compassionate and intentional health care to children of all ages regardless of background or barriers. He has interests in rural and community health care as well as preventive and primary care. Sam grew up in Middle Tennessee and is looking forward to utilizing his training and expertise to positively impact the lives of children in the area he has always called home.

Sam loves every moment of time he gets to spend with his wife, Sarah, and his son, Keane. He enjoys reading, running, sports, and music. He is also a member of Fellowship Bible Church of Rutherford County where he actively lives in community with his fellow believers in Christ.


Jason Tillman, Family and Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

Jason Tillman

BSN: Georgia Baptist College of Nursing at Mercer University
MSN: Vanderbilt University School of Nursing

  • Charter Member, American Academy of Emergency Nurse Practitioners
  • Board Certified, Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Board Certified, Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

Jason is thankful that God has led him to serve Christ through his employment at Mercy. He joins the team at Mercy to help expand the availability of walk-in and urgent care services. Jason has been an ICU and ER nurse since 2006, and completed his training in Vanderbilt’s specialized Emergency Nurse Practitioner program. He is excited to see how the Lord continues to use his talents and training to serve the Middle Tennessee community.

Jason grew up in middle Georgia and attended nursing school in Atlanta where he met his wife, Missy, who’s continued love and support in the Gospel is invaluable to him. Jason and Missy have four amazing daughters, Ansley, Addison, Eowyn, and Eden. Jason is often recognized by his hirsute visage, or from his portrayals of Jesus at his kid’s preschool and local churches.

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3: 20-21


Adult Primary Care Providers


Dr. Alex Brunner, Chief Medical Officer

Alex Brunner

BA: Dartmouth College
MD: Case Western Reserve University
Residency: Vanderbilt University Medical Center – Internal Medicine & Pediatrics

  • Fellow, American Academy of Pediatrics
  • Board Certified, Pediatric Medicine and Internal Medicine
  • Clinical Instructor, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Hospitals:

  • Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital
  • Williamson Medical Center

Languages: English & Spanish

Dr. Brunner and his family recently returned from two-years of medical missions work in Peru. Now back at Mercy, Dr. Brunner often shares stories of God’s presence and provision while in Peru. Invaluable to him is the support of his wife, Laura, and the love of his children, Alexandra, Sofia, Lydia, Joshua, and Daniel. He is most thankful for the Lord Jesus Christ, his Savior.  Dr. Brunner’s hope and prayer is to glorify God in all that he does – and an integral part of this purpose is reflecting Christ’s love through his service to the patients and staff at Mercy.


Dr. Chris Belleau, Adult Primary Care Physician

BS: University of Illinois

MD: University of Illinois

Residency: University of Tennessee, Memphis – Family Medicine

  • Diplomate, American Board of Family Medicine
  • Board Certified, Family Medicine
  • Member, American Academy of Family Practice, Tennessee Academy of Family Practice

Dr. Belleau is originally from Illinois and has lived in Tennessee since 1997.  She is blessed with a beautiful family; Joe, her husband, two children and a lab named Beau.  Dr. Belleau loves being with her family and especially treasures the time they get together to swim and play on the lake, hike, or ride bikes.  The Belleaus are members of Brentwood United Methodist Church.  Dr. Belleau is very proud to be a part of Mercy and their mission by caring for the adults in this wonderful community we live in.


Dr. Melissa Hixson, Adult Primary Care Physician

BS: Vanderbilt University

MD: University of Tennessee College of Medicine, Memphis

Residency: Vanderbilt University Medical Center – Internal Medicine

  • Board Certified, Internal Medicine
  • Member, American College of Physicians

Dr. Hixson is thrilled to be a working with such a wonderful team at Mercy!  She is a wife and mother to 3 young children and loves spending time with her family and friends at home and in the outdoors.  Her interests include hiking, jogging, cooking, and reading.  She feels blessed and challenged to follow God’s call to glorify and enjoy Him forever in her roles as wife, mom and physician.


Julie Riedel, Family Nurse Practitioner

Julie Riedel

BSN: Emory University
MSN: Vanderbilt University

  • Board Certified, Family Nurse Practitioner

Languages: English & Spanish

Julie is grateful to be a part of the Mercy Healthcare team and the vision to reflect the love and compassion of Jesus Christ.  She was privileged to be a part of a ministry in Franklin in the 90s which began dreaming of a place where all children could have access to excellent care in the name of Jesus.  It is a joy to see the fruition of those dreams and join a team committed to holistic care for spiritual, emotional, and physical health.  She first worked at Mercy as an RN/Nurse Manager many years ago and is now thankful to be back in the role of FNP/Nurse Manager.  Prevention and health promotion are her passions.


Jason Tillman, Family and Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

Jason Tillman

BSN: Georgia Baptist College of Nursing at Mercer University
MSN: Vanderbilt University School of Nursing

  • Charter Member, American Academy of Emergency Nurse Practitioners
  •  Board Certified, Family Nurse Practitioner
  •  Board Certified, Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

Jason is thankful that God has led him to serve Christ through his employment at Mercy. He joins the team at Mercy to help expand the availability of walk-in and urgent care services. Jason has been an ICU and ER nurse since 2006, and completed his training in Vanderbilt’s specialized Emergency Nurse Practitioner program. He is excited to see how the Lord continues to use his talents and training to serve the Middle Tennessee community.

Jason grew up in middle Georgia and attended nursing school in Atlanta where he met his wife, Missy, who’s continued love and support in the Gospel is invaluable to him.  Jason and Missy have four amazing daughters, Ansley, Addison, Eowyn, and Eden.  Jason is often recognized by his hirsute visage, or from his portrayals of Jesus at his kid’s preschool and local churches.

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3: 20-21


Mental & Behavioral Health


Jonathan Boye, LPC-MHSP, MBA, Chief Behavioral Health Officer

Jonathan Boye

Jonathan’s professional journey began as a teacher/counselor at Magnolia Academy, a wilderness boot camp for misguided children. It was this adventure that would lead him to take a position at a more traditional wilderness program called Three Springs. During his tenure with Three Springs, Jonathan was promoted from a counselor to a supervisor of a short-term program called Leaps.

Feeling called to pursue a master’s degree, he moved to Waxahachie, TX to obtain a Master’s in Counseling/Psychology at Southwestern Assembly of God University (SAGU). Upon graduating from SAGU, he gained employment at Adapt of Texas, a private organization working with consumers, family members, and other providers to develop recovery-oriented services for those who suffer from psychological disorders. From at Adapt, he moved to Wylie Center at Holston United Methodist Children’s Home, where he became a director for a residential treatment center, and he now heads up Mercy’s Mental and Behavioral Health Services. He is a licensed professional counselor with a mental health specialist provider specification.

Jonathan is married to his wife, Rachel, and they have five daughters. When not at Mercy, Jonathan’s hobbies include karate (he’s a 4th degree black belt in Wado-Ryu), hiking, skiing, and collecting old metal lunchboxes.


COUNSELING


Gretchen Dorman, LCSW, Clinical Coordinator

Gretchen-DormanBS: University of Tennessee-Knoxville, Psychology

MS: Erikson Institute, Child Development
MS: Loyola University-Chicago, Social Work

Gretchen grew up in Wisconsin and went back and forth between the Midwest and Tennessee for her schooling. She ultimately settled in Franklin, Tennessee and is thrilled to be a part of the Mercy family. Gretchen has years of experience working with children and families in various settings, including residential treatment, home visitation programs, and intensive in-home services.

Gretchen loves spending time with her family and enjoys cooking and experimenting with new recipes in her free time.


Jason S. Jordan, Ph.D., LPC-MHSP, Clinical Therapist, Internship Coordinator

Jason-JordanBSBA: Marketing, Tennessee Technological University
MA: Clinical Counseling, Trevecca Nazarene University
PhD: Clinical Counseling: Teaching and Supervision, Trevecca Nazarene University

Jason is a Tennessee native originally from Hendersonville and currently residing in Murfreesboro with his wife and four children. He is a licensed counselor in Tennessee, a National Board Certified Counselor, and a member of the American Counseling Association’s Southern Association of Counselor Educators and Supervisors. He enjoys research and is specifically interested in topics associated with: adoption, temperament, parental stress, family functioning, gratitude, and complex adaptive systems. Jason’s goal has always been to better understand how families work and collaborate with them to maximize their potential. Before coming to Mercy, he served pre and post adoptive parents by providing trauma informed individual and family attachment and systemic therapy to increase family functioning. Jason’s free time is spent with family, a good book or movie, and his two very spoiled Australian Shepherds.


David LaPell, LMFT, Clinical Therapist

David Lapell

BA: Mass Communications – Midwestern State University
MA: Marriage and Family Therapy – Trevecca Nazarene University

David grew up in the state of Texas. After completing a bachelor’s degree in mass communications at Midwestern State University, David moved to Tennessee in 2005 to work as a residence director at a local university. In the fall of 2007, David, with the loving support of his wife, began to pursue a career in the mental health field. While working on a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy, David served as a mentor liaison for a mentoring program working with youth involved in the foster care system. He completed his master’s degree at Trevecca Nazarene University in May of 2010. Upon graduation, David worked as a therapist for a non-profit community mental health agency for five years before joining the staff at Mercy. David believes in the mission of Mercy, and he desires to reflect love and compassion to those seeking help.

In his personal time, David enjoys spending time with his family, being outdoors (preferably in the woods or by a lake), and studying the Bible. He is also a fan of retro video games and music.


Sloan Mankin, LPC-MHSP, Clinical Therapist

Sloan-MankinBS: Lipscomb University, Psychology
MS: Lipscomb University, Professional Counseling

Sloan grew up in the Nashville area and earned her master’s degree from Lipscomb University in Professional Counseling. Sloan has worked in a variety of settings with children and their families, including school-based, inpatient, and agency work. Sloan has a passion for children, families, and women’s issues, and she is excited to join the Mercy team. In her free time, Sloan spends time with her husband and their French Bulldog, Tank. She enjoys cooking, traveling, and being with family and friends.


Lauren McAllister, LPC-MHSP, Clinical Therapist

Lauren-McAllisterBA: East TN State University – Human Development and Learning
MA: Liberty University – Professional Counseling

Lauren grew up in East Tennessee and has always had a heart for helping others. She started working as a camp counselor at an outdoor adventure camp as a teen and loved it. When a close spiritual mentor suggested she become a professional counselor, she knew it was her calling. Counseling quickly became a passion. She graduated from East TN State University in 2004 and began working as a case manager with children in the mental health field. She started working on a Master’s degree from Liberty University online a short time later while continuing to work full time in mental health. Later she moved to Lynchburg, VA to finish her degree on campus. She finished her Masters in 2011 and moved back to TN to start working as a therapist doing both work in the outpatient office and school based work. She has a combined 8+ years in the mental health field. She has experience working with a variety of issues in children, adolescents, families, and adults. She also has training in Recreational Therapy and is a Certified Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) Therapist. She moved to the Franklin area the start of 2016 to join the team at Mercy and was excited to put her passion and experience to work for a faith based organization. She enjoys hiking, camping, traveling, art, and music along with spending time her husband and their yellow lab, Jake.


INTEGRATED BEHAVIORAL HEALTH CONSULTANT


Allison Gibson, LCSW, Behavioral Health Consultant

Allison-GibsonBSW: Lipscomb University – Nashville
MSW: The University of Tennessee – Nashville

Allison grew up in middle Tennessee and came to Nashville to attend Lipscomb University. Following the completion of her education and deciding that she did not want to leave the city, Allison gained her clinical experience through working at a Nashville non-profit in admissions, case management, and therapy related positions. Allison has years of experience working with women with chemical dependency in a residential setting/outpatient, specifically focusing on serving women both pre and post release from correctional institutions.

Allison loves spending time with her family, is actively involved in her church family, and is a lifelong fan of the Atlanta Braves.


PSYCHIATRY


Dr. Anne Fottrell, Clinical Director of Psychiatry

Dr.-Anne-FottrellBS: Middle Tennessee State University Science
MD: University of Tennessee College of Medicine

  • Internship in Internal Medicine – Baptist Hospital Memphis
  • Adult and Child Psychiatry – Vanderbilt University
  • Board-Certified Adult Psychiatry
  • Board-Eligible Child Psychiatry
    — Has held teaching positions at Vanderbilt University for residents in the past (and nurse practitioners currently)
  • Worked at a private practice in Nashville since 1993
  • Has held various consulting positions – currently Medical Director of Scarab Behavioral Health

Dr. Fottrell came to Mercy originally, because she had always participated in public mental health in some capacity, and it was closer to home. What began as a matter of convenience has turned into a mission and calling. As she says, “There is no better staff anywhere and I am very privileged to work beside such wonderful people.” She had felt God’s call on her life over the years, but was fairly certain she was not called to parish ministry. Through working at Mercy, she has come to realize that her path is to practice psychiatry, especially with those who may not be able to access care from the private sector. She feels very blessed to have found like-minded people with whom to serve.


Kimberle Jones, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

Kim Jones
BSN: Mennonite College of Nursing
MSN: University of Illinois – Family Nurse Practitioner
Post Master’s Certification: Vanderbilt School of Nursing – Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

  • Board Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner

Kimberle Jones has been a Family Nurse Practitioner since 1994. In 2013, she received her Post Master’s Certificate as a Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner from Vanderbilt School of Nursing. Currently, Kimberle sees patients on the Behavioral Health side of Mercy. As a Family Nurse Practitioner she has practiced in a variety of settings including rural health, family practice, pediatrics, and retail. Kimberle has served as a preceptor for nurse practitioner students for both Vanderbilt and Belmont Schools of Nursing. She loves her role as a nurse practitioner and the patients she has worked with at Mercy over the years. “It is a blessing to work in a place where we can truly incorporate body, mind, and spirit as a part of the healing process for our patients and their families!”


SCHOOL PROGRAMS


Marcy Webb, LPC-MHSP, EdD, School-based Counseling Coordinator

Marcy Webb

BA: Psychology, Lee University
MA: Christian Education, Church of God Theological Seminary
MA: Clinical Psychology, Wheaton Graduate School
EdD: Learning and Leadership, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

  • Licensed Professional Counselor in Tennessee since 1998.

Marcy grew up in a pastor’s home and has always felt the call to ministry, which for her means serving as a counselor. She has more than 20 years of experience working with children and youth and their families. She spent three years at Hiwassee Mental Health Center’s therapeutic preschool, both as a counselor/teacher and as a supervisor. She has also worked for several years at Smoky Mountain Children’s Home as a counselor/social worker and has three years of experience working as a behavioral specialist for children on the autism spectrum. Currently she serves as a clinical therapist here at Mercy and also supervises Mercy’s school-based counseling program.


John Nichols, LPC-MHSP, Clinical School-based Counselor - Fairview High School

John Nichols

John is a native of Franklin, TN and earned his master’s degree in Professional Counseling at Lipscomb University. He gained his professional experience in Nashville at Skyline Madison Campus and AGAPE Nashville. Most recently, John spent two years counseling children, teens and families at the Helen Ross McNabb Center in Knoxville, TN. John uses several modalities while working with his clients, based on his belief that every client is unique and that one single approach does not necessarily fit all.

John is a member of the American Counseling Association (ACA), the Tennessee Licensed Professional Counselors Association (TLPCA), the Nashville Psychotherapy Institute (NPI), and the Nashville Area Association of Christian Counselors (NAACC). Currently John is a clinical school-based counselor at Fairview High School.

In his free time, John enjoys reading, cooking, traveling, and anything to do with the outdoors.


Leiah Drew-Hightower, LPC-MHSP, Clinical School-based Counselor

Leiah Hightower

BS: Psychology, University of Tennessee
MS: Counseling, Trevecca Nazarene University

From the age of 8, Leiah knew that God was preparing her to counsel children. All four years of high school she was a babysitter for a child with autism and through the relationship with this family and child she felt her heart shift towards working with children who have special needs. After graduating from the University of Tennessee, Leiah served as the assistant director of autism services at The King’s Daughters’ School Center for Autism, a residential and educational program for individuals with autism. Here, Leiah had one-on-one experience with nonverbal students who used a variety of ways to communicate. While there, Leiah was more than a teacher or counselor for these children; she was also the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, as well as mentor and nurturer. She led and supervised a team of special education teachers, and paraprofessionals helping to improve the quality of life for each of her students. She also gained extensive experience in developing behavior plans and individualized educational plans (IEPs), which included transition plans, daily living/vocational preparation, Picture Exchange Communication (PECS), BoardMaker software, social stories, de-escalation, programmatic skills, augmentative communication, TEACCH, and behavior modification. Through this position, God revealed to Leiah her true vision and purpose for life—working with children who have come from “hard places”. Returning to school for her master’s degree, Leiah enrolled in Trevecca University’s counseling program. During her internship she worked at Mercy as a school based counselor with New Hope Academy and as a mental health counselor with Williamson County Schools’ Tier 3 program. Leiah currently serves as the Clinical School Therapist at the Tier 3 program in Williamson County Schools.

Leiah has a heart for nature; if the weather is delightful you are likely to find her perched somewhere outside, most likely next to a lake or stream. She also has a passion for cooking, fishing, college football, reading, and making something out of nothing. Most of all, she loves spending time with her husband, Zach, and their two furbabies; Manny and Lu-Lu.


Leah Lennox, MA, Clinical School-based Counselor-Fairview and Westwood Elementary Schools

Lean-LennoxBS: Lynn University, Psychology
MS: Lipscomb University, Professional Counseling

Leah Lennox grew up in New York and later moved to Nashville to attend college at Lipscomb University to pursue her master’s degree in professional counseling. During graduate school, she had the opportunity to be an intern with Mercy, providing counseling to children and families.

Upon graduation, Leah went on to be a school-based counselor in Davidson County schools. Now, Leah is excited to be one of Mercy’s school counselors In Fairview, TN With a passion for working with children and families, Leah is thrilled to be “coming home” to be a part of Mercy Community Healthcare and its mission! Leah loves music, reading, watching football and being with friends and family in her free time.


Ashley Hampton, MA, Clinical School-based Counselor-Fairview Middle

Ashley-HamptonBS: Middle Tennessee State University, Psychology
MA: Trevecca Nazarene University, Counseling

Ashley grew up in Nashville and attended Wharton Arts Magnet Middle School and Nashville School of the Arts. Ashley took this creative background and her love for people with her as she got her bachelors in Psychology at MTSU and then completed her masters in counseling at Trevecca Nazarene University in 2013.

Since this time, Ashley has had the opportunity to work with a diverse group of individuals, children, teens and their families by working with Centerstone’s school-based counseling program in Nashville Metro schools. Ashley is now a school-based counselor at Fairview Middle School. In her free time she enjoys theater, music and the arts.


Care Coordination


Dorothy Bullard, Chief Care Coordination Officer

Dorothy-BullardBS: Jackson State University
Graduate Course Work Special Education: Virginia State University

  • Certified Behavioral Modification Technician
  • Certified Parent Educator
  • Certified Adoption Counselor

Dorothy is an active community children’s advocate. She is an active member of Lake Providence Missionary Baptist Church in Nashville, TN where she serves on the Greeters Ministry. Dorothy has strong roots in the community as a former member of the Brentwood Academy Board of Trustees and American Cancer Society advocate/speaker.  She is also an undeniable football fan who often travels to support the Tennessee Volunteers!

Dorothy has been blessed with a well-traveled breadth of knowledge (from across the US) regarding community health programs and advocacy. Along the way she has developed specialized training programs and fine-tuned existing programs using her expensive experience and skill set.

She is the survived wife of Louis Bullard and has two grown children, Alex and Ashley. She enjoys serving others by volunteering, spending time with her family and friends, traveling, ballroom dancing, music, and movies. Her whole family has a commitment to creating a better immediate, national, and global community. This philosophy is a strong thread woven throughout Dorothy’s professional and personal life.

It is Dorothy’s personal belief that everyday people can affect big change with positive attitudes and small impacting behaviors. In agreement with anthropologist Margaret Mead, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”


Meagan Butler, Behavioral Health Social Service Case Manager

Meagan-ButlerBS: Childhood Development and Family Studies, MTSU

Meagan performs a wide range of functions including need driven, individualized, patient-family centered, and culturally sensitive services to patients and their families. Meagan is an advocate to help meet the needs for patients and their families in Mercy’s Behavioral Health Department. Meagan works with the therapists and psychiatric providers to provide case management services through linking patients and families with social service and behavioral health resources available in the community.
Meagan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Childhood Development and Family Studies with a minor in Health. She is also a certified Family Life Educator, all which she obtained from Middle Tennessee State University. Born and raised in Franklin, TN, Meagan is thrilled to be a part of the Mercy team and to serve the community in which she grew up in. She believes it is a true blessing to work with such devoted staff that has hearts to serve the Lord.

She enjoys baking, traveling, and spending time with her family and her sweet pup, Oakley.


Kathryn Capps, Pediatric Insurance Referral Specialist

Kathryn-CappsBA: Human Development and Family Life Education, Minor: Communication Sciences and Disorders–Samford University

Kathryn is the Pediatric Insurance Referral Specialist in the Care Coordination department. . In her position, Kathryn facilitates the subspecialist appointments for families and patients of Mercy.

In addition, she has completed the federal training to be a Certified Application Counselor to assist patients with their insurance options and the enrollment process. She joined the Mercy team in 2015 as a Patient Services Representative. She is passionate about the mission of Mercy and strives to provide excellent patient care.

Kathryn is a Nashville native and 2011 graduate of Christ Presbyterian Academy. She went on to Samford University and earned her degree in Human Development and Family Life Education, with a minor in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She was a charter member of the Samford University National Student Speech Language Hearing Association. While in college, she interned in the social service and non-profit sector.

Kathryn enjoys thrifting, antiquing, and shopping at the farmers market. Most of all, she loves to spend time with her friends and family.


Brandy Dalton, RN BSN, Medical and Disease Case Manager and Case Management Team Leader

Brandy-DaltonBrandy is a Case and Disease Manager in the Care Coordination Department. She facilitates family access to medical home providers, staff, and other resources. She serves as a contact, advocate, and resource for family, community and other social or medical agencies. Brandy also works with patients who have chronic and complex diseases, monitors patient compliance with current disease specific clinical guidelines, educates patient and their families on their specific disease processes, and provides ongoing assessments, monitoring, and re-evaluation of health related needs.

Brandy holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Florida Hospital of Health Science. In addition to the primary care clinical setting, Brandy has diverse and extensive experience ranging from emergency room to critical care units in both Pediatrics and Adult hospital settings. Prior to joining Mercy she worked as Critical Care Staff Nurse at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital.

Brandy enjoys a good book, long walks and spending time with friends and family. She believes that it is never too late to accept the redemption and love of God offered through personal relationship with Jesus Christ.


Ann Horton, Spanish Interpreter

Anne-HortonBA: Spanish and Missions, Harding University

Ann’s role at Mercy is to provide accurate and effective interpretation for those patients who claim Spanish as their primary language. She believes that all patients have the right to understand fully and to be understood by their healthcare provider. She also recognizes that there are cultural layers to communication that must be acknowledged and respected by all parties involved. She loves helping patients feel at ease as they express themselves and their concerns. Ann also translates written documents for Mercy so that our Spanish-speaking patients may have equal access to our policies and procedures, registration forms, questionnaires, and informational handouts.

Ann studied abroad in Chile for a semester in college, during which time she also visited Peru and Argentina. These experiences fueled her interest in Spanish and Hispanic cultures. Ann feels a call to mission work and had primarily envisioned serving the Lord overseas. Throughout her time at Mercy, however, she has come to view this very community as a mission field where she has the daily opportunity to show the love and joy of Christ to each patient that she encounters.

Ann enjoys spending time outdoors, especially hiking and camping with her family. She loves to travel and experience new cultures and foods. Most of all, she loves to laugh and spend quality time with friends and loved ones.


Brittany Harris, Outreach and Enrollment Counselor


Brittany Lovell, Care Coordination and Social Service Case Management Assistant

Brittany-LovellBrittany is the Care Coordination and Case Management Assistant in the Care Coordination Department. She is a 2008 Franklin High School graduate (GO REBELS!) and was lead to Mercy in September 2008 by a relative who shared her personal compassion for Mercy and felt like God called her into the same ministry. Brittany feels like she has been called to show the love of Christ through her work with our community and patients. Brittany provides assistance to the whole care coordination and case management team by managing the Patient Assistant Drug Program, assisting with both adult and pediatric subspecialist referrals and managing other programs.

Brittany is married and a proud mother of an 8 month old (wild) baby boy, Colesyn. She enjoys camping, fishing, anything pertaining to S’mores, fall time (pumpkin spice everything), baking and making memories with her family. Brittany is an active member at Franklin Community of Faith Church of the Nazarene, she is on the women’s council at church and very devoted to the children’s group.


Perla Zaragoza, Adult Insurance Referral Specialist

Perla-ZaragozaPerla is the Adult Insurance Referral Specialist in the Care Coordination Department. She joined the Mercy team in October 2012. Perla facilitates subspecialist appointments to inside and outside providers for our families and patients. She has also completed the federal training to be a Certified Application Counselor and educates consumers on their insurance options and assists them as they apply for insurance. Perla is overjoyed to work with such a wonderful team at Mercy, where we reflect the love and compassion of Jesus Christ.

Perla is blessed with a beautiful family, her husband Orlando, and 8 month old baby boy, Izaiah. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She is an active member of Saint Phillip Catholic Church.


Mercy Leadership Team


Cindy Siler, Chief Executive Officer

Cindy Siler

Cindy began her career in health education and has worked in a variety of roles in Kentucky and across the state of Tennessee, most of which have been in a non-profit setting. The goal of her 35 year career has been to improve accessibility and quality of healthcare in rural areas, and her personal goal has been to show the love of Christ in every way possible. “Having the opportunity to join the team at Mercy is a blessing beyond anything that I could have ever imagined, and serving here allows me to fulfill both professional and personal goals every day!”

Cindy has held the position of CEO for two other non-profit organizations in the past 25 years and has experience within the fields of social services, grant writing and Community Health Center management.

She lives in Brentwood with her husband, J. Mark Wilson and their dachshund, Big’en, and together they enjoy spending time on the road in his ministry life as a professional rodeo bullfighter or in respite at Justamere Farm in west Kentucky, taking care of the “place”, walking or fishing. They have 3 grown children and 5 grandchildren, who live too far away in Florida, Texas and Kentucky.

At Mercy Community Healthcare, we can all use the gifts we have been given to help others; living out one of my favorite verses “Carry each other’s burdens and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” –Galatians 6:2


Margaret Owens, Chief Operating Officer

Margaret Owens

Having a degree in Art, Margaret never expected to end up in Healthcare Practice Management. Margaret became a Certified Medical Manager in 1997 while living in her home state of Mississippi serving as Administrator of Children’s Medical Group, P.A. Margaret went on to become a Certified Medical Practice Executive through the Medical Group Management Association. Margaret has also achieved certification thru the American Institute of Healthcare Compliance as a Certified HIPAA Compliance Officer.

Margaret joined the Mercy team in June of 2006 and is pleased to now be using her skills for God’s business. She has been married for 40 years to her high school sweetheart, Butch Owens. They have two grown children and 5 grandchildren. Her hobbies include painting (of course) and spending time with her family.


Rhonda Sizemore, Chief Financial Officer

Rhonda Sizemore

BS: Accounting, University of Kentucky

A native of Kentucky, Rhonda and her husband, Paul of over 25 years, moved to TN in 1989. They are blessed with 3 sons; twins Michael & David who are finishing their degree in Physical Therapy at TN Tech and Nathan who serves our country in the Navy Reserves and attends Columbia State.

Rhonda enjoys the family feel of Mercy and the amazing faith that is literally written on the walls within Mercy. Rhonda enjoys serving in a position which helps to accomplish God’s work in the lives who are in need of Him. When she’s not crunching numbers, Rhonda enjoys spending time with her family and friends, and participating in church activities.

Rhonda is driven by a deep faith in Christ, and places Him first in all things. Rhonda feels God brought her to Mercy, and hopes that He keeps her here for many years to come. Her favorite verse, Philippians 1:6 – Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ, has guided her throughout her life and career.


Dr. Alex Brunner, Chief Medical Officer

Alex Brunner

BA: Dartmouth College
MD: Case Western Reserve University
Residency: Vanderbilt University Medical Center – Internal Medicine & Pediatrics

  • Fellow, American Academy of Pediatrics
  • Board Certified, Pediatric Medicine and Internal Medicine
  • Clinical Instructor, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Hospitals:

  • Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital
  • Williamson Medical Center

Languages: English & Spanish

Dr. Brunner and his family recently returned from two-years of medical missions work in Peru. Now back at Mercy, Dr. Brunner often shares stories of God’s presence and provision while in Peru. Invaluable to him is the support of his wife, Laura, and the love of his children, Alexandra, Sofia, Lydia, Joshua, and Daniel. He is most thankful for the Lord Jesus Christ, his Savior.  Dr. Brunner’s hope and prayer is to glorify God in all that he does – and an integral part of this purpose is reflecting Christ’s love through his service to the patients and staff at Mercy.


Jonathan Boye, LPC-MHSP, MBA, Chief Behavioral Health Officer

Jonathan Boye

Jonathan’s professional journey began as a teacher/counselor at Magnolia Academy, a wilderness boot camp for misguided children. It was this adventure that would lead him to take a position at a more traditional wilderness program called Three Springs. During his tenure with Three Springs, Jonathan was promoted from a counselor to a supervisor of a short-term program called Leaps.

Feeling called to pursue a master’s degree, he moved to Waxahachie, TX to obtain a Master’s in Counseling/Psychology at Southwestern Assembly of God University (SAGU). Upon graduating from SAGU, he gained employment at Adapt of Texas, a private organization working with consumers, family members, and other providers to develop recovery-oriented services for those who suffer from psychological disorders. From at Adapt, he moved to Wylie Center at Holston United Methodist Children’s Home, where he became a director for a residential treatment center, and he now heads up Mercy’s Mental and Behavioral Health Services. He is a licensed professional counselor with a mental health specialist provider specification.

Jonathan is married to his wife, Rachel, and they have five daughters. When not at Mercy, Jonathan’s hobbies include karate (he’s a 4th degree black belt in Wado-Ryu), hiking, skiing, and collecting old metal lunchboxes.


Dorothy Bullard, Chief Care Coordination Officer

Dorothy-BullardBS: Jackson State University
Graduate Course Work Special Education: Virginia State University

  • Certified Behavioral Modification Technician
  • Certified Parent Educator
  • Certified Adoption Counselor

Dorothy is an active community children’s advocate. She is an active member of Lake Providence Missionary Baptist Church in Nashville, TN where she serves on the Greeters Ministry. Dorothy has strong roots in the community as former member of the Brentwood Academy Board of Trustees and American Cancer Society advocate/speaker.  She is also an undeniable football fan who often travels to support the Tennessee Volunteers!

Dorothy has been blessed with a well-traveled breadth of knowledge (from across the US) regarding community health programs and advocacy. Along the way she has developed specialized training programs and fine-tuned existing programs using her expensive experience and skill set.

She is the survived wife of Louis Bullard and has two grown children, Alex and Ashley. She enjoys serving others by volunteering, spending time with her family and friends, traveling, ballroom dancing, music, and movies. Her whole family has a commitment to creating a better immediate, national, and global community. This philosophy is a strong thread woven throughout Dorothy’s professional and personal life.

It is Dorothy’s personal belief that everyday people can affect big change with positive attitudes and small impacting behaviors. In agreement with anthropologist Margaret Mead, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”


Mari Garner, Chief Information Officer

Mari-GarnerA native of Mississippi, Mari and her husband, Jason, moved to TN in 2011. They are blessed with 2 children, Ashlyn and Caden who keep them on their toes. Mari is thankful to be part of the Mercy Family. To help achieve God’s will through Mercy’s mission is such a rewarding experience.

One of Mari’s favorite quotes is by Shel Silverstein: “Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me… Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” Having over 15 years of experience in the IT field, with a primary focus in analyzing, streamlining and automating business processes, Mari enjoys unearthing the solutions to the perceived impossibilities and introducing an outcome of anything can happen, anything can be.

“Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10; this scripture has guided Mari throughout her professional and personal life.