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Meet the Faculty & Staff of the Harrogate PA Program

The Faculty of the Harrogate PA Program 

 


Elizabeth Barnes, MSPAS, PA-C

Assistant Dean and Program Director

Office Phone: 423.869.6546
Email:elizabeth.barnes@lmunet.edu

 

  •   Meet Program Director Elizabeth Barnes

    Elizabeth grew up in Knox County, KY, in Flat Lick, just 25 miles from LMU’s campus. She graduated from Knox Central High School and attended Eastern Kentucky University, then went on to PA school at the University of the Cumberlands, where she became the first person in her family to earn a graduate degree and work in medicine. After graduating from PA school in 2014, she began working clinically as a PA in the greater Cincinnati area. She practiced for five years before being offered a position with a developing PA program with the University of the Cumberlands at their NKY campus in Florence. In the five years she was with the University of the Cumberlands NKY Campus PA Program, she served as Director of Didactic Education for three years and the Director of Clinical Education/Associate Program Director for two years. She developed and taught Human Anatomy, Clinical Medicine I/II/III, and Integration Seminar (a case-based course) I/II/III. She is completing her Ph.D. in Leadership with a Health Professions focus and expects to defend successfully in 2024. Her dissertation topic is Empathetic Leadership in Medical Education Programs.

    Elizabeth and her soon-to-be 15-year-old daughter, Mady, relocated back home to Flat Lick, KY, in December 2023, and Mady now attends Knox Central High School. They live in Elizabeth’s childhood home with their 5-year-old golden retriever, Cargo, and are thrilled to return home to the mountains permanently.

     

    Education:
    University of the Cumberlands
    Ph.D. Leadership, Health Science, in progress

    University of the Cumberlands, 2014
    Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies

    Eastern Kentucky University, 2012
    Bachelor of Arts, Magna Cum Laude


    Work Experience:
    Lincoln Memorial University, School of Medical Sciences, Harrogate, Tennessee
    2024 -  Present
    Assistant Dean and Program Director 

    University of the Cumberlands, Northern Kentucky Campus
    Associate Program Director & Director of Clinical Education (2022-2024)
    Director of Didactic Education (2019-2022)

    Dr. Melvin S. Gale & Associates
    2019-2020
    Physician Assistant

    Premier Pain Treatment Institute
    2016-2019
    Physician Assistant

    Federal Bureau of Prisons, United States Penitentiary (USP)
    2015-2016
    Physician Assistant

    Comprehensive Pain Specialist
    2015
    Physician Assistant

     


Joshua Shepherd, DMS, MMS, PA-C

Associate Program Director & Principal Faculty

Office Phone: 423.869.7403
Email:joshua.shepherd@lmunet.edu

 

  •   Meet Dr. Joshua Shepherd

    Joshua Shepherd is a native of Harlan County, Kentucky. He began his career practicing Family Medicine at LMU's University Medical Clinic in New Tazewell, Tennessee, serving the University and residents of surrounding counties in the Tri-State area before transitioning to education full-time.

    In 2019, he became an Associate Professor of Physician Assistant Studies with the Harrogate PA Program. He was the course director for physiology and pathophysiology in the PA Program at Lincoln Memorial University.

    In 2023, he started teaching in LMU's DMS program. He also practices internal medicine and pediatrics at Servolution Health Services in Speedwell, Tennessee, serving low-income and uninsured patients.

    Shepherd has over ten years of experience as a PA. He is passionate about medical humanities, political advocacy in the PA profession, and promoting the mission of delivering healthcare to the underserved.

     

    Education:
    Lincoln Memorial University, 2009
    Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Science (MLS)


    Lincoln Memorial University, 2011
    Master of Medical Science (MMS) in Physician Assistant Studies


    Lincoln Memorial University, 2021
    Doctor of Medical Science (DMS) with a focus in Medical Education

Karen Adair


Karen Adair, MMS, PA-C

Assistant Professor & Principal Faculty

Office Phone: 423.869.7095
Email: karen.adair@lmunet.edu 

 

 

  •   Meet Professor Karen Adair

    Karen Adair joined Lincoln Memorial University, School of Medical Sciences in 2022 as an Assistant Professor for the Physician Assistant program in Harrogate, Tennessee. Adair has been a Physician Assistant for almost a decade. Before transitioning to academia, she worked as a clinical PA in neurology.

    Adair’s goal as an educator is to provide the students with the knowledge, skill, and resourcefulness they need to care for their patients competently. She will integrate the fantastic resources and facilities at LMU to customize the students’ learning process to achieve her goal. She will work with each student through an open-door policy to find the best toolbox for their individual needs.


    Education:

    Our Lady of the Lake College, 2014
    Master of Medical Science (MMS) in Physician Assistant Studies

    Arkansas State University, 2008
    Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science


    Work Experience:
    Lincoln Memorial University, School of Medical Sciences, Harrogate, Tennessee
    2022 -  Present
    Assistant Professor of Physician Assistant Studies

    Our Lady of the Lake Physician Group; Baton Rouge, Lousiana
    2019-2022
    Neurocritical Care Physician Assistant

    The NeuroMedical Center, Baton Rouge, Lousiana
    2017-2018
    Neurology Clinical Physician Assistant

    The NeuroMedical Center, Baton Rouge, Lousiana
    2014-2017
    Interventional Pain Management Clinical Physician Assistant

Lauren Anderson


Lauren Anderson, DMS, MMS, PA-C

Director of Didactic Education & Principal Faculty

Office Phone: 423.869.7755
Email: lauren.anderson@lmunet.edu 

  •   Meet Dr. Lauren Anderson

    Lauren Anderson joined Lincoln Memorial University, School of Medical Sciences, in April 2019 as Assistant Professor for the Physician Assistant program in Harrogate, Tennessee. Dr. Anderson is a member of the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA), the American Academy of Physician Associates (AAPA), and the Tennessee Academy of Physician Assistants (TAPA).

    Anderson's philosophy regarding the education of future Physician Assistants involves several different aspects. She feels we are all lifelong learners and try to keep up to date with the latest medical knowledge. Knowledge and empathy are essential in this profession. Being empathetic with patients will create trust and a bond between provider and patient. Teamwork and leadership are also core values. Physician Assistants understand the importance of a team approach while demonstrating leadership within their roles. All of these aspects, along with the adaptability to change directions, sometimes at a moment's notice, are what she feels make a well-rounded provider. She enjoys being part of this process with each new class of students.

     

    Education:
    Lincoln Memorial University, School of Medical Sciences, December 2020
    Doctor of Medical Science (DMS) in Primary Care Medicine

    Lincoln Memorial University, Debusk College of Osteopathic Medicine, 2011
    Masters of Medical Science (MMS) in Physician Assistant Studies

    University of Kentucky, 2007
    Masters of Healthcare Administration

    Lincoln Memorial University, School of Business, 2005
    Bachelor of Business Administration in  Management

     

    Work Experience:
    Lincoln Memorial University, School of Medical Science, Harrogate, Tennessee
    April 2019 - Present,
    Assistant Professor of Physician Assistant Studies

    Servolution Health Services, Tennessee
    2017 - 2019
    Clinical Physician Assistant (PA)

    Urology of Indiana
    2013 – 2016
    Clinical Physician Assistant (PA)

    Barker Sleep Institute
    2011-2012
    Clinical Physician Assistant (PA)

Tonya Apperley


Tonya Apperley, DMS, MMS, PA-C

Clinical Coordinator & Principal Faculty

Office Phone: 423.869.6584
Email: tonya.apperley@lmunet.edu

  •   Meet Dr. Tonya Apperley

    Tonya Apperley joined Lincoln Memorial University, School of Medical Sciences, in February 2014 as a preceptor and adjunct faculty for the Physician Assistant program in Harrogate, Tennessee. In September 2016, Dr. Apperley transitioned to full-time faculty. In October 2021, she accepted the position of Academic Coordinator.

    Tonya Apperley believes every student is special and unique and deserves a safe and inspiring atmosphere where they can learn through real-life experience and hands-on activities. She strives to provide a classroom where they can grow and mature into compassionate medical providers. 

     

    Education:
    Lincoln Memorial University, School of Medical Sciences, May 2020
    Doctor of Medical Science (DMS) in Primary Care Medicine

    Lincoln Memorial University, Debusk College of Osteopathic Medicine,  July 2011
    Master of Medical Science (MMS) in Physician Assistant Studies

    Lincoln Memorial University, May 2008
    Bachelor of Science (BS) in Medical Technology

    Kentucky Community and Technical College System, May 2005
    Associate in Science (AS)

     

    Work Experience:
    Lincoln Memorial University, School of Medical Sciences, Harrogate, Tennessee
    Academic Coordinator & Associate Professor of Physician Assistant Studies

    Rural Health Services Consortium, Inc.
    September 2011 - September 2016
    Physician Assistant in Family Medicine

    Parkwest Medical Center
    June 2008  - July 2009
    Medical Technologist

Brittany Belcher


Brittany Belcher, MPAS, PA-C

Assistant Professor & Principal Faculty

Office Phone: 423.869.6644
Email: brittany.belcher@lmunet.edu 

 

  •   Meet Professor Brittany Belcher

    Brittany Belcher joined Lincoln Memorial University, School of Medical Sciences, in July 2023 as an Assistant Professor for the Physician Assistant program in Harrogate, Tennessee. Belcher has been an Infectious Disease Physician Assistant for the past three years and served as an Adjunct Professor at the University of the Cumberlands in the fall semester of 2022.

    Belcher’s goal as an educator is to help students become skilled PAs who care for patients with competence and compassion.

     

    Education:
    University of the Cumberlands, May 2020
    Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies

    Berea College, May 2012
    Bachelor of Arts in Appalachian Studies


    Work Experience:
    Lincoln Memorial University, School of Medical Sciences, Harrogate, Tennessee
    July 2023-Present
    Assistant Professor of Physician Assistant Studies

    Baptist Health Medical Group, Corbin, Kentucky
    July 2022-July 2023
    Infectious Disease Physician Assistant

     University of the Cumberlands, Physician Assistant Studies Program, Williamsburg, Kentucky
    August 2022-December 2022
    Adjunct Professor of Physician Assistant Studies
     
    Kfoury Medical Specialists, Corbin, Kentucky
    July 2020-July 2022
    Infectious Disease Physician Assistant

Jessica Gibson


Jessica Gibson, MMS, PA-C

Assistant Professor & Principal Faculty

Office Phone: 423.869.6236
Email: jessica.gibson03@lmunet.edu 

 

  •   Meet Professor Jessica Gibson

    Jessica Gibson joined the Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) School of Medical Sciences (SMS) in 2023 as an Assistant Professor for the Physician Assistant (PA) program in Harrogate, Tennessee. Gibson is a two-time LMU graduate, completing her Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science in 2019 and the LMU PA program with her Master of Medical Science in 2021. Since graduating, she’s worked in East Tennessee emergency medicine and urgent care.

    Gibson is a native of the Cumberland Gap area, and she looks forward to furthering the PA profession by educating future physician assistants. She hopes to encourage them to become compassionate, empathetic providers.

     

    Education:
    Lincoln Memorial University, School of Medical Sciences, 2021
    Master of Medical Science in Physician Assistant Studies

    Lincoln Memorial University, 2019
    Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Science

     

    Work Experience:
    Lincoln Memorial University, School of Medical Sciences, Harrogate, Tennessee
    2023 - Present
    Assistant Professor of Physician Assistant Studies

    Jacksboro Urgent Care
    2023 - Present
    Urgent Care Physician Assistant

     Fast Pace Health
    2022-2023
    Urgent Care Physician Assistant

     American Physician Partners
    2021-2022
    Emergency Medicine Physician Assistant

Karie Hodges


Karie Hall, MMS, PA-C

Assistant Professor & Principal Faculty

Office Phone: 423.869.7071
Email: karie.hodges@lmunet.edu 

 

  •   Meet Professor Karie Hall

    Karie Hall joined Lincoln Memorial University, School of Medical Sciences in 2023 as an Assistant Professor for the Physician Assistant program in Harrogate, Tennessee. Hall worked in Hospital Medicine for nine years before transitioning into education in 2023. Her goal as an educator is to educate her students to become competent medical providers who can provide excellent care to their patients. Hall hopes to impart her medical knowledge and expertise to her students. She considers teaching the next generation of Physician Assistants, the future of medicine, a great honor.
     

    Education:
    Lincoln Memorial University, Debusk College of Osteopathic Medicine, 2014
    Master of Medical Science (MMS) in Physician Assistant Studies

    East Tennessee State University, 2012
    Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry with a minor in Public Health

     
    Work Experience:
    Lincoln Memorial University, School of Medical Sciences, Harrogate, Tennessee
    2023 -  Present
    Assistant Professor of Physician Assistant Studies

    TeamHealth, Hospital Medicine, Morristown, Tennessee
    2015-2023
    Hospital Medicine Physician Assistant

     


Stacy Hall, MMS, PA-C

Assistant Professor & Principal Faculty

Office Phone: TBA
Email: stacy.hall@lmunet.edu 

  •   Meet Professor Stacy Hall

    Stacy Hall joined Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) School of Medical Sciences in 2024 as an Assistant Professor for the Physician Assistant (PA) program in Harrogate, Tennessee. Hall graduated from LMU’s Medical Technology Program in 2003. She graduated from the PA program in Harrogate in 2021. Before coming on board as faculty, Hall practiced in Family Medicine.

    Hall is a native of Bell County, Kentucky. She resides in Middlesboro, KY, with her husband of 20 years, Doug, and their two sons, Luke and Logan.

Dana Johnson


Dana Johnson, PharmD

Assistant Professor of Pharmacology & Principal Faculty

Office Phone: 423.869.6466
Email: dana.johnson02@lmunet.edu 

  •   Meet Dr. Dana Johnson

    Dana Johnson joined Lincoln Memorial University School of Medical Sciences in April 2020 as an Assistant Professor of Pharmacology for the Physician Assistant program in Knoxville, Tennessee. While with the Knoxville PA program, she assisted with developing the Pharmacology curriculum for the first cohort of Physician Assistant students. She remained with the Knoxville PA program until May 2022, when she transferred to the LMU Harrogate Physician Assistant program. Johnson entered the medical field as a pharmacy technician in 1994. Johnson has been a licensed and practicing pharmacist for 19 years.

     

    Education: 
    Samford University, McWhorter School of Pharmacy, 2004
    Doctor of Pharmacy

     

    Work Experience:
    Lincoln Memorial University, School of Medical Sciences, Harrogate, Tennessee
    May 2023- Present
    Assistant Professor of Pharmacology

    Lincoln Memorial University, Doctor of Medical Sciences
    Assistant Professor of Pharmacology
    April 2022- Present

    Lincoln Memorial University, School of Medical Sciences, Knoxville, Tennessee
    April 2020- May 2023
    Assistant Professor of Pharmacology

     

Adrian Qualls
Adrian Qualls, MMS, PA-C

Academic Coordinator & Principal Faculty

Office Phone: 423.869.6245
Email: adrian.qualls@lmunet.edu 

  •   Meet Professor Adrian Qualls

    Adrian Qualls joined Lincoln Memorial University, School of Medical Sciences in 2022 as an Assistant Professor for the Physician Assistant program in Harrogate, Tennessee. Qualls worked in gastroenterology for eight years before transitioning to education in 2022. Her goal as an educator is to educate students in the field of medical science and on the importance of effective communication with patients. Training formidable medical providers who can provide excellent care to patients in their communities and beyond is the foundation of Qualls' teaching philosophy.

     

    Education:
    Lincoln Memorial Universite, Debusk College of Osteopathic Medicine, 2014
    Master of Medical Science (MMS) in Physician Assistant Studies

    East Tennessee State University, 2007 
    Bachelor of Science in Allied Health with a concentration in Cardiopulmonary Science

     

    Work Experience:
    Lincoln Memorial University, School of Medical Sciences, Harrogate, Tennessee
    2022 -  Present
    Assistant Professor of Physician Assistant Studies

    Sullivan Digestive Center, Kingsport, Tennessee
    2018-2022
    Gastroenterology

    Appalachian Gastroenterology, Boone, North Carolina
    Gastroenterology
    2015-2017

    Johnson City Medical Center, Johnson City, Tennessee
    Respiratory Therapist
    2007-2012

NicoleShields
Nicole Shields, MD, FAAFP

Medical Director

Email: nicole.shields@lmunet.edu 

  •   Meet Dr. Nicole Shields

    Nicole Shields joined Lincoln Memorial University, School of Medical Science as the Medical Director for the Physician Assistant program in Harrogate, Tennessee. Dr. Shields graduated from the University of Florida College of Medicine and completed Duke's Southern Regional AHEC Family Medicine Residency with special training in Clinical Leadership.

    Dr. Shields is passionate about primary care medicine and teaching. She prides herself on delivering quality, evidence-based primary care to her underserved rural Appalachia patients while teaching students. She has been dedicated to the medical education of graduates at Lincoln Memorial University for many years and remains active in education, primary care medicine, and the community. While a Florida native, Dr. Shields has called Tennessee home for over ten years.

     

Joan Ward
Joan Ward, MSPA, PA-C

Director of Assessment & Principal Faculty

Office Phone: 423.869.6514
Email: joan.ward@lmunet.edu

 

  •   Meet Professor Ward

    Joan Ward joined the Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) School of Medical Science (SMS) Tampa Physician Assistant (PA) program in 2022 as an Associate Professor. In 2023, Ward transitioned to the role of Director of Assessment for the School of Medical Sciences. She works closely with the Harrogate Physician Assistant program. Ward received her undergraduate degree from Cabrini College, a certificate program in Physician Assistant Studies at Philadelphia College of Textiles and Sciences, and a Master's in Physician Assistant Studies at Philadelphia University (now Jefferson University). She has been in clinical practice for 22 years in various fields, including orthopedics, emergency medicine, internal medicine, primary Care, and gastroenterology.

    In addition to her passion for practicing medicine, Ward loves teaching. She has been a part of Physician Assistant education for 16 years, holding various positions. She facilitated workshops for clinical coordinators, advanced clinical coordinators, and new program director retreats. Professor Ward has been a member of the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA) Emergency Medicine/Surgery End of Rotation Exam Writing Committee for ten years.

    In her free time, Professor Ward has been a firefighter and emergency medical technician at the local fire company since the age of 17, where she worked through the ranks of various positions and continues to volunteer to give back to the community. She has participated in multiple presentations at the National Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA) Education Forum. Professor Ward is also fluent in sign language.

Melissa Wiley
Melissa Wiley, DMS, MSPAS, PA-C

Director of Clinical Education & Principal Faculty

 Office Phone: 423.869.6565
Email: melissa.wiley@lmunet.edu

 

  •   Meet Dr. Melissa Wiley

    Melissa Wiley joined Lincoln Memorial University, School of Medical Sciences, in 2019 as an Assistant Professor of the Physician Assistant program in Harrogate, Tennessee. Wiley has been a Physician Assistant serving the medical community for over a decade. Moving from clinical practice to PA education, Dr. Wiley’s goal as an instructor of medicine is not only to impart her knowledge and experience to her students so that her ceiling can become their floor but also to encourage them to become lifelong self-learners so that they can continue to grow as medicine evolves and changes. She considers it a great honor and privilege to have this opportunity to invest in her future colleagues, the next generation of Physician Assistants.

     

    Education:
    Lincoln Memorial University, School of Medical Sciences, 2022
    Doctor of Medical Science (DMS) in  Medical Education

    University of Pittsburgh 2011
    Master of Science Physician Assistant Studies

    University of Pittsburgh 2008
    Bachelor of Science in Emergency Medicine

      

    Work Experience:
    Lincoln Memorial University, School of Medical Sciences, Harrogate, Tennessee
    2019 - Present
    Assistant Professor of Physician Assistant Studies

    Carson-Newman University
    2019
    Clinical Coordinator

    LeConte Orthopedics, Orthopedic Surgery
    2017 - 2019 (PRN 2020)
    Physician Assistant

    Hamblen Neuroscience Center, Neurology and Pain Management
    2016 - 2017
    Physician Assistant

    MD Pharmacy, Medical Sales
    2015 – 2016

    Vitalmed Rx, Medical Sales
    2015

    East Tennessee Spine and Orthopaedic Specialists, Orthopedic Surgery
    2013 – 2014
    Physician Assistant

    TeamHealth, Emergency Medicine
    2013
    Physician Assistant

    Statcare, a Group of Summit Medical Group, Hospitalist
    2012
    Physician Assistant

 
 
The Staff of the Harrogate PA Program
 

Alicia Beason

 

Alicia Beason

Admissions Coordinator

Office Phone: 423.869.6691
Email: alicia.beason@lmunet.edu 

Teresa Gulley

 

Teresa Gulley

Clinical Education Assistant

Office Phone: 423.869.7101
Email: teresa.gulley@lmunet.edu 

Kaye Mason

 

Mary (Kaye) Mason, MBA

Clinical Site and Rotations Manager

Office Phone: 423.869.6716
Email: mary.mason@lmunet.edu

Candice Miller
Candice Miller

Hospital Relations and Rotation Coordinator

 Office Phone: 423.869.7045
Email: candice.miller@lmunet.edu 

James Parker
James Parker

 Associate Admissions Coordinator

Office Phone: 423.869.6905
Email: james.parker02@lmunet.edu

Kaye Mason

 

Christine Singleton

Didactic Education Assistant

Office Phone: TBA
Email:TBA

Start date: July 15, 2024

Annette Smith
Annette Smith

Program Administrative Coordinator

Office Phone: 423.869.6578
Email: annette.smith@lmunet.edu