Meet the Family Medicine Faculty


 Leadership      Other Residency Faculty      Clinical/Predoctoral Faculty




J. Mack Worthington, MD


J. Mack Worthington, MD, FAAFP
Professor, Chair, and Clerkship Director

Hometown:  Winterville, NC

Medical School:  University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston

Residency:  St. Joseph's Medical Center,

(now Via Christi Hospital) Wichita, KS

Interests: Family Medicine ambassadorship


After serving two years with the United States Air Force at the Eglin AFB Regional Hospital Dr. Worthington joined the faculty of the Department of Family Medicine at the University Of Tennessee College Of Medicine, Memphis.  There he was a strong supporter of medical students and residents, serving as Program Director, Vice Chair for Academic Affairs, and acting Chair. He also servied as the Chief of Family Practice at Baptist Memorial Hospital.


Dr. Worthington moved to Chattanooga in 1995 to start the Department of Family Medicine and the associated Family Medicine Residency Program.  In addition to being past president of both the Tennessee Academy of Family Physicians and Tennessee Medical Association Dr. Worthington has held national positions with the American Academy of Family Physicians, the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine, and the American Medical Association.


Prior to medical school, Dr. Worthington worked on his family farm, taught college level mathematics, and pursued a career in aeronautical engineering.  A former pilot himself, he also loves to play the trombone, which he does regularly for his church ensemble.  “Family Medicine not only gives you an opportunity to care for your patients but also an opportunity to serve your profession and your community.”



James Haynes, MD

James Haynes, MD

Program Director (Associate Professor)

Hometown: Fayetteville, NC

Medical School: Uniformed Services

University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD

Residency: Eglin Family Medicine Residency, Eglin AFB, FL

Interest: Resident/Student Education, Minor Procedures, Women's Health



Dr. Haynes is from Fayetteville, NC and attended medical school at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, MD. He completed his residency in Family Medicine at Eglin Regional Hospital, Eglin Air Force Base, FL and served 20 years in the Air Force. His most recent assignment prior to completing his military career and joining the University of Tennessee Faculty was as the Program Director of the Eglin Air Force Base Family Medicine Residency. His assignments took him to the Azores, Portugal; Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; Spokane, WA; Fayetteville, NC; Belleville, IL; San Antonio, TX; Washington, DC; Eglin AFB, FL, as well as two tours in the Middle East. Dr. Haynes was named the Uniformed Services Academy of Family Physicians' Family Physician of the Year in 2003 and was privileged to serve as the Family Medicine Consultant to the Surgeon General of the US Air Force from 2005 to 2007. He has taught in Graduate Medical Education for over 13 years and completed the Michigan State University Primary Care Faculty Development Fellowship in 2007 as well as the National Institute for Program Director Development Fellowship in 2010.


When not at work, Dr. Haynes spends time with his family, serving his community, performing missions work, and training for triathlons.


Other Residency Faculty


Stephen Adams, MD

Stephen M. Adams, MD



Hometown:  Chattanooga, TN

Medical School:  University of Tennessee College of Medicine

Residency: University of Alabama - Huntsville

Interests:  EMR, Curriculum Development, Office Procedures 


Dr. Adams is from Chattanooga, Tennessee.  He attended the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, and completed residency at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.  Dr. Adams returned home to join the faculty in September 1997, and has led the program's efforts in office procedures, as well as EMR research and implementation.  He was named Residency Program Director in April, 2007. He has been named Outstanding Teacher of the Year multiple times during his tenure at UT, and in 2008 was honored by the first ever Excellence in Leadership award given by all graduating residents in that year.  He is currently Chief of Family Medicine at Erlanger.  As of July 1, 2014, Dr. Adams was named Chief Medical Informatics Officer.


In his spare time Dr. Adams loves to fish with his three sons, and has been "caught" in the act many a morning before rounds.


Kelly Arnold, MD


Kelly Arnold, MD

Assistant Professor

Hometown: Memphis, TN

Medical School: The University of Tennessee College of Medicine

Residency: Family Medicine, The University of Tennessee College of 
Medicine Chattanooga

Special Interest: Obstetrics and Ultrasound


Dr. Arnold enjoys seeing infants, children, adults, and geriatric patients, the full spectrum of family medicine. She is a bilingual physician, speaking both English and Spanish and practiced medicine with a focus on the Latino community. Dr. Arnold is married to a Chattanooga native and enjoys spending time with her husband, Dr. Justin Arnold, and three children. In her free time she enjoys reading, cooking, exercising and practicing yoga.


Dr. Elizabeth Close  

Elizabeth Close, MD

Assistant Professor

Hometown: Chattanooga, TN

Medical School: The University of Tennessee College of Medicine

Residency: Family Medicine, The University of Tennessee College of 
Medicine Chattanooga

Interests: Diabetes, Preventative Care


Dr. Close attended the University of Tennessee for undergraduate and medical school before returning to Chattanooga for residency. She also served as Chief Resident. After graduating, she worked for Erlanger for five years in outpatient practice and precepting at UTFP weekly.

She enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband Tim and son Charlie. Each summer, Dr. Close volunteers as medical staff at Tennessee Camp for Diabetic Children (and welcomes residents coming along!).

Paul Dassow, MD

Paul Dassow, MD

Associate Professor

Hometown: Loveland, CO

Medical School: Washington University, St. Louis, MO

Residency: Scott Medical Center, Belleville, IL

Interests: Women's and Children's Heatlh including Obstetrics, Health Aging, Bioidentical Hormone Therapies


Dr. Dassow grew up in both the Bay Area of California and Colorado. After completing an Electrical Engineering degree at the University of Colorado in Boulder, he attended Washington University Medical School in St. Louis, MO on an Air Force Scholarship. He completed his residency in Family Medicine at Scott Medical Center and served in the Air Force as a Family Physician and Flight Surgeon until 1999. He settled in Lexington, KY at that time and joined the faculty of the Family Medicine Department, completing a Faculty Development Fellowship and Masters in Public Health. He became Assistant Dean for Continuing Medical Education in 2003 and Residency Program Director in 2006.


Dr. Dassow joined the faculty of the University of Tennessee in 2010. He enjoys practicing the full spectrum of medicine, seeing obstetric, pediatric, adult and geriatric patients. He has a special interest in heatlhy aging and the use of bioidentical hormones as well as weight management. When not at work he can be found attending a school or sporting event for one of his 6 children or gearing up himself for a Masters Swimming competition.


 Dr. Steven Fox

Steven Fox, MD

Assistant Professor

Medical School:  Marshall University (Huntington, WV)

Residency: University of Tennessee College of Medicine Chattanooga (Family Medicine)

Interests:  Sports Medicine and Teaching





Dr. Fox was born and raised in Wheeling, WV, and attended Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, FL, where he obtained his BS in Biology and minored in Chemistry.  He returned to his home staet of WV to attend medical school at Marshall University School of Medicine where he found his passion for family medicine.  He trained with our Family Medicine Residency in Chattanooga where he served as Chief Resident and completed the program in 2013.  He is honored for the "privilege of joining the faculty that trained him in the challenge to teach the next generation of physicians."  Dr. Fox has a particular interest in musculoskeletal medicine and teaching, but enjoys seeing 'everything that walks through the door."  In his spare time, Dr. Fox enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter, reading his Bible, and anything outdoors.

Leslie Griffin, MD

Leslie Griffin, MD

Assistant Professor
Hometown: Cookeville, TN

Medical School: St. George's University

Residency: University of Tennessee College of Medicine Chattanooga (Family Medicine)

Interests: Infant and Maternal Health and Preventative Health Care


Dr. Leslie Griffin entered St. George's University School of Medicine after several years of living internationally including tw years in Peace Corps. She graduated in 2007 with dual degrees in Medicine and Public Health. She completed her residency at the University of Tennessee Family Medicine Program at Erlanger in Chattanooga, Tennessee. After completing her training, she joined the facutly of the University of Tennessee Family medicine program where she practices full scope Family Medicine, from deliveries to geriatrics. She also participates in an annual medical mission trip to Haiti.


Dr. Michael ShepherdMichael Shepherd, MD

Assistant Professor

Medical School: Loma Linda University

Residency: Hinsdale Hospital, Hinsdale III

Interests: Maternal Health and Preventative Health Care


Dr. Shepherd served the Public Health Department for two years as the only phsyician in a very small mountain town in Northern California; this little city had seven hospital beds, one ER bed and Dr. Shepherd. he practiced in Hanford, California for almost 20 years, then, due to his wife's health, moved to Northern California where he supervised a midwife and was one of two physicians to deliver babies. Dr. Shepherd is happy to be with UTCOM because he loves to teach and is able to live close to his children and grandchildren.

Dr. Lisa TalbertMelissa Talbert, MD


Hometown: Lawrenceburg, TN

Medical School: The University of Tennessee College of Medicine

Residency: Internal Medicine, The University of Tennessee, Memphis

Fellowship:  Geriatric Medicine, University of Tennessee College of Medicine Chattanooga

Interests: Rheumatology and Geriatrics



Dr. Talbert grew up in south-central Tennessee. She attended college at Rhodes College in Memphis, followed by medical school at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in Memphis. She completed her Internal Medicine residency at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in Memphis as well before going on to complete a Fellowship in rheumatology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.


Dr. Talbert joined the Family Medicine faculty in Chattanooga after completing her geriatric fellowship here. She currently spends much of her time caring for patients at Alexian Village, a permier continuum of care facility for seniors located just outside of Chattanooga on Signal Mountain.


Bob Zylstra, EdD, LCSW


Bob Zylstra, Ed.D. , LCSW

Professor, Director of Behavioral Science

Hometown: Kalamazoo, MI

Graduate Schools: University of Michigan, University of Memphis

Interests: Geriatric mental health, Community medicine


Dr. Zylstra grew up in Michigan where he earned his Master of Social Work degree from the University of Michigan. In addition to his involvement with family medicine, he has worked as a home health care social worker, supervisor of a community hospital's social work department, and business manager for an outpatient medical office. Prior to joining the Department of Family Medicine in Chattanooga he was a faculty member in Family Medicine at Providence Hospital in Detroit, Michigan and the University of Tennessee-Healthplex in Memphis. He earned his doctorate degree in educational psychology from the University of Memphis, and continues his research and teaching interests in the areas of community medicine, mental health and geriatrics. He is married to Margaret, a public health nurse, and is the father of two adult chldren.



Clinical and/or Predoctoral Faculty


Dr. Chris HaddockChris Haddock, MD

Dr. Haddock completed a Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Georgia and then graduated from the Medical College of Georgia. He completed his Family Medicine Residency Program here in Chattanooga in 2003. He practices nearby in his hometown of Ringgold Georgia at Erlanger South Family Medicine. Dr. Haddock and his wife Rachelle live in Ringgold and he enjoys precepting medical students by providing the opportunity to see the wide variety of care provided in the typical Family Medicine outpatient setting.



Dr. Chip HarrisChip Harris, MD

Dr. Harris is a graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in Memphis where he also completed his residency.  He now practices at Erlanger South in Ft. Oglethorpe, Georgia with fellow predoctoral instructor Chris Haddock.



James Sherrer, MD

Dr. Sherrer is a graduate of the Medical College of Georgia and he completed his Family Medicine Residency training at our program and was also one of our chief residents. Dr. Sherrer teaches our medical students and does a wonderful job. Students often request to rotate with him.



Dr. Philip SutherlandPhilip Sutherland, MD

Dr. Sutherland is a graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in Memphis, and he completed his Family Medicine Residency training at our program in June, 2014. Dr. Sutherland completed  fellowship training in Advanced Obstetrics at Medicos para la Familia in Memphis, Tennessee in 2015. Dr. Sutherland currently precepts our residents, and primarily works at Clinica Medicos in Chattanooga, TN.




   Revised 7/14/15

UT College of Medicine Chattanooga     960 East Third Street, Suite 100     Chattanooga, TN 37403     (800)947-7823, ext 6956

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