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Division of Academic Specialists in Obstetrics & Gynecology

The division of Academic Specialists in General Obstetrics & Gynecology consists of seven OBGYN board-certified physicians with one fellowship-trained in Complex Family Planning and another fellowship-trained in Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology. Academic specialists and the Hospitalists cover the Labor and Delivery unit and the low-risk postpartum service on weekdays, weeknights, and weekends with the OB Days and OB Nights teams and weekend call teams. These specialists dedicate their time to resident education and training across all clinical settings: inpatient gynecology and consultative service, inpatient and outpatient gynecologic surgeries, resident continuity clinics, complicated gynecology clinic, colposcopy clinic, and the Labor and Delivery unit. The academic specialists provide the bulk of the resident core curriculum, including didactics and obstetric and gynecologic simulation. The faculty develop and refine resident surgical and clinical skills as general Ob/Gyns and allow appropriate, progressive autonomy to residents. While maintaining broad skills, each of the division members have special expertise in niche areas such as vulvovaginal disorders, colposcopy, simulation, complex delivery planning for accreta spectrum disorder and obesity, sexual dysfunction, pediatric and adolescent gynecology, gynecologic ultrasound, and complex family planning.

It is our goal to provide our residents with exposure and experience in all facets of benign gynecology and low-risk prenatal care. Our ambulatory clinics, which evaluate over 5,500 patients each year, provide exposure to basic and complex contraception management, sexually transmitted infections, abnormal uterine bleeding, vulvovaginitis, and adnexal masses. In resident continuity clinic and in Complicated Gynecology clinic, residents manage these conditions among others and perform implant and IUD insertion and removals, endometrial and vulvar biopsies, Endosee In-Office Hysteroscopy, transvaginal ultrasound, and more. 

In the inpatient setting, residents care for patients with a broad range of disorders including pelvic inflammatory disease, tuboovarian abscess, abnormal uterine bleeding, ovarian torsion, ectopic pregnancy including cesarean scar pregnancies, and adnexal masses. The gynecology team acts as primary admitting physicians as well as consultants for the unassigned inpatient and emergency department patients. 

In the operating room, residents develop a solid foundation of surgical skills, which continue to grow throughout their training. Residents participate in all forms of vaginal, abdominal, laparoscopic and hysteroscopic surgery. Residents also rotate as a PGY-3 at a smaller community based private practice that offers high surgical volume, office practice management, and L&D experience as an “independent” physician. 

The gynecology team consists of a PGY-2 and PGY-4 resident. The PGY-2 resident is responsible for providing inpatient care, managing emergency department and in-house consultations, assisting with major procedures, and performing most outpatient procedures such as tubal ligation, first trimester dilation and suction curettage, and operative hysteroscopy. The PGY-4 resident is responsible for overseeing all inpatient care and performs all major procedures, such as hysterectomy, exploratory laparotomy, second trimester dilation and evacuation, and complex adnexal surgery. The PGY-2 Night resident covers the gynecology service with supervision from the PGY-4 Night resident and attending physician.

Our Family Planning rotation was started in 2020 for PGY-3 and PGY-4 residents. Residents are exposed to abortion care, management of early pregnancy loss, complex contraception, and early pregnancy ultrasound through a dedicated curriculum and rich patient care experiences. This rotation provides one-on-one faculty mentoring of residents in both procedural skills and patient-centered counseling. In 2021, our residency program was recognized as a Ryan Residency Training Program in Family Planning which shows commitment to formal and dedicated resident education in Family Planning.

Amy Boardman, MD

Amy Boardman, MD

Residency Program Director
Academic Specialist

Medical School: University of Alabama School of Medicine
Residency: University of Florida College of Medicine

Areas of interest: Vulvovaginal disorders, minimally invasive surgery, resident education, surgical simulation

Ava Ventura-Braswell, MD

Ava Ventura-Braswell, MD

Site-based Medical Director, Atrium Health Myers Park OBGYN
Academic Specialist

Medical School: University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine
Residency: San Antonio Uniformed Services Health Education Consortium

Areas of interest: Community women’s health, Centering Pregnancy

Melissa Brunner Woolworth,, MD

Melissa Brunner Woolworth, MD

Director, Complex Obstetrics Delivery Care
Director, OBGYN Simulation
Academic Specialist

Medical School: Georgetown University School of Medicine
Residency: George Washington University Hospital

Areas of interest: Simulation, delivery planning for women with obesity or placenta accreta spectrum

Erin Cook, MD

Erin Cook, MD

Academic Specialist

Medical School: University of Alabama School of Medicine
Residency: University of Alabama Birmingham
Fellowship: Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology, University of Alabama Birmingham

Areas of interest: Menstrual suppression for girls with special needs, contraception for young women with complex medical conditions, reproductive healthcare for LGBTQIA youth

Sasha Davenport, MD

Academic Specialist

Medical School: St. George’s University
Residency: State University of New York

Areas of interest: Female sexual dysfunction, gynecologic care for women with mobility challenges, accessible care

Meghan Valentine, MD

Meghan Valentine, MD

Division Director, Academic Specialists in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Director, Family Planning
Academic Specialist

Medical School: University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry
Residency: Washington University
Fellowship:Family Planning, Washington University

Areas of interest: Family planning, miscarriage management, complex contraception, medical education

Rachel Zigler, MD

Rachel Zigler, MD

Division Director, Academic Specialists in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Director, Family Planning
Academic Specialist

Medical School: University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry
Residency: Washington University
Fellowship:Family Planning, Washington University

Areas of interest: Family planning, miscarriage management, complex contraception, medical education

Hospitalist Division

The Hospitalist division supervises residents on the management of normal and abnormal labor, as well as gynecologic emergencies. The division includes three OBGYN hospitalists and the academic generalists who are committed to the inpatient management of women’s obstetric and gynecologic needs. These specialists are committed to resident education in intrapartum and postpartum care, including labor induction, spontaneous vaginal delivery, operative vaginal delivery with forceps or vacuum, and cesarean delivery. Additionally, these providers oversee management of gynecologic emergencies including ruptured ectopic pregnancy, ovarian torsion, and gynecologic hemorrhage.

The labor and delivery team consists of two or three PGY-1 residents, and one resident from PGY-2, PGY-3, and PGY-4 classes. The OB interns include the PGY-1 OBGYN, PGY-1 Family Medicine and/or Emergency Medicine residents. The interns of the labor and delivery team perform all spontaneous vaginal deliveries, provide low-risk postpartum care, and manage OB triage encounters with oversight by a team of Advanced Practice Providers. OB interns begin to perform cesarean sections in the second half of the academic year. The PGY-2 resident manages labor admissions, performs all cesarean sections, and oversees all vaginal deliveries. The PGY-3 resident manages high-risk antepartum admissions and rounding service and performs more complex cesarean births. The PGY-4 resident oversees the entire labor and delivery service, coordinates clinical care and surgical procedures, performs or supervises forcep and vacuum assisted deliveries, and assists junior residents with cesarean births and complex obstetric laceration repairs.

Petronela Meszaros, MD

Petronela Meszaros, MD

Academic Hospitalist

Medical School: University of Medicine & Pharmacy “Victor Babes,” Timisoara, Romania
Residency: University Clinic of Ob-Gyn “Bega,” Timisoara, Romania; Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center

Area of Interest: General Obstetrics

Lynn Pitson, MD

Lynn Pitson, MD

Academic Hospitalist

Medical School: University of Toronto
Residency: University of Toronto

Area of Interest: General Obstetrics

Kristen Russo-Rivera. MD

Kristen Russo-Rivera, MD

Academic Hospitalist

Medical School: Wake Forest University
Residency: Carolinas Medical Center

Area of Interest: General Obstetrics

Division of Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery

The division of Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery consists of four faculty members with a wide range of expertise and one of whom is cross appointed with the department of Urology. Faculty use the state-of-the-art technology to perform laparoscopic, robotic, and vaginal surgeries to address pelvic floor support defects and female urinary incontinence. Starting as PGY-2, residents participate in ambulatory patient care, introducing them to staging pelvic prolapse staging with the POP-Q system as well as basic urodynamic testing and pelvic floor physiotherapy. Residents also participate in pessary fittings, cystometry, and interpretation of multichannel urodynamics. In the operating room, residents participate in laparoscopic and robotic-assisted pelvic floor reconstruction, abdominal pelvic reconstruction, vaginal obliterative procedures, and placement of suburethral slings. All surgery is performed in One-Day-Surgery on the CMC main campus. During weekly pre-op conferences, case reviews, and didactic sessions, residents formulate patient management plans under the guidance of fellows and faculty. The FPMRS fellows [https://atriumhealth.org/education/graduate-medical-education/physician-fellowships/obstetrics-gynecology/obgyn-fpmrs] further enhance the residents’ educational experience and engage in one-on-one training. Graduating residents average 120 operative laparoscopic procedures. The program offers residents the option of becoming robotically certified, and faculty provide real-time feedback for each robotic case. The Carolinas Simulation Center is a resource where residents can complete robotic modules and practice their laparoscopy skills under faculty preceptorship. All residents become FLS-certified during their second year. In the next academic year (2023-2024) our program will transition to the AAGL EMIGS program for future certification.

Kevin Stepp, MD

Kevin Stepp, MD

Division Director, Urogynecology and Advanced Pelvic Surgeryt

Medical School: Wayne State University
Residency: Case Western Reserve And Cleveland Clinic Foundation
Fellowship:Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery, Cleveland Clinic Foundation

Areas of interest: Pelvic prolapse, urinary incontinence, fibroids, endometriosis, complicated gynecologic surgeries.

Michael Kennelly, MD

Michael Kennely, MD

Division Director, Urogynecology and Advanced Pelvic Surgery

Medical School: 
Residency:
Fellowship:

Areas of interest:

Erinn Myers, MD

Erinn Myers, MD

Medical School: University of Tennessee Health Science Center
Residency: Carolinas Medical Center
Fellowship:Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Megan Tarr, MD

Megan Tarr, MD

Fellowship Director, Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery

Medical School: Indiana University
Residency: University of Chicago
Fellowship: Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery, Loyola University

Areas of Interest: Pelvic organ prolapse, urinary incontinence, pelvic reconstruction, urogynecology, robotic surgery, laparoscopic surgery

Division of Gynecologic Oncology

The division of Gynecologic Oncology is composed of six board-certified gynecologic oncologists. The faculty perform over 1,000 surgeries and evaluate more than 1,200 new patients annually. Atrium Health is a primary site for NCI/GOG clinical trials as well as industry trials. The new Levine Cancer Institute provides patients with access to the latest chemotherapies for a variety of gynecologic malignancies. division faculty are heavily involved in clinical as well as basic science research, given the abundance of clinical material. The division has a research lab at the Cannon Research facility on campus as well as a long-standing relationship with the University of North Carolina-Charlotte. Residents are an integral part of the team starting as interns and receive hands-on OR experience as first assist and primary surgeons on vulvar, abdominal, laparoscopic, and robotic-assisted procedures. Residents also attend clinic where they learn how to manage patients in the post-operative period as well as throughout their chemotherapy treatments and surveillance. Acting interns and medical students also rotate on the gynecologic oncology service and actively participate in patient care along the OBGYN trainees.

Jubilee Brown, MD

Division Director

Medical School: University of Cincinnati
Residency: University of Maryland
Fellowship: Gynecologic Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Areas of interest: Minimally invasive surgery, rare ovarian tumors, granulosa cell tumors, personalized medicine

Yovanni “Jo” Casablanca, MD

Erin Crane, MD

Director of Education
Fourth Year Clerkship Director

Medical School: SUNY Upstate Medical University
Residency: University of Virginia
Fellowship: Gynecologic Oncology, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Areas of interest: Minimally invasive surgery, robotic surgery, chemotherapy, gynecologic cancers

Brittany Lees

Brittany Lees, MD

Medical School: Loyola University of Chicago Stritch School of Medicine
Residency: University of Alabama - Birmingham
Fellowship: University of Wisconsin – Madison

Areas of interest: Quality improvement, cancer survivorship

Wendel Naumann

Wendel R. Naumann, MD

Areas of interest: Advanced laparoscopy, phase I drug development, immunotherapy in cervical cancer, clinical trials, endometrial cancer

Allison Puechl

Allison Puechl, MD

Medical School: University of South Carolina
Residency: Duke University
Fellowship: Duke University

Areas of interest: Gynecologic cancers, gestational trophoblastic disease, palliative care.

Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine

The division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine (MFM) consists of eight board-certified faculty members who bring their expertise to Atrium Health from across the country. They are responsible for education and supervision of residents and medical students on the labor and delivery unit, antepartum high-risk service, and High-Risk and Diabetic OB Clinics at Myers Park. Working closely with the academic generalists and hospitalists, they deliver approximately 6,500 deliveries per year split evenly between the staff and private services. Atrium Health serves as a tertiary referral center for nine surrounding counties given its robust Neonatology department. Interns participate in ambulatory prenatal care of high-risk pregnant people in High-Risk OB and Diabetic OB clinics as well as their management once on the postpartum floor. During the ultrasound rotation, interns train to master their ultrasound skills and participate in counseling of high-risk pregnancies. Furthermore, while working with MFM faculty on the labor floor, PGY-3s and PGY-4 residents train in obstetrical triage and labor management of complicated pregnancies. The division has a robust clinical research program given the high volume of high-risk pregnancies.

Rebecca Pollack, MD

Associate Program Director

Medical School: Indiana University
Residency: Indiana University
Fellowship: Maternal-Fetal Medicine, University of Kentucky

Areas of interest: Resident education, diabetes in pregnancy, preterm birth prevention, cerclage

Kelecia Brown, MD

Medical School: New York Medical College
Residency: UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School
Fellowship: Maternal-Fetal Medicine, UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School

Areas of interest: Cardiac conditions in pregnancy, disparities in maternal care, prenatal diagnosis

Ngina Connors, MD

Ngina Connors, MD, MBA

Interim Chair
Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Division Director

Medical School: Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
Residency: Christiana Care Health System
Fellowship: Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Wake Forest University

Area of interest: Maternal healthcare disparities

Aaron Dom, MD

Nikki Koklanaris, MD

Medical School: Temple University School of Medicine
Residency: New York University School of Medicine
Fellowship: Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Georgetown University Hospital

Areas of interest: Growth restriction, antenatal testing, resident education

Julio F. Mateus Nino, MD

Director, Resident Research Committee

Medical School: University of Texas Medical Branch - Galveston
Residency: Abington Memorial Hospital, Abington, Pennsylvania
Fellowship: Maternal-Fetal-Medicine, University of Texas Medical Branch - Galveston

Jennifer Philips

Jennifer Philips, MD

Medical School: University of Virginia School of Medicine
Residency: Wake Forest University
Fellowship: Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Eastern Virginia Medical School

Rebecca Pierce-Williams, MD

Rebecca Pierce-Williams

Lorene Temming, MD

Third Year Clerkship Director
Director, AH CMC Labor and Delivery Unit

Medical School: University of North Carolina School of Medicine
Residency: Carolinas Medical Center
Fellowship: Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Barnes Hospital at Washington University

Areas of interest: Obstetrics, preterm birth, cervical insufficiency, clinical research, medical education

Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility

The division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI) is comprised of five board-certified faculty members who provide the highest quality resident teaching and training through a full-service REI clinical practice, formal didactic instruction, and clinical and basic science research opportunities. Residents have their first REI exposure as an intern, which allows early exposure to the subspecialty. Their second rotation is as a PGY-3 resident. Residents learn from patients with a wide spectrum of disorders, including gynecologic endocrinopathies, abnormal sexual development, infertility, recurrent pregnancy loss, genetic reproductive failure, and menopausal medicine. REI faculty are deeply involved in teaching and consultation for cases of amenorrhea, abnormal uterine bleeding, endometriosis, and advanced endoscopic procedures. Residents obtain direct experience in ultrasound and hormonal monitoring for ovulation induction cycles, saline infusion sonography, hysterosalpingography, and intrauterine inseminations. Trainees also participate in a broad range of outpatient and inpatient procedures including hysteroscopies and myomectomies.

Brad Hurst, MD

Areas of interest: Fertility care, assisted reproduction, reproductive endocrinology

Ashley Eskew

Ashely Eskew, MD

Medical School: University of Louisville School of Medicine
Residency: Carolinas Medical Center
Fellowship: Reproductive Endocrinology and Fertility, Washington University School of Medicine

Areas of interest: Infertility, PCOS, fertility preservation, mullerian Anomalies

Kathryn Goldrick headshot

Katie Goldrick, MD

Michelle Matthews, MD

Site-based Medical Director, Atrium Health Women's Institute

Medical School: Northeastern Ohio University
Residency: Summa Health System
Fellowship: Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Rush-Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center

Areas of interest: Infertility, fertility preservation

Rebecca Usadi, MD

Medical School: Duke University
Residency: Memorial Health University Medical Center, Mercer University
Fellowship: Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Areas of interest: Infertility, PCOS, clinical research

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