Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, September 8, 2023

Newsmakers: CNE announces new board of directors

Chattanooga Neighborhood Enterprise has added new members to its board of directors, including Andrea Hardaway, Gene Shiles, Jason Steele, Andy Leffler, Tamekia Brewer and Frank Hughes.

Hardaway is the president and founding partner of First Property Management. She is serving as CNE’s board chair.

Shiles is a part-time retiree with experience in environmental law. Before retiring, he served as a partner at the law firm of Spears, Moore, Rebman & Williams in Chattanooga.

Steele joined the CNE board upon becoming aware of the need for affordable housing in Chattanooga.

Leffler is an attorney with Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel, where he represents regional and national real estate development and real estate finance clients.

Brewer is a Chattanooga native and a co-owner of Nouveau Realty Group, a minority female-led real estate firm. Brewer also serves as second vice president of the Chattanooga chapter of the National Association of Real Estate Brokers.

Hughes serves as the executive vice president and treasurer for SmartBank. A U.S. Marine Corps veteran, he commanded the M Battery, Chattanooga’s Marine artillery battery.

Erlanger names 20th annual dinner honorees

The Erlanger Foundation will honor Drs. Jeffrey Gefter, James Sizemore and Laura Witherspoon, as well as Erlanger board member Vicky Gregg, at its 20th annual Dinner of Distinction on March 1 in the Westin Hotel Ballroom.

Previous honorees selected Gefter, Sizemore and Witherspoon for their commitment to improving the community’s health.

Gefter was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida. He earned a Bachelor of Science in biology from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts and received his medical degree from the University of Florida, where he also completed his surgical internship and radiation oncology residency.

Gefter moved to Chattanooga in 1982 to work in private practice before becoming medical director of radiation oncology for Erlanger from 1988 through 2008. He was also a clinical assistant professor for radiation oncology for the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) College of Medicine in Chattanooga.

Gefter has served as a member of the Tennessee Governor’s Committee on Cancer and as a full member of the National Children’s Oncology Group. He received the Life Inspiration Award from the American Cancer Society of Chattanooga in 2017.

Most notably, Gefter was part of the group to establish Chattanooga’s first cancer program at Erlanger. Gefter currently works with Tennessee Oncology in Chattanooga.

Sizemore is a Chattanooga native and Baylor graduate. He received his Bachelor of Science in psychology from Duke University. From there, he earned his medical degree from the University of Tennessee. He then completed an internal medicine internship and residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Subsequently, Sizemore finished an infectious diseases fellowship and obtained a Master of Science in Public Health at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He returned to Chattanooga in 2005.

Sizemore is currently the infectious diseases division chief of the Department of Medicine at UTHSC Chattanooga. He also serves as the medical director of the antimicrobial stewardship and infection prevention programs at Erlanger and was the chief of the medical staff in 2017 and 2018.

In addition, Sizemore serves as the chief medical officer at Cempa Community Care, a clinic serving over 1000 HIV-infected individuals in Southeastern Tennessee.

Witherspoon is a native of Chattanooga and a graduate of Red Bank High School. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in molecular biology and a medical degree from Vanderbilt University. She trained in general surgery at the University of California San Francisco.

She then served four years of active duty in the U.S. Air Force as a surgeon at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and trained both military and civilian surgery residents through Wright State University.

Witherspoon then returned to her hometown, where she practiced for 28 years prior to her retirement in 2022. She remains involved with resident and medical student teaching as a faculty member and associate professor of surgery at UTHSC Chattanooga.

As one of the first female surgeons in the Chattanooga area, Witherspoon has mentored many young women. She also led the team that gained National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers accreditation for the Erlanger Center for Breast Health and received the Augustus McCravey Lifetime Achievement Award in 2021.

Witherspoon has served as governor for the American College of Surgeons, president of the Tennessee Chapter of the American College of Surgeons and second vice president of the Southeastern Surgical Congress.

Erlanger Foundation will also honor Gregg with the Gordon Street Distinguished Community Leadership Award. This annual award is presented to leaders who have championed the advancement of health care in the Chattanooga region.

Gregg began her career at Erlanger as a nurse before moving into administration. She served as chief executive officer of BlueCross Blue Shield of Tennessee from 2003-2012. Prior to joining BlueCross, she served as market vice president for Humana in Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana.

Gregg has served on the National Institutes of Health Commission on Systemic Interoperability, as well as the boards of BlueCross BlueShield Association and America’s Health Insurance Plans (including two years as chair), the National Institute of Healthcare Management, the University of Tennessee, Landmark Healthcare, Trizetto and TeamHealth.

She currently serves on the boards of Quest Diagnostics, Acadia Healthcare, MyEyeDr, Erlanger and EPB, where she serves as chair.

Gregg is a co-founder and currently serves as a partner at Guidon Partners, a private investment firm that specializes in health care.

Parks and Outdoors welcomes new director

Morgan McCormick is the new park stewardship and maintenance director for the city of Chattanooga’s more than 100 parks and green spaces. McCormick previously served as Chattanooga’s deputy director of park maintenance.

McCormick holds a Bachelor of Arts, a Master of Arts and a doctorate from Florida State University, along with a certification as a Municipal Finance Officer from the state of Tennessee’s comptroller’s office.

McCormick led an initiative to bring battery-powered small equipment to use in an effort to reduce both air and noise pollution and implemented new safety equipment for the female workforce in Chattanooga’s parks.

Community Foundation adds three to staff

The Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga recently added three staff members to its team.

Anthony Prince joined the Foundation as its community impact assistant.

Finance associate Candice Brock will use her experience in nonprofit accounting and financial management to strengthen the foundation’s internal accounting processes.

Former paralegal Lindsey Cross has taken the role of philanthropy associate.

Dr. Melnikoff joins Chattanooga Heart Institute

Cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Brett Melnikoff has joined The Chattanooga Heart Institute. Melnikoff earned his medical degree from Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine in Roanoke. He completed a residency in general surgery at the University of Alabama Medical Center in Birmingham, where he also completed a fellowship in cardiothoracic surgery.

Melnikoff is a member of the Society of Thoracic surgeons.

He will practice at The Chattanooga Heart Institute office located at 2501 Citico Ave. Call 423 697-2000 to schedule an appointment.