Our Doctors and Providers
Dr. Ashok Jain, MD, FAAP, MBA, CPE
Dr. Ashok Jain graduated from Kasturba Medical College, one of the top medical schools in India in 1993, and completed his post-graduate residency in pediatrics at New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY. In 1998, he moved to Mount Sinai Hospital in Chicago to serve as Chief Resident in Pediatrics and became Board-Certified in Pediatrics in 1998. He joined Northwestern University-Children’s Memorial Hospital as a Fellow in Pediatric Cardiology in 1999. From 2000-2003 he provided healthcare services to underserved children in Indiana and North Carolina.
Dr. Jain received his MBA from Fayetteville State University in 2004. He opened his first pediatric practice, "Hope Mills Pediatrics," in August 2003. Eighteen months later, Dr. Jain branched out and added a second practice, North Side Pediatrics, and since then, has continued to open new pediatric practices. Currently, Dr. Jain operates 20 pediatric practices that employ more than 160 people.
In 2006, Dr. Jain launched the India Foundation, a philanthropic organization. The foundation has raised funds for Project Drishti, which provides eyeglasses or cataract surgery to needy patients in India and is also working to build a school in Rajasthan, India. The foundation has established a program to provide dance therapy to treat special needs children in North Carolina. Dr. Jain has personally contributed more than half a million dollars to support the foundation and its objectives of providing healthcare to the needy through its affiliates Shri C. R. Jain Charitable Trust Owned Hospital, Samarthanam Trust for Disabled, Project Drishti, and Dr. Solanki Eye Hospital. The foundation has also contributed to many not-for-profit healthcare and educational initiatives for needy in the US, Nepal, and India.
In May 2007, Dr. Jain moved to Bangalore, India, to build and open MedSol (formerly Indus Westside) Hospital. The 200-bed for-profit hospital opened its doors in January 2010 and features state-of-the-art technology, six operating rooms, 45 critical care beds, and serves medical, trauma, surgical, cardiac, pediatric, neonatology, and burn patients. Complete cardiac surgery, infertility/IVF, minimal access bariatric surgery, and transplant surgery are just a few of the many programs the hospital offers.
Dr. Jain became a Board-Certified Physician Executive by the Certifying Commission in Medical Management in 2011.
Dr. Jain has received many honors and awards. In 2005 he was inducted into the Eugene S. Mayer Honor Society for Community Services at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine for community service in India and the US. In 2010 he was awarded the national Medallion for Entrepreneurship Award by the Beta Gamma Sigma International Honor Society. In 2011 Dr. Jain was named a leading ‘Mover and Shaker’ at the Triangle Business Convention. In January 2013, he was nominated for North Carolina Small Business Person of the year Award. In 2015 he received a Certificate of Achievement from North Carolina Medical Society Foundations -Kanoff Institute of Leadership College for his leadership and service to the population of NC. In 2016, Dr. Jain Group Kidzcare Pediatrics was recognized as Business of the year by NC Small Business Technology and Development Corporation.
Kidzcare Pediatrics has received numerous Awards from NC State Medicaid and National awards as Patient-Centered Medical Home - level 3 (highest recognitions) from National Committee on Quality Assurance (USA) for excellent quality health care services under Dr. Jain's clinical and management leadership.
Over the next five years, Dr. Jain plans to continue the growth of pediatrics practices in North Carolina and neighboring states by building child-friendly infrastructure, enabling and empowering professionals to deliver excellent healthcare services to children, improve access to care, create local employment opportunity, and contribute to the local economy.
Cynthia Panowicz, MD
Dr.Panowicz has been in practice as a pediatrician in the area for the past 25 years. She graduated with M.D. degree from University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in Pennsylvania after receiving her undergraduate degree from Washington College in Chestertown, MD. She completed pediatric residency in 1996 from Pitt County Memorial Hospital along with East Carolina University in Greenville, NC. She is fellow member American Academy of Pediatrics.
Along with husband and 2 sons, she lives in Bostic, NC. Dr. Panowicz enjoy going to the beach, the outdoors, and spending time with her family.
Dr. Panowicz is new to Kidzcare and started at the Boiling Springs, NC office in September 2021. She enjoys seeing infants to teenagers with a variety of concerns and looks forward to watching them grow and develop over the years.
Yetunde Adesanya, MD
Dr. Adesanya graduated from Albany Medical College, Albany, NY, in 2005. From 2005-2008, she went on to complete her residency in Pediatrics from Westchester County Medical Center, New York Medical College, NY. She is Board Certified in Pediatrics by the American Board of Pediatrics.
Dr. Adesanya is credentialed as an Attending Physician and has admitting privileges at Cape Fear Valley Hospital. She is licensed to practice in the State of North Carolina and is employed with us since October 2008.
Dr. Adesanya’s professional affiliations include the American Academy of Pediatrics and the North Carolina Pediatric Society.
Sharon A. Burke, MD
Dr. Burke received her BS degree in Biology, pre-med from Fairleigh Dickinson University. She then received her Medical Degree (MD) with Honors from Ross University; Internship and Residency in Pediatrics at Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, NJ. Post-doctorate Clinical and Research Fellowship in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine at Robert Wood Johnson and St. Peter University Medical Centers New Brunswick, New Jersey. Four years as Associate Medical Director of Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at University Hospital in Newark, NJ. Twenty-five years as Medical Director of Sub-Acute Transitional Care Unit at Children's Specialized Hospital in New Brunswick, NJ.
She designed the Specialized Care unit in the treatment of newborn opioid withdrawal, with research publications and National Recognition. She also developed specialty care with publications and state-wide recognition for children requiring long term ventilation, hyperalimentation, and spinal cord disease. She designed therapy programs for children with metabolic and neurodevelopmental disorders such as Autism Spectrum, Feeding disorders, Retinopathy. And she was the director for the largest post-cardiac, liver and intestinal transplant program in the country.
She provided medical care for children in the outpatient medical home and long-term care facility utilizing telemedicine. Dr. Burke comes to Kidzcare with tremendous clinical knowledge and expertise and a passion for all children, from newborn to young adult. In her words," children are my life, and Kidzcare has allowed me to live in a beautiful community providing care for God's most precious among us."
She is President of the Brunswick Forest Women's Book Club, which provides reading bags for the children of Kidzcare; she sings with the Wilmington Choral Society and lives happily with her husband John and their 90-pound rescue Labrador named Shadow.
Thomas Blackstone, MD
Thomas Blackstone, MD, FAAP attended college and medical school at Ohio State University. He served as a naval flight surgeon stationed at Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station from 1970 to 1972.
He went on to pediatric residency at Columbus Children’s Hospital, serving as chief resident in 1975. Dr. Blackstone practiced thirteen years in Mansfield, Ohio, and four years in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, before making his home in Wilmington. His clinical interests include ADHD and infectious diseases.
Dr. Blackstone has served as Chair of Pediatrics at New New Hanover Regional Medical Center and has served on the boards of Wilmington Health Access for Teens, Coastal Physicians Alliance, and Cape Fear Hospital.
Tom lives in Wilmington with his wife Marilyn and has four children and four grandchildren. When not in his garden, Tom enjoys jogging, swimming, and biking. He and Marilyn have done missionary work in Haiti and the Dominican Republic and attend Port City Community Church.
Mytrang Dang, PA-C
In 2004, Ms. Dang graduated in Masters of Medical Science, Certified Physician's Assistant from Methodist College in Fayetteville, NC.
Ms. Dang is a certified American Red Cross CPR provider and North Carolina Medical Board PA License since 2005.
As of 2005, she is affiliated with the North Carolina Association of Physician Assistants and American Associate of Physician Assistants.
Ms. Dang is employed with us from 2008.
Robert Goldbach, MD
Dr. Robert Goldbach received his undergraduate degree from Saint Vincent College and medical degree from Hahnemann University in Pennsylvania. He completed his pediatric residency at William Beaumont Army Medical Center in El Paso, Texas, in 1990. He worked for 4 years at Blanchfield Army Community Hospital in Kentucky while with the 101st Airborne Division. He spent seven months of that time with the 2/327th Infantry Battalion during Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. He has been board certified in Pediatrics since 1991.
Dr. Goldbach comes to KidzCare Pediatrics from UNC Peds North. Before joining UNC, Dr. Goldbach worked in a private practice in North Carolina for 4 years. Dr. Goldbach is very committed to providing quality pediatric care.
Marissa Pelletier, MD
Marrissa Pelletier, MD graduated from State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY. She is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics and a member of the American Medical Association. She has been practicing for 4 years and has a special interest in newborn care, adolescents, well-child visits, and counseling and is fluent in Spanish. She and her husband reside in Franklin, NC, with their 5 children ranging from 4 - 8 years of age. She is new to our group and is employed in our Franklin office, which is in the Western North Carolina Mountains.
Samantha Rushton, PACIn 2013, Mrs. Rushton graduated in Masters of Science in Physician Assistant Studies from East Carolina University in Greenville, NC. Mrs. Rushton is certified in Basic Life Support, Advanced Cardiac Life Support, and Pediatric Advanced Life Support. She is affiliated with North Carolina Academy of Physician Assistants and the American Academy of Physician Assistants. She became a North Carolina Medical Board PA licensee in 2014. Mrs. Rushton is employed with us from April 2014.
Dori Thomas, MD
Dr. Dori has practiced pediatric medicine in the Research Triangle area since 1998. She is originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She attended college at Grove City College, Grove City, PA, where she studied Chemistry and was active in the Flag Line/Marching Band and her sorority. After 4 years in graduate school and 3 years doing medical research, Dr. Dori decided that medical school was the way to go. She attended St. Louis University School of Medicine in Missouri and did her pediatric residency at the Children’s Hospital of Iowa/the University of Iowa (2 years) and at UNC Children’s Hospital. (1 year). Dr. Dori and her husband, a private practice endocrinologist in Raleigh, have college-age twins, a son and a daughter, who were born when she was in medical school. When her children were younger, Dr. Dori volunteered as a Girl Scout troop leader and classroom parent. As she has done over the last 8 years, she spends time every summer volunteering as a camp physician at Camp Seafarer for Girls.
Because of personal experience with her children, Dr. Dori has a strong interest in providing medical care to children and adolescents with complex medical histories or chronic medical conditions. She believes that with the right medical care, anything is possible. She also has interest and experience in managing ADD/ADHD, asthma, behavioral issues, and day-to-day illnesses that children face.
Dr. Prabesh Bajracharya
I graduated from Manipal College of Medical Sciences in 2005. I finished my Pediatric residency from Penn State Children's Hospital, Pennsylvania, in 2012. I joined the Children's Hospital of Michigan for Pediatric Nephrology and graduated in 2015.
Dr. Lisa Parker
Lisa Parker, MD, graduated from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine after obtaining her undergraduate degree from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, where she grew up. She completed her Pediatric Residency at Blank Children’s Hospital in 1995 and then worked for four years at Reynolds’s Army Community Hospital in Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Since 1999, Dr. Parker has been employed by various pediatric practices in NC. She joined KidzCare Pediatrics in January 2017. Dr. Parker enjoys building relationships with patients and parents. She works towards making a difference in their lives by encouraging healthy lifestyle habits, preventing disease and accidents, and becoming a trusted resource for families. In her free time, Dr. Parker likes reading, walking and spending time outdoors, and having fun with her family and friends.
Dr. Jennifer Brown
Dr. Jennifer Brown graduated from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine and completed her pediatric residency at NC Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem (Bowman Gray School of Medicine). She began her pediatric career in Fort Pierce, FL. She later moved to Franklin, NC, wherein the midst of practicing general pediatrics and raising her own family, she began advocating for abused and neglected children.
Dr. Brown was privileged to help start Kids Place, Macon County’s Child Advocacy Center in 1991. She also became a regional trainer for the NC Child Medical Evaluation Program and served on the NC Pediatric Society Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect. She has taught on the subjects of abuse and neglect locally, state-wide, and internationally. (Presenting at conferences in Seoul, Korea, and Skopje, Macedonia).
She is a published author of a children’s book called “Hooray! It’s a Duck Day” as well as articles on subjects such as child abuse, ADHD, and miscarriage. In the last several years, she worked in the public health system on the East Coast of North Carolina. She returned to Western NC in the spring of 2017 and joined Kidzcare Pediatrics as a board-certified general pediatrician last fall. In her free time, she enjoys writing, art, gardening, and spending time with her four children and grandson.
Debbie Goldbach, PA-C
Debbie Goldbach, PA-C, grew up in Chapel Hill, NC, and received her undergraduate degree in Human Biology from North Carolina State University (Raleigh, NC). She then completed her Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies at East Carolina University (Greenville, NC). Debbie graduated in 2016 and is now licensed by the North Carolina Medical Board. She is certified in Basic Life Support, Advanced Cardiac Life Support, and Pediatric Advanced Life Support. Debbie is also a member of the North Carolina Academy of Physician Assistants & American Academy of Physician Assistants.
Debbie lives in Raleigh, NC, with her 7-year-old Redbone Coonhound. She enjoys going to the beach, kayaking, hiking, attending concerts, and playing outside with her pup.
Brittany Arnett grew up in rural Carlinville, Illinois surrounded by corn, soybeans, and woodland. She earned an athletic scholarship to Belmont University and played 4 years of Division I volleyball, leading two sports mission trips overseas to Zhitomer, Ukraine, and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, during that time. After graduating with a major in Pre-Medical Biology and a minor in Chemistry, she met her husband and moved to Fort Lauderdale, FL. She subsequently attended Physician Assistant school at NOVA Southeastern University, graduating in 2011. After training in Pediatrics in South Carolina, the couple moved to Clayton, GA, bought a home, volunteered in the community, and ‘put down roots.’ Brittany has since provided detailed, compassionate medical care to patients of all ages, but has always felt a calling to the Pediatric population. She loves the Georgia mountains and small-town living and enjoys spending time outside with her husband and toddler twins Luke and Lucy. Any remaining free time is spent with her Clayton Baptist church family, reading, and gardening in her flowerbeds. She can also regularly be found walking and running down some of Clayton’s main streets. Brittany is excited to join the Kidzcare Pediatrics team in opening a new office in Clayton in June of 2017.
Myisha Burkette, NP
Myisha Burkett grew up on St. Helena Island, SC. She earned her Practical Nursing Diploma in 2004 from Technical College of the Lowcountry, Beaufort SC. She worked full- time at Beaufort Memorial Hospital as an LPN on the Pediatric Medical-Surgical and Adult Medical-Surgical Unit. She also assisted a local pediatrician working outpatient. In 2009 she graduated from Armstrong- Atlantic State University with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. While in school, she was on the Dean’s List and a member of Sigma Theta Tau. She earned her Master’s of Science in Nursing- Family Nurse Practitioner in 2015 from Walden University. She has practiced nursing for a total of 14 years to include 2 years as a family nurse practitioner. She is a Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse and a member of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. She resides in Charlotte, NC, with her 4 daughters and is ecstatic to join the Kidzcare Pediatrics team in Charlotte, NC.
Dr. Marc Kolender
Dr. Marc Kolender was born and raised in Charleston, SC. Early on, he knew he wanted to work with children after serving several summers as a camp counselor and participating in Head Start programs.
Dr. Kolender attended college at UNC-Chapel Hill, followed by medical school at the Medical University of South Carolina, where he also did his Pediatric Residency. He also went on to pursue his education, receiving his Masters in Public Health from Tulane University.
He began private practice in Charleston in 1984 and has also worked with children in the Disability Evaluation field as well as children with Down’s Syndrome. Dr. Kolender continued working in the Charleston area in the pediatric field until his recent relocation to Charlotte in 2017 to continue his work with KidzCare Pediatrics. Dr. Kolender has worked within the pediatric field and its branches for over 35 years.
In his spare time, he enjoys golfing, playing guitar, hanging with friends, walking his dog Layla and visiting his 2 sons in Los Angeles where they own a savvy restaurant.
Dr. Nataliya Yatsenko, MD
Dr. Nataliya Yatsenko was born and raised in Ukraine, where she obtained her medical degree from Dnepropetrovsk State Medical Academy in 1999. She finished her Pediatric Internship in Kiev Postgraduate Medical Academy in 2000. She devoted her first years in practice to the young orphans at Ukrainian Orphan House. After moving to the US, she completed her Pediatric Residency at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, PA, in 2009. During her Residency, Dr. Nataliya took an interest in Environmental Medicine, studying and researching the impact of the evolving world on children’s health and development.
Dr. Nataliya enjoys seeing children and young adults of all ages with a variety of concerns. She has a special interest in Preventative care and gladly shares her knowledge and support with families, helping to raise healthy, happy children. After moving to NC in 2015, she joined our team of doctors and other medical professionals at Kidzcare Pediatrics in September of 2016. Dr. Nataliya is married and has one child of her own. She enjoys running, cycling with her husband and son, traveling, and reading.
Dr. Clara Escuder
Dr. Clara Escuder relocated to Wilmington in October 2016 from York, PA. She was born in the Dominican Republic and moved to New York at the age of 6.
Dr. Escuder received her MD degree from Weill Cornell Medical College and completed her Pediatric residency at St. Louis Children’s Hospital in St. Louis, MO.
She is board-certified in Pediatrics and has completed an Integrative Medicine Fellowship under Dr. Andrew Weil at the University of Arizona in Tucson.
Dr. Escuder practiced Pediatrics in a multispecialty group in Baltimore, MD, and then joined a large medical health group in York, PA. She has a special interest in nutrition and its impact on children’s health.
She is married, has two grown children, and enjoys painting, cooking, gardening, and fantasy football. She is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese.
Deanna Hinkle, PPCNP
Deanna Hinkle is a board-certified pediatric nurse practitioner.
Deanna grew up in Bridgeport, West Virginia. She obtained her Associate's Degree in Nursing from Fairmont State University in Fairmont, WV, and her Bachelor's and Master's degree in Nursing from West Virginia University in Morgantown, WV. She worked in the medical/surgical ICU, then the neonatal ICU for 7 years.
Prior to joining KidzCare Pediatrics in 2017, Deanna worked in an outpatient pediatric primary care office in Bridgeport, WV. She is married and has a daughter and 2 dogs.
Robyn Mical, DNP, CPNP
Dr. Mical graduated from Duke University with her BSN and MSN in Pediatrics. She is currently finishing her doctoral research on pediatric immunizations at Duke University. Prior to working with Kidzcare Pediatrics, she worked at UNC Pediatrics, bringing more than 4 years of pediatric experience with her.
Dr. Mical is known for having the heart to serve her patients and their families, dedicating her time providing medical care to underserved communities around the world. Additionally, she is an active participant in research opportunities to enhance and implement evidence-based medicine, ensuring her patients receive quality care.
Dr. Mical moved to North Carolina from California in 2013. Aside from the privilege of taking care of her patients and their families, Dr. Mical loves traveling the world, summiting mountains, and spending time outdoors with her dog, Blue.
Crystal Hunt, FNP
Crystal Hunt is a Certified Family Nurse Practitioner and joined Kidzcare Pediatrics in February of 2018. In 2017, she graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with her Master of Science Degree in Nursing as a Family Nurse Practitioner. Crystal attended Florence-Darlington Technical College, where she completed her Associate degree in Nursing in 2009. In 2014, she received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from East Carolina University.
Crystal is a native of Robeson County and resides in Lumberton with her husband. She enjoys spending time with friends and family. She enjoys reading and going to the beach and the mountains. Crystal enjoys going to church, and she is very active in her church with the youth. She has a special interest in the care of pediatric patients and is eager to provide quality and compassionate care to her patients.
Dr. Swetha Natarajan, MD
Dr. Swetha Natarajan graduated from D.Y Patil medical college in India in 2005. After that, I went on to complete my pediatric residency from Saint Peter's University Hospital in NJ in 2016. I was employed in private practice in NJ for a year prior to moving to North Carolina and joining Kidzcare Pediatrics.
I live in Fayetteville with my husband and son. I spend my free time reading, cooking, or visiting new places.
Matthew Hallorans, NP
Matthew Halloran is a Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner. He grew up between Cincinnati, OH, Lake Mary, FL, and Cary, NC. Matthew graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with his Bachelors in the Science of Nursing. Afterward, he moved to Raleigh, NC, and was an RN in an Intermediate Care Unit for 2 years. He then returned to Charlotte to work in the Medical Intensive Care Unit for the past 5 years. During that time, he graduated from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington with his Masters in the Science of Nursing- Family Nurse Practitioner, as he felt drawn away from the bedside and to broaden the age group he served. He is also BLS and ACLS certified, as well as Certified Critical-Care Registered Nurse (CCRN)-Alumnus. He is a member of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.
Matthew is an avid Cincinnati Bengals fan and loves to watch all different kinds of sports (football, basketball, soccer, etc.). He also loves to travel, and his favorite destination is "the happiest place on Earth," Disney World, and is truly a kid at heart. He lives in Burlington, NC, with his wife, Abby, and his son, Brayden. He is thrilled to have joined the Kidzcare team and to be providing quality care to our patients!
Jennifer Beth Mazer, MD
Dr. Jennifer "Beth" Mazer began her career as a pediatrician in 2002 after doing a residency in Baystate Medical Center in Massachusetts and finishing up at Texas Tech in Amarillo, Texas. Prior to accepting her position at KidzCare Pediatrics, Dr. Mazer practiced for a number of years in Texas, her home state. She and her husband were fortunate to be able to adopt their 3 children through Texas foster care in 2016. All three of them are siblings, and the older two are a set of special needs twins. Being a parent has been one of the most rewarding parts of her life.
Given her experience as a foster, and now an adoptive mom, Dr. Mazer looks forward to providing the best medical care possible for her patients here at KidzCare Pediatrics.
Penny O'Neill, MD
Dr. O'Neill, MD, FAAP, joined Kidzcare Pediatrics in January 2020. She is a practicing Pediatrician at our Franklin and Sylva locations. Dr. O'Neill graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Columbia, in 1990 and has been in practice for 28 years. She completed her residency at Palmetto Richland Memorial Hospital. She is board certified in Pediatrics.
Dr. Sharon Annie Rachapudi MD
Dr. Sharon Annie Rachapudi graduated from the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University in 2016. She then completed her residency in General Pediatrics at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in Orlando, Florida. She has experience dealing with many different common childhood illnesses, behavioral concerns, and patient populations. In her free time, Dr. Rachapudi enjoys running, yoga, spending time with her family and her puppy.
Dr. Sarah Cheema
Dr. Sarah Cheema is an experienced and qualified Pediatrician, previously serving the communities of Annandale and Alexandria, VA. She obtained her medical degree from the Allama Iqbal Medical College, Pakistan. After numerous research and observership positions in North Carolina including the Mariam Clinic, Medical Alliance Ministry and the University of North Carolina, and in Pakistan including The Children’s Hospital and Jinnah Hospital, she decided to pursue her passion of working with children and trained in Pediatrics at Texas Tech University of Health Sciences Center in El Paso, Texas. She has worked for several years in Northern Virginia and has now moved back to North Carolina, where she had started her journey.
A devout mother of five, Dr. Cheema recognizes the special care and attention that children need and exercises her professional and maternal insight with her patients. She is multilingual in English, Hindi, and Punjabi, allowing patients from a variety of backgrounds to communicate with her comfortably. Her extensive travel has also allowed her to be sensitive to various cultures and is able to understand the needs of patients from different backgrounds. Caring for children is her passion. She believes that a visit to a Pediatrician should be warm and friendly and ensure an environment of comfort, diligence, discussion, and education. She also believes in building a relationship with the Patient/Parent by listening and creating a partnership to maintain and improve lifelong health.
She has recently been recognized In the Washingtonian’s Top Doctors 2019 magazine and also as a Top Female Doctor in the City of Annandale, Virginia 2019.
Tekisha Freeman MSN, APRN, FNP-C
Tekisha Freeman is a board-certified Nurse Practitioner with 10+ years of experience in acute and emergency health care. She completed her Associated Degree in Nursing at Robeson Community College in 2010. Her nursing career consisted of 2 years of local emergency care nursing and 7 years of travel nursing. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Fayetteville State University in 2017 and went on to obtain her Master’s Degree in Nursing, specializing in Family Nurse Practitioner from South University. She is currently certified in advanced cardiovascular life support, pediatric advanced life support, and stroke screening/treatment. Tekisha currently resides in Robeson County with her husband Eric and two children Kalee and Jace.
Andrea Penny, FNP
Andrea Penny - graduated from Frontier Nursing University with Masters in Nursing Family Nurse Practitioner in 2019. Currently pursuing a Doctorate of Nursing Degree at Frontier Nursing University.
I am a certified Nurse Practitioner. Certified in Basic Life Support, Advanced Life Support, Neonatal Resuscitation. Prior to working as a Nurse Practitioner, I worked at Wake Medical Center as a registered nurse for 14 years, the last 9 in labor and delivery. I am a member of the AANP - American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, NAPNAP - National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners and AAP - American Academy of Pediatrics. I enjoy spending time with my family. I enjoy the beach, mountains, photography, and Carolina basketball.
Genevieve Faison-Alston, MD
Dr. Genevieve Faison-Alston grew up in rural Kenansville, North Carolina. Since she was young, she knew she wanted to serve others through the practice of medicine. Dr. Faison-Alston earned a full academic scholarship at Fayetteville State University where she graduated with honors with a B.S. degree in Biology. She then obtained her Doctor of Medicine degree at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, SC, and subsequently returned to North Carolina to complete her residency in pediatrics at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC. Since 2000, Dr. Faison-Alston has been board certified in pediatrics and has worked in community pediatrics in Anson and Wake counties. In January 2020 she joined KidzCare Pediatrics. She enjoys building lasting relationships with her patients and families she serves and looks forward to continuing and building those bonds at KidzCare Pediatrics. In her free time, Dr. Faison-Alston loves DIY projects and gardening. She loves spending time with her family and stays very active with her 2 teenagers, cheering them on in their various activities including softball, track, football, and basketball.
Peter Rice, MD, FAAP
Peter Rice grew up in Kentucky. He attended the Univ. of Louisville for his undergraduate and was planning to attend Medical School when he was given the opportunity to go to Stanford University for graduate school, where he received a Ph.D. in biophysical chemistry.
After attending Stanford University, he then attended the University of California Irvine medical school and received his Medical Degree in 1995. He is board Board Certified in Pediatrics and a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
During his well-child and sick visits, he discusses with his patients and their parents the importance of reading and encourages the exploration of nature outdoors. He also encourages them to take their time with school while also taking some chances along the way to find their interests of what they truly enjoy. Whether that be automotive repairs, hiking in state parks, mountain biking, or spending quality time in a library, to which Peter has had the opportunity to experience them all. He is excited to be working with KidzCare Pediatrics in Western North Carolina.
Kristin Rice, PNP
Kristin Rice is originally from the Gulf Coast, but has called North Carolina her home for the past 20 years. She has over 10 years of experience working with pediatric patients of all ages in the acute care, primary care, and specialty clinic settings. She spent several years working with children in the UNC North Carolina Children’s hospital taking care of pediatric surgical and trauma patients, and previously helped deliver babies prior to working in Chapel Hill. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and is a board certified nurse practitioner specializing in pediatrics. She has a special interest in infant development, and continuation of care for premature babies. She spends her spare time with her family and enjoys watching football and scary movies in the fall.
Albertina Smith-Banks, MD
Albertina Smith-Banks is a medical graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill School of Medicine. She completed her Pediatric Residency at both Carolina's Medical Center of Charlotte and UNC Hospital in Chapel Hill North Carolina. Recognition of healthcare disparities in the African-American community lead her to spend much of her career in community health facilities until she started her own practice in 2006. Dr. Smith-Banks recently joined Kidzcare Pediatrics in March 2020 as a full time physician at the North Charlotte location. Her interests include reading, walking and cooking. She is the mother of one daughter who resides in Los Angeles, California.
Caroline Taylor is a board-certified pediatric nurse practitioner. Caroline graduated from the University of Florida with her bachelor's degree in health education & behavior in 2013, and then from Duke University with her bachelor's of science in nursing (2014), along with her master's of science in nursing (2020). Prior to pursuing a career at KidzCare, she was a pediatric cardiac intensive care nurse at both the University of Virginia as well as Duke University, bringing 6 years of pediatric cardiac experience with her.
When Caroline is not working, you can find her at the gym or with her family and friends, spending time outside. Caroline also has a sheepadoodle named Waffles and loves all dogs! She looks forward to having the opportunity to provide your family with excellent, compassionate care.