Dr. Waits is a practicing, board-certified Family Medicine / Obstetrician who serves as CEO of Cahaba Medical Care and the Program Director and DIO of the Cahaba Family Medicine Residency. He served as Program Director of the Tuscaloosa Family Medicine Residency in Tuscaloosa, Alabama for five years. He also has created Alabama's only Teaching Health Center, which has a dually accredited family residency program within Cahaba Medical Care. He is currently serving as the co-founder and CEO of Cahaba Medical Care Foundation, a Federally Qualified Health Center in rural Bibb County, Alabama. He has active obstetric privileges at Bibb Medical Center and UAB Medical West and he works shifts at Bibb Medical Center in the Emergency Department. Dr. Waits completed an Obstetrics Fellowship at the University of Alabama, his residency training at In His Image Family Medicine Residency in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and earned his medical degree from the University of Alabama School of Medicine. He has a particular interest in health care policy and how it touches women and children in terms of maternity and infant care, the rural poor, health care access, and the care of the uninsured and underinsured.
Lacy Smith, MD - COO, Medical Director, Associate Program Director
Associate Program Director and CMO/COO of Cahaba Medical Care - Family Medicine Faculty
I am from Montevallo, AL where I went Kindergarten through 12th grade. After graduating, I went to Samford University for undergrad and then after deciding on medicine, matched early into UAB school of medicine. I knew I wanted to do family medicine from the start so when given the chance to leave Birmingham and the university hospital system, I did, and instead spent my 3rd and 4th years of medical school in Tuscaloosa at DCH Regional. I stayed there and completed by Family Medicine Residency training and then joined Dr. Waits in private practice in Centreville immediately after graduation and have been here since. The work of becoming a FQHC and starting our residency program and then adding offices, growing services, working with more and more awesome providers who love to take care of people has just been a joy. I currently serve as the Medical Director and Chief Operations Officer of the FQHC and the Associate Program Director of the residency program.
My interest and motivation each day is to serve people by working to meet their needs, love them, and creating a place where they can feel seen and valuable and cared for. Cahaba offers a special opportunity to do all of those things.
Outside of work, I stay busy with my 4 kids and all of their activities. When there are tiny bits of downtime, I enjoy running and reading and college football.
Jeremy Crider, MD - Urban Track Director
Urban Track Director - Family Medicine Faculty
I grew up in Monroe, LA, attended med school at LSU-New Orleans, and did an internal medicine internship at LSU-Baton Rouge. Subsequently my wife, Robin, and I moved to Memphis, TN to be part of the inaugural class of the Christ Community Underserved and International tract. While in medical school I had done a fourth year away rotation with Christ Community and God used that experience to radically transform Robin and me, giving us vision for using medicine missionally. So we ultimately moved to Memphis and fell in love with our neighbors in the community of Orange Mound … we were one of the first white families to live in the neighborhood. Ever. Our kids spent the first 5 years of their lives there. Bullets were shot into our house, our stuff got stolen, but we learned to gladly accept the plundering of our property because we knew we had a better possession, and an abiding one in Jesus. And that we were exactly where he wanted to grow us with our wonderful neighbors who had such a huge impact on us.
At Christ Community then Resurrection Health we saw God’s power manifested time and time again in the way he provided for us in essentially miraculous ways. We called them “Ebenezer moments.” I was incredibly blessed to be in community with so many of my heros. I fell in love with resident education and stuck around the program,and ultimately I was the Program Director of Resurrection Health Family Medicine Residency when it closed in early 2018. God has always had a way of “unpadding” my resume for his glory. :)
Now I am so grateful to be at Cahaba with so many faithful and wonderful brothers and sisters who have been laboring here prior to my arrival, as well as with some dear brothers and sisters that have come down from Memphis to help develop the Cahaba Urban Track.
My professional interests include curriculum development in the area of health systems management as well as spiritual integration across broader curricula. I also very much enjoy recruiting and the process of casting vision to the next generation.My research interests include motivating factors for underserved care and the effects of intentional relocation during training.
I love doing silly things that make wife, Robin, roll her eyes. And I also love to go camping and canoeing with our two boys, Jacob and Jesse. I also enjoy being a somewhat obnoxious LSU fan who has landed in the unholy land between Tuscaloosa and Auburn. Speaking of LSU, this is your invitation to come over for gumbo or crawfish.
If I wasn’t a doctor and didn’t have a family or soul I’d go off to a cabin in the woods, grow a patch of okra, and there I’d fish, eat fried okra, read fascinating books, and pretend I was a good writer.
Shelley Waits, MD - FM-OB Faculty
Family Medicine Obstetrics Faculty
I was born in Oklahoma City, OK, but I consider myself from Texarkana, TX. I attended medical school at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, residency at Tuscaloosa Family Medicine Residency, and fellowship at the University of Alabama Obstetrical Fellowship in Tuscaloosa.My professional interest include women’s health and teaching, and in my spare time I enjoy cooking, reading, trying to become a runner, travel, and music.
Why did I choose Cahaba? Cahaba started for me as an opportunity to teach and practice full spectrum family medicine - taking care of patients through all aspects of their lives, including delivering their children. It has since become so much more. Cahaba has instilled in me a deep desire to provide care for those forgotten, those unable to afford the very basic health care that too many consider a luxury. I started my journey with Cahaba in Centreville, helping to grow our residency from its first year and staffing the first rural labor and delivery to open in Alabama in 30 years. I transitioned to our West End Clinic in the fall of 2017 to help grow our ministry in this community. I am honored to continue to be able to teach, deliver babies, and care for those who need care the most.
If I wasn’t a doctor I would go to culinary school!
Karen Ballard-Montgomery, MD - FM Faculty
Family Medicine Faculty
My name is Karen Ballard-Montgomery, MD and I am from Montezuma GA.
I completed Family Medicine Residency at UAB University Hospital in Birmingham, AL. Subsequently I completed a fellowship in Low Risk Obstetrics at UAB University Hospital in Birmingham, AL. I also complted 2 years off General Surgery Residency- at Western Reserve Care System ub Youngstown, OH. I attended medical School at Mercer Univ. School of Medicine in Macon, GA. My Undergrad degree was a B.S. Biology from Mercer Univ. in Macon, GA.
My special professional interests include Preventive Medicine/ Screening Services/ Women's Health/ Pediatrics / Missionary Medicine -- promoting Health and Wellness- Bio-psycho-social.
I enjoy working as a FQHC Provider --- and feel very grateful to be a part of an organization that offers so much to so many-- through our dedication of health care and supportive services for our patients. I came to Cahaba from a private practice of 4 years and had been at Woodstock for 9-10 years prior to merging with Cahaba Medical Care Foundation.
Personally- I enjoy the wonders of a very active family as a FootBall Mom, Basketball Mom, and Baseball Mom- and Band Supporter. Therefore, I spend a lot of time trying to manage "the schedule of activities" w/ my husband and 3 sons.
When given the opportunity to pursue my favorite sports-- I enjoy tennis and horseback riding/ trail rides. Also- enjoy playing baseball/ football/ basketball ( and sometimes tennis) w/ the family- which keeps me pretty active-- and usually gets me my 120- 150 min of physical activity per week.
I really enjoy quality time w/ our 2 dogs ( our Fur Babies).
I am an active member of Liberty Missionary Bapt. Church in West Blocton, AL and serve in the Youth Ministry/ Music Ministry and participate also as a Trustee Wife as well as other community endeavors.
If I had not become a doctor, I would be a writer/ photographer/ world traveller-- as I really enjoy getting off the beaten path and experiencing new cultures and having the opportunity to reflect!
( The most exciting thing that I have ever done- was to participate in a Trip to Iquitos, Peru as a resident. I have walked in the Amazon Jungle and cruised down the Amazon River -- offering health care to people who struggle for the bare necessities of life and are grateful for the simple joys. That was probably one of the most gratifying weeks of my life.)
Lauren Linken, MD - FM-OB Faculty
Assistant CMO, Family Medicine Obstetrics Faculty
I grew up in New Jersey but moved to Huntsville, Alabama with my family during high school and attended UAB for undergrad then stayed at UAB for med school and was on the Tuscaloosa campus for clinicals. Subsequently I went way up to the cold of Massachusetts to UMass FMR and trained at their rural continuity clinic. I knew we wanted to come back to the South and that I wanted to do OB - which generally requires a fellowship in Alabama, so I went back to Tuscaloosa to complete an OB fellowship. This is where I re-connected with Dr. John Waits and Dr. Lacy Smith.
I enjoy practicing obstetrics as well as providing opioid dependence treatment through buprenorphine, as well as managing Hepatitis C patients and getting them cured. When I’m not working I love to travel - and try to do this internationally as much as possible. I also enjoy reading. Music is a large part of my life and am currently in the choir at my church as well as in a group called Iron City Singers in Birmingham. I like to crochet and am learning to quilt!
I love working for CMC. It is a family of physicians who are like-minded, with a mission to take care of the less fortunate, and to do this will excellence. I enjoy working with a smaller organization and having camaraderie with my fellow physicians. I also enjoy having access to residents and students that i get to teach and enjoy the challenge of keeping up with the latest in academics. I go to work everyday feeling like I will definitely impact someone who otherwise likely wouldn't have medical care.
If I wasn’t a doctor I would probably be a stay at home mom or a teacher. I would also do lots of crafting and travelling.
Andreia Williams White, DO - FM Faculty
Casey Hicks, MD - FM-OB Faculty
Family Medicine Faculty - Family Medicine Obstetrics
I am from Haleyville, AL, and my undergraduate education was at UAB. I completed a family medicine residency at Via Christi in Wichita, KS then completed an International Family Medicine Fellowship at Via Christi then Family Medicine Obstetrics Fellowship at Cahaba Medical Care. I have special interest in international medicine.
A large part of the reason I joined the faculty at CFMR is because Alabama is home. After spending four years in Kansas, I was ready to be back in the South. And providentially, I was able to find a group to join that would allow me to pursue all of my interests in medicine. I wanted to continue practicing full-spectrum Family Medicine and Cahaba allows me to do that. In addition to seeing my own patients in clinic, I also practice adult inpatient medicine and obstetrics. I’m also supported by partners who allow me to continue to do medical mission trips. But the biggest draw to Cahaba is the heart behind the organization. We are not simply providing medical care but seeking to love and transform the communities that we serve.
Rowell S. Ashford II, MD - Ob/Gyn Faculty
Obstetrics / Gynecology Faculty
Adam Ross, MD - FM Faculty
Family Medicine Faculty
I grew up in Brentwood, TN and then went on to Appalachian State University in Boone, NC for undergrad, obtaining a degree in Biology and Chemistry. After college I came back to my home state to the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in Memphis for medical school. It was during my time in Memphis that I met the founders of Christ Community Health Services and became inspired to become a family physician so that I could care for the poor and marginalized patients of the world. I stayed in Memphis for residency, to be a part of the program that started out of Christ Community but later was known as Resurrection Health. Upon finishing residency I joined the Resurrection Health faculty, and taught there until we moved the program to Birmingham and joined the Cahaba family in 2018.
I chose to be faculty at CFMR because it’s a group of full spectrum family docs who are motivated by faith to serve the most vulnerable patients of Alabama and the world. Not only does the Cahaba family serve them, but they serve them with excellent, quality medical care. Also, global health and missions are important to me and this is a place that values these greatly. Finally, I love being a part of training up family docs and sending them out to the areas of greatest need.
As far as interests go, I really enjoy musculoskeletal medicine, using the ultrasound, and hospital medicine. On a more personal level, I enjoy the outdoors, especially being in the mountains. My favorite mountain activity is whitewater kayaking. I have an amazing wife, Sarah and 2 wild and fun boys, Luke and Daniel.
If I wasn’t a doctor.....well, I’d probably be a travel/food blogger and go kayaking a lot ;-)
Austin Klint, MD - FM Faculty
Family Medicine Faculty
I was born and raised in Michigan, a.k.a the cold dark North. I still haven’t figured out if our transition into the South is more akin to when the Israelites left Egypt or when they were taken into captivity into Babylon. I went to medical school at Wayne State in the belly of Detroit and got amazing training at the Christ Community/Resurrection Health Family Med Program. The heavy focus on international/inpatient/emergency medicine helped foster my special interest in emergency medicine, all things procedures, post traumatic counseling and underserved international medicine. These focuses have also made the transition easier to my new position here at Cahaba where we have participated in the start of the urban track at the family medicine program and care for a very similar population to where I trained. I’m excited to see how God will use Cahaba as this program continues to develop and how the future residents will impact the global health scene. If all else fails, I’ll fall back on my construction experience and rehab houses full-time.
Jenny Kendall, MD - FM - OB Faculty
Family Medicine - Obstetrics Faculty
Hi! I grew up in Circleville, home of the pumpkin show (yes, the "Greatest Free Show on Earth"), which is south of Columbus, OH...(IO!) Had an idea to become a pediatrician in 3rd grade and so went with it...In high school God gave me a deep love for Himself and burden for the marginalized/lonely, oppressed, and hurting, and thought it made sense that it'd be through medicine I'd serve. So...Went to Morehead KY for pre-med then to Marshall University School of Medicine (and nabbed a pretty sweet WV man as a hubby in the process:). And although I loved peds, I realized OB made my heart so so glad, and since it'd be rude to exclude men and elderly from my scope of care I decided to go into family medicine. I knew I'd probably be working overseas in the developing world eventually so went to Ventura CA for my FM residency for some solid, broad spectrum, truly amazing training. Next I completed an OB fellowship in NorCal/Bay area at Santa Clara Hospital.
Did I ever think I'd be teaching as core faculty at a FM program? Absolutely not! Regardless, I found myself next in Memphis TN @ Resurrection because of the same reasons anyone goes there--the Lord says so! Ha! Plus the amazing faculty and residents I got to work with, awesome patients and neighbors, and mentorship and accountability there to keep us focused. Then Rez closed...and Cahaba Urban opened...God led us here and so who are we to argue? "I count everything as loss next to the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus" Annnndd, I love it. I really love west end. My neighbors are the sweetest. So much grace and renewal happening. Jesus is really working through Cahaba. Also I'm amazed that I'm still able to practice such broad spectrum care in urban US. I mean its so cool to be able to teach and do inpatient medicine, obstetrics and newborn care, perform POCUS/treadmill stress tests/PFTs/read our own radiology films in clinic, and then also live in the community and work closely with community partners towards development, empowerment, and holistic care for our neighborhood--Man, the Lord is trustworthy and faithful! Excited to see how He will continue to be moving here as the days unfold....
PS if i wasn’t a doctor I'd prob be outside in a park, like a national one, trailblazing, drinking black coffee, singing out loud, and playing soccer with anyone who'd be up for a pickup game in nature.
Dakota Price, MD - FM Faculty
Family Medicine Faculty
I grew up in Elk City, OK, attended medical school at University of Oklahoma COM and residency at Resurrection Health Family Medicine Memphis, TN. My professional interests include HIV care and Community Health.
God made it evident early in my medical training that I was to use my position not to further my own self, but to care for the least among us. I yearn to push that vision forward in training up the next generation of FM physicians to use their gifts and talents to be a servant to the people who need us most and fight against the injustices that exist around us. At our core that is what we desire at Cahaba FMR. Cahaba Family Medicine is an amazing healthcare system which leverages everything to provide excellent healthcare for the uninsured/underinsured patients among us in an inner city and rural setting. We also desire to invest heavily in the communities in which we serve, hoping to see a radical transformation, and a palpable Kingdom of Heaven here on Earth. Furthermore, our heart continues to break for the nations, particularly the areas with great health disparity and want to open eyes to the large needs in the forgotten areas of the World. Through training physicians at Cahaba FMR, we hope this will spark a nidus of change throughout American inner-cities, rural underserved areas, and to the Ends of the earth.
If I wasn’t a physician I would be a coffee shop owner where hammocks, dogs, and awesome coffee exist.
Daniel Hurst, PhD - Curriculum & Research
Curriculum & Research
John Meigs, Jr., MD - FM Faculty
Ernestine Clements, DO - FM Faculty
I am from Birmingham, AL and attended med school at Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine (OUHCOM). I completed my residency here at Cahaba Medical Family Medicine Residency Program. My professional interests include Women’s Health, HIV care, and OMM. Personally, I ging, dancing, painting, reading and theatre. Cahaba offers the very best of Family Medicine...the opportunity and training to be a full scope family medicine physician. Also the family atmosphere and the privilege of being able to be one's self is a God send. Furthermore and probably the most important for me...Being able to do the mission, I feel I've been called for in a supportive environment.
If I wasn’t a doctor I would probably be a Social Worker (They are angels on Earth, some of the most amazing people, helping to make what I do as a physician possible in many cases!!!) and moonlight as a background singer for someone or group.