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Faculty & Staff


Frank Dennehy, MDFrancis X. Dennehy, M.D.
Residency Director — Shenandoah Valley Family Practice Residency
Clinical Professor VCU/MCV

Undergraduate: Georgetown University
Medical School: Georgetown University
Residency: Penn State/Good Samaritan Hospital, Lebanon, PA
Fellowship: National Institute for Program Director Development
Certification: ABFP, FAAFP

Dr. Dennehy was raised mostly in metro Philadelphia, and got his yearning for rural and open spaces during his teen years living in Nevada. After medical school, he did his internship in Colorado. Then he spent four years in the Air Force as a “GP” medical officer - Emergency Physician, Flight Surgeon, and Primary Care Physician - with many adventures, many stories. He returned to Pennsylvania to complete residency. He practiced for almost a decade in the mountains of northern Pennsylvania, in a rural Community Health Center doing full-spectrum family medicine with obstetrics. He then opened a small non-profit Christian health center. He was involved in overseas missions, doing medical work several times in poor areas of the Caribbean. He came to the residency in Virginia in 2003, to begin full-time teaching in Family Medicine. He became the Program Director about a year later. He has completed extra training as a Medical Consultant in Natural Family Planning (NaPro Technology) and the Program Directors’ Fellowship of the National Institute for Program Director Development (branch of AAFP). He continues full-spectrum Family Medicine, including hospital/ICU and Obstetrics. His presentations nationally and regionally have included medical uses of Natural Family Planning, the Hippocratic Oath, and workforce demographics.

In 2010, he was named the Family Medicine Teacher of the Year by the Virginia Academy of Family Physicians.

He lives with his wife, Kristin, and they are the homeschooling parents of four children, all of whom love living in Virginia. He is an avid reader, and enjoys running, hiking, biking, kayaking, and Church activities. Medically, he enjoys Sports Medicine, NFP, and Medical Ethics. He manages the Sports Medicine and Preventive Medicine curricula.


David Flack, DODavid C. Flack, D.O.
Allopathic Designated Institutional Official
Osteopathic Director of Medical Education

Undergraduate: Bridgewater College
Medical School: West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine
Residency: VCU/Shenandoah Valley Family Practice Residency


Jef Grooesbeck, DOJef Groesbeck, D.O.
OsteopathicProgram Director

Undergraduate: University of New England
Medical School: University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine
Residency: St. John Medical Center
Fellowship: University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine

Dr. Groesbeck grew up in a small town in Wisconsin. Prior to medical school Dr. Groesbeck was a certified massage therapist. It was during massage school that he recognized a talent for, and belief in a hands-on approach to diagnosis and healing. He then attended the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine before completing Family Practice residency in Cleveland, OH. After residency, Dr. Groesbeck completed a fellowship in Neuromusculoskeletal/Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine at the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine which provided further training in inpatient and outpatient OMT on a diverse range of patients with acute and chronic, complex problems. Dr. Groesbeck uses trigger point injections, joint injections, prolotherapy and kinesiotaping in addition to OMT to help heal his patients. He takes a holistic approach to care for every patient. He enjoys providing care for patients of all ages. Prior to joining the residency program Dr. Groesbeck practiced in a rural community health center in Elkton, VA.

Dr. Groesbeck and his wife have four daughters and a son. They enjoy time outside and singing together and are actively involved in their church community. Among Dr. Groesbeck’s favorite outdoor activities and exercises are running, yoga and disc golf. He enjoys baking breads and pizza and crafting original ice cream flavors. He also loves music and plays the piano, organ, guitar, harmonica and sings.


Thomas Ball, MDThomas Ball, M.D.
Associate Clinical Professor VCU/MCV
Front Royal Family Practice

Medical School: University of Virginia
Residency: University of Virginia

Dr. Ball enjoys the mix of teaching at Shenandoah Family Practice Residency and practicing as a partner at Front Royal Family Practice. Born and raised in Lynchburg, Virginia, he completed medical school and residency at the University of Virginia after a brief first career teaching high school in Brooklyn, New York. He was pleased to return to his home state in 2001 following a busy eight years with an obstetrics heavy medical practice in rural South Carolina. Dr. Ball enjoys a full range of family medical care from prenatal to the nursing home. He has particular interest in obstetrical care, primary care for the HIV patient, and preventive care. He has won statewide awards for teaching excellence and is active in the community, currently sitting on the board of St. Luke Free Clinic and starting as president of the Warren Memorial Hospital medical staff in January 2014.

Married to Christy Hartman, Dr. Ball enjoys the outdoors. These days he and Christy have only pets in the home, though they fostered children intermittently until 2007. Since then they have devoted much of their spare time to renovating a 19th century farmhouse near the Shenandoah National Park. When not roaming the office or repairing plumbing at home, Dr. Ball is often found hiking or biking in the nearby mountains.


Jennifer Barron, MDJennifer B. Barron, M.D.
Associate Clinical Professor VCU/MCV
Front Royal Family Practice
Assists with Osteopathic Curriculum

Undergraduate: Bridgewater College
Medical School: Virginia Commonwealth University/Medical College of Virginia
Residency: Harrisburg Family Practice Residency
Certification: ABFP

Dr. Barron joined the practice in 1999 straight from her residency training at Harrisburg Family Practice in Pennsylvania. She had completed medical school at the Medical College of Virginia at Virginia Commonwealth University. She has a love of office procedures and teaches our no-scalpel vasectomies and other procedures. In 2006, she attended Harvard’s Mind Body Institute and has worked to incorporate the ideas of patient self-care and stress reduction into both her own practice and that of the residents (the Mind-Body Curriculum). As part of her journey as a practitioner and an educator, she has felt as though she may have missed something in her medical school training, and so she has pursued an education in osteopathic medicine. Her training has included all major modalities including cranial therapy. The residents say she is an osteopath at heart. Dr Barron runs the Mind-Body Curriculum, with Dr Wheat, as well as the entire curriculum related to the Electronic Medical Record. She serves as a consultant to other practices, on EMRs. She continues the full-spectrum of Family Medicine, including hospital/ICU and Obstetrics.

As part of her medical staff involvement, Dr. Barron sits on the Board of Trustees and on many working committees for our local hospital, Warren Memorial Hospital. On the home front, she has teenage children who are active in soccer. She and her husband enjoy entertaining and often host residency events in their home, which has a game and theatre room – their home has become the “second home” for the residency. With her seamstress skills, she is often the instigator of elaborate Halloween costume themes in the office, which the patients have come to expect on a yearly basis.


J. William Kerns, MDJ. William Kerns, M.D.
Clinical Professor VCU/MCV
Front Royal Family Practice

Undergraduate: Yale University
Medical School: University of Virginia School of Medicine
Residency: Eastern Virginia Medical School
Fellowship: Virginia Commonwealth University/Medical College of Virginia-Faculty Development
Certification: ABFP, FAAFP, Qualitative Research from UNC/Chapel Hill

Professional Interests: Evidence-Based Medicine, Quality Improvement in Medicine, Undergraduate Education, VCU Family Medicine Research Team Member

William (Bill) Kerns was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, where he attended public high school during a transitional era; hisIowa-born wife Christina jokes that she couldn't get him across the Mason-Dixon Line. The truth is more that after graduating from Yale with honors in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, he welcomed being closer to home at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville for what he thought was going to be a research-oriented MD­ PhD. Instead, he found that a life of libraries and labs did not suit him. He also discovered that his affinity for people was helpful in medicine. He ran away from research to Family Medicine Residency at Eastern Virginia Medical School. Christine, a nurse, and he were considering mission work at home or abroad, but found that the need was significant in small-town Virginia as well. So, with one secretary and a line of credit, they started a practice in 1978, expecting to be slack for a time. It has never stopped being busy, and they were extremely happy to see Dr. Westfall and then other fine physicians and Nurse Practitioners join the practice in the years following. For a number of years, Dr Kerns and Dr Westfall were the only Family Physicians in the county and in the hospital, resurrecting the specialty here. After several successful and intense clinical years, the opportunity to help found the Residency came along, and with his partners he pursued a Fellowship in Adult Learning from the Department of Family Medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University (now Clinical Professor).In the new residency he took on the Evidence-Based Medicine and Information Mastery Curriculum. He has continued to practice full-spectrum Family Medicine, including hospital/ICU and Obstetrics. Then a weird thing happened; research came back into his life through VCU's Department of Family Medicine, where he has partnered with their wonderful team in primary care research, making a difference to people.

He and Dr. Ball, in the Community Medicine curriculum, produce scholarly works with the residents in their second and third years, with the object of helping people in the practice and in the community directly, via scholarship. With Dr. Winter he is engaged in ongoing grants and research projects directly related to primary care practice. He regularly presents at national and international primary care research meetings.

Christine and he have two grown children, two granddaughters (Tallulah Femke Lake and Paloma Jolene Lake), and two dogs. Besides just enjoying living out in the county of Warren, walking the dogs, snorkeling (a trip to blue water regularly!) etc., Dr. Kerns enjoys being ornery, good scotch and wine, and aging his spirits as well.

Dr. Kerns received the STFM 2009 Mid-Career Achievement Award, he participated in the 2009 STFM Best Research Paper with the VCU FM Research team, and in 2010 was named Family Physician of the Year by the Virginia Academy of Family Physicians.


Sherry Whisenant, MDSherry Whisenant, M.D.
Clinical Professor VCU/MCV
Front Royal Family Practice

Undergraduate: University of South Alabama, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Medical School: University of South Alabama College of Medicine
Residency: Mercy Medical Center, Denver
Fellowship: Virginia Commonwealth University/Medical College of Virginia-Faculty Development
Certification: ABFP, FAAFP
Professional Interests: Prenatal Care/Obstetrics, WellChild Care, Colposcopy

Sherry Whisenant, M.D., Associate Clinical Professor VCU/MCV was born and raised in Southern California. She was the first person in her family to graduate from high school. Hearing that schools were much cheaper in the South than in California, Dr. Whisenant moved to Tennessee and attended undergraduate school at the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga. After two years, she transferred to the University of South Alabama where she completed her degree in Biology with a minor in Chemistry. She attended the University Of South Alabama College Of Medicine. After graduation, she moved back West to complete her Family Medicine training at Mercy Medical Center in Denver, Colorado. After skiing her brains out, she decided to return to the South and joined Front Royal Family Practice in Virginia. A few years later, FRFP became the core practice site for the residency, and Dr Whisenant then completed the VCU Faculty Development Fellowship. She continues the full-spectrum of Family Medicine, including hospital/ICU and Obstetrics. She was FRFP Managing Partner for many years, and she runs our Practice Management Curriculum, which is well known. She also directs our Ob-Gyn Curriculum, and she teaches at the state-wide Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics course each year. She also gives talks in the community on women’s health and prevention.

Dr. Whisenant is an avid traveler, a fantastic Indian cook, a ballroom dancer, and a single mother of one child, Emily.


Jonathon Winter, MDJonathon Winter, M.D.
Assistant Clinical Professor VCU/MCV
Front Royal Family Practice

Undergraduate: Frostburg State University (2001)
Medical School: Johns Hopkins School of Medicine (2005)
Residency: Franklin Square Family Medicine, Baltimore, MD; Chief Resident 2008
Certification: ABFM
Professional Interests: Full spectrum family medicine, primary care based clinical research, pediatrics, palliative medicine

Dr. Winter was raised in a large family in rural western Maryland. After medical school at Johns Hopkins, he stayed in Baltimore for residency at Franklin Square FMR, while his wife, Katie, finished training as a Family Practice Nurse Practitioner at Hopkins. While at Franklin Square, Dr Winter was the Chief Resident. After residency, Katie came with him to work in our Residency FPC. Dr Winter has had a long interest in primary care based clinical research, which started while he was at Hopkins, and has continued through residency and into his faculty role here. He has a full-spectrum Family Practice, including hospital/ICU and Obstetrics. He also cares for a large number of the patients at the Nursing Home attached to the Warren Memorial Hospital, next to our FPC. He manages our Student Rotation Curriculum. He enjoys golf, wine, and outdoor adventures.


Ellis Johns, MDEllis Johns, MD

Undergraduate: University of Maryland (Chemical Engineering)
Graduate: University of North Carolina (Masters - Information/Computer Science)
Medical School: Duke University
Residency: Shenandoah Valley Family Practice Residency
Fellowship: Duke / UNC (Medical Informatics)
Personal info: Dr. Johns graduated from Duke University’s school of medicine and is a board-certified family doctor who does everything from obstetrics to end-of-life care. Additionally, Dr. Johns works as a health IT software engineer and data scientist for health systems such as Duke and Valley Health. He has built applications for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, CCRi and North Carolina Medicaid Services (aka. CCNC). He has greater than 15 years of java/scala and .Net application development experience. His doctorate is in medicine, but he also has degrees in chemical engineering (UMCP) and computer/information science (UNC). Dr. Johns trained as a IRTA fellow in the NIH’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (LKEM) as well as Duke Medicine’s Informatics Division (NLM). He completed his residency at VCU’s Shenandoah Valley Family Practice Program. His special interests are sports medicine, home-automation/IOT, analytics/data-science, cycling, 3D printing, and outdoor family activities. He is the father of 4 energy-filled children and the husband of the smartest, most beautiful woman ever.


Tamara Spriggs, MDTamara Spriggs, MD

Undergraduate: The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia (est. 1693)
Medical School: Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Va (MD) and EVMS/Old Dominion University joint program (Masters in Public Health in Health Policy and Management)
Residency: Shenandoah Valley Family Practice Residency
Fellowship: Fellowship in Clinical Informatics
Personal info: I am Ohio-born but lived in Virginia majority my life. I married my college sweetheart and raise two fabulous boys in the Shenandoah Valley. I delivered my boys in the same hospital that I did my residency. I have a fish for a pet named Africa and he is 10 years old (!) and going strong (as of 2018). I am an unashamed “carbophile” and love to try new cake, bread, and pastry recipes. Sometimes I get “itchy cake fingers” and break out with some buttercream monstrosity that I have to unload on someone. I am also a big kid – I am a roller coaster junkie and am training my boys to be the same. I am a huge fan of playing with the kids on playgrounds and getting into the silly games. This is why well-child exams (birth through high school) are the highlight of my office day. At quiet times, I love to sit outside with a good book, looking up occasionally to see what the rabbits, deer, and mountains are doing. I love to shop but spend little doing it. If I get a chance to try on expensive clothes then PUT THEM BACK, I will count it as a great day’s outing. I love to plant flowers in my garden but am not so good with it and I can’t grow a vegetable/fruit if my life depended on it. I was a hospice volunteer in medical school and have a special place in my heart for those dealing with end-of-life issues. I have loved the concept of family medicine since age 17 when I spent a summer at VCU with the family practice faculty and decided that this is what I wanted to do the rest of my life. So far, NO REGRETS!


Gretchen Johnson, PharmD, BCPSGretchen Johnson, Pharm.D., BCPS
Assistant Professor
Shenandoah University School of Pharmacy
Assistant Clinical Professor VCU/MCV

Undergraduate: James Madison University
Postgraduate: Virginia Commonwealth University/Medical College of Virginia
Residency: Medical College of Virginia Hospital
Professional Interests: Evidence-Based Medicine, Hypertension, Hypercholesterolemia

Dr. Johnson and her husband, Mark, are both from the Shenandoah Valley. After completing her Pharm.D and Pharmacy Residency, she has for many years practiced and taught in academic pharmacology. She is a faculty member for the nearby Shenandoah University School of Pharmacy, and also teaches in the P.A. program. For the residency, Dr. Johnson runs our Pharmacology Curriculum, which includes lectures and seminars, clinical activities (e.g., our Coumadin Clinic), as well as consultations and chart reviews in the office, nursing home, and hospital. She regularly publishes articles and updates in journals of Family Medicine and Pharmacy. She and her husband have two children. She enjoys cooking, reading, and spending time with her family.


Judith Wheat, PsyDJudith McCue Wheat, Psy.D.
Behavioral Health Director
Clinical Professor VCU/MCV

Undergraduate: University of Alabama
Postgraduate: Bowie State University, James Madison University
Internship: James Madison University Human Development Center /Shenandoah Valley Child Development Clinic
Fellowship: Duke University Faculty Development
Certification: Clinical Psychologist/Professional Counselor
Professional Interests: Health Psychology, Early Onset Bipolar Disorder, Developmental Disorders, Adult A-DHD, Psychological Assessment

Dr. Wheat is a Clinical Professor and the Director of Behavioral Health for the Residency program. One of the original faculty Dr. Wheat has been with the Residency since its beginnings in 1998. Born in Atlanta, and raised a Southern Belle, she obtained her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa...ROLL TIDE!! Always the adventuresome traveler and explorer of exotic places, after college Dr. Wheat signed on for two years with the Department of Defense and shipped off to Subic Bay Naval Base, Philippines. Hair-raising adventures teaching first graders, and travel throughout Asia and the Western Pacific, made for some tales she is still fond to tell. Back stateside, she completed her Master’s degree and worked as a school psychologist and clinical counselor until earning her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology in 2000 from James Madison University. Always a believer in the biopsychosocial approach to patient care, she developed a keen interest in psychopharmacology and health psychology and has worked with Dr. Jennifer Barron to co-create and implement the Mind-Body Medicine curriculum for the Residency. Dr Wheat regularly presents at national conferences on mental health in Family Medicine and on our curriculum. She is married to Bill, the “other Dr. Wheat” who spent his career wearing Navy wings of gold and hovering in a helicopter in West Pac. With the children grown and an empty nest, they moved to “the Valley”, and soon their home was full of feline rescues. Recently, they adopted Boo, a Ragdoll, who is a most fascinating breed of cat. Dr. Wheat’s friends tell her that if she acquires one more cat, she will go from cat owner to “cat lady”. When not coaching resident physicians in the nuances of interviewing, diagnosing, and treating patients with mental health complaints, Dr. Wheat’s leisure time is spent pursuing her love of wine, gourmet cooking, ballroom dancing, and hanging out with friends. She and her husband travel as much as possible and otherwise can be found either on a golf course, at wine tastings, or dancing an Argentine tango. The only time she is not moving at breakneck speed through life is when she settles in to read a good book.


Tina KrajacicTina Krajacic
Residency Program Manager

AFMA Board Member

Tina was born in a small rural town in central Pennsylvania. She is the second of seven children and completely enjoyed being surrounded by a large family. During her last two years in high school Tina also attended The Greater Altoona Career and Technology Center where she received a two year Associate/Certificate in Accounting and Distributive Education. She has also attended Strayer University where she has taken additional accounting courses as she works toward her Bachelor Degree. Tina has been a Notary Public for the state of Virginia since 1999. In 1998 Tina and her family moved to Virginia. Though her career has primarily been focused in and around the Accounting field, in 2007 Tina became a part of the Valley Health team as an Administrative Assistant on MSU/ICU and then as the Staffing Coordinator for Warren Memorial Hospital. She took on the role of Residency Coordinator in 2011, then Residency Program Manager in 2019. In March 2017 Tina became an active member on the Board of Directors for AFMA (Association of Family Medicine Administration), the national organization for Residency Coordinators.

Tina married John in 1988 and they have two grown children, son Michael and daughter Kalyne. Both children are married; and God truly blessed her daughter and son-in-law with three beautiful children. Tina loves being a grandma “Nana” to her grandbabies. Tina is active in her church as the Financial Secretary. She also enjoys singing both with the music team and as a soloist, working with the youth groups, and ladies ministries. She likes spending quiet time with family and all life has to offer.


Wanda Shanholtz, C-TAGMEWanda Shanholtz, C-TAGME
Associate Residency Program Coordinator

Wanda was raised in nearby Hampshire County West Virginia, where some ancestors go back to the 1800s. She married Randy in 1983 and they have one grown daughter, Tiffany. It seems that Wanda knows or is related to everyone at Winchester Medical Center. She attended college in Hagerstown, MD, and graduated with an Associate Degree. She worked at VDO (a local automotive instrumentation plant) for over 18 years. She started with Valley Health and the Residency in 2004, and has been Associate Residency Coordinator since 2006. She attained her C-TAGME certification (Certified - Training Administrators of Graduate Medical Education) in 2017. She is based at the Winchester Medical Center Residency Office. She is a “country girl,” who enjoys her extended family, reading, crocheting, listening to live music, travel, and rescuing cats and kittens. Her back porch is a regular wildlife (and neighboring cats) gathering spot.