Our Physician Assistants & Nurse Practitioners
Sheila Fulcher, RN, MSN, APRN‑BC
Sheila earned an Associate Degree in Nursing from Armstrong State College in 1991, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from The University of Tennessee Chattanooga in 1995, and a Master of Science in Nursing – Adult Nurse Practitioner from Armstrong Atlantic State University in 2010. Prior to working at Chatham Orthopaedics as an adult nurse practitioner of orthopaedic surgery, Sheila gained nursing experience by caring for patients in a variety of medical areas, including labor and delivery, neonatal ICU, GYN surgery and the Intensive Care Unit.
Andrew Grosse, PA‑C
After graduating from Charleston Southern University in 2005, with a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a pre-med emphasis, Andrew attended South University where he received a master’s in physician assistant studies. He became a physician assistant at Chatham Orthopaedics in 2010, after gaining experience in a diverse array of clinical rotations. Andrew developed his self-motivation, teamwork skills, and his ability to work well under pressure as a Division 1 NCAA collegiate baseball player while at Charleston Southern University.
Malissa Nix, PA‑C, ATC
After receiving her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Northern Kentucky University, Malissa earned her Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies from South University in Savannah, GA. It was at South University where she gained hands-on experience in internal medicine, emergency medicine, orthopedics, and several other areas. Malissa also gained experience by working as a student athletic trainer while at NKU and with several YMCA programs across the state of Ohio as an exercise therapist for R.E.P.S. Before joining the PA team at Chatham Orthopaedics in 2009, she worked as a physician assistant/assistant clinic director at Ideal Image.
Kate McIntosh, PA‑C
After receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Biological Science from Smith College in Massachusetts, Kate came to Savannah to work as an assistant competition manager for the sport of sailing for the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games. She received a Bachelor of Science of Physician Assistant Studies from South University in Savannah, and then a Master of Physician Assistant Studies from the University of Nebraska. Kate’s experience in the medical field began in 1992, at Memorial Medical Center as a nurse assistant in neurology/neurosurgery, then as a physician assistant at Neurological Institute of Savannah, followed by a graduate studies coordinator of the Physician Assistant Program at South University before becoming a certified physician assistant at Chatham Orthopaedics in 2004.
Leslie Briggs, PA‑C
Leslie is a Savannah native who graduated magna cum laude with honors from the University of Georgia. She had a successful four-year collegiate career as a NCAA Division 1 soccer player at UGA. She then went on to obtain her master’s in physician assistant studies from Georgia Regents University, formerly known as the Medical College of Georgia. She has worked one-on-one alongside Dr. J. T. Prather as his first assist in the operating room and during clinic since her hire in 2013. She is well versed in postoperative care of all foot and ankle procedures including trauma, total ankle replacements, fusions, forefoot reconstructions and arthroscopies. She also has experience treating some of the most complex foot and ankle conditions including acquired flatfeet, Charcot, and hindfoot deformities.
Daniel Vacala, PA‑C
Daniel received his Bachelor of Science in Physician Assistant Studies from Alderson Broaddus University in Philippi, West Virginia. Through the years, Daniel has acquired a litany of real-world experience, especially in the realm of sports medicine. He has worked with the 1996 Atlanta Committee of Olympic Games, United States Weightlifting Federation, and numerous college, high school, and club teams. He has been a lecturer for Armstrong Atlantic State University, South University, and Memorial’s medical training programs, as well as a speaker for the Georgia Physician Assistant conferences where he has served as president of the association. He was the program developer of the Candler Sports Medicine and Wellness Program and has been with COA since 1991.
Amanda Prather, PA‑C
Amanda graduated from the Medical College of Georgia with a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies and received her Bachelor of Science in Biology and Psychology from the University of Georgia. She has gained experience in all sides of the business, working as a research assistant, medical billing assistant, and medical assistant. In 2013, she became a physician assistant for Chatham Orthopaedic Associates. Amanda is a volunteer at the Christ Church Health Clinic and has spent time volunteering at the St. Mary’s NICU.
Salaethia Crawford, MSN, FNP‑C
A graduate of Georgia Southern University, Salaethia received her Master of Science in Nursing and Family Nurse Practitioner Post Graduate Certificate from South University. Before joining the team at Chatham Orthopaedic Associates, Salaethia served as a staff nurse for inpatient surgery and a medication reconciliation nurse at medical centers in Savannah. She also spent several years as a clinical nursing instructor at Savannah Technical College, instructing students in a variety of clinical settings. With over a decade of experience working closely with patients, Salaethia is dedicated to providing only the best care for her patients at Chatham Orthopaedics.
Sarah Mcilwain, MSPAS, PA‑C
After graduating from The University of Tennessee with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry, Sarah received her Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies from South University, where she was recognized with an Academic Achievement Award and served for three years as a Student Ambassador. Sarah’s professional experience includes serving as a medical assistant and pediatric neurosurgery physician assistant before coming on board at Chatham Orthopaedic Associates.
Mike McEwen, PA‑C
After graduating from Georgia College & State University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology, Mike earned his Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies from South University in 2017. During his various clinical rotations, Mike gained hands-on experience in areas including orthopaedic surgery, emergency medicine, family medicine, general surgery, pediatrics, and more. Mike’s professional experience includes working as a physical therapy tech in Atlanta, and later as a wellness coach in Covington, GA.
Ryan Polsinelli, PA‑C
After graduating from Clemson University with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, Ryan went on to earn his Surgical First Assistant Certificate from the Meridian Institute of Surgical Assisting. He later earned his Master of Orthopaedic Physician Assistant from the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences as well as his Master of Science in Physician Assistant at South University. Over the past few years, Ryan’s clinicals allowed him to work at various medical facilities in the South, including a rotation here at Chatham Orthopaedics. Through his clinicals, Ryan gained valuable experience in orthopaedics, pediatrics, general surgery, family medicine, internal medicine and more. Ryan is also a member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) and the Georgia Association of Physician Assistants (GAPA).
Chip Wallace, PA‑C
After graduating from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree, Chip earned a second bachelor’s degree in physician assistant at the Medical College of Georgia. Promptly after graduation, Chip interned with a physician in orthopaedic surgery and has been working as a physician assistant in various practices throughout Savannah ever since. Chip joins the Chatham Orthopaedics team with more than 40 years of experience, working mostly in occupational medicine with an emphasis in orthopaedics and emergency medicine. Chip is also a member of the American Society of Safety Engineers, the American Academy of Physician Assistants, and the Georgia Association of Physician Assistants.
Lori B. Gaylor, PA–C, MPAS, DFAAPA
Lori earned her associate degree in business administration with a minor in psychology from Middle Georgia College and her Bachelor of Science in Physician Assistant from Medical College of Georgia. In 2001, Lori received her Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies with a pediatric focus from The University of Nebraska. Lori has more than three decades of physician assistant experience and has also worked as a clinical coordinator and assistant professor for South University’s Physician Assistant Program in Savannah.
Kelsey Byrd, PA‑C
Kelsey received her Bachelor of Science in Agriculture in Biological Sciences from The University of Georgia in 2016. She then attended Augusta University, formerly the Medical College of Georgia, where she earned a Master of Physician Assistant Studies degree. During her clinical rotations, Kelsey gained a wide range of experience in several areas including breast and reconstructive surgery, addiction medicine, pediatrics, adult medicine, and burn and trauma surgery. Kelsey’s professional experience includes working as a medical scribe and medical assistant.
Karen Cahill, PA‑C
Karen joins the Chatham Orthopaedics team with over 15 years of experience as a physician assistant. She graduated summa cum laude from Duquesne University with a bachelor’s degree in health science in 2002, and a master’s degree in physician assistant studies in 2003. As the spouse of a Coast Guard officer, Karen has moved up and down the East Coast throughout her career. She has gained a broad range of experience in multiple surgical specialties including adult and congenital cardiac surgery, neurosurgery, general surgery, and plastic surgery.
Marilyn Palcic, MPAS, PA‑C
Marilyn Palcic, MPAS, PA-C attended Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. She received her Physician Assistant Certification at Kettering College of Medical Arts in Kettering, Ohio. She has practiced in all disciplines of orthopaedics in Ohio, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina. Marilyn moved back to Savannah in 2020, to work again with Dr. Chetan Deshpande. She enjoys hiking, camping, outdoors, weightlifting, sports, running, reading, and spending time with her dogs and family.
Katelyn Brooker, PA‑C
Kate earned her bachelor’s degree in Science from Armstrong Atlantic State University and her Master of Science degree in Physician Assistant Studies from South University in 2017. Before joining Chatham Orthopaedic Associates, she spent the past five years working locally in orthopaedics with a focus in pediatric orthopaedics. She joined Dr. Evan Siegall in 2022 and works alongside him as his first assist in the operating room and during clinic.
Kristin Latham, APRN, FNP‑BC
Kristin, a native of Savannah, earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Armstrong Atlantic State University in 2008. She gained clinical experience working and caring for patients in surgery and in the office setting before deciding to go back to graduate school. She graduated from South University with her Master of Science in Nursing as a Family Practitioner degree in 2022. She is dedicated and excited to provide her patients with the highest level of care at Chatham Orthopaedic Associates.
McKinley Swartzendruber, PA‑C
McKinley is a Texas native who graduated from Baylor University and worked for seven years in pharmaceutical sales prior to returning to school for a degree in medicine. Knowing she wanted to work as an orthopaedic PA, McKinley worked in several roles at an orthopaedic practice while she completed her prerequisite coursework. She received her Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies from South University where she gleaned valuable clinical experience in general and orthopedic surgery, family and internal medicine, pediatrics, women’s health, and behavioral health.