Our Providers

Joe gay, MD

Joe Gay, MD is a certified Diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine and maintains active Medical Staff privileges at Jackson Hospital, Marianna, FL. He is a long standing member of the Jackson Hospital Board of Trustees, previously serving as Chairman of the Board. Dr. Gay also served as Chief of Staff of Jackson Hospital. He serves as Associate Professor at Florida State University’s College of medicine, training upcoming physicians in primary care. Dr. Gay also serves as preceptor for University of Florida’s medical students. He is Medical director of Hospice of Emerald Coast and Gentiva Home Health Care of Marianna, FL. Dr. Gay is a native of Jackson County. He served four years in the United States marine Corps during the Vietnam Era conflict. His credentials include a Bachelors of Arts degree in Biology from the University of South Florida, Bachelor’s of Science degree from the University of Oklahoma, Master’s of Science Degree in Biomedical Science from Barry University, Miami, Fl, and Doctorate of Medicine from The University of Miami. He completed his residency training at the University of North Carolina.

Julie Harris, DNP

Julie Harris, DNP, is certified with the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Family Nurse Practitioner. Julie has practiced at Chipola Medical Associates since 2002. She received her Doctorate in Nursing Practice degree for the University of Alabama Birmingham, Master's of Science in Nursing degree specializing in Family Nurse Practice from the University of South Alabama, Mobile, and Bachelor's of Science degree in Nursing from The Florida State University, Tallahassee. Dr. Harris distinguished herself at the University of South Alabama as the recipient of the Excellence in Practice Award. Julie is a native of Jackson county and began her professional nursing career as an RN caring for critically ill patients in the Intensive Care Unit at Jackson Hospital, Marianna, Florida.

Susan Smith, DNP

Susan Smith, DNP, is certified with the American Nurse Credentialing Center as a Family Nurse Practitioner. Susan has practiced at Chipola Medical Associates since 2003. Susan received her Doctorate in Nursing Practice degree from the University of Alabama Birmingham, Master's of Science in Nursing degree specializing in Family Nursing Practice from the University of South Alabama, Mobile, and Bachelor's of Science degree in Nursing from The Florida State University, Tallahassee. Dr. Smith began her career as a professional RN at Jackson Hospital in Marianna, Florida where she worked in direct patient care and as a nursing supervisor. During her tenure there, she received the 2000 Nurse of the Year award. Susan also taught with Chipola College as an adjunct clinical instructor in Marianna, training future nurses. .

Virginia Fleener, ARNP

Virginia Fleener, ARNP is certified with American Nurse Credentialing Center as a Family Nurse Practitioner.. Her credentials include Bachelor’s in Science of Nursing from Florida State University, and a Master’s of Science of Nursing from University of South Alabama. Her nursing career began as a critical care nurse in the ICU of Jackson Hospital. Mrs. Fleener also worked as a nursing instructor with Washington Holmes Technical College. After receiving her Master’s degree as a Family Nurse practitioner she joined a local surgical practice specializing in minor in office procedures, as well as preventive and chronic care. In 2006 she joined the staff of Chipola Medical Associates where she continues to practice excellent primary care.

Heather Tatum, ARNP

Heather Tatum was born in Donalsonville, Gergia and was raised in Jackson County Florida. In 1999 she received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Florida State University. She practiced as a Registered Nurse at Jackson Hospital from 1999 - 2008. During this time, she worked in both Medical/Surgical clinical areas as well as the Operating Room. She also worked in Cardiovascular ICU at Bay Medical from 2006 - 2008. Heather received her Masters of Science in Nursing from University of South Alabama in 2008 as a Family Nurse Practitioner. From 2008 - 2009 she practiced as a Nurse Practitioner at Marianna Pediatrics. In 2009, she joined Chipola Medical Associates where she continues to practice as a Nurse Practitioner. She is certified with AANP.
Heather enjoys international travel and is passionate about medical mission work.