Meet Our Staff

Our friendly and Karing staff is looking forward to meeting your healthcare needs. Take a minute to get to know the people you will see when you visit Karing Hearts Cardiology.

Dr. Jeff Schoondyke

Dr. Schoondyke is originally from Northern Illinois and moved here to complete his residency in Internal Medicine in 2002 and his cardiology fellowship in 2005. Prior to this, he earned his Bachelor of Science in

Dr. Erasme Coly

Dr. Coly, originally from Senegal in West Africa, earned his medical degree from the “Faculte Mixte de Medecine, Pharmacie et Chirurgie Dentaire/Universite Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar”. He completed his internship

Dr. Kamesh Sivagnanam
(Dr. Siv)

Dr. Siv is originally from Chennai in Southern India. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine and his cardiovascular disease fellowship at East Tennessee State University in 2017.

Julie Bentley

Julie joined Karing Hearts Cardiology in August 2011, a few short months after Dr. Schoondyke opened his private practice. She is a graduate of Milligan College where she received her Bachelor of Science in nursing (2003), magna cum laude. After working as a registered nurse (RN) in the emergency department of Duke University Medical Center, Julie received a

April Reece

April, one of our nurse practitioners, joined Karing Hearts Cardiology in March 2017. April is a native of Elizabethton, Tennessee and continues to reside there. In 2009, she graduated from Milligan College with her Bachelor of Science in nursing. She then worked as a registered nurse (RN) in the emergency room and intensive care unit (ICU) at Johnson City

Whitney Pyles

Whitney has been with Karing Hearts Cardiology since 2013. After working most of her nursing career in inpatient cardiology and in the cath lab at Johnson City Medical Center, she transitioned to Karing Hearts Cardiology to work in outpatient cardiology. She worked as a registered nurse (RN) fulfilling many roles Karing Hearts Cardiology had to offer, including

Dee Perry

Dee, one of our nurse practitioners, was born in Pikeville, Tennessee but moved to Bluff City when she was just three years old. She graduated from Sullivan Central High School where she was all state in cross country and track, earning her an athletic scholarship to ETSU. She graduated with her Bachelor of Science in nursing in 1986 and has worked as a

Transesophageal Echocardiogram (TEE)

A transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE) is an invasive heart procedure where an ultrasound probe is inserted into your esophagus (food pipe). A transesophageal echocardiogram allows your cardiologist to acquire detailed pictures pertaining to the structure, function and any valvular heart disease that many be present. This procedure demonstrates your cardiac function in much greater detail than a standard transthoracic echocardiogram.

Prior to your procedure, you should not have any food or drink for 8-12 hours. In most cases, you will be able to take your home medications as scheduled. Your cardiologist / healthcare provider will advise you if there are any requirements to alter your medication schedule. Prior to your transesophageal echocardiogram, the technologist will insert an IV in your arm as a safety precaution to begin the test. This will allow sedation to be given to make you more comfortable during your procedure. During your procedure, you will be required to lie flat for approximately 30 minutes while the test is being completed. After your transesophageal echocardiogram, you will need to refrain from driving for approximately 12 hours and will need someone to accompany you home after the procedure. You can return to your normal activities the morning after your procedure.

To Our Patients

In response to the outbreak of COVID-19, our offices are dedicated to keeping you safe while providing you with the highest quality healthcare. Below is a list of new policies put into action to limit the spread of COVID-19.

  • Disinfecting high touch areas every two hours
  • Providing face masks at patient facing encounters
  • Daily screening of employee temperatures
  • Pre-visiting patient screening for COVID-19 symptoms
  • Limit non-essential, non-patient personnel into our offices

In addition, we offer Telehealth appointments. Using a smartphone, tablet or computer, you can talk to a doctor or nurse practitioner without leaving your home. Call (423) 926-4468 to schedule or reschedule an appointment today.

We hope you and your loved ones stay safe and healthy during this time.


Karing Hearts Cardiology