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

MD, MPH, FACC, CCDS
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

MD
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)

MD
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.

Dr. Nikoloz Koshkelashvili
(Dr. Nik)

MD
Dr. Nik is originally from the Republic of Georgia and earned his medical degree from David Tvildiani Medical University/AIETI Medical School in 2011. He completed his Internal Medicine Residency at Albert Einstein Medical Center in 2016 and then attended Emory University School of Medicine where he completed his Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship in 2019, his Interventional Cardiology Fellowship in 2020 and a Structural Heart and Valve Disease Fellowship in 2021. He is board certified in general cardiology and interventional cardiology and is licensed in Tennessee. His areas of expertise include

Julie Bentley

FNP-BC
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

FNP-C
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

FNP-BC
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

Louise Crisp

AGACNP-BC
Louise is originally from Johnson City, Tennessee and joined our team in June of 2021 as one of our nurse practitioners. She received her Bachelor of Science in nursing from King College and has over 15 years of experience as a registered nurse. She has worked in two level one trauma centers, a medical intensive care unit and several progressive care units in hospitals

Alisha Houseright

FNP-C

Alisha is originally from Kingsport, TN. She graduated from Milligan University with her Bachelor of Science in Nursing, magna cum laude. During her nursing career she worked cardiovascular intensive care unit at Johnson City Medical Center (JCMC) andMission Hospital in Asheville, as well as neuro/trauma intensive care unit at Holston Valley Medical Center (HVMC) and Fort Sanders Hospital in Knoxville. She graduated with her Master of Science in nursing, Family Nurse Practitioner from Chamberlain University in 2022 and excitedly joined the Karing Hearts Team.

Jeff Margeson

FNP
Jeff is originally from Seattle, Washington and joined our team in October of 2021 as one of our nurse practitioners. Before becoming a nurse practitioner, Jeff was a US Marine and worked as a firefighter and EMT in Johnson City! He completed his Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies, his Master of Arts Teaching, and his Bachelor of Science in nursing from ETSU before receiving his Master of Science in nursing (family nurse practitioner) from South College in 2019.

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.