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 Psychology from Northern Arizona University in 1992, his master’s degree in Biostatistics and Epidemiology from The University of Oklahoma in 1995, and finally he earned his medical degree from St. George’s University in 1999. He is board certified in Cardiovascular Disease and is recognized by the Heart Rhythm Society of America as a Certified Cardiac Device Specialist (CCDS). He currently performs a number of both office and hospital based procedures including right and left heart catheterization, pacemaker and defibrillator implantation, transthoracic and transesophageal echocardiograms, carotid ultrasound, coronary CTA interpretation, nuclear stress test interpretation, venous ablation and consultative services in both the hospital and his office. He has authored multiple scientific papers that appear in numerous peer reviewed medical journals and he has participated in several national clinical trials for the development of new pharmaceuticals. Dr. Schoondyke is currently an active medical staff member at the Johnson City Medical Center, Franklin Woods Community Hospital, Sycamore Shoals Community Hospital and Erwin Community Hospital. In his free time, he enjoys playing music, working on old collector cars and riding his Harley Davidson.

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 and residency at the State University of New York, Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn, New York and he completed his fellowship in cardiology at the University Hospitals of Cleveland/Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Dr. Coly also trained in Interventional Cardiology and Peripheral Interventions at the Cardiovascular Institute of the South in Houma/Lafayette, Louisiana. He is board certified in Cardiovascular Disease, licensed in Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. Dr. Coly’s area of expertise include clinical cardiology, electrocardiograms (ECG), holter monitoring, stress testing, echocardiography (transthoracic and transesophageal), right and left heart catheterization, peripheral angiography, pacemaker implantation, implantable cardioverter-defibrillator implantation and nuclear cardiology. Dr. Coly is currently an active medical staff member at the Johnson City Medical Center, Franklin Woods Community Hospital, Sycamore Shoals Community Hospital and Erwin Community Hospital. He enjoys watching sports and documentaries on TV, gardening, fishing and hunting.

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. He was both chief resident and chief fellow during his training. He is board certified in cardiology, echocardiography, nuclear imaging, coronary computed tomography angiogram (CTA) and vascular imaging. He performs multiple procedures including right and left heart catheterization, transthoracic and transesophageal echocardiography, electrocardiograms (ECG), holter monitoring, stress testing, peripheral vascular studies, coronary CTAs, pacemaker and loop recorder implantations and venous ablations. He is an active medical staff member at Johnson City Medical Center, Franklin Woods Community Hospital and Sycamore Shoals Hospital.

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 full scholarship to the University of North Carolina — Chapel Hill where she completed her Master of Science in nursing in the Family Nurse Practitioner Program (2008). She then moved back to Tennessee and began her career as a nurse practitioner at Heart and Vascular, where she trained and worked with Dr. Schoondyke before joining him at Karing Hearts Cardiology.   

Early in her healthcare career, Julie developed a passion for cardiac care in the front lines of the Emergency Department. She was excited to take her experience back to her hometown in East Tennessee and work as a nurse practitioner in a cardiac specialty where she would continue to learn and grow. Julie loves cardiology, in part, because it is a field that is constantly advancing, offering new and improved therapies that can not only save lives but also, in many instances, improve quality of life for patients and their families. She has a special interest in the management of heart failure but enjoys and has an interest in all aspects of general cardiology practice.

Outside of work, Julie enjoys days spent outdoors with her family and friends, especially at the lake. She and her family also have a love for international travel. Whether it is a day at the hospital, the office or a leisurely day off, Julie likes to start her morning with a good cup of coffee.

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 Medical Center and Sycamore Shoals Hospital. In 2015, April received her Master of Science in nursing (family nurse practitioner) from East Tennessee State University. After, she worked as a hospitalist in internal medicine before joining the Karing Hearts Cardiology family. She provides professional cardiology care for men and women of all ages; her special interests focus on atrial fibrillation and preventative cardiac testing. She is an active member of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP). April, her husband, Aaron, and their son, Dawson, enjoy camping and cruising. She also enjoys riding alongside Aaron on their many motorcycle adventures.

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 clinic leader. She is a 2008 graduate of Milligan College where she received her Bachelor of Science in nursing. She then decided to continue her education and obtained her Master of Science in nursing (a family nurse practitioner) from King University in 2017. She grew up in Asheville, North Carolina but after graduating from Milligan College and meeting her husband, Seth, they settled down in Jonesborough, Tennessee. They are the loving parents of their son, Rowan, and love to spend time with extended family, playing cards or board games, camping and doing whatever their son wants to do. Whitney’s clinical interests include coronary artery disease, specifically post-myocardial infarction and percutaneous coronary intervention, focused on overall health and risk factor modification and prevention. She looks forward to serving the Tri-Cities. 

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 nurse for over 30 years. In 2016, she graduated from King University with her Master of Science in nursing (nurse practitioner) and 2 years later joined the Karing Hearts Cardiology team. She enjoys meeting new patients and learning something new each day. Her personal philosophy is to be honest, to listen, be respectful and to treat every individual like family.

She has lived in Johnson City for over 20 years and has been married to her husband, Wes, for over 25 years. They are the parents of four grown children and are members of First Christian Church. In her free time, you might find Dee running or bicycling on the Tweetsie Trail, embroidering, playing with her dogs, reading or watching tv.

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