Meet your Team

from our family to yours

MEET YOUR TEAM

We’re a family, both at home and at work, of doctors, nurses, scientists, technicians, and administrators, all dedicated to helping you realize your dream of family. We’re here to educate, encourage, and empower you in your fertility journey and will celebrate your success and guide you through the obstacles and opportunities.

Our six fellowship-trained reproductive endocrinologists inject a wealth of experience and enthusiasm into our practice and, together, we’re proud to represent the largest network of fertility centers in the Carolinas. Helping you expand your family isn’t just what we love to do, it’s part of who we are.

PHYSICIANS AND
ADVANCED PRACTICE PROVIDERS

Each of our six fellowship-trained reproductive endocrinologists and infertility specialists went into this field for reasons they still hold dear. Very much part of a larger team, their role is to spend as much time as is necessary during each and every encounter to ensure that you remain confident, aware, and optimistic as you pursue the treatment approach just right for you. Our physicians understand that individualism demands options and strive to ensure that your experience at PREG is as informative and reassuring as it is empowering.

John E. Nichols, Jr. MD

Founder and Medical Director

Dr. Nichols’ education began with Georgia Southwestern College where he earned his undergrad degree and graduated Magna Cum Laude. He received his Medical Degree from the Medical College of Georgia and was inducted in the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. He completed his OB/GYN Residency and Internship at the University of Alabama, Birmingham and completed his Reproductive Endocrinology and…

John Frederick Payne, MD

Director of Third-Party Reproduction

Dr. Payne is a native South Carolinian. He finished his undergraduate degree at Furman University and earned his Medical Degree from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. He specialized in Obstetrics and Gynecology, completing his Internship and Residency at Madigan Army Medical Center and then subspecialized in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility completing his REI Fellowship at Duke University…

Travis W. McCoy, MD

Director of Surgery and Male Infertility

Besides the general areas of Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility, Dr. McCoy has extensive surgical expertise in advanced laparoscopic and hysteroscopic surgery. These include microsurgical techniques. He has served as a regional referral surgeon for patients with severe endometriosis, uterovaginal anomalies, and complex uterine fibroid cases. In addition, he has performed over 600 da Vinci Robotic Laparoscopic surgeries. His special interest…

Edward Tarnawa, M.D

Medical Director – Columbia and Lowcountry

Dr. Tarnawa is a native Texan who graduated from Southern Methodist University before receiving his medical degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, where he finished first in his class and was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha national medical honor society. Before joining PREG in 2017, Dr. Tarnawa spent four years at the Medical…

Karenne Fru, MD, PhD

Reproductive Endocrinologist and Infertility Specialist

Dr. Karenne Fru was born in Cameroon, West Africa. She received a BA in Biology at Wesleyan College, Macon, Georgia. She subsequently completed medical training at the Medical College of Georgia, receiving doctorates in Medicine and Physiology. Her dissertation research was in peri-ovulatory events in non-human primates. She completed her internship and residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Greenville Hospital…

Lisa Marii Cookingham, MD

Reproductive Endocrinologist and Infertility Specialist

PREG is excited to welcome Dr. Lisa Marii Cookingham to our Columbia center. The daughter of an Air Force veteran, she has lived all over the U.S. and spent part of her childhood in Europe. Although new to the South, she, her husband, and two young daughters have already discovered the beauty of Lake Murray and are looking forward to…

Victoria Bishop, MS, FNP-BC

Nurse Practitioner and Director of Nursing

IVF COORDINATORS

If IVF becomes part of your treatment plan, you’ll soon come to know our IVF coordinators quite well. All are highly experienced and will become your advocate, your go-to, and your confidant, all while working hand-in-hand with your physician as they guide you through the IVF process. Your relationship will become a truly valued and long-lasting one.

Lindsay Polowczuk, MSN WHNP

THIRD-PARTY ART COORDINATOR

Stephanie Biggerstaff, RN, ADN

IVF COORDINATOR - SPARTANBURG

Catherine Burnside, RN

IVF COORDINATOR - COLUMBIA

Heather Worthy, RN

IVF Coordinator - Columbia

Mikayla Carver, RN, BSN

IVF COORDINATOR - Asheville

Courtney Cutler, RN

IVF Coordinator – LOWCOUNTRY

Lynn Fowler, RN, BSN

IVF Coordinator – Greenville

NURSING TEAM

A team of extraordinarily caring and highly trained individuals who run on a seemingly endless supply of energy and enthusiasm comprise the nursing staff at PREG. Our group is purposefully large to ensure that time is never short when you need them. Whether it’s returning your call or email in a timely manner, making sure you understand every detail about your treatment plan, or providing support and insight when you need to talk, they’ll always be here for you, every step of the way.

Jessica Boyer, RN, BSN

REI Nurse - Asheville

Grace Elledge, RN, BSN

REI NURSE - Asheville

Debra Harrison, CNA

Clinical Assistant - Asheville

Melanie Brown, RN

REI NURSE – Columbia

Katelyn Delbocca, RN, BSN

REI Nurse – Columbia

Zuleima Perez, CMA, RST

Clinical Assistant - Columbia

Amber Starnes, RN, BSN

REI Nurse - Columbia

AnnMarie Chmielewski, RN, BSN

REI NURSE - GREENVILLE

Kellie Jo Cunningham, RN, MSN

REI Nurse - Greenville

Monte-Anne Hill, RN, BSN

REI Nurse - Greenville

Kristina Kryak, RN, BSN

REI Nurse - Greenville

Lauren Smythe, RN, BSN

REI NURSE - GREENVILLE

Meagan Vanzant, RN, BSN

REI Nurse - Greenville

Katie Walker, RN, BSN

REI Nurse - Greenville

Mary Ball, CST/CMA

Surgical and Clinical Assistant – Lowcountry

Jennifer Courtemanche, CMA

Clinical Assistant - Lowcountry

Kelsey Forbes, RN, BSN

REI Nurse - Spartanburg

Lauren Mulitauaopele, RN

REI NURSE - Spartanburg

SCIENTIFIC AND
EMBRYOLOGY TEAM

A successful IVF program isn’t possible without a highly trained team of clinical embryologists. We are incredibly fortunate that Rodney Wade has returned to South Carolina to serve as the lab director at PREG, overseeing each of our three IVF labs. His experience in the field is unmatched and his track record in providing excellent outcomes for patients in our state cannot be questioned as he formerly directed the IVF lab at Southeastern Fertility Center in Charleston for over a decade. Our embryologists understand that their work is crucial and are focused, committed, and enthusiastic, each and every day.

Laboratory Director

Mathew Darmer, BS

Embryologist – Columbia

Sarah Hodge, MS

Embryologist – Columbia

Julia Butler, MS

Embryologist - Greenville

Emily Payne, BS

Embryologist - Greenville

Heather Stowe, Ph.D

Embryologist – Greenville

Patricia Sutherland

Embryologist – Columbia and Lowcountry

ANDROLOGY AND CLINICAL LABORATORY TEAM

These individuals are responsible for making sure that your lab results are processed efficiently, always with precision and accuracy, for they are the basis of much of the day-to-day decision-making during treatment. Our andrologists perform high-complexity semen analysis on-site and prepare specimens for both intrauterine insemination and IVF. They are critical members of our team whom both you and your partner will have much interaction with.

Mashunda Hagood, BS

Medical Lab Technologist – Columbia

Abigail Hincher, MS

Andrologist – Columbia

Meghan Parris, BS, MT

Medical Lab Technologist – Greenville

Meredith Scherer

Medical Lab Technologist – Greenville

Kristin Dounian

Medical Lab Technologist - Lowcountry

MANAGERIAL TEAM

Faith Ripley oversees strategic planning and all operations at PREG. She is well-known in the field and we are incredibly fortunate to have her, for the degree of exceptionalism demanded in all aspects at PREG would be difficult to achieve without Faith. She has assembled a superb team of supervisors who manage the day-to-day operations at each of our locations, ensuring that both the patient experience and standards we’ve all come to expect at PREG are consistent throughout our network of fertility centers.

Faith Ripley, BS, CPC

Chief Executive Officer

Melissa Edwards

Practice Supervisor – Asheville

Sabrina Harris

Practice Supervisor – Columbia

Sarah Parker, CPA

Financial Coordinator/ Practice Supervisor- Greenville

Stephanie Madden

Practice Supervisor – Spartanburg

Christa Bogan-Richards

Practice Supervisor – Lowcountry

FINANCIAL COUNSELORS

We understand that financial matters may seem daunting when it comes to fertility treatment. Our team of financial counselors are highly experienced, committed, and here to ensure that you feel fully informed every step of the way. No question is too small, and they’re always available when they arise. Apart from their role as educators in this regard, they’re also advocates on your behalf when it comes to interfacing with your insurance company and applying for financial assistance programs.

Stephanie Martin

Greenville

Holly Montjoy

Columbia

ADMINISTRATIVE TEAM

While you’ll come to recognize several of their smiling faces as soon as you enter our doors, many work behind the scenes to ensure your experience at PREG is always smooth and efficient. Whether it’s sending records to your obstetrician in a timely manner once you’ve graduated from PREG, answering questions about your account, or scheduling appointments with your convenience in mind, we’re proud of how they represent PREG and our practice wouldn’t run the way it must without them.

Laurie Hix

Patient Account Specialist - Asheville

Donna Rogers

Patient Account Specialist – Asheville

Kim Turner

Administrative Assistant – Asheville

Brittnee Frierson, MBA

Patient Account Specialist - Columbia

Kimberly Rowe

Patient Account Specialist – Columbia

Kristin Gilpatrick

Administrative Assistant – Columbia

Debra Von Berg

Administrative Assistant – Greenville

Joni Burt

Surgical Coordinator

Mandi Henderson

Administrative Assistant - Greenville

Leslie Kiser

Administrative Assistant - lowcountry

Shonda French

Administrative Assistant - Spartanburg

Chris Harris

Practice liaison - Spartanburg

Stacy McCravy

Patient Account Specialist - Spartanburg

Heather Davis

Practice Development Specialist

Julie Medley

Practice Development Specialist

Sandy Webb

Practice Liaison - Spartanburg