Three Highly Experienced Neurologists Join Wellmont, Further Enhancing Relationship with Health System

March 16, 2017 | Bristol, Tenn.

Three of the region’s premier and innovative neurologists, who have nearly 80 years of experience in the profession, have joined Wellmont Health System.

Earl Wilson, M.D.; Douglas Williams, M.D.; and Shawn Nelson, M.D., have brought their expertise to the organization to form WMA Mountain Empire Neurology. Their practice is now a member of Wellmont Medical Associates, the health system’s umbrella organization for many of its integrated physicians.

Prior to joining Wellmont Medical Associates, Dr. Wilson, Dr. Williams and Dr. Nelson provided high-quality care as part of Mountain Empire Neurology Associates, consulting with patients at their office in Bristol. The physicians were also members of the medical staff at Bristol Regional Medical Center and contributed to the hospital’s reputation as a premier facility for leading-edge care.

Dr. Wilson has served at Bristol Regional since 1982, while Dr. Williams and Dr. Nelson have been members of the medical staff since 1990 and 2000, respectively.

“We are thrilled these three exceptional neurologists have chosen to align with our organization and help us further elevate our quality of care,” said Stephen Combs, M.D., chief executive medical officer of Wellmont Medical Associates. “They are well-regarded by their peers, have impeccable credentials and perform exceptional work for patients in our region. As we partner fully with them, we see opportunities to build on our continuum of care to ensure patients receive the best possible care.”

For years, Dr. Wilson has exhibited physician leadership as medical director of Bristol Regional’s Advanced Primary StrokeCenter, which has held that designation longer than any other facility in the region. The hospital is also a founding member of the Appalachian Regional Stroke Center Network and provides expertise to member hospitals. Certified by the Joint Commission, the hospital’s stroke center has been honored multiple times by the American Heart Association.

Another key person in the stroke program is Claudia Corradino, who served for more than a year as Bristol Regional’s neuroscience program manager. Before accepting that position, she was a nurse practitioner with Mountain Empire Neurology Associates. She will return to the practice as a nurse practitioner now that it has joined Wellmont Medical Associates.

While the practice has played a significant role in helping Bristol Regional achieve major heights in stroke care, the physicians there have also assisted people with multiple other conditions. These include Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, multiple sclerosis, seizures and migraines. The practice accepts patients of all ages.

“We have worked closely with hospital and system leaders and with many physicians who are part of Wellmont Medical Associates during our careers at Bristol Regional,” Dr. Nelson said. “Together, we have achieved tremendous results for our patients, and that history of collaboration reinforces for us that joining Wellmont is absolutely the right move. With the resources Wellmont brings to the table, we will have the support structure to deliver even better care to those we are privileged to serve.”

Among the advantages to joining Wellmont Medical Associates is greater ability to recruit physicians to the practice, Dr. Nelson said. He noted it is easier to seek additional talent when the practice has broad-based support from the rest of the health system to address business matters such as regulations and computer systems.  The practice has welcomed the idea of expanding its number of providers, but younger physicians are generally not interested in joining an independent practice, Dr. Nelson said.

As part of the health system, Dr. Wilson, Dr. Williams and Dr. Nelson will be able to use Wellmont’s electronic health record more extensively for broader and quicker access to the history of a patient’s care in the health system’s facilities. Plus, their patients can review details of their office visits, which are now available to those who sign up for MyWellmont, a secure portal that allows them to review a significant amount of their medical record.

The connection between these neurologists and Wellmont has another beneficial dimension. Dr. Wilson, Dr. Williams and Dr. Nelson will continue to partner with Wellmont Medical Associates’ neurohospitalist program in place at Bristol Regional to provide a seamless transition for patients between the hospital and the physicians’ office. That program is currently staffed by Stephen Wayne, M.D., and he will be joined by another physician in the summer.

“Dr. Wilson, Dr. Williams and Dr. Nelson have been an integral part of the Bristol Regional medical staff, and we are delighted to have them as part of the Wellmont family,” said Greg Neal, the hospital’s president. “We have always been able to count on them for innovative approaches to help our patients, and they have been a key factor in our status as a major referral center. Their great work at critical times in people’s lives has demonstrated how we deliver superior health care with compassion.”

Dr. Williams graduated from the Northeastern Ohio University College of Medicine and completed his internal medicine residency at Akron General Medical Center in Ohio and his neurology residency at North Carolina Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem. He also finished a fellowship in clinical neurophysiology at the Mayo Clinic Foundation in Minnesota.

Dr. Wilson graduated from medical school at the Medical College of Virginia and completed his neurology residency at that school. Dr. Nelson graduated from the Medical College of Wisconsin and completed his internal medicine internship and neurology residency at the University of Florida.