The Carithers Pediatric Group, established in 1941 by Drs. Hugh and Connie Carithers continues to build on its long tradition of providing excellent care for children in Northeast Florida. Both Dr. Hugh and Dr. Connie were instrumental in improving the standards in the field of pediatrics on the state and national level. Dr. Ray Edwards was the Carithers’ first partner and initiated a poison control center in our area. After Dr. Edwards’ death, Dr. Robert Threlkel from Vanderbilt University joined the Carithers in 1971. He followed their example of assuming leadership roles in both local and national pediatrics. Jacksonville native, Robert Colyer, was a patient of Dr. Hugh as a child. Following his education and a pediatric residency at Vanderbilt, Dr. Colyer returned to Jacksonville in 1977 and became a member of the group. Dr. Julie Baker joined the practice in 1983, from the University of Alabama at Birmingham program and both she and Dr. Colyer were quick to enter into leadership in both local, state and community medical organizations. The members of The Carithers Pediatric Group believe in sharing their gifts, education, and experience with the larger community and encourage the physicians on their staff to follow their example. The practice grew through the years to include Dr. Paul Robinson from 1988 to 1994 and Dr. James Cheek in 1990, both of whom trained at Vanderbilt.
As Jacksonville grew so did the number of our physicians. Dr. Wendy Sapolsky joined the group in 1995 from Wake Forest. Dr. Kim Dal Porto and Dr. Raoul Sanchez joined in 1997 from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Dr. Amy Hardman practiced with Carithers from 1998 to 2014. After serving throughout the world in the United States Air Force, Dr. Thomas Connolly came back home and joined in 2002. The following year Dr. Anne Egan joined Carithers after practicing for eight years at a pediatric practice in Pittsburgh. Dr. Andreae Shaw joined in 2009 after completing her residency at the University of Florida. Four years later, Dr. Chanley Dudley joined after training at Harvard and finishing a Chief Resident year at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Letisha Jefferson who came from the University of Tennessee in Memphis after completing a Chief Resident year joined the group in 2015. The following year, Dr. Michelle McCreary joined from Massachusetts General Hospital. The most recent additions are Dr. Caroline Williams who after joining the United States Air Force, practiced at Naval Hospital Jacksonville as a civilian Pediatrician and Dr. Derrick Owens who came from the University of Florida College of Medicine Jacksonville, where he completed his residency and was chosen Resident of the Year by the Northeast Florida Pediatric Society in his final year. Several of the doctors in the practice share the commonality of being patients as children or having strong roots in Jacksonville.
The Carithers Pediatric Group invited several pediatric board-certified nurse practitioners to extend their excellent care. Many of them trained in the practice and some were former patients. Our current Nurse Practitioners include Katie Mershon, Lindsay Wolf, Gianna Agustin, Jack Page, Jessica Raines, and Physician Assistant Hugh Griffenkranz.
In 1999, the Physicians formally named the practice, “The Carithers Pediatric Group” in honor of the legacy of Dr. Hugh and Dr. Connie and their hard work for the children of Jacksonville. At The Carithers Pediatric Group, we strive for excellence as physicians and staff and participate in efforts to make a healthier community. In return, we have seen the larger community of Jacksonville and Northeast Florida express an appreciation for our work and service. Our group is not only about quality care for our patients, but medical leadership for our area. It’s all about giving back!