Tenet St. Francis Announces New Physicians

May 06, 2024 at 02:22 am by pjeter

l -r: Kelechi Uzoma Iwuji, Joseph Okolo, Harvey Andrew Poret III, Karmen McPherson


Saint Francis Hospital-Memphis recently appointed Kelechi Uzoma Iwuji, MD, as the new Medical Director of Inpatient Rehabilitation.

In this role, Dr. Iwuji is responsible for overseeing the hospital’s dedicated 29-bed inpatient rehab program, which provides comprehensive therapy to patients who have experienced cardiac and pulmonary conditions such as a stroke, cardiothoracic surgery, or a major illness or trauma to the heart or lungs. Unique in the Memphis area, the inpatient rehabilitation center is located in a full-service hospital, giving patients access to many important services.

The hospital’s emergency response team is also on-site in the event patients require immediate life-saving assistance, allowing for patients to be quickly transferred to the correct level of care. The hospital also offers on-site outpatient and cardiac rehabilitation to patients after discharge, if needed.

Before taking up his new position, Dr. Iwuji, a board-certified internal medicine specialist, practiced as a part-time physical rehabilitation physician at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Desoto Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit and Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital-Memphis. Prior to that, he was a hospitalist physician at several Memphis-area hospitals, including Saint Francis Hospital-Bartlett.

Dr. Iwuji received his medical degree from the University of Benin in Benin City, Nigeria, and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Liverpool, in Liverpool, England.

The Saint Francis inpatient rehab program has the highest level of accreditation offered by The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). This accreditation demonstrates Saint Francis’s commitment to exceptional, personalized care. An organization receiving the highest level of CARF accreditation has undergone a detailed peer review process and has demonstrated to a team of surveyors, during an on-site visit, its commitment to providing programs and services of the highest quality.


Saint Francis Medical Partners recently welcomed Joseph Okolo, MD, a vascular surgeon and interventional cardiologist, who will be joining Pranab Das, MD; Supreeya Swarup, MD; and Andrew Watson, MD, at Saint Francis Cardiology

Associates-Memphis, a part of Saint Francis Medical Partners. Dr. Okolo provides peripheral vascular, general cardiology and interventional cardiology services, pacemaker and defibrillator services, and vascular/circulation medicine. He performs cardiac catheterizations and stents, stent implantations for blocked arteries, and pacemaker and implantable cardioverter defibrillation implantations.

He will also serve as Medical Director of the Cardiac Rehabilitation program at Saint


Dr. Okolo has more than 21 years of experience and is board-certified in interventional cardiology and internal medicine. Prior to joining Saint Francis, he worked at Jackson-Madison County General Hospital in Jackson, Tennessee for 12 years. Dr. Okolo earned a master’s degree in Public Health with a concentration in Epidemiology/Biostatistics from the School of Public Health at The University of Illinois in Chicago. He obtained his medical degree from Wright State University School of Medicine in Dayton, Ohio. Dr. Okolo then completed his internal medicine residency at Yale New Haven Hospital in New Haven, Connecticut, and cardiology fellowships at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Worcester, Massachusetts and an interventional cardiology fellowship at Brown University-Rhode Island Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island.


Saint Francis Medical Partners welcomes Harvey Andrew Poret, III, MD, a thoracic and cardiovascular surgeon, who recently joined Dr. G. Philip Schoettle at Thoracic & Cardiovascular Surgery, a part of Saint Francis Medical Partners.    

Dr. Poret provides cardiovascular and thoracic surgery services, including coronary artery bypass surgery, aortic valve repair or replacement, including transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), mitral valve repair or replacement, lung surgery, thoracic and abdominal aneurysms, dissections, including endovascular procedures, carotid endarterectomy, and peripheral vascular surgery. 

Dr. Poret is board-certified in thoracic and cardiac surgery by the American Board of Thoracic Surgery. Prior to working at Owensboro Health Medical Group in Owensboro, Kentucky, he worked at East Tennessee Cardiovascular Surgery Group in Knoxville, Tennessee, and acted as chairman of Cardiovascular Services at Tennova Healthcare in Clarksville, Tennessee. Dr. Poret earned his medical degree from Louisiana State University Medical Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. He then completed his residency and fellowship at University of Tennessee Medical Center in Memphis.


Saint Francis Medical Partners also welcomed Dr. Karmen McPherson as a new OB/GYN provider. She will practice at Saint Francis Medical Partners-OBGYN.

Dr. McPherson’s areas of practice and special interests include cervical and breast cancer screenings, gynecologic care for adolescents and adults, general and high-risk obstetrical care, prenatal care, pregnancy and infertility issues, and well-woman visits.

By taking the time to understand each individual’s needs, Dr. McPherson focuses on educating and empowering her patients throughout their healthcare journey. She believes that every patient deserves a holistic and compassionate approach to their care and is passionate about improving the quality of care for mothers and babies.

“Dr. McPherson brings a wealth of skills and knowledge and an inspiring passion for her patients to Saint Francis Medical Partners,” said Leslie Malone, Market Operations Manager at Saint Francis Physician Network. “We are thrilled to welcome her as we grow our obstetrics and gynecological services to best meet the needs of patients throughout the Mid-South area.”

Dr. McPherson practiced at Novant Health in Thomasville, North Carolina prior to joining Saint Francis Medical Partners. Dr. McPherson received her Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis. She then completed her internship and residency at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee.

Dr. McPherson is also a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

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