(Front, left to right)
Bio coming soon
Bio coming soon
(Back, left to right)
Joel Collazo, CPhT
Pharmacy Technician/DME Specialist
Joel is a bi-lingual (engl/sp) National Certified Pharmacy Technician, born in New Jersey and raised in New Jersey and Puerto Rico. From a young age he knew that he was interested in the medical field. It’s that interest that led him to be a Pharmacy Technician for 10 years, 4 of those as the Pharmacist Lead Technician. He’s always taken joy in helping others live better lives and has taken his experiences in the pharmacy with him. His ultimate goal is to be a RN. When not working he’s painting, learning another language or enjoying his niece, nephew and Siamese cat Misu.
Dominican born in New York, Melissa is fluent in English and Spanish. She has been working in the medical field since 2012 taking care of patients as an assistant in the front and back office. Melissa is very creative and likes to apply that gift to her work and in her everyday life. She has a 3 year old pet child Yorkie named Mr. Grey. In her free time she enjoys taking care of her nephews and sister, learning the piano, making lamps and drinking glasses out of bottles and shopping. She loves to cook and ventures into all cuisines, but specializes in sushi. She loves to help others and sometime volunteers locally.
Bio coming soon
Chris was born and raised in Michigan. Although he could have pursued a rewarding career in the automotive industry in his home town, he decided to attend Alabama A&M University for college and dove straight into the medical field right after graduating. He has over 9 years of experience in medical administrative work. He worked in Provider Service (BCBS), DME Administration (Beaumont Hospital), Diagnostic Coordinator (Oakwood Hospital), just to name a few. He is a very humble individual and enjoys helping patients in all aspects of healthcare. He is the only child of both mother and father. Chris enjoys traveling with his mother for warm and cozy vacations to her birth home in Belize. He also enjoys spending quality time with close family and friends. People who know him well would agree that he is a free spirit individual and goal oriented.
Kathy Fuentes, our bilingual (Sp/Eng) office manager, was born and raised in New Jersey. Early in her career she joined Select Surgical Specialists, a general surgeon’s practice, where she learned the ins and outs of a medical practice. She started at the front desk, but her curiosity and desire to learn moved her around the different areas of the practice from billing and collections to surgery scheduling, even assisted with in office surgical procedures. Kathy became office manager 3 years after joining that practice. Kathy’s husband was relocated to Atlanta in 2013, which forced Kathy to leave her employer of 15 years.
Kathy joined University Orthopaedics in May of 2015. With her love to help others, customer service skills, and knowledge in the medical administration field, she quickly instituted changes in the running of the practice to improve efficiencies and customer satisfaction.
In her free time Kathy loves to spend time with her two daughters and extended family.
Director of Finances
Mel has joined the 2015 University Orthopaedics management team in the area of finance. Although retired, has maintained an active presence in the business community. Mel received a BS in Chemistry with a minor in Business Administration from The University of Alabama and then continued graduate studies at the University of Alabama Birmingham while working in endocrinology research at UAB and the Birmingham VA. He held research program management positions at Northport, VA before accepting an appointment at a regional R&D office for the Eastern United States. From this he was appointed the position of Administrative Officer at the VA’s central office in Washington, DC.
In Washington he was responsible for administering policies and programs for the VA’s Medical Research Service. This included planning and submitting annual budgets to the Office of Management and Budget for submission to The Congress for approval, and overseeing budget expenditures of both appropriated and non appropriated funds. With appropriations ranging up to $350 million, he managed the funding for over 5000 peer reviewed research investigators at 160 medical centers in the United States and Puerto Rico.
In 1989 Mel felt the need to leave the stress of Washington, DC and took an appointment as Administrative Officer for Research and Development at the Decatur, GA VA with a concurrent Emory University appointment as liaison for research between the two institutions. Here he met Dr. Thomas Branch where they developed a lasting friendship.
Mel is active in community affairs, is currently a deacon in his church, a Gideon, and a compatriot in the Gwinnet Button Sons of the American Revolution. He has led many humanitarian trips to Russia working to help hospitals and orphanages. Professionally he was president of the Government Division of the Society of Research Administrators, authored/coauthored several research and management articles, and received national service and excellence awards. He volunteers for the Georgia Association for Nursing Education as their event planner where he also serves on the Board of Directors.
Carolina was born and raised in Guatemala City. She graduated from Georgia State University with a business finance degree. Early in her career she dove into the medical administration field in her husband’s practice and for the past 10 years at a medical device company. She has recently stepped back into the practice to help the clinic transition into new management. She is excited to work along the excellent office and clinical staff.
When not in the office, she is busy keeping kids (Hannah -19, freshman in college, and Jon - 16, sophomore in High School), home and family organized, cooking or playing tennis.
The University Orthopaedics doctors and clinical staff couldn't do what they do without the support of the talented and friendly office team. This team assists in the care of our patients and clients with appointment and surgery scheduling, check-in and check-out, front desk duties, medical records handling, and office management.