Medical Doctors


Dr. James Cates, MD
Dr. James Cates, M.D.

The oldest of four sons born to Jimmy and JoAnn Cates in Cookeville, Tennessee, James W. Cates, M.D., attended high school for four years at Castle Heights Military Academy in Lebanon, Tennessee. Excelling both academically and athletically, Dr. Cates was chosen his senior year by the faculty as Battalion Commander for the entire corp, graduated with honors, and was a varsity letterman in both football and track.

After high school, Dr. Cates attended undergraduate programs at the University of Tennessee - Knoxville, the University of California at Los Angeles, and Tennessee State University, where he earned his Bachelor of Science. In 1985, Dr. Cates graduated from medical school at the Meharry College of Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee, and subsequently completed his three-year residency at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in the Family Physician Program. Dr. Cates has experience in cancer research at the University of Tennessee Medical Center, microbiology work at UCLA, and in the Department of Endocrinology at Vanderbilt University.

Dr. Cates is board certified in family practice and a Fellow American Academy of Family Practice. In 1987, he began practicing emergency medicine at Cookeville Regional Medical Center and also gained experience while working at Livingston Regional Hospital from 1988 until 1998, and at Mid State Sports Medicine with Orthopedist Dr. Richard Williams.

Dr. Cates is the full-time Chief Manager of Satellite Med, P.L.L.C.

Dr. Steve Alexander, M.D.

Dr. Alexander was born in Knoxville TN, and according to his parents, genealogy enthusiasts, he is part of a family that has roots in TN before TN became a state.

In his youth he was very active in the Boy Scouts and became an Eagle Scout.

He attended the University of Tennessee Medical School and completed his residency at the University of Tennessee - Methodist Hospital.

Dr. Alexander began his career in a hospital based in Cleveland, Tennessee, before accepting an opportunity to build and open 2 hospitals in California.

Following that, Dr. Alexander completed additional training at PRR/UCSD with his eyes on becoming a missionary doctor for a Christian cause.

It wasn't just a job opportunity that brought him to Satellite Med but a calling and an answer to prayer.

He is excited to see how the Lord can use him to serve the patients of the Upper Cumberland at Satellite Med. As patients hopefully discover when seeing Dr. Alexander, he simply is:

a physician, in service to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Great Physician. (Luke 5:17).


Dr. Alexander is happily married and has 4 grown children. In his time off he enjoys studying the bible, playing guitar, hiking in the beautiful Upper Cumberlands and rooting for the Vols.

Dr. Kenna Williams, M.D.

Dr. Kenna Williams earned her medical degree from the University of Tennessee, completing her residency training in general surgery there as well. She has been in private practice since 1991, joining Highlands Surgical Associates in 2013. Previously she was affiliated with Hillside Hospital in Pulaski, TN; Cookeville Regional Medical Center in Cookeville, TN; and Middle Tennessee Medical Center in Murfreesboro, TN.

Dr. Williams is past president of the Putnam County Rural Health Clinics (PCRHC). In 2003, she received the Distinguished Service Award from the Tennessee Medical Association's Board of Trustees for her volunteer service to the PCRHC as the Organizer, Past President and Chief Operating Officer for appropriately five years.

She is a member of the American Society of Breast Surgeons.

Mid-Level Providers


April Looper, PA-C

April is from Livingston, TN. She attended the University of the South in Sewanee, TN and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry before beginning the Physician Assistant program at Christian Brothers University in Memphis, TN. April is a member of the Tennessee Academy of Physician Assistants (TAPA) and the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA). She has a special interest in Veterans and hopes to one day help improve the healthcare they receive. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, baking, traveling, and reading.


Larissa Rich, PA-C

Larissa worked as a scribe at Satellite Med while attending Tennessee Tech University. She completed part of her South College clinical rotation at Satellite Med. We are excited to welcome her back as a provider! 

Larissa is from Hermitage Springs, TN but has lived in Cookeville since 2012. She attended Tennessee Tech University for three and a half years to obtain a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology Health Sciences. She then went to and graduated from South College's Physician Assistant program in Knoxville, TN. 

She enjoys hiking, traveling, and going back home to spend time with family.


 Bethney Vaught, FNP-C

Bethney is from a small town located in Smith County, Tn. She attended Belmont University in Nashville, Tn where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1997. Following graduation, she worked as a Labor and Delivery nurse at St. Thomas Rutherford for seventeen years. She began work in the Surgical Department at Cookeville Regional Medical Center in 2013 until just recently in 2021. She received her Master of Science in Nursing from Tennessee Technological University in December 2020 and her Family Nurse Practitioner Certification in February 2021. She also has experience working as an FNP in Women’s Health and Obstetric care.

 Bethney is married of 25 years with a 21-year-old son and 24-year-old daughter. She enjoys spending time with her family and attending her local church. She is thankful God has helped her accomplish her goal of becoming a Family Nurse Practitioner and feels blessed to be able to care for patients of Cookeville and the surrounding communities.

Alyssa Ragland, APN


Alyssa is from Gainesboro, TN. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Tennessee Tech University in 2016. She has four years of professional experience as a Registered Nurse, primarily working in med-surg and oncology. In 2019, she obtained her Master of Science in Nursing from Tennessee Technological University. In addition to providing care for patients at Satellite Med, Alyssa also works as an instructor at TN Tech's Whitson-Hester School of Nursing. She enjoys working outdoors with her husband Lincoln on their farm, gardening, and spending time with family.

Pepe Thompson, ACNP-BC


Pepe was born and raised in Oklahoma where she attended Oklahoma State University and graduated from Central Oklahoma State with a degree in art. She went back to school at The University of Texas in Arlington and graduated with her BSN and MSN as an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner. Pepe has been a Nurse Practitioner for over 20 years. She has experience in many areas, including Cardiology, Pulmonary, Internal, Emergency, and Hospital Medicine.

 Pepe moved to Cookeville 19 years ago with her husband, Chris Brown, who teaches Biology at Tennessee Tech University. Her daughter, Katie Brown, is a recent graduate from UT.

 Pepe enjoys horseback riding, reading, and all types of crafts. Pepe and her family have traveled to several foreign countries and they plan to travel to more.


Christina Green,

B.S., M.S., EdS., M.A.

Christina (Tina) has spent the past 30 years serving as a professional educator, with three degrees in education and a passion to serve special-needs children and their parents.  In addition, she has worked side-by-side with her husband, Dr. Craig Green, as a pastoral counselor—which is the area of specialization in her latest degree—a Master's in pastoral counseling. 

Christina has served as the Special Education Supervisor for the Overton County School System for the past five years.  She will always be an advocate for those who can defend themselves least. 

God has ordained a new season of service for Tina—one free from constraints to openly share the One and only One who truly defends the weak and who truly heals the wounded—Jesus Christ the Lord. 

With deep trust in the power of the Holy Spirit to bring real and lasting healing, Tina will gently and lovingly engage her clients as they receive the healing available in areas such as:



*Autism, Asperger’s, ADHD, ADD

*Alcohol and substance abuse

*Juvenile delinquency

*Conflict resolution

*Grief counseling

*Marriage Counseling (Pre, Present, Post)

*Sexual abuse counseling

*Eating Disorders and self-harm

*Post-Traumatic Stress (PTSD)