Our Team

Mark L. Higdon, DO, FAAFP

Program Director, Designated Institutional Official, Dean UNC School of Medicine Charlotte Campus 

Mark L. Higdon, DO, FAAFPDr. Higdon is a board-certified family physician who graduated from the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine and has finished his family medicine residency in Fort Benning, Georgia. Dr. Higdon also completed a Family Medicine Faculty Development Fellowship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As a husband, father of three boys and a retired Army colonel, Dr. Higdon is committed to his faith and service to others. He was a former family medicine program director, director of graduate medical education and has more than 20 years of academic experience. His academic interests include physician leadership, hospital administration and work-life balance.


Kelley V. Lawrence, MD, IBCLC, FAAFP, FABM

Associate Program Director, Assistant Dean UNC School of Medicine Charlotte Campus 

Kelley V. Lawrence, MD, IBCLCDr. Lawrence is a board-certified family physician who completed both her undergraduate and medical school training at UNC Chapel Hill and then completed her family medicine residency at the Lawrence Family Medicine Residency Program in Lawrence, Mass. Her area of concentration within her training program was maternal child care, particularly low-risk prenatal/obstetric care as well as breastfeeding medicine. She and her husband have four young children and understand the value of balance between work and family life. Dr. Lawrence also contributes to our faculty team through her experience in care for the underserved/uninsured and interests in international and integrative medicine.


Taiwona L. Elliott, DO

Associate Program Director, Chief Resident Leadership Development

Puja Dalal, MDDr. Taiwona L. Elliott DO, a native of North Carolina, is a board-certified family physician who graduated from Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine. She completed her family medicine residency at Womack Army Medical Center, Fort Bragg, North Carolina where she served as chief resident. Dr. Elliott completed the National Institute for Program Director Development (NIPDD) Fellowship. Her areas of interest include fostering resident education, LGBTQ+ care, Women’s Health, and diversity, equity, and inclusion in medicine. Dr. Elliott enjoys running, hiking, cycling, weight training, traveling, reading, and most of all spending time with her wife and dog.


Cecile Robes, DO, FAAFP

Director of Osteopathic Education

Cecile Robes, DO, FAAFPDr. Robes is an osteopathic family medicine provider who graduated from Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed her residency at Western University/COMP Tempe St. Luke's Hospital in Tempe, AZ. With over 30 years of experience, her specialties include preventative care, geriatrics, HIV care and transgender care.

In her spare time, Dr. Robes enjoys spending time with the her niece and nephew, spending time outdoors biking, hiking and walking her sweet dog.


Lauren Penwell-Waines, PhD

Director of Graduate Medical Education, Director of Faculty and Resident Wellbeing, Director of Behavioral Science

Dr. Lauren Penwell-WainesDr. Penwell-Waines is a licensed psychologist who completed her undergraduate and graduate degrees at West Virginia University. Following this training, she completed a postdoctoral fellowship in health psychology at the Medical College of Georgia and the Behavioral Science Family Systems Educator Fellowship through the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine. Dr. Penwell-Waines' professional interests include integrated care, health behavior change, and physician wellness. She believes in living a well-rounded life and enjoys traveling, cooking, eating, and fitness.


Suzanne Florczyk, PharmD, BCMTMS

Inpatient Clinical Pharmacy Specialist

Suzanne FlorczykDr. Florczyk is a board-certified medication therapy specialist who received her Doctor of Pharmacy from MCPHS University, Boston. She completed her postgraduate year one pharmacy practice residency at Saint Francis Hospital in Hartford, CT. After finishing her residency, she became Connecticut's first Emergency Department pharmacist. She practiced for over nine years in the Emergency Department where she provided medication therapy management services for various acute and chronic disease states. Seeking new challenges and wanting to continue the trend of innovation, Dr. Florczyk went on to join ProHealth Physicians and OptumCare Network of Connecticut. She developed a clinical pharmacist role for the RBE/IPA. Dr. Florczyk joined Novant Health and the family medicine residency program in December 2018. Her clinical practice interests include internal medicine and teaching. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her two young girls.


Katherine Haga, DO

Director of Advocacy/Health Systems Education, Clinic Director

Katherine Haga, DODr. Haga is a board-certified family physician who graduated from Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine and completed her residency training with the Novant Health Family Medicine Residency Program. Dr. Haga was involved in resident leadership with the North Carolina Academy of Family Physicians and served as Chief Resident. She has professional interests in the business of the healthcare system/healthcare operations, community engagement, advocacy, whole-person health, and empowering young physicians. She enjoys time with her husband, friends, and family, as well as being outdoors and exploring new places.


Puja Dalal, MD, FAAFP

Director of POCUS Education

Puja Dalal, MD, FAAFPDr. Dalal (she, her, hers) is a board-certified family physician who went to the University of South Carolina for both her undergraduate and medical school training. She completed her residency at Swedish Family Medicine First Hill in Seattle, Washington. After working for a CHC in the greater Seattle area and internationally in New Zealand, Dr. Dalal returned to South Carolina to complete a Primary Care Ultrasound Fellowship at Prisma Health/USCSOM in Columbia, SC. Her academic interests include point-of-care-ultrasound, social justice in medicine, medical education and care of underserved populations. When not working, you can find her catching the sunset on a hike, making s'mores when camping, asking for directions in another country, attempting not to fall into the water when paddleboarding or trying salsa moves on the dance floor.


Lily Trout, MD, MLS-ASCP

Director of Maternal Child Health Track

Lily Trout, MD, MLS-ASCPDr. Trout is a board-certified family physician who graduated from the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC. She completed her residency training at the Novant Health Family Medicine Residency Program (NHFMRP), where she served as Chief Resident. Prior to joining NHFMRP as faculty, she also completed a Global Health Fellowship at Florida State University in Fort Myers, FL, where she served as junior faculty and gained medical training overseas in multiple countries, including Ecuador, Honduras, and Nepal. She is also a certified medical technologist, with a degree in Clinical Laboratory Science from East Carolina University. She previously worked as a hematology medical technologist prior to obtaining her MD.

Dr. Trout’s academic interests include international medicine, maternal child medicine, and care of underserved populations. In her spare time, she enjoys horseback riding, kayaking on Lake Norman, and spending time with her two cats.



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