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Elle McQuagge, MSN, FNP-BC

Elle McQuagge, MSN, FNP-BC

Elle McQuagge is a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Prior to her career as a nurse practitioner, she worked for several years as an intensive care unit (ICU) nurse. Her time as a cardiovascular ICU nurse sparked a passion for heart health that would later become ignited once working as an advanced practice provider.

Elle obtained her Bachelor of Science in Health Science as well as Nursing from the University of Florida. She then obtained her Masters of Science in Nursing from the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) in Greeley, Colorado. Although Elle loves Colorado and the adventures it has to offer, she moved back to Florida to be closer to family and warm weather.

Her passions include preventative healthcare, education, and evidence-based practice. While obtaining her graduate degree, Elle also worked as a graduate assistant at UNC. Here she was able to assist with faculty research and teach undergraduate nursing students. 

In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family and fur children as well as watching Gator football.

Saidy Harper, MSN, FNP-BC

Saidy Harper, MSN, FNP-BC

Saidy Harper, MSN, FNP-BC, is a board certified nurse practitioner with the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Her experience includes cardiology and hospital medicine. She completed her Bachelor of Science degree at the University of North Florida and then earned her Master of Science degree at Jacksonville University, Florida. She is an active member of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. She is bilingual, fluent in English and Spanish. In her spare time Saidy likes to spend time with family and enjoys the outdoors. 

Grady G Carter, PA-C

Grady G Carter, PA-C

Grady is a Jacksonville resident and native. He was a Firefighter Paramedic with St Johns County Fire Rescue for 10 years prior to and while working towards his Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences at Florida State College at Jacksonville. During this time, he discovered that cardiology and the patients with heart conditions were of greatest interest to him. 

Grady attended The George Washington University in Washington D.C. earning a Masters of Science in Health Sciences. During his time there he elected to complete an extensive cardiology rotation at the Nation’s Veterans Affairs Hospital main campus. 

In his leisure time, Grady plays multiple instruments including guitar, piano, mandolin, and banjo. He enjoys spending time with his children, and restoring his project Ford Mustang.

Kristin Allison PA-C

Kristin Allison PA-C

Kristin Allison PA-C is certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants. She works alongside First Coast Heart & Vascular Center physicians in evaluating, ordering diagnostic studies, and carefully forming a patient care plan.

Kristin is a native of Washington DC.  She attended James Madison University in Virginia for her undergraduate degree, graduating with a BS in Health Sciences.  She continued on to attend Shenandoah University in Virginia, where she graduated with a Masters degree in Physician Assistant Studies.

From very early on in her career, Kristin learned that cardiology was her passion. She has practiced as a Physician Assistant in Cardiology since 2011. She understands the unique demands associated with providing cardiovascular care, and has a passion for patient education. 

She relocated from Pennsylvania to Jacksonville, and was very excited to join the First Coast Heart team.

In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family. 

Ivette Valdes, APRN, ANCC

Ivette Valdes, APRN, ANCC

Ivette Valdes is an Advanced Pracatice Registered Nurse (APRN) and holds a National board certification from the American Nurse Credentialing Center (ANCC).  She was born and raised in Miami, FL obtaining her Associate of Science in Nursing from Miami Dade Community College.   She continued her education once moving north to Palm Coast, FL, and graduated with honors from the University of Phoenix with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing followed by a Master of Science in Nursing.  During this time, she worked as a Registered Nurse, gathering experience with cardiology, trauma operating room and emergency room patients.  Once completing her undergraduate degrees, she obtained her Post Master’s in Family Nurse Practitioner, with Emergency Specialization-ARNP at Jacksonville University. Post-graduation, she worked in a primary care setting for greater than five years and has seen how important cardiovascular care is essential for optimal wellbeing.

In her free time, Ivette loves to play sports and games with her daughters.  Ivette also enjoys traveling with her family.

Smitha Unnikrishnan, APRN, ANCC

Smitha Unnikrishnan, APRN, ANCC

Smitha Unnikrishnan is an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) and holds a national certification from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Smitha received Bachelor in Nursing from Armed Forces Medical College in India following which she was commissioned in the Indian Military as a lieutenant and served Army for 5 years. After immigrating to the US in 2005 she worked in the cardiovascular intensive care unit as a registered nurse while working towards her masters program. She completed Acute Care Nurse Practitioner program at Grand Canyon University in 2017. Recently joined first coast heart and vascular, prior to that she worked in pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine as an advanced practice provider.

In her free time she enjoys listening to music and cooking. Also loves to travel with family. 

Roxanne Weber, PA-C

Roxanne Weber, PA-C

Roxanne Weber is certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants. As a physician assistant, Roxanne works with First Coast Heart physicians, performing patient assessments, diagnosis and treatment of cardiac conditions and illnesses.

Prior to and while working towards her Bachelor’s degree in Biology at Florida Atlantic University, she worked full time in the cardiac cath lab and EP lab as a tech, for 7 years. At that time, she discovered that Cardiology was her true passion. 

Roxanne attended Nova Southeastern University for Physician Assistant studies and Medical Science from 2004-2006. She earned a dual degree with a Bachelors in Physician Assistant Studies and a Masters of Medical Science. After graduating she worked four years in Hollywood, Florida for an interventional and clinical cardiology practice.

Roxanne moved to the Jacksonville/St Augustine area and continued working in Cardiology for another two years. She also worked as a Hospitalist Physician Assistant for five years. Roxanne has been in the cardiology field in some aspect for over 20 years.

Roxanne joined First Coast Heart & Vascular center in 2013 in a part-time role and in 2017 became fulltime. She works out of the St. Augustine office and Flagler Hospital.

In her free time, Roxanne enjoys being with her husband and children.

Runelon Alcudia, DNP, APRN

Runelon Alcudia, DNP, APRN

Run Alcudia was born and raised in the Philippines, where he received his BSN degree at West Visayas State University, Iloilo City. He immigrated to the United States in 2002 and has worked in the PCU and ICU settings. He earned his MSN-FNP degree at South University in 2017. He recently completed his DNP degree at Grand Canyon University in July 2021, with a project focused on heart failure education. He has worked with Dr. Manish Bansal since 2018. He is a local resident of Fleming Island. He enjoys time with his wife, 2 boys, and parents. He likes to read and play table tennis on his spare time. He is fluent in Tagalog, Hiligaynon, and Cebuano.

David Mecka, PA-C

David Mecka, PA-C

David Mecka, PA-C is certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants. As a physician assistant, David works with First Coast Heart physicians, performing patient assessments, diagnosis, and treatment of cardiac conditions and illnesses.

David grew up in New Jersey prior to moving to Virginia where he completed his undergrade degree in Nuclear Medicine Technologies at Old Dominion University. After working a few years in Nuclear Medicine, he attended Eastern Virginia Medical School for his Master’s degree in Medical Sciences, where he graduated as a Physician Assistant with honors.

David is the newest member to our team and has recently moved to the Jacksonville area in 2020.   He principally works out of Flagler Hospital but also spends some time at Memorial Hospital. 

In his free time, David enjoys golfing, travelling with his wife, and spending time with his family and dogs. 

Margaret Gannaway, RN, MSN, APRN

Margaret Gannaway, RN, MSN, APRN

Margaret Gannaway is a “True Gator.” She earned both her BSN and MSN from the University of Florida and has been a nurse practitioner in cardiology since 1993. Her nursing career over 30 years has focused primarily in the cardiology area. She and Dr. Koren began Apex Cardiovascular Group in 2000, and in 2018 she joined First Coast Heart & Vascular Center. Margaret’s devotion to her patients exceeds everyones’ expectations. Margaret has worked as Dr. Koren’s primary supporting provider and continues in that role for both hospitalized and clinic patients.

In addition to working at First Coast Heart & Vascular Center, Margaret volunteers her time with her church particularly in the area of mentoring teens and young adults. She is now reaping the benefits of the dedicated hours with young teens as they grow and mature by participating in their journey, and calling them friends.

Affiliated Hospitals

  • Brooks Rehabilitation Hospital
  • Flagler Hospital St. Augustine
  • Memorial Hospital Jacksonville
  • Baptist Southside
  • St. Vincent’s Hospital – South

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