Dr. Mazen E. Hamad, MD
President, Lead Physician
Dr. Hamad was born and raised in Syria. After graduating from the University of Damascus Medical School, he did his internship and residency in internal medicine and neurology at the University of Louisville Medical School. In the next two years, he completed his Family Practice Residency at East Tennessee State University and served as chief resident.
In March 2001, Dr. Hamad established Cary Healthcare Associates where he presently is the president and lead physician. Dr. Hamad is an adjunct professor at Duke University. He mentors medical students from Duke at his medical office as well as physician assistant and nurse practitioner students from Wake Forest, UNC, and ECU. In 1998 and 2010 he was awarded the “Best Teacher of the Year” award from Duke Medical School.
Dr. Hamad has served as the Chapter President for NC for the Arab/American Medical Association (AAMA). He is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), Wake Medical Society, and is an active member of the Consortium for Southeastern Hypertension Control (COSEHC). He is Board Certified in Family Medicine.
Dr. Hamad has a special interest in anti-aging and regenerative medicine, focusing on not only prolonging life but enhancing the quality of one’s life. Some of his other interests are preventative healthcare, diagnosis and management of chronic illnesses such as diabetes and hypertension, cardiovascular conditions, and dermatological conditions.
In his spare time, he enjoys traveling to new places, gardening, and photography. His biggest passion is going on medical and humanitarian missions to assist the Syrian refugees and attend to the sick and injured people in his home country
Courtney Queen, FNP
Courtney graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Nursing with a Bachelor of Science (BSN) degree in 2002 and has worked as a nurse in Hawaii, the mountains of North Carolina, and Chapel Hill. She returned to UNC-Chapel Hill to further her nursing career, obtaining a Master’s Degree in Nursing as a Family Nurse Practitioner in May 2009.
She has immensely enjoyed her career as a nurse and feels privileged to be able to draw from her nursing background that has shaped her as a practitioner. Courtney strives to provide holistic care to individuals of all ages. Her areas of clinical interest include prevention and education, management of chronic conditions, women and children’s health, and dermatological and musculoskeletal procedures.
Courtney enjoys spending her free time with her husband and two daughters, hiking, camping, biking, and gardening, and more recently, being a foster mom to children in Wake County.
Jennifer Schmidt, DO
Dr. Jennifer Schmidt is originally from the Chicago area. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Loyola University of Chicago in 1988. Following graduation, Dr. Schmidt performed research at Searle Pharmaceutical Company until 1991, and then began medical school, realizing that she desired to help others in a personal way. She graduated from Midwestern University in 1995 and completed her Family Practice residency at MacNeal Hospital in 1999, an affiliate of Rush Hospital in Chicago. Dr. Schmidt served as clinical faculty at the MacNeal Family practice residency program the year following graduation, before relocating to North Carolina in 2000.
She is a board certified Family Practice physician with special interests in preventative and obesity medicine, as well as women’s medicine. She takes pride in delivering compassionate and quality care to every patient and treats each patient individually and with respect. Dr. Schmidt is excited to rejoin the Cary Healthcare team where she originally started practicing Family Medicine in 2000.
Candace Chitsaz, FNP
Candace Chitsaz is a Family Nurse Practitioner, born and raised in Raleigh, NC. Candace graduated from East Carolina University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing and worked as a high risk obstetrics nurse for several years.
She completed her Masters degree in Nursing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a special focus on family and women’s health and received her certification by the Board of Medicine as a Family Nurse Practitioner.
She joined Cary Healthcare Associates in August of 2003.
Tara Terrell, DNP, FNP
Tara Terrell is a Family Nurse Practitioner, born and raised in Clearwater, FL and she has also lived in Chesapeake, VA for many years. She moved to Cary area to pursue furthering her education. She attended East Carolina University where she earned her Doctorate in Nursing Practice with a focus as a Family Nurse Practitioner.
She originally received her Bachelors of Nursing degree from Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA and has been a practicing emergency room nurse over the last 10 years. She has worked for Duke University Hospital in their Level 1 Trauma Emergency Department and most recently at the Durham Veteran Affairs Medical Center Emergency Department. She is board certified in emergency nursing as well as a board-certified family nurse practitioner
T. Lauren Britt, PA-C
Lauren was born and raised in North Carolina. She graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2013 with a degree in Clinical Laboratory Science and worked as a medical lab scientist in Orange County then Wake County. She decided to further her medical career and help patients in a more personal way by becoming a Physician Assistant. She graduated with a Masters of Medical Science focused in Physician Assistant studies from Wake Forest University School of Medicine in May 2019.
Lauren is passionate about closing the gaps in healthcare disparities in primary care including prevention of disease, mental health, and diagnosis and management of chronic conditions. Lauren strives to provide comprehensive, high-quality, and compassionate care to every patient.
She enjoys spending her free time with her husband, caring for her fur-babies, reading novels, and discovering new places to explore in the Triangle.
Blakely Garrity, PA-C
Blakely completed her undergraduate studies at Appalachian State University with a major in biology and minor in spanish. She went on to earn a Master’s degree at North Carolina State University before attending Wingate University for her Master of Physician Assistant studies. Blakely has worked in the field of endocrinology and is passionate about managing chronic conditions and new technologies to help manage conditions such as diabetes.
In her free time, Blakely stays active by running and cycling. She has completed race distances from a mile to a half Ironman. She also likes to visit National Parks throughout the US.
Kara Katz, FNP
Kara graduated from James Madison University in 2014 with her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree and went on to start her nursing career at the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville, VA. While at UVA, she worked in the Medical Intensive Care Unit until she and her husband relocated to the Raleigh area in 2018. Kara then made the transition to working at WakeMed in their Adult Emergency Department. She graduated from The Ohio State University in 2021 with her master’s degree and is now a certified Family Nurse Practitioner. Kara is passionate about health promotion and making a positive impact on her patient’s quality of life.
In her free time, she enjoys being outside with her husband and two black labs, spending time at the beach, and relaxing at home with a good book.
Maggie Thibodeau, ND
Maggie holds an undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Western Ontario (Ontario, Canada). After completing premedical requirements at North Carolina State University she completed a 4 year program at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine in Toronto from which she graduated as a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine.
Naturopathic medicine is a distinct health care system that blends modern scientific knowledge with traditional and natural forms of medicine. It is the art and science of disease management and prevention using natural and alternative therapies.
A Naturopathic Doctor views the individual as an integral whole, made up of physiological, structural, psychological, social, and spiritual aspects, and influenced by environmental and lifestyle factors. Symptoms of disease are seen as warning signals of improper functioning in one or more of these areas.
The primary goal is to address the underlying cause of the disease rather than solely treating or suppressing the symptoms. This approach has proven successful in treating both chronic and acute conditions.
She is also a trained Bowen Therapist and has completed additional training in managing thyroid conditions, gastrointestinal health, women’s health, cardiovascular health, environmental medicine and detoxification.
She holds professional memberships with the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, The North Carolina Integrative Medical Society, the North Carolina Association of Naturopathic Physicians and The American Bowen Academy.
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