Scholars, mentors and partners in good health

Kennestone GME faculty and house staff share a passion for the practice of community medicine. Committed educators skilled in adult learning theory pursue specialties in areas like public health, healthcare administration, epidemiology and healthcare disparities.

“I’ve always loved teaching and it is a humbling honor to be involved in the development of graduate education at WellStar, especially since I was born in Kennestone Hospital.”

~ G. Waldon Garriss III
Val Akopov
Senior Vice President of WellStar Medical Group
Val Akopov serves as senior vice president of WellStar Medical Group (WMG). In this capacity he helps oversee one of the largest multi-specialty medical groups in the nation. He earned his M.D. from the Tbilisi State Medical University, USSR. After completing residency training in internal medicine at Emory Affiliated Hospitals, he joined the Emory School of Medicine: Department of Medicine at Grady Memorial hospital. In 1998, he co-founded the Section of Hospital Medicine at Grady – the first academic Hospital Medicine program in a public hospital. Dr. Akopov practiced and taught at Grady from 1997-2003. In 2003, he started Hospital Medicine Service at Emory Crawford Long Hospital (now named Emory University Hospital Midtown). In addition to his leadership of WMG, Dr. Akopov serves as Chair of the Board of Managers of WellStar Health Network, WellStar’s Accountable Care Organization. He also serves on the Board of the WellStar Clinical Partners, WellStar’s clinically integrated network. In 2014, Dr. Akopov earned an MBA/MHA from the Robinson School of Business at Georgia State University.
Brandi Allen
Executive Director, GME
Brandi Allen is a fellowship trained healthcare administrator, with a passion for community health and health education. Her healthcare experience includes hospital operations, medical education, long term care, primary care and school based healthcare. Brandi joined WellStar in 2016.
Edward Stettner
Program Director, Emergency Medicine
Dr. Ted Stettner joined WellStar Kennestone Regional Medical Center in 2017 as the inaugural Emergency Medicine Residency Program Director. Prior, he worked 13 years as faculty for Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, serving as Associate Residency Director. Dr. Stettner is an experienced educator, and is developing an innovative and diverse program dedicated to the development of outstanding clinical and academically minded residency graduates.
Dilani Weerasuriya
Assistant Program Director, Emergency Medicine
Dr. Weersauriya is a Georgia native who has spent her career providing emergency care to Atlanta residents. She attended medical school and completed her Emergency Medicine Residency at Emory University School of Medicine, graduating in 2014 and joining the WellStar family. Dr. Weersauriya is a passionate resident advocate and teacher with an interest in innovative educational processes.