Meet the Staff

Jonathan T. Cole, MSN, FNP

Jonathan T. Cole, MSN, FNP received his undergraduate degree with honors from Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. He then studied at Vanderbilt University and received his Master of Science in Nursing degree with high honors in 1996. He received the Hilliard and Nancy Travis Scholarship in Advanced Practice Nursing and was a member of the Vanderbilt Honor Council. He is board certified as a Family Nurse Practitioner. He worked in West Tennessee in primary care medicine until moving to Nashville in 2001. He has been involved in the treatment of chronic disease throughout his career and has a special interest in the metabolic syndrome, hypertension, and diabetes.

Laurie Hays, BA, R.N., CCRC
Director of Clinical Services
Co-Director of Facial Rejuvenation Center
Associate Director of Clinical Research

Laurie Hays is a licensed registered nurse and has specialized in hypertension and its research since 1986. She graduated with honors from Belmont College and the University of Alabama.  Following graduation in 1978, Laurie worked as a staff nurse in the surgical intensive care unit at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.  Her experience after the SICU has included work in the Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Center at Saint Thomas Hospital, Division of Clinical Pharmacology at Vanderbilt, Division of Cardiac Arrhythmia Research at Vanderbilt and the Hypertension Institute. Laurie is a member of the American Society of Hypertension, American Nutraceutical Association, and the Society for Bioidentical Hormone Therapy.

In addition to her work with Hypertension, Laurie has attended multiple national lectures and conferences on Bioidentical Hormone Therapy and is well educated on the treatment and management of hormone therapies. Laurie is Co-Director of the recently opened Facial Rejuvenation Center. Along with her knowledge of medical grade aesthetic skin care treatments; Laurie is certified in all injectables, including BOTOX and Juvaderm. Laurie will tailor treatment options for you and help establish goals and expectations with your skin.

Sissy Denton, BSN, R.N.
Co-Director of Clinical Services
Co-Director of Clinical Research
Co-Director of Facial Rejuvenation Center

Sissy joined Saint Thomas Medical Group in 2009.  Sissy is a licensed registered nurse with a specialty in cardiovascular disease and clinical research. Since graduating from the University of Alabama in 1972, Sissy worked as a nurse with the Daughters of Charity System in intensive care, medical/surgical units, cardiopulmonary rehabilitation, and cardiac transplantation. Before joining our group in the summer of 2009, Sissy worked in the field of clinical research.  Sissy, along with Laurie, is Co-Director of the Facial Rejuvenation Center where they strive for inner and outer beauty. She can assist you with the latest advances in skin care and is certified in administering injectables. Sissy also trained in bio-identical hormone replacement program.

Dianne Sutter, LPN

Dianne brings more than 20 years of medical experience to Dr. Houston’s patients.  She served a staff nurse for Saint Thomas Hospital for 14 years (medical/surgical nursing).  She was Clinic Nurse for the Tennessee School for the Blind for 7 years. She has phlebotomy experience from the American Red Cross.  Dianne is a graduate of Austin Peay State University (B.A.) and the Area Technical School of Nursing (LPN).

Larissa Reyes, Medical Assistant

Larissa joined the Saint Thomas Medical Group in 2004.  She graduated in 2003. Larissa is pursuing a career in the medical field.  In addition, Larissa is fluent in Spanish.

Lisa Moss, Medical Receptionist

Lisa joined the Saint Thomas Medical Group in 2005. Lisa has worked as a receptionist/secretary for the past 20 years.

Dot Clark, Medical Registration

Dot has worked with Saint Thomas Hospital for 13 years in patient discharge and insurance prorating. The last 10 years, she has been a part of St. Thomas Medical Group. Dot currently works in our registration division and is the first employee you will meet.

Chris Stokes, HCM Administrator

Chris Stokes graduated with a degree in Business, B.A. in Music (Summa Cum Laude), and a Masters in Theology (Summa Cum Laude).  He has studied professionally the piano, trumpet, and guitar – performing with all three instruments and winning three state sonata contests with the trumpet and piano.  Although Chris enjoys playing music and taught guitar earlier in his career, his work experience has included UPS Supervisor, Associate Pastor, and a Planned Giving Director for The Salvation Army.  Chris is a certified counselor with studies in personality profiles.  His career opportunities have developed in him a strong background in planning and executing ideas for both long-term and short-term implementation with attention to details, organizational and time management skills with the ability to coordinate concurrent events, and the ability to communicate effectively with individuals or large groups.  Chris’s skills in leadership, marketing, team building, and communication makes him an asset to our team.  Chris is available to consult with anybody that is interested in the HCM program.

Randy Pendergrass, LSN, CSCS, LMT

Randy is both a Licensed Nutritionist and Licensed Massage Therapist. Randy's passion is helping people to learn how to feel better and energize their bodies through better nutrition and exercise.  With over fifteen years of nutritional counseling experience, he can help you individualize a nutrition and exercise plan to assist you in reaching your health goals.

Elton John - Institutional Therapy Dog

Elton John is a 2 year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. While his parents were imported from Holland and Germany, he is a native Tennessean, born at Lanmar Cavaliers in Shelbyville. He was adopted by Dr. Mark Houston and his wife, Laurie Hays.

Elton John is a familiar sight in the halls of the Hypertension Institute. He completed TDA Therapy Dog certification, and truly enjoys visiting with patients, as evidenced by his constantly wagging tail. Many health care centers are recognizing the physical and mental benefits of encounters with therapy animals, and Elton John is the Hypertension Institute Therapy Dog.

When he isn’t working at the office, Elton John enjoys spending time playing with his canine buddies at the Woof Camp. His favorite game is fetch, and he excels at fielding grounders.