Ritu Chandra, M.D.
Dr. Chandra is the founder of the group. In 2007 she started Phenix City Children’s in Phenix City, AL. She also founded Fort Mitchell Clinic in January of 2012.
Dr. Chandra grew up in India, her father being a senior officer in the Indian Army and her mother a homemaker and national level swimmer. She went to medical school at one of the top five medical schools in India and graduated as a medical doctor at the age of 21 years. She was simultaneously commissioned as a medical officer in the Indian army. In 1993, she was awarded the Chief of Army Staff Commendation, which goes to a handful of men and women in uniform.
Dr. Chandra completed her residency in pediatrics at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and at Nassau University Medical Center in Long Island, New York. She is board-certified in pediatrics, and a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
In addition to her pediatric practice, Dr. Chandra is an assistant clinical professor at Mercer University School of Medicine and Georgia Health Sciences University. She is also faculty for training Physician Assistant students from University of Alabama in Birmingham and from University of South Alabama in Mobile. She has hospital privileges at the The Midtown Medical Center in Columbus and at the Jack Hughston Memorial Hospital in Phenix City.
Her special areas of interest are in newborn care, asthma, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression, anxiety and school related problems. Besides her role as a pediatrician, she is an advocate for the children in our community and she stays actively involved with the Phenix City schools, Russell county schools and Smith Station schools. Dr. Chandra is also involved in advocacy for children’s health issues at the state level. She is an active clinical researcher and has been a principal investigator for pediatric research studies.
Awards and Recognitions: In 2012, the Phenix City Education Foundation presented Dr. Chandra with a “Special Recognition Award” for her contributions towards the children in the Phenix City Schools. In 2012 and 2013, she received the Reader’s Choice Award by the Columbus Ledger Enquirer. The Chamber of Commerce recognized her with the ‘Small Business of the Year Award” in 2009. She has also been recognized for her contribution by the Phenix City Headstart. In 2012, sFort Mitchell Clinic was recognized as a bronze sponsor by MWR for providing outstanding support to soldiers and their families. She has been formally recognized as a Partner in Education with Lakewood Primary School, Lakewood Elementary School, Mount Olive Primary School and Mount Olive Intermediate School for 2013-2014.
Dr Chandra is very committed to community pediatrics; in 2012 she was awarded the prestigious CATCH grant by the American Academy of Pediatrics to research barriers that keep children from having a pediatric medical home. She is also the recipient of several scholarships from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
For the last 4 years Dr. Chandra has served on the Health Advisory Committee of the Phenix City Headstart and she serves on the Board of Care Network of East Alabama. She is also the chair of the Nominating Committee of the Alabama Chapter of American Academy of Pediatrics.
Dr. Chandra’s personal interests include traveling, cooking, ballroom dancing, roller skating, sailing, white-water rafting and hiking. She was part of a Round-the-World Sailing expedition, sailing on a 32-foot yacht. She lives in Phenix City with her husband and her three-year old daughter.
Bradley Lamar Carden, M.D.
Dr. Bradley Lamar Carden is the Family Medicine Director at Preferred Medical Group. Born and raised in Phenix City, AL, Dr. Carden has over 30 years of experience in Family Medicine. He ran an independent private practice in Phenix City before merging his practice with Preferred Medical Group in the Fall of 2015.
Dr. Carden was recognized on the list of America’s Top Family Doctors by the Consumer’s Research Council for America from 2004-2005 and from 2014-2015. He served as the Chief of Medicine at Jack Hughston Hospital from 2005-2012 and remains active on the Jack Hughston Memorial Hospital Medical Executive Committee today. Dr. Carden won the Outstanding Clinical Faculty award for The Medical Center several times.
He is an active member of the Alabama Academy of Family Physicians and the American Academy of Family Physicians. Dr. Carden graduated from the University of Alabama School of Medicine and is therefore a die-hard Crimson Tide fan—Roll Tide. His wife, Jean, and daughter, Jennifer, are his pride and joy. When he is not practicing medicine, Dr. Carden enjoys saltwater fishing, reading classical literature, and music.
Catrece Dantzler, PD.D, LPC
Catrece Dantzler is a Licensed Professional Counselor as well as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who recently earned her Doctorate of Education in Counseling, Education, and Supervision. Dr. Dantzler has been working in the mental health field since March of 2006. Her expertise is in assisting children and families that have experienced traumas, who have mental health diagnoses, and family relational issues. Using a Cognitive Behavioral approach, she works with clients to create goals that lead to success in all areas of their lives. She has worked with individuals that have behavioral difficulties, anxiety disorders, depression, adjustment disorders in addition to individuals that have abused substances.
Dr. Dantzler has been married for over 20 years and have three beautiful yet very active children. She enjoys spending time at church where she has been called to be an Evangelist. She serves on the board of directors for True Divine Community Development and volunteers as the program coordinator for GAME Time Mentoring program. She relaxes by watching Hallmark movies and traveling.
Dr. Dantzler is dedicated to a mission of hope. Whether life has become unmanageable due to a situation or an illness, she is here to let you know that there is hope and through your counseling experience, your life will change in a positive way with personal growth and healing.
LaKesha Johnson, FNP-C
LaKesha Johnson, FNP-C has been in the medical field for 14 years.She earned her Master’s/Family Nurse Practitioner Degree from Albany State University in Albany GA in 2015 and is an AANP certified Family Nurse Practitioner. LaKesha is originally from Americus, GA. Prior to joining Preferred Medical Group in 2016, she worked in Pediatrics, Labor & Delivery, and Home Health.
LaKesha believes in providing safe, compassionate, holistic, patient-centered care to her pediatric and adult patients, based on primary prevention and health promotion. LaKesha encourages patients to actively participate in their healthcare through education and healthy lifestyle choices.
LaKesha enjoys spending time with her wonderful family, giving back to the community, traveling, reading and cooking. She lives in Columbus, GA with her husband, daughter and son.
Roger Kirk, MSN, CRNP
Roger has been a pediatric nurse practitioner for 18 years/ After recieving degrees from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloos and the University of Alabama and Birmingham, Roger work at Children's Hospital. From 1999 until 2006, Roger worked at Children's with pulmonology, asthma and allergy patients. He has a great love teaching young people and their families how to manage their asthma and allergies.
In 2006, Roger moved to Troy, Alabama, where he was in general pediatric practice untile he began teaching full time in the College of Nursing at Troy University in 2013. He joined Preferred Medical Group as a part-time provider in 2013. While Roger enjoyed working with nursing students, he missed pediatric practice and decided to join Preferred Medical Group full time in June of 2015.
Roger enjoys watching sports, especially his beloved Crimson Tide, cooking, reading, and traveling. He lives in Montgomery with his wife, Kelly, and has two amazing daughters, Caroline and Sophie.