Our Team

Your health is important to us. We understand that you take the time to find a medical practitioner who is competent, experienced, understanding and supportive. We want you to feel comfortable and reassured each time you visit River Ridge Dermatology. Our staff works as a team to ensure we respond to your needs and keep you informed. We look forward to getting to know you.

River Ridge staff:

Meet our team of doctors, nurses, physician assistants, and office staff below.

Resident physicians:

Meet our resident physicians from the LewisGale Hospital Montgomery Graduate Medical Education program.

Chad Johnston, D.O., F.A.A.D.

A photo of Dr. Chad Johnston
  • West Virginia University, undergraduate
  • West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine, medical school
  • Charleston Area Medical Center, residency
  • West Virginia University, dermatology residency-chief resident of dermatology, 2008-2009

Chad Johnston was born and raised in the New River Valley in Peterstown, West Virginia. As an undergraduate at West Virginia University he played football for the Mountaineers, from 1992-1997. He was starting quarterback for the 1994-1996 seasons, and his teammates elected him team captain.

Dr. Johnston pursued his medical career after briefly playing professional football. He has practiced dermatology in the New River Valley since 2009, and opened River Ridge Dermatology in 2011.

Outside of work, Dr. Johnston enjoys spending time with this family and giving back to the community. He enjoys coaching local youth sports, and the whole family are avid West Virginia Mountaineers fans.

Dr. Johnston is board certified by the American Board of Dermatology and is a fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology. He is a member of several medical groups, including the American Board of Dermatology, American Osteopathic College of Dermatology, American Osteopathic Association, West Virginia Dermatological Society, and Virginia Medical Society. He served as the co-program director of the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine/LewisGale Montgomery Regional Hospital dermatology residency program from 2009-2011.

Aleksandra Brown, D.O., F.A.O.C.D., F.A.A.D.

A photo of Dr. Brown
  • Coe College, undergraduate
  • Des Moines University, medical school
  • Ohio University, internship
  • Michigan State University, dermatology residency-chief resident of dermatology, 2012-2013

Aleksandra Brown was born in Derventa, Bosnia and Herzegovina and came to the United States as an exchange student in 1999. She decided to pursue a career in medicine after working in a hospital emergency room as an undergraduate. She earned her D.O. from Des Moines University in 2009, where she was awarded the academic and service excellence award for outstanding academic and interpersonal leadership. She lives in Blacksburg with her family, and is fluent in Bosnian, Serbian, and Croatian in addition to English.

Dr. Brown is board certified by the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. She is a member of several medical groups, including the American Academy of Dermatology, the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology, the American Osteopathic Association, and the Virginia Medical Society. She joined River Ridge Dermatology in 2013.

Follow Dr. Brown on Facebook and Instagram for educational videos, skincare tips, and more.

Craig Garofola, D.O., F.A.A.D.

A photo of Craig Garofola
  • Allegheny College, undergraduate
  • Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, VCOM-VA, medical school
  • Lewis Gale Hospital Montgomery, internship
  • Lewis Gale Hospital Montgomery, dermatology residency-chief resident, 2018-2020

Dr. Garofola grew up in northwestern Pennsylvania and graduated magna cum laude from Allegheny College in 2011 with a B.S. in biology. He graduated from VCOM in Virginia in 2016 and was awarded distinguished student scholar, research award, and Sigma Sigma Phi honorary fraternity life membership. He finished a 1-year internship at Lewis Gale Montgomery in July 2017, and completed a dermatology residency at Lewis Gale Montgomery from July 2017 to June 2020, where he served as chief resident for two years before joining the River Ridge team in 2020.

He practices general, pediatric, surgical, and cosmetic dermatology and has a special interest in the procedural aspect of the specialty, including micrographic dermatologic surgery (Mohs surgery). “Medicine is really an art,” he says, “skin issues never look the same and there’s always a number of ways to treat each problem.”

Dr. Garofola holds two board certifications by the American Board of Dermatology; one for dermatology, and one for micrographic dermatologic surgery (Mohs surgery). He is a member of the American Academy of Dermatology, American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, American Society of Mohs Surgery, Virginia Dermatology Society, and Sigma Sigma Phi honorary fraternity. He was the first-ever resident to serve on the board of the Virginia Dermatology Society.

Dr. Garofola enjoys spending time with his wife and son, and getting outdoors hunting, fishing, and golfing. He also has a German Shorthaired Pointer named Millie, and two cats, Lucy and Ellie.

Gary P. Gross, M.D.

A photo of Dr. Gross
  • University of Virginia, undergraduate
  • University of Virginia School of Medicine, medical school
  • University of Virginia, dermatology residency- chief resident of dermatology, 1979-1980

Gary Gross has more than 30 years of experience practicing dermatology. Educated at the University of Virginia, he settled in Salem and founded his own dermatology practice in 1980, which he led until he joined River Ridge in 2021.

He has taught medicine as a dermatology residency faculty member at LewisGale Hospital and is affiliated with the Lewis Gale Hospital. He was affiliated with Carillion Roanoke Memorial until 2020, when he retired from this position.

Dr. Gross is board certified by the American Board of Dermatology. He is also a member of the American Academy of Dermatology, as well as the Roanoke Academy of Medicine.

He has three grown children and enjoys spending time with his eight grandchildren.

Jared Brackenrich, D.O.

A photo of Doctor Jared Brackenrich
  • Virginia Tech, undergraduate
  • Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM), medical school
  • LewisGale Hospital Montgomery, residency

Jared Brackenrich is from Pembroke, Virginia, where he developed an early interest in dermatology while shadowing his father, a physician in Giles County. In addition to being intrigued by how skin issues present differently on different people, Dr. Brackenrich was also attracted to dermatology for the opportunity the specialty offers for developing long-term relationships with patients of all ages.

Together with River Ridge’s Dr. Garofola, Dr. Brackenrich was recently honored as winner of the 2021 HCA Research Symposium Poster Presentation, and in 2017 Dr. Brackenrich received the VCOM Distinguished Research Award for his research on the prevalence of dermatological infections found in the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Honduras and rural Appalachia.

Dr. Brackenrich believes in maintaining a strong work-life balance and enjoys golfing, swimming, hiking, traveling, movies, attending church activities, concerts, trying new restaurants and DIY projects.

Certified by the American Board of Dermatology, Dr. Brackenrich is also an active member of the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), the honorary osteopathic society Sigma Sigma Phi (SSP), and the American Osteopathic Association (AOA).

Tessa Mullins, D.O.

A photo of Dr. Tessa Mullins
  • Emory & Henry College, undergraduate
  • Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM), medical school
  • LewisGale Hospital Montgomery, residency-chief resident 2020-2021

Dr. Mullins grew up in Big Stone Gap, Virginia. As an undergraduate at Emory & Henry College, she played volleyball and was elected team captain by her teammates from her sophomore to senior year. She became interested in a career in medicine after watching her brother go through the process, and she believes communication and understanding a patient’s goals are vital for optimal patient outcomes in dermatology.

While in medical school, Dr. Mullins received the Distinguished Research Award, the Distinguished Student Award, and the Distinguished Leader Award. She was also named VCOM VA Student of the Year in the Southwest Region for 2015-16.

Outside of work, Dr. Mullins enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter. She loves the outdoors, cooking, volunteering, and their goldendoodle, named Rupp.

Dr. Mullins is board certified by the American Board of Dermatology and the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology.

Jason E. Bailey, PA-C

A photo of Jason Bailey
  • Virginia Tech, undergraduate
  • Jefferson College of Health Sciences, physician assistant school

Jason Bailey has a decade of experience and training as a physician assistant in dermatology. He diagnoses and treats patients with acne, eczema, psoriasis, moles (nevi), skin cancers, actinic keratosis (precancers), spider veins, and many other conditions.

Jason is certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants, and his clinical interests include melanocytic neoplasms and photoaging.

Jonathan R. Fraim, PA-C

A photo of Jonathan R. Fraim, PA-C
  • College of Health Sciences, undergraduate
  • University of Nebraska Medical Center, physician assistant school

Jonathan Fraim earned a Bachelor of Science in physician assistant studies in 2002. After graduating, he worked for over a decade as a physician assistant in family medicine and the emergency department at Carilion Hospital in Roanoke. From pediatric care to urgent care to training students, Jonathan has a strong and broad foundation in medical care.

Jonathan returned to school and earned his Master of Physician Assistant Studies in 2015 from the University of Nebraska Medical Center. He joined Dr. Gross’s practice in Salem, Lewis Gale Physicians, in 2017.

Jonathan is certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants, and holds a Virginia Physician Assistant License.

Haley Patterson, PA-C

A photo of Haley Patterson
  • Radford University, Undergraduate
  • University of Charleston, Physician Assistant School

Haley Patterson was born and Raised in Roanoke, Virginia. After graduating from Radford University with a B.S. in biology, she began working at River Ridge Dermatology as a medical assistant to gain clinical experience. She then attended the University of Charleston in Charleston, West Virginia where she earned her Master of Physician Assistant Studies degree.

Outside of work, Haley enjoys spending time with her family and her dog, Benson.

Haley is certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants, and holds a Virginia Physician Assistant License.

Brittany Jewell, PA-C

A photo of Brittany Jewell
  • Bachelors of Health Science 2010
  • Masters of Physician Assistant 2013
  • Doctorate of Physician Assistant 2023

Brittany was born and raised in Athens, WV where she went to high school at PikeView and graduated in 2005. She then went on to earn her Bachelors degree in Health Science and minor in Biochemistry in 2010. From there she completed her Masters of Physician Assistant studies at University of Charleston in 2013. Most recently, she earned her Doctorate of Physician Assistant with emphasis on dermatology in 2023. Brittany is board certified in the state of West Virginia as well as Virginia. She has 7 years experience in Dermatology and previously worked 3 years in Gastrointestinal/Hepatology as well as 1 year in Family Medicine. She has extensive knowledge with surgical procedures, clinical dermatology and MOHs with surgical repair.

Outside of work, Brittany enjoys spending time with her two sons, family and friends, and loving dog, Kiera.

She is certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants, member of the Society of Dermatology Physician Assistants, as well as the Academy of Doctoral Physician Assistants.

Melanie Schano, MSN, FNP-C

  • Radford University, undergraduate
  • Georgetown University, graduate school

Raised in Blacksburg, Melanie Schano began her nursing career in the emergency department, first working at the Scott and White Memorial Hospital, a level-one trauma center in Texas, and the Carilion New River Valley Medical Center. She began working with Dr. Johnston in 2011.

Melanie Schano is licensed by the state of Virginia as a family nurse practitioner and a registered nurse. She is a member of the Dermatology Nurses Association, the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, and the Virginia Council of Nurse Practitioners.