Meet Our Neurosurgeons in Tennessee

J. TRAVIS BURT, M.D., FAANS, FACS

J. Travis Burt, M.D., FAANS, FACS – NEUROSURGEON

Dr. Burt received his medical degree and completed his residency in neurosurgery at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi. He is Board Certified in Neurosurgery with a specialty in Spine. He is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. He is also a member of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons. He participates in the American Board of Neurological Surgery, Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Program. He specializes in microsurgical and minimally invasive techniques for surgery of the spine. His advice on new technology is routinely sought by manufacturers in the industry. Dr. Burt’s board recertification scores consistently rank him among the top in the nation for neurological surgery. Travis Burt CV

JODY B. HELMS, MD, FAANS

Jody B. Helms, MD, FAANS – NEUROSURGEON

Dr. Helms joined Highlands Neurosurgery in Tennessee in July 2010 following the completion of his residency. He received his medical degree and completed his residency in neurosurgery at the University of Tennessee in Memphis, Tennessee. He is Board Certified in Neurosurgery. Dr. Helms is a fellow of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. Jody Helms CV

Andrew Rice, M.D. – NEUROSURGEON

Dr. Rice joined Highlands Neurosurgery in 2016. He received his medical degree from the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi. He completed his neurosurgery residency at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, DC. He also completed a research fellowship at Johns Hopkins University. He is a member of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons. He specializes in minimally-invasive spinal surgery techniques, but also treats a wide variety of spinal and intracranial disease. A Mississippi native, Dr. Rice was active with the Boy Scouts of America in his youth and attained the rank of Eagle Scout.

Click here to watch the interview with our newest neurosurgeon Dr. Drew Rice.

Andrew Rice CV

MATTHEW W. WOOD, JR., MD, FAANS

Matthew W. Wood, Jr., MD, FAANS – NEUROSURGEON

Dr. Wood received his medical degree and completed his residency in neurosurgery at the University of Tennessee in Memphis, Tennessee. He is Board Certified in Neurosurgery. He is a fellow of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, the Congress of Neurological Surgeons and the CyberKnife Society. Dr. Wood was a flight surgeon in Carrier Group 5 in the Western Pacific, and served as neurosurgeon with a United States Naval fleet hospital in Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Storm. Matthew Wood CV

Our physiatrist

Our physiatrist plays an important role in allowing Highlands Neurosurgery to provide comprehensive care for our neurosurgical patients. This physician specialist assists with non-surgical pain management. Following neck and back surgery, he assists some of our patients in their rehabilitation to optimal function. Occasionally, a physiatrist will perform an EMG (diagnostic, nerve conduction study) on a patient. For patient convenience, these studies are conducted in our office and the results are quickly available for our neurosurgeon to discuss with the patient, often later the same day.
The American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation is the national medical society representing more than 7,000 physicians who are specialists in the field of physical medicine and rehabilitation. They are called physiatrists.
Physiatrists focus on restoring function. They care for patients with acute and chronic pain, and musculoskeletal problems like back and neck pain, tendonitis, pinched nerves and fibromyalgia. They also treat people who have experienced catastrophic events resulting in paraplegia, quadriplegia, or traumatic brain injury; and individuals who have had strokes, neurosurgical and orthopedic injuries.

WILLIAM M. PLATT, M.D.

William M. Platt, M.D. – PHYSIATRIST

Dr. Platt received his medical degree from the University of Tennessee in Memphis, Tennessee. He completed his residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Missouri-Columbia and is Board Certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. He is a fellow of the Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and the American Academy of Disability Evaluating Physicians. He is a charter member of the Physiatric Association of Spine, Sport and Occupational Medicine.

Physician Assistants (PA)

Physician assistants are health care professionals licensed to practice medicine with physician supervision. As part of their comprehensive responsibilities, PAs conduct physical exams, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret tests, counsel on preventive health care, assist in surgery, and in Tennessee, PAs write prescriptions.

BRIAN K. KILLEN, PA-C

Brian K. Killen, PA-C – PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT

Brian Killen, PA-C a Bachelor of Science Degree as a Physician Assistant at Jefferson College of Health Science in Roanoke, Virginia. He is NCCPA credentialed and licensed in the State of Tennessee. Prior to becoming a Neurosurgical Physician Assistant, he worked as a Registered Diagnostic Radiographer, specializing in nuclear medicine and surgery. He has over twenty years of experience in healthcare.

CHRIS JUSTUS, PA-C

Chris Justus, PA-C – PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT

Chris Justus, PA-C earned a Bachelor of Science Degree as a Physician Assistant at Jefferson College of Health Science in Roanoke, Virginia. He is NCCPA credentialed and licensed in the State of Tennessee. Prior to becoming a Neurosurgical Physician Assistant, he was employed as a Registered Respiratory Therapist. He has over twenty years of health care experience including critical care and emergency medicine.

JEREMY BLANZY, DNP, FNP-BC

Jeremy Blanzy, DNP, FNP-BC earned a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree with a focus in Family Nurse Practitioner, from East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Tennessee. His doctoral research and thesis was focused on the development of tools to aid practitioners in the diagnosis, treatment and surgical implications of acute back pain. He is board certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center and licensed by the state of Tennessee.  Prior to completing his doctoral degree, he worked at Bristol Regional Medical Center as a neurosurgical and trauma ICU nurse. He has over 10 years of experience in healthcare.

CAROLYN K. FLETCHER-HELTON, CPA

Carolyn K. Fletcher-Helton, CPA – ADMINISTRATOR

Mrs. Fletcher-Helton earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from East Tennessee State University. Prior to becoming a neurosurgical practice administrator, she provided healthcare consulting and general accounting services for a regional public accounting firm. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants as well as the Virginia and Tennessee Societies of CPAs. She is also a member of the MGMA and NERVES. She has served on numerous community boards, including the United Way and Bristol Regional Medical Center.