Siskin Children's Institute
Administrative, Medical, &
Behavioral Health Team
- Chattanooga, TN -
MEGAN MCCULLAH burrows, PA-C, MSPAS
Megan is a certified Physician Assistant who received her baccalaureate degree from East Tennessee State University in Biology and Psychology. From there she obtained her Master’s in Physician Assistant Studies degree from Alderson-Broaddus College in Phillipe, West Virginia. Her last year of training was spent at Wheeling Hospital in Wheeling, WV where her passion for pediatrics began. Megan has five plus years in both primary care pediatrics and family practice. Megan is thrilled to be part of the team at Siskin Children’s Institute and begin practicing with the outstanding medical team and caring for families and children with special needs.
cindy chestaro, m.d., faap
Dr. Chestaro specializes in the diagnostic evaluation, medical management, and family support for children with motor, communicative, sensory, developmental, genetic, neurological, learning, and behavioral disorders – including Autism Spectrum Disorder, complex ADHD, learning disorders, speech and language disorders, intellectual disability, developmental delays and behavioral disorders.
Dr. Chestaro earned her medical degree from the Universidad Iberoamericana UNIBE School of Medicine in the Dominican Republic. She completed her residency at John H. Stroger Hospital of Cook County in Chicago followed by a fellowship in Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics at the University of Chicago and a fellowship in Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is a member of the Society of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics and the Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry as well as a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. She has been involved in many community projects, lead several seminars on disability related topics, and shared her expertise through lectures and serving as a clinical teaching preceptor.
MICHELLE CAHILL KIMBALL, MSN, CPNP-PC, PMHS
Michelle is a certified pediatric nurse practitioner with more than a decade of experience. She has additional board certification as a pediatric primary care mental health specialist which builds on the pediatric nurse practitioner role to provide advanced assessment, evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of common developmental, behavioral and mental health problems in children and adolescents. Prior to joining Siskin Children’s Institute in early 2010 she worked in a private pediatric primary care office for 9 years. Michelle received her baccalaureate degree from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and her Master’s degree from Emory University. She serves as a preceptor for undergraduate nursing students and graduate nurse practitioner and physician assistant students for several local programs.
james van decar M.D., FAAP
Dr. Van Decar is a neurodevelopmental pediatrician with more than 30 years of experience serving children with special needs and is an expert in the evaluation, diagnosis, and management of developmental disabilities in children. He retired from the Air Force in 2015 after a 28-year career spanning medical school at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland, residency in pediatrics and fellowship in developmental disabilities in San Antonio, Texas, and then multiple assignments including Lakenheath Air Force Base in England, Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, and Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.
In addition to the exceptional care he provided to thousands of military dependent children with special needs, he also established one of the Department of Defense (DoD)’s first early intervention programs for children when their families were stationed overseas. He advocated for them through efforts to reform the DoD’s Exceptional Family Member Program, and worked to improve Tricare’s Autism Demonstration Program. Dr. Van Decar is a member of the planning committee for the American Academy of Pediatrics Developmental Pediatrics board review course, and also consults with the Florida State University Autism Center. In addition, he was recently appointed by the Governor of Tennessee to the State Interagency Coordinating Council for Early Intervention Services.
Melissa l. gonzalez, ph.d., bcba-d
Melissa L. Gonzalez, Ph.D., BCBA-D joined Siskin Children’s Institute as the Clinical Therapy Director in September of 2019. In this role, Dr. Gonzalez oversees the center-based and in-home outpatient therapy within the Center for Developmental Pediatrics. These services include speech language, occupational and physical therapies and applied behavior analysis (ABA). Prior to her move to Chattanooga, Dr. Gonzalez was faculty at Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, Maryland and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Gonzalez has experience training externs, pre-doctoral interns and post-doctoral fellows in psychology and applied behavior analysis, as well as precepting medical residents. She is a clinical psychologist and board-certified behavior analyst with specialized experience in working with individuals with intellectual impairments, autism spectrum disorders and pediatric feeding disorders.
Dr. Gonzalez has presented and published research on topics related to the behavioral assessment and treatment of skill deficits and behavioral excesses in individuals with feeding concerns, autism spectrum disorders and other developmental disabilities. Dr. Gonzalez is excited to serve Tennessee families through supervision and development of clinical programs and continuing education of community professionals at Siskin Children’s Institutenursing students and graduate nurse practitioner and physician assistant students for several local programs.
Stephanie Cooper-Wilkes is the Director of Healthcare Administration for the Siskin Center for Developmental Pediatrics. She joined Siskin as the Business Manager in April 2012. Stephanie currently has over 12 years in medical practice management experience. Prior to joining Siskin, Stephanie was a Regional Practice Manager for Erlanger Health Systems, where she managed several physician practices. While employed as the Practice Manager for Erlanger, Stephanie led several offices through start-up, survival, turnaround and growth modes. From 2005 through 2009, Stephanie was a Billing Office Manager for a Plastic Surgery Group located in Atlanta, GA. Stephanie managed the daily operations of billing in excess of several million/yr. Stephanie’s goals as the Practice Manager for Siskin Developmental Pediatrics office are first, adhering to the Siskin mission, along with prioritizing the support of high-quality patient care and satisfaction.