Stan Riepe, M.D., J.D.
Dr. Riepe was born in Mt. Vernon, Illinois on July 22, 1949. He attended public schools and graduated from Gainesville High School in Gainesville, Georgia in 1967. He attended Emory College, without graduating, receiving Phi Beta Kappa in his third year. He was also a member of Phi Delta Theta social fraternity.
Dr. Riepe was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha, a medical scholastic honorary society, in his third year and president of the society his fourth year at Emory University School of Medicine. He was subsequently first honor graduate in his medical class. Dr. Riepe was vice president of his medical school class all four years.
Dr. Riepe did his post graduate medical training at Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri. He is board certified in internal medicine and gastroenterology. He has published and received national recognition clinically in the field of gastroenterology.
Since beginning on the faculty at Emory University School of Medicine in the Section of Digestive Diseases, Dr. Riepe has served in several positions including Clinical Director of Gastroenterology at Emory University Hospital and The Emory Clinic. He is a Professor of Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine. Dr. Riepe was in private practice for five years with Digestive Healthcare of Georgia and was Director of Endoscopy at Piedmont Hospital.
Bruce K. Morgan, M.D., FACS
Bruce grew up in the small town of Zebulon, North Carolina, and remained in the Tar Heel State through medical school (as a Blue Devil). After training in Boston and Atlanta, he practiced general surgery and vascular surgery in Richmond, Virginia, and was well known for his technical expertise in major procedures, such as pancreatic and hepatobiliary surgery, and complex aortic repairs. He also covered 4 hospitals, took primary and second call, and provided trauma coverage and surgical critical care. Later in his career, Bruce relocated to his family’s mountain ranch in northwestern Montana, only 20 minutes from the Blackfoot River, made famous by Norman MacLean’s novella and Robert Redford’s movie, A River Runs Through It. This move allowed him to work where he liked to vacation, and thus Bruce finished his surgical career in Missoula, covering general surgery and also building the Cardiovascular Center of Excellence.
Along the journey, Dr. Morgan was often approached by risk managers and attorneys (from both sides) involved in medical malpractice claims, and asked for his honest medical evaluation of the care at issue. This sometimes was limited to just a conference, a report, a confidential credentials or peer review, but could at times progress further to expert testimony by deposition or at trial of the matter. Bruce found that time spent teaching a medical point to a non-medical audience was as refreshing as it was intellectually challenging, requiring a synthesis of literature, training, and practical experience. As well as a mandate to be succinct and direct, and to render a complex algorithm more approachable. Over his career, he estimates he has provided testimony over 160 times in 12 states, and learned something new every time. In 2014, he was invited to be the physician keynote speaker at the 30th Annual Georgia ICLE Medical Malpractice Liability Conference, where he spoke to a large group of combined defense and plaintiff’s attorneys on his observations of repeating claims patterns as both doctor and expert witness.
After retirement from surgical call in 2015, Dr. Morgan joined Weathington McGrew as the in-house medical consultant, where he draws upon his 30 years of experience as a physician, researching issues for our attorneys, explaining nuanced medical topics, anticipating opposing expert opinions, and helping us refine our case from the medical side. Bruce also understands the human drama of a lawsuit, and how it thrusts a physician into unfamiliar territory. He is pleased to be able to assist and empower our clients through the process.
Rebecca W. Dowd, R.N.
Rebecca W. Dowd, R.N., an Atlanta native, joined the firm in 2006. Rebecca attended the Medical College of Georgia and graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1982. Her clinical nursing experience began in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta where she cared for and managed high-risk patients following open-heart surgery, vascular surgery, trauma, and general surgery. In 1985 Rebecca began working in the Surgical ICU at Emory University Hospital in the role of charge nurse and preceptor. She was involved in the creation and development of the Liver Transplant program in 1987. Rebecca received her Master of Nursing from the Nell Hodgson School of Nursing at Emory University in 1989. That year she accepted the position of Liver Transplant Coordinator at Emory University Hospital. In that role she managed and cared for patients with end-stage liver disease throughout the phases of transplantation, including evaluation, education, surgery, and post-operative outpatient follow up. She continued in the role of Liver Transplant Coordinator until 1996, when she took the position of Legal Nurse Consultant at the Atlanta firm of Allen, Weathington & Reeves.
Rebecca has authored journal articles and book chapters on the subjects of abdominal trauma, acute pancreatitis, liver disease, liver transplant, and pancreatic transplant. She has been an invited speaker at local and national conferences on the subjects of acute abdomen, liver disease, and liver transplant.
Katrina R. van den Brand, R.N.
Katrina R. van den Brand, R.N, BSN, joined the firm in 2016. She started her nursing career at Emory University Hospital Midtown in 31 ICU, a neurosurgical intensive care unit. As a nurse she has also been a part of the RUN team where the RN is responsible for responding to all emergency codes in the hospital. This position has allowed her the opportunity to interact with a vast variety of patients within the entire hospital system. She was also part of the team that helped thw hospital achieve National Stroke Certification and remains certified in Advanced Stroke Life Support as well as Advanced Cardiac Life Support. She has acted as a Charge Nurse and preceptor to new graduate nurses. She continues to work at Emory Hospital as a PRN ICU RN. Katrina has also worked in the PICU at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite. Katrina has many years of experience in the legal field which started at Motley Rice, LLC in 2004. There, she was in charge of conducting medical research and creating trial exhibits for toxic tort, medical liabilities, and manufacturer defect cases. She continued her legal career at Hamilton, Westby, Antonowich and Anderson, LLC, as a senior paralegal in workers’ compensation insurance defense cases, which allowed her the opportunity to establish professional relationships with attorneys and physicians alike.
Katrina earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Kennesaw State in 2010. She is also a 2004 graduate of the Pennsylvania State University where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biobehavioral Health.
Melanie E. Smith, RN
Melanie E. Smith, RN joined the firm in the fall of 2016. Melanie graduated from St. James School of Nursing in Hornell, NY and continued her Nursing education at Alfred State College and University, Alfred, NY.
Melanie began her nursing career at St. James Mercy Hospital in Hornell NY in the Med/Surg unit. During her tenure at St. James, she worked in several clinical areas including ICU , Cardiac Stress Testing, and the Cardiac/Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program where she was the Program Coordinator. She successfully developed and implemented a Three-Phase Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program.
In 1997 Melanie and her family moved to Atlanta, Georgia, and she accepted a position at North Fulton Hospital, in Roswell GA. Melanie worked in the ICU/CCU, Cardiac Stress Testing, and Cardiac Rehabilitation Program. While at North Fulton, Melanie assisted in the development and implementation of a successful Cardiac Rehabilitation Program.
Before joining Weathington McGrew, Melanie enjoyed a 12 year career as a Legal Nurse Consultant at Carlock, Copeland and Stair, P.C., with cases covering medical malpractice and general liability. Melanie brings a combined 29 years of nursing and legal nurse consulting experience to Weathington McGrew, LLC.
Debra R. Meadows, MSN, RN
Debra R. Meadows, MSN, RN, joined the Firm in 2017. She began her nursing career at the Veteran’s Hospital in Lexington, KY. Upon moving to Atlanta, she continued her nursing career as a Float Pool Staff Nurse at Emory University Hospital, which included over sixteen years of clinical experience in areas such as medical/surgical, psychiatry, rehabilitation, cardiac, emergency room, clinical research, critical care, neurology, orthopedics, urology and women’s health. While at Emory, she served as a nurse recruiter and was later promoted to the position of Human Resources Manager at Emory Hospitals. Debra also worked in home health and served as a Staff Development Coordinator in a long-term care facility.
Following an assignment with the Nurse Recruitment and Retention Strategies team at Ernst and Young, she served as a Legal Nurse Consultant for over fourteen years at King & Spalding with the Tort Litigation & Environmental Practice group. Her case work was primarily focused on the development of various medical work products for toxic tort, manufacturer defect and product liability cases.
Debra’s professional/academic affiliations have included Sigma Theta Tau National Honor Society, serving as a board member for Pulse Healthcare magazine (an affiliate of the Atlanta Journal and Constitution) and membership in the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants. She has contributed to several articles featured in the AJC and presented on numerous topics related to the role of legal nurse consultants in law firms.
Debra received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Tennessee State University and a Master of Science in Nursing degree from the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory University in 1999. She has two grown sons and lives in Tucker.