Nurse Practitioners

Nurse Practitioner | Immunology & Rheumatology

D. Heather Bell-Brunson, MSN, ARNP

Heather joined the division of pediatric rheumatology/immunology in 1998 as an ARNP. Prior to becoming an ARNP she worked as a BSN/RN in the NICU III at UF Health. She was born in Gainesville and graduated from the University of Florida with highest honors with her BSN in 1994. She continued her graduate education at the University of Florida and graduated with her Masters degree in the pediatric nurse practitioner program in 1997. She is a member of CARRA (Childhood Arthritis & Rheumatology Research Alliance) and a member of ACR/AHRP. She is currently the study coordinator for several studies in the division. She is also involved in the SCID newborn screening program. She was awarded the Superior Accomplishment Award in 2009 and 2012 by the University of Florida. Her clinical interests include systemic JIA, MAS, Uveitis, Vasculitis, and Auto-Immune Encephalitis. In her free time she enjoys going to the beach, paddle boarding, baseball,spending time with her two boys, husband and playing with her two French bulldogs.

University of Florida's Century Tower

Nurse Practitioner | Rheumatology

Linda Cox Eckenrode, MSN, ARNP

Lin has over 30 years of nursing experience, and started her career at Shands Hospital as an RN on the pediatric unit. She got her Master of Science in Nursing degree at the University of Florida in 1999. She has worked as an ARNP on the Child Protection Team and then in the Developmental Evaluation and Intervention Program (now known as Early Steps). She worked for 10 years at the UF Ear, Nose, and Throat clinic primarily in pediatric ENT, allergy, and otology. She started here in the Immunology /Rheumatology clinic in 2012. She has served on multiple youth mission trips to Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic, and is passionate about encouraging young people to consider a career in a medical field. She has been active in the past in MADD and working for Victim’s Rights at both the local and state level. She is an avid Gator Fan, enjoys time with her family, and sharing good wine with good friends!

Linda Cox Eckenrode

Nurse Practitioner | Allergy

Elizabeth LeFave, DNP, ARNP, PNP-BC, AE-C

Elizabeth LeFave is a Doctorally prepared Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and Certified Asthma Educator with over 10 years of nursing experience. She works with a large pediatric asthma population and serves as one of the Co-directors for the Pediatric Asthma Center of Excellence (PACE). Her involvement with PACE has allowed her to emphasize the importance of continuity of care and ongoing evaluation for children with asthma in an outpatient clinical setting. As the Pediatric Pulmonary Center Nurse Faculty she is developing an interdisciplinary community engagement asthma initiative that focuses on reducing asthma disparity at the neighborhood level.​

Elizabeth LeFave

Nurse Practitioner | Rheumatology & Allergy

Ann M. Slack Redfern, MSN, ARNP, PNP-BC

Ann has extensive clinical experience in pediatrics, including pediatric rheumatology, immunology, allergy, emergency, trauma, and primary care. Prior to becoming a Nurse Practitioner (ARNP), she attended the University of Florida, obtaining her first Bachelor’s degree and then immediately after graduation transitioned to Jacksonville University’s Accelerated Nursing program, where she received her second Bachelor’s degree with the highest honors and awards. She began working in Miami upon graduation as a BSN-prepared RN in a Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center/Pediatric Emergency Department, and after being nominated for Rookie of the Year, quickly held the role of charge nurse, gaining vast experience in pediatric trauma and rare emergent pediatric cases. She graduated with honors from FIU and once she became a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, she immediately started working dually in a large Pediatric Primary Care office, as well as in their specialty area of Pediatric Allergy & Immunology. After moving back to Gainesville, she began working with our team in Pediatric Rheumatology & Immunology, and also now has one clinic a week in Pediatric Allergy due to the experience that she brought to us in Allergy. Ann has special clinical interests in Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA), Psoriatic Arthritis, SLE, as well as severe eczema/atopic dermatitis, oral allergy syndrome, asthma, and adolescents with chronic illnesses. When she is not at work, Ann loves to go to Orange Theory, play volleyball, participate in water sports, and spend time with her husband, family, and two Golden Retriever dogs. Although she is from Tampa and has lived in Jacksonville and Fort Lauderdale/Miami, she bleeds orange and blue and is happy to be back in Gainesville since 2014!

Ann M. Slack Redfern

Nurse Practitioner | Rheumatology

Kristin McDougal, MSN, ARNP, PNP-BC

Kristin earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Florida in 2010. She began her career in pediatrics here at UF Health in the Pediatric IMC unit where she held position as charge nurse and cared for children with an array of acute and chronic health disparities. After earning her Master of Science in Nursing in Pediatric Primary Care with honors in 2015, she started practicing as an ARNP with our Pediatric Rheumatology and Immunology team. Her clinical interests include management of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Juvenile Dermatomyositis, and Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis. Outside of clinical practice, Kristin is also a professional cellist who performs regularly with The Gainesville Orchestra, The Gainesville String Quartet, and other music groups in the North Florida region. In her free time she enjoys fitness, exploring the outdoors, and spending time with family.

Kristin McDougal

Nurse Practitioner | Rheumatology

Ariel Ford, MSN, ARNP, CPNP

Ariel graduated Magna Cum Laude with her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Florida in 2013. Once she graduated, she began her career in pediatric nursing here at UF Health in the Pediatric IMC unit where she thoroughly enjoyed caring for children with an array of acute and chronic health disparities. After working as a BSN prepared RN for 2 years she transitioned to University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she continued to work as a RN with pediatric surgery, trauma, and burn patients while working to receive her Masters of Science in Nursing. She completed her Masters degree and became a Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner in 2017. She then moved back to Gainesville, Fl and began practicing as an ARNP with our Pediatric Rheumatology and Immunology team. Ariel has special clinical interests in Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis, Psoriatic Arthritis, and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. She is most passionate about patient care, care coordination, and patient/family education. When she is not working, Ariel loves to run, travel to new cities, and spend time with her family and loved ones.

Ariel Ford

Nurse Practitioner | Rheumatology

Tammy Phu, DNP, APRN, CPNP

Tammy Phu started her career as a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) when she graduated Cum Laude from the University of Florida. She returned to the Gator Nation to earn her Doctorate of Nurse Practice (DNP) in Pediatrics and a Certification in Public Health. Tammy has a diverse pediatric clinical background including: rheumatology, allergy, immunology, hematology, oncology, and primary care. She is experienced in academic, private, and hospital practice. She has cared for acutely ill children with blood and immunologic disorders and assisted with bone marrow and hematopoietic stem cell transplants as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN).
Tammy has special clinical interest in Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID), Systemic Lupus Erythematous (SLE), and Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA). She strives to provide exceptional and compassionate patient care through communication, education, and teamwork. She loves getting to know patients and their families. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her loved ones, exploring new food, and traveling around the world.

Tammy Phu