Meet the Team
When facing your next healthcare hurdle, we partner with you to treat the person, not just the symptoms. Being our patient shouldn’t require extra
Valor Medical ensures that if you’re on time to your appointment, your wait is less than 15 minutes and prescription refill requests filled within 24 business hours.
At Valor Medical, we have the courage to not just address your health, but your whole person.
Susan Hicks, FNP-C
Practice Owner, Nurse Practitioner
Susan has worked in the medical field for over 25 years. She joined the Army where she became an Emergency Medical Technician then a Licensed Practical Nurse. After leaving the Army’s active service, Susan joined the TN Army National Guard and obtained her Registered Nurse license. In 2015, she graduated from Tennessee Tech University with her Master of Science in Nursing as a Family Nurse Practitioner, and she has since been working in Primary Care. She recently obtained certifications to offer cosmetic services, as well.
Susan retired from the military in Feb 2022 after 25 years of service. This service has helped her to truly evolve in the way she views patient care. She has a sense of urgency when it comes to treating her patients and does not believe in symptom-based treatment plans. Rather, she believes at looking at a person’s overall health to find the root cause of the problem and starting the treatment there. After years of hard work and determination, she has now proudly become the owner of Valor Medical. Her diligence and passion for treating others as she would want to be treated carries over into the patient’s experience of our Practice. Susan also feels deeply moved to continue to serve those who serve. As such, she currently sets aside appointment times every week specifically for veterans and is actively pursuing the ability to provide services for more military and military family medical needs. She continues to push herself and our Practice forward to be the best we can be.
Susan resides in Knoxville with her husband, (who still serves in the active military), and 2 sons, when not serving our patients, she enjoys exercising, spending time with her family, roller derby, and VOLUNTEER FOOTBALL.
Rachel Hessler, FNP-BC
Heather Porter, FNP-BC
Heather has been working in the Nursing field for 20 years. She started as a Certified Nursing Assistant, then attended Tennessee Tech to receive her Licensed Practical Nurse certificate in 2006. After receiving her LPN, she served patients for 8 years at Summit Medical Group, until returning to school in 2014. In 2018, she graduated from King University with a bachelor’s degree in nursing earning her the privilege of being a Registered Nurse. Heather then began work at Park West Medical Center. While there, she received the Daisy Award, which is an honor assigned based on patients’ reports to staff and management for exemplary patient service and care. In 2021, she graduated from Chamberlain University with her Master of Science in Nursing. She is board certified by American Nurses Credentialing Center.
Heather resides in Anderson County with her husband and their three sons. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, spending time with the family, and attending church.
Camelia Guernsey, LPC-MHSP
License Professional Counselor
Camelia has been involved with the mental health field for over 15 years. She began exploring this profession in 2006, continuing on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Family Studies from the University of New Mexico (UNM) in 2010. While completing her B.A., Camelia interned at the Center on Alcohol, Substance Abuse, and Addiction (CASAA) where Motivational Interviewing (MI) was extensively researched. This experience sparked her interest in therapy, as well as her desire to assist patients from various backgrounds to realize their fullest potential in life through the development of constructive communication, beneficial coping mechanisms, positive change, and healthy relationships with both their family and community.
Camelia completed her master’s degree in Counseling from a CACREP accredited program at UNM in 2013. As a licensed mental health therapist, she has experience in individual, child-centered, family, and group therapy in outpatient, in-home, and residential treatment settings. She works with clients, as an ally, to address concerns related to anxiety, depression, mood instability, life stressors, and traumatic experiences using evidenced based practices. She has completed training in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Cognitive Processing Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Motivational Interviewing. Camelia’s approach to working with patients is strongly rooted in the understanding each person brings a unique set of life experiences to the counseling relationship, therefore it is person-centered, comprehensive, and collaborative in nature.
Outside of work she enjoys spending time with her husband and son, exploring Tennessee’s outdoor amenities, running, cooking, and travel.
Elizabeth “Beth” Littlejohn
Beth is a native of Louisville, Kentucky but has lived in Knoxville, Tennessee for over 17 years
now. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and has experience with insurance companies,
group homes, and lastly as a child and family therapist focusing on individual, family, and group
therapy. Beth left the workforce full time in 2004 but has recently re-entered at the full time level
earlier in 2023 as the receptionist for Valor Medical.
While she was not working in an office full time for many years, she was very busy
homeschooling her 3 children and “holding the fort” at home while her husband spent a lot of
time away on various military orders. During that time, she also taught various classes at a local
homeschool co-op her children attended, wrote and taught biblical studies as well as directing
and speaking at various women’s conferences at churches in both Kentucky and Tennessee.
She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, serving in her church, traveling when she
gets the chance, and loves good music and good food.
My name is Diana Thomas and I have been a massage therapist since March of 2005. I started my career as a front desk manager, making great money at a young age. One day I got sick, and I mean life altering sick. I was in constant pain for so long until a friend took me for my first time to a massage therapist. During that hour massage, I was able to forget the pain from my illness – and even just for a moment – I felt like me again. I was so moved by the massage; I told my friend “I’m going to quit my job and become a massage therapist.” I was great at my management job and was well paid, but after that first massage, I knew that massage therapy was my calling and I needed to start right then. Two weeks later, I quit my job and started massage therapy school in 2004 at Tennessee School of Therapeutic Massage. After graduating, I quickly found a job at a local gym. After leaving the gym, I started my own business where I was entirely word-of-mouth and built a fantastic business. Several years later I was involved in a very bad automobile accident and was out of work for about 5 months due to my injuries. Though it was a long road to recovery, I found a silver lining. Due to having all of those injuries, going to doctors and physical therapists gave me knowledge that most massage therapist don’t have. First-hand experience. In my life I have broken or dislocated almost all the big bones, fingers and toes in my body. I have endured the pain from those injuries, the physical therapy, experienced massage therapy, dry needling, myofascial/scar tissue scraping, trigger point therapy, cupping, ice massage and acupuncture to bring myself back up to 100 %. I know what it takes and know how it feels, plus I can understand the mental toll it takes on you during this time. It is my passion to massage and help individuals feel better completely. I have completed many continuing education courses and several modality certifications to make sure I can do so. I specialize in deep pressure, trigger point therapy, lymphatic drainage, Bioelectric DDS therapy, scraping, cupping and Thai table massage. With all of this I am certain that I can give you a tailored massage to fit your needs and wants. I would love the opportunity to work with you whether it be a relaxing massage or a custom-tailored massage to help you feel better again. Now that I’m here at Valor Medical I plan to make it back onto the list for Knox’s best where I was voted Knoxville’s Favorite therapist in 2019 and 2020.