Our Team

Physicians

Dr. Michael J. Oblinger, co-founder of Charlottesville Gastroenterology Associates, graduated from the University of Virginia Medical School in 1976. He completed his internal medicine residency training in 1979 and was the Chief Resident in Medicine at the University of Virginia Hospital from 1979-1980. During this time he earned the James Earnest Kindred Teaching Award. Dr. Oblinger completed a two-year gastroenterology fellowship from the University of Virginia in 1982. He holds board certification in internal medicine and gastroenterology from the American Board of Internal Medicine. He has published several journal articles, abstracts and books on subjects pertinent to the practice of internal medicine and gastroenterology. He has served as the Chief of Medicine at Martha Jefferson Hospital and as Chairman of the Board for Martha Jefferson Health Services. He is a member of the Virginia G.I. Society, the Medical Society of Virginia, the American College of Gastroenterology, and the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. Dr. Oblinger retired on July 31, 2018.

Dr. Daniel J. Pambianco, who joined Charlottesville Gastroenterology Associates in 1989, graduated from the American University of the Caribbean in 1982. He served as Chief Medical Resident following his internal medicine residency at the Guthrie Clinic in 1985. After completing a University of Virginia gastroenterology fellowship in 1987, he joined their faculty as Assistant Professor of Medicine. He comes to Charlottesville Gastroenterology Associates as the past Director of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy and Co-Director of Biliary Lithotripsy at the University of Virginia. He serves as the Medical Director of Charlottesville Medical Research. Dr. Pambianco is the recipient of three MSD Grants, a Glaxo Grant and a Biomedical Research Support Grant. He is board certified in internal medicine and gastroenterology and is a Fellow in the American College of Gastroenterology. He has published journal articles, abstracts and book chapters relative to advances in clinical gastroenterology. He is Director of Endoscopy at Martha Jefferson Hospital and is active in several professional organizations, including the Virginia Gastroenterological Society (past President), the Medical Society of Virginia, and the American Gastroenterological Association.

Dr. David H. Balaban joined Charlottesville Gastroenterology Associates in 1997. He is a 1990 graduate of the University of Maryland School of Medicine and completed his internal medicine residency training at the University of Virginia in 1993. While in residency, he received the W. Leroy Dunn Award from the Department of Internal Medicine and a University of Virginia School of Medicine Resident Teaching Award. After a year in the practice of internal medicine, Dr. Balaban completed a three-year fellowship in gastroenterology at the University of Virginia where he was the recipient of national and international scientific research awards. He has authored numerous abstracts, journal articles, and book chapters in the field of clinical gastroenterology. He holds board certification in gastroenterology. He has served as Chief of Medicine at Martha Jefferson Hospital and is currently Director of Medical Nutrition Support Services. He is a member of the Albemarle County Medical Society and the Medical Society of Virginia. He is a Fellow of the American College of Gastroenterology and the American Gastroenterological Association and is Past-President of the Virginia Gastroenterological Society.

Dr. Diego A. Gomez joined Charlottesville Gastroenterology Associates in 2001. He is a 1988 graduate of the Eastern Virginia University School of Medicine, and he completed his internal medicine residency training at the Medical College of Virginia in 1991 where he received a research award from the American College of Physicians. He then completed his gastroenterology fellowship at MCV in 1993. He returns to Virginia after practicing for 8 years at the Greenbrier Valley Medical Center in Ronceverte, WV. He has published in the field of clinical hepatology, and he holds board certification in internal medicine and gastroenterology.

Dr. Emily Christman joined Charlottesville Gastroenterology Associates in 2016. She is a 2004 graduate of Georgetown University School of Medicine. She completed her internal medicine residency training at the University of Florida-Jacksonville in 2012 and then served as Chief Resident from 2012-2013. She completed her Gastroenterology fellowship at the University of Oklahoma. She has published in the field of general gastroenterology and presented posters at local and national GI meetings. She is a reservist in the United States Navy and was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal for her service during Operation Iraqi Freedom. She is board certified in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology and has professional interests in clinical nutrition and obesity.

Dr. Arun Mannem joined Charlottesville Gastroenterology Associates in 2016. He is a 2009 graduate of the Medical College of Wisconsin. He completed his internal medicine residency training at Washington University in St. Louis/Barnes-Jewish Hospital in 2012. While in residency he was awarded a research training grant to conduct clinical research in gastroenterology. After residency, he worked for a year in the practice of internal medicine, serving as a hospitalist at Washington University in St. Louis. He completed his Gastroenterology fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Arun has authored abstracts and publications in the field of Gastroenterology and has presented posters at national Gastroenterology and Liver meetings. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology, and his clinical interests are in the fields of Hepatology and Inflammatory Bowel Disorders. During his free time he enjoys golfing, everything about the Green Bay Packers, and spending time with his wife, two children,and their Bernese Mountain Dog.

Dr. Elliot Smith joined Charlottesville Gastroenterology Associates in August 2018. He is a 2011 graduate of Drexel University College of Medicine during which time he was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha national medical honor society. He later went on to complete his residency in internal medicine at University of Virginia in 2014. After residency, Dr. Smith practiced internal medicine at Martha Jefferson Hospital following which he returned to UVA to start his training in Gastroenterology. He recently graduated from UVa. During his fellowship, Dr. Smith was active in research in liver disease and received the Houston Research Award. His work has been presented at both regional and national conferences and published in clinical journals. He is board certified in internal medicine and has professional interests in general endoscopy and reflux disease.

Nurse Practitioners

Donna H. Smith, F.N.P., joined Charlottesville Gastroenterology Associates in 2000. She received her BSN and MSN from Old Dominion University. She completed the Family Nurse Practitioner program with her MSN degree in 1996. She was accepted into the Sigma Theta Tau honor society. She worked as a nurse practitioner in several areas prior to joining CGA gaining experience in urgent care and family practice. She is a member of the Virginia Council of Nurse Practitioners, American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and the American College of Gastroenterology.

Amy E. McDonnell, F.N.P., joined Charlottesville Gastroenterology Associates in 2000. She is a 1995 graduate of the University of Virginia School of Nursing where she received a B.S.N. degree. She completed her Masters and Family Nurse Practitioner degrees at UVA in 1999 where she was the recipient of an academic scholarship. She is a member of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and the Virginia Council of Nurse Practitioners.

Catherine R. Easter, F.N.P., joined Charlottesville Gastroenterology Associates in 2006. She is a 1986 graduate of Piedmont Community College where she received her Associates of Applied Science in Nursing degree. She completed a Bachelor of Science degree with distinction at the University of Virginia School of Nursing in 1992 and her Masters of Science in Adult Health in 1994 at UVa. She earned her Family Nurse Practitioner certificate at UVa in 1996. She is certified as a Family Nurse Practitioner through the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. Before joining CGA and AGA, she worked in the Emergency Departments of the University of Virginia. Health System, Augusta Medical Center, and Culpeper Memorial Hospital. She has also worked at Student Health and in perioperative nursing. Ms. Easter has co-authored several scientific papers. She is a member of the Virginia Council of Nurse Practitioners.

Annu Prahash, FNP-BC, joined Charlottesville Gastroenterology Associates in 2015. She received her BSN from the Christian Medical College, School of Nursing, India in 1990 and her MSN from the University of Virginia, School of Nursing in 2012. Prior to joining CGA, she worked as a primary care provider at a family practice clinic in Louisa affiliated with University of Virginia Health System. She is currently a member of the Virginia Council of Nurse Practitioners, American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and the American College of Gastroenterology.

Kathryn “Kate” Robertson, Reg. Dietician, PA-C, joined Charlottesville Gastroenterology Associates in 2018.
Kate grew up Kernersville, North Carolina. She graduated from Western Carolina University in 2005 with a degree in nutrition and then completed a dietetic internship at University of Virginia Health System. She worked as a registered dietitian on the surgery nutrition support team for 3 years at UVA. She graduated from James Madison University as a Physician Assistant with Masters degree in 2011 and worked as a PA in the orthopaedic department at UVA for 5 years following graduation. Her hobbies include snowskiing, sports events, and spending time with her husband and two children.