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Medical Team and Staff

Medical Team

Doctor: Alan Dappen, MD


Dr. Alan Dappen graduated from the University of Washington Medical School in 1979. He completed his Family Medicine residency in 1983 at the University of California, Davis program in Modesto, California. A year later, he completed a Song-Brown Fellowship , and then finished coursework in Family Therapy in 1989. He has remained Board-certified in Family Medicine since 1983. Alan has practiced medicine in California, Kenya, Mexico, and since 1992, in Vienna, VA. He is an Associate Clinical Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, Department of Family Practice, and recently became a graduate of Leadership Fairfax. Alan has published medical journal articles on diverse topics, including malaria, nutrition, and smoking. Thanks to his years living abroad, he speaks Spanish fluently. Alan is the founder of DocTalker Family Medicine and doctokr Inc.

Doctor: Steven Simmons, MD

Steven is a Board-certified Internist, who received his Bachelor’s of Science with High Honors from the University of Tennessee in 1989 and his medical degree from the University of Tennessee in 1993. He then completed his residency at St. Joseph Hospital in Denver, Colorado.  In 1996, Steve was selected by his peers to receive the Dr. Annie Yee Johnson Memorial Award for compassion and professionalism. He spent 12 years working in primary and urgent care at Kaiser Permanente before joining DocTalker in 2008, where he has been spearheading the practice’s housecall program. He is a member of the American Geriatric Society and the Academy of Home Care Physicians, and presents frequently on providing medical care to the homebound housecalls. Steve lives in North Potomac, MD, with his wife, Rachel, an ER physician, and their two children.                      


Physician's Assistant: Elizabeth Gallagher, PA-C

Elizabeth Gallagher, Physician's Assistant, comes to us from Kaiser Permanente Urgent Care, where she worked for 12 years and had met   Dr. Dappen and worked with Dr. Simmons before their DocTalker days.  Beth graduated from The George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences Physician Assistant program with a Master of Science in Health Sciences degree in 1995 and has been certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants. Beth lives in Ashburn with her husband and 5 children. She is an ideal complement to the wonderful, caring team of providers at DocTalker.

Nurse Practitioner: Anissa Ben Aida, FNP-BC

Anissa is a Board Certified family nurse practitioner who received her Bachelors of Science with high honors from the University of South Carolina in 2000 and her Masters of Science in Nursing from Georgetown University in 2008.  She has spent the past 9 years working with the most medically vulnerable populations in the Northern Virginia area.  Anissa is passionate about women's health, having worked in INOVA Fairfax Hospital in the OB/GYN Clinic for 4 years and is excited to be involved in the Well Women Clinics DocTalker provides as well as working in a family practice.  Anissa is fluent in Spanish and due to years of growing up abroad, has a deep understanding of various cultures and diverse populations. Anissa lives in Reston, VA  with her husband and three children. She believes patients benefit greatly from personal relationships and having as much time spent with them as they need, which makes her a wonderful addition to our DocTalker Family.

Nurse Manager: Gail Hale


Gail Hale, RN is the nurse manager for DocTalker Family Medicine. She studied a combined nursing course at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children and The Middlesex Hospital and Queen Charlottes Hospital for Women in London in the U.K., receiving her registration in General and Pediatric Nursing in 1977. She studied for her Health Visitors diploma at the University of the South Bank in London in 1984. She moved with her family to the States in 1985, and has since lived in New York, Chicago, and Toronto, Canada, before relocating to Fairfax County, Virginia, in 1992. She obtained her Virginia Nursing License in 1995 and, following a Return to Nursing course at the University of Virginia, has worked at Inova Fairfax Hospital for Children. As the mother of four children she also has extensive experience using different health care systems. Gail has been with DocTalker since it was founded in 2001.  


Administrative and Business Team

Patient Communications: Teri Humphrey

Teri is responsible for all facets of DocTalker’s finances, including managing the accounts, generating the practice’s yearly operational budget and advising the practice financially.  Additionally, Teri assures the office is running smoothly and is the contact person for all patient communications ranging from billing processes, general practice inquiries and schedule support. She has a background in photography and landscaping and pursues her passions of cooking and gardening in her free time. Teri and her husband live in Reston, Virginia and have three daughters.

Director of Marketing and Communications: Patty Whelpley

Patty Whelpley is the Director of Marketing and Communications for the practice.   Patty offers over twenty years of experience in marketing and business, having held positions in advertising, marketing, public relations, corporate communications, direct marketing, fundraising and non-profits.  Patty is also a free-lance writer. Patty received her BA in International Business and a minor in French from St. Mary's College at Notre Dame, IN.  Patty lives in Vienna with her husband and their five kids.  


Marketing Assistant: Hannah Humphrey

Marketing Intern: Kenzie Williams

370 Maple Ave W, Suite V   |   Vienna, VA 22180   |   P: 703-938-4600   |   F: 703-938-4618   |

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