Professionals & specialists

Meet Our Team

Our team of professionals and specialits provide individualized care to our patients and excellence in Lyme Disease treatment. We are here to help.

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Joseph G. Jemsek
MD, FACP, AAHIVS

Dr. Joseph G. Jemsek, known to many of his patients as “Dr J.,” is the namesake and founder of the Jemsek® Specialty Clinic. Located at the heart of Washington, DC, Jemsek® Specialty Clinic provides top-quality care for those affected by Lyme and other tick-borne illnesses.

In 1983, early in his career and while at the Nalle Clinic in Charlotte, NC, Dr. Jemsek diagnosed the first case in the state of what was eventually to be recognized as HIV/AIDS. He dedicated the next two decades of his career to the care of these severely ill and marginalized patients.

In 2000, he founded the Jemsek® Clinic to provide primary care to the HIV/AIDS community. This practice was recognized as the largest provider of HIV/AIDS care between New York and Miami. Dr. Jemsek also has a strong affinity for philanthropic work, and in 2003 created the Jemsek® CHARM project, which was a 501c(3) organization devoted to the care of the HIV/AIDS community. In 2009, he was awarded the North Carolina Certificate of Appreciation for his work. This is the highest civilian award offered in the state, bestowed solely on a merit basis.

In 2001, quite by chance, he gradually began to see patients at the Jemsek® Clinic suffering from what would later be termed Lyme Borreliosis Complex. Dr. Jemsek became increasingly intrigued by LBC’s complexities which led to his full dedication towards understanding and treating these often-marginalized patients. This dedication led to the eventual establishment of the Jemsek® Specialty Clinic in Washington, DC, which proudly serves patients from every U.S. state and over a dozen countries.

As an infectious disease specialist, Dr. Jemsek has the distinction of being a key player in the twin epidemics of modern times, HIV/AIDS and Lyme Borreliosis Complex.

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Rachel Markey
PA-C

Rachel Markey, certified Physician Assistant, joined JSC® in 2013. Previously, Rachel practiced for several years at an internal medicine practice. She received her Master’s in Physician Assistant Studies from Western University of Health Sciences in California and completed her undergraduate studies at St. Mary’s College of Maryland.

She’s originally from North Carolina but has called DC home for the past 15 years.

In her spare time, Rachel enjoys cooking and spending time with family and friends.

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Candace Willett
PPCNP-BC, MSN, MPH

Candace Willett, certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, focuses on JSC’s® youngest patients. She joined JSC® in 2017 and sees patients from infancy to early adulthood, up to age 25.

Candace attended Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts for her undergraduate studies majoring in Psychology and Religion. She then went on to earn a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree at the School of Public Health and Health Services at The George Washington University in Washington, DC. She returned to school in 2011 to earn her second Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) from The Yale School of Nursing in New Haven, Connecticut.

Prior to joining JSC®, she in primary care and dermatology settings. She has been interested in tick-borne illness for many years.

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Sonia U. Okolo
MSPAS, PA-C

Sonia Okolo, a certified Physician Assistant, joined JSC® in 2021. She received her Bachelor’s degree, with a minor in Biology and major in Medical Studies, at King’s college Wilkes-Barre. During undergrad, Sonia participated in mission trips to Alabama and Puerto-Rico.

She then graduated with her Master’s degree in Physician Assistant studies at King’s College Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania during the pandemic. She was raised in Northern Virginia and enjoys traveling, volunteering, volleyball, weightlifting, and spending time with her family. Sonia has been passionate about medicine from an early age. Her clinical passions include women’s health, underserved population, nutrition, and infectious disease.

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Carrye Hodges
MSN, FNP-BC

Carrye Hodges, FNP-C joined JSC® in 2019. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Alabama with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and went on to receive her master’s degree at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

She has a background in trauma/ emergency medicine as well as pediatric intensive care.

She has been involved with Lyme activism and working in healthcare for over a decade. Carrye is an avid Alabama football fan and enjoys traveling, photography and spending time with her family, friends, and dog, Millie.

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