NewLIFE Fertility is a part of the First Fertility family of centers.

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Our Providers

Barry Ripps, MD headshot photo

Barry A. Ripps, M.D., FACOG

Barry A. Ripps, M.D., FACOG, brings over thirty years of clinical experience in human reproduction to the Gulf Coast. Dr. Ripps graduated cum laude from Vanderbilt University and completed medical school at the University of Alabama in Birmingham (UAB). His Residency and Fellowship training were completed at the University of Tennessee-Memphis.

During his training and early practice, Dr. Ripps completed extensive research and publications in the areas of endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome, female and male factor infertility and assisted reproduction. These efforts were recognized and supported with extramural funding. Dr. Ripps was also a pioneer in laparoscopic surgery with an emphasis on conservative management of endometriosis-associated infertility and tubal ligation reversal.

Dr. Ripps returned to the Gulf Coast in 1994, offering couples access to the area’s first fellowship-trained and American Board-certified fertility specialist.

Couples seeking assistance find Dr. Ripps and The NewLIFE Team attentive to their clinical and personal needs, facilitating the entire process. This relaxed atmosphere is achieved by compassionate listening and by responding to patient queries in a timely fashion. It is this impeccable attention to detail that sets the tone for the practice, resulting in a positive experience for all patients.

When not helping deliver the blessing of family, Dr. Ripps and his wife, Lori, are deeply committed parents with profound respect for this fundamentally human experience. Much time is allocated as community volunteers for a variety of cultural, religious, and educational organizations. When time allows, Dr. Ripps will inefficiently chase small white, pockmarked spheres across grassy fields into prepared holes, watersports, playing the guitar and ballroom dance.

Norman Assad, M.D.

Norman Assad, M.D., graduated with his Medical Degree from The University of Western Ontario, London, Canada. During Medical School, he was awarded the Pearl Devenow Fox, in recognition of the highest two-year score in Obstetrics and Gynecology. He completed ObGyn residency training at The University of Western Ontario, and McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario.

After being in Gynecologic Practice focusing on Infertility, the bulk of his career in Canada was spent in Cambridge, Ontario. In 1990, Dr. Assad emigrated and obtained U.S. Citizenship, and created Southwest Fertility Services in Albuquerque NM, providing the spectrum of assisted reproductive technologies (ART). In 2002, he moved to Johnson City, TN continuing clinical practice for three years, and then an academic position as Director of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology at East Tennessee University in Johnson City, providing for the education and training of medical students and ObGyn residents. During his tenure, he published several research projects related to Infertility and wrote two book chapters addressing advancements in ultrasound including 3-D ultrasound. Dr. Assad currently lives in Destin, FL and retains medical licenses in Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.

In his spare time, Dr. Assad enjoys golfs with his wife, Missy, and gardening at their home. He has a large family of children and grandchildren, who reside in Gulfport, MS and Mandeville, LA.

Heather Doerr, MSN, WHNP-BC, RNC-OB

Heather Doerr, MSN, WHNP-BC, RNC-OB is a board certified Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner with a special focus on reproductive endocrinology and infertility.  Heather has over two decades of clinical experience in women’s health, both in hospital and office settings. She obtained her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from the University of Central Florida.   She then began her career as a registered nurse (RN) in a small community hospital, specializing in labor and delivery, newborn nursery, postpartum, and gynecology. Her love for women’s health expanded during this time, as she became the clinical educator for her department as well as the lead bereavement nurse, earning her the local nurse of the year award.

Heather then achieved her Master of Science in Nursing degree from Frontier Nursing University, specializing in women’s health.  Due to her academic excellence, she was inducted into the Sigma Theta Tau Honor Society of Nursing. From there, Heather followed her passion and became a reproductive endocrinology nurse practitioner, with over two years experience in the Central Florida area.  Heather is a member of the National Association of Women’s Health Nurse Practitioners, and specializes in all aspects of infertility care, including a full spectrum of fertility and gynecological services and procedures. Her passion is providing patient-centered, holistic, and compassionate care to all patients.

Heather is married with two children and enjoys time with her sweet Chinese Crested dog named Leia.  Her hobbies include fish keeping and aquascaping, and she also grows hydroponic vegetables for her family and the office.  Heather considers herself a perpetual learner and is always striving to improve patient outcomes. Heather joined New Life Fertility in November of 2019 and is thrilled to be part of a practice that makes patients a priority.

Simona Asiatico, MSN, APRN, CNM

Simona Asiatico, MSN, APRN, CNM is a Certified Nurse-Midwife who has assisted women in child-bearing for over fifteen years. Starting her nursing career in 2005, working as a labor and delivery nurse, she discovered her passion for women’s health and a desire to excel in this field. In 2013, she earned her Master of Science in Nursing degree from Frontier Nursing University, with the specialty of midwifery. 

After graduation, Simona joined the U.S. Army, where she served honorably as a military midwife. Being a military spouse and a veteran herself, Simona understands the unique circumstances of the military families and enjoys assisting them with making their families complete. After leaving the Army in 2017, Simona and her family moved to Florida and she is proud to call Panama City Beach her home. 

Simona has been married for 25 years to her great husband, Mike, and they have four sons and two dogs. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, reading a good book under a beach umbrella, and traveling to far away locations.

Simona realizes the path to motherhood is not always an easy one. She relishes the challenge and considers it an honor to walk alongside women on this journey.

Kaleigh Gordon, MSN, APRN, FNP-C

Kaleigh Gordon, MSN, APRN, FNP-C is a board certified Family Nurse Practitioner. A native of Southside, Alabama, she obtained her Bachelors of Science in Nursing from Jacksonville State University. She began her career as a Registered Nurse (RN) specializing in Labor and Delivery and Obstetrical Emergencies, caring for countless families and women and was profoundly moved by those struggling with infertility.

To advance her ability to care for patients, Kaleigh earned a Master of Science in Nursing from Auburn University. Finding great satisfaction with time she dedicated to travel for medical missions, providing care to women and children in underdeveloped countries. She has worked in family medicine where she enjoyed establishing patient relationships and improving patient outcomes.

Kaleigh is married with one son and two dogs. She in an active member at EchoLife Church. Her hobbies include boating, reading, and traveling to new places.

Kaleigh is very passionate about women’s health and helping to grow their families through fertility medicine. She welcomes every opportunity to work alongside patients to achieve their personalized goals and help guide them through their fertility journey.

Jess Williams, MSN, WHNP-BC, RNC-OB, PMH-C

Jess Williams, MSN, WHNP-BC, RNC-OB, PMH-C is a board certified Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner with a passion for caring for women during their reproductive years. Jess has 7 years of broad experience in women’s health across obstetrics, fertility and reproduction. 

She obtained her Associate Degree in Nursing at Wallace Community College. Shortly after, she moved to California with her husband, now a Navy veteran, where she began her career as a labor and delivery nurse, working at a large, fast paced hospital in Ventura, California. This was followed by similar responsibilities in a small, rural hospital in Santa Paula, California with newborn nursery experience. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Alabama and received Inpatient Obstetrics certification. 

After a move to Nashville, Tennessee, she worked at a large hospital’s obstetrics emergency department, high risk antepartum unit, and gynecology.  During this time, she followed her dreams of helping other couples start their family by being a surrogate twice, and now enjoys sharing the babies’ grow with their loving families. 

Her passion for fertility care encouraged her to earn a Reproductive Endocrinology Nurse Certification through the American Society of Reproductive Medicine and returned to school for a Master of Nursing with a specialized track in women’s health from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2021.  Jess immediately began work with The Center for Reproductive Health, a fertility clinic in Nashville, TN.  A lifelong learner, she expanded her expertise with Perinatal Mental Health certification, giving her more insight into the impact of infertility and mental health and expanding her care in all aspects of her patients’ fertility journeys. 

Jess is a patient centric, empathetic, holistic nurse provider who provides high quality and individualized care to all her patients. She is a member of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine and The National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health.

Jess has been married for over 10 years to her high school sweetheart and they have two sons and a daughter. She enjoys being a mother and an aunt. Her hobbies include running, cooking, and learning. Her husband claims she would be a full time student for the rest of her life if given the opportunity. She is excited to be back in her home town providing fertility care to her community at NewLIFE Fertility! 

Corey L. Williams, PhD, TS(ABB), ELS/ALS(AAB) Embryologist

Dr. Williams brings over seventeen years of combined clinical and laboratory experience to NewLIFE and provides expertise in all facets of the IVF process, including Oocyte Collection, Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), Assisted Hatching, Embryo Biopsy for Preimplantation Genetic Testing (PGT), Embryo Vitrification, and Embryo Warming. He is Board Certified in Embryology and Andrology by the American Association of Bioanalysts and holds Licensure with the State of Florida as a Technical Supervisor. 

Dr. Williams received his Bachelor of Science degree from Birmingham-Southern College in 2002 and earned his Doctoral degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) in 2009. His Ph.D. thesis at UAB and subsequent postdoctoral research at the University of Michigan and the University of Florida focused on uncovering the genetic and cell-biological basis of mammalian developmental disorders and a group of inherited diseases featuring male infertility. Additionally, the published findings from Dr. Williams have provided the scientific community with a broader understanding of the cellular processes that govern sperm flagellum biogenesis and enable sperm motility. 

Prior to joining NewLIFE, Dr. Williams performed embryology services with the largest fertility clinic in the Tampa Bay area. He now resides in his childhood home of Pensacola with his wife and two daughters.