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Please allow us to introduce our medical staff:

H. Nelson Gustin, M.D.

Dr. Gustin joined the practice in 1984. Native of Norfolk, VA; Dr. Gustin graduated from Hampden-Sydney College and received his medical training at the Medical College of Virginia (MCV). He served his internship and residency at Riverside Hospital in Newport News. After finishing his residency, Dr. Gustin worked as an emergency room physician in Vermont for three years. During this time, he was an Associate Professor of Family Practice at the University of Vermont.  

Dr. Gustin is Board Certified in Family Practice and is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). He is a certified Medical Review Officer and is also a member of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM). His medical interests include urgent care, hypertension, diabetes, and men’s health issues. His experiences are a valuable resource for Amherst Family Practice and its patients.


William J. Bender, M.D.

Dr. Bender is the president of Amherst Family Practice.  Dr. Bender graduated from Johns Hopkins University and MCV. His internship and residency were served at Riverside Hospital in Newport News. Dr. Bender is a member of the AAFP and ACOEM and is certified by the American Board of Family Practice. He was honored by his residence peers with the Spirit of Family Practice Award during his year of clinical residency for his “general attitude, devotion to his patients, cooperation with his partners and service to his fellow man”. Dr. Bender joined AFP immediately after his residency. He and his family have chosen Winchester as their home town. He gives to the community through his medical practice and activities in his church.




Patricia M. Houser, M.D.

Dr. Houser earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia, her doctorate from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and did her residency at Rose Hospital at the University of Colorado. She and her husband, Archie, who is an Internal Medicine Physician, have three children. They have chosen to make their home and raise their family in Winchester. Dr. Houser enjoys well woman care and minor surgical procedures in her work as well as traveling and sporting activities in her free time.




Megan L. Williams, D.O.

Dr Williams is a Winchester native who did her undergraduate work at Roanoke College.  She received her medical degree from the Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed residency at Shenandoah Valley Family Practice Residency Program in Front Royal.  Dr Williams has joined AFP immediately following graduation from residency.  She is a member of the American College of Osteopathic Family Practitioners and AOA.  Special interests include osteopathic manipulation, pediatrics, mental health disorders, and women’s care.  She and her husband have one child and enjoy spending time in the community they both were raised in. 




Certified MROs

Dr. Gustin and Dr. Williams have both obtained certification as a Medical Review Officer with particular knowledge of substance abuse disorders. As an MRO, they know and understand the pharmacology and toxicology of prescription and illicit drugs, the way these drugs metabolize in the human body, and the way the body excretes these substances.

Such knowledge is critical to the accuracy and success of any effort to detect drug abuse problems an employee or potential employee might have. The main duty of the MRO is to review and interpret positive test results to determine if the positive result is actually due to the use of illegal drugs, or if it may be due to legal prescription medication. The MRO cannot be an employee of the laboratory performing the test, nor can the MRO derive any financial benefit by having an employer use a specific drug testing laboratory. Thus the MRO serves as a neutral, independent party in relationship to the lab; he also serves as a quality control check on the laboratory.

The MRO is the responsible party for contacting the person whose test results came back positive and determining the reason for such result. The MRO then reports to the employer that the test was verified positive or verified negative. A verified negative result can be reported to the employer even if the lab result was positive after the interview and satisfactory explanation of the result—that is, provable, legitimate use of prescription medication that caused a positive result.

By using an MRO, an employer can be sure that all reasonable checks have been made to insure the absolute accuracy of the tests, checks for dilution, foreign substances and the like that people use to mask drug abuse.

An MRO also acts as a buffer by removing the threat of on-site violence by an employee who has failed a drug test.
MROs enable an employer to prove that all reasonable care was taken to ensure fairness in dealing with an employee should a positive drug result be returned by the independent lab. By taking the extra step of using an MRO, the employer reduces the possibility of error, thus insulating himself from potential lawsuits from an employee fired or not hired on the basis of positive test results that were positive because of legitimate medication rather than substance abuse.

Dr. Gustin and Dr. Williams are proud to help area industries manage their programs to monitor substance abuse, and continue to enhance their education in this area by attending classes, seminars and other training dedicated to furthering the knowledge of substance abuse, its detection and control.

Physician Assistants

Amherst Family Practice supports the growth of Physician Assistants as a career by utilizing them in practice. The doctors welcome the valuable care PAs can provide for routine cases. However, you are always welcome to see a physician if desired.

Physician Assistants are skilled members of the health care team who, under the supervision of licensed physicians, provide medical care services that would otherwise be preformed by physicians. This includes a broad range of services including physical exams, diagnosing and treating illnesses, ordering and interpreting tests, counseling on preventative health care issues, and surgical procedures. In Virginia, PAs can write most prescriptions.

Physician Assistants on Staff

Emily A. Russell, PA-C

Emily has been at Amherst Family Practice since 2000.   She lives in the Winchester area with her husband, Donavan, and three young children.   Emily enjoys preventative medicine and women's health.    She is very active in the community and involved with her Church.   In her free time, she looks forward to spending time with her family with various outdoor activities, sports, and traveling.  






Caitlin G. Blair, PA-C

Caitlin joined Amherst Family Practice in the beginning of 2011.  She is a graduate of Shenandoah University's Physician Assistant Program.  She is an active member of the AAPA.  She enjoys all aspects of family medicine, particularly preventive medicine.  Her husband also works locally as a physical therapist. They enjoy spending time outdoors and being with family and friends.


Martha P. Foster, PA-C
Martha joined Amherst Family Practice in February 2012.  She is a graduate of Virginia Tech and Shenandoah University's Physician Assistant Program.  Martha enjoys building relationships with patients and families in all areas of family medicine with special interests in mental health disorders, pediatrics, cardiovascular disease, and preventative medicine.  Her passions include serving her church, international missions, exercise, sports, and outdoor activities.


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