Meet the Doctors & Staff

Doctors & Staff

Meet the experienced and friendly doctors and staff who make Tullahoma Vision Associates the leading provider of eye and vision care services in Tullahoma.

J. Shawn McBride, O.D.


Dr. Shawn McBride is the owner of Tullahoma Vision Associates. He joined the practice after graduating summa cum laude from Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, where he was salutatorian of the Class of 1992. He became the owner of the practice in 1996. Dr. McBride is therapeutically certified in the treatment and management of ocular disease and is a member of the American Optometric Association (Contact Lens and Cornea Section member), Tennessee Association of Optometric Physicians, American Academy of Orthokeratology and Myopia Control, Scleral Lens Education Society, and Ocular Surface Society of Optometry. He is also a Fellow of the Academy of Tennessee Optometric Physicians and a Past-President of the South Central Tennessee Optometric Society. Dr. McBride particularly enjoys working in several specialty areas, including dry eye treatment, bifocal and other special-design contact lenses, orthokeratology/Corneal Refractive Therapy, and laser vision correction pre- and post-operative care. He has also been a clinical investigator for Bausch & Lomb and Menicon contact lens products. In 2023 he achieved International Academy Certification in Myopia Management (IACMM) – one of fewer than 300 doctors in the world to earn this designation.

A native of Tullahoma and 1983 graduate of Tullahoma High School, Dr. McBride received his Associate of Science degree from Motlow State Community College in 1986. He completed his undergraduate education at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville where he majored in biology. He received the Bachelor of Arts degree in 1988 after compiling a perfect 4.0 grade-point average at UT. While in optometry school, Dr. McBride was a teaching assistant in the anatomy and histology labs and a member of Beta Sigma Kappa Optometric honor fraternity. Among his accomplishments during his training was earning the highest score in the nation on the National Board exam.

Dr. McBride is an active member and Past-President of the Tullahoma Sunrise Rotary Club. A percussionist since sixth grade, Dr. McBride was a member of the World Champion Phantom Regiment Drum & Bugle Corps of Rockford, Illinois in 1984 and 1986, and he was an instructor for the corps in 1987. He very much remains a drum corps enthusiast and regularly attends competitions in the summertime. Also known as the “Drum Doctor” in marching percussion circles, he has enjoyed working with several high school band programs over the years.

Beyond his varied music interests, Dr. McBride’s hobbies include audio recording, photography, video production, and home theater. He is also an avid sports fan and closely follows University of Tennessee athletics.

James H. Blanks, O.D.


Dr. James H. “Jimmy” Blanks joined Tullahoma Vision Associates in June 2017. Dr. Blanks is a native of Tullahoma and the son of Jim Blanks and the late Janice Blanks. He graduated from Tullahoma High School in 1981 and continued his education at David Lipscomb University in Nashville. Dr. Blanks received his Doctor of Optometry degree from Southern College of Optometry in Memphis in 1987. While at Southern College of Optometry, he was elected vice-president of his senior class and was a member of Beta Sigma Kappa honor fraternity.

Dr. Blanks began his practice of optometry in McMinnville in 1987. He relocated back home to Tullahoma in 1991, practicing at the Eye Care Center for 26 years until joining Tullahoma Vision Associates. He is a member of the Tennessee Association of Optometric Physicians and a Past-President of the South Central Tennessee Optometric Society.

Dr. Blanks is married to June-Ellen, a native of McMinnville. They have one son, Dean, who is a mechanical engineer in Nashville where he lives with his wife, Eliza. He has been heavily involved with competitive swimming for many years and is a Past-President of the Tullahoma Swim Club. Dr. Blanks served as an alderman for the City of Tullahoma from 2009 until 2022. In addition, he is a board member of the Duck River Utility Commission, the Tullahoma Arts Council and the Tullahoma Industrial Board. Dr. Blanks is also an active member of the Church of Christ at Cedar Lane.

While not performing civic commitments, Dr. Blanks enjoys gardening, hunting and fishing, and travel with his family.

Penny Owens


Penny Owens has been with Tullahoma Vision Associates since 1991. Penny is the office manager and insurance coordinator. She also helps with patient check-in and check-out as well as assists the doctors in performing specialized tests.

Penny lives in Moore County with her husband, Joe. She enjoys motorcycling with her husband and spending time with her family.

Joseph Niblett


Joe joined our staff in February 2017 and serves as the director of patient experience. He helps patients with the check-in process and makes them feel right at home in our patient lounge. He also assists patients on the phone and coordinates appointments.

Joe is originally from southern California and moved to Tennessee in 2016 to be closer to his fiancé’s family. He graduated from Cal State Northridge in 2010 with a Bachelor’s Degree in art. He has spent many years as a high school librarian and teacher’s aide.

Being part Hawaiian, family is important to Joe. He and his wife Eileen were married in August 2017 and enjoy living in middle Tennessee. He also enjoys movies, television, art, and music, and is a long-time Batman aficionado. Joe closely follows the USC Trojans, the Oakland Raiders, and the Los Angeles Clippers.

“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift. That’s why they call it the present.”

Christina Wilhoite, CMA


Christina joined our staff In June 2018. She works closely with patients as an optometric assistant and scribes for Dr. McBride. Christina has a medical background, having studied at the Medical Response Institute and is a Certified Medical Assistant. Prior to joining our team, she worked with Dr. Marcus Lee at Universal Family Care. In 2022 she earned the Certified Paraoptometric designation.
Christina was born and raised in Franklin County. She enjoys music, art, trying new foods and spending time outdoors - especially with her boys Cayden and Nikola.

Ashley Sanders


Ashley joined our team in January 2019. A certified billing and coding specialist, she helps manage insurance claims and accounts receivable in our billing department. In addition, Ashley often helps patients with the check-out process and appointment scheduling. In 2023 she achieved the Certified Paraoptometric Coder (CPOC) designation.
A native of Tullahoma, Ashley and her family moved back to Tennessee in 2018 following her husband’s nine years of service in the U.S. Navy. She worked as a certified pharmacy technician for seven years before taking a break to raise her daughter Sophie. In 2021 they welcomed their son Mason. Ashley is also the daughter of Ann Whittington, who was an optometric technician in our practice for nineteen years. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, reading, and spending time with family.

Dionne Simmons


Dionne joined our team in April 2019 as an optometric technician. She begins the exam process with our patients and performs special testing that gives the doctors important information about their eyes and overall health. One aspect of her role that she especially enjoys is getting to meet and know many different people.

Dionne has a daughter and loves spending time with her family. She relishes a good Philly cheesesteak and enjoys reading, writing and laughing!

“The only limitations you have are those you impose on yourself.” - Yusef Hakeem

Alena Smith


Alena heads our contact lens department, where she manages lens orders and trains patients in the application, removal and care of lenses. She is in the training process to become a licensed optician in the future. Alena also enjoys assisting in the optical department and other diagnostic testing. She has over 14 years of experience in the medical field prior to joining our team in 2020, including work in a level one trauma center blood bank, microbiology and gastroenterology. She enjoys researching, learning, helping and sharing knowledge where she can. In 2023 she became the fourth person in the world to achieve Certified Myopia Navigator (CMN) designation for optometric staff from the International Academy of Orthokeratology and Myopia Control.

Alena is originally from Alexandria, Louisiana but considers Tennessee her true home! However, she still follows LSU football and the New Orleans Saints. Alena married her long-time boyfriend Riley in March 2022! She loves to swim, fish, hike, thrift shop and spend time with friends and family, and she and Riley love to spoil their Boston terrier like a child. Alena loves to learn new things, try new foods, and meet new people!

Rebecca Baxter


Rebecca manages our optical department, where she coordinates our eyewear inventory, oversees the ordering, verification and delivery processes, and assists patients with their eyewear needs. She finds helping our patients see and look their best incredibly rewarding!

Rebecca was born and raised in Lynchburg and is a 2015 graduate of Moore County High School. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Business Management and Human Relations from Trevecca Nazarene University in 2019. The following year she married Nathan Matlock, and they welcomed their first child Reagan in February 2022. Together they live on a 180 acre farm in Moore county with cattle and chickens.

In her spare time, she enjoys being outdoors, gardening, cooking, traveling and shopping.

Rebecca Baxter


Libby joined our team in 2022 as an assistant in our optical department, where she assists patients in eyewear selection and helps make sure the lens design will provide optimum vision, protection and comfort. She also adjusts eyewear for best fit and performs repairs when mishaps occur. She has an Associates degree in Business and Technology from Motlow State where she minored in Medical Office.

On the weekends, Libby enjoys hunting with her step-dad as well as spending time with other family and friends. Her “fur baby” Millie Mae keeps her hands full as well. She also raises chickens, and one day she wants to have her own chicken farm!

Rebecca Baxter


Ashley joined our optical department in 2022, where she enjoys assisting patients with eyewear selection and seeing their face light up when she dispenses new glasses! Originally from Alabama, she wisely moved to Tennessee in 2016 and is a Tullahoma High School graduate. In addition to her work here, she is furthering her education as a business major at Motlow State.

When not busy studying, she enjoys being outdoors and spending time with friends and family.

Rebecca Baxter


Mia joined Tullahoma Vision Associates in 2023 as a patient care coordinator. In this role she completes the patient’s journey through our office, handles financial transactions, and schedules future care visits within our office as well as with other specialties our patients may require.

Originally from Powell, Ohio, her family moved to Tullahoma in 2012 to be closer to relatives. She is a 2022 graduate of Tullahoma High School, and she also received her Certified Nursing Assistant license that year. She currently is a part-time student at Motlow State Community College where she is majoring in social work.

Rebecca Baxter


Amber Cowan joined the team in June 2022 as an optometric technician. In this role she reviews medical history and performs preliminary testing for our patients. She is also certified to perform Forma-I radio frequency thermal treatment for dry eye disease in our office.
Amber is originally from Alabama and moved to Lincoln county in 2011 with her husband Tommy and their two children. She enjoys movies, going to antique stores and spending time with family.

Rebecca Baxter


Grace Barr joined the practice in 2022 as a patient care coordinator. She later moved to the optical department where she currently assists patients with frame selection, discusses lens designs to maximize visual performance and comfort, and performs precise measurements to ensure the best optics. She also performs adjustments and repair of eyewear among other duties. She enjoys helping our patients look and see their best!
Grace lives with her husband Garrett on a boat on Tims Ford Lake. She loves to read, fish and enjoy other activities on the water.


Torie Renegar began her journey in eye care in October 2022. She is part of our clinical staff as an optometric technician. She performs preliminary and advanced diagnostic testing and enjoys working with our patients. She is also certified to perform Lumecca and Forma-I treatments for dry eye disease and facial rejuvenation.

Torie is originally from Belvidere and now resides in Winchester. In her free time, she enjoys live music and playing with her dog.

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