Grace Medical Home is able to operate because of our numerous volunteers serving in both clinical and non-clinical roles.  For continuity, there is a small core of clinical and professional staff.


W. Marvin Hardy IV, M.D.
Founder & Medical Director of Pediatrics


Marvin Hardy grew up in Orlando and attended college at Furman University in South Carolina. After receiving his medical degree from Emory University in 1996, he received his pediatric residency training at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1999. Marvin was a part of Interlachen Pediatrics in Orlando, Florida from 1999-2008. In 2008, he started full-time at Grace Medical Home. Marvin and his wife, Carla, have three children and are active members of First Presbyterian Church of Orlando.

The idea of a medical practice for the underserved has been on my heart and mind since medical school. Those who are poor, yet created in God’s image, are not receiving the same quality of healthcare as others of greater means. In fact, this gap is growing and many more are being left behind. Because of Christ’s love, my heart breaks for those who do not have access to the medical care that so many of us take for granted. In order to adequately meet the needs of the underserved, this medical office must be a high quality, comprehensive medical home that is fully reliant on Christ and His character. What motivates me is that while I stand in need of God’s mercy every day, I am also challenged by Jesus’ words in Luke 10:37 to ‘Go and do likewise.’ My position before God is no different than the patient I am serving. We are all in need of His mercy. I hope this attitude permeates Grace.”
– Marvin Hardy, M.D.


Stephanie Nelson Garris, J.D.
Executive Director


Stephanie has a lengthy career in civic activism and community service. Prior to working at Grace, she worked for the American Cancer Society in Central Florida and held several positions in the federal legislative arena when she lived in Washington, D.C., including the American Hospital Association and the American Medical Association. Stephanie also worked as a Legislative Assistant on Capitol Hill and a political fundraiser. She attended the University of Florida and the American University Washington College of Law.

Stephanie has a long history of volunteer service in Orlando through the Junior League of Greater Orlando and the Florida Bar Association. She is also very active in the Cathedral Church of St. Luke’s and serves on various committees for The Christ School. She and her husband are the proud parents of three young sons.  Email Stephanie at

The call to serve has weighed heavily on my heart throughout my life. I have followed the path of service at every stage and professional crossroad. And as my relationship with God has strengthened over time, I realize that it is His calling that is guiding my decisions (Jeremiah 29:11).  I am convinced that His hand has shaped my experiences at the local and national level and brought me to where I am today, ready to serve in the image of Jesus. (John 13: 16-17).
– Stephanie Nelson Garris


Kirsten Carter, M.D.
Internal Medicine


Dr. Kirsten Carter graduated from Clemson University with a degree in Microbiology
and received her medical degree from the University of South Florida.  She completed her residency training at Orlando Regional Medical Center and is Board Certified in internal medicine.  Since 2000, Kirsten has served as a volunteer physician at the Healthcare Center for the Homeless and the Primary Care Access Network (PCAN).   For the past 2½  years, Dr. Carter has been a full-time volunteer physician at Grace Medical Home – a comprehensive medical home for the low-income, uninsured residents of Orange County, Florida.  In 2010, Dr. Carter was named “Woman of the Year” by the Orlando Business Journal.

Growing up, I witnessed my family giving to the needy in spite of their own needs. Their giving, under these circumstances, was an act of obedience to God’s commands and worship to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. This witness made a powerful impression on me, one which in the direction of my life. During medical school, I began dreaming of opening a privately funded free clinic for the poor and underprivileged. Imagine my joy when I learned that Dr. Marvin Hardy was having the same dream. Grace Medical Home is the realization of the shared dreams of many besides Marvin and me, and it is more than a medical clinic. It is a home where Jesus’ command to ‘love your neighbor as yourself’ (Matthew 22:39) will be put into practice. It is a home where medical needs will be met by a caring staff in the context of this command. It is a home where lives and families will be impacted for the glory of Christ alone.”
– Kirsten Carter, M.D.


Merri Bennett
Communications & Donor Relations Manager


Merri Bennett grew up n Michigan and graduated from Central Michigan University with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.  She worked as a television news anchor, reporter and manager for nearly two decades covering stories ranging from natural disasters to presidential visits.  She decided to make the transition into the nonprofit industry because she wanted to make a difference. Most recently she has been active in the Florida nonprofit industry serving as Communications Director for the Florida United Methodist Children’s Home in Deltona and as Communications Manager for the Salvation Army in Fort Myers.

Donors are encouraged to contact Merri with any concerns or questions, especially if they have questions about “Let’s Say Grace”. She can be reached at 407.601.4086 ext. 24 or Members of the media should contact her on her cell phone which is listed on all media releases.

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.”

– Merri Bennett


Johnathan Lein, MSW
Social Worker and Case Manager


Johnathan Lein grew up in the upper mid-west and moved to Central Florida in 2006. He attended Hope College and Aquinas College and completed his graduate studies at Grand Valley State University in Michigan. He received his clinical and macro licenses in Michigan, in 2006, and is a certified school social worker. Johnathan was a medical social worker for Arnold Palmer Hospital and a therapist with both Tri-County Psychiatric Associates and The Center for Health, Learning and Achievement in Orlando. He has over 25 years of experience in medical, educational and psychiatric social work. Johnathan and his wife, Amy, have one son and a soon to be daughter-in-law. They are active members of Orangewood Presbyterian Church in Maitland.

 “When God led me to Grace, I was overwhelmed by the team of professionals who have dedicated their lives to serving God’s people. The enthusiasm demonstrated in caring for the Lord’s people is a component of a dream of mine to be a part of such a Christ-centered facility. Jesus told Peter, ‘Take care of my lambs’ (John 21:15). It is a privilege to serve God’s people in such a wonderful setting.”

-Johnathan Lein, MSW