About Us

About ROCM

Our practice has been serving the community since 1946.  John Hughes, MD founded The Memphis Clinic of Internal Medicine in 1946.  It was originally located in the Sterick Building in downtown Memphis.  The practice began to grow with the addition of internists, Phil E. Orpet, MD, Richard W. Wooten, MD and Thomas W. Meriwether, MD.  The practice later moved from the Sterick Building to the Dudley Medical building located next to Baptist Memorial Hospital (BMH) in the downtown Medical Center.

In 1969, Charles R. Arkin, MD joined the staff, adding diversity to the practice with his specialty in rheumatology.   John Rodney Blair, MD, an internist, joined in 1973.  In 1975, the group moved to the 920 Madison Building across from BMH.  Dr. Tom Ignaczak, MD was the second rheumatologist to join the practice in 1978.

During the 1980’s the Clinic saw several changes.  Dr. Hughes retired, Dr. Ignaczak relocated to Michigan and the Clinic added its first female physician, Jane K. Alissandratos, MD.  Dr. Jane, as she was affectionately known, finished her rheumatology fellowship and joined the practice in 1984.

The 1990’s were a busy time for our Clinic.  In 1991, the clinic welcomed another rheumatologist, Judy Ash, MD.  The Clinic now had a total of seven physicians- four internists and three rheumatologists.  Soon thereafter, the Clinic name was changed to The Memphis Clinic of Internal Medicine and Rheumatology, P.C. to better reflect the nature of the practice.  In June, 1993 our offices moved from the downtown medical center to 80 Humphreys Center on the Baptist East campus.  Soon after, Dr. Blair relocated to Florida and Dr. Wooten retired from active practice.  In November 1994, Trev Sprabery, MD joined the practice, marking the fourth rheumatologist on staff.  This was the first time in the history of the Clinic that the number of rheumatologists outnumbered the internists.

The biggest change for our Clinic occurred in 2000.  Since the Clinic was once again faced with relocating, the decision was made to focus the practice specifically on rheumatology.  Dr. Meriwether left and became the Medical Director for Trinity Home Care and Hospice (affiliated with Baptist Hospital), while Dr. Orpet joined with another physician.  The group then chose a new name for the Clinic:  Rheumatology & Osteoporosis Center of Memphis, PC (ROCM).  After considering several practice locations, a building partnership was formed by Dr. Arkin and Dr. Alissandratos.  The Clinic moved into our current location in February 2001.

Dr. Sprabery left active practice in 2002 to work in the pharmaceutical arena.  In July, 2005, David Boatright, MD joined the group, bringing the number back to four rheumatologists.  In 2008, Dr. Alissandratos retired from practice, and in 2009, the group was pleased to add Hugh Holt, MD to the staff at ROCM.  In late 2010, Dr. Ash announced that she would retire in May, 2011 in order to spend more time with her family.

Through the years, the staff, location and name may have changed, but the commitment to quality healthcare has remained the top priority of the practice.  We appreciate the opportunity to participate in your healthcare needs.