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Meet Our Team of Dedicated Providers


Dr. Joy Hardison, MD MPH

CEO, Emergency Physician

Dr. Joy Hardison is a board-certified emergency physician. She earned both her MD and MPH in 2009, graduating from Mayo Medical School. Dr. Hardison completed her residency in emergency medicine at the University of Arizona and has since worked in hospitals throughout the Southwest. She is also an adjunct professor at Bastyr University California. Dr. Hardison founded Healthtopia Clinics in 2018 to bridge the gap between traditional medical care and integrative medicine, leveraging the benefits of both practices to provide patients with thoughtful, comprehensive care.


Dr. James Howard, MD MS

COO, Emergency Physician

Dr. James Howard is a board-certified emergency physician and has been practicing medicine for over 10 years. He has a variety of experience with healthcare transformation, health services research, emergency medical services, disaster preparedness, aeromedical retrievals, and emergency and general medical practice. He is one of the initial founders of Healthtopia and is currently the Chief Operating Officer. In his free time he enjoys spending time with family, endurance sports, water sports, camping, hiking, cooking, and music.

Sharina Mapleton Headshot

Dr. Sharina Mapleton, DO

Internist and Cardiologist

Dr. Sharina Mapleton is a board-certified Internist and Cardiologist and completed her training in 2016 through Midwestern University in Illinois. After graduating from her fellowship in general cardiology, she moved to Southern California to be closer to family. Her primary focus is preventive medicine and cardiovascular health, encouraging proper nutrition and staying active to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Dr. Mapleton joined Healthopia Clinics in 2020 and is pleased to serve the Rancho Santa Fe and Encinitas communities.


Dr. Kendra Etzel, ND

Resident Naturopathic Doctor

Dr. Kendra Etzel, ND is a recent graduate of Bastyr University here in San Diego, California.  Before attending medical school she attended Washington State University where she received a Bachelors in Nutritional Science. She has over 15 years of experience in the medical field and has a true love for helping people achieve their health goals. Being a naturopathic doctor, she believes in combining the latest research with natural therapies to get to the root cause of illness and deliver the best in individualized medicine. In her spare-time she enjoys hiking, spending time on the beach and reading.


Nicole Kenney, PA-C

Physician Assistant

Nicole is a Physician Assistant and has been with Healthtopia since 2018. Originally from the Northeast, she received her Master’s in Physician Assistant Studies in Boston at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences University in 2017. Prior to graduate school she obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Science along with a radiography certification. She has experience and interests in rheumatology, autoimmune diseases, urgent care and primary care. Her passion is to treat patients as a whole with a more natural approach, as well as educating her patients. In her free time she enjoys being a foodie with a sweet tooth, traveling, hiking, yoga and stand-up paddle boarding.


Marisa Merritt, FNP

Nurse Practitioner

Marisa is a licensed Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) with a passion for bringing integrative medicine to the forefront of healthcare. Prior to becoming an NP she served as a RN for 6 years, specializing in cardiac and critical care. She completed her graduate school in Hawaii before moving back to her home state, California. Marisa believes in leading with compassion and connecting with her patients in order to identify and treat the root cause of an illness rather than just managing symptoms. In her free time, she enjoys surfing, meditation, yoga, and anything that involves being outside with her dog.


Jamie Lidster, FNP-C

Nurse Practitioner

Jamie received her undergraduate degree from UCSD. She went on to get a nursing degree from the University of Arizona. She spent several years working as an emergency room nurse before going on to get her master’s from Azusa Pacific University. She is a board certified family nurse practitioner and certified pediatric emergency care nurse. She joined Healthtopia in 2019. In her free time, Jamie enjoys hiking, mountain biking and spending time with her husband and three children.