Meet Our Team
Rathna Amarnath, M.D.
Dr. Amarnath was born in India and finished his medical education in India and immigrated to the United States. He did his pediatric residency training at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey/Children's Hospital of New Jersey. He did his pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition fellowship at the Mayo Clinic and is board-certified in pediatrics and pediatric gastroenterology. A fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and a member of the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (NASPGHAN), Amarnath has published more than 40 research papers and abstracts.
Dr. Amarnath is also full professor of Clinical Pediatrics at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. He has been practicing for 24 years in the Columbia area. His research interests are gastrointestinal motility disorders and inflammatory bowel disease. He has clinical expertise in all areas of children's bowel and liver disorders. He is also an experienced endoscopist.
Nirav Patel, M.D.
Dr. Patel has been with Palmetto Pediatric Gastroenterology since November 2008 and has brought with him an enthusiasm for managing and caring for children with digestive diseases. He is board-certified in pediatrics and pediatric gastroenterology. He is a member of the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (NASPGHAN). Dr. Patel’s primary areas of clinical interest include inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease, chronic constipation, gastroesophageal reflux disease, and eosinophilic esophagitis.
Dr. Patel received his undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia (that’s right, he’s a Bulldog) and later received his medical degree from St. George’s University School of Medicine in 2002. He completed his residency in pediatrics at Westchester Medical Center Maria Fereri Children’s Hospital in Valhalla, N.Y. Patel completed his fellowship training in pediatric gastroenterology at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill-Cornell Medical Center in 2008. He currently has an appointment as Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics with the University of South Carolina School of Medicine.
When Dr. Patel is not busy at work, he enjoys traveling, watching sports, and spending time with his lovely wife and adorable daughter.
Karen Goon-Johnson, nurse practitioner
Karen is an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) and a national-board-certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP). She graduated from Purdue University and UNC-Charlotte and received her nurse practitioner from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Widner University, respectively.
Karen has 27 years of experience as a pediatric nurse practitioner, and she joined Palmetto Pediatric Gastroenterology in 2000. Karen is married and has two children. She enjoys playing cards and Scrabble with friends, gardening, reading, and traveling with her husband.