Phone: 704-480-0008

Office Hours

Mon - Thur: 8am -6pm
Friday: Closed
Closed: 12pm-1pm

Our Medical Team

At Cleveland Gastroenterology Associates in Shelby, North Carolina, our highly respected group of board certified gastroenterologist's have been caring for patients for over 30 years. Serving Shelby, Cleveland County and the Piedmont of North Carolina we treat patients in need of treatment for a wide range of gastrointestinal disorders.


Karel F. Rybnicek, M.D.
Karel F. Rybnicek, M.D., is a native of the Czech Republic.  He graduated from Purkyne University School of Medicine in 1978.   He completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Christ Hospital and Medical Center in Oak Lawn, IL, and his fellowship in Gastroenterology at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. He is board-certified in Gastroenterology and Internal Medicine and is a Fellow of the American College of Gastroenterology as well as a fellow of the American College of Physicians.  He is a member of the American Medical Association and the North Carolina Medical Society and is a NC Society of Gastroenterology Board Member for 2017-2020.

Brian D. Smith, M.D.
Brian D. Smith, M.D., is originally from Gastonia, North Carolina.  He received his medical degree from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill School of Medicine.  He completed an internship and residency in Internal Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, during which time he also served as Chief Medical Resident.  He also completed his Fellowship in Gastroenterology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.  He is a member of the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, the American College of Gastroenterology and the American Gastroenterology Association.

Lavonia C. Womack, MSN, ANP-BC
Originally from Gastonia, North Carolina, Lavonia received her Bachelor of Science Degree from Winston-Salem State University and a dual Master of Science Degree as an Adult Nurse Practitioner and Clinical Nurse Specialist from The University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She is a board certified Adult Nurse Practitioner with The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). She is a member of the American College of Gastroenterology and The American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.

Karla V. Von, PA-C
After growing up in Phoenix, Karla moved to the Carolinas and completed her undergraduate degree at Bob Jones University. She then received her Physician Assistant Master’s Degree from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. She is board certified by the National Commission on the Certification of Physician Assistants. Her areas of interest include, Cirrhosis, Hepatitis C and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Karla is fluent in Spanish.