Meet Our Doctors
Pediatricians in Pooler, Rincon, and Savannah, GA
The doctors at Kids First Pediatrics in Pooler, Rincon, and Savannah, Georgia welcome you! Specializing completely in pediatric medicine, we care for your child(ren) as our own.
Dr. Karen M. Kim graduated summa cum laude with honors from the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga. She earned her medical degree from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, then completed pediatric residency training at the University of Florida in Jacksonville. She is married and is the mother of seven children. Dr. Kim is board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and the National Board of Physicians and Surgeons. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and is a also a Fellow of the American College of Pediatricians.
Dr. Rolando Manalo received his medical degree from Saint Louis University in 1984, after which he served as pediatric resident at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York. There, he also received further training in the field of rehabilitation medicine. Dr Manalo is married with two children. He is board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics, and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Dr. Francisco Herran graduated from medical school at the Universidad de Valle in Cali, Valle del Cauca, Colombia. He completed his pediatric residency at the former Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center, now Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois. He served as an attending physician for six years at Illinois Masonic Hospital in Chicago. Dr. Herran is board-certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Dr. Herran is married and is the father of one daughter.
Dr. JP Gleason graduated from the Medical College of Georgia, and completed his pediatric residency at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Medical Center. Dr. Gleason joined Kids First Pediatrics in 2013. He is married and has five children. Dr. Gleason is board-certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Dr. Desiree Merrell has over 30 years’ experience as a pediatrician. She graduated summa cum laude from Manhattan College and went on to the State University of New York at Downstate, Brooklyn, NY for her medical degree. Once graduated, she completed her pediatric residency and a year as chief resident at North Shore University Hospital in NY. Following her residency, Dr. Merrell founded her own pediatric practice which grew to one of the largest on Long Island. After 18 years in private practice, she served as Medical Director for St. Mary’s Hospital for Children in Queens, NY. In 2021, Dr. Merrell relocated with her husband to Savannah, returning to general practice, working at Kids First Pediatrics. Dr. Merrell is a board-certified member of the American Board of Pediatrics and a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. She has three children, three stepchildren and three grandchildren.