about us

 

Meet Our Providers


Barbara Norton Geneva Woods
Barbara Norton, CNM, WHCNP, MSN, CNS

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Barbara has been a nurse since 1978, a nurse practitioner since 1985, and a midwife since 1994. She is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno and the University of California, San Francisco. Barbara worked as a Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner for 9 years (1985-1994) before becoming a midwife. During that time she worked in a variety of settings honing her skills in contraceptive management, menopausal counseling, and irregular menstrual bleeding. She opened her own private midwifery and women's health care practice in Anchorage in 1995, but left that practice in 2015 to start a smaller, more cozy and intimate practice. She was a recipient of the 2016 YWCA Women of Achievement award and in 2017 she won the Chamber of Commerce's Athena Award for her business acumen and for mentoring other women to be successful in business.

Barbara has been affiliated with the University of Alaska, teaching nurse practitioner students, and has served on many community boards, including the Board of Certified Direct Entry Midwives and the Alaska Women’s Gold Nugget Triathlon. She currently serves on the American Association of Birth Center board as Secretary. She has been married to Bradley Cruz since 1979 and has two daughters who both live in Anchorage, and three grandchildren, all born at Geneva Woods Birth Center

Barbara enjoys traveling, hiking, trail running, triathlon, reading, cooking, and spending time with her kids and their families.



haley yerxa midwife
Haley Yerxa, CNM, WHNP

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Haley’s path to midwifery and to Alaska was rather circuitous. Born and raised between Switzerland, Belgium and the U.S., Haley spent the last 10 years living and working in Minnesota, California, Nicaragua, Oregon and Connecticut. She originally studied Biology with a focus on Environmental Science. However, she gravitated towards midwifery for the opportunity to safeguard normal physiologic birth, and to provide the type of reproductive care that allows people to make informed choices on their own health. She completed her nursing and midwifery studies at Yale School of Nursing, finishing her clinical rotations at an Indian Health Service hospital in Arizona. Haley finds it a privilege to join the long tradition of midwifery, to guide people through experiences of profound change and to work with them in a personal and supportive way. She feels that the best part of being a midwife is bearing witness to the strengths of individuals and families every day. In her time off you can find her in the woods and mountains, usually with her husband Marshall and their dogs. She is excited to finally set down roots in a place as amazing as Alaska.


kimberly Spence-Jensen Geneva Woods
Kimberly Spence-Jensen, CNM, ANP

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Kimberly will be joining our practice in mid-February, 2019. She received her MSN degree from Emory University in December 2018. Kimberly is originally from North Carolina where she studied human biology and lactation consulting. She worked at UNC Womens’ Hospital for several years supporting women as they met their breastfeeding goals and working with infants in NICU as they grew and learned to eat. In order to expand her ability to serve women at this unique time in their lives she moved to Atlanta to attend Emory University for nurse midwifery. In Georgia, she was able to work as a nurse at the Atlanta Birth Center and there learned what it means to be “with women”. She also spent time working as a labor and birth nurse at Emory Decatur Hospital, which provided wonderful balance and equipped her to work in diverse settings. She feels it is an immense honor to witness women bringing their babies into the world. Ultimately, she aspires to honor physiologic birth, reduce maternal mortality around the world and walk with women from preconception through breastfeeding and beyond. Kimberly lives with her incredibly supportive husband, Lee, who never fails to help her find rest. Together, they enjoy hosting game nights with friends, exploring and finding ways to serve their community.


megan mcgraw geneva woods
Megan McGraw, CNM, ANP

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Megan McGraw joined Geneva Woods from Madison, WI, in January 2020. She spent 12 years working as a labor & delivery nurse at Meriter hospital, the busiest hospital birth center in Wisconsin. At Meriter, she supported families in low-intervention, normal physiologic birth to high risk, medically complex births. While she enjoyed being a labor nurse, attending her sister’s birth and catching her niece, inspired her to continue on her path to midwifery. She attended Frontier Nursing University, completing her clinical work at a Federally qualified health center in Milwaukee and a rural hospital in Reedsburg, WI. In her words: “I truly enjoy the work of midwifery-offering clients the time and space to provide informed, collaborative care. I am honored to be invited into birthing spaces, safeguarding physiologic birth.” When not working, she loves growing plants and gardening, and looks forward to hiking and exploring Alaska.


karin braun
Karin Braun, CNM, ANP – ‘Midwife At Large’

Karin Braun has been a midwife for over 25 years, becoming first a Certified Direct-Entry Midwife (CDM) in 1993, and then a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) in 1999. She joined Barbara Norton at her solo practice in 1999, and together they formed Midwifery & Women’s Health Care at Geneva Woods in 2000. She and Barbara attended births at Providence Hospital, Alaska Regional Hospital, Midnight Sun Birth Center, and in families’ homes. She also worked with Barbara to found Geneva Woods Birth Center in 2002, after Midnight Sun Birth Center closed its doors. She left the large group practice that she helped build in 2015, and moved to Arizona with her youngest daughter, where she currently resides. She comes to Alaska frequently to visit her 3 grown children and 1 grandson who live up here, and works in the clinic with us a handful of times per year. If you would like to get on her schedule, please give us a call to see when she has a trip planned!


pelvic health postpardum
Melissa Sundberg, PT, DPT, OCS, COMT

Melissa Sundberg, graduated with honors from Pacific University with her Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree in 2001, after graduating from Washington State University with her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. She obtained advanced board certification through the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties in Orthopedics and is certified through the IAOM in orthopedic manual therapy. Melissa's interest in pelvic health peaked after the delivery of her daughter over 10 years ago. With extensive training in pelvic health, Melissa has become passionate about pelvic health and postpartum education. Melissa maintains a special interest in treating women seeking pre- and post-natal physical therapy, female athletes, men and women with pelvic pain, and bowel dysfunction. She has been teaching a postpartum Pilates class for over 5 years, and loves to help moms return to daily activities and exercise with less pain and leaking. Through a combination of skilled manual therapy techniques and specialized training in movement re-education, Melissa is passionate about helping patients achieve their individual goals. She enjoys spending her free time running, hiking, cross country skiing, kayaking, fishing and camping with her husband, 2 children and their labrodoodle.


Alli Karlik
Allison (“Alli”) Karlik, PT, DPT, OCS

Alli Karlik earned a Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree from Azusa Pacific University in Southern California. She attended the same university for her undergraduate degree, Bachelors of Science in Applied Health. After PT school, she went on to complete a residency program in Orthopedics with Kaiser Permanente, which earned her an advanced board certification through the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties in Orthopedics. A passion for working with pre- and post-natal women emerged after going through her own pregnancy aches and pains and pelvic floor issues after delivering her son, in 2018. She loves helping women get back to exercising postpartum in a safe way, and helping pregnant women physically prepare for birth while decreasing those pregnancy aches and pains. She was born and raised here in Anchorage, Alaska and loves hiking, fishing, kayaking, and taking her son and husband on all the Alaskan adventures she grew up with as well.


Jen Allison
Jennifer Allison, LPN, LS
Birth Assistant & Birth Center CQA coordinator


Jennifer Allison is one of our office nurses, and is also a childbirth class instructor, teaching our “Fourth Trimester” class, which focuses largely on breastfeeding but touches on many other postpartum and newborn topics, as well as her own “Hypnosis for Birthwork” curriculum for natural childbirth preparation.




Meet Our Staff


Claire Norton-Cruz
Claire Norton-Cruz, MBA

Claire began working for her mother, Barbara, in the early days of her practice, while still in high school in the mid-‘90’s, when the practice was called “Barbara Norton, CNM,” located in the Geneva Woods Medical Center, sometimes for pay and sometimes while grounded. After attending undergraduate and graduate school at Mills College in Oakland, CA – with one year spent in France for study-abroad – she returned home to Alaska with a BA in Economics & French Studies, and a Masters in Business Administration. She formally joined Barbara’s practice as office manager in 2004 when it had become “Midwifery & Women’s Health Care at Geneva Woods” after Karin Braun, CNM joined the practice in 2001. Along with Barbara & Karin, she left that practice in spring of 2015. She helped establish Geneva Woods Midwifery as a new practice out of Geneva Woods Birth Center, and oversees all business aspects of both the clinic and the birth center. She is self-taught in medical coding and billing, but has amassed quite a knowledge of the ins and outs of insurance companies over the last 13 years overseeing the billing. She also worked in the birth center as a birth assistant in 2015 and 2016, until she reached the third trimester. She thoroughly enjoyed helping families and the midwives in this new capacity, and hopes to return to birth assisting someday when her daughter is old enough. She gave birth to her first child, Fiona, at Geneva Woods Birth Center, in February of 2017.When not working she enjoys cooking & baking, reading, and lots of outdoor sports such as running, triathlon, XC skiing, & hiking.


Lolitta Lapriel
Lolitta Lapriel, RN: Office Nurse and Birth Assistant

Lolitta serves Geneva Woods Midwifery as Office Nurse and The Nest as a Birth Assistant. Lolitta grew up in Fairbanks and attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks for two years before moving to the big city (Anchorage) to finish her Bachelor's in Biology. After spending many fun and dirty hours in the field and lab doing research, she decided to take on a decade of adventure by joining the military as a medic, leading her to pursue a degree in Nursing. Lolitta first came to Geneva Woods Midwifery as a physical therapy client, but was quickly inspired by the care, compassion, and autonomy that permeated the staff and clinic, and joined our team in August of 2019.


Krista Whitlock
Krista Whitlock

After growing up in Alaska and graduating from San Diego State University with a BA in Communication, Krista and her husband James decided that their hometown of Anchorage would be the best place to raise a family. Returning to Alaska in 2004 they started their family, becoming the parents of two wonderful children. Krista spent several years as a doula, until it became too much to juggle with being a full-time mom of two and maintaining a snow-plowing business. She also now works for Geneva Woods Birth Center as a birth assistant, which fulfills her love of birth work without the unpredictability of doula call. Retiring as a doula, she spent two years learning the basics of medical billing and insurance, which she now does part time here at Geneva Woods Midwifery, enjoying the opportunity to work with pregnant women and new mothers in both capacities, while keeping up with her own quickly-growing children.


anchorage women's health
Neda Womack, MA

Neda joined our office as a medical assistant in February of 2018. Neda was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska. She is married to her husband Kevin and together they have their daughter Mila who was born at the Geneva Woods Birth Center in June of 2019. Neda is currently attending UAA School of Nursing and plans to pursue her education further after obtaining her RN license. When she’s not studying or chasing her daughter around the house, you can find her baking, reading, or walking around Alaska’s beautiful trails.


Erica Roy
Erica Roy, Front Desk

Erica joined our office in August, 2018. Fourth generation Alaskan, Erica was born and raised in Anchorage. She graduated from UAF with a BA in Elementary Education while pregnant with her first baby. She delivered her first two babies in a birthing center in Fairbanks, and her second two at home in Anchorage, with midwives. Shortly after graduating, she decided to stay home to focus on raising her family. Erica recently closed her small in-home daycare after 7 years, deciding to join the team here at Geneva Woods Birth Center. She is also passionate about her advocacy work with Beautycounter, educating consumers about safer personal care products for the whole family. She has been married for 20 years and her family loves to spend time hiking to their remote cabin, traveling in and out of the state via their motorhome, and doing all the fun things that are part of living in Alaska.


Loni Smith
Loni Smith, MA

Loni joined our office in March of 2019 as a Medical Assistant. She was born and raised in Anchorage, and is currently a student in the nursing program at Charter College. During her time at Geneva Woods Midwifery, she has grown her passion for patient care, while also working on her nursing skills. When Loni isn’t at work or studying, you can find her out for a hike with her two dogs.


Aimee White
Aimee White, PT Admin and Billing Assistant

Aimee was born and raised here in Alaska. She married her high school sweetheart in 2014 and they had their amazing daughter in 2017. After only working in childcare since she was 17, she decided to take a step into the medical field. She was given the opportunity to work at local physical therapy office where she found a passion for patient care and administrative work. Aimee worked there for 5 years before joining the Geneva Woods Midwifery team in 2019 to help with the physical therapy administrative tasks that came with adding Melissa Sundberg, DPT to their team. She has also been added to the billing team with Krista. Aimee quickly found a passion for caring for pregnant and birthing mothers and trained to be a birth assistant to help families welcome their sweet babies to their lives. She recently completed the formal Birth Assistant training program through the American Association of Birth Centers.


Jennifer Erickson
Jennifer Erickson

Jen grew up in the Midwest and has had the opportunity to live in various states in the country, but Alaska is home in all senses of the word. After graduating with a degree in organizational communications from Western Michigan University, she has enjoyed careers in management, Human Resources and as an administrative coordinator for a non-profit in Alaska. After the birth of her son in 2014, life took on a new trajectory. Jen had a doula attend the birth of her son and she credits her doula's comfort and care to be the inspiration to become a doula herself. She also used her personal journey through postpartum depression to support women's mental and physical health by offering postpartum doula services as well. Jen began attending births at Geneva Woods Birth Center as a birth assistant in 2017 and enjoys assisting the midwives and families through the birth experience. When not attending births or supporting postpartum mothers, she is more than likely hiking or skiing in and around this great state with her husband, son and two pups. But only after a cup of strong black coffee.


Amanda Gill
Amanda Gill, Birth Assistant

Amanda was born and mostly raised in Alaska, leaving for a few years to Oregon but coming back the minute she turned 18. She enjoys her day job of helping to protect and manage Alaska’s fish and wildlife resources at the Alaska Department of Fish & Game, where she’s worked since 2004. After having three hospital births and thinking her family was complete, she was surprised to find out she was expecting again and decided to make more informed choices about her healthcare with her last pregnancy. This led her to the care of midwives and a birth at Geneva Woods Birth Center. With the support of her family and job, she started the process of training to be a birth and postpartum doula through DONA. She began attending births as a birth assistant here at ‘the Nest’ in 2018. When she’s not working she can be found always with her family doing things like riding bikes, cooking, reading, knitting, or planning their next tropical vacation.


Alexa Roberts
Alexa Roberts, RN: Birth Assistant

A life-long Alaskan, Alexa began attending births at Geneva Woods Birth Center during her clinicals in nursing school and found immense joy in assisting midwives and supporting women through their labor. She graduated with a BSN from UAA and is also currently employed as an acute care nurse at a local hospital. She recently completed the rigorous training to become a Certified Birth Assistant through the American Association of Birth Centers. In the not so distant future, she plans to further continue her education in women’s health as well as pursue training as a postpartum doula, as she feels the Anchorage community could greatly benefit from more support for mothers after birth. When not working, she enjoys riding her bicycle long distances, rock climbing, kayaking, and sailing.

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