about us

Meet Our Providers

Barbara Norton, CNM, WHCNP, MSN, CNS

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.

Dana Deane, CNM, ANP

Dana Deane comes to us from the Austin Area Birthing Center where she worked for 5 years as a doula, birth assistant and registered nurse. She is originally from Amarillo, Texas but only has a slight Texas twang rather than the full accent.

Dana began her road to midwifery when she worked at a women's health clinic for two years in Oregon. Dana enjoys being a midwife because it combines the art of midwifery with the science of Nursing and medicine. Getting to know patients and families throughout the (almost) year that they come to the clinic as well as the uniqueness and excitement of each birth are what she likes best about the job.

She is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and obtained her Master's of Science in Nursing from Frontier Nursing University, the first Certified Nurse Midwifery program in the country. Frontier Nursing University is responsible for training 1/3 of all Nurse Midwife graduates in the United States.

Dana loves adventure and enjoys traveling, yoga, and almost any outdoor sport Alaska has to offer. She is also fluent in Spanish and conversational in Russian and works with our patients who speak these languages.

haley yerxa
Haley Yerxa, CNM, WHNP

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
Kimberly Spence-Jensen, CNM, ANP

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.

pelvic health postpardum
Melissa Sundberg, DPT

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.

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!

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.

Amanda Rothbarth, RN

Growing up in rural Wisconsin, Amanda always valued the importance of a sense of community. She was introduced to the midwifery model of care in 2005 when Barbara Norton caught her first baby, and she's been hooked on spreading this model ever since that birth. Amanda has a degree from University of Wisconsin Green Bay in Communications and a nursing degree from the University of Alaska Anchorage. Amanda started working at Geneva Woods Birth Center in 2011 as a birth assistant. She now works as a clinic nurse along with attending births. She is passionate about advocating for women and their families. She began a CNM program at Frontier Nursing University in spring 2017, and looks forward to continuing to work with women and families as a midwife! She has 3 daughters and is also raising chickens along with an Australian Shephard.

Jen Allison
Jennifer Allison, LPN, LS

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.

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 Zeid, MA

Neda joined our office as a Medical Assistant in late February, 2018. She was trained as a MA at Hillside Family Medicine, and is currently applying to the Nursing School at UAA.

Erica Roy
Erica Roy, Front Desk

Erica joined our office in August, 2018. A 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 seven 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.

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.

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.

Alexa Mortensen

Bio coming soon.

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