The current team at APG:
Janet Alexander, MD
I moved to Alaska about 30 years ago after completing medical school at Ohio State University and pediatric residency at University of Texas San Antonio. I had planned to move to the mountains in Colorado, but my husband Chris wanted Alaska instead. I thought it sounded the same, but I was wrong. Alaska is way better!
My husband and I raised our three sons here and now we get to watch our young grandsons growing up here as well. Every day I look outside and still can’t believe I get to live here, but I also love to travel. I have enjoyed seeing so many different places and especially meeting people from all over the world.
At home I fill my time with camping, skiing, paragliding, cross stitch and my annual gingerbread village. I also truly love getting to take care of my patients every day as I watch them and their parents, grow together. It is always a sad day when a patient graduates from pediatrics, but it has also been wonderful having many of the same “kids” now come back as parents themselves.
Susan Beesley, MD
My journey to being a pediatrician at Anchorage Pediatric Group started when I was a small child. I used to take care of my stuffed animals and then small injured creatures from my neighborhood like butterflies with broken wings and ants that were missing legs. I turned my nurturing into volunteering as a teenager and discovered the joys of being in service to others. In school, I loved science. I was inspired to ask big questions and design ways to try to figure out the answer. Medicine has allowed me to merge my interests in science and service. I chose pediatrics because it allows me to focus on forming relationships with children and families over time and focus on preventing problems and healthy habit formation.
Now that I have been with APG for 10 years, I enjoy the rich and deep relationships that I have with many families. Every day I am grateful for the simple miracle of watching children grow and learn both at work and at home. I have three adventurous, scrappy, curious, and strong-willed children. Every day they humble me as a mom and as a pediatrician. My family and I enjoy all forms of mountain exploration and enjoy the joys and challenges of getting out together in all seasons. I speak Spanish and love working with Spanish speaking families.
Theresa Bostwick, CPNP, IBCLC
I knew even as a child, that I wanted to work with children. When I entered nursing school in 1977, I knew I would work in pediatrics. After graduation from the State University of New York, I joined the Air Force as a 2nd lieutenant. I was blessed to be stationed at the Air Forces’ largest medical center in San Antonio, Texas. The 4 ½ yrs I spent there working in Pediatrics, were some of the most interesting, educational and rewarding years of my career. The fun and hard work lasted for 21 years as I traveled to new assignments all over the U.S. During that time I continued to work in pediatrics, with a brief stint in obstetrics. I obtained graduate degrees in Nursing Administration and Maternal Child health, along with my certification as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner.
I was finally stationed at Elmendorf AFB (now JBER) in 1997. I opted to retire after that assignment, so I could stay here in Anchorage ,a place my family loved. After starting at Anchorage Pediatric Group, I became an IBCLC (Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant), so I could help Moms struggling with breastfeeding.
From newborns to young adults transitioning to college- it never gets boring, it’s always rewarding and sooo much fun to watch them grow into the great adults they become. To be a part of the joy and pain, successes and struggles, laughs and tears- it all adds up to life! Experiencing all that life offers and helping families when times are tough, is a big part of having the best job in the world!
When not at work, I’m often out hiking, biking , skiing, or hanging out with my husband and friends. I also love to bake, read, work in the garden and travel around the U.S and Alaska.
Jodyne Butto, MD
I was born in California and moved to Bethel, Alaska when I was 6 years old. When I was 8 we moved to Anchorage. I graduated from East High School and then moved back to California to attend college at UC Santa Cruz, obtaining my Undergraduate Degree in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology. I then went to the University of Washington as an Alaska WWAMI and did my Pediatric training at Loma Linda University. I came back to Alaska in 1995 to join Anchorage Pediatric Group.
My special pediatric interest is asthma. Every summer I join young Alaskans as a volunteer physician and coordinator of a children's summer asthma camp.
When I’m not helping my patients in the office, I enjoy sewing and needle crafts.
Jodi Elliott, DO
I grew up in Southern Indiana and at the age of 9 I announced to my family that I was going to live in Alaska when I grew up. The thought of becoming a doctor came much later when my college advisor suggested it! It was one of the best pieces of advice I have ever received.
I attended Southern Indiana University and got my undergrad in biology. I then attended Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine. From there, a rotating internship in Lansing, Michigan. It was obvious from my very first rotation that pediatrics was where I belonged. I graduated from pediatric residency at Children’s Hospital of Michigan in Detroit.
I finally made my childhood declaration true when I moved to Alaska in 2006 and joined APG. I live in the most beautiful state that is now my forever home. Observing wildlife is a great passion of mine. I love sitting with grizzlies at Kat Mai, whale watching, seeing moose and eagles on a daily basis and gazing at the beautiful mountains that surround us. I love exploring Alaska: hiking and kayaking. And I LOVE loving on my two big St. Bernards. I am grateful to my patients for making this the best job ever.
John Heimerl, MD
Medicine has always been part of my family as my parents are both nurses. From an early age, I spent weekday mornings at the hospital waiting for preschool to begin and my curiosity around caring for others grew. I chose pediatrics out of my desire for long term continuity with my patients and their families. I enjoy helping families through transitions and witnessing my patient's growth.
I grew up outside Palmer and love most sports and outdoor activities. I attended Colony High School where I swam, cross country skied, ran, and played soccer. Outside of school, I grew to love mountain running, hunting, fishing and scouting. After high school, I attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) where I received my bachelor's degree in biology all while competing on the Nordic ski team. I attended medical school at the University of Washington in the WWAMI program, where I met my wife, and completed my pediatric residency at the University of Minnesota. Prior to joining APG, I was a Pediatric Hospitalist at Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage.
My family has grown to include my three young children and a wonderful Alaskan Malamute named Eska. When I am not in the office, I love to get outdoors with my family to go hiking, biking, running, skiing, camping, and traveling (when we can).
Willow Monterrosa, MD
I knew from the first day of medical school I wanted to be a pediatrician. I have always loved kids and immediately became excited about pediatric medicine. I love the balance of wellness care, preventative medicine, education, and caring for kids with all types of illnesses and conditions.
I grew up in Colorado and earned a B.A. in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology from the University of Colorado at Boulder. I received my M.D. from the University of Colorado Health Science Center, and completed my pediatric residency at Children’s Hospital of Denver/UCHSC.
While in college I fell in love with a wonderful man from Alaska and, as we started our family, we visited Alaska as often as possible. It was on one such trip in the summer of 2003, driving down from Hatcher Pass, that we made the decision to move here after my residency. It took all of two weeks for me to realize that Alaska is my home. Joining the amazing family that is Anchorage Pediatric Group and moving to Alaska are two of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
Outside of work, I enjoy hiking, camping, fishing, watching football, traveling, and spending time with my family. I have three children, two in college and one in high school.
I have the greatest job in the world. It is an absolute privilege to be a part of the lives of my patients and their families.
Matt Serna, MD
How my job reads on paper: primary care pediatrician.
How I describe my job to others: having fun all day, every day!
My decision to enter pediatrics was one of the best decisions I’ve made. I had an interest in medicine early in life, but went to college thinking I would become an engineer instead, being most interested in the science of how the body works and how technology could come to the rescue when our own bodies fail. It didn’t take long for me to realize that I enjoyed working more with people than in the laboratory, however. In medical school, I further realized that working with children in particular was the most rewarding experience. Kids are surprisingly resilient, and seeing them bounce back from some pretty frightening illnesses amazed me to no end. It is something I find incredible, even to this day!
While completing my pediatrics residency, I had the opportunity to work in Anchorage and Bethel, in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta region of Southwest Alaska. Never before had I imagined myself, a Texan for the first 18 years of my life, living somewhere so far north…and so cold! But the wonderful people and beautiful outdoors sold me. My wife and I made the move up here in 2016 for good and have loved it here since. We love it so much that we’ve even decided to raise our family here…perhaps THE best decision I’ve ever made!
I have a particular interest in helping children who come from underprivileged backgrounds. I myself come from a Latino family, born and raised along the southernmost border of Texas. Por eso, he intentado darles el apoyo a esas familias hispanohablantes que más lo necesitan, y con gusto les atiendo en la clínica.
While not working, I enjoy spending every second I can with my lovely family that keeps on growing. My wife and I welcomed our son, Andy, in February 2017, and our next child will be arriving this July! We love to hike, bike, camp, travel, garden, and work on becoming good Alaskans (skiing and fishing coming soon!). I am also a lifelong musician who continues to play many instruments, and have become a true coffee snob since my Seattle days.
Kylee Smith, LCSW
I earned my Masters in Social Work degree from the University of Michigan and am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. I’m originally from Washington State, but moved to Alaska in 2013 and frequently seek opportunities to play outdoors.
I enjoy working with young people and their families as they navigate each stage of development. As a member of the APG team, I am available to support children, youth, and families experiencing a wide range of issues with brief therapeutic interventions in addition to supporting families to access community resources as needed.
Shannon Smith, PA
My history with Anchorage Pediatric Group started when I was a toddler, and a patient of Dr. Tower, one of the founding pediatricians of APG. As I grew in this practice, my pediatrician inspired my love for children and a desire to work in the pediatric field one day.
I grew up in Anchorage and graduated from Service High School. I received degrees from Colorado State University (biology) and completed my PA degree from Alderson-Broaddus University in West Virginia. My first PA job was so rewarding - a rural walk-in family practice clinic that served three counties in WV. I remained in WV for over four years, but the call to return to Alaska was strong. In 2001, my family and I returned home and I’ve been working with APG ever since!
In my free time, I enjoy running and spending time at the cabin with my three children and three dogs. I love helping the wonderful patients of APG and have a special interest in adolescents. It’s exciting and rewarding to see our patients as they grow and mature!