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Our Executive team is comprised of statewide child and maternal health care professionals and leaders who are committed to advancing health care priorities to ensure that Alaska’s children and families reach their full potential.

Board of Directors

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President: Bruce W. Hess, DO

 

Dr. Bruce W. Hess completed his completed his pediatrics residency at Keesler Medical Center, Keesler AFB in 2001 after completing medical training at Oklahoma State University, College of Osteopathic Medicine in Tulsa, OK. He spent 11 years serving as an active duty Air Force pediatrician in Mississippi and Landstuhl, Germany, before moving to Alaska in 2005. Dr. Hess served four years as Flight Commander of the Pediatric Dept. at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, and it was during this time that he first began working with the All Alaska Pediatric Partnership. Upon completion of his active duty Air Force service, Dr. Hess decided to make Alaska home and joined Ptarmigan Pediatrics in Wasilla in 2009. Throughout his career, Dr. Hess has enjoyed working in collaboration with other diverse groups to improve resources for pediatric patients wherever he has worked, and he developed an appreciation for the complexities of pediatric specialty care in Alaska.  He has also served on the board of directors for The Children’s Place since 2016.

 

Treasurer: Stephanie Birch, RN, MPH, MSN, FNP

Private Practice Nurse Practitioner

Stephanie Birch is the Section Chief for the Section of Women’s Children’s and Family Health for the Division of Public Health, DHSS, State of Alaska. She has been with the Department of Health and Social Services since 2001 where she has focused her work on developing programs for children with special health care needs and improving the health outcomes for women and children. Ms. Birch also works as a Family Nurse Practitioner in  east Anchorage serving a culturally diverse population. Ms. Birch is one of the founding members of the All Alaska Pediatric Partnership. 

 

President-Elect: Mary Middleton 

Executive Director, Stone Soup Group

 

Mary J. Middleton is the executive director for Stone Soup Group, a private non-profit organization supporting families who care for children with special needs. Ms. Middleton has more than 20 years of experience in non-profit management, including ten years working with basic literacy and limited English proficiency populations and 10 years providing victim advocacy services to victims of sexual and domestic violence and child abuse. Ms. Middleton is the mother of two, including a young adult son who experiences autism. She is a graduate of Texas A & M University and has been an Alaska resident since 2001.

 

Director: Matt Hirschfeld, M.D., PH.D.

VP of Specialties & Pediatrician, Southcentral Foundation

Dr. Matt Hirschfeld became interested in health issues affecting Alaska Native people as a resident at the University of Washington. There, he met Alaskans who were transferred to Seattle for care that was not available in Alaska. These interactions led Dr. Hirschfeld to become a pediatrician at Alaska Native Medical Center (ANMC) in 2005. Today, he serves as ANMC’s Medical Director of Maternal Child Health Services, where he focuses on the development of services affecting women and children – with the goal to make health care for Alaska's women and children the best in the country. 

 

Director: Laura Brunner, MD

Clinical Director of Pediatric Services & Pediatrician, Tanana Valley Clinic and Fairbanks Memorial Hospital 

Dr. Laura Brunner is a pediatrician at the Tanana Valley Clinic and Fairbanks Memorial Hospital in Fairbanks, Alaska.  Laura was born and raised in Fairbanks and loves taking care of kids and families in her home community.  She trained at Colorado Children's Hospital and the University of Minnesota.  She is the NICU medical director at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital.  She is excited to be part of a team focusing on the care of children and adolescents in Alaska. 

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Secretary: Matt Findley
Partner, Ashburn & Mason, P.C.

 

Matt practices both litigation and corporate law and represents a wide array of clients across Alaska.  He has litigated cases in a variety of settings, including federal and state appellate courts, federal and state trial courts, and has argued twice at the United States Supreme Court.  Matt also advises nonprofit entities on matters of corporate governance, strategy, and operations, and has served on numerous nonprofit boards including the Stone Soup Group and the Alaska Center for Collaborative Child Therapy.  In addition to serving on the A2P2 Board, Matt is currently Board President of the Alaska Hemophilia Association.  Matt is co-chair of the appellate section of the Alaska Bar, and has received awards for pro bono services from both Alaska Legal Services and the Alaska Immigration Justice Project 

 

Matt and his wife Marjorie Allard have lived in Alaska since 2004 and have two children, both of whom are on the autism spectrum, and their son has severe hemophilia.  Matt’s family has extensive experience with the health care system in Alaska and the delivery of disability services.  Matt is also an active musician and has played with numerous orchestras and ensembles over the years. He is currently the principal trumpet in the Anchorage Civic Orchestra and has played with the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra and Anchorage Concert Chorus Orchestra. 

 

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Director: Damon Darby, MBA, CFP
Financial Advisor, Crosby Wealth Advisors, a private wealth advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC

 

Damon is a lifelong Alaskan and began his career in the financial services industry in 2008. He received his master’s in business administration from the University of Alaska Anchorage. Damon brings experience in corporate finance and developing investment strategies. Damon joined the AAPP Board of Directors in May 2022.

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Director: Esther Pitts, BBA

Executive Director of Providence Children's Hospital and Women's Services

Esther is the Executive Director of Providence Children’s Hospital and Women’s Services, a 176-bed service area, a non-profit organization located in Anchorage Alaska. Esther is responsible for overall strategic direction and oversight and brings a spirit of collaboration, expertise, and a servant-leader mentality to whatever she does. Prior to her current role, Esther served within Providence for over 10 years and has a deep knowledge of critical access and inpatient and outpatient operations. Esther has a passion for community partnerships and is focused on innovatively coming up with solutions to meet the vast needs of Alaskans. Before coming to healthcare, Esther worked within the private sector, predominantly through government partnerships, and has brought with her a rich knowledge of operations, strategy, and growth.



Esther received her bachelor’s and MBA with a focus on hospital administration through Capella University and holds several certifications. In her free time, Esther enjoys spending time with her family, hiking in the great outdoors, and catching sunny days in the winter.

A2P2 Staff

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Tamar Ben-Yosef

Executive Director


Tamar Ben-Yosef joined the All Alaska Pediatric Partnership in 2015 as Executive Director, following a position as account executive at Thompson & Co. Public Relations. Prior to that, she traveled extensively throughout rural Alaska as editor and writer for the Arctic Sounder and Dutch Harbor Fisherman weekly newspapers. Tamar is originally from Israel and moved to the U.S. in 2000. After completing her military service in the Israeli Defense Forces, she attended the University of Texas at Austin where she  earned her bachelor's degree in communication studies. Tamar welcomed the change to the nonprofit world and has found her experience in communications has lent itself well to the position with the All Alaska Pediatric Partnership.

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Carmen Wenger

Director of Programs

Carmen Wenger joined the All Alaska Pediatric Partnership in July 2017 as the program director for Help Me Grow Alaska.  She holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Earth Science from Dartmouth College and a Master of Public Health Degree in International Health and Development from Tulane University.  Carmen has worked in public health and community development in the United States, Latin America and southern Africa.  Her work has centered around social justice causes, primarily focused on access to appropriate health services and other basic human rights.  Carmen’s work in Alaska has included positions with the State of Alaska’s Immunization Program, the Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness and the Joy Greisen Jewish Education Center.

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Sonya Sipos
Program Manager, Help Me Grow Alaska

Sonya joined the All Alaska Pediatric Partnership in May 2022. She is a lifelong Alaskan and has worked with children and families across the state for over 20 years.  She enjoys helping families find their way to healing and wholeness through whatever path best suits their needs. Sonya has worked extensively with families in crisis and believes the best way to help children is through promoting health in every aspect of their home and family, whatever shape that may take.  As a mother of five, she has an intimate understanding of the many challenges a family may face and finds a great deal of satisfaction in helping parents and children achieve their goals.  In her free time, Sonya enjoys exploring all the many wonders Alaska has to offer—whether fishing, hunting, camping, hiking or just enjoying her back yard with her children.

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Aggie Fouts
Director of Administration and Finance

Aggie Fouts joined the All Alaska Pediatric Partnership in April 2023 as the Director of Administration and Finance. Aggie’s background includes community and economic development work with nonprofits participating in the Western Alaska Community Development Quota program. Most recently, Aggie provided strategic planning, administrative, fiscal and advisory services as a management consultant.

 

Aggie holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management and a Master of Business Administration, both from the University of Alaska Anchorage. Originally from Nome, Aggie is a lifelong Alaskan and enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband and two children.

Kelsey Gordon
Office Administrator

Kelsey joined the All Alaska Pediatric Partnership in November 2022. She was born and raised in Western Alaska in the village named Alakanuk. She loves spending time cooking with her husband, taking walks in the summertime with her dog Coco, watching the beautiful sunrise and sunsets, and taking long car rides. Her hobbies include Yupik Dancing and sharing her culture with everyone she meets.

Help Me Grow Alaska Family Support Specialists

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Cassie Sheridan

Family Support Specialist 2, Help Me Grow Alaska

Cassie joined the All Alaska Pediatric Partnership as a Family Support Specialist for Help Me Grow Alaska in June 2020.  She previously worked in public health and youth empowerment in Lesotho and South Africa.  Her work has primarily focused on youth health education and supporting families.  In her free time, Cassie enjoys kayaking, fishing on her family's commercial boat in Prince William Sound, and nordic and downhill skiing.  Cassie grew up on the Kenai Peninsula and is thrilled to be back home and working to assist Alaskan families in positive health practices for their holistic wellbeing. 

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Carlos Alvarez
Family Support Specialist, Help Me Grow Alaska

Carlos joined the All Alaska Pediatric Partnership in April 2022 as a Family Support Specialist for Help Me Grow Alaska. He is originally from Miami Florida. He moved to Anchorage in 2006 and attended University of Alaska Anchorage where he earned his Bachelor of Music and Master of Arts in Teaching degrees. Carlos worked for the Anchorage School District for four years as a music teacher, two years at the elementary level and two years at the middle school level.  Carlos left the school district in 2020 and worked for a year as a Family Services caseworker with the Office of Children’s Services.  After that Carlos worked briefly for AWAIC as a rapid rehousing case manager before joining the team at A2P2.

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Robyn McComas
Family Support Specialist, Help Me Grow Alaska

Robyn joined the All Alaska Pediatric Partnership in April 2022 as a Family Support Specialist for Help Me Grow Alaska. She holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Alabama in Human Development and Family Studies and a Master’s degree in Education from Liberty University. Robyn’s background is in early childhood education. As a member of a military family, home is where the Army sends. Robyn and her whole family have fallen in love with the state of Alaska and are excited to call it home.

Tracey Morgan
Family Support Specialist, Help Me Grow Alaska

Tracey joined the All Alaska Pediatric Partnership as a Family Support Specialist for Help Me Grow Alaska in March 2023. She is a lifelong Alaskan and has worked with families with children and youth that experience special health care needs across the state for over 30 years providing direct support, in many roles. Her work with families before joining A2P2 included navigation and support to families, seeking neurodevelopmental evaluations through the State of Alaska Rural Outreach Clinic. She enjoys serving families and listening to their stories to help organize a path forward and get them connected to the most available and appropriate service within their community of Alaska. Her hobbies include reading, gardening, cooking and going on road trip adventures to explore our beautiful state, with her partner and two dogs.
Jizel Mendoza
Family Support Specialist, Help Me Grow Alaska
 

Jizel joined the All Alaska Pediatric Partnership in March of 2023 as a Family Support Specialist with Help Me Grow Alaska. She was born and raised in Anchorage. Her parents are originally from the Dominican Republic where she also lived for part of her childhood. In 2015 Jizel moved from Anchorage to NJ and lived there for almost 5 years. She worked as a family specialist at a non-profit organization for 4 years and helped families get connected with childcare and other resources throughout Essex County in the state of New Jersey. In 2020 she moved back to Alaska and completed her schooling in Medical Billing and Insurance at ACC. Jizel has over 10 years of medical office experience and has worked with a wide range of families from many different backgrounds. She is a mother of 4 boys and is very passionate about helping others find hope and light in difficult situations. 

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Jessica Salyer
Family Support Specialist, Help Me Grow Alaska

Jessica joined the All Alaska Pediatric Partnership in March 2023 as a Family Support Specialist for Help Me Grow Alaska. She is originally from Louisiana but has lived in Alaska for almost 20 years. She holds a Bachelor of Human Services from UAA and has a background in social work, care coordination, youth services, and supporting families through crisis. When she’s not working, Jessica enjoys cooking, gardening, and getting outside as much as possible.
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Rachel Boudreau
Program Specialist, Help Me Grow Alaska

Rachel first joined the All Alaska Pediatric Partnership as a student intern with Help Me Grow Alaska for the 2017-2018 school year and was then hired on in July 2018.  She holds a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood and Special Education from Cedarville University and a Master of Social Work from the University of Alaska Anchorage. Rachel has experience in special education, children’s behavioral health, coaching teachers, and supporting family systems.  When not working, Rachel enjoys exploring Alaska on foot, kayak, ice skates, skis, bike or whatever else takes her to the backcountry with her husband, and dog of course.

 

 

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