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.

Jennifer Heller, CNM ANP

Jen was born and raised in Alaska, primarily in Eagle River/Anchorage. She also got to enjoy some great years living in Juneau and Cordova, as well as the lower 48. She and her husband Murray along with their 2 children, Natalie and Sam, moved back to Alaska from Connecticut in 2016.

She originally studied History and Peace Studies, and it was not until she was traveling in Nepal after college that she observed her first birth. Resolving to become a midwife to care for women - during birth and throughout their lifespan - she graduated with a BSN from Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. She worked as an RN while starting her family, but her passion for midwifery stayed strong. When her youngest started school, she also entered graduate school. Jen got her CNM education at the Midwifery Institute at Philadelphia University and, after completing her student clinical rotations at Geneva Woods, she became a CNM here in January.

Of joining our team Jen says “My eldest child was born at Geneva Woods Birth Center so it feels very “full circle” to be joining this wonderful practice and to be given the opportunity to provide others with the same high level of care that I was given.”

In her free time you’ll find her hiking, biking, meditating, reading, cooking, or traveling with her family - loving life in Alaska!

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.

Debra Schneider, CDM

Debra was born and raised in Alaska, growing up in Anchorage & Chugiak. She became a MICP paramedic in 1985, teaching emergency medicine all over the state of Alaska for her first 6 years in this career. She worked for the Anchorage Fire Dept. for 20 years as a frontline paramedic (including mountain & swiftwater rescues) and as an instructor of CPR, ACLS, PHTLS & PEEP (the last acronym being Neonatal Resuscitation for Paramedics). She became a Direct-Entry Midwife in 2001, and opened her own practice, “Windsong Midwifery,” in Wasilla in 2004. In keeping with her passion for teaching, Deb created an educational module for CDMs for IV therapy, shock, and Group B Strep, which was then adopted by the CDM Board of the State of Alaska as an educational requirement for all CDM’s practicing in the state. She has founded and built two birth centers in Wasilla over the years, but is currently transitioning to a homebirth and birth center solo practice in Anchorage. Her birth center, The Birth Place, served as the first office location of Geneva Woods Midwifery in spring/summer 2015. She joined the Geneva Woods Midwifery team in February 2016, assisting Amanda with results, phlebotomy, phone triage, chart review, care coordination, and she also occasionally assists our CNMs at births here at the Nest.

Brenna Reynolds, (CD) DONA

Brenna was born and raised in Anchorage, only leaving the state for four years to attend college at Seattle University, returning in 2002 with her Bachelor's degree in English and Creative Writing. She accidentally attended a quickly progressing home birth of a friend in 2006 and became hooked on helping women and families through pregnancy, labor and birth. She trained at Bastyr University in 2011 at the Simkin Center for her DONA Birth Doula Certification and attended births as a certified doula in Anchorage for 5 years, retiring in December of 2015. Brenna left her day job with the Municipality of Anchorage after 8 years to join the team at Geneva Woods Birth Center and Midwifery where she is loving her job as a Care Coordinator for the clinic as well as a Birth Assistant for the Birth Center. She will begin nursing school at UAA in 2018 to earn a BSN. When she's not attending births or scheduling care for patients, she loves hanging out with her husband and two daughters, large extended family, studying Tae Kwon Do, and being outside on adventures. She earned her first degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do in spring 2017, and is now working toward a second degree.

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.

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.

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