GetzWell Pediatrics has redefined the practice of primary care medicine for children. We are the doctors of choice for families seeking a broader, more thoughtful approach to health care and provide an unprecedented level of accessibility and personalized attention. At GetzWell we categorically reject the usual ‘fast food’ approach to medical services, as it isn’t the best way to care for kids, or anyone.
Some wonder why we have adopted a fee for service structure rather than opting to be paid in the usual way by patients’ insurance companies. The reason is that our 21st century approach is fundamentally at odds with the insurance based medical model which perpetuates a quick fix culture and discourages meaningful relationships between families and their doctors. By remaining out of network, GetzWell’s doctors and patients collaborate to make important decisions about their health without interference from insurers. As a result, the quality of care at GetzWell is unsurpassed.
Insurers are relegated to a still important but secondary role whereby they cover some primary care costs plus emergencies, severe illness and catastrophic matters. Moreover, although GetzWell operates on a fee for service basis, most of our patients with PPO insurance receive some, often significant, reimbursement from their insurers for the services we provide (subject to the specific terms of each policy).
Our mission is based on the conviction that parents and talented health care professionals, not insurance companies, should decide how kids are cared for. This is why we are out of network.
Julia Getzelman, MD
Julia Getzelman, M.D. founded GetzWell Pediatrics in 2008 based on the belief that an integrative approach to pediatric care which combines the best of conventional and complementary medicine is the wisest approach to health optimization and the treatment of illness in kids.
Dr. Getzelman graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Stanford University with Distinction and Phi Beta Kappa. She later earned her medical degree from Yale University and completed her residency at Children’s Hospital Oakland. Thereafter, she was an attending physician in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and pediatric clinic at Highland, Oakland’s county hospital and also worked at After Hour Pediatrics in San Mateo. In the 5 years before founding GetzWell, she practiced at Saint Luke’s Health Care Center in San Francisco’s Mission District where she provided whole kid care to over 1200 patients. She is board certified in pediatrics and is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Dr. Getzelman embraces the many components that contribute to health and illness: nutrition, physical activity, emotional/psychological stresses, and the environment, among others. She has a special interest in how nutrition and intestinal health contribute to overall wellness. To that end, she has completed the core curriculum of the Institute for Functional Medicine. Dr. Getzelman has additional training in homeopathy and applied nutritional biochemistry/food as medicine.
Dr. Getzelman grew up in California and was the oldest of five children. She loves the outdoors and is fascinated by nature. She comes from a musical family, has sung in a variety of venues over the years, and recently recorded Asturiana, a compilation of soothing classics and lullabies. She has a passion for romance languages and is fluent in Spanish and Italian. Dr. Getzelman lives in San Francisco with her husband and stepson.
Marcella Spera, MD
Marcella Spera, MD grew up in New York City and earned her Liberal Arts degree at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York. She attended medical school at Penn State University where she decided on a career in pediatrics. She completed her residency training at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, during which time she worked with the Indian Health Service, did advocacy work for the local immigrant community, volunteered in Brazil and Cuba, and was one of the education chiefs of her residency program. Dr. Spera was awarded an “Excellence in Teaching” distinction upon completion of her pediatric residency.
Following residency she worked for the emergency department at UC San Diego Children’s Hospital as an urgent care physician. After a year she relocated to San Francisco and has practiced as a hospitalist, adolescent medicine physician and primary care pediatrician at Children’s Hospital Oakland, Eden Medical Center, La Clinica de la Raza and most recently Marin Community Clinics. She has also volunteered as a physician for projects in Mexico, Guatemala and Haiti, and has served as board member of the Global Pediatric Alliance since 2011.
Dr. Spera joined GetzWell Pediatrics in order to build enduring relationships with children and their families and to team with parents in raising healthy children. She has a strong and longstanding interest in nutrition, having been raised as a vegetarian in a macrobiotic household. She is board certified in pediatrics and has received additional training in homeopathy. Her professional interests include the mind-body connection, food as medicine, adolescent health, and public/environmental health. In her free time Dr. Spera practices yoga, enjoys hiking and exploring the local bay area, and loves to travel and photograph the world. She is fluent in Italian and Spanish.
Nicole Glynn, MD
Nicole Glynn, MD grew up in Santa Cruz California where she was first introduced to the idea of integrative medicine. Dr. Glynn’s father, a pediatric dentist, influenced her to become a pediatrician. She received her bachelor’s degree in Combined Sciences at Santa Clara University and before attending medical school was involved in research at the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition and Stanford University Center for AIDS Research. She earned her medical degree from Creighton University and completed her pediatric residency at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland. During her residency she provided care to many underprivileged children and became especially curious about the growing pediatric epidemics of asthma, eczema and obesity. After becoming a mother her interest in nutrition, supporting breastfeeding, and integrative medicine deepened. During her pregnancy she made changes to “green the womb” as her awareness of the impact of environmental toxins on fetal development became more personal.
Dr. Glynn and her husband live in San Francisco where she has practiced at a variety of locations including Kaiser, Noe Valley Pediatrics, and most recently Stonestown Pediatrics. She also remains a part-time hospitalist at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland. Dr. Glynn joined GetzWell Pediatrics in part because she loves taking more time with patients and their families, building strong relationships and providing personalized holistic care.
She is a board certified pediatrician and a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics. As a mother, she is an active member of Golden Gate Mother’s Group. In her free time she enjoys hiking, spinning, yoga, barre classes and nurturing her infant daughter.
Colleen Panina, MD
After graduating from Stanford University, Colleen Panina, M.D. taught high school geometry at Sacred Heart Cathedral in San Francisco. Later Dr. Panina earned her medical degree at St. Louis University and graduated cum laude. She went on to complete her internship and residency at Children’s Hospital Oakland, where she was named Outstanding Intern. While at Children’s Hospital Oakland she also completed a two year fellowship in infectious disease. Most recently, she has been a member of the pediatric hospitalist service at California Pacific Medical Center. She is board certified and is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Dr. Panina is a native San Franciscan. She is married and the mother of five children. In her spare time she likes to coach high school women’s basketball.
Jillian Graham, BS, CNA
Jillian Graham is a transplant to the San Francisco Bay Area from Atlanta, GA and has joined GetzWell as a certified nursing assistant. She has a BS in Biology from Appalachian State University and is planning on pursuing a career in pediatric medicine. She previously worked as a nursing assistant to a pediatric ophthalmologist and has been a nanny to one special family for over 10 years.
Jillian loves working with children and feels strongly that nutrition is a necessary foundation for a healthy child. Her own vegetarian diet and yoga practice help her to quantify the benefits of overall wellness.
Jillian lives in Oakland where she enjoys riding her bike and hiking in the hills with her dog.
Nicole Mitchell, BA, CIMT
Nicole Mitchell has spent many years working with children of all ages and joined GetzWell in a dual role as certified infant massage specialist and office administrator. Teaching infant massage to parents is a rewarding opportunity that allows Nicole to help parents bond with their babies and promote health and well being.
Nicole is also and IYK certified yoga instructor for children ages 3-13 years and a postpartum doula. She holds two bachelor’s degrees in English and Art History from Dominican University in Marin.
Nicole practices yoga and loves to travel and read. She lives on the Peninsula with her husband and daughter.
Emily Richter, BA
Emily Richter moved to San Francisco after receiving her BA in Psychology from the University of Vermont and joined the GetzWell team as Front Office Assistant. In addition to caring for children as a nanny throughout her college years, she has a background in teaching and has worked with kids at the preschool and elementary levels. The recent birth of her nephew has expanded her enthusiasm for promoting a healthy lifestyle to achieve vitality and wellness.
Emily enjoys gardening and caring for her backyard chickens, and she spends her weekends hiking, running and exploring the Bay Area.
Sommer Barnes, MPH
Sommer Barnes relocated to San Francisco from the east coast after completing her Master’s in Maternal and Child Health at Boston University, and has joined the GetzWell team as front office assistant at our Union Street office. After receiving her Master’s she was involved in evaluating the benefits of home visits and psychosocial support in promoting healthy behaviors and development in families in the Boston area. She also worked alongside a Certified Nurse-Midwife to provide health education to expectant families in a Centering Pregnancy program, a group model of prenatal care.
In San Francisco, Sommer has joined the thriving doula community to assist women and their families during birth and the postpartum period. She has a special interest in child development and adolescent health, and a background in Montessori instruction. In her free time Sommer enjoys spending time at the beach, writing, cooking, and practicing Forrest Yoga in Berkeley.