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 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 and adolescent medicine physician at Children’s Hospital Oakland, Eden Medical Center, La Clinica de la Raza and most recently Marin Community Clinics.
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, like Dr. Getzelman, has a strong and longstanding interest in nutrition, having been raised as a vegetarian in a macrobiotic household. Her other interests include the mind-body connection, adolescent health, and public/environmental health. She is board certified in pediatrics and a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics. She also sits on the board of the Global Pediatric Alliance. In her free time Dr. Spera practices yoga and she loves to travel and photograph the world. She is fluent in Italian and Spanish.
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.
Kate O’Hearn, RN, MSN, PNP
Kate O’Hearn, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP), has completed the post-masters Advanced Practice Pediatric Nursing program at UCSF. Prior to becoming a PNP, Kate obtained her RN and Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with a pediatric focus from San Francisco State University. Throughout her pediatric nursing education her emphasis was in pediatric primary care, urology, and gastroenterology. Kate is a member of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners.
Kate’s interest in working with children and families was solidified during time spent in South America. After receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of New Hampshire, she spent two years in Ecuador teaching English to children and adolescents, and she also volunteered at an orphanage for children with special medical needs. Most recently Kate was employed as a PNP at both Terra Linda Pediatrics and at Kiwi Pediatrics in Berkeley.
As a mother of two, Kate brings hands on parenting experience to her practice of pediatrics. Additionally, areas of special interest to her include supporting breastfeeding families, helping new parents navigate their roles, and collaborating with adolescents and their families to support optimal health.
Kate enjoys spending time with her two sons and family at the various Bay Area museums and parks, and loves hiking and running in our beautiful surroundings.
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 in training. 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.