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Ptarmigan Pediatrics saw it's first patient on September 18, 2008. Since then we've added numerous staff and expanded our suite.  We're planning for future expansion to keep up with the growth in the Valley!  We are proud to be a successful, thriving, and rapidly growing practice serving the now world famous population of Alaska's Mat-Su Valley, yet we're committed to offering that hometown, small-clinic, personalized service that our patients find so appealing. If you are looking for a pediatrician, our friendly staff will gladly answer any questions you may have. Call 907-357-4kid (4543). Ptarmigan Pediatrics is always just a phone call away, 24/7, through our after-hour answering service. (Set your cell phone to accept calls from "blocked numbers" if you expect a return call from our on-call doctor after hours).

Waving flag

Pteam Ptarmigan Providers:  Ptarmigan Pediatrics has been the brainchild of US Air Force pediatricians Dr. Laura Peterson, M.D. and Dr. Bruce Hess, D.O. for several years. Together they have over 21 years active duty military service in pediatrics, most recently at Elmendorf AFB Medical Center in Anchorage. Their service to our country continued as flight docs in the USAF Reserve until Lt. Col. Laura Peterson retired in 2014 and Lt. Col. Hess retired in 2015. Both docs are excited to continue providing medical care to the children of southcentral Alaska in private practice.

Ptarmigan Provider Ptimeline!

2008 -- Pediatrician Dr. Laura Peterson separated from active duty at then Elmendorf AFB, Anchorage, Alaska in 2008 and started the practice that fall.

2009 -- Pediatrician Dr. Bruce Hess separated from active duty at then Elmendorf AFB, Anchorage, Alaska in 2009 and joined Dr. Peterson as co-owners of Ptarmigan Pediatrics, LLC.

2010 -- Pediatric nurse practitioner Randy Twenhafel joined Ptarmigan Pediatrics in December 2010. Nurse Twenhafel served with distinction alongside Drs. Peterson and Hess at Elmendorf AFB Medical Center where he was often the most requested provider. His strong work ethic, excellent bed-side manner and patient care priorities help Ptarmigan Pediatrics meet the immediate needs of a growing patient population. Randy continues to be a very active provider in our clinic. 

2011 -- Pediatrician Dr. Elowyn Smith, D.O. and family nurse practitioner Lea Anne Abernathy both joined our practice from Providence Matanuska Health Care in August 2011. Their expertise with special needs and adolescent patients is an important contribution to Pteam Ptarmigan.

2013 -- Family nurse practitioner Janet Shelley joined Ptarmigan Pediatrics part-time in February 2013. Janet was a nurse practitioner student in our clinic for several months and performed admirably. She helps cover acute appointments when our other providers are on call at the hospital or otherwise unavailable.

2015 -- Dr. Therese Tomasoski, M.D. joined Pteam Ptarmigan in January, 2015, following the closure of Providence Matanuska Health Care at the end of December 2014.  We welcome her and her patients to our clinic. 
Dr. Marie Westphal, M.D.
joined our practice in March 2015 after retiring from active duty in the USAF at Joint Base Elmendorf/Richardson.  Dr. Westphal, Dr. Peterson, and Dr. Hess were all in the same residency program at Keelser AFB, Biloxi, Mississippi.


Our clinic provides routine, acute, and well-child exams, school & sports physicals, immunizations, and immunotherapy injections (for both adults and children in coordination with the Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology Center of Alaska). We also have in-house laboratory tests for lead, strep, flu, mono, rsv, and simple urinalysis. More extensive lab tests can be drawn here and sent outside for analysis.

We can provide in-patient and delivery / nursery services at Mat-Su Regional Medical Center in Palmer if you specify one of our doctors as your child's personal pediatrician. Are you expecting? We will gladly arrange a complimentary prenatal visit in our clinic so you can meet with one of our doctors and get a clinic tour prior to delivery.  Call our office to set that up.

Ptarmigan Pediatrics uses state-of-the-art electronic medical records for keeping our patients' files. Any prescriptions you may need are electronically submitted directly to the pharmacy of your choice (My Doktor's Pharmacy is even across the hall from our clinic).


We are currently providing suite space in our adjoining Subspecialty Clinic Suite for pediatric specialists, allowing them to see their Valley patients locally instead of requiring an out of town trip for care.  Call their offices for more information.

Why Choose Ptarmigan Pediatrics?

  • Four board-certified pediatricians; the two owner / pediatricians have 21 combined years pediatric experience on active duty in the USAF and currently serve in the Air Force Reserve.
  • Three highly skilled nurse practitioners available for exceptional same-day acute as well as long-term routine care..
  • Accept Tricare and Denali Kid Care / Medicaid. Preferred provider for Blue Cross/Blue Shield, CIGNA, and AETNA. Member of the multi-plan network. Other insurances courtesy-billed for you. Self-pay discount available with payment of our billed charges in full.
  • Our providers are Tricare Primary Care Managers for "Tricare Prime" patients. Sponsors can make the change in DEERS to assign Ptarmigan as their PCM.
  • Friendly, helpful, and supportive staff.
  • Sick appointments available TODAY. Call first thing in the morning for best availability.
  • After hours answering service with an on-call pediatrician. Call our office phone number anytime for assistance.
  • Engaging, entertaining clinic where children and parents feel comfortable.
  • Convenient location along Seward Meridian Parkway.
  • Electronic medical records. We use "e-MDs."

HOURS:  Our office is open Monday - Friday 8 AM to 6 PM with our last appointment most days at 5:15 PM.  You can call for appointments as early as 7:30 AM.  We are closed Saturday and Sunday as well as some major federal holidays -- all holiday and any other irregular closures are announced on our Facebook page.

LOCATION:  Our clinic is located Wasilla along Seward Meridian Parkway across from Image Audio in the Meridian Park Medical Plaza.

Flu Vaccination Reminder


Did you know that Willow Ptarmigan is the state bird of the great state of Alaska? We hope you enjoy the ptarmigan and other Alaska wildlife photographs throughout both the clinic and this website. The Alaska State Website can tell you more about our state's symbols, such as the state tree (Sitka Spruce), state insect (Four-spotted Skimmer), etc.

PHOTO CREDITS:  Mother Willow Ptarmigan with chick, Denali National Park, © Stacy Jon Peterson, 22 June 2008
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"Pteam Ptarmigan Pt-shirts"
for sale! 

100% of proceeds benefit
March of Dimes! 
$15 adult sizes; $10 kid sizes.


Drs. Peterson and Hess are proud to serve our military community and gladly accept Tricare. Watch Tricare's promotional video featuring Ptarmigan Pediatrics on the Tricare Provider website.

City of Wasilla
Promotional Video