Heidi Johnson

Heidi is a speech-language therapist and early intervention specialist with the REACH Infant Learning Program. She has over 25 years of experience joining families to support their child’s development. Heidi’s special interests and training includes: infant-toddler feeding, autism treatment, children with hearing impairment, sensory integration and oral-motor speech issues. Heidi emphasizes family wellness and engagement in supporting each infant and toddler’s communication through play and family routines.  In addition to Juneau, Heidi is the contact person for Haines and Skagway.

Heidi lives in Juneau with her husband, two teen-aged children and dog. In her spare time she enjoys being outdoors, playing music, doing artwork and spending time at the family cabin.

Jennifer Jenkins

Jennifer is a speech-language therapist who has worked with children for over 10 years.  She has a private speech-language therapy business and works with REACH ILP staff and enrolled infants, toddlers, and their families in Juneau, Hoonah, Petersburg and Wrangell.

Jennifer enjoys walking the beaches with her daughter and husband, finding treasures along the way.

Jackie Bell

Jackie was born and raised in Southeast Alaska. She was a bookkeeper for the family business before continuing her education. Jackie earned her Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education form the University of Alaska Southeast and her Master’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education from the University of Alaska Anchorage. she taught Head Start and first and second grade before moving to Juneau. Jackie has been working at Reach since 2001, initially as a Direct Service Provider then as a Developmental Specialist with the Infant Learning Program. In addition to Juneau, Jackie is the contact person for Hoonah. Jackie enjoys beach time, hiking and needlework.

Julie Peters

Julie was raised in Florida and was working as an early intervention speech-language pathologist (SLP) in Atlanta, GA before she found herself fulfilling her adventurous spirit by moving to Juneau and serving as an AmeriCorp Vista volunteer in 2004.

Julie earned a master’s degree in Communication Disorders from the University of Central Florida and has been working as a SLP for 15 years. She became a Fellow of the University of Massachusetts Infant Parent Mental Health Post Graduate Certificate Program in 2015. In her free time she enjoys hiking, boating, and baking.

Kathleen Hansen

Kathleen was raised in the Philadelphia area and moved to Juneau in 2005 as a Jesuit Volunteer. She earned her doctorate in Occupational Therapy from Creighton University. She began working in early intervention serving families in the Norton Sound Region of Alaska before working for the REACH Infant Learning Program. In addition to serving families in Juneau, Kathleen is the contact person for families living in Yakutat. Kathleen also serves on the FASD diagnostic team at REACH. Her special interest areas include sensory processing disorders and picky eaters.

She lives in Juneau with her husband and son. In her free time, she enjoys skiing, ice hockey, and hiking.

Kristen Spencer

Kristen started her career working with infants, toddlers, and families in middle school, when she cared for a family with two children under the age of three and found them fun and fascinating! She moved on to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology with an emphasis on women and children and a Master’s degree in early childhood intervention and special education from the University of Oregon. Kristen moved to Juneau in 1996.  Her current professional area of focus has been on relationship-based services.  In 2015, Kristen became a Fellow of the Infant-Parent Mental Health Post-Graduate Certificate Program through the University of Massachusetts – Boston.  Kristen’s primary role  is as the ILP director, though she works with families and on infant-toddler family teams as well.

When not working, Kristen enjoys traveling, baking, playing volleyball and getting outside when she can.

Shannon Gress

In collaboration with Bartlett Regional Hospital, Shannon provides consultation and services to our staff and enrolled infants, toddlers, and their parents in Juneau. Shannon came to Juneau in 2007 as a Jesuit Volunteer before continuing her education at Northwestern University where she earned a doctorate in Physical Therapy.

Shannon is an avid runner. She lives in Juneau with her husband and beloved dog Adabelle.

Manuel Hernandez

Manuel is the program assistant for the Infant Learning Program. He comes from a business background.  He was born in CA and raised in Monterrey, Mexico. Manuel grew up in the family’s retail business which brought him to Alaska.  Manuel worked at an early age in Alaska during summer and in the off season completed his studies. At the age of 19, Manuel went on to managing retail stores and finally opening his own a few years later. His educational studies include International Marketing, Communications, Audio and Video among others.

Also known as DJ Manu, he has 18 years of experience. He  performs weekly in different venues performing for all types of crowds, from toddler dances to large crowds in the state of Alaska and a few international appearances.  He enjoys outdoor sports, cooking, gardening and spending time with his 2 cats.