Our Doctors, Nurse Practitioners, Physicians Assistants, Dentists, Nurses, Behavioral Health and other medical professionals are all here to help you and your family be strong, happy and healthy with access to the services you need to achieve your wellness goals.
George Hightower, MD - Medical Director
Dr. Hightower grew up in the inner city of Los Angeles. He dreamed of becoming either a doctor or a professional basketball player. He almost achieved both goals. At Whitter College, In 1978 he was named Whittier College Athlete of the Year. That same year he was named Captain of the Basketball Team and led his team in representing the U.S. in the Jones Cup Tournament in Taiwan. Eventually, he was twice inducted into the Whittier College Athletic Hall of Fame.
After college, he got serious about his other goal. In 1985, he was named a Health Professions Scholar by the U.S. Navy and was awarded a full scholarship to the medical school of his choice.
In 1989, he graduated from the George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington D.C. During his tenure there he was awarded the Commonwealth Fellowship Fund Scholarship for research in Pediatric Oncology at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda M.D. In addition, he was named to the George Washington University Admissions Committee and honored with the Outstanding Student Leadership Award.
After graduation, Dr. Hightower completed his internship at the Naval Hospital San Diego and served our country during the 1st Persian Gulf War. During his 12-year naval career, he was awarded 2 Navy achievement medals and a Navy Commendation Medal. After his naval career, he completed another post-graduate year in at SDSU/UCSD School of Medicine in Preventive Sports Medicine.
In addition to the U.S. Navy, Dr. Hightower was on staff at Oasis sports medical group, the then team physicians for the San Diego Chargers. He and his wife Linda started and successfully pioneered a thriving Occupational Medicine practice in Williston, ND. They sold that practice in 2017 and moved to Alaska for their next adventure.
Dr. Hightower and his wife Linda love the outdoors. Fishing and hiking are among their favorite things to do.
Curtis Harvie, DNP, FNP-BC, AHN-BC
Curtis Harvie is a family nurse practitioner. He came to Sunshine Community Health Center in 2017. He was born and raised in rural Vermont. His love for the outdoors brought him to Alaska in 2008. He currently resides in Willow, AK. He enjoys fishing, hunting, camping, backpacking, skiing, snow shoeing, and woodworking. He has worked in critical care, flight nursing, primary care pediatrics, family practice, and urgent care. He is fellowship trained in Integrative Medicine, which utilizes alternative and lifestyle medicine in conjunction with conventional medicine. He is currently enrolled at the University of Alaska, Anchorage and will complete his training as a psychiatric nurse practitioner in May of 2022. He will continue his family medicine practice and expand on the psychiatric and addiction medicine services Sunshine Community Health Center already offers.
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Norwich University
- Master of Science/Family Nurse Practitioner, Indiana State University
- Doctor of Nursing Practice, Indiana State University
- Integrative Medicine Fellowship, University of Arizona, Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine
- Addiction Medicine
- Treatment of Hepatitis C
- Complimentary, Alternative, and Lifestyle Medicine
Jenelle Johnson, MLS (ASCP), PA-C
Jenelle completed her Medical Assisting certification with the Career Academy in 2009 and continued her studies with a B.A. in Medical Laboratory Science in 2013 from the University of Alaska. She finished her M.S. of Clinical Health Services, Physician Assistant Studies at the University of Washington in 2019.
Jenelle completed Physician Assistant student rotations in family practice, OB/GYN, dermatology, emergency medicine, autopsy, pediatric surgery, pediatric behavioral health and pediatric inpatient medicine. She has board certifications as a Medical Laboratory Scientist - America Society of Clinical Pathology (ASCP) Physician Assistant - National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA).
Jenelle's special interests include women's health, OB/GYN, pediatrics, behavioral health, and substance abuse recovery.
Anne Yoshino, MD
Dr. Anne typically works seasonally at Sunshine Clinic in the summer and at Banner University Medical Center in Tucson in the winter.
Dr. Anne Yoshino graduated from the University of Arizona with a BA in Biology/Chemistry, Summa Cum Laude, and received her degree in Internal Medicine from the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine. She retired from private practice in Tucson, AZ in 2008. She is a member of the Pima County Medical Society, Tucson Society of Women Physicians, Physicians for Social Responsibility, and the American College of Physicians.
Dr. Anne grew up in Tuscon, Arizona and speaks both English and Spanish. She looks forward to coming up to Alaska every summer and working in this beautiful state. She says "I enjoy working in Talkeetna and Willow as well as Tucson, to get to know and interact with community members and tourists. I find this very rewarding to be able to work together with people and their health related issues."
Natalie Cassell, MD Pediatrician
Pediatrician Natalie Cassell MD is a native of Wilmington, North Carolina, and alumna of UNC Chapel Hill and Wake Forest University School of Medicine. She is a graduate of Texas Children's Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine Pediatrics and Global Child Health residency. She is also a proud Returned Peace Corps Volunteer having served as a teacher in Mozambique.Dr. Cassell completed a training year in Lilongwe, Malawi as part of her unique 4-year, Pediatrics, and Global Health residency and has a strong interest in serving children around the world from immigrants on the US- Mexican Border, to remote Alaskan Native populations and every child in between.
Though her younger days were spent in warmer climates Dr. Cassell has a strong interest in cultivating her winter sports skills in Alaska and hopes to spend her free time enjoying the Alaskan outdoors. She enjoys caring for pediatric patients from delivery to graduation in the clinic and the hospital setting and looks forward to getting to know your family.
Paul Forman, MD
Dr Forman's philosophy towards health care is to identify the best pathway to health for each individual based on each individual's values, beliefs, and needs. He believes that, as a physician, it is his job to help patients promote health, prevent disease, to educate patients about their conditions and help them select the best treatment options for their individual needs. He provides office based procedures including trigger point injections, joint injections, skin lesion surgeries, IUD and nexplanon insertions, and toenail removals when needed. Dr. Forman enjoys all ages from pediatrics to geriatrics and have experience with palliative care as well.
American Academy of Family Physicians, Alaska Academy of Family Physicians and American Board of Family Medicine
After completing my residency, I moved to Alaska and started my career at the Anchorage Neighborhood Health Center. After several years in Anchorage with ANHC and The Alaska Family Medicine Residency faculty, I moved to and worked in Seward for about 9 years before moving to the valley. I was one of the founding physicians for Solstice Family Care in Wasilla which has now transitioned to the Sunshine Clinic. I am very happy to be returning to community health as this supports my passion for providing high quality care to people in need. I live with my fiancé and pack of great dogs. I have mushed for over 20 years and now find myself with an aging dog team that still enjoys a good run through the woods, although shorter and slower than we used to run. In the summer I enjoy paddling, hiking, and pretending to fish. On dark winter nights, I am often found with a guitar doing some song writing or otherwise ruining good music.
Valerie Krozel, MD
Dr. Krozel was born in Alaska, but raised in San Antonio, Texas with the influence of her retired Air Force family. She attended Medical School at University of Texas at Houston, and moved to Anchorage in 1999 to complete her Family Medicine Residency. She began her physician career in rural Alaska, Seward and Wrangell. She later worked her way back to South Central Alaska and the Mat-Su Valley in 2004.
Her professional career has been dedicated to caring for Alaska families including prenatal care, delivery babies, pediatrics, women’s health, chronic disease management, geriatrics, and obesity medicine. She considers it a privilege to take care of her neighbors through the entire spectrum of life!
Dr. Krozel raised her own family in the Mat-Su. She has a son in college, one in his senior year of high school, and two daughters following close behind. She says, "we love our Alaska life!"
William Frantz, DMD, Dental Director
Raised in a small town south of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Dr. Frantz attended Washington and Jefferson College, graduating in 1993 with a Bachelors of Science in Biology. At the University of Pittsburgh, he attended the School of Dental Hygiene, receiving his R.D.H in 1996, then continued his education to graduate with his Doctorate of Dental Medicine in 2000. Dr. Frantz's previous experience as a general dental practice owner and associate is a tremendous asset to SCHC in providing dental health education and care for the families in the community and surrounding areas.
Tyler Mann, DDS
Dr. Tyler Mann attended University of New Mexico, graduating in 2002 with a BA in Biology and then from the University of California Dental School in 2006. He has practiced general dentistry since August 2006. Dr. Mann previously owned 3 dental practices, 2 in Colorado and 1 in New Mexico where he employed 29 people. He enjoys management and coaching a team of employees. Personal interests include the outdoors, hiking, dogs and water or snow skiing. Dr. Mann says, "I am focused on patient care and I enjoy seeing patients of all ages. Some of my favorites are providing dentures and seeing kids. I am excited to be a part of a great clinic and hope to be an asset to the team.
Michael Fox, DDS
Dr. Michael Fox studied at the Univ. of CA, San Diego, B.A., 1992 and the Univ. of CA, San Francisco School of Dentistry, 1995 Advanced Education in General Dentistry completing his Residency at Travis AFB, CA, 1996. He also completed his M.S. in Kinesiology from A.T. Still Univ. College of Graduate Health Studies.
From both dental school and his post-grad residency, he gained experience in complex surgical and restorative cases. He has extensive training in all the specialty areas within dentistry, specifically oral surgery, endodontics, periodontics and restorative techniques. He has a strong focus on prevention and following the medical model of chronic disease management versus a surgical approach. Dr. Fox is an American Dental Association, Academy of General Dentistry, National Network for Oral Health Access (NNOHA, Former Board of Directors member).
Originally from S. California, Dr. Fox lived all over the world, from Guam to Saudi Arabia to Iceland, and now, Alaska. He came to AK a little over 2 years ago after nearly 20 years in Oklahoma. He has been a dentist for 25 years with the last 7 years serving in community health centers. Outside of work, Dr. Fox has a lovely wife, two wonderful adult children. He likes outdoor activities like hiking, camping, bike riding and he plays drums and piano.
Michael Thomas, DDS
Dr. Thomas graduated from University of Colorado dental school in 2020. After graduation he worked as a dentist in Grand Junction, CO but then decided to embark on a grand adventure and apply for a dental license in Alaska. Once he completed the Alaska State Boards, Dr. Thomas moved to Eagle River. He worked at a private practice and with senior living facilities in Anchorage until he was recruited and hired by SCHC in March 2021. His dream as a dentist is to help patients that require full mouth rehabilitation and to serve those of an underserved population. His hobbies include, hiking, biking, and working on his pilot’s license. He is thrilled to join the Sunshine Community Health Center team and to be able to live an active and healthy lifestyle in Alaska with all the wonders it has to offer.
Behavioral Health Providers
Sarah Blanning, LCSW
Patrick Albert, LCSW
Tanya Korta, LPC
Tanya is originally from Minnesota and has lived and worked in rural Alaska for the past 25 years. She was formerly an elementary school teacher who evolved into a community behavioral health counselor, working for a tribal health organization providing behavioral health services for the past 8 years. Tanya earned a master’s degree in community counseling from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 2014 and became a Licensed Professional Counselor in 2017. She has experience working with a diverse group of people impacted by mental health issues including substance abuse, anxiety, depression, grief/loss, and trauma-related stress disorders. I have a special interest in working with children and adolescents. Tanya and her husband have three grown children and enjoy outdoor adventures and small town living.
Kirsten Strolle, LMSW
Kirsten has been a Behavioral Health Care Manager at SCHC since 2016 and has worked in direct services for over 10 years serving a variety of patients, both children and adults, including survivors of sexual assault and childhood sexual abuse.
Kirsten graduated from Grand Valley State University in 2007 with a B.S. in Political Science and a Minor in Sociology. She earned her M.S.W. from the University of New England in 2020. She completed her clinical internship at SCHC which included individual sessions and a Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy Group.
Kirsten enjoys hiking, skiing and foraging.