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Our NPs

Julie Leonhardt NP 

I grew up just south of Boston the oldest of three children in a very tight knit family. From an early age I was known as a care taker, nurturer and highly coveted babysitter. I spent much of my time working with children and families through babysitting, volunteering in schools and in my community. After a life changing biology teacher in high school set me on my path, I attended Stonehill College where I studied biology and psychology; planning to apply to medical school and become a pediatrician. In my junior year I met an incredible nurse practitioner and I realized that the pediatric nurse practitioner role was truly made for me! I love to focus on the whole person as well as the family and health education. I attended Regis College where I received my second bachelors degree and my masters degree in nursing certified in pediatrics. I did additional training at the college health center where I focused on young women's health. After graduation I was lucky to join Pediatric Health Care at Newton Wellesley in August 2005. I love working in a small practice where I truly know the families and develop deep and lasting relationships. I dread the conversations with the young adults when it's time to leave our practice and move on to adult medicine!

As I welcomed my children I stayed with PHC in a part time capacity, which has allowed me the life/work balance I so deeply appreciate. As I walked through motherhood for the first (the second and third!) time I developed a passion for maternal child health, lactation support and breast feeding education and new parent support and care.

In my "free" time my husband and I are raising our three wonderful, incredibly strong willed and fiercely independent children (two daughters and one son). I enjoy playing with my children outdoors, cooking, exercising, and volunteering in our small town community. I also have a large tight knit extended family and I love to serve as "on-call" support for them as they all raise their own children.

 

Jessica Helt NP

I have been passionate about helping children and understanding the connections between children’s brain, behavior and physiological development. I grew up in New England and earned my bachelor’s degree at Wellesley College. I went on to earn a master’s degree in child development with a concentration on developmental psychology at Tufts University. While earning the master’s degree at Tufts, I worked with children with special needs in an integrated preschool program at the Eliot-Pearson Children’s School in Medford, Massachusetts. I also taught courses on child development to undergraduate students. Then I went to Yale University where I completed my nursing degree, second master’s degree and pediatric nurse practitioner program. While at Yale, I completed clinical internships at various medical settings including Yale New Haven Hospital, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.  I have worked in a variety of pediatric settings and have expertise in general pediatrics, developmental behavioral pediatrics, neurology, and pediatric oncology. I also love providing primary care to her patients. My first job out of Yale was a nurse practitioner position in a rural pediatric practice in Connecticut. She then was hired by Massachusetts General Hospital’s Lurie Center for Autism to provide neurological and developmental care to pediatric patients with special needs. After several years at the Lurie Center, I was recruited to work at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. I relocated to Tennessee and enjoyed the experience of living in the South for the last two years.  I was thrilled to return to Massachusetts in Fall 2016 and join the team at Pediatric Health Care. I provide both primary care and developmental care for patients. Outside of work, I love to spend time with her family and friends, play outdoors, and enjoy the roller coaster of weather that New England has to offer!   

Dawn Nathanson NP

I decided to become a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner to enjoy the growth and development of children, from newborn to young adult. I have spent 8 years becoming an expert in pediatric primary care and have a Master’s in Nursing Science from MGH IHP. I have chosen to work with children since graduating from college and then earning my first Master’s degree in Elementary Education. I spent many years teaching children and adults subjects, including Spanish. In my free time, I like to travel to as many new places around the world as possible and enjoy biking, walking, and yoga. I also support many charitable causes including Boston Children’s Hospital, New England Center for Children, and the National Brain Tumor Society. I especially take pleasure in spending time with my husband and children.

I am the mother of three grown children, a daughter who is a graduate student studying classical piano and pedagogy, a son who is a research assistant at Boston Children’s hospital, and another son who is currently studying at Cornell University. I look forward to meeting you and taking good care of your family.

***Dawn works mostly on the weekends