Skagit Valley Primary Care Providers
Call Us: (360) 336-5658
916 South 3rd Street
Mount Vernon, WA 98273


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Providers

Katya Melnik

Family Nurse Practitioner

Languages Spoken:

English, Russian, Ukrainian

Education: Master of Science, Family Nurse Practitioner, University of Cincinnati. Bachelor of Science, Nursing, University of Cincinnati. Bachelor of Arts, Psychology, Western Washington University.

Philosophy of Care:

I was born in Russia and immigrated with my family when I was young. I always knew I wanted a career where I could help people. Once I completed my Bachelor of Arts in psychology degree, I realized that I had a passion for medicine and how the human body works. I went on to become a registered nurse and spent most of my nursing career working in the Emergency Department setting before becoming a Nurse Practitioner.

My passion is working in partnership with patients to empower them to make better choices about their health. I believe that everyone should be equipped with the right information to be able to participate in shared decision-making.

At home I love to spend time with my four children and my husband. We love to travel places as a family, go camping, fishing and be involved in our local church.

Alina Ostapchuk

Family Nurse Practitioner

Languages Spoken:

English, Russian, Ukrainian

Education: Doctor of Nursing Practice, Family Nurse Practitioner from University of Washington; Bachelor of Science in Nursing from University of Washington. Board certified by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.

Philosophy of care: I was born prematurely in a small town in Ukraine. My mother became very ill and did not have access to proper healthcare.  Soon it was too late, she died three days after I was born. Because of this background my interest and passion for medicine began in early childhood. I immigrated to America as a child and my passion continued to grow through the years; in high school I took elective healthcare classes, then became a nursing assistant and then a nurse.

From the beginning I felt honored to work with patients one on one and to share the joys of their lives but also the difficult moments.  I decided to become a nurse practitioner because I feel that this role blends what I love most about nursing – the advocacy for people, patient teaching, patient-centeredness, and what I love about medicine-making the diagnosis, finding the root-cause of a problem, and providing evidence based treatment. I love being a family nurse practitioner because I get to care for people of all ages and develop relationships with their family.

I am passionate about preventing disease. I am very excited to think that deliberate and timely intervention during early years can prevent poor health in the future. What is special about my practice is that my goal is to understand what is important to the patient and be their mentor to help them reach the optimal health they want.  I want to be there for the patient and help in any way I can.

I have three children and a very supportive husband. On my downtime some of the things I enjoy are spending time outdoors, attending church, baking, and cooking with my toddlers, gardening, snowboarding, and camping.

Allison Berglin

Family Nurse Practitioner

Education: University of Michigan Master of Science (MS) Family Nurse Practitioner; University of Michigan Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Board Certified as a Family Nurse Practitioner by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.

Philosophy of Care: First as a nurse and then as a nurse practitioner I have worked in a variety of settings with patients young to old from every walk of life. While in nursing school, I worked in an assisted living facility with geriatric patients as well as a personal care aide for a pediatric patient with severe medical and behavioral issues. As a new nursing school graduate, I first worked in nursing research and then at a large University Health System on a medical surgical unit. While there were parts of each of these roles that were special to me, I found that the most rewarding aspect was working with patients and families to educate and empower them in their own healthcare. With my heart set on primary care and family practice, I chose to return for graduate work to expand my scope of practice as a Family Nurse Practitioner.

In my practice, I love to get to know patients and their families and partner with them to provide holistic, person-centered care. I believe that everyone deserves a healthcare provider who will listen and work with them to achieve their best health. I enjoy educating patients and helping them choose an optimal treatment plan for their individual needs and health goals. On a personal level, I love the challenge of every day being different and continually learning new ways to care for my patients.

I moved to Skagit Valley in 2015 to be closer to family and being a Midwesterner, fell in love with the beauty of the PNW (Mountains!). I first came to know the staff at Skagit Family Health when my daughter was born in 2018 at the Birth Center and I am excited to join such a caring and dedicated team. When I’m not working, I enjoy spending time with my husband, daughter and two dogs. I like being outside, cooking, reading and travel.

SETH PHOTO 2013

Seth Cowan

Family Nurse Practitioner

Education: Bachelor of Arts, Zoology, University of Washington; MSN, Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Seattle University; Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine, Bastyr University.

Philosophy of care: While studying zoology at UW I recognized that a career in health care would allow me to combine my interest in science with enjoyment of working closely with people.  I became interested in complementary and alternative medicine after my undergraduate studies and enrolled in the Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine program at Bastyr University.  There, I met my wife and future practice partner Michelle Antonich.  We opened our practice in Mt. Vernon in 2001 and though I appreciated the role that natural medicine provided to our patients, I felt somewhat limited in my ability to meet the spectrum of patient health needs. Therefore, I returned to school and earned my masters as a Primary Care Nurse Practitioner.

The combination of being a family nurse practitioner with naturopathic training has allowed me to integrate the two approaches to better meet the unique health care needs of my patients.  I enjoy seeing patients of all ages and especially enjoy caring for, and establishing a long term relationship with the entire family.  I believe in working with patients to determine the underlying cause of illness and deciding what makes each person well.  I am a strong believer in preventative medicine and encourage patients to actively participate in their own health care.

When not working, I like working on home and yard projects, biking, running, hiking, camping, and fly fishing.  But I most enjoy spending time and having adventures with my wife and 3 wonderful children.

Lydia LaSalle

Naturopathic Doctor

Education: Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine from Bastyr University and Bachelor of Science in Biology from Trinity Western University.

Philosophy of Care: As a naturopathic doctor, my passion is to blend a conventional and integrative approach for whole-person health. I believe that patients should be well informed of all of their options and empowered to choose what best aligns with their values and beliefs. I especially enjoy educating patients in regards to the “why” of their treatment and the “how” of their diagnosis. My special interests in primary care include cardiovascular disease, diabetes, women’s health, infertility and preventative medicine.

As a primary care provider, I believe that excellent, high quality and individualized family healthcare should be available to all. As a graduate from Bastyr University, I recently completed two additional years of post-doctoral residency in primary care. This included rotations through a community health center that focuses on serving immigrants and refugees in King County. I had the privilege and opportunity to get to know families and attend to their unique healthcare needs from birth to geriatrics.

I have recently moved to the Skagit area to be closer to mountains, ocean and my first home, Canada. I could not be more excited to serve this community for the years to come! In my time off, I enjoy mountain biking, trail running, back-country snowboarding and climbing in the North Cascades.

Julie Smith

Licensed Midwife

As a young adult, becoming a midwife was not even remotely on my radar as a potential career path. Midwifery took its sweet time before calling to me, but when it finally did, I whole-heartedly knew my answer. Prior to studying midwifery, I spent a few years studying film and creative writing (which actually means working as a waitress in the busy Seattle restaurant industry). After the birth of my daughter, I switched tracks and completed my Bachelor of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University. As I was nearing the completion of my nutrition degree, I began spending all of my free time exploring the mystery of midwifery. With much deliberation, it became clear to me that practicing midwifery was the career I truly envisioned for myself.

I began working towards the completion of my Master of Science in Midwifery at Bastyr University. During this time, I trained with Gentle Hands Midwifery in Bellingham and Skagit Family Health Clinic. I attended over 100 births as an assistant and catching babies in both the birth center and home birth setting. I became committed to the comprehensive, individualized care that is essential to midwifery. I feel strongly about supporting families through childbirth in order to facilitate a smooth transition into parenthood or a growing family. In order to help build stronger communities, I hope to foster empowerment during the transformative time of pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum.

Outside of birth work, I share a love for the outdoors and snow sports with my family. In my free time I like to mountain bike, hike, canoe and snowboard. My daughter has been gleefully skiing since the age of one and a half. In addition to fun in the mountains, I enjoy reading, gardening, cooking with friends and family and making my own herbal remedies for common discomforts. I have a passion for intuitive nutrition, sustainable agriculture and the self-reliance that is gained from working symbiotically with plants and nature.

Julie delivers babies at the Mount Vernon Birth Center and attends home births.

Cyrena Gilpatrick

Licensed Midwife

I was born with a passion for women’s health, pregnancy, and birth. I started volunteering at my local hospital at the age of ten, and attended my first birth at the age of 16. I knew at that point, more than ever, that I needed to be a birth worker, in whatever form possible. I received my Bachelors of Science in Psychology from the University of New Hampshire while also taking prerequisite courses for nursing, and undergoing doula training at Birthwise School of Midwifery. After having my son in the hospital, I realized that midwifery was my passion, and out of hospital birth was truly the direction my heart was pulling me in.

I worked as the teaching assistant for a nursing course at the University of New Hampshire titled “Making Babies” for over three years where I met a legend in my midwifery world, Carol Leonard. Just listening to her describe the births she had attended, and the babies born into her hands lit the fire inside me to pursue what I had always known was my true purpose, aside from being a momma. I am now in my second year at Bastyr University, only one year away from attaining my Master of Science in Midwifery degree.

I know that women have the ability to listen to their own bodies and understand instinctively what to do during labor, because I have witnessed it time and time again. I believe that it is important to stand by women, to remind them that they are strong and capable of advocating for exactly what they need. I am constantly in awe of the strength, tenacity, and power laboring women possess. And I am honored to have a front row seat to that magical moment when a woman recognizes that she can harness that strength and power within herself to bring her baby earthside.

Cyrena delivers babies at the Mount Vernon Birth Center and attends home births.

Sharon Sulllivan

Lactation Consultant
Registered Nurse

Education: International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), Certified Inpatient Obstetric Nurse (RNC-OB), Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) from Lewis Clark State College.

Philosophy of care: I strive to offer personalized, holistic care that honors the unique person on every level – body, mind, heart and spirit. I am inquisitive and thorough, as I enjoy meeting parents where they are, to help them meet their own goals to feed their baby. I support what works for each family, whether exclusive breastfeeding, mixed feeding with formula, exclusively pumping, chest/body feeding, or using bottles/supplementing tools.

My first glimpse into the complex issues of infant feeding and parenting began thirty years ago as a Peace Corps Maternal/Child Health Advisor in Lesotho, developing weaning foods for babies without access to breast milk, using homegrown and wild foods in an environment of scarcity.

My journey led me to train as a clinical herbalist and then to nursing school. I’ve been a labor and delivery nurse since 2003, helping babies arrive and their parents to feed them. I became the nurse everyone would ask to help with breastfeeding when it was tricky, or complex, or things weren’t going well.  I pursued more specialized training, and I’ve been an IBCLC Lactation Consultant since 2011, working in hospital, clinic, and private-practice settings. I’ve learned a lot of tricks along the way, as I’ve had fantastic mentors and teachers, including my own experience as a breastfeeding mom.

I’m excited to be partnering with the midwives and providers here, to be part of a team offering personalized care. I hope I can make your journey through early parenthood easier. What we eat is only part of what helps us grow into whole, blossoming humans. Strong parent-child connections and community support are equally essential.

I relocated from Sitka, Alaska a few years ago and am enjoying the relative lack of rain! I’m blessed to live on 5 acres with my wonderful husband – our ‘baby’, born at home in 1997, is all grown and in grad school on the East Coast. I stay busy with garden projects, hiking, foraging for wild plants, making herbal skin care products, and exploring the PNW.