Gilbert Office Providers

We currently have nine providers practicing out of our Gilbert office. Please feel free to browse the bios of each of our providers below.

James J. Smith, M.D., F.A.A.P.

My name is James Smith and I've practiced pediatrics since 1985. I attended medical school at the University of Oregon Health Science Center and did my residency training at the Phoenix Hospitals Affiliated Pediatrics Program. I'm certified by the American Board of Pediatrics. I am married with five children. For outside interests, I enjoy wilderness hiking and also manage 110 citrus trees, stone fruit, grapevines, and chickens at my home. I also enjoy astronomy.

Robin R. Laks, M.D., F.A.A.P.

Hello and welcome to our site. My name is Robin Laks and I have been practicing general pediatrics since 1999. I received my medical education at the University of Iowa Medical School after completing my undergraduate degree at Luther College obtaining a BA in Biology and Music. After graduation from the University of Iowa I completed my internship and residency locally at the Phoenix Hospitals Affiliated Pediatrics Program. I am certified by the American Board of Pediatrics.  My past interest in training for triathlons has been replaced by chasing around my 3 children, all under the age of 2!   A few of my favorite websites are; Centers for Disease Control Youth Campaign, USA Triathlon, and Medscape Pediatrics.

Jennifer L. Wallace, M.D. F.A.A.P.

Hi and welcome to Mesa Pediatrics! I'm Jennifer Wallace - I grew up in Mesa and have wanted to be a pediatrician since I was in junior high school. My education took me to Boston University for college; after graduating from medical school at the University of Arizona, I did my residency training at Phoenix Children's Hospital/Maricopa Medical Center. I have been practicing since 2003, and am certified by the American Board of Pediatrics. My husband and I met in medical school and now have two young daughters, an older son (my stepson), and our beautiful "hairy child", our Golden Retriever. I love getting outside with my girls, practice yoga when I can, and look forward to instilling our love of travel, sailing, and scuba diving in our girls as they grow.

Michelle Valenzuela, M.D., F.A.A.P.

Hi! I’m Michelle Valenzuela. I grew up in Oracle, Arizona. I stayed close to home to pursue my dream of becoming a pediatrician. As a graduate of the University of Arizona College of Medicine I completed my pediatric residency training at Phoenix Children’s Hospital/Maricopa Medical Center. I have been in private practice since 2005 and am certified by the American Board of Pediatrics. My husband and I have lived in the East Valley for over 10 years. We are the proud parents of 2 beautiful children.

Nicolle Kent, M.D., F.R.C.P.C.

Hello, my name is Nicolle Kent and I was born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. I earned my medical degree at the University of British Columbia and completed my Pediatric Residency training at British Columbia Children's Hospital. I am certified by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have been practicing Pediatrics since 1997. I am married with 4 wonderful children. We are an active family who enjoy engaging in numerous sports together including, skiing, tennis, badminton and hiking. I am an avid traveler who has explored more than 15 countries to date.

Becky Purinton, CPNP

I have been working as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner since I completed my master's in nursing and training as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner at ASU in 1996.  I am certified as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner through the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board.  My work experience also includes nursing care of new mothers and their newborn babies, as well as working for 6 years at Phoenix Children's Hospital.  I am also a Certified Asthma Educator, AE-C.  If you or your child are wanting to understand asthma and asthma medications better, make an "Asthma Education' visit with me.  I enjoy arts and crafts, walking my dog, cooking and cheering for the Arizona Cardinals.  I am also the proud mother of two wonderful young adult children.

Bill Gause, PA-C

Hi. My name is Bill Gause. I received a Bachelor of Science Degree from Grand Canyon University and a Masters Degree in Physician Assistant Studies from Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine. I am certified by the National Commission of Physician Assistants. I have practiced medicine since 1999, a majority of that time exclusively in pediatrics. I am married and have two children.

Stefanie Laystrom, PA-C

Hi, my name is Stefanie Rosenberg. I grew up in the Chicago suburbs and will always be a Chicago girl at heart (Go Cubbies! Go Bears!). I received my bachelor's degree in Sports Medicine from Central Michigan University in 2002. I worked as a Certified Athletic Trainer at Central High in Phoenix for two and a half years before going to graduate school at Midwestern University in Downers Grove, IL. I graduated in 2007 with a Master of Medical Science in Physician Assistant Studies. When the opportunity presented to come back to AZ and work at Mesa Peds, I jumped at the chance! My husband is a registered nurse. We have a daughter and two crazy dogs. In my spare time, I enjoy running, travel, and hiking.

Grace Hannigan, PA-C

Hi! My name is Grace Hannigan. I am originally from Staten Island, NY. My family & I moved to Gilbert, AZ where my sister and I were patients at Mesa Pediatrics! I received my undergraduate degree in Nutritional Sciences at the University of Arizona, and my masters degree in Physician Assistant Studies at Northern Arizona University at the Phoenix Biomedical Campus. I have always had a strong interest in working in pediatrics and truly enjoy getting to know not only the children, but their families as well. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my family, friends, and soon to be husband. I also enjoy running, traveling and cheering on the Arizona Wildcats! I am so excited to be a part of this amazing group, and look forward to meeting you soon!

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