Meet the Physicians

Suzanne Christie, MD

Specialty: Pediatrics

Dr. Suzanne Christie attended Georgetown University as an undergraduate and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. After graduating, she spent two years teaching high school science at a boarding school on the east coast before returning to Georgetown for medical school. Born and raised in Marin County, she was eager to return to California and chose to complete her internship and residency in pediatrics at Stanford. After residency, she joined the Menlo Clinic in Menlo Park and practiced general pediatrics for four years until her move back to Marin in 2000. In Marin, she worked at the Pediatric After Hours Clinic and Mill Valley Pediatrics before joining Prima Kids in 2006.

Dr. Christie is Board Certified in Pediatrics and a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. She is passionate about her work with children and their families. Committed to promoting the general health and well being of her patients, she particularly enjoys counseling families about issues of child development and nutrition. As a mother of four, she brings a very practical and common sense approach to her practice and understands first hand many of the concerns facing young families and their children today.

In her spare time she can be found enjoying the outdoors with her husband and their school-aged children.


Uta Kerl, MD, FAAP

Specialty: Pediatrics

Dr. Uta Kerl received her undergraduate degree from University of California Berkeley with a B.S. in Nutritional Science. She attended U.C.S.F. Medical School and subsequently completed her Pediatric Residency at Stanford. While she stayed close to home for her Medical training, she has always enjoyed travel and appreciates her experience living abroad. Dr. Kerl was born in Germany before her family moved to Berkeley California in the 60’s. She lived in Johannesburg South Africa for two years as a teen and spent a year studying in Germany as an undergraduate. More recently, since 1999, she has volunteered as a Pediatrician at Barretstown Camp in Ireland, a camp for children with serious illness.

Dr. Kerl is a board-certified pediatrician and Fellow of The American Academy of Pediatrics and has been practicing in Marin County since 1998. Before coming to Marin, Dr. Kerl practiced General Pediatrics for 2 years at Los Gatos Pediatric Associates. Since 1998 Dr. Kerl has worked extensively in the Prima After Hours Clinic, and as a Hospitalist at MGH.

Since joining Prima Pediatrics in 2008, Dr Kerl has rediscovered her passion for taking care of children and families on a continuum. As a general pediatrician, Dr.Kerl values her role as advocate of health promotion and illness prevention through good nutrition, activity and mental (emotional) health. As a mother of a young child, she seeks to expand her understanding and to share her expertise in specialty areas of Behavioral and Developmental Pediatrics. Dr. Kerl has a keen appreciation of the unique challenges and joys of parenting presented by each individual child and welcomes the opportunity to work in partnership with the families in her practice at Prima Pediatrics. Away from the office, she most enjoys spending time with her active school-aged son and likes to hike, swim, and garden.


Anika Sanda, MD

Specialty: Pediatrics

Dr. Anika Sanda happily joined Prima Kids in 2012. Dr. Sanda earned her medical degree from the University of California, Davis School of Medicine. She received special recognition amongst her graduating class for her research on pediatric injury prevention in migrant farm workers. She then completed her pediatric residency at Children’s Hospital of Orange County in 2001 and has been board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics ever since. Since finishing her training, Dr. Sanda has had a strong interest in developing programs to benefit the children in her communities. She has received funding from Reach Out and Read to create literacy programs for underserved children in Southern California as well as developed a pediatric obesity prevention program.

Dr. Sanda thoroughly enjoys taking care of children and values the close relationship she develops with her patients and their families. She views each encounter with her patients as an opportunity to provide education and preventative care. Drawing from her experiences growing up in India as well as her medical training, she takes a holistic approach to promote health and well-being of her patients. In addition, Dr. Sanda has a special interest in pediatric behavior and mental health. She completed a mini-fellowship in patient-centered mental health through the REACH Institute, an organization dedicated to improving the mental health of American youth through the best evidence based therapies.

Dr. Sanda has been active in her community by lecturing on various topics ranging from vegetarian diets to pediatric travel medicine. Dr. Sanda also enjoys teaching and has worked with nurse practitioner students, pediatric residents, and closely mentored UCSF medical students in their Foundations of Patient Care course.

Outside of medicine, Dr. Sanda can be found enjoying a hot cup of tea or exploring the outdoors with her family either by foot or bike.


Jerome C. Smith, MD, MPH, FAAP

Specialty: Adolescent Medicine, Pediatrics

Dr. Smith is a Board Certified pediatrician and a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. He graduated with a BS in Electrical and Biomedical Engineering from Duke University. After a brief career in Information Technology, he earned his medical degree from George Washington University in Washington, DC and completed his combined Pediatric Internship and Residency at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. During residency, he also completed a Masters of Public Health degree with a focus on Child Health Policy at UCLA. He is fluent in Spanish and conversant in French, and he appreciates being able to communicate in the language a family is most comfortable using. He sees children from the newborn period through their college years.

Before coming to Sonoma, Dr. Smith practiced pediatrics for five years in rural Central Florida through the National Health Service Corps. For the next five years he was the pediatrician and Medical Director of the Sonoma Valley Community Health Center and recently served as the Chief of Staff at Sonoma Valley Hospital from July 2011 to June 2013. He also lives in Sonoma, where he sings with the Valley of the Moon Chamber Ensemble and is the father of twin boys.


Marcella Spera, MD

Specialty: Pediatrics

Dr. Marcella Spera is a board-certified pediatrician who has been practicing since 2005 and is delighted to have joined Prima in 2015. She grew up in New York City and decided on a path of healing early in life as a way to integrate her desire to learn with her instinct to help others and her desire to support health and wholeness.

She studied Liberal Arts at Sarah Lawrence College and then went on to study Medicine at Penn State University. In her 4th year she had an impactful experience during a rotation on the Zuni reservation in New Mexico that inspired her to do her residency training at the University of New Mexico. During her training she focused on caring for the underserved and went on to serve as education chief. She then made her way to Marin County and has been practicing in the Bay Area since 2006. Throughout this time she has had a wide range of clinical experiences ranging from attending deliveries as a hospitalist to working with at-risk teenagers and volunteering abroad in Mexico, Guatemala and Haiti. She has also served on the board of the non-profit the Global Pediatric Alliance.

Her professional interests include nutrition, holistic approaches to healthcare, adolescent health, patient advocacy and environmental health. Dr. Spera strives to create collaborative relationships with families to work together in promoting and protecting children’s health and well-being. She is passionate about nutrition and recently led a break-out session on sugar addiction and training children’s taste buds at the 2015 Childhood Obesity Bay Area conference.


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