First Steps - Our Staff

Jaci Imberger, Program Director

Jaci and her family moved from Chicago to Taos in 2002. She received her Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing from the University of Iowa in 1986. Her nursing experience includes oncology, cardiology, GI, infectious disease and HIV. She has been a bedside nurse, a nurse manager, HIV research coordinator, Nursing Director for a HIV independent living facility and home visitor for families prenatal to three.

Jaci and Jana Bailey started the grass-roots coalition of Latch On, which is a provider group that meets monthly to support breastfeeding in our community. She received her Infant Mental Health Level 2 endorsement, is a Circle of Security Parenting facilitator and is working on a certification in infant massage. She has worked at First Steps since the beginning of the program in 2007 as a home visitor and became the program manager in July 2012. She is married and has two adult children. She enjoys being with family and friends, attending sporting events of all kinds, snowshoeing and knitting whenever she can.

Julia Bergkamp, Home Visitor

Julia was born and raised in a small beach town, 45 minutes outside of New York City and moved to Taos in 2009. Taos has been very welcoming to her and she has always felt a great sense of community and belonging. She lives happily with her partner, hound dog and their high spirited baby girl. On her free time she enjoys listening to vinyl records, going to see live music, fishing and taking mini road trips with her family.

Julia graduated from the State University of New York at New Paltz in 2008 with her BA in Human Services. She has worked in the community for almost 7 years and is well versed in the supports, services and resources Taos has to offer for all ages. Julia has a background in Early Intervention, behavioral/mental health services and case management.

Beth Enson, Home Visitor

Beth Enson has been a home visitor for over two years. She loves being with and supporting people in the life-changing process of becoming parents. Home visiting provides daily opportunities for great conversations about the experiences with our kids that matter most in life, experiences that allow us to know ourselves on the most profound level. She is inspired by helping parents gather the support and awareness they need in order to be present with the full range of their children’s emotions.

The Circle of Security approach promoted by First Steps has had a huge, positive impact on her parenting, and she loves teaching this approach to her clients. Beth is becoming certified as a teacher of Infant Massage, and is applying for certification as an Infant Mental Health specialist.

Beth was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY.  Prior to Home Visiting, she worked as Development Director for the Northern NM Birth Center and as Dean of Students for the National College of Midwifery here in Taos. In addition to Home Visiting, she writes poetry, has a big vegetable garden, helps plant community orchards, teaches Co-Counseling, and co-parents an amazing teenager with her partner of 22 years.

Molley MacCracken, Home Visitor

Molley MacCracken is the mother of two beautiful adult children. She is also grandmother to two young children. Molley studied midwifery with Elizabeth Gilmore and is a certified childbirth educator. She received her Infant Mental Health endorsement in 2012.

She has been home visiting with First Steps since 2009. She finds solace and renewal in nature and enjoys spending time with her horses and her family. She is a lifelong learner and considers her children, grandchildren and her horses to be her greatest teachers.

Ana Medina, Home Visitor

Ana is a home visitor for the First Steps Program. She was born in Chihuahua, Mexico and moved to Taos when she was 11 years old. She is fluent in English and Spanish. Ana is currently pursuing a degree in Social Work through the Liberal Arts program at UNM Taos. She is working on a certification for Infant Massage and is a Circle of Security facilitator.

Ana joined the First Steps family in October 2014 and before that, participated in the program as a client. She enjoys adventure time with her lovely, energetic, and beautiful daughter. She lives in Taos and enjoys singing, dancing, swimming, and spending time with her beloved family, friends, and partner. Her favorite season of the year is fall and she enjoys taking walks with her daughter and dog Ramses through the beautiful fallen yellow leaves.

Cristina Portillo, Home Visitor

Cristina was born and raised in Santa Ana California. She moved to Taos with her husband and son in 2005. In 2007 her daughter was born at the NM birth center. Cristina has worked at TCCY, CAV and is now a Home Visitor. Cristina has returned to school to receive her Associates in Early Childhood Development. She is currently working on her infant massage certification and is trained in Circle of Security.

She loves her two wonderful children and feels blessed to be able to raise them in Taos. She is passionate about life, her family and friends. Cristina and her family enjoy spending time together and making memories. They have traveled to various states in Mexico to immerse themselves in cultural and culinary celebrations.

Jeannie Ross, Children’s Trust Fund Coordinator

Jeannie Ross was born and raised in Kentucky. Enchanted by the mountains, she relocated to Taos after graduating from Tulane University in 1991. After a seven year stint teaching elementary school in Pasadena, California, she returned to Taos in 2007 and joined the First Steps team.

Jeannie is a certified Love and Logic, Circle of Security, Nurturing Parenting, and Infant Massage instructor. She earned her Infant Mental Health Endorsement-Level II in 2013. In addition to home visiting, Jeannie is now coordinating the Taos Loves Kids grant which provides parenting classes and support groups for parents of children 0-5. She has two daughters, both of whom challenge and delight her every day. When not working, she loves to snowboard and hike in the beautiful Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

Melissa Smith, Home Visitor

Melissa Smith’s background is in education. She taught high school math and science with licensure in secondary Language Arts. Experiencing pregnancy and birth created a desire in her to be with other mothers who were going through, or had been through, the same process. She feels that becoming a parent is such a rich and sometimes challenging process, and support with that process is a gift, whether it is to share in the struggles or to share in the joy and triumphs. She cares deeply about moms and dads and their children, and wants to be with them in whatever ways are helpful to them.
In her free time you can find her pushing her children around the grocery store in the fire truck cart, exploring with them, nurturing friendships, reading by flashlight and writing as inspiration and opportunity allow. Lastly, she has lived off-grid raising two young children, and has experienced first-hand the unique situations that arise.

Katie Uilk, Home Visitor

Katie Uilk is a certified Developmental Specialist II who has a background in Early Intervention services. She has been home visiting and working with infants and families in the community since she moved to Taos in 2011. Katie is currently working towards her Infant Mental Health Endorsement.

Katie was born and raised in a small farm town in Berthoud, Colorado. She graduated from Western State Colorado University in awesome Gunnison, CO. Katie is a certified infant massage instructor and enjoys baby-wearing both of her kiddos! Katie is a proud mother of a beautiful and playful daughter and she recently had a healthy and content baby boy. Her kiddos are only 17 months apart so she is enjoying the buoyant life of a mother, partner and member in the community. Her family, music, positive vibes and laughter is what keeps her smiling!

Drew Holsapple, Data Coordinator

Drew was born and raised in New Mexico, growing up in Los Alamos before spending time in Santa Fe, Las Cruces, and Taos. Drew has been working with the First Steps program for the last couple years, first as an administrative assistant and now as the data coordinator for the program.

Drew is currently pursuing a degree in Information Technology. In his free time, Drew likes to watch movies, spend time in nature, and is always looking for new places to explore and people to meet.

John Hutchinson, Director of Health Outreach

John Hutchinson, Pharm. D., PhC, BCPS, received his B.S. in Pharmacy in 1987, and his Pharm. D. in 2005 from the University of New Mexico. He became a Pharmacist Clinician in August of 2000, and went on to start a hospital-based outpatient Anticoagulation Management Service at Holy Cross Hospital in Taos, New Mexico in 2002. John is Board Certified as a Pharmacotherapy Specialist and is currently the Director of Health Outreach at Holy Cross Hospital. John is dedicated to serving the health care needs in rural New Mexico.