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Due to the overwhelming surge in COVID-19 cases and the strain it has placed on health care capacity in the communities we serve, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare has activated crisis standards of care statewide. We are open and available to see patients, but you may experience delays at our ERs, hospitals, and clinics. We appreciate your patience. Access more info on COVID testing, vaccination, visitor policy, hospitalization data, and FAQs.

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St. Luke's Children's Spina Bifida Clinic

Located within the Children’s Pavilion in downtown Boise, the St. Luke’s Children’s Spina Bifida Clinic brings together experts in physiatry, neurosurgery, psychology, urology, orthopedics, gastroenterology, and rehabilitation to help children with spina bifida and their families. Our family-centered approach to collaborative care has your child’s best interest as our highest priority. We also help young adults with spina bifida transition from a pediatric to adult care team.

We see patients on the first Tuesday of every month.

Providers

  • Pediatric Neurosurgery

    Biography

    Bruce Cherny, MD specializes in neurosurgical consultation and education for skull, brain, and spinal tumors; craniosynostosis; congenital malformations of the skull, brain, and spinal cord; hydrocephalus; spina bifida and tethered spinal cords; Chiari malformations; vascular malformations of the brain and spinal cord; and traumatic brain, spine, and spinal cord injury. He has expertise in image-guided frameless stereotaxy, minimally invasive techniques, and advanced, complex endoscopic procedures.

    Dr. Cherny has held many leadership positions at St. Luke's and currently serves as a member of the St. Luke's Children's Hospital executive team and the pediatric trauma task force. He is also currently surgeon in chief at St. Luke's Children's Hospital and the chair of the St. Luke's Children's surgical committee.

    Dr. Cherny began his practice as an assistant professor of neurosurgery at Arkansas Children's Hospital. He spent eight years in academic neurosurgery, both in Arkansas and at the Barrow Institute in Phoenix, before coming to Boise to develop the pediatric neurosurgical program for Idaho. In addition to his medical education, Dr. Cherny holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Stanford University. 

    Dr. Cherny and his wife are the proud parents of five grown children. In their free time, they enjoy Idaho’s great outdoors as often as they are able – biking, skiing and exploring the Boise Greenbelt with their dogs.

    Availability

    Accepting new patients
  • Biography

    Mitzi Cieslak, NP-C is certified by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. She has special interest in all aspects of pediatric care. She earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Seattle University and her master’s degree in nursing, family nurse practitioner, from Gonzaga University.

    Availability

    Accepting new patients
    • St. Luke's Health Partner
      St. Luke's Health Partner

      These providers work together to achieve patient-centered care, using proven best practices to offer better care to you and your family.

  • Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine

    Biography

    Erin M. Conlee, MD specializes in the rehabilitation and management of children with traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries, concussion, neuromuscular disorders (such as cerebral palsy and spina bifida), and an array of musculoskeletal conditions. She has a particular interest in oncology-related impairments and conditions. She also offers spasticity management with pediatric baclofen pumps or injections (botulinum toxin, phenol) as well as injections to reduce oral secretions. She serves as medical director for St. Luke's Children's Rehabilitation.

    Dr. Conlee works to maximize quality of life and restore optimal functioning to patients through working with a multidisciplinary team of therapists and ancillary providers. She is passionate about caring for children and young adults, striving to meet needs across a variety of conditions and health care settings.

    Dr. Conlee is active with the American Academy of Cerebral Palsy and has served as chair of their adaptive sports and recreation committee. She has also volunteered with the Challenged Athletes Foundation and Special Olympics. 

    Dr. Conlee earned her undergraduate degree in biology and chemistry at Northwest Nazarene University, where she also played Division II basketball. After medical school at University of California, San Diego, she completed her residency and fellowship at the Mayo Clinic, serving as chief resident at Mayo Clinic Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. While in Minnesota, she also developed an adaptive rock climbing program for local kids and teens.

    In her free time, Dr. Conlee loves spending time with her husband and their two sons, ideally in the mountains.

    Availability

    Accepting new patients
  • Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine

    Biography

    Samantha Cragg, MD treats children with disabilities to improve their quality of life and help them become as functionally independent as possible. She treats a wide variety of conditions such as cerebral palsy, spina bifida, spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, neuromuscular disorders and genetic conditions. Dr. Cragg ensures her patients receive appropriate therapies, bracing and equipment, as well as access to new neuromuscular medications as they are approved by the FDA. She also specializes in tone management, including oral medications, botulinum toxin injections and intrathecal baclofen pump management. She is passionate about treating children with neuromuscular disorders and enjoys building relationships with her patients and their families.

    Dr. Cragg completed her medical training at Mercer University School of Medicine followed by an internship year in internal medicine at Memorial Health Hospital. She then completed her residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of California, Irvine, where she was elected chief resident. Next, Dr. Cragg completed fellowship training in pediatric rehabilitation medicine at Children’s Mercy Kansas City, remaining on staff afterward as an attending physician, serving as assistant medical director of the Muscle and Nerve Clinic, and leading monthly multidisciplinary neuromuscular meetings. At St. Luke's, Dr. Cragg serves as medical director for St. Luke’s Children's Muscular Dystrophy Clinic.

    In her free time, Dr. Cragg enjoys biking, hiking, running, paddle boarding, and exploring Idaho with her husband and two children.

    Availability

    Accepting new patients
  • Pediatric Urology

    Biography

    Michele Ebbers, MD specializes in all aspects of pediatric urology including hypospadias, undescended testicles, hydronephrosis, UTIs, voiding dysfunction, and spina bifida. She has special interest in reconstructive surgery and minimally invasive surgery. She takes special pride in getting to know her patients and their families, in order to provide individualized care and treatment options.

    Dr. Ebbers completed her pediatric urology fellowship at University of California at San Francisco, and has been practicing exclusively in pediatric urology in a variety of settings since then. She is board certified in both urology and pediatric urology. She currently serves as medical director of St. Luke's Children's Urology.

    SURGICAL SPECIALTIES

    • Robotic partial nephrectomy
    • Robotic nephrectomy
    • Robotic uretero-ureterostomy
    • Robotic pyeloplasty
    • Robotic ureteral reimplantation
    • Ureteral reimplantation
    • Deflux
    • Hypospadias repair
    • Bladder augmentation
    • MACE

    Availability

    Accepting new patients
    • St. Luke's Health Partner
      St. Luke's Health Partner

      These providers work together to achieve patient-centered care, using proven best practices to offer better care to you and your family.

    • Specialties, Conditions & Treatments

  • Pediatric Urology

    Biography

    Kara Saperston, MD is a board certified, fellowship trained pediatric urologist with expertise in minimally invasive and robotic surgery and the management of complex congenital anomalies and pediatric cancers of the kidneys, bladder, and external genitalia. She helped start the St. Luke's Children's Bowel and Bladder Clinic and will be helping initiate a multispecialty clinic to treat children born with complex genital anatomy. Her interests include treatment of hypospadias, urogenital sinus, posterior urethral valves, vesicoureteral reflux, undescended testicles, neurogenic bladder, bladder exstrophy, repair of a urogenital sinus, and urinary incontinence.

    Dr. Saperston has a passion for patient care and initially worked in Boise as a general urologist with an interest in pediatric urology. She recently extended her training by completing a fellowship in pediatric urology at the University of California, San Francisco, so that she could care for pediatric patients exclusively.

    SURGICAL SPECIALTIES

    • Robotic partial nephrectomy
    • Robotic nephrectomy
    • Robotic uretero-ureterostomy
    • Robotic pyeloplasty
    • Robotic ureteral reimplantation
    • Ureteral reimplantation
    • Deflux
    • Hypospadias repair
    • Vaginoplasty/clitoroplasty
    • Bladder augmentation
    • MACE
    • Laparoscopic MACE

    Availability

    Accepting new patients
    • St. Luke's Health Partner
      St. Luke's Health Partner

      These providers work together to achieve patient-centered care, using proven best practices to offer better care to you and your family.

    • Specialties, Conditions & Treatments

  • Pediatric Orthopedics

    Biography

    Larry "Buzz" Showalter, MD is trained in all facets of children's orthopedic care including trauma and fractures; complex upper and lower extremity deformity; and neuromuscular, congenital, and other developmental disorders. He frequently manages conditions such as clubfoot, hip dysplasia, skeletal dysplasia, limb-length discrepancy, and growth plate injuries/arrests. His goal is to maximize quality of life for his patients.

    Dr. Showalter has special interest in prevention of early onset hip osteoarthritis through improved diagnostics for developmental hip dysplasia.

    Dr. Showalter serves as medical director for pediatric orthopedics at St. Luke's Children's. He is a member of the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America.

    In his free time, Dr. Showalter enjoys spending time outdoors with his wife and four grown sons. He loves to hike, camp, fly fish and play any competitive game.

    Availability

    Accepting new patients
  • Pediatric Gastroenterology

    Biography

    Cass R. Smith, MD is a pediatric gastroenterologist who sees a wide variety of pediatric patients. His areas of special interest include inflammatory bowel disease, diseases of the pancreas and liver, eosinophilic esophagitis, neurogenic bowel due to spina bifida, functional abdominal pain and constipation. He performs upper and lower endoscopy, including removal of polyps and control of bleeding, liver biopsies, removal of foreign bodies and care and maintenance of gastrostomy tubes. Dr. Smith asks for and respects input and decisions from children and their parents, supporting them in maintaining an active role in medical care.

    At St. Luke's, Dr. Smith has helped lead numerous quality improvement initiatives, working to standardize pediatric gastrointestinal (GI) care. He is also committed to advancing the quality of care throughout Idaho. He travels to Idaho Falls regularly to offer clinic visits and endoscopy to patients in eastern Idaho.   

    Dr. Smith completed his bachelor's degree in zoology at Brigham Young University. During medical school at the University of Nevada, Reno, he achieved special qualifications in nutrition and conducted research in natural killer and lymphokine-activated killer cell activity and antioxidants. He completed his residency in pediatrics at the combined University of Nebraska/Creighton University program and his fellowship in pediatric gastroenterology at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.  

    In his free time, Dr. Smith enjoys spending time with his wife and children, golfing, camping, hiking and fishing. He also enjoys woodworking and regularly submits pieces for auction at the annual St. Luke's Children’s Hospital fundraiser Kid for a Night.

    Availability

    Accepting new patients
  • Physical Therapy

    Biography

    Jill Steinmetz, MPT specializes in acute care pediatric physical therapy, including both in-patient and home care settings. She also works with children with cancer diagnoses, and serves on a multi-disciplinary team at a monthly spina bifida clinic. She currently serves as the clinical program coordinator for pediatric rehabilitation.

    Jill earned her bachelor's degree in exercise and sport science from the University of Wyoming, and her master's in physical therapy from the University of North Dakota. In her free time, she enjoys playing sports, hiking, mountain biking, and volunteering.

    Availability

    Accepting new patients
  • Pediatric Neurosurgery

    Biography

    Alexander Zouros, MD is board certified in pediatric and adult neurosurgery (ABPNS and ABNS) and is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. He developed an interest in childhood brain and spine surgery in medical school, and has extensive research experience in pediatric spine trauma and instrumentation and has taught courses in complex brain endoscopy. He completed a fellowship at the Children's Medical Center of Dallas and has served as an associate professor at Loma Linda University. Dr. Zouros was also the residency program director at Loma Linda, training residents and medical students in neurological surgery and his pediatric subspecialty.

    Dr. Zouros has volunteered on medical missions to the Middle East, bringing specialized pediatric neurosurgical services and cranio-facial reconstructive surgeries to underprivileged children.

    Availability

    Accepting new patients
    • St. Luke's Health Partner
      St. Luke's Health Partner

      These providers work together to achieve patient-centered care, using proven best practices to offer better care to you and your family.

    • Specialties, Conditions & Treatments

Access Your Mobile Medical Record Anytime, Anywhere

Sign up for a MyChart account today!

With MyChart, you’re able to view test results, contact your provider, request medication refills, schedule appointments and more. We encourage you to sign up for easy access to the tools and information you need to proactively manage your health. You can also set up online proxy access requests for medical records of children, spouses, or dependents.


There's also an easy-to-use MyChart app available for your mobile devices!

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