Our Providers

Stephen Wells, MD

I grew up in Southern California, moved to Louisiana where I received my college education and medical school training, and moved back to complete my specialty training in Obstetrics & Gynecology at Los Angeles County / USC Medical Center. After a four-year stint working at the busiest university hospital in the country, I moved my beautiful wife to raise our daughters here in God’s country in the East Bay. Our intention was permanent residence in this wonderful area.

I knew exactly what I was getting into when I decided to go into Obstetrics & Gynecology. My dad was an OB/GYN in Long Beach, CA. I vaguely remember as a child hearing the garage door open at about 2 a.m. and his car starting up and driving away to the hospital to deliver another baby. I didn’t think much of his sleep deprivation as I rolled over and drifted back to sleep. In medical school, I spent 3 years wanting to go into Family Medicine.  One of the last rotations in my third year convinced me to forever change the direction of my life. When I completed my rotation in Obstetrics & Gynecology, I understood why my dad enjoyed his career so much. After that wonderful experience, I applied to various OB/GYN residencies around the country. My desire, however, was to move back to California. Ten days before I was to marry my wife, I learned that I had been accepted to Los Angeles County / USC Medical Center which meant four years of grueling residency training. Thankfully, she still married me…

I have been in practice in this area since 1994. I started in a partnership and moved into a group practice. After listening to patients who liked the care but didn’t like the big office atmosphere, my partners and I decided to divide the big group into 3 individual practices. In this way, our relationships with our patients would be improved and the office less hectic. I believe this change to have been a great benefit to our patients, and to our own families.

Although my practice is very busy, I try my hardest to give all of my patients the time that they really need. Unfortunately, this often causes me to run late. But sometimes comforting a woman recently diagnosed with a miscarriage or explaining what a woman’s prognosis is upon hearing of a newly diagnosed cancer takes longer than the typical amount of time in a routine time slot. Not all things encountered during routine exams are expected. The important thing is to provide what a patient needs.

The basis of my treatment and recommendations for the women I see in my practice is a blend of two things.  The first is based on what I have learned as a physician in the study of medicine. The second and probably most important is related to my thoughts of “based on what I know as a physician, what would I want for my wife, my daughter, or my mother if she were in this situation?”

I look forward to helping you stay healthy!

Stephen Wells, M.D.

Amanda Wall, CNM 

Certified Nurse Midwife

I was born and raised here in the Bay Area, in Piedmont, just through the tunnel. From a very early age, I always knew that I wanted to work in Women’s Health. I blame it on my mother taking me to a “young girls and their changing bodies” class at probably too young of age but am so thankful for it.

I always saw the benefit in women having the opportunity to educate themselves about their bodies and health. In high school, my junior and senior years, I voluntarily gave up my free period and asked to help teach the Freshmen Health Ed Class.

In college, I continued to look for ways to expand my knowledge and discover my love for medicine and health education. I attended Washington University in Saint Louis as an undergraduate and worked as a campus EMT and a patient educator at Planned Parenthood.

After college, while working for the Red Cross, I knew that Women’s health was my calling and explored all my options of how to incorporate it in my life. Having been on a pre-med track, I had never really considered being a nurse practitioner, or, like many, heard of a midwife.

It was not until I learned what a certified nurse-midwife is, that I knew it was what I was meant to do. I discovered a career that would end up being the best decision of my life. I found a way in which I would be able to combine my passion for medicine, science, and health while getting to incorporate patient education.

I moved to New York City to pursue my midwifery studies. I attended Columbia University where I obtained my second bachelor’s in nursing and my master’s in Midwifery. Upon graduating, I took a position at Coney Island Hospital in Brooklyn, NY. This busy city hospital gave me more experiences than I could have ever dreamed of. Talk about being thrown into the deep end of the pool! But I loved every second of it. I had the chance to work with people of many different backgrounds and many different levels of care. In my three and a half years there, I had the opportunity to deliver some of my patients’ second and even third babies, while on other days, I had deliveries in the hospital lobby of people walking in off the street with no prenatal care and denying they were pregnant. It was an amazing place.

However, after seven years in New York, I felt it was time to come back home and be closer to my family. I was blessed enough to cross paths with Dr. Wells in the most unexpected way- on FaceTime! My sister was delivering her second baby and I missed flying out for it by a day. But not wanting to miss out, or be there for her, I was able to participate via the wonders of technology. After chatting with Dr. Wells during her delivery, I then met him the next day in Postpartum and we hit it off. I learned more about the practice and philosophy and knew it would be a great fit. A few months later, I found myself back on the west coast and joining an incredible practice.

I love that I am now in a place where I can provide each patient with, literally, the care I would want for my sister. I aim to provide an environment that is supportive and relaxed, and where one feels that all their concerns are heard and their questions answered. I pride myself on educating my patients, so they can be active participants in their care.

I feel blessed that I truly love what I do. I get to be a part of such a joyous and life-changing event in so many peoples’ lives. Getting to be present at that moment, when a patient goes from being a woman to being a mom, is something I treasure on a daily basis.

Nicole Knight, CNM

Certified Nurse Midwife

I grew up in Benicia and during high school, I was fascinated with science and physiology. At 16, I was able to watch my cousin’s birth and I knew then, that pregnancy and birth were something I wanted to learn more about. I attended the University of California, Davis with a major in Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior.  During that time I took a direct-entry midwifery course with a licensed midwife.  Although I desired to give holistic care, my strong science background lead me to desire a deeper foundation through education. For that reason, I pursued a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing at the University of Arizona.  While I chose all of my elective rotations in labor and delivery and enjoyed them immensely, I spent some time in the Emergency Room and was hooked- the frenzied pace, the critical care aspect of patient care, and the advanced skill set. Thinking I would start in the ER for a year, then move on to midwifery, I went from Tucson Medical Center to Cedars Sinai in Los Angeles, then finally to John Muir in Walnut Creek. For over 17 years, I have thrived as an Emergency Room/Trauma Nurse.  From charge nursing for 9 years, Hazmat Training, certification as a pediatric emergency nurse, teaching emergency pediatric care, Mobile Intensive Care Nursing, and all the certifications I could acquire, I loved ER nursing and guiding the care of my patients through their most vulnerable and often times traumatic moments.

The underlying burning passion for pregnancy and birth, however, never left.  When my own pregnancy turned high risk, I realized the importance of compassionate care with providers who listened, honored, and prioritized my needs along with the safety of myself and my baby. 

With that backdrop and with the support of my family, my daughter, Ayla, and my John Muir family of 15 years, I pursued my Master’s Degree at Frontier Nursing University to become a Certified Nurse Midwife.  I aim to provide compassionate, evidence-based care; I enjoy teaching my families, with a special interest in safe, low-intervention birth and intrapartum mental health.  I feel blessed to have joined this renowned practice and look forward to sharing in the journey of parenthood and pregnancy with my patients.  

In my free time, I love traveling or doing crafts with my daughter, camping, hiking, yoga, kayaking, playing with my German Shepard, Athena, two cats, and a snake…and maybe someday, I’ll write that novel I planned out years ago!


Gabbie Perko Esteban, CNM 

Certified Nurse Midwife

Gabriella Perko Esteban MS, BSN, CNM, WHNP-BC, CLEC

Gabbie is a Certified Nurse-Midwife and Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner who was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She studied nursing at Gonzaga University and worked as a labor and delivery nurse for 6 years at USC Arcadia in Southern California and John Muir Walnut Creek. She then received a Master’s in Science from Georgetown University’s Certified Nurse Midwife and Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner Program.

As a Midwife and Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner Gabbie sees patients throughout the lifespan from teens through menopause. She has a special interest not only in catching babies but also teen health and sexual dysfunction. She believes in holistic, patient centered, and evidence-based care for all of her patients.

Gabbie spends her free time with her husband and two dogs. They love to be outside hiking and camping. In their time off you are likely to find them up in Tahoe.

Monica Gardner, NP

Nurse Practitioner

I was born right here in Walnut Creek, at John Muir Medical Center, and grew up in the Alamo/Danville area. After graduating high school, I attended Pepperdine University in beautiful Malibu, California, and received my Bachelors of Science in Sports Medicine, with a pre-med emphasis. I always knew, even as a child, I wanted a career in the medical field. However, it was not until after graduation, and a lot of research and soul-searching, that I realized I wanted to become a nurse practitioner.

After reading about the profession and having wonderful experiences with nurse practitioners as a patient, I realized this was the perfect career for me. It would afford me both the opportunity to provide comprehensive, high-quality medical care, and the flexibility to live a happy and fulfilling family life. As much as I love what I do, there is nothing I love more than spending time with my husband and our wonderful little girl.

With this new career path in mind, I began a nursing program at Samuel Merritt University in Oakland. It was during the RN rotations that I fell in love with Labor and Delivery. There is nothing more gratifying than being with and providing care to people during one of the most exciting, memorable, emotional, and life-changing experiences they will ever have- becoming a parent. After graduating from nursing school in 2006, I was fortunate enough to receive a job offer in Labor and Delivery at John Muir. It is because of the love of what I do that I am still working there as a Labor and Delivery Nurse 3 days a week.

While working in labor and delivery, I began a nurse practitioner program, and three years later received my Masters of Science in Nursing as a Family Nurse Practitioner. With my L&D experience, I chose to focus my clinical training in Obstetrics and Gynecology, which has led me to where I am today. I enjoy working in an OBGYN practice because it allows me to work with women of all ages, through many pivotal times in their lives, such as adolescence, pregnancy, menopause, and beyond. It also allows me to form more lasting relationships with my patients and follow them throughout the course of their lives. I especially love when I get to see a couple throughout their pregnancy and then have the opportunity to care for them during their labor and delivery experience.

I feel so fortunate to have joined this wonderful practice, which is committed to providing the highest quality patient care in a kind and compassionate manner. It is my goal that my patients will feel comfortable discussing their questions and concerns, and leave feeling confident in and satisfied with the care they received.

Courtney Sepic, NP

Nurse Practitioner