Pediatrician - Wall
3350 Highway 138 Building 2 Suite 126
Wall, NJ 07719

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Physicians | Staff

Meet our friendly, experienced pediatricians and staff at Stepping Stone Pediatrics! Our entire team is dedicated to helping you and your child feel at home from the moment you walk through the door. We’re proud to be members of your community and serve the needs of our children.

We pride ourselves in being an exceptional clinic where children come first. Our child-focused practice works hard to meet the needs of children from infancy through adolescence. Compassionate, knowledgeable and supportive staff is the cornerstone of Stepping Stone Pediatrics’s quality care. All of our pediatricians and medical staff are highly trained professionals, maintaining the highest level of accreditation in pediatrics to address the special needs of infants, children, and teens.

We strive to treat each and every patient as we would want our own children to be treated. Our doctors and staff look forward to building a relationship with you and your family.


Maria T. Micale, DO, FAAP

Dr. Micale was raised in Monmouth County. As a child and adolescent she attended public grammar school in West Long Branch and attended high school at Red Bank Catholic. Dr. Micale received her undergraduate degree from The University of Notre Dame before attending medical school at The College of Osteopathic Medicine in Des Moines, Iowa.

Dr. Micale returned to Monmouth County after medical school to complete her training. She attended Monmouth Medical Center's pediatric residency program and also served as their chief pediatric resident.  

Dr. Micale was able to achieve her lifetime dream of running her own medical practice when she opened Stepping Stone Pediatrics in January 2004.  She also runs a busy household with her husband , Vinnie, and their three grammar school aged children and two dogs. 

A common question that Dr. Micale is asked is "What do the letters after your name mean?"

The "FAAP" means "Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics". This designates that I have completed the appropriate training and passed the board of pediatrics examinations.

 The "DO" stands for doctor of osteopathic medicine. A DO is a fully qualified physician licensed to perform surgery and prescribe medication in all 50 states. DO's complete four years of basic medical education as well as a residency in the specialty of their choice. DO's and MD's must also pass the same state licensing examinations. DO's, however, do bring something extra special to medicine:

Osteopathic medical schools emphasize training students to be primary care physicians, such as pediatricians, family practitioners, and Ob/Gyn's.

DO's practice a "whole person" approach to medicine. Instead of just treating specific symptoms or illnesses, they assess the overall health of their patients including home and work environments. Osteopathic physicians also focus on preventive health care.

For further information on doctors of osteopathic medicine please see this web link:


Alexander Liwag, MD

Dr. Liwag, or Dr. Alex as he called by his patients, was born in the Philippines but was raised in New Jersey since he was toddler.  He attended grammar school in Jersey City, but then graduated high school from Marlboro High School right here in Monmouth County.   Dr. Alex also attended Villanova University in Pennsylvania where he received a Bachelor of Science in Biology.

Dr. Alex returned back to his homeland and attended St. Louis University College of Medicine in Baguio City, Philippines, where he graduated in the top 25% of his class.  He was able to return back to Monmouth County with his family to complete his pediatric residency training at Monmouth Medical Center.  Since completing his training in 2005 he has been happily working here at Stepping Stone Pediatrics.

Dr. Alex and his wife Jenny have two children and live in Monmouth County.  



Cathy Schaad
Office Manager/Billing and Insurance

Cathy is a graduate of Wall High School and attended OCC and Georgian Court College. She has been in medical office management since 1992.  Cathy was excited to participate in the establishment of Stepping Stone Pediatrics in 2004.  She takes pride in belonging to local medical office manager organizations and attending their seminars as a way to enhance our practice. She is always willing to assist our parents with any questions, concerns or insurance and billing issues. 

Cathy and her husband live in Ocean County with their two teenaged daughters and their family pet beagle. 


Holly Friedman   

CMA  (Certified medical assistant)                                                     

Holly grew up in Northern Jersey and obtained her medical 

assistant degree in 2003.  She relocated to Ocean County and joined the Stepping Stone Pediatrics team in 2006.  She enjoys spending time with friends and family and relaxing at home with her cat Leo. 








Judith Ludwig - Receptionist


Judy was raised in northern New Jersey and moved to Virginia to start her family.She returned to Sussex County, NJ to raise her two children and then relocated to Ocean County to be near her grandchildren.

Judy is a versatile person who has worn many hats. She has been a receptionist for an orthodontist, a retail sales manager, as well as a horseshoe salesperson. She joined the Stepping Stone Pediatrics team in 2012.
Judy enjoys spending time with her grandchild and gardening.






Jen Johansen APN 

Jen was raised in Monmouth County. As a child she attended private school, and as an adolescent she attended public grammar school and high school in Holmdel. Jen received her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from New Jersey City University and her Master's degree as a Family Nurse Practitioner from Rutgers University where she graduated with honors. Jen is board certified through the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners as a Family Nurse Practitioner. Prior to coming to Stepping Stone Pediatrics, Jen was an Assistant Nurse Manager of a Medical/Surgical, Oncology, Neurology and Pediatric EEG unit for several years. Jen is a member of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society, and the Oncology Nursing Society. Jen also holds a national certification as an Oncology Nurse through Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation (ONCC). 

Jen and her husband Chris have two children and live in Monmouth County. Jen is looking forward to meeting all of the families at Stepping Stone Pediatrics!



Kristin Luparella CMA


Kristin graduated from American Institute with her CMA certificate in 2015. She currently lives in Ocean County and joined Stepping Stone Pediatrics in 2017. Kristin is mom to a 2 year old and a 1 year old as well as her beagle and pitbull.

Please contact us with any questions or concerns!

Choosing a pediatrician is an important and personal decision and we want you to feel at ease with the care you and your child will receive.

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Questions or Comments?
We encourage you to contact us whenever you have an interest about our services.

Call 732-280-6455

3350 Highway 138 Building 2 Suite 126,
Wall, NJ 07719