Violet Shimek is Petersburg Medical Center’s Laboratory Manager and has been since August of 2020. Born in Arizona, Violet’s Alaskan journey began in Anchorage when her family first arrived in the state during her childhood. Before joining us in Petersburg, she had lived in Nome. When the opportunity to join PMC arose during the summer, Violet embraced it, knowing another harsh Nome winter was on the horizon. 

After studying Biochemistry and Molecular Biology for her undergraduate degree, her desire to travel and pursue medical studies led her to Poland, where she spent four more years. It was during her time in a research lab there that she discovered her true passion for laboratory work. Consequently, she returned to Anchorage and enrolled in a Med Tech program. For her clinical experience, she relocated to Nome, where she swiftly rose to the position of lab manager within a year. After nearly three years in Nome, she made the transition to Petersburg.

The most exciting part of the job for Violet are the opportunities to collaborate with her colleagues and train her staff in various areas, including new testing techniques and the intricacies of the fifteen pieces of equipment that laboratory personnel must know, inside and out. Being able to help individuals advance their education and careers has been one of the highlights of her time here. However, she acknowledges that along with excitement, there are challenges, particularly when it comes to handling mandatory and vital paperwork, which Violet admits can be excessive and seemingly never-ending.

When not working in the lab, Violet loves to spend quality time with her family: her husband Michael and their nearly one-year-old son, Jack, along with their two dogs, Bones who is a Tamaskan Border Collie, and Roo, a Chiweenie. Michael is a photographer and during their off time they enjoy going on long drives around the island to explore the natural beauty of our region.