Petersburg Medical Center Newsletter
▲ Jamie Lambert, RN, sports a flowered hand made mask.

▲ Kelly Davis, ward clerk and certified nurse assistant, adding a pop of color to her wardrobe with a bright green mask.
NEWSLETTER BANNER PHOTO: Kelly Zweifel, dietitian and wellness coordinator, camping and hiking with her family at Cascade Creek in Thomas Bay. Outdoor activities with family are a great way to have fun while social distancing!
PMC working to protect community from COVID-19
ELECTRONIC SCREENING: Petersburg Medical Center screens all staff entering the facility. To make screening quicker and more private, we are launching online screening. Each employee logs onto a website to answer screening questions before going to work. If the employee fails the screening, they will get a message to stay home and call the COVID hotline. Those who pass screening can come into the facility, where their temperature will be checked as an added precaution.

ASYMPTOMATIC TESTING: Since asymptomatic carriers have been identified as a source for outbreaks in long-term care facilities, PMC Long Term Care took the proactive step to screen all its residents and staff for COVID-19 this month. No one had symptoms of COVID-19. Specimens were sent to a commercial lab for the most sensitive testing method, and all results that have returned are negative. We hope to expand asymptomatic testing to essential workers in the community and other groups as supplies become available.

COVID-19 HOTLINE: Think you’re experiencing COVID-19 symptoms? Please call our COVID-19 hotline number, 907-772-5788 , to speak with a medical professional. You’ll be advised as to whether you should come to the drive-through station for testing. 

STAY INFORMED: We share frequent COVID-19 updates with the community.
  • Tune in to KFSK every Friday at 12:30pm for COVID-19 information.
  • We provide the latest hospital updates on our Facebook page: 
  • Check the COVID-19 Information Hub website, our unified command page with the Borough:
  • Check our website for updates as well:

Please continue to stay home, stay safe!

— Phil Hofstetter, CEO, PMC
PMC Foundation Board meets online to take care of business
The Petersburg Medical Center Foundation Board met on Wednesday, May 6. Their agenda was short but discussions were long. If you are a member of the foundation, be on the lookout in the upcoming weeks for a newsletter in place of the usual in-person annual meeting.

PADDLE BATTLE IS ON! The board discussed how to host its 2020 Paddle Battle despite the COVID-19 pandemic, and decided to shorten the race this year, starting at Pakpes and ending at Scow Bay. The Paddle Battle will be June 20. Look for details in the coming weeks on our website and Facebook page. Want to volunteer as a safety boat this year? Please email [email protected].

SCHOLARSHIPS AWARDED: The Foundation also reviewed applications for the $1,000 Petersburg Medical Center Foundation Scholarship, and chose four recipients.
  • Brooklyn Dormer
  • Meghyn Parker
  • Jolyn Toyomura
  • Maddy Whitethorn

All applicants were outstanding. The board congratulates all graduating seniors and wishes them the best of luck as they pursue plans for the future.
▲ Meeting online is the new normal—even for the PMC Foundation Board. Clockwise from upper left: Liz Bacom, vice president; Kelsey Lambe, foundation coordinator; Sarah Holmgrain, alternate; Sue Paulson, president; Darlene Whitethorn, director; and Phil Hofstetter, director. Kathi Riemer, director, was unable to attend.
▲ Together, we ve got this! Be part of our Petersburg Goes the Distance event.
Join the challenge and help Petersburg go the distance in June!
This month’s Community Healthy Series event is a miles challenge, and we’re all in this together. Run, walk and/or bike a minimum of 7 miles each week to be entered to win gift certificates to local businesses.

The challenge starts Monday, June 1, and will go until Sunday, June 28. Together let’s log our population in miles!

To log your miles every Sunday, head over to or the PMC Facebook page.
From receptionist to radiology assistant, PMC staffer builds career
Petersburg Medical Center is a great place to build a career in health care. Liz Thomas is living proof.

Born and raised in North Pole, Liz earned an associate degree in office management from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 2003. She worked as a receptionist at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital’s long-term care center until 2008. Then, ready for a new adventure, she packed her bags for Petersburg and landed a job as clinic receptionist at Petersburg Medical Center.

Little did she know she would fall in love and make Petersburg home.

After three years as clinic receptionist, Liz received nursing assistant certification and was hired as a medical assistant in the clinic. The job involved working directly with clinic patients, taking medical histories and recording vital signs while also handling administrative tasks.

In 2018, a radiology assistant position came open. Ready for a change of pace and wanting to stay at PMC, Liz took a leap of faith, applied for the position, and was hired. She then completed an 11-credit online occupational endorsement program in limited radiography through the University of Alaska Anchorage.

Using her new knowledge and skills, Liz performs x-rays, CT scans, and DEXA scans (to measure bone density) for clinic and emergency room patients. Between seeing patients she also preregisters scheduled patients, handles insurance authorizations, cleans rooms, and stocks linens and supplies. 

Liz really enjoys her new job. She has always had a passion for working with patients and is glad that her switch to the Radiology Department involves patient interactions. She also loves learning about and using the department’s high-tech machines. To expand her skills and responsibilities further, Liz plans to start pursing an associate degree in radiologic technology in the next couple of years.

Liz met her future husband, Nyle, in December 2009. He tracked down Liz’s phone number and invited her on a dog walk date. “He borrowed his parents’ dog for the date,” Liz remembers. Three days later, Liz asked Nyle to be her date to the PMC Christmas Party—and the rest is history. Liz and Nyle celebrated their six-year anniversary on May 31.

Liz, Nyle, and their daughter Sophia enjoy walks, hikes and any kind of outdoor adventure.
▲ Liz Thomas, her husband Nyle, and their daughter Sophia.

▲ Liz, Nyle, Sophia, and a special visitor.
▲ Several PMC receptionists were part of the clinic team that wore pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month last fall. Front, from left: Dr. Cortney Hess, Dr. Jennifer Hyer, Jessica Franklin, medical assistant; Kari Baekkelund, receptionist; Kari Petersen, referral coordinator; Kim Randrup, receptionist. Back: Dr. Mark Tuccillo; Lena Odegard, RN; Shenna Canton, receptionist; and Becky Pilcher, receptionist.
Receptionists keep patient care flowing at Joy Jannsen Clinic
The staff members who greet you with big smiles when you enter the Joy Janssen Clinic at Petersburg Medical Center make up our wonderful receptionist crew:

  • Rebecca Pilcher, clinic receptionist lead
  • Kari Baekkelund, receptionist
  • Kimberley Randrup, receptionist
  • Alayna Fitts, receptionist
  • Abbey Hardie, receptionist
  • Rashele Wilsonoff, referrel follow-up coordinator/clinic medical records

But our clinic receptionists are more than smiling faces. Their work ensures that patient care keeps humming. Their duties include:

  • Greeting patients, ensuring timely patient flow, and providing patients and visitors with information and directions to other parts of the facility as needed.
  • Handling all admission and registration paperwork. This includes entering insurance information into the computer, updating patient and insurance information as needed, and obtaining consent for each patient visit. 
  • Scheduling appointment times based on information from the patient. 
  • Checking insurance eligibility through the electronic medical records (EMR) system for each scheduled appointment. 
  • Inputting each patient’s chief complaint into the EMR. 
  • Answering the phone and forwarding calls or sending communications via EMR system to the appropriate staff.
  • Helping medical records staff with release of information requests for records, or passing requests on to the appropriate medical records clerk.
  • Picking up and distributing daily facility mail.
  • Scanning medical records into the EMR. 
LTC staff get creative to keep residents happy despite isolation
Normally at this time of year we would have a slew of stories to share about kid visits, Mayfest festivities, and summer picnics. But with current precautions limiting socialization, we’ve had to get creative to help the residents stay active—physically, mentally and socially.

For Mother’s Day the kitchen made cupcakes to honor the residents who are mothers. The residents enjoyed talking on the phone, video chatting and reading messages of love from family.

Sarah Hofstetter, who used to come in every Tuesday for sing-along, did video chats with the residents. They chatted and gave her their song requests to sing and either joined in or listened one-to-one!

When the weather is beautiful, residents have been able to go out to enjoy the fresh air, sunshine, and waves and smiles from friends and family passing by in cars.

Residents have been keeping busy reading the newspaper; doing balloon tosses, one-to-one puzzles and games; and contacting family members via video chat and phone. Residents are listening to audio books from the Petersburg Public Library and through a subscription to Audible, building a library that will inspire good literary discussions! Meanwhile, the Activities team has kept baked treats coming each week. For June, the resident council is planning an indoor “picnic” with yummy food and fun decorations.

We are excited to announce that Kim Robson, a massage therapist, is working with our activities team in the afternoons and evenings. Kim is a member of the Ragnarök Rollers roller derby league—she brought her skates one day to show the residents some of her fancy footwork. She fits right in with the team, and her creativity and positivity help keep the residents happy and busy!
▲ Carol Wallace, LTC resident, baking some cookies.

▲ Ray Olsen, LTC resident, working on puzzles.
Petersburg Medical Center | 907-772-4291 | [email protected]