February Community Newsletter
Petersburg Medical Center Newsletter
PMC Live on KFSK in February featured Bailey Koebernick, Speech Therapist; Elizabeth Bacom, Lab/Radiology Manager; and Phil Hofstetter, CEO.
CEO Phil Hofstetter discussing health care technology at the February Community Cafe.
Elizabeth Bacom, Lab/ Radiology Manager conducting hearing screenings.
▲ Bailey Koebernick, Speech Therapist conducting hearing screenings.
▲Phil Hofstetter, CEO conducting hearing screenings.
 Hearing screenings, Community Cafe and Medicaid concerns
HEARING SCREENINGS FOR KIDS All Petersburg elementary students were screened for hearing loss during school visits by Petersburg Medical Center (PMC) staff on Jan. 31 and Feb. 7.

Lab/radiology manager Elizabeth Bacom and speech therapist Bailey Koebernick teamed up with me to conduct the testing.

The hearing screening is quick and easy. The machine does all the work by taking measurements of the inside of the ear and then telling us "pass" or "fail." We returned on Wednesday, Feb. 20, to give more thorough screenings to students who didn't pass the initial screening, and referred them on for needed care.

HIGH TECH COMMUNITY CAFE This month's Community Cafe took place at PMC on Tuesday, Feb. 5. I discussed the different models in healthcare and technology. You can find my presentation on the PMC website . The PMC staff gave an overview of what we currently use at the hospital. Participants got to observe and try out the pathology microscope, portable imaging unit and a video with our doctors. Look for another community cafe in April.

EMPLOYEES HONORED PMC employees who have been with us for five, ten, 15, 20 or 30 years were honored at an annual longevity luncheon on Friday, Feb. 15. We celebrated milestone anniversaries for Tekla Israelson(20), Grazel Edfelt(5), Kaitlin DuRoss(5), Dr. Alan Gross(5), Bessie Johnson(5), Kari Peterson(5) and Chad Wright(5). Congratulations to these staff!

MEDICAID FUNDING CONCERNS I am closely watching developments related to Medicaid expansion in Alaska. The governor’s proposed budget could have very negative consequences for PMC. Governor Mike Dunleavy wants to lower the state’s portion of Medicaid funding by more than one third. PMC has been working with its leadership team to evaluate the impacts. At this point it is difficult to determine the impact until the details of the cuts are revealed. There are many other aspects of the proposed budget that could cause hardship in the community and PMC. I am advocating on PMC’s behalf in Juneau and will share updates as they develop.

— Phil Hofstetter, CEO, PMC
Foundation approves PMC staff scholarship requests
The Petersburg Medical Center Foundation Board met this month for our February 7 meeting. The foundation was proud to approve all employee requests for further education, as follows:

  • Belinda Chase will be taking classes for a certification from the American Association of Professional Coders.
  • Tara Burns will travel for a weekend intensive to be certified as a driving rehabilitation specialist.
  • Tara Burns, Bradee Axmaker and Bailey Koebernick will participate in online training in neuroscience and self-regulation techniques for kids with autism, ADHD & sensory disorders.
  • Grazel Edfelt will travel for a week long course to become a certified healthcare environmental services technician.

We are so excited for all of our employees and wish them the best of luck in their training.

The Foundation's next meeting will be March 26 to plan the annual meeting in April.

To donate to the PMC Foundation, click HERE.
Tara Burns, Occupational Therapist, and Bradee Axmaker, Physical Therapist.
▲Grazel Edfelt, Environmental Services manager.
Stay active, stay healthy!
Take advantage of lunchtime fitness activities at Parks and Rec!
Circuit Training: Tuesdays & Thursdays 11am-12noon
•  Yoga: Thursdays 12:15-1pm
Spin Bike: Tuesdays & Thursdays 1-2pm

WAVE wellness classes meet at the Community Center from 10am-12pm the first Saturday of every month.
Saturday, March 2: Jewelry Crafting
Radiology tech happy to call Petersburg home
Sonja Paul knew from the time she was in high school that she wanted to pursue a degree within the medical field and always found X-ray to be the most intriguing.

She was accepted into Boise State University and left for college in late summer 2007. During her time in the X-ray program at Boise State, she fell in love with ultrasound.

Sonja graduated in 2012 with a degree in radiology, specializing in ultrasound. She can also perform mammograms, X-rays and CT (computed tomography) scans.

Sonja was awarded a Norma J Tenjford Scholarship from the PMC Foundation Board in 2009. In return, she agreed to come back and work for PMC for four years.

But when Sonja moved home in 2012 after graduation, she wasn't sure she was ready for Petersburg to be home again. It wasn't until 2014 when she met Carson Paul that she knew Petersburg was going to be home for good. Carson and Sonja tied the knot in September 2017, and expect their first child this August.

Sonja, Carson and their dog love anything outdoors. They go camping, hiking and up the river frequently. Sonja also loves to dance. She danced through her younger years and still joins a group to dance every so often.

Sonja has been working for PMC for six and half years and has been the radiology lead for a year. Sonja's favorite part of the job is her time interacting with patients.

"It can be tough because we do work with patients who are typically sick," Sonja said. "But there are also the times when we get to give patients good news and enjoy the happy times."

Sonja is glad to be working at PMC, and can't think of a better place to call home!
▲Carson and Sonja Paul on one of their many adventures.
"Sonja is a professional and confident. She made me feel at ease during my ultrasounds and x-rays. She truly excels at all aspects of her job and I am proud to call her my friend."
-Olivia Reid

▲Olivia Reid and Sonja Paul at Sonja's wedding
Janna Machalek, Activities Coordinator, and resident Tom Carpenter at a spring picnic at Sandy Beach.
Kim Simbahon, Activities Assistant, and Ray Olsen, LTC resident.
Grace Bieber, Activities Assistant, and Ken Hagerman, LTC resident, greeting visitors.
Activities Department staff brings fun and meaning to residents
The Petersburg Medical Center Activities Department is made up of four employees: Janna Machalek, Activities Coordinator, and three activities assistants: Kim Simbahon, Max Craske and Grace Bieber.

These staff members fill the residents' days with activities that bring meaning to their lives and provide interaction with friends, families, staff and community members. The program allows residents to continue doing what they did prior to their time in LTC and introduces new experiences.

The Activities Department coordinates visits by pets, and by musicians who come to sing or play an instrument. They also plan, lead and participate in bingo, games of dice, morning stretches, baking and reading time. A weekly outing to the community pool lets residents go for a swim. Two weekly van rides get residents around town and out the road. On these rides, Kim, their driver, often stops to grab the residents hot chocolate or ice cream for the road.

Every month, activities staff meet with the resident council to find out what the residents enjoyed the previous month and what they would like to see in the upcoming month.

Between leading and participating in events, Activities Department staff are always looking ahead to coordinate the following month's birthday and holiday parties, inviting families and friends to come celebrate with the LTC residents.

Once celebrations are planned, the staff help our residents look their best at the parties by making sure they all have haircuts or their favorite hair style, manicures and pedicures, and fresh makeup for the women of LTC.

Max Craske, Activities Assistant
Parties, games and young visitors keep things lively at LTC
The residents have been busy since ringing in the new year, despite the snowy weather.

In January, they enjoyed a Super Bowl party, a luau-themed happy hour, basketball games, live music and a potato bar with all the fixings.

In February, residents enjoyed a Valentine’s Day visit from the kids of Serendipity Children’s Center. The Pioneers of Alaska came and hosted their annual ice cream social for residents, with banana splits and live music. Residents honored local human rights activists on Elizabeth Peratrovich day with a documentary and fry bread.

They look forward to March and the warmer weather ahead! 
▲ Childcare center Serendipity brought some of their kids over to LTC to pass out Valentine's Day cards.
▲ LTC Resident Ray Dugaqua celebrating Valentine's Day with a young visitor.
Petersburg Medical Center | 907-772-4291 | pmcweb@pmc-health.org