Petersburg Medical Center Newsletter
▲ Kelsey Lambe, PMC public relations coordinator, with fiancé Trevor and their daughter Hayden at the 2020 tree lighting ceremony.
▲ Kaitlin DuRoss and her fiancé Josh cooking their turkey on Thanksgiving Day.
NEWSLETTER BANNER PHOTO: The walk behind the airport is beautiful. This little guy is hiding on a side trail.
With COVID cases climbing, take extra care this winter
COVID-19: Petersburg has had an increase in cases this past month, and we've seen a rise in cases, hospitalizations and deaths statewide. As we head into winter, with everyone spending more time indoors and more opportunities for illness, please remember that now is the time to take recommendations seriously: Social distance, mask, practice great hygiene, stay home if you're feeling ill, keep your social bubble small, and get tested.

RAPID TESTING: Petersburg Medical Center provides Rapid testing using rapid Cepheid cartridges to increase our capacity to test for COVID-19. Unfortunately, there is now a nationwide shortage of the needed individual test kits. With case numbers rising, the medical team at PMC has responded to the shortage by adjusting criteria for who gets a rapid test to ensure we maintain an adequate supply of test kits. 

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, STAY SAFE: 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:

— Phil Hofstetter, CEO, PMC
COVID-19 testing moves from drive-through tent to indoor site
Petersburg Medical Center has had a COVID-19 drive-through testing station located in front of the Business Office parking lot since March 24.

The tent was taken down Wednesday, November 25. Our COVID-19 Respiratory Clinic will now move into the Visiting Physicians Office located in the PMC Business Office parking lot.

Thank you to Icicle Seafoods for lending their tent and time. Thank you to Donald Spigelmyre, Martin Odegaard, Verne Craig and the Icicle crew for setting up and taking down the tent.
▲ For the past eight months, PMC has been using a tent lent by Icicle Seafoods for use as a drive-through COVID-19 testing site. Thank you to Donald Spigelmyre, Martin Odegaard, Verne Craig, and an Icicle Seafoods crew for setting up the tent in March, and taking it down on November 25.
Join our Holiday Hustle to bring smiles to care center residents
Dig out your holiday-themed clothing and join Petersburg Medical Center for Holiday Hustle!

The event, part of PMC's Community Healthy Series, starts at 10:00am on Saturday, December 19. Registration is free and opens at 9:45am.

Dress up to compete for fun prizes—Most Festive Costume, Best Group Costume, Ugliest Holiday Sweater—and to bring holiday cheer to residents at Long Term Care and Mountain View Manor.

The walk/run will start at the PMC Business Office parking lot. Participants will wave and spread Christmas cheer to LTC residents, then proceed to Mountain View Manor to cheer residents there as well. Participants will then return to PMC, covering a total route distance of 1.2 miles.

Dress up and step out for a healthy, socially-distanced event that will bring a smile to our elders!
After leaving grandmother in Alabama, CNA finds meaning caring for elders
Julie Sheldon grew up in Sardis City, Alabama, with her parents and older sister. When she was younger, she and her grandmother spent summers at a camp resort, swimming and hanging out with friends. As she got older, she spent her summers playing softball. In high school she worked on the newspaper and yearbook. She arrived at school early each day to help out in the office, checking in students and making morning announcements.

On the night of Julie’s high school graduation, she set off with her parents and older sister on a road trip from Alabama up to Prince Rupert, British Columbia, and then on to Petersburg. Her parents discovered Petersburg at a time in life when change was possible. Julie packed one bag of clothes and her two dogs, regretfully said good-bye to her grandmother, and was ready for the family move. It was 2004.

Julie was working at the Trading Union in 2005 when she met her future husband, Matthew.

“Matthew would come into the store two minutes before closing, which would always make me mad—but he sure got my attention!” Julie said.

After a few closing-time visits, they started dating. On July 4, 2009, Matthew popped the question. They married twenty days later, and their first daughter was born that October. They now have three daughters and a son.

In 2012, Julie saw an ad in the paper for Petersburg Medical Center’s certified nursing assistant training program. She was ready to try something different and applied.

Julie had never worked as a CNA before, but prior to leaving Alabama had done some care-taking for her grandmother—who passed away in 2010 after a final visit from Julie in 2009. It was during her CNA training that Julie realized just how much she enjoyed taking care of elders.

Eight years later, she’s still on the job as a CNA. Julie helps Long Term Care residents with basic daily activities such as showering or bathing, getting dressed, brushing their hair and teeth, and applying makeup for the women. When there is time, she is able to sit and talk with residents or play games, color or read with them.

“It’s fun to hear stories from the residents and help them have fun when they are all missing their families,” she said.

When Julie is not working, she and her kids like to get outside and walk their dog. Julie recently started a new hobby with a Cricut machine, adding designs and people’s names to waterbottles. She hopes to one day sell her products as a side business.

Julie, her husband, and their kids love Petersburg and it will always be home. “I love that I can let my kids play outside and know they will be safe,” she said.
▲ Julie and her husband Matthew.
▲ Julie's kids on Halloween this year. From left: Rosalie, Riley, Haileigh and Baby Natalie.
▲ CNAs Megan Axmaker and Julie Sheldon during National Nurses Week in 2019.
Phil Hofstetter, CEO, and Marlene Cushing, PMC board secretary, grilling at the 2019 PMC staff barbecue planned by the Employee Voice Committee.
Staff from diverse departments team up to build employee unity
The Employee Voice Committee at Petersburg Medical Center was formed in 2013, and includes one employee from most departments at PMC.

The Employee Voice Committee includes:
  • Kelsey Lambe, coordinator, Public Relations
  • Chad Wright, CEO assistant, Administration
  • Matt Pawuk, electronic health records & technology lead, Information Systems
  • Mamie Nilsen, registered nurse, Skilled Nursing
  • Jacque Grone, receptionist, Home Health
  • Lauren Thain, certified nursing assistant, Long Term Care
  • Anthony Vinson, medical assistant, Joy Janssen Clinic
  • Meg Litster, registration coordinator, Business Office
  • Tiffany Shelton, ultrasound tech, X-ray

At their meetings, committee members sign cards for staff during their acknowledgement month, as well as congratulations or condolence cards. They check the PMC staff suggestion box, brainstorm the suggestions and then create feedback for those who have written in. Meetings also include a roundtable session during which each member gives an update from their department on topics like staffing issues, new staff, or department morale.

The committee meets prior to the annual staff social events—PMC's summer picnic, Julebukking, and the employee Christmas party—to collaborate on how to make the upcoming event better then the previous year's—or, in the case of 2020, to come up with COVID-safe alternatives.
Residents enjoy annual spa day and photoshoot as Christmas nears
Long Term Care celebrated Veteran’s Day last month, watching ceremonies broadcast over the internet and historic war documentaries in honor of the residents and their family members who served or currently serve in the military.

Residents enjoyed the first snowfalls of the season from the windows while staying warm inside with hot cider and cocoa. As it gets chillier outside, residents have been staying physically active by using the Nustep cross-training machine, as well as walking with staff.

During November, residents enjoyed messages and artwork from Kinder Scog children, a video of local kindergarteners doing the Turkey Hokey Pokey, and lots of great videos and photos from thoughtful family, staff, and community members. They connected with loved ones via Zoom video calls.

Staff put together two fun bulletin boards: a “Match the Person to their Baby Picture” board, and a “Thankful Tree” with leaves where residents and staff post little notes about what they are thankful for. Residents and staff enjoy stopping to contemplate which baby pictures go with which person.

LTC residents were well supplied with treats, thanks to our talented staff. Grace Bieber baked cranberry spice bread, Italian spice and garlic cheese bread, and oatmeal raisin chocolate chip cookies. Janna Machalek served up homemade slow-cooker cider. Noelle McPherson produced a variety of special homemade dishes requested by residents.

The residents enjoyed their Thanksgiving meal, followed by the annual holiday photoshoot two days later. This LTC event features a spa day during which residents can get haircare, manicures, makeup, and foot baths, then dress up for a holiday photoshoot with Janna Machalek. They use the resulting photos for Christmas cards.

This month the residents had their last rides in the old van. A brand-new van is slated to come sometime this winter, so keep an eye out for it and be sure to wave to the resident on board!
▲ Carol Wallace, LTC resident, working on some arts and crafts.
▲ Ray Olsen, LTC resident, fluffing mini Christmas trees in preparation for the holidays.
▲ Dennis Sperl, LTC resident, Zooming with his family on Thanksgiving.
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