Petersburg Medical Center Newsletter
▲ Stephanie Romain, RN, administering a flu shot at the drive-through clinic to Erica O'Neil, ward clerk.
Kellie Lane, RN, giving shots at the drive-through flu shot clinic to Peyton Menish, CNA.
NEWSLETTER BANNER PHOTO: PMC staff members dropped off pumpkins for Long Term Care residents, who then voted for the best-looking pumpkin.
Stay Safe!
COVID-19: In the last two weeks we have seen an increase in positive COVID-19 cases here in our community and all of Alaska. Please remember the things you can do to help protect each other. Wear a mask, social distance, keep your social bubble small and get your flu shot!

SURVEY: In the next several days, there will be a two-minute telephone survey conducted on behalf of the Petersburg Borough to gather essential information to support a Community Development Block Grant application for funding of projects for the Petersburg community, such as the new hospital. Please share your perspectives when you get the survey call.

FAREWELL: We are sad to say goodbye to long-time staff member Jenna Olsen, clinic manager—but are excited about Jenna's new adventure. She is returning to school in order to pursue her advanced nurse practitioner degree. Jenna started her career at PMC in Long Term Care as a licensed practical nurse. She moved over to the clinic in 2005, and in 2015 became clinic manager. Thank you, Jenna, for 24 years of service at PMC.

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: https://www.facebook.com/petersburgmedicalcenter/ 
  • Check the COVID-19 Information Hub website, our unified command page with the Borough: https://www.psgcovidinfo.net/
  • Check our website for updates as well: https://www.pmcak.org/

— Phil Hofstetter, CEO, PMC
Ready for flu season? Get your flu shot now!
On Saturday, Oct. 17, 494 Petersburg community members lined up for a free drive-through flu vaccine clinic. Petersburg Medical Center's Home Health staff delivered 224 flu vaccinations to homebound patients, bringing the number of flu shots administered to a total of 718. Thank you to all who came out on one of the rare sunny days in Petersburg and for your patience in line.

A special thank you goes to the partners in this event—Public Health, Petersburg School District, Petersburg Borough, the U.S. Coast Guard, community volunteers and PMC staff—for making the flu shot clinic a success.

There will be another drive-through flu shot clinic on Saturday, Nov. 7, from 9am-11am at the PMC testing tent. Please call the Joy Janssen Clinic to schedule an appointment by Friday, Nov. 6. If you are unable to make it Saturday, please call the clinic at 772-4299 to schedule an appointment for a different date.
Stephanie Romain, RN, giving a flu shot at the Drive thru Flu shot clinic.
▲ Officer Carl Tate, dispatcher Shenna Cook and Officer Randy Holmgrain wore pink on Oct. 14 in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
October highlights awareness of breast cancer risk factors
Did you know that 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime? After skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women. While you can’t usually prevent cancer, it is important to know the risk factors and be proactive about your health. Click here to learn more about breast cancer.

On Wednesday, Oct. 14, we encouraged our staff and community to wear pink to honor survivors, remember those lost to the disease and those fighting the disease, and to support the progress we are making together to defeat breast cancer. Thank you to all who wore pink!
Military brat finds a home in Petersburg and at PMC
Born and raised a “military brat” who never stayed in one place for long, Cindy Newman now has deep roots in Petersburg.

With her father serving in the military, Cindy lived in Germany till she was three. Her family next moved to Hawaii while her father served in Vietnam. In 1968 they moved to Walla Walla, Washington, and then to Portland, Oregon, for her junior high school years and the end of her dad’s military career.

At 17, Cindy decided to follow in her father’s footsteps and enlisted in the U.S. Army. She went through basic training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, then participated in Army ROTC at Western Oregon State University while completing a bachelor’s degree in secondary education. After graduating in 1985, Cindy went into active duty. She was stationed in Korea, in the Netherlands working as personnel, then in Holland and Germany as a community adjutant, a position that also handles personnel issues. She then returned to the states and spent two years doing legal security work in Washington, D.C., while in individual ready reserve status with the army.

Cindy’s sister, who was living in Petersburg, thought it was time for Cindy to settle down and get married. She asked her neighbor Scott if he would be interested in writing letters to Cindy. Scott wrote letters to her while she finished her time in the army. In 1990, Cindy moved to Petersburg to be closer to Scott.

“It was the most spontaneous thing I have ever done,” Cindy said.

The couple married in March 1991.

Cindy was hired at Petersburg Medical Center in May 1992 as a receptionist in the business office, and soon thereafter advanced into the role of personnel/CEO assistant. In 2011, Cindy’s job was revamped to focus only on personnel issues, and a full-time CEO assistant took over her other former duties. Cindy’s current title is director of Human Resources. Her job includes processing payroll, handling employee documentation of COVID-related work completed, participating in multiple daily meetings, serving on committees, interviewing job candidates, onboarding new PMC staff, and managing staff turnover.

“You never know what my day is going to look like,” she said. 

Cindy loves spending time with her family. Two of her daughters have left the nest; Makayla works at a law firm in North Carolina, and Hana attends nursing school in Anchorage. Kara, who graduates from high school next year, was studying abroad in Sweden but had to return home due to the pandemic. Scott, the youngest sibling, is in middle school this year.

Though settled now in Petersburg, Cindy still has a passion for travel. Her first trip abroad as a civilian was a few years ago, to England.

“I can't wait to travel again someday,” she said. Next on her bucket list: Sweden and Hungary.

▲ Cindy Newman with her parents, Myles and Margaret Harai, at her commissioning as a 2LT in the U.S. Army in 1983. Cindy's father commissioned her.
▲ Cindy and her husband Scott on their wedding day March 9, 1991.
▲ Cindy and her family in Hawaii for a wedding in 2013.
▲ Cindy and her youngest child Scotty with their brown bear in 2018.
▲ Bradee Axmaker, physical therapist, and Devynn Johnson, project manager, climbing on the Pediatric Rock Wall. Project finished!
▲ The PMC Activities office needed a makeover, complete with organizing, new shelving and a more accommodating desk. Look below for the after!
▲ Here's what the office looks like now!
Space Committee gets PMC more organized, maximizes space
The Space Committee at Petersburg Medical Center was formed in August 2018. As the committee continued to grow in size, its members decided to split into two separate committees in order to have more efficient meetings. Project Manager Devynn Johnson was assigned the role of liaison between the two new committees.

The Space Committee always meets first to share concerns, brainstorm ideas, and discuss potential solutions. The Executive Space Committee then meets, with the liaison presenting the first group's concerns and ideas. The Executive Committee then determines which projects are priorities and which can wait.

The committees are:

Space Committee:
  • Kaitlin DuRoss, Rehabilitation Manager
  • Matt Pawuk, Electronic Health Records & Technology Systems Lead
  • Jill Dormer, Director of Fiscal Services & Informatics
  • Janet Kvernvik, Health Information Management
  • Cindy Newman, Human Resources
  • Jenna Olson, Clinic Manager
  • Kelly Zweifel, Dietitian and Wellness Coordinator

Executive Space Committee:
  • Phil Hofstetter, CEO
  • Jennifer Bryner, Chief Nursing Officer
  • Ro Tejera, Controller
  • Mike Boggs, Plant Maintenance
  • Devynn Johnson, Project Manger

The committees have worked on many small projects but have also completed several large projects, including:
  • Pediatric Rock Wall
  • Reorganizing and cleaning out the warehouse
  • LTC Salon (a room in which LTC residents can get their hair and nails done)
  • LTC Interactive Light Table (a device that hangs above and projects onto the LTC dining room table, allowing residents to play interactive games without having to use a screen)
  • Totem Arms Conference Room

The Space Committee was asked to determine how best to use a one-bedroom apartment that became available for rent across the street from PMC and would be called the Totem Arms Conference Room.

PMC needed space for patient care, a workout room, a break room, a training and staff onboarding room, and a teaching facility. After much discussion, the committee decided the apartment would be used as a teaching and training facility for local students being trained as CNAs or enrolled in the University of Alaska Anchorage School of Nursing program in Petersburg. The apartment's bedroom now stores CPR training equipment, dummy dolls that help students practice and learn hands-on care skills, and more. Moving the nursing and CNA students into the apartment freed up the Dorothy Ingle Conference Room, which had become heavily used for training.

Since the pandemic, however, the nursing students have gone to online learning only, which has opened up the Totem Arms Conference Room for other uses. The space currently holds five office spaces for Home Health staff, since their office space is being used as a COVID-19 respiratory clinic.
Spooky songs, autumn art projects, and a new exercise machine
Despite not being able to greet trick-or-treaters inside the building this year, residents enjoyed fun Halloween activities in October.

They participated in a scavenger hunt with rhyming clues, as well as a “poke-a-pumpkin” patch filled with little candies and notes. Volunteer performer Sarah Hofstetter arrived in costume to share Halloween-themed sing-along songs, and residents enjoyed howling along to “Werewolves of London,” “Little Red Riding Hood,” “Monster Mash” and more. When children walked by in costume on Halloween, residents were at the kitchen windows to admire the costumes and toss down small bags of goodies.

Our solarium now features a brand-new seated exercise machine for resident use. The chair is extra wide and swivels for easy access. Since the NuStep trainer has arrived it has stayed busy. Residents enjoyed the view from the solarium’s recently-washed windows and listening to music while getting in a nice workout. The NuStep has helped residents stay physically active while indoors and will help boost their mood during these darker months.

Impromptu fun in October included trying out retro video games and an old-fashioned wooden slingshot armed with little felt balls for indoors—with hilarious results! Residents were in the mood to watch classic musicals this month as well as a variety of PBS documentaries. Activities staff inspired daily smiles by serving up all kinds of requested tasty treats, including pumpkin bread, lasagna, baked macaroni and cheese, tacos, waffles, cornbread, fruit salad, and spare ribs.

Throughout the month, residents worked hard on decorations to get everyone in the fall and Halloween spirit. They worked individually with staff to color coffee filters cut out like leaves that were then hung around LTC for some lovely fall color. Residents also made beautiful lighting decorations by decoupaging real autumn leaves to recycled glass jars and inserting delicate string lights. The pretty jars add a flameless, cozy glow to the table.
▲ Raymond Olsen, LTC resident, playing a game of Jenga.
▲ Carol Wallace, LTC resident, and Avery Skeek, CNA, assembling a puzzle.
▲Myles Harai, LTC resident, working out on the new NuStep exercise machine.
Petersburg Medical Center | 907-772-4291 | pmcweb@pmc-health.org