Petersburg Medical Center Newsletter
▲ Rocio Tejera, controller, Devynn Johnson, project manager, and Phil Hofstetter, CEO, spent a lunch break practicing yoga.

▲ Jennifer Bryner, chief nursing officer, leading a "Just Culture" training for PMC managers.

▲ Phil Hofstetter, CEO, speaking at the September Employee Forum.
Joy Janssen Clinic honored with Golden Stethoscope award
MANAGER BOOTCAMP: In late August, Petersburg Medical Center's management team began a series of "bootcamp" trainings on finance department budget basics; hiring, interviewing, and onboarding staff; employee relations; project management; employee retention and evaluations; and more. We've had two trainings: “Just Culture,” led by Jennifer Bryner, chief nursing officer, and “Management 101,” led by myself. The next training, with a focus on finance and budgeting, will be led by Rocio Tejera, controller. 

GOLDEN STETHOSCOPE AWARD: Jerod Cook, PMC Board president, and I attended the annual Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association (ASHNHA) conference and board meeting in Anchorage in September. While there we had the honor of accepting the organization's Golden Stethoscope Award on behalf of the Joy Janssen Clinic providers! The award recognizes healthcare providers who consistently demonstrate commitment to leading or supporting safe patient care.   

PMC PASSES SURVEYS: Two surveys were conducted at PMC in September. The first was an annual Department of Environmental Conservation inspection in the Dietary Department for food, safety and sanitation. The second was a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments inspection of the laboratory. PMC did well in both surveys, and preliminary exit briefings were very positive and complimentary.  

— Phil Hofstetter, CEO, PMC
Four students start PMC-based UAA nursing program
Four new students are pursuing a two-year registered nursing degree at Petersburg Medical Center through the distance program of the University of Alaska Anchorage School of Nursing.

The four students are Lauren Thain and Emma Engell, certified nurse aides at PMC; Kelly Bieber, a PMC medical assistant; and Kimberly Robson, a massage therapist who recently moved to Petersburg from Juneau.

The students take online courses with UAA instructors, and do skill and lab work in Petersburg with their three PMC instructors, all of whom are registered nurses: Nichole Mattingly, Ruby Shumway, and Jennifer Bryner, chief nursing officer.

▲ Petersburg's four new nursing students pose for a photo with their instructors. From left: Nichole Mattingly, RN, and Ruby Shumway, RN, instructors; students Kimberly Robson, Lauren Thain, Emma Engell, and Kelly Bieber; and instructor Jennifer Bryner, RN and chief nursing officer for PMC.
▲ Makayla Newman, PMC Environmental Services employee, crossing the finish line in the Rain Forest Run on Sept. 2.

Start fall with a race against cancer and other fitness activities
Petersburg Beat the Odds is hosting their 20th annual Race Against Cancer!
•  Date: Friday, Oct. 12
•  Registration: 8:15-8:45am at Parks & Rec
• Warm-up 8:45am
•  2.5-mile run/walk starts at 9am. This is a family-friendly event honoring those who have or are battling cancer.
•  Pre-registration at Lee’s Clothing. T-shirts for the first 200 to register for $20.
•  Find details on Facebook or contact Michele Parker: 907-518-1023 .

T ake advantage of fitness activities at Parks and Rec!
•  Flex Fit:  Mondays & Thursdays 8:30-9:30am, and Saturdays 10:15-11:15am.

Mitkof Dance Studio  offers more then just kids' dance classes. Check it out!
•  Zumba:
Mondays 12:10-12:50pm — Strong
Tuesdays 5:30-6:30pm — Zumba
Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Fridays 9:30-10:30am — Zumba Gold
•  Barre:  Wednesdays 10:45-11:45am and Saturdays 10:15-11:15am
•  Pilates:  Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays 5:45-6:30pm
Occupational therapist gives up traveling lifestyle to make Petersburg her home
Tara and Nick Burns, former active duty U.S. marines, have traveled the world and love being on the go.

But when Tara was offered a full-time occupational therapist position at Petersburg Medical Center in 2017, she and Nick decided it was time to settle down for an Alaska adventure. Visiting Petersburg, seeing the small town, its history and school system, they knew they had found a good place.

We were both struck by how Petersburg seemed to feel like home,” said Tara.

Tara and Nick were married in 2010, having met while stationed in the Washington, D.C., area.

We were both stationed with HMX-1, the presidential helicopter squadron, so wherever the president went, we went too,” Tara explained. I’ve been to a lot of states, Romania, Italy, Ireland and Portugal with the marines.”

Tara and Nick were looking for jobs in far-flung places when the irresistible offer came from PMC.

Tara had taken a winding route to her O.T. career. After earning a bachelor's degree in sociology and starting master's work in sociology and public administration, she learned about the field of occupational therapy. She changed course and ultimately completed a master's in O.T. at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Occupational therapists work with injured, sick, or disabled patients of all ages. They help patients develop, recover, improve, and maintain daily living skills through strategic use of ordinary activities.

Tara loves her job at PMC.

“My favorite part of what I do is getting to talk to people,” Tara said. I get to know most of my patients really well and I have learned a lot from them. Everybody has a uniqueness about them. I've learned to expect the unexpected and never assume anything about a patient.”

The birth of their second child in August is the perfect example of why we made Petersburg home,” Tara said. People came together to help us out in a hectic situation.”

Tara and Nick's second daughter, Scarlett, arrived August 29—a month earlier then expected. Tara debated before finally going to the emergency room that day. She was feeling off” yet knew it was too early to be having her baby. Shortly after arriving at PMC, though, Tara was medevaced to Seattle to deliver. While in the air, her contractions increased. She gave birth to Scarlett Alette on a gurney inside the plane shortly after landing in Seattle, with the jet doors open and the ambulance just pulling up. Weighing 6 pounds and measuring 18.5 inches, Scarlet was ready to meet the world! Nick and daughter Adeline caught the jet from Petersburg and joined the rest of the family in Seattle that evening.

The Burns family is now back home. Tara, still on maternity leave, is enjoying classes, events, toddler-friendly hikes, and frequent naps, but will soon be ready to return to her patients.

I have learned so much here in Petersburg about fishing, sewing, cooking and hunting,” Tara said. And that's just from the adults! The kiddos can be challenging because they have such high energy all the time, but I love playing games and seeing the world through their eyes.”
▲ Tara Burns with her daughters, Adeline and new baby Scarlett.
▲ Tara, husband Nick, and daughter Adeline on a hike.
▲ Tara, husband Nick, and daughters Adeline and Scarlett.
▲ Lauren Thain, Erica O'Neil and Kelly Davis.

Ward clerks juggle duties to keep patient care flowing
With patients and residents coming and going at Petersburg Medical Center's inpatient, outpatient, emergency, and long-term care departments, someone needs to direct traffic and help manage each patient's needs and details.

Ward clerks have it covered!

Erica O'Neil and Kelly Davis are PMC's full-time ward clerks. Lauren Thain is a "PRN" ward clerk, which means she works as a ward clerk on an as-needed basis.

The ward clerks work 7:30am-5:30pm, handling a wide range of duties. General reception tasks include welcoming and directing visitors and patients who come to the floor; admitting and registering long-term care, acute, skilled care, chemotherapy, outpatient and lab patients; scheduling clinical procedures; working on insurance authorizations; answering and making phone calls; making photocopies; and filing documents. They help patients with their medical records, and help inventory and order supplies for various departments. The ward clerks work extensively with the financial staff, clinical staff and the public.

Applicants for PMC ward clerk positions need a high school diploma, preferably with office experience in a medical environment. But all three of PMC's ward clerks also happen to be trained as certified nursing assistants. This allows them to answer room calls and help with patient care when needed, making the ward clerks even more of an asset to the provider team.
Birthdays, anniversaries and happy hour: LTC celebrates September
In September, Long Term Care residents enjoyed beautiful late summer weather and geared up for a busy fall season.

Residents kicked off September by hosting a rock-painting activity for families in the LTC solarium as part of the 2019 Petersburg Rainforest Festival. Residents enjoyed visiting with children and their families who gathered for the event.

Residents had a lot of birthday and anniversary celebrations in September. Anne Lewis celebrated her 94th birthday in style with friends, family, and lots of cake. Resident Dennis Sperl celebrated his birthday at LTC with loved ones. Finally, cheers to Gladys and Ray Olsen, who celebrated their 73rd wedding anniversary!

Residents continued to enjoy regularly scheduled activities throughout September and wrapped up the month with a special Happy Hour event that included music on vinyl, games, appetizers, and mock-tails.

With a growing number of residents using social media and technology to communicate with loved ones, Monday afternoons are now reserved for assistance with correspondence with friends and family. This includes snail mail, email, social media platforms like Facebook, and even video chats using iPads purchased by the Hospital Guild for resident use.
▲ Annie Lewis, LTC resident, celebrates her 94th birthday in style with Janna Machalek, LTC activities coordinator.
▲ June Vick, LTC resident, with visitor Dusty Rhoden.
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