Petersburg Medical Center Newsletter
▲ PMC managers, school district employees and borough employees attended the human resources training offered in Petersburg by Alaska Public Entity Insurance.

▲ Janet Kvernvik (center) celebrated 30 years at PMC this year. Two of her long-time employees, Belinda Chase (left) and Tammy Strickland, stopped at the longevity luncheon to give Janet a congrats and a big hug.
▲ Matt Pawuk, PMC's EHR and Technology Systems Lead in the IT Department, and Phil Hofstetter, CEO, shared information on KFSK Live in February.
NEWSLETTER BANNER PHOTO: PMC hosted a longevity recognition luncheon on Thursday, Feb. 20, for employees with milestone anniversaries. Congratulations to these hard-working staff members!
Register now for Health Fair booths and blood draws
HEALTH FAIR 2020: Petersburg Medical Center will host the 2020 Health Fair on Saturday, April 4, from 10am-1pm at the Parks and Rec Community Gym. If you would like to have a booth this year, please register at the PMC website. There will be fun run to start off the health fair Sponsored by PMC, PIA and The Partnership for a Tobacco Free Southeast. More information on the run to come!

We have started scheduling appointments for health fair blood draws to be held on Tuesdays, Wednesday and Thursdays, March 3-25, 7-9am in the Dorothy Ingle Conference Room. You can schedule an appointment at the PMC web page. 

LONGEVITY LUNCHEON: On Thursday, Feb. 20, PMC held its annual luncheon for employees celebrating 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years of employment with PMC. Each employee was gifted a shirt, sweatshirt, vest, jacket, or miscellaneous logo item of their choice. Managers attended the luncheon with staff they were honoring, and spoke of the achievements and time put in by their employees. Over 250 years of service were represented by staff honored at the luncheon.

MANAGER BOOT CAMP: Carleen Mitchell with Alaska Public Entity Insurance traveled to Petersburg to present a Manager Boot Camp on Monday and Tuesday, February 3-4. This training was encouraged for both new and experienced managers, as well as our Human Resources staff.

Topics covered at the training included:
  • Management communications best practices
  • Conducting interviews
  • New employee orientation and on-boarding
  • Documentation for supervisors
  • Performance appraisals and management
  • Conflict resolution
  • Harassment and discrimination prevention
  • Confronting bullying
  • Disciplinary actions, issues and documentation
  • Substance abuse in the workplace
  • Americans with Disabilities Act
  • ADA, FMLA, AFLA and Workers’ Compensation overview
  • Termination decisions

Building our managers’ supervisory skills helps strengthen the entire PMC team!

— Phil Hofstetter, CEO, PMC
PT adds climbing wall for pediatric therapy
Bradee Axmaker, physical therapist, was looking for a more engaging way of working with pediatric patients. She envisioned an area where young patients could work on skills like balance, core stability, endurance, and more.

That dream is coming true, thanks to help from Devynn Johnson, project manager; Mike Boggs, plant manager; and Skip Hallstad, plant assistant.

In February, a pediatric rock wall was installed in the Petersburg Medical Center PT area. The wall was built by Petersburg High School shop students and installed by Devynn, Mike and Skip.

Items to be added in the future include a trampoline, stairs, hula hoops, balls, games, scooter boards, and swings.

▲ Bradee Axmaker, physical therapist, and Devynn Johnson, project manager, test the new pediatric climbing wall in the Rehabilitation Department.
Remember those New Year's resolutions?
T ake advantage of fitness activities at Parks and Rec!
•  Flex Fit:  Mondays & Thursdays 8:30-9:30am, Mondays 5:30-6:30pm and Saturdays 10:15-11:15am.

Mitkof Dance Studio  offers more then just kids’ dance classes. Check it out!
•  Zumba:
Tuesdays & Fridays 8:15-9:15am — Zumba
Wednesdays 8:15-9:15am — Strong
Wednesdays & Fridays 9:30-10:30am — Zumba Gold
Thursdays 5:30-6:30pm — Zumba
Saturdays 9:30-10:30am — Zumba
•  Pilates:  Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays 5:45-6:30pm
 Montana country boy finds niche in Petersburg after wandering the world
Don Bieber was born and raised a country boy outside Sidney, Montana, a town of 5,000. He grew up on a farm, driving tractors and competing in rodeo contests.
Aptitude testing by the U.S. Air Force when Don was an 11th-grader in 1974 indicated that he might have a knack for electronics. So in 1975 Don entered a one-year electronics certification program in avionics—aircraft electronics—and loved it. He began active duty with the air force in 1976, working on navigation and radar systems for cargo and fighter jets in Texas, Mississippi, Washington, Nevada and Iceland.
After leaving the air force in 1980, Don spent four years studying engineering at Montana State University. He left the program before graduating, however, to start his own business designing circuit boards. He also started a family.
Looking for a change and better job opportunities, Don and his family moved to Alaska in 1999. They lived in Barrow (now Utqiagvik), Fairbanks and King Cove. Seeking a place to settle long-term, Don and his family did some research on towns in Alaska and in 2006 decided to move to Petersburg, a stable community with a great school system and many lifelong residents.
Don was working in information technology at Petersburg City School District when a full-time IT technician position opened at Petersburg Medical Center in July 2007. Don accepted the job and has worked at PMC ever since. Two of his daughters also work at PMC now; Grace Bieber is an activities assistant working with long-term care residents, and Kelly Bieber is a medical assistant in the clinic, pursuing a degree in nursing.
Don’s IT job at PMC involves cyber security, electronic health records, programming computers, and providing tech support for staff having problems with their computer hardware, programs, or the internet.
He loves the challenge of constantly learning new systems and keeping up with the fast pace of change in his field.
“It’s night and day from when I started in this industry 45 years ago,” Don said. “We have cutting edge technology (at PMC). We always have the newest.”
Don especially loves working with medical providers. “I really respect doctors and nurses and what they do daily,” he said.
As a volunteer EMT for the past 20 years, Don understands patient care. He volunteers for seven 12-hour EMT shifts per month but always has his pager on, answering calls whenever he can. A certified EMT 2, he is trained to start IVs and give advanced medications.
“I really like giving back to the community. That's why I do it,” Don said. “In a small community we all need to contribute in whatever ways we can.”
▲ Don Bieber as a U.S. Air Force recruit.

▲ Don with his three daughters at Christmas. From left: Kelly Bieber, Grace Bieber and Heather Bieber.

▲ Don still drives a tractor in parades when he visits his hometown.

▲ Don was in many rodeos growing up.
▲ Megan Axmaker (left) and Julie Sheldon.

▲ From left: CNAs Lauren Thain, Julie Sheldon, Lilly Graham, Felicity Englund, and Megan Axmaker.
CNAs make life better for residents and patients at PMC
Certified nurse assistants provide basic, intimate, hands-on care for long-term care residents and acute care patients at Petersburg Medical Center.

Supervised by nurses, CNAs help with daily activities like bathing, dressing, feeding, and care of nails, hair and teeth. They transfer residents and patients in and out of bed, and handle tasks like bed-making, general housekeeping, and keeping the nursing department properly stocked. 

PMC has about thirty CNA positions. Because of the ongoing need to train new people to fill this skilled role, PMC offers on-the-job training on an as-needed basis for new CNA hires. Trainees who successfully complete 60 hours of classroom time and 80 hours of skills lab and clinical training are eligible to take the state certification exam.

“CNAs are essential to the nursing team, and I love being involved in their education,” said Angela Menish, RN, director of patient services and one of PMC’s CNA instructors.

PMC also offers a CNA class at Petersburg High School every other year. Students earn nine University of Alaska Southeast college credits. Six PHC students were certified in 2017, and eight in 2019. The course will be offered again this next school year. Because working as a CNA fulfills a nursing school requirement, the training provides a great entry into a healthcare career.

PMC’s current CNA team includes: Megan Axmaker, Kelly Davis, Brooklyn Dormer, Marilyn Eilenberger, Emma Engell, Alexis Francisco, Gia Goodridge, Lilly Graham, Pat Johnston, Jamie Lambert, Tamera McCay, Jackie Neidiffer, Julia Niemi, Erica O'Neil, Meghyn Parker, Julie Sheldon, Kim Simbahon, Luke Sinclair, Avery Skeek, Lauren Thain, and Gabe Torrez. 

CNAs who travel to Petersburg to help as needed: Samantha Wassilie, Wendi Castellon and Felicity Englund. 

Seasonal CNA staff: Helen Martin, Peyton Menish, Hana Newman, Madisyn Parker, and Tanya Spears. 

PMC’s CNA instructors include the following registered nurses : Angela Menish, Traci Vinson, Jolyn Duddles, Mamie Nilsen, Rosa Neimi, and Nichole Mattingly.
LTC residents feel the love with series of fun Valentine's Day events
Residents kicked off February by watching the Super Bowl, enjoying snacks and great company while cheering on their teams.

The residents like to socialize, so this month they started a new tradition: a monthly men’s coffee and ladies’ tea. Please join us for these gatherings! Listen to KFSK for announcements. 

The children of Kinder Skog brought a special valentine art project to LTC. Children and residents used markers to color coffee filters, then added water to “paint” tie-dye patterns. Once dry, the filters were cut into heart shapes and hung in the kitchen windows. The morning of Valentine’s Day, our halls were flooded with elementary school children bringing valentines, fun, excitement and some good visits for the residents. The Pioneers of Alaska once again hosted the annual Valentine’s Day Ice Cream Social, with music from Alec and Nicole McMurren. 

Several residents attended the community event honoring local civil rights activists Elizabeth Peratrovich and Amy Hallingstad. Resident Raymond Dugaqua had the honor of giving a prayer in Tlingit at the event. A big thanks to volunteer Teresa Streuli, who helped residents at the event and also brought a special treat for residents: homemade soup, freshly baked biscuits, and chocolate cupcakes.
Want to be part of the fun here at LTC? We are looking for volunteers to help with walks, picnics, van rides, or just sitting outside to play games in the fresh air. We have volunteer opportunities to fit any schedule or level of physical ability. Interested? Call the Activities Department at 907-772-4291, Ext. 5747.
▲ Gladys Olsen, LTC resident, with visitor Audrey Boggs on Valentine's Day.

▲ Annie Lewis, LTC resident, and Noelle McPherson, activities assistant, at the Elizabeth Peratrovich and Amy Hallingstad event.

▲ Super Bowl Sunday found LTC residents watching the big game with friends.
Petersburg Medical Center | 907-772-4291 | pmcweb@pmc-health.org