Petersburg Medical Center Newsletter
▲Dr. Cortney Hess, Dr. Jennifer Hyer, Jessica Franklin, MA, Kari Baekkelund, Receptionist, Kari Petersen, Referral Coordinator, Kim Randrup, Receptionist (Front Row). Dr. Mark Tuccillo, Lena Odegard, RN, Shenna Canton, Receptionist and Becky Pilcher, Receptionist (Back Row) wore pink in honor of breast cancer awareness month.

▲ PMC managers playing a get-to-know-your-coworker game at the annual managers retreat.

NEWSLETTER BANNER PHOTO: Phil Hofstetter, CEO; Dr. Mark Tuccillo; Dr. Jennifer Hyer; Dr. Cortney Hess; Dr. Selina Burt; and Jenna Olsen, manager of the Joy Janssen Clinic, display the Golden Stethoscope Award they were recognized with at the annual Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association (ASHNHA) conference in September. Congratulations to the clinic providers on this award for commitment to safe patient care!
November Community Cafe to focus on aging and health care
MANAGER RETREAT: The Petersburg Medical Center managers participated in a retreat on Friday, Oct. 25, to review our past year and goals, discuss the strategic plan and organizational chart, and look at goals for the upcoming year. We had 31 managers attend the annual retreat. We played a series of team-building games, then had breakout sessions and worked as teams to review and improve PMC.

FACILITY PLANNING: Our master planning process with Seattle-based NAC Architecture is now 70 percent complete. Next steps for funding the design are being reviewed, with community block grants among the possibilities.  

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT: Our PMC workforce development committee is continually assessing needed positions and ways to develop current staff to fill leadership positions; standardizing our processes for hiring and developing staff; and formalizing our “growing our own” model. We are creating internal career ladder opportunities within departments.

COMMUNITY CAFE: Don't miss our next Community Cafe, scheduled for 2:00pm and 6:30pm on Tuesday, Nov. 12, at the Petersburg Library. Ken Helander, advocacy director for the the Alaska office of AARP (American Association of Retired Persons), will be presenting on aging and healthcare planning. PMC staff will be there to answer questions and facilitate.

— Phil Hofstetter, CEO, PMC
Above and beyond:
PMC staff assist patient with her journey home
Petersburg Medical Center staff take patient care seriously. Sometimes, this means stepping outside the normal care setting—literally!

Stacey McKinley, physical therapist, and Janna Machalek, activities coordinator, recently drove a patient out the road to help her onto a skiff for her journey back home.

McKinley wanted to ensure that the patient would be able to get into the skiff safely—and then get out safely when she and her husband got home.

We practiced the transfer here at the facility but until you really do the transfer in real time, you don't know how it’s going to go, McKinley said.
The patient successfully transferred into her boat and reached home safely.

The patient (who didn't want her name used for this story) was enthusiastic about her stay at PMC.

The staff were top-notch, caring, and loving people. They kind of felt like family, she said. It has been lots of fun with lots of laughs—nothing I ever thought I'd experience at a hospital!

▲ Patient leaving on her skiff to head home.
▲ Meg Litster, PMC registration coordinator, with husband Cody Litster and daughters Ruby and Evelyn at the Beat the Odds Race Against Cancer on Saturday, Oct. 12.
You can get fit before the holidays hit!
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:
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
•  Barre:  Tuesdays 10:30-11:30am and Saturdays 10:30-11:30am
•  Pilates:  Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays 5:45-6:30pm
New project manager works to keep PMC team organized and moving ahead
When day-to-day job duties leave you with no time to dig into important long-term projects, who ya gonna call? A project manager!

Devynn Johnson joined Petersburg Medical Center in August in the newly-created position of project manager. 

It’s Devynn’s job to sort, organize, and coordinate all projects at PMC, keeping them moving toward completion. She creates and maintains timelines for each project, then checks in with key players and managers to ensure progress is staying on track.

“Project manager is a critical position to maximize efficiency for all projects going on,” Phil Hofstetter, PMC CEO, said. “It’s vital to reducing the burden on employees with a really full plate or those who wear multiple hats.”

Devynn’s first project is organizing PMC’s warehouse, making it a more functional space by cleaning out the clutter. The project is unusual because Devynn herself is also the project’s manager and lead—which means she is checking in with herself and holding herself accountable to get the project done on time. 

“It's become many projects within projects,” Devynn said. 

For example, the activities department needed a desk that was in the warehouse, but this required reorganizing to make room for the desk. Devynn worked with staff to add shelving, clear items out of their office, and get the desk move completed. 

Born and raised in Alaska, Devynn attended Walla Walla Community College for two years, then took a year off to travel around Europe. She then attended Boise State University, graduating with majors in human resources and business administration, and minors in non-profits and marketing. 

Devynn has really enjoyed exploring and getting to know Petersburg. 

“I like the possibilities of Petersburg,” she said. “Everyone is so helpful and welcoming here.”

She has already spent a lot of time outdoors hunting, hiking, exploring, boating, kayaking and fishing. Indoors, she has been playing games with new friends and doing arts and crafts. She is loving getting to know the community.

Will Devynn stay in Petersburg long-term? “I don't have any plans of leaving!” she said.
▲ Devynn Johnson filleting salmon.

▲ Devynn Johnson out berry picking.
▲ Devynn Johnson with her two sisters Dylan and Jenelle, niece Letty and nephew Wyatt.
▲ The Chemotherapy Team at PMC is made up of six registered nurses: (front, from left) Elise Kubo, Traci Vinson, and Angie Owens, and (back, from left) Angela Menish, Elizabeth Hart and Jennifer Bryner.
▲ Angela Menish, Elizabeth Hart and Phil Hofstetter spoke about chemotherapy services on PMC Live at KFSK on Thursday, Oct. 3.
Chemotherapy Team focuses on individual cancer patient needs
Petersburg patients battling cancer are very likely to know the Chemotherapy Team at Petersburg Medical Center.

Depending on their diagnosis and individual needs, some patients come for chemotherapy treatments weekly, some come every other week, and some come every three weeks. Regardless how often they come, they spend most of their day at the facility.

PMC’s Chemotherapy Team is made up of six registered nurses: Jennifer Bryner, chief nursing officer; Angela Menish, director of patient care; Elizabeth Hart, skilled nursing coordinator; Traci Vinson; Angie Owens; and Elise Kubo, drug room. 

The team nurses work one-on-one with each patient. They coordinate with the patient’s oncologist and PMC doctors to create a plan for the patient. Before a patient’s scheduled appointment, the nurses spend time researching and prepping for their patient. 

Each patient is different. Some need intravenous or oral therapy, while others need radiation treatment. PMC offers only intravenous and oral therapies; patients needing radiation must travel to other facilities. 

Three types of therapy offered at PMC are:
Biotherapy , which is modified to target certain cells and then built to act on those exact cells; 
Immunotherapy , which is a type of biotherapy that helps the patient’s own immune system target the cancer cells;
Chemotherapy , which kills all fast-growing cells. 

Each chemotherapy appointment can take up to 8 or 10 hours of the patient’s day. Staff first give the patient fluids and medication, preparing the patient’s body for the therapy. The nurse mixes the medication, administers the medication, and monitors the patient throughout the day while continuing to give more medication. 

Therapy days can be long for patients, so the Chemotherapy Team works hard to make the experience as positive as possible!
LTC residents kick off holiday season with Oktoberfest Art Share
PMC Long Term Care residents spent October preparing for a busy Halloween holiday. They loved spooky storytelling, baking Halloween treats, and playing Halloween games. They worked very hard on a pumpkin piñata craft for children at the LTC Halloween party! The residents loved seeing children in their costumes as they welcomed participants in the “Halloween Hustle,” as well as trick-or-treaters throughout the day.

T he residents kicked off the holiday season and closed October with their annual outing to the Oktoberfest Art Share on Saturday, Oct. 26, to show off their (optional) Halloween costumes and to socialize!

Throughout the month, residents enjoyed regularly scheduled activities, including van outings, weekly devotionals, documentaries, errands and assistance with correspondence, live music, games, baking projects, physical activities, a baked potato bar, and, of course, visiting with pets!
▲ LTC residents Gladys Olsen and Ray Dugaqua in costume at Oktoberfest with Grace Bieber, LTC activities assistant; Janna Machalek, activities coordinator; and Noelle McPherson, activities assistant.

▲ LTC resident Gladys Olsen with Janna Machalek, activities coordinator.

Petersburg Medical Center | 907-772-4291 | [email protected]