Petersburg Medical Center Newsletter
▲ Over 170 people gathered for the Petersburg Medical Center Christmas Party at the Sons of Norway hall.

▲ Jerrid Pilcher, materials assistant, and his wife Becky Pilcher, clinic reception lead.

▲ Lena Odegaard, RN, with her husband Martin.
NEWSLETTER BANNER PHOTO: Collaboration and master plan updates were discussed at the Dec. 5 work session for Petersburg Medical Center and the Petersburg Borough Assembly.
PMC and borough collaborating to better serve community
WORK SESSION: Petersburg Medical Center staff and the Petersburg Borough Assembly met for a work session on Thursday, Dec. 5. The session provided time to discuss goals for the coming year, such as opportunities to collaborate with borough departments throughout the community (EMS, Mountain View Manor, Parks & Rec, etc.). We also discussed the relationship of the board and the borough. Dan Jardine from NAC architecture firm attended the session and gave an update on the progress of PMC’s master planning process, which may result in a new hospital, or a remodel of the current facility.

CHRISTMAS PARTY: Petersburg Medical Center’s board and staff members gathered for our Christmas party on Saturday, Dec. 7, at the Sons of Norway hall. We had a packed house with 174 guests at the party and delivered 15 meals to employees who were working. The dinner was catered by Alisa Jestel and her team at Herb and Sea. The food was absolutely delicious!

MEDICAL CARE ADVISORY COMMITTEE: I flew to Juneau on Thursday, Dec. 19, for a meeting of the Medical Care Advisory Committee, which is a public advisory group that advises the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS). It was two days of very positive meetings. We learned from DHSS and the health commissioner about the state budget being flat this year. The state reinstated Medicaid’s adult dental reimbursement, and aims to collaborate with organizations and associations to reduce costs in the future. The goal is to review alternative payment models, innovative concepts and demonstration projects to provide a more long-term plan for state healthcare. 

Happy New Year!

— Phil Hofstetter, CEO, PMC
 PMC welcomes jolly Julebukking visitors
Petersburg Medical Center hosted Julebukking on Friday, Dec. 20, in the Dorothy Ingle Conference Room. Our Dietary staff provided chicken wings, pulled pork sliders, veggie trays, meat and cheese platters and some delicious deserts such as cookies and peppermint bark.

We had 220 community members come and celebrate Julebukking with us. Thank you to Shara McMullen, dietary manager, and Lidia Wickersham, assistant dietary manager, for working so hard to make this holiday event a success!
▲ PMC staffers wore ugly sweaters for Julebukking. From left: Janet Kvernvik, Medical Records director; Julie Spegilmyre, Business Office lead; Kelsey Lambe, Public Relations coordinator; Tammy Strickland, chart analyst and coder; Devynn Johnson, project manager; and Abi Johnson, clinic medical records staff.
▲ As part of its wellness program, PMC now offers 15-minute massages for employees. Pictured: Kimberly Robson, massage therapist, and Erica O Niel, ward clerk.
These activities can help you live out your 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
 Far from her own large family, Lidia Wickersham finds family in Petersburg
Lidia Wickersham left her large extended family behind in Texas when she joined her future husband in Petersburg in 2013.

Little did she know then that she would find family in Petersburg.

Lidia was hired by Petersburg Medical Center in January 2014 as a dietary aide. Over the course of the past five years she moved into positions as prep cook, cook, steam table attendant and, this past October, assistant manager of the Dietary Department.

Her new job includes making supply orders and putting them away; shopping for groceries; tracking inventory; checking dates on items; preparing, organizing, and maintaining the storeroom, fridges and freezers; filling in for different positions as needed and helping Shara McMullen, Dietary manager, prepare food and beverages for special functions.

Lidia loves her new job, but her days at the steam table hold a special place in her heart. That job gave her the opportunity to be more hands-on and build close relationships with residents at Long Term Care. 

“The Long Term Care residents are my Alaska family,” said Lidia.

Lidia got to know one resident in particular: Ray Dugaqua. They developed a special relationship while Ray shared many stories of his clan. Ray ultimately adopted Lidia into the Eagle clan of the Tlingit tribe during an informal but very special ceremony last summer at the cultural camp in Petersburg. Lidia’s tribal name is “Kaheehdushee,” which means “helper of others.” It was given to her by Ray.

Bryce Wickersham moved to Petersburg from Lubbock, Texas, in July 2011—just after meeting Lidia. They maintained a long-distance relationship for two years while Lidia finished culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu in Dallas, Texas, to become a certified baking and pastry cook. After finishing school, she joined Bryce in Petersburg. They were married in 2016.

Bryce Wickersham owns Upper Tier Petersburg Flooring Installations. When not on the job at PMC, Lidia makes cakes for local residents through her small business, Lulu’s Custom Cakes.

Lidia’s family is her pride and joy. She has three daughters—Kristen, Alexis and Jordan—and one son, J.J. Bryce has one daughter, Kayla. Together, Lidia and Bryce have 11 grandchildren. Lidia grew up with eight sisters. Her parents now have 33 children and 60 great-grandchildren.

“I feel extremely blessed that we are all still living,” Lidia said. 

She knows her families will just continue to grow—both at home and here in Petersburg!
▲ Lidia and her husband Bryce at their wedding.

▲ Lidia with her parents and eight sisters.

▲ Lidia (center) with her four children and most of her grandchildren.

▲ Lidia and Ray Dugaqua, LTC resident, at a special ceremony during which Ray adopted Lidia into his clan.
▲ The Joy Janssen Clinic staff includes (from left): Medical assistants Jessica Franklin and Abbey Hardie; Elizabeth Poole, nurse practitioner; Sheena Canton, receptionist; and medical assistants Vikki Franklin, Steven Aikins, Bessie Johnson, and Kelly Bieber.

Clinic staff wore pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month this year. Front, from left: Dr. Cortney Hess; Dr. Jennifer Hyer; Jessica Franklin, medical assistant; Kari Baekkelund, receptionist; Kari Petersen, referral coordinator; and Kim Randrup, receptionist. Back row, from left: Dr. Mark Tuccillo; Lena Odegaard, RN; Sheena Canton, receptionist; and Becky Pilcher, receptionist.
Medical assistants are versatile members of clinic care team
The first health care professional that patients interact with during appointments at the Joy Janssen Clinic is neither a physician nor a nurse—it’s a medical assistant.

Key members of the health care team, medical assistants are cross-trained to perform both administrative and clinical duties, giving doctors and other providers more time to focus on direct patient care.

Medical assistants check in patients; review medical history with patients; take patient vitals, height and weight; call in medications to pharmacies as directed by physicians; help doctors in procedures; administer injections, vaccines and medications when directed by a physician; follow up with patients; and even stock and order clinic supplies when needed.

Petersburg Medical Center employs ten medical assistants, as follows:
• Steven Aikins
• Robert Aikins
• Angela Bertagnoli
• Kelly Bieber
• Jessica Franklin
• Vikki Franklin
• Abbey Hardie
• Julie Hursey
• Bessie Johnson
• Anthony Vinson

Tree decorating, gifts, caroling, movies, make December special
The residents of Long Term Care celebrated a fabulous holiday season! 

A visiting volunteer gathered everyone around the tree and helped them hang ornaments. The kids of Kinder Scog, bringing smiles and Christmas cheer, worked with residents to make wonderful-smelling cinnamon-and-apple ornaments. 

During the month, PMC’s Dietary staff started sending up a crockpot meal three times a week. Residents found the crockpot meals delicious and greatly enjoyed smelling them cooking. 

On Dec. 13, activities staff put out a “Tree Farm,” and “Lumberjack Grace” Bieber, activities assistant, helped each resident choose a tiny tree for his or her room. Residents decorated their chosen trees with help from family members and activities staff.
Residents also made their annual visit to the Mountain View Manor Christmas party, where they enjoyed caroling, music, gifts, and visits with Santa. On Sundays throughout the month residents watched holiday movies together—“It’s a Wonderful Life” and “White Christmas” were especially popular—while drinking hot cocoa by the Long Term Care Christmas tree. 

Other holiday-related activities included reading Christmas stories together and caroling at sing-along on Tuesdays. Van driver and volunteer Dave Burleigh drove residents around town one evening to enjoy beautiful Christmas light displays. 

The staff continued their tradition of Secret Staff Santa, and each resident received a gift to open upon waking on Christmas morning. Residents enjoyed a Christmas meal with family and friends in the Dorothy Ingle Conference Room, where they were visited by Santa. 

The residents ended the month with their annual New Year’s Eve Countdown to Noon, with festivities, sparking cider, and noise-making!
▲ Annie Lewis, LTC resident, with Santa at the Mountain View Manor Christmas party.
▲ Gladys Olsen, LTC resident, with granddaughter Julia Evans

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