Petersburg Medical Center Newsletter
▲ Cover Photo: Tara Burns, occupational therapist, and Kaitlin DuRoss, physical therapy manager, teach certified nurse aide skills to Megan Axmaker, CNA; Tamera McCay, CNA; and Kelly Davis, CNA and ward clerk.
▲ Dan Jardine of NAC Architecture speaking at the Master Planning Public Forum.

▲ Phil Hofstetter, CEO, and Marlena Cushing, PMC Board secretary, grilling at the PMC staff BBQ.

▲ The remodeled Long Care Term solarium.
Forum engages community in PMC planning process
MASTER PLANNING: We hosted a Master Planning Public Forum on Monday, Aug. 19, at the Petersburg Assembly Chambers. Dan Jardine, from Seattle-based NAC Architecture, gave a presentation about his firm and what they have done so far to guide Petersburg Medical Center's master planning process. The inundation stud y (focused on the potential for tsunamis, sea level rise or storm surges to inundate and impact PMC at its current and possible future locations) and structural engineering study can be viewed on the PMC website. 

Our master planning process is still in its first phase, Project Articulation Goals. We continue to stress the importance of a smart design—particularly in the current climate of budget cuts. We also aim to achieve critical access hospital status to prepare for the future of healthcare in rural Alaska. 

EXISTING FACILITY UPDATE: We need to move and remodel our chemotherapy room to bring PMC into compliance with federal regulations on hazardous drugs. Architects Jensen Yorba Lott, Inc., have completed the design and we are negotiating with a contractor to do the work. Meanwhile, the “facelift” of Long Term Care's solarium was recently completed by Worthington Construction.  

PMC ON THE RADIO: Don’t forget to listen to PMC live on KFSK! We're on the air at 12:30pm on the first Thursday of each month to showcase our departments and services. This month's KFSK conversation included the Laboratory Department. Our laboratory manager and emergency preparedness coordinator, Laurie Miller, talked about what it takes to become a technician, our partnership with the University of Alaska Anchorage, the laboratory staff, new testing at PMC, and upcoming emergency preparedness drills. Tune in on Thursday, Sept. 5, to hear from our foundation board and find out who wins the Paddle Battle 2019 Alaska Airlines raffle.

— Phil Hofstetter, CEO, PMC
Last chance to win two roundtrip tickets on Alaska Airlines!
The Petersburg Medical Center Foundation is doing a raffle in connection with the 2 019 Paddle Battle. All proceeds will go toward furthering education for PMC staff. Alaska Airlines has donated two roundtrip tickets for travel to be booked in the next year. Raffle tickets are priced at $50 each.

The drawing will be done live on KFSK on Thursday, Sept. 5, at 12:30pm.

Support a great cause and you might win some free travel!
▲ Walkers and runners are invited to join the RainForest Run on Labor Day: Monday, Sept. 2.
End summer with the Rain Forest Run and other fitness activities
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
Higher education journey leads Margaret Agner back home to Petersburg
Her love for Alaska guided Margaret Agner's career choice.

After completing a biochemistry degree at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Margaret made a new plan for her future that took her back to school—and, ultimately, Alaska.

“I chose to become a medical technologist because I wanted to move back to Alaska,” she said, “and there aren't any jobs for biochemists here.”

Margaret was born and raised in Petersburg and graduated from high school here, then earned a five-year biochemistry bachelor's degree. She took a year off before next pursuing certification as a medical laboratory technician at Montana State University in Bozeman. After two years of courses, she passed certification exams and started working at Petersburg Medical Center in 2014.

Medical laboratory technicians, commonly called “med techs,” draw samples from patients. They analyze the samples under microscopes and with sophisticated equipment in the hospital lab.

Margaret works Monday-Friday with an occasional Saturday rotation. She also covers a call shift one night a week and one weekend a month. She spends her day doing blood draws from inpatients and from outpatients who come in for fasting morning labs and for other labs throughout the day. A majority of the testing is performed at the PMC lab the same day.

Margaret and Jesse Agner were married on the F/V Marathon in front of Horned Cliffs in 2014. They bought a house in Petersburg in 2017 where they live with their dog, Kokanee, and cat, Coho.

Margaret and Jesse enjoy all the outdoor adventures Petersburg has to offer such as hiking, camping and boating. Margaret also loves to read and eat her favorite treat, snicker doodle cookies. Margaret's favorite part of Petersburg is Christmas time: the tree lighting, Julebukking, holiday parties and snow.

“My favorite part of the lab here is definitely the people,” Margaret said. “My coworkers are great—and they make good food, too!”
▲ Margaret Agner and her sister, Hilary Hunter, at Hilary's graduation.
▲ Margaret Agner and her dog, Kokanee.
▲ PMC registered nurses Mamie Nilsen, Adam Axmaker and Steph Romaine stop for a photo.

▲ Jennifer Bryner, chief nursing officer (left), with Erica O'Neil, ward clerk; Elise Cubo, registered nurse and pharmacy manager; Helen Boggs, Long Term Care Manager, Max Craske, LTC activities staff; and Ruby Shumway, registered nurse in the skilled nursing department.
Patients are top priority for PMC nursing team
When patients seek any type of care at Petersburg Medical Center, they're likely to interact with at least one of PMC's 22 wonderful nurses. Where there are patients or residents, there are nurses!

The PMC Nursing Department is led by Jennifer Bryner, chief nursing officer; Helen Boggs, long term care Manager and director of nursing; Angela Menish, patient care director; and Elizabeth Hart, skilled nursing coordinator and case manager.

The rest of the team includes:

  • Twelve full-time registered nurses: Elise Kubo, Traci Vinson, Nichole Mattingly, Jolyn Duddles, Ruby Shumway, Mamie Nilsen, Mary Kravitz, Rosa Niemi, Mindy Enriquez, Angie Owens, Steph Romine and Adam Axmaker;
  • One LPN: Tekla Israelson; and
  • Five traveling register nurses: Nean Swanson, Kacie Grunau, Karen Bedsaul, Pat Ambrose and Janet Kizzian.

These nurses staff the long term care, acute, skilled, and intensive care units, and care for PMC's O.B., pediatric, outpatient, chemo and emergency room patients.

Nurses cover a wide range of duties. They communicate between patients and doctors; advocate for patients and residents; care for patients; administer medicine; observe and record patient behavior; perform physical exams; monitor patient recovery and progress; educate patients and their families about disease prevention and post-hospital treatment; and supervise nurses aides.

The nurses wouldn't be able to do their work without the help of PMC's certified nurse aides and ward clerks. Learn more about those staff teams in upcoming editions of the Petersburg Medical Center Newsletter.

Wrapping up a summer of picnics, pets, wildlife, and friends
In August, Long Term Care residents took advantage of sunny days with walks, van rides, and sitting out on the “porch” downstairs.

On bi-weekly van rides, residents enjoyed cocoa, coffee or ice cream and listened to music while keeping an eye out for wildlife. Highlights of this summer included a bear, some porcupines, lots of deer, eagles and a few kingfishers. Many stops were made to visit with people and pets from the community. When feeling up to it, residents traveled out the road. Resident Anne Lewis especially enjoys trips to Blind Slough, having been born there in 1925!

Throughout the month, residents continued to enjoy weekly scheduled activities. A special event that brought in furry friends was Share Your Pet Day, which was Monday, Aug. 26.

Residents wrapped up the month with their last potluck picnic of the summer season at Sandy Beach. Activities staff teamed up with Mountain View Manor staff for a combined picnic event with good food and company—and a nice, warm fire! 
▲ Denis Sperl and Ray Dugaque, LTC residents, visit with Jim Schwartz at the Culture Camp at Sandy Beach.

▲ Gladys Olsen, LTC resident, spending some time with young visitor Libby Thain.
Petersburg Medical Center | 907-772-4291 | [email protected]