January Community Newsletter
Petersburg Medical Center Newsletter
PMC Live on KFSK with Julie Spegilmyre, Business Office lead; Jill Dormer, informatics and fiscal director; and Phil Hofstetter, CEO.
PHN nurse Erin Michael (left) and secretary Dianne Schultz served food during Julebukking.
Margaret & Myles Harai at PMC Julebukking.
▲Bradee Axmaker, PMC physical therapist, visits Chevak to provide services at the school.
Always seeking new ways to improve PMC services
Our team continues to evaluate the needs of our facility and our services in the community, looking for ways to improve systematically and efficiently. We're grateful that community members are helping us move forward!

For example, thanks to feedback from participants at the last Community Café and some recent patient concerns, we've identified a tremendous need for a social worker—someone who can help patients to navigate needed healthcare resources and to make healthcare decisions, someone who can help with case management for patients. PMC is working to add these services an affordable and sustainable way.

Therapy services: We work closely with Petersburg schools on health issues, providing therapy services and screening opportunities. Our occupational therapist is becoming certified to assess whether a person is able to safely drive. If found unsafe to drive, OT can offer the driver rehabilitation services.

PMHS : Petersburg Mental Health Services is helping us integrate mental health care as needed for patients coming into the primary care clinic. A PMHS mental health clinician is on-site several days a week as part of our care team. We want this partnership to grow!

Extending our reach: We are working to expand some PMC-based services beyond Petersburg and even beyond Southeast. Currently, we have a contract to provide physical therapy services to the school district in Chevak. By contracting out PMC expertise that's wanted elsewhere, we have the opportunity to affordably add more specialties and services that will benefit patients right here in Petersburg.

VA: We reached out to the Veterans Administration to determine needs in Petersburg and how PMC can assist in developing or partnering to offer VA care locally. 

PeaceHealth Ketchikan:  We are working with PeaceHealth Ketchikan to provide a more consistent surgery clinic (colonoscopy and other scopes) and OB/GYN services at PMC. Building this relationship with PeaceHealth will also give PMC providers a consistent partner for patient referrals.

Public Health Nurse : Through efforts of our space committee, we have been able to keep Public Health Nursing in our main building, closely linked to our PMC healthcare team. We are excited that the space committee's innovative ideas are also allowing us to maximize existing space in the visiting physician area.

— Phil Hofstetter, CEO, PMC
Don't miss the next Community Cafe!
Petersburg Medical Center is hosting a second Community Cafe. Join us to help plan the future of PMC!

Date: Tuesday, Feb. 5

Times: 2:30pm & 6:30pm
Location: Dorothy Ingle Conference Room

  • Follow-up on first Community Cafe
  • Technology
  • Telehealth
  • Portable DR Machine

  • Jeannie Monk, Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association
  • Heidi Hedberg, State of Alaska
  • Phil Hofstetter, PMC CEO
▲ Sonya Paul, imaging tech, with PMC's portable X-ray and digital radiography machine, or portable DR machine. Join us at the Feb. 5 Community Cafe for a demonstration of this new equipment!
Get some help with your New Year's resolutions!
Parks and Rec is now offering lunchtime fitness activities!

Circuit Training: Tuesdays & Thursdays 11am-12noon
•  Yoga: Thursdays 12:15-1pm
Spin Bike: Tuesdays & Thursdays 1-2pm

WAVE is now offering wellness classes! Classes meet at the Community Center from 10am-12pm the first Saturday of every month.

Yoga: February 2
Fun ways to be active : February 9 (bonus WAVE wellness class for February!)

Check out our Facebook page for more photos!
Nursing a family tradition for PMC clinic manager
As clinic manager for Petersburg Medical Center, Jenna Olsen spends a lot of time on office tasks like staff scheduling, paperwork, and overseeing staff.

But her favorite part of the job is interacting with patients—whether that's hands-on in the clinic, or during a follow-up phone call.

"Seeing patients is the highlight of my day!" Jenna says.

Jenna was first introduced to the medical field by her grandmother, Alice Stafford, who was the on-call obstetrics/surgical nurse at PMC and later her career worked in Medical Records. Her grandmother is the reason Jenna decided nursing was the career for her.

Jenna started her time at PMC when she was in high school. She job-shadowed staff in nursing, activities, and the lab department.

After high school, Jenna left to pursue her college dreams. But those dreams were put on hold when she returned to Petersburg and started a family. She became a licensed practical nurse (LPN) and started working at PMC’s long-term care center 23 years ago. Jenna also began helping in the clinic occasionally, and five years ago became the full-time clinic manager.

Jenna's dream of finishing college and becoming a registered nurse will finally come true in February, when she graduates from Excelsior College’s Associates of Science in Nursing.

"I'm so proud of my mom for pursing and achieving her RN,” said Julia Evens, Jenna's daughter — who is enrolled in the pre-nursing program at the University of Alaska Southeast in Juneau.

“I've seen the countless hours she's put into this in addition to working full-time in the clinic, and I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this,” Julia said. “My mom is the most kind-hearted, caring, selfless and hardworking woman I know. I am beyond grateful to have such an amazing nurse and role model as a mother."

In addition to daughter Julia, Jenna has a son, Kirk Evens, a Petersburg fisherman.

Now that Jenna has a quiet, kid-free home, she likes to relax and spend time with her fiancé, Pat Sessa.

"He enjoys cooking,” says Jenna. “I enjoy eating it!”
Jenna Olsen and her children, Kirk and Julia Evens, over the years.
From left: Matt Pawuk, quality assurance manager; Doran Hammett, chief financial officer (CFO); Sarah Wright, CFO assistant; Chad Wright, CEO assistant, Cari Lantiengne and Patty Steele, patient accounts reps; Cindy Newman, HR director; Tammy Strickland, medical records coder; Jen Ray, Megan Lister, and Athena Haley, patient accounts reps.
▲Business Office staff observing Breast Cancer Awareness Month. From left: Chad Wright, CEO assistant; Jen Ray, Athena Haley, and Cari Lantiengne, patient accounts reps; Julie Spegilmyre, business office lead; Matt Pawuk, quality assurance manager.
PMC's Medical Records Department, from left: Janet Kvernvik, manager, and coders Tammy Strickland, Belinda Chase, and Abi Johnson.
Business Office
Healthcare costs are a major concern for patients. Our Business Office team is here to help you manage those costs as painlessly as possible!

The Business Office team includes six fiscal services employees, eight registration clerks, and four medical records staff. Each person plays a valuable role.

Registration clerks collect your insurance information and help get prior authorization from your insurer when needed.

Our medical records staff assign codes to the care you received. Getting these codes right is critical; the codes will determine what you will be charged.

The codes are sent to an outside billing company, which handles the complex process of seeking payment from the wide array of insurers used by our patients. Finally, the billing company invoices patients for costs not covered by insurance.

Those bills can be large! But we can help.

Payment Plan: The business office staff can put your bill or multiple bills on a single payment plan. You will then be able to make monthly, interest-free payments until your balance is paid. The business office can help design a monthly payment amount that will be comfortable for you and your family.

Discounts : PMC offers a "prompt pay discount." This means that if you pay your bill within 40 days of the statement date, you will receive a 20 percen discount!

Financial Help: Worried about your PMC bill? We want to help! Pick up a financial assistance packet at any of our registration centers. On the enclosed application, tell us about your monthly expenses, dependents, loans, and your situation. While on paper it might look like you can handle your PMC bill, we understand that there might be something else going on. Let us help you!

Business office staff are currently earning certification in financial counseling. We want to be the best in Alaska when it comes to helping our patients manage health care costs!

"A lot of people think they're not eligible for financial assistance. The worst we can say is 'no' — and you would be surprised how often we say 'yes.' We try to say 'yes'!"
– Julie Spegilmyre, Business Office lead
Long Term Care
Music, light, food and family make LTC holiday season special
PMC's long-term care residents and staff wrapped up a fun-filled holiday season and rolled right into a busy new year!

During the holidays, caroling groups from the elementary school, high school, Oxford, Santacon and the Girl Scouts delivered smiles and songs. Residents enjoyed a tree-trimming party, a trip to the annual Rotary Christmas party at Mountain View Manor, and an evening van ride to marvel at the community's outdoor light displays.

Residents opened Secret Santa gifts from PMC staff on Christmas morning and there were many smiles. A Christmas day meal brought in family, staff, friends and Santa.

Residents rang in the New Year with a large crowd of staff and community members — without losing sleep — at their annual “Countdown to Noon” on New Year's Eve! Residents enjoyed a baked potato bar with all the fixings, per their request, and voted to make it a monthly affair at their resident council meeting.

During January, the residents have enjoyed weekly activities of bingo, group dice games, sing-alongs, pet visits, live music, van rides, puzzles, coloring, individual swim outings, and more. They dream of warmer weather and will wrap up January at a “Happy Hour Luau” with costumes, snacks and mocktails, a “Tacky Tourist” relay race, and live ukulele music.
▲ LTC Resident Ray Dugaqua and Activities Director Janna Machalek celebrating Rays Birthday.
Bride and groom Marlena Erickson and Brian Newman paid a surprise visit to LTC on New Year's Eve. Marlena, a former PMC employee, made sure to stop in at LTC between the couple's wedding and reception.
▲  LTC residents and married couple Ray and Gladys Olsen ring in 2019!
▲ PMC nurses and sisters Ruby Shumway and Mamie Nilsen celebrate New Year's at LTC.
Petersburg Medical Center | 907-772-4291 | pmcweb@pmc-health.org