Petersburg Medical Center Newsletter
▲ PMC hosted a quarterly Employee Forum on Tuesday, January 21.
▲ PMC staff at the Friday movement class.

▲ Employees stopped by the conference room for coffee with Phil on Friday, January 24.
NEWSLETTER BANNER PHOTO: Town hall meeting at the Sons of Norway Hall.
Wellness committee focuses on improving health for PMC staff
WELLNESS AT PMC: Petersburg Medical Center has implemented a wellness program. Our wellness committee—made up of Kelly Zweifel, dietitian and wellness coordinator; Julie Walker, rehab services coordinator; Devynn Johnson, project manager; and Kelsey Lambe, public relations coordinator—is working to develop more wellness opportunities for staff. PMC offered 15-minute massages for staff throughout December and January to help relieve stress. On Fridays in January, we started offering 30-minute movement sessions with varied activities that included PiYo workouts, yoga, strength training, and a brisk winter walk.

EMPLOYEE FORUM: We held our quarterly Employee Forum on January 21, giving employees an in-person update on hospital developments. I gave updates on our master planning project, legislative activities, expansion of our services, and training opportunities for managers and staff. Julie Walker and Kelly Zweifel, from our wellness committee, gave an update on PMC's wellness program and reviewed results from the staff wellness survey taken in November. Laurie Miller, laboratory manager and emergency preparedness coordinator, demonstrated with Chad Wright, executive assistant, how to properly wear a powdered air-purifying respirator—protective equipment staff would use for respiratory protection.

— Phil Hofstetter, CEO, PMC
 Master plan process for new hospital discussed at town hall meeting
Nearly 75 community members gathered at the Sons of Norway Hall on Wednesday, January 22, to learn about and discuss conclusions of the master planning process for a new medical facility for PMC.

Dan Jardine from NAC Architecture firm presented studies developed during the master planning process over the past year. Jardine shared a structural analysis of PMC's existing facility, results of an inundation study, information about PMC's debt capacity, an analysis of PMC's services and the market, how space needed by each department is being determined, and comparative costs for each site being considered for a new facility.

The town hall meeting ended with the opportunity for community members to ask questions or give comments and feedback. You can find this presentation and the Q&A online at pmcak.org

▲ PMC's town hall meeting on January 22 updated the community on the master planning process that is exploring the possibility of a new medical facility for Petersburg.
▲ PMC staff members are now becoming certified lifeguards to help patients at the pool. Our newest lifeguards are (from left) Julie Walker, rehab service coordinator; Erica O'Niel, ward clerk; Noelle McPherson, activities assistant; Helen Boggs, LTC manager; and Troy Larson, Activities Assistant.
Do you Zumba? Try out these fitness sessions!
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
 Determination drives Maria Wagemaker's journey to better health
When Maria Wagemaker was a track and basketball athlete at Petersburg High School, she was a little overweight but fit. In 1995, she was the first Southeast Alaskan to qualify for the Elks National Hoop Shoot in Oregon. She placed fourth.

Over the years, though, Maria found herself gaining more and more weight. When doctors told her she likely couldn’t have children because of it, she resolved to find a solution.

“I’d always been active,” Maria said, “but found that no matter what diet I went on to help with weight loss, the weight would shed but then come right back—and then some.”

So in August 2018, as a last resort, she underwent vertical sleeve gastrectomy surgery. Since then, with careful eating and regular exercise, she has lost 130 pounds.

And in April, she and her husband are expecting their first child.

“I feel wanting a family kept me motivated to lose weight and become healthy,” Maria said. “It’s not so much the numbers I see on the scale as it is with how my health is. I was pre-diabetic and had high blood pressure and many other health issues, but those disappeared after I took the initiative to take care of myself. 

“My precious mom passed away when she was 52, which is way too young,” she added. “I feel that was also a motivator to lose the weight.”

Maria has been working at Petersburg Medical Center since November 2012, when she was hired in the Accounts Payable Department. She later worked as receptionist in the Physical Therapy Department, and is now receptionist for the Laboratory & Imaging departments. Her job includes checking in patients, answering phone calls, scheduling appointments for an array of tests, and tracking patient orders and employee health labs. Maria holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration, with a focus on management, from the University of Alaska Southeast.

Maria’s husband, Brandon, works as a cook in PMC’s Dietary Department. The two met online in 2009 and visited back and forth between Petersburg and Brandon’s hometown in Victoria, B.C., Canada, before marrying in Petersburg in August 2012.

Maria loves the family-feel of Petersburg, and spends as much time as possible enjoying the area’s outdoors activities—hunting, fishing, crabbing, shrimping, camping.

Thanks to weight loss, “this past fall I was able to do more fishing than I ever had been able to,” she said. “I was also able to go trekking through the woods, hunting with my husband for moose and deer.

“I do have a long ways to go, but am so thankful that I took the next step to become healthy,” Maria said. “Losing the weight has me humbled and so thankful.” 
▲ Maria and Brandon Wagemaker at their wedding.

▲ Maria and Brandon crabbing.

▲ Thanks to Maria's healthy living journey, she and Brandon are expecting a son in April.
▲ Skip Hallingstad, maintenance assistant, breaking up the ice to make sure PMC sidewalks are safe for patients and staff.

▲ Mike Boggs, Plant Operations and Maintenance Department director, at one of his many work stations in the warehouse.
This dynamic duo keeps PMC beautiful and safe, both inside and out
The Plant Operations and Maintenance team of Mike Boggs and Skip Hallingstad is responsible for ensuring that Petersburg Medical Center is a safe facility for patients and staff.

Mike is the early bird of the team, arriving at PMC around 4:00am. Skip comes in at 8:00am and works later in the day. Both are at the facility throughout the day and always reachable by cell phone.

These PMC staff members have their hands full maintaining the facility's property, building, grounds and security. They do regular preventative maintenance and check equipment. They maintain and update living quarters at Long Term Care. They are also involved in all facility esthetics and upgrades. A recent example of this is the large photo of lupine flowers at Baird Glacier, taken by PMC staffer Margaret Agner, that now hangs in the PMC Business Office entryway. Mike and Skip put the photo on a board, built and painted a frame for it, and then hung the photo.

Mike and Skip run all PMC fire drills and make sure employees are abiding by fire safety regulations.

This is all in addition to changing light bulbs, unclogging drains, keeping the heat on, and regularly walking through the entire facility to make sure everything is running safely and efficiently.

They handle not only the inside of the facility, but also make sure the outdoors is kept up. During the winter months they spend a lot of hours removing ice from sidewalks and walkways along with snow removal.

Residents ward off winter blues with roster of fun activities
Residents kicked off the New Year by making a ruckus at their annual New Year’s Eve Countdown to Noon! Carol Kandall played Auld Lang Syne and champagne flutes of bubbly cider were enjoyed by all. 
It was a big month for birthday celebrations at LTC! Many happy returns to Joe W., Ray D., Ray O., and Mike H! A bon voyage celebration was held for Ray D.’s granddaughter, Sarah R., who traveled all the way from Africa to visit! She shared slides and stories from her time in Kenya and brought many smiles to the residents.
A big thank you to our talented volunteer entertainers who provided live music throughout the month. Local musician Sarah Hofstetter hosted an open stage event at the hospital in the Dorothy Ingle Conference Room. Several residents attended the show and stayed until the evening, enjoying the jam session.
Throughout the month residents enjoyed group games, special crock pot meals, baking, sing-along and live music, documentaries, current events, manicures, coloring, puzzles and model building, and bi-weekly van rides. Residents also had their resident council meeting to direct the planning of activities for February.
Residents know how to keep the winter blues away; by popular request, they wrapped up the month on Jan. 31 with another happy hour with non-alcoholic "mocktail" drinks, snacks, and games!
▲ Myron Lyons, Swing bed patient, mixes some delicious-looking cookie batter.

▲ Emma Gates, CNA, and Gladys Olsen, LTC resident, snuggle a visiting bunny.

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