December Community Newsletter
Petersburg Medical Center Newsletter
PMC staff reach out to the community on KFSK the first Thursday of each month. From left: Sonja Paul, radiologic technologist; Elizabeth Bacom, lab/imaging manager; and Phil Hofstetter, PMC CEO.
Employees and community members gathered for November's Community Café
PMC managers focused on strategic planning at a recent retreat.
Improvements in the works at PMC
I hope everyone is having a great winter and is ready for the holidays! In my fifth month at PMC, I'm seeing that this is quite the busy place. Here are a few updates from administration. 

STRATEGIC PLANNING The board met for strategic planning in September and identified five priorities for PMC:
  1. New facility
  2. Integrated, patient-centered health care
  3. Community health & wellness/Education/Outreach
  4. Workforce development
  5. Financial stability/Growth.

The managers' retreat in October focused on bringing these priorities to life, beginning with workforce development. After all, our number one resource is you !

JOIN THE CONVERSATION November's Community Café informational presentations were added to the PMC website, and results of the conversations will be posted soon. The purpose of the event was for the community to get to know the hospital better and for us to find out what the community wants to see from PMC. A total of 80 people joined us to discuss services participants liked best, services they didn’t know PMC has, and services they would like to see added.

A community cafe will convene every few months, with new topics each time. The next session, tentatively set for January, will include a technology conversation and an educational community event that includes ENT/audiology, psychiatry and mental health telemedicine. 

PMC ON THE RADIO Don’t forget to listen to PMC live on KFSK! We're on the air at 12:15pm on the first Thursday of each month to showcase our departments and services. This month's KFSK conversation included the Therapies Department. Our occupational therapy, speech language therapy and physical therapy staff discussed their specialties. Kelsey Lambe, our public relations coordinator, highlights these events on social media and posts recordings of the broadcasts on social media and the PMC website.

Have a safe and peaceful holiday season!
— Phil Hofstetter, CEO, PMC
Active shooter drill helps PMC staff prepare for emergencies
How would Petersburg Medical Center react if a gunman entered the facility?

PMC tested staff readiness for this type of emergency with a full-scale active shooter exercise on Wednesday, Dec. 12.

Seven observers monitored the staff response and acted as safety officers to ensure that the exercise was safe, and that staff would learn from it. 

Laurie Miller, emergency preparedness coordinator, said she was very impressed with how each employee responded. 

"The feedback I received was that everyone enjoyed it, and learned at least one new thing from the exercise," Miller said. "That is always a good goal to meet. You want the participants to feel like they have learned something each time they participate in a drill or exercise."

The exercise was made possibly by local and regional partners, including:
• Petersburg Police Department
• Petersburg Mental Health
• U.S. Coast Guard
• Bartlett Regional Hospital
• Petersburg Borough School District
• Petersburg Indian Association
• Alaska Department of Transportation
• Community volunteers
Laurie Miller, emergency preparedness coordinator, briefs PMC staff before the active shooter drill.
The gunman (played by Jeff Meucci) was apprehended in front of the nurses' station by Petersburg Officer Carl Tate (center) and Chief Jim Kerr during the active shooter drill.
Parks and Rec staffer Alice Niediffer, dressed as Cindy Lou Hoo from How the Grinch Stole Christmas , visits Long Term Care residents.
Spin through the holidays with lunchtime fitness activities
Just in time for holiday stress management, Parks and Rec is now offering lunchtime fitness activities! Fight weight gain during this season of holiday parties by joining any of the following:

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

On Dec. 15, Parks and Rec hosted Breakfast with Santa. Afterwards, Santa sent his elves, Cindy Lou Hoo, and some children to walk over to Long Term Care to sing carols to the residents. The kids loved getting out for a walk, and the residents loved seeing the kids.

Check out our Facebook page for more photos!
Hometown physical therapist making a difference at PMC
Growing up in Petersburg with an older sister diagnosed with cerebral palsy, Bradee Axmaker watched how physical therapy impacted her sister’s life.

And by age 12, Bradee knew she wanted to make a similar impact.

Born and raised in Petersburg, Bradee has been a physical therapist at Petersburg Medical Center since February 2014.

She moved away after high school to attend Quinnipiac University in Connecticut, and spent the next six years completing a bachelor of science degree in health science studies, followed by a doctor of physical therapy degree.

Bradee returned to Petersburg to fulfill an obligation. She had been awarded the local hospital foundation scholarship, which required two years of work payback after she completed her doctoral degree.

Her plan was to stay for just these two years.

But after falling in love with her job, meeting her husband Adam, getting married, buying a home, having their first son Justin, and now awaiting their second child, she’s fallen in love with Petersburg as her new permanent home.

Bradee recently traveled to Burien, Wash., for an eight-week course to advance her passion of physical therapy. After completing the course and rigorous testing, she earned certification in pediatric neurodevelopmental treatment. Bradee is now one of just three people in Alaska to hold this certification, and the only one outside of Anchorage. 

Bradee specializes in pediatrics because she believes she can make the biggest impact with this age group. Her favorite part of her job is when someone reaches a goal that they thought they never could reach.

“Bradee is so awesome, I don't even know where to start,” said Morgan Falter, one of Bradee’s patients.
PMC physical therapist Bradee Axemaker with husband Adam and their son, Justin.
Bradee Axemaker displays the certificate she earned at a recent eight-week course in pediatric neurodevelopmental treatment.
Morgan loves that Bradee takes the time to learn more about the patient’s condition and interests. Bradee always incorporates her own personal interests in with the rehab they do each day, and it’s constantly changing, Morgan said.

Morgan never gets bored with therapy because it's always something new.

“Some people stick to their job description, but not Bradee,” Morgan said. “It's not a black-and-white job for her. She is always striving to learn more about her patients and her job.”
PMC Rehabilitation Department staff (from left): Kaitlin DuRoss, manager; Tara Burns, occupation therapist; Bradee Axemaker, physical therapist; Ellie Van Swearingen, physical therapist.
Bailey Koebernick, speech therapist.
Marnie Kempes, physical therapist.
Rehab therapists
team up to get
patients moving
Petersburg Medical Center's Rehabilitation Department staff consists of four physical therapists, one occupational therapist, and one speech therapist.

All therapists focus on rehabilitation after surgery, stroke, heart attack, an injury such as back pain, shoulder pain or knee pain, movement problems or a disability. While they work together and communicate with each other, each therapist uses her unique skill set to focus on a different aspect of your needs.

Physical therapists work on bigger movements—the gross-motor skills such as getting up and down the stairs, balance and fall risk prevention.

Occupation therapists work on fine-motor skills such as getting dressed, brushing teeth, showering, and leisure activities.

Speech therapists work with swallowing, cognition, speech, language, voice and hearing.

The therapists often work as a team to ensure a patient's whole body is being treated. In other cases, just one therapist is needed.

All therapists work with a wide range of people, from children to elders. They are constantly on the move, seeing patients in the facility, in their department, or in Long-Term Care. They go to the manor, patients’ homes, the school, or even to parks, the docks, and the pool.

Each appointment starts with a little paperwork and conversation so your therapist learn about you and what’s going on. Once they understand your needs and goals, they make a care plan. After your initial appointment you might return several times, or it might just be one or two times with some at-home exercises. 
Long Term Care celebrates the season
Long Term Care staff help the residents fill their days with activities that bring meaning to their lives and provide interactions with friends, family, staff and community members. Our activities allow residents to continue what they did before coming to LTC while providing opportunities for new experiences.

Residents kicked off the holiday season with foot soaks and massages, manicures, fresh fruit and sparkling cider at “Spa Day” before having their holiday portraits taken in front of the Christmas tree.

Our resident veterans attended an assembly in their honor at the high school, as well as a reception at PMC where they enjoyed cookies, coffee, and conversation with other veterans and active military personnel.

Residents welcomed close friends and family for a Thanksgiving meal in the Dorothy Ingle conference room. They enjoyed live music and sing-alongs throughout the month from performers Alec Mcmurren, Carol Kandoll and Sarah C Hanson Hofstetter , and vespers with a group that visits on Sundays.

December festivities have included trimming the LTC Christmas tree and individual mini-trees; Christmas stories with Beth R.; and the annual Rotary Christmas party at Mountain View Manor.

Residents are looking forward to Julebukking, the annual Christmas lights van ride, opening Secret Santa gifts on Christmas morning, and a Christmas meal with loved ones (and Santa!).

Residents have enjoyed the many carolers that have brought cheer, smiles and songs throughout the month, and look forward to more surprise visits through the end of the year! 

Marlena Erickson and son Toren Newman visit with LTC resident Gladys Olsen. ▲► LTC activities director Janna Machaelk (back) with volunteer Joyce Weller and resident Donald Ramsey. Family friend Jim Schwartz with LTC resident Ray Dugaqua.
LTC resident Ken Hagerman his wife, Beth, and son, Karl. ▼ LTC resident William Bolt takes a walk with Jael Swanson, CNA.
PMC will be closed Christmas Eve (Monday, Dec. 24) and
Christmas Day (Tuesday, Dec. 25).
We will be open 8am-12noon on New Year's Eve (Monday, Dec. 31) and closed on New Year's Day (Tuesday, Jan. 1).
Petersburg Medical Center | 907-772-4291 |