Photo of SEARHC Provider Terrance Babb

Terrence E. Babb, MD, FAAFP, FACOG, FACS


Specialty: Obstetrics and Gynecology

Location: Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital (S'ÁXT' HÍT) →

Certification: Board Certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Board Certified Family Practice Physician

Education & Experience:

Dr. Babb graduated from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA with his Bachelor of Science in Biology. He earned his medical degree at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, then completed a Family Practice Residency at Lancaster General Hospital in Pennsylvania. A few years later, Terrence completed his Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency at University of North Carolina (UNC) Mountain Area Health Education Council (MAHEC) in Asheville.

Before coming to SEARHC in 2015, Dr. Babb was in private practice in OB/GYN for several years, then worked nearly 10 years as an OB/GYN Consultant Staff member for Clearfield Hospital in Clearfield, PA. He also served as a Locus Tenens for: the United States Military Academy in West Point, NY; Indian Health Services in Pine Ridge, Ft. Thompson, and Lower Brule, SD; Blackfeet Community Hospital in Browning, Montana; Bassett Medical Center (Columbia University) in Cooperstown, NY; as well as multiple hospitals in South Dakota including Spearfish Hospital and Rapid City Regional Medical Center.

Terrence Babb spent part of his childhood in Delta Junction, Alaska and is now thankful for the opportunity to return to the state and serve the patients of Southeast Alaska.

Awards & Honors:

Lewis Rathbun M.D. Award given to the Chief Resident whose paper represents a significant contribution to the field of Gynecology.

Holmes Gillette Award Recipient, Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS), Norfolk – awarded annually to a member of the graduating class who is considered by fellow student and faculty to epitomize the ideals of EVMS.

Special Interests:

Dr. Babb’s medical interests include Consultant in General OB/GYN.

Outside the office, he personally enjoys fishing and classic cars.


Physician John Baciocco Sitka, AK

John A. Baciocco, MD, CPE

SEARHC Chief of Staff

Specialty: Family Medicine

Location: Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital (S'ÁXT' HÍT) →

Certification: American Board of Family Medicine

Education & Experience:

Dr. Baciocco earned a medical degree from the University of Vermont College of Medicine and completed a Family Practice Residency through the UC Davis School of Medicine at San Joaquin General Hospital in Stockton, California. He has practiced medicine at SEARHC since 1996.

In 2013 he was elected Deputy Chief of Staff of SEARHC Medical Staff, the same year he earned his Certified Physician Executive (CPE) designation from the American Association of Physician Leadership. In 2015 was tapped as Chief of Staff.

Special Interests:

Dr. Baciocco’s professional interests are disease prevention, managing common medical issues such as hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, CHF, gout, renal disease, etc.

His personal interests are coaching little league baseball, running, hiking, fishing, and hunting.


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Jeffery L. Bentley, PA-C


Specialty: Urgent/Emergent Care

Locations: Sitka → Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital (S'ÁXT' HÍT) →

Certification: National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA), August 2009. Wilderness Advanced Life Support – Wilderness Medical Associates International 2012.

Education & Experience:

Master of Physician Assistant Studies from Oregon Health & Sciences University School of Medicine, Portland, Oregon. Master of Science degree with an emphasis in Exercise Science and Nutrition from Southern Oregon University. Bachelor of Science in Health Promotion/Fitness Management from Southern Oregon University.

Prior to physician assistant school, Jeff worked for the Klamath Tribes of Southern Oregon managing their diabetic and pre-diabetes programs. His experience there spurred his desire to become a medical provider and therefore he sought physician assistant school in Portland, Oregon. During his clinical training, Jeff completed a rotation at the Haines Medical Clinic under Dr. Russ Bowman. Jeff’s medical experience prior to moving to Sitka was with several specialty practices in Southern Oregon. He assisted the general, vascular, and bariatric surgeons at Oregon Surgical Specialists for several years. During that time, he performed duties with the trauma service, first assisted in the operating room and cared for patients in the hospital and clinic. He also worked several years with Southern Oregon Internal Medicine, an outpatient adult internal medicine practice specializing in Endocrinology.

Jeff is excited about the variety of medical conditions presenting to Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital’s emergency and urgent care departments and enjoys exploring Southeast Alaska with his family.

Awards & Honors:

Most Outstanding Graduating Senior in Health Promotion Program – Southern Oregon University; Graduated Cum Laude – Southern Oregon University; Three time NAIA Academic All-American; Three time National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Track & Field All-American; Five time Track & Field Cascade Collegiate Conference Champion; Cascade Collegiate Conference Male Track and Field Athlete of the Year – 2001.

Special Interests:

Jeff’s medical interests are wilderness medicine, expedition and remote medicine. Also health promotion/disease prevention of American Indian and Alaskan Native people.

Outside MEH, Jeff enjoys time with his wife and three children. He is active in sprint triathlons and bicycle riding. Jeff enjoys outdoor camping, archery hunting, fishing, and waterskiing as well.


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Kimberly Capp, DO


Specialties: Internal Medicine, Pediatrics

Location: Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital (S'ÁXT' HÍT) →

Certification: American Board of Internal Medicine, American Board of Pediatrics, EMT-Basic & EMT-Intermediate Certifications

Education & Experience:

Kimberly earned a BA in Foreign Languages and BS in Biology from New Mexico State University – Las Cruces. She earned her medical degree at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, Erie, PA. After a one year traditional osteopathic rotating internship, Kimberly entered a four year Internal Med/Pediatrics Residency Program at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, PA. Kimberly graduated residency and was Board Certified in both Internal Medicine (ABIM) and Pediatrics (ABP) 2010.

Prior to her coming to SEARHC, Kimberly worked as a rural primary care physician in Seaside, Oregon practicing in the clinic, hospital, and doing community home visits. Kimberly now practices as a full-time Hospitalist at Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital is Sitka.

Kimberly was born and raised in San Jose, California and met her husband Trenton from Juneau, Alaska while attending college. The couple have 2 children and are excited about the many activities and opportunities in Southeast Alaska.

Special Interests:

Kimberly enjoys kayaking, swimming, crafting with her two daughters, and the practices of yoga and mindful meditation; she and her husband are science fiction and fantasy fans.


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Megan Dempster, PT, DPT


Specialty: Physical Therapy

Locations: Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital (S'ÁXT' HÍT) → Sitka →

Certification: Physical Therapy License

Education & Experience:

Megan received her Bachelor of Science, Exercise Science degree from the University of Montana and earned a Doctorate of Physical Therapy at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. She has practiced at South Peninsula Hospital in Homer, AK, and Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle and is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association.

Special Interests:

Professionally, Megan has a special interest in women’s health and yoga. Personally, she enjoys hiking, soccer, snowboarding, outdoor activities with her dog, and yoga.


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Valerie S. Edwards, MD


Specialty: Family Medicine

Locations: Kake → Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital (S'ÁXT' HÍT) →

Certification: American Board of Family Medicine

Education & Experience:

Dr. Edwards earned her undergraduate degree from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo., and she earned her Medical Doctorate from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver. She completed her residency through the Alaska Family Medicine Residency program in Anchorage, a program that included fieldwork in Bethel, Kodiak and Unalaska.

Awards & Honors:

Dr. Edwards was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor fraternity as an undergraduate student.

Special Interests:

Dr. Edwards’ interests include the full spectrum of Family Medicine services, including women’s health, obstetrics, adolescents, and disease prevention. She also enjoys spending time with her husband and two young sons, swimming, running, and hiking. In addition to working at Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital in Sitka, Dr. Edwards will provide services to the community of Kake.


Photo of SEARHC Provider John Fulton

John Fulton, PharmD


Specialty: Pharmacy

Locations: Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital (S'ÁXT' HÍT) → Sitka →


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Traci Gale, PharmD

SEARHC Director of Pharmacy

Specialty: Pharmacy

Locations: Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital (S'ÁXT' HÍT) → Sitka →

Education & Experience:

Ms. Gale earned her Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Illinois, Chicago. She started her career as a staff pharmacist at the Warm Springs Health and Wellness Center on the Warm Springs Reservation in Oregon. Traci was the Acting Director of Pharmacy when she decided to work in hospital pharmacy. She moved to Sitka to accept a job at Mt. Edecumbe Hospital. Traci started in Sitka as a staff pharmacist and eventually moved into the role of Assistant Chief, then Chief of Pharmacy for MEH. She now serves as the Directory of Pharmacy for SEARHC.

Traci has been working for SEARHC since 1995. She fell in love with the people and the community and decided to make Sitka her home. During her many years with SEARHC Traci says she has met many wonderful people who have been willing to share their culture, their experiences and their families with her and have trusted her to take care of them.

Awards & Honors:

MEH Staff of the Season; US Public Health Service Commendation Medal; Field Medical Readiness Badge; Outstanding Unit Citation; Caring Employee of the Month; Crisis Response Service Award; Quality Improvement Award; Certificate of Appreciation; Public Health Service Citation; and Unit Commendation

Special Interests:

Professionally Traci enjoys expanding the role of pharmacists in the management of chronic diseases to improve the quality of life of the people she serves.

Outside the office, Traci loves to read, hike and camp in beautiful Southeast Alaska. She also enjoys teaching kickboxing classes and skating in roller derby.


SEARHC-PORTRAIT---Gebler

Kelly Gebler, CRNA


Specialty: Anesthesiology

Locations: Sitka → Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital (S'ÁXT' HÍT) →

Certification: National Board of Certification & Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA)

Education & Experience:

Kelly’s experience at SEARHC includes serving many years as a registered nurse before becoming a CRNA. Prior to coming to work at SEARHC in 2004, she worked as a traveling nurse throughout the country.

She first came to Alaska in the summer of 2000 on a kayaking trip and returned in 2001 to continue her nursing career.

Ms. Gebler received her nursing degree St. Vincent Health Center in Erie, Pennsylvania, her Bachelor of Science Nursing from Florida Hospital College of Health Sciences in Orlando, Florida, and a Master of Science Nurse Anesthesia (MSNA) from Adventist University in Orlando, Florida.

Awards & Honors:

Adventist University Nursing Honor Society Suma Cum Laude

Special Interests:

Kelly is particularly interested in medical mission trips and other philanthropic medical endeavors.

She spends her free time kayaking and hiking.


Photo of Courtney Hayashi

Courtney A. Hayashi, MD


Specialty: Family Medicine

Location: Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital (S'ÁXT' HÍT) →

Certification: American Board of Family Medicine

Education & Experience:

Dr. Hayashi earned her Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry from Rice University in Houston, Texas, and earned her medical degree from the Baylor College of Medicine.

She completed her General Surgery internship at the University of California San Francisco and her Family Medicine residency at the Oregon Health & Science University Cascades East.

Special Interests:

Dr. Hayashi’s medical interests cover the full spectrum of family medicine. In her free time, she enjoys bicycling, hiking, running, and almost anything outdoors.


SEARHC-PORTRAIT---Helmick

William Helmick, PA


Specialty: Orthopedic Surgery

Locations: Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital (S'ÁXT' HÍT) → Sitka →

Education & Experience:

Bill is a Physicians Assistant with a strong emphasis in orthopedics and surgery. 

Before coming to SEARHC, Bill was a graduate of Pacific University where he graduated with a master’s degree in Physician Assistant Studies. He also worked in orthopedic surgery and care in Portland Oregon.

Bill has extensive experience with but not limited to the management of injuries, spinal evaluations and surgery, pre and post-operative patients, arthroscopy and arthroplasty, and casting, splinting, and reductions. 

Prior to his career at SEARHC, he was previously a Navy Corpsman. Bill was also an Orthopedic Technician in Hermiston, Oregon and an Orthopedic Physician Assistant in Portland, Oregon. 

Special Interests:

He enjoys hunting, fishing and hiking. 


Photo of Grace Hwang

Grace T. Hwang, MD


Specialty: Hospitalist

Location: Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital (S'ÁXT' HÍT) →

Certification: American Board of Family Medicine

Education & Experience:

Dr. Hwang earned her medical degree from the Boston University School of Medicine. She returned to Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital in spring 2008 after spending 3 1/2 years working in Fargo, N.D. Prior to that, Dr. Hwang spent seven years working all over Alaska, including Sitka, Juneau, Haines, Craig, Ketchikan, Wasilla, Dillingham, Kodiak, Kotzebue, Nome and Barrow. She also has worked in Hawai’i, Colorado, and Oregon.

Awards & Honors:

Dr. Hwang won 2007 and 2008 North Dakota Diabetes Care Provider Gold Awards from the North Dakota Department of Public Health and Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota.

Special Interests:

Dr. Hwang has a special medical interest in obstetrics. She enjoys hiking, traveling, fishing, reading and spending time with her family. “I am excited to be a part of the SEARHC community again,” she said.


Photo of Cody Johnston

Cody D. Johnston, CRNA


Specialty: Anesthesiology

Location: Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital (S'ÁXT' HÍT) →

Certification: National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA)

Education & Experience:

Mr. Johnston earned his Masters of Science in Nurse Anesthesia from Arkansas State University. He came to SEARHC from Western Missouri Medical Center in Warrensburg. Cody’s clinical steps were completed at St. Vincent Hot Springs in Arizona and at Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock. He also completed a specialty rotation in a rural setting in SE Arkansas which peaked his interest in small community driven hospitals where care can be challenging.

Cody felt an overwhelming sense of belonging since his arrival here and since day one he knew this was the place he needed to be.

Special Interests:

His professional interest is Regional Anesthesia.

Outside work his interests are fitness, American Ninja Warrior and spending quality time with his family, which usually involves fitness and American Ninja Warrior.


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Christopher P. Jones, PT, MS-PT, CSCS


Specialty: Physical Therapy

Location: Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital (S'ÁXT' HÍT) →

Certification: Certified as a physical therapist by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) credential from the National Strength and Conditioning Association

Education & Experience:

Christopher earned a Master’s of Science in Physical Therapy degree from the University of Miami in Miami, Fla. As an undergraduate, he attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and the University of Colorado in Boulder, where he studied psychology and biomedical anthropology. Before moving to Sitka, Christopher previously was licensed and practiced physical therapy in New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Florida. His most recent job before moving to Sitka was in acute physical therapy and rural home health at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H.

Special Interests:

Christopher’s special medical interests include acute physical therapy and evidence-based care. He also enjoys sharing Alaska with his wife Susan, fly-fishing, Trout Unlimited, poker, and spending time with his golden retrievers Brandy and Ginger.


Photo of Loren Laybourne

Loren E. Laybourn, MD


Specialty: Radiology

Location: Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital (S'ÁXT' HÍT) →

Certification: American Board of Radiology

Education & Experience:

Dr. Loren Laybourn received his Masters of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Washington; Medical Doctor from the University of Washington in Seattle; and completed his Radiology Residency at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Florida. He also received a Fellowship in Body Imaging from the University of Washington.

Special Interests:

Dr. Laybourn’s professional interest is medical imaging. His personal interests are fishing, 3D printing, family, and reading.


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Kaitlyn “Kati” McAfee, PharmD  


Specialty: Pharmacy

Locations: Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital (S'ÁXT' HÍT) → Sitka →

Certification: Board Certified Pharmacotherapy Specialist

Education & Experience:

Kati graduated from Ferris State University College of Pharmacy in Grand Rapids, MI. 

Prior to working for SEARHC, Kati worked at Trinity Health’s Mercy Health Partners in Muskegon, MI. She complete her residency at Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise, ID.

Now, as a member of the SEARHC team, Kati believes that the continuity of care within SEARHC (which is possible through the use of a shared medical records), allows for safer and more effective patient care. In this way, pharmacists, physicians, nurses and other healthcare providers collaborate for the benefit of the patients. 

Special Interests:

Kati’s work related interests include medication education and patient empowerment, ambulatory care, infectious disease stewardship, and medication reconciliation and optimization. 

In her personal time, Katy enjoys water sports, snowboarding, horseback riding and exploring Alaska with her husband. 


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Jennifer S. McNichol, MD


Specialty: Pediatrics

Location: Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital (S'ÁXT' HÍT) →

Certification: American Board of Pediatrics

Education & Experience:

Dr. McNichol earned her medical degree from the University of Vermont College of Medicine in Burlington, Vt., and she completed an internship and residency at the University of California, Davis Medical Center, in Davis, Calif. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree at Brown University in Providence, R.I. Before returning to SEARHC Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital as a part-time pediatrician, Dr. McNichol worked as a part-time pediatrician at Sitka’s Moore Clinic and as a full-time staff physician for SEARHC.

Special Interests:

Dr. McNichol has a special interest in all aspects of pediatrics.


Photo of Annie Nunley

Diane “Annie” Nunley, PA-C


Specialty: General Surgery

Location: Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital (S'ÁXT' HÍT) →

Certification: American Academy of Physician Assistants

Education & Experience:

Diane “Annie” Nunely is a graduate of Portland State University. She received her medical education at Oregon Health Sciences University where she graduated with a master’s degree of Physician Assistant Studies. Prior to that, she received her bachelor’s degree from Portland State University. 

Prior to completing her education to become a physician assistant, Annie served as the director of a program providing health care to homeless women in Colorado. As a physician assistant, her work has taken her to several places including the island of Molokai in Hawaii, where she established a community health center.

Annie also served in the Hawaiian National Guard, and was in active duty at a hospital in Afghanistan where she provided front-line trauma care.


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J. Dwight Pierson, PharmD


Specialty: Pharmacy

Locations: Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital (S'ÁXT' HÍT) → Sitka →


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Jill Reid, BSPharm


Specialty: Pharmacy

Locations: Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital (S'ÁXT' HÍT) → Sitka →

Education & Experience:

Ms. Reid is the Pharmacy Manager at Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital in Sitka.


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Rob Sulzbach, PharmD


Specialty: Pharmacy

Locations: Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital (S'ÁXT' HÍT) → Sitka →

Education & Experience:

Robert obtained his doctorate degree in pharmacy from the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy. 

Previous to working at SEARHC, Robert was a Pharmacist on the White Mountain Apache Reservation in Whiteriver, AZ and a Munitions Systems Specialist in the US Air Force. 

Now a member of the SEARHC team, Robert says he is “thrilled for the opportunity to work for SEARHC and to be involved with the patients and providers at all of the various clinics and villages in such an amazing part of the world.”

Awards & Honors:

US Public Health Service Commendation Medal for service to patients on hemodialysis. 

Special Interests:

Robert is interested in all things pharmacy; especially clinical pharmacy and remote outreach to patients and providers in villages. 

In his spare time, Robert loves fishing and hunting, hiking, boating, and spending time with his family. 


Stephanie Vanderlice, Physical Therapist at Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital in Sitka.

Stephanie Vanderslice, PT, DPT


Specialty: Physical Therapy

Location: Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital (S'ÁXT' HÍT) →

Certification: National Physical Therapy Examination; Licensed in the state of Alaska

Education & Experience:

After completing her Bachelor’s of Science in Sport and Exercise Science at Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania, Stephanie stayed at Gannon University and earned a Doctorate of Physical Therapy.

Prior to SEARHC, Ms. Vanderslice provided physical therapy to patients at a skilled nursing and rehabilitation center in Massachusetts performing evaluations and treatments on wide variety of patients ranging from orthopedics to complex neuromuscular cases.

Special Interests:

Professionally, Stephanie is especially interested in geriatrics and balance-related issues.


Photo of David Vastola

David Vastola, MD


Specialty: Pediatrics

Location: Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital (S'ÁXT' HÍT) →

Certification: American Academy of Pediatrics

Education & Experience:

Dr. Vastola earned a medical degree from and completed a residency at the University of Connecticut. Dr. Vastola was hired by SEARHC as a pediatrician at S’áxt’ Hít Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital in 1988, and in 1994 he became medical director for SEARHC Community Health Services, where he supervised medical services provided by SEARHC’s rural clinics. In 2012, Dr. Vastola returned to providing pediatric services at the hospital in Sitka.

Awards & Honors:

Dr. Vastola received the 2011 Sockeye Award from the Alaska Primary Care Association for his work increasing access to primary health care in rural Southeast Alaska.

Special Interests:

Dr. Vastola enjoys adolescent medicine and developmental pediatrics.


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Gio G. Villanueva, PT, DPT, ATC


Specialty: Physical Therapy

Location: Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital (S'ÁXT' HÍT) →

Education & Experience:

Gio earned his Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree from Des Moines University Osteopathic Medical Center in Des Moines, Iowa. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in sports medicine from Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif. Gio is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, and he worked with Air Force veterans with Air Force Village II and Christus Santa Rosa Medical Group in San Antonio, Texas. Gio also is a certified athletic trainer (ATC). He enjoys fulfilling the needs of SEARHC patients from the villages and communities of Southeast Alaska while incorporating resources to educate them about the preservation and maintenance of their functionality.

Special Interests:

Gio’s special medical interests include physical therapy and athletic training. He also enjoys trekking, traveling and triathlons. Gio serves as the executive director of the Alaska Regional Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine.