Our highly qualified providers are devoted to delivering the best health care possible, honoring SEARHC’s mission, and values. Our medical staff offers a wide range of specialties to handle just about all your health care needs.

Please use the search boxes below to learn more about our providers.


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.


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Katherine (Kat) Sweetman, RDN LD


Specialty: Nutrition

Location: Juneau →

Certification: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Registered Dietitian

Education & Experience:

Kat earned her Bachelor of Science and graduated cum laude in Dietetics from the University of Alaska Anchorage where she also completed her Dietetic Internship. Her internship included rotations in Clinical Nutrition at Providence Alaska Medical Center, School Food Service Management in the Anchorage School District, Rural & Community Nutrition with WIC, Outpatient Nutrition at the Southcentral Foundation, Renal Nutrition at the Fresenius Medical Centers, and Food Service Management at the Alaska Native Medical Center.

Special Interests:

Professionally, Kat is interested in diabetes, weight management, sports nutrition, and physical fitness. During her time off, she likes to explore the arts and food scene in Juneau, try out new recipes, and enjoy Southeast Alaska’s liquid sunshine while hiking, camping, biking, and sailing. 


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Keith Merrifield, LCSW


Specialty: Behavioral Health - Clinician

Location: Juneau →

Certification: Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)

Education & Experience:

After completing his Bachelor of Arts in both psychology and education at Western University in Ontario, Canada, Keith attended Eastern Washington University in Cheney, Washington where he earned his Master’s in Social Work.

Keith is trained in the areas of depression, anxiety, anger, abuse, trauma, loss and grief, life transitions, adjustment disorders, post traumatic growth, autism, and attachment disorders. He looks to balance strategies for reducing stress with strategies for enhancing happiness and well-being. Keith uses evidence-based psychological interventions along with clients’ personal beliefs about the change process together with their personal and cultural values.

Prior to SEARHC, Mr. Merrifield was a behavioral health clinician in Wrangell, Alaska as well as for Catholic Community Services in Juneau.

Special Interests:

Professionally, Keith is especially interested in Dialectical Behavior and Cognitive Behavior Therapy. In his free time, he enjoys the challenges that Alaska has to offer, especially running in the rain.


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Marc Desjarlais, DDS


Specialty: Dentistry

Location: Juneau →

Education & Experience:

Dr. Desjarlais attended the University of Minnesota where he earned a BSB in Business and Entrepreneurial Management. He went on to the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry to earn his Doctor of Dental Surgery. Marc began working for SEARHC in 2011 and practices in the Juneau Dental Clinic in addition to traveling to SEARHC clinics in outlying communities

Special Interests:

Professionally, Dr. Desjarlais is especially interested in endodontic therapy, oral surgery, and advanced restorative of severely broken down dentitions. Personally, he enjoys hiking, fishing, travel, sports, and spending time with his wife and dog.


Sheila Fullbright ia a pharmacist at SEARHC's Ethel Lund Medical Center in Juneau.

Sheila Fullbright, RPh


Specialty: Pharmacy

Location: Juneau →

Certification: Board Certification in Ambulatory Care Pharmacy by Board of Pharmacy Specialties, National certification for Pharmacy based Anticoagulation

Education & Experience:

Sheila (CDR, US Public Health Service) received her BS in Pharmacy from the Medical University of South Carolina College of Pharmacy. She is board certified in Ambulatory Care and Nationally certified as a pharmacist anticoagulation provider. Before moving to Juneau, she worked at the Yukon-Kuskowim Regional Hospital in Bethel, Whiteriver Indian Hospital in Arizona, and Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage.

Awards and Honors: US Public Health Service Commendation Medal, Achievement Medal, PHS Citation, Unit Commendation, Isolated Hardship.

Awards & Honors:

US Public Health Service Commendation Medal, Achievement Medal, PHS Citation, Unit Commendation, Isolated Hardship.


Pharmacist Jason Teresa Krilitech-Bruce Juneau AK

Teresa Kriletich-Bruce, PharmD


Specialty: Pharmacy

Location: Juneau →

Education & Experience:

.Dr. Kriletich Bruce earned her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California. Prior to joining the SEARHC community, she worked in pharmacies in many different settings in San Francisco, Spokane, Anchorage, and Juneau. She has served on the board for the Alaska Pharmacists Association and is affiliate faculty for the pharmacy schools for whom we provide student experiential rotations.

Ms. Bruce is the Pharmacy Manager at Ethel Lund Medical Center in Juneau.

Special Interests:

Teresa finds working as part of a team which is striving to continuously improve health care services for our patients very rewarding.

Her personal interests include traveling and enjoying outdoor work and play. She also enjoys reading novels, going to concerts and to the theatre, and losing herself in music and dance.


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John Lang, MD


Specialty: General Surgery

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

Certification: American Board of Surgery Advanced Trauma Life Support, Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Pediatric Advanced Life Support, Basic Life Support.

Education & Experience:

Dr. Lang earned his medical degree from the Pennsylvania State University School of Medicine. He completed a residency in General Surgery at PinnacleHealth Hospital (Harrisburg, PA). He then completed a Colon and Rectal Surgery Fellowship at the William Beaumont Hospital (Royal Oak, MI). He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Allegheny College (Meadville, PA). Before moving to Sitka, Dr. Lang served in the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps as the Chief of Surgery at the Claremore Indian Health Service hospital (Claremore, OK), and also as Clinical Director for FCI Herlong (Herlong, CA). Dr. Lang has also worked in VA hospitals in Temple, TX and Asheville, NC; in addition to private practice in Texas and Pennsylvania.  

Awards & Honors:

Dr. Lang received “Practice of the Year” awards in previous positions, as well as two Achievement Medals, two Unit Commendation medals and a Hazardous Duty Award during his service in the United States Public Health Service.

Special Interests:

Dr. Lang’s professional interests include the full spectrum of general and colorectal surgery, specifically endoscopy, laparoscopic surgery, and management of inflammatory bowel disease.  Dr. Lang has a special interest in performing colon cancer screening, rural general surgery, and optimizing the health of the Native American and Alaskan Native people. 

Outside MEH, Dr. Lang enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter, reading science fiction, college football, and fishing.


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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.


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Diana Lachman, ANP


Specialty: Family Medicine

Location: Angoon →

Certification: American Nurses Credentialing Center

Education & Experience:

Ms. Lachmann earned her master of science in nursing at University of Washington.


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Elizabeth Graham, FNP


Specialty: Family Medicine

Location: Juneau →

Certification: American Academy of Nurse Practitioners

Education & Experience:

Ms. Graham earned her master of science in nursing at Sonoma State University.


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Carole Knuth, PA-C


Specialty: Family Medicine

Location: Pelican →

Certification: National Commission of Certification of Physician Assistants

Education & Experience:

Ms. Knuth earned her master of science in health professions at University of Florida School of Physician Assistant Studies.


Pharmacist L. Michelle Vaughn Juneau AK

L. Michelle Vaughn,  PharmD


Specialty: Pharmacy

Location: Juneau →

Certification: Board Certified Ambulatory Care Pharmacist (BCACP), Board Certified Advanced Diabetes Management (BC-ADM), National Clinical Pharmacy Specialist in Anticoagulation (NCPS), Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE)

Education & Experience:

Dr. Vaughn earned her PharmD degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, graduating Cum Laude (with Distinction) after graduating with honors from East Tennessee State University with a Bachelor of Science (biology/biochemistry) and a Bachelor of Fine Arts (photography). She completed a PGY1 residency at the McGuire VA Medical Center in Richmond, Virginia. She then completed a PGY2 residency with a specialty in Family Medicine and Academia at the Gatton College of Pharmacy, with most rotations at Quillen College of Medicine Family Medicine Clinics.

Special Interests:

Dr. Vaughn has a particular interest in diabetes management and chronic disease management. She serves as primary preceptor for pharmacy students completing rotations at the Ethel Lund Medical Center.

In her free time, she enjoys spending time outdoors with her family, maintains a love-hate relationship with running, and likes to relax with a good book.


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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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John Fulton, PharmD


Specialty: Pharmacy

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


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Rob Sulzbach, PharmD


Specialty: Pharmacy

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


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J. Dwight Pierson, PharmD


Specialty: Pharmacy

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


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Kaitlyn “Kati” McAfee, PharmD  


Specialty: Pharmacy

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


Pharmacist Adele Garrison Juneau AK

Adele Garrison, PharmD


Specialty: Pharmacy

Location: Juneau →

Certification: IHS National Clinical Pharmacy Specialist (NCPS) in Anticoagulation Services

Education & Experience:

LT Garrison (LT, U.S. Public Health Service), graduated pharmacy school in May 2013 from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, NM.  She then went on to complete a one-year PGY-1 Residency at the W.W. Hastings Hospital which is an IHS Hospital and Outpatient Pharmacy facility in Oklahoma. Following her residency, she moved to Juneau in and began working at SEARHC Ethel Lund Medical Center as a Clinical Outpatient Pharmacist.

Awards & Honors:

Alaska Pharmacist Association (AKPhA) Distinguished Young Pharmacist Award 2016

Special Interests:

Professionally, she is particularly interested in providing anticoagulation services, diabetes education and training, and staying current on changes in the field of pharmacy. Personally, she enjoys hiking, cooking, fishing, and traveling.


Pharmacist Jason Tapley Juneau AK

Jason Tapley, PharmD


Specialty: Pharmacy

Location: Juneau →

Education & Experience:

Dr. Tapley received his Bachelor of Science – Biotechnology from the Rochester Institute of Technology and graduated with High Honors. He earned his Doctor of Pharmacy at the University of North Carolina Eshelman School of Pharmacy in Chapel Hill, spending many years on the Dean’s list and graduating with Highest Distinction. Jason spent several years with Rite Aid Pharmacy in North Carolina before coming to SEARHC.

As an advocate for increasing the availability of healthcare services to patients, Jason testified at the Alaska State Senate in support of Senate Bill 71 that would allow pharmacists to administer vaccines and emergency medications independently. The bill was signed into law on May 15, 2015.

Special Interests:

Professionally, Jason is interested in finding new ways the pharmacy can provide beneficial services to the community. In his free time, he enjoys reading, running, hiking, hockey, bicycling, and many other outdoor activities.


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John Sickman, PharmD


Specialty: Pharmacy

Location: Haines →


Behavioral Health Clinician Larina Santos Juneau AK

Larina Santos, MSW


Specialty: Behavioral Health - Clinician

Location: Juneau →

Education & Experience:

Born in Juneau, Alaska, Larina earned her Masters of Science in Social Work from the University of Texas at Arlington after having graduated with a Bachelor in Social Work from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Prior to joining SEARHC, Larina spent time as a clinic intern at the Juneau Alliance for Mental Health and a therapist intern in Arlington, Texas.

She is Tlingit and member of the Eagle tribe, Kaagwaantaan of the Eagle Nest House.

Special Interests:

Larina is especially interested in adult mental health and crisis/trauma.


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Esther Heath, FNP


Specialty: Family Medicine

Location: Hoonah →

Certification: American Academy of Nurse Practitioners

Education & Experience:

Esther received her Bachelor of Science and Nursing from Northwest Nazarene University in Boise, Idaho, and earned her Master of Nursing-Family Practice Nurse Practitioner from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington.

Prior to SEARHC, Ms. Heath spent several years as an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner at the University of Washington Cardiovascular ICU where she managed care for both cardiac and cardiovascular patients.

Special Interests:

Professionally, Esther is interested in preventative care, complex patient management, and internal medicine.

Personally, she enjoys reading, cooking, hiking, and being involved in the community.


DeborahReynolds, family practice nurse practitioner at SEARHC in Hydaburg AK.

Deborah Reynolds, FNP-C


Specialty: Family Medicine

Location: Hydaburg →

Certification: American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)

Education & Experience:

SEARHC welcomed Deborah Reynolds, FNP-C to the Hydaburg Alma Cook Health Center in the fall of 2015. She was a familiar face to many patients, since she worked in 2012 as a locum provider for SEARHC in Hydaburg.

Ms. Reynolds became a Family Nurse Practitioner in 2000, after receiving her Master of Science, Family Nurse Practitioner degree from Georgia State University in Atlanta. Prior to that, she worked as a Registered Nurse with experience in almost every acute care setting including ER, NICU, open heart recovery, Internal Medicine, Urgent Care, and Primary Care.

Ms. Reynolds provides a full spectrum of medical services. Her primary home is in Hydaburg, though she splits her time between there and the Alicia Roberts Medical Center in Klawock.

Awards & Honors:

Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society, Epsilon Alpha Chapter

Special Interests:

Deborah’s special interest professionally is emergency medicine. Personally she enjoys “all types of outdoor activities, her pets, her three children, four grandchildren, travel, and God (not necessarily in that order).”


Paul Gaines, Behavioral Health Clinician photo

Paul Gaines, MSW M.Ed.


Specialty: Behavioral Health - Clinician

Location: Haines →

Education & Experience:

Paul Gaines earned his Master of Social Work at the University of Connecticut; a Master of Education in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, for Licensure at Bridgewater State University; and a BA in Communication Arts and Sciences, with a Minor in Radio and Television Production and Operation at Bridgewater State University. His career stops before SEARHC include Carleton College in Minnesota, Massachusetts Maritime Academy; the College of Visual Arts in Minnesota, University of Connecticut; WGBH-TV, in Boston; Kodiak Area Native Association; and Clinical and Support Options, Inc. in Massachusetts. Paul also worked with Lynn Canal Counseling Services in Haines.

Paul says “It is reassuring to be surrounded by fellow behavioral health providers who share my philosophy for removing barriers to treatment and the manner in which we deliver direct service to our clients. Earning C.A.R.F. (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities) accreditation is a testament to the high standards that Lynn Canal Counseling Services staff upheld and continue as part of SEARHC since merging in October 2015.”

Awards & Honors:

Student Veterans Leadership Award

Special Interests:

Paul’s professional interests include the ARC Model, Illness Management Recovery, Substance abuse treatment, anger management, and Equine-Assisted Therapy.

Outside the office, he is a world traveler now settling into the Alaskan wilderness and taking advantage of this opportunity with all the rewards and challenges it provides. Paul has horses, enjoys photography, hiking, fishing, hunting and generally being outdoors. When he lived in New England he used to kayak, and is taking up cross country skiing since moving to Haines in 2015. Paul hosts a weekly jazz show on KHNS the local radio station. When he lived in the lower 48, he competed in ranch sorting and team roping and trained horses. In grad school Paul was a skydiver and adviser to UConn Skydiving where we took several honors in the national championship competition in 2012 and 2013.


Katherine (Kate) Fossman Registered Dietitian

Katherine (Kate) Fossman, RDN, LD


Specialty: Nutrition

Location: Haines →

Certification: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Education & Experience:

Ms. Fossman received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Alaska Anchorage with her major in dietetics and a minor in communications.

Before her arrival at SEARHC, Kate was in private practice at Klondike Chiropractic in Haines. She also completed a dietetic internship in Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Nome with a focus on research and making evidence-based recommendations for patient care.

Kate is excited to work with SEARHC and appreciates the opportunity to serve Hoonah, Kake, Angoon and Klukwan as well as the Haines community. She enjoys working closely with providers to better serve their patients through tighter continuity of care.  “It’s very special that I’m able to help people in Haines – it feels great to give back to the community that has already given so much to me.” Kate commented.

Awards & Honors:

Ms. Fossman was first in her class and graduated Magna Cum Laude. She has published research along with a presentation at the Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo in October 2014.

Special Interests:

Her career interests include diabetes, heart disease, overweight, obesity, helping others overcome weight as well as health barriers and bringing patients to their happiest and healthiest selves.

Outside the office, Kate enjoys knitting, beach walks, hiking, cooking, traveling, board games, spending time with family and friends.


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Kevin McCoy, DDS


Specialties: Dentistry, Pediatric Dentistry

Location: Juneau →

Education & Experience:

Dr. McCoy traveled far and wide for his academic training. His journey began at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon where he earned a BA in Chemistry, threw javelin on the Track and Field team and studied abroad at the University of Otago in New Zealand. Dr. McCoy then completed a Masters in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. He earned his Doctorate of Dental Surgery at the University of Washington in 2012. While at the UW, Dr. McCoy also completed a pre-doctoral fellowship in Dental Education in Care of Persons with Disabilities. 

Dr. McCoy followed his passion for children’s dentistry by completing two years of specialty training in Dallas, Texas at Baylor College of Dentistry, earning a Certificate in Pediatric Dentistry and a Masters in Oral Biology. He also gained extensive clinical and emergency experience at Dallas’ Children’s Medical Center and Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. 

Special Interests:

Dr. McCoy is excited to be serving families in Southeast Alaska. He has a passion for working with children while having fun and providing the best dental care possible.

Raised in Puyallup, Washington, Dr. McCoy is a Husky faithful (Go Dawgs!). In his spare time, he loves to stay active with sports and outdoors activities. You can find him shooting hoops at the park, hiking, or cheering in his purple and gold at Husky Stadium. 


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Gregory T. Warner, RPh


Specialty: Pharmacy

Location: Klawock →

Education & Experience:

Greg Warner is the SEARHC pharmacist for Prince of Wales Island at Alicia Roberts Medical Center (ARMC) in Klawock. He loves working in the small clinic environment.

Before he came to ARMC, Greg was a Pharmacy Manager in Northern California. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacy from the University of Utah and his Bachelor of Science degree in Medical Technology from Brigham Young University. Greg’s career stops included working as a pharmacy manager with Wal-Mart, Safeway and Rite Aid. He was also a medical writer for Adis International in New Zealand.

Awards & Honors:

Pharmacy Manager of the Year for Northern California Rite Aid

Special Interests:

In the pharmacy, Greg enjoys talking with patients about their medications and diabetes. Outside work, his interests include mountain biking, hiking, helping the Boy Scouts, movies, international travel and time with family.


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Barbara Mercer, CDC II, CFSW III, BHA III


Specialty: Behavioral Health - Clinician

Location: Juneau →

Certification: Alaska Commission for Behavioral Health Certification (ACBHC) – Chemical Dependency Counselor, Behavioral Health Aide (BHA) 

Education & Experience:

Barbara is a member of the Iowa/Otoe Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska, and attended Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas. She moved to Alaska in 1962 where she married, raised seven children, and now has 14 grandchildren, four great-grandchildren.

Barbara lived in Sitka for 45 years and worked for Public Health Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, State of Alaska, and SEARHC’s Bill Brady Healing Center from 2000 to 2008. In 2004, Barbara completed the Rural Human Services Program and received a diploma from the University of Fairbanks. Upon moving to Juneau in 2008, she began work at SEARHC Juneau Behavioral Health where she is currently a Chemical Dependence Counselor, Community Family Service Worker, and Behavioral Health Aide.

Special Interests:

Barbara’s professional interests are in working with the Alaska Native and American Indian people to help them focus on getting their lives back into balance emotionally mentally, physically and spiritually. In her free time, she enjoys arts and crafts, knitting, crocheting, gardening, reading, and spending time with family and friends.


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Jerry Z. Ainsworth, MD


Specialty: Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT)

Location: Sitka →

Certification: American Board of Otolaryngology

Education & Experience:

Dr. Ainsworth earned a medical degree at Baylor Medical School in Houston, Texas and completed a fellowship in otology at Baylor Medical School.

Special Interests:

Dr. Ainsworth has a special interest in ear, nose, and throat treatment.


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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Mary Barrett, Nurse Practitioner


Specialty: Family Medicine

Location: Sitka →

Certification: Mary is certified as family nurse practitioner (FNP-BC) by the American Nurses Credentialing Center and as an advanced nurse practitioner (ANP) by the Alaska Board of Nursing

Education & Experience:

Mary holds a Master of Science in Nursing degree from the University of Alaska Anchorage, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in biology and environmental science from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn. An Alaskan for 30 years before joining SEARHC in July 2012, Mary previously worked in family practice and urgent care with clinics in Palmer and Wasilla, worked in urgent care in Anchorage, was an outpatient department registered nurse (RN) and public health nurse (PHN) in Kotzebue, and a RN at the Providence Hospital Thermal Unit and Progressive Care Unit in Anchorage. Mary specializes in family practice and urgent care, and she will work in S’áxt’ Hít Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital’s urgent care department.

Special Interests:

Mary is interested in preventive medicine, especially through nutrition, exercise, and stress reduction. She enjoys running (she has completed the New York and Boston marathons), botany, bird-watching (and learning the species unique to Southeast Alaska), plant-based cooking, hiking, biking, singing, dancing, reading and playing with her two cats.


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Karl Bausler, Physician Assistant


Specialty: Family Medicine

Location: Juneau →

Certification: American Nurses Credentialing Center

Education & Experience:

Karl was trained as a family nurse practitioner and physician assistant at Stanford University and completed a residency in emergency medicine at Los Angeles County trauma center.

Special Interests:

Karl enjoys working with teens.


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Megan D. Bays, 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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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 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 work 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. Edgecombe’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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John P. Block, MD


Specialty: Family Medicine

Location: Juneau →

Certification: American Board of Family Medicine

Education & Experience:

Dr. Block received his medical degree from Ross University School of Medicine after graduating from the Texas Tech University, with a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry. He spent his residency at St. Mary Mercy Hospital in Michigan.

Special Interests:

Dr. Block’s medical interests are in geriatrics, women’s health, addiction, pediatrics, and diabetes.

Personally, John enjoys hiking, fishing, hunting, skiing, traveling, and scuba diving.


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Tom Bornstein, DDS

Director of Dental Services

Specialty: Dentistry

Location: Juneau →

Education & Experience:

Dr. Bornstein earned a dental degree from the University of Maryland and completed a residency in advanced general practice at the Alaska Native Medical Center. Dr. Bornstein is the director of dental services for SEARHC.

Awards & Honors:

SEARHC’s Gumboot Award.


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Emily Bos, DO


Specialty: Family Medicine

Location: Juneau →

Certification: AAFD, American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians (ACOFP)

Education & Experience:

Dr. Bos received her Doctor of Osteopathy degree from Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, Missouri. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Oregon and completed her medical school prerequisites at the University of Alaska in Anchorage.

She comes to SEARHC from here residency at Alaska Family Medicine in Anchorage.

Outside of her regular academic and medical career, Dr. Bos has been heavily involved in improving the lives of others within her community and in other parts of the world.

In Kansas City, she worked with Score One For Health, a community outreach program providing comprehensive health screenings to low income elementary school children.

Dr. Bos spent time in Sacaya, Peru with Expand Peru as an English and art teacher. There she developed task-oriented games and activities appropriate for daily learning objectives.

As a ski/snowboard instructor for Challenge Alaska, she utilized adaptive equipment to assist individuals with disabilities in downhill skiing and snowboarding.

Dr. Bos also spent time as an English composition teacher at the Malawi Children’s Village in Malawi, Africa.

Awards & Honors:

Dr. Bos’ awards and honors include Summa Cum Laude, Kansas City University of Medicine, and Biosciences; American Medical Women’s Association Glasgow-Rubin Citation for Academic Achievement; Family Health Foundation Award; Paul McCord, D.O. Humanitarian Scholarship; National Health Service Corp Scholarship.

Special Interests:

Dr. Bos’ medical interests include Osteopathic manipulative medicine, geriatrics, and women’s health.

Her personal interests are spending time with her family, being in the outdoors, and going to the movies.


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Melissa Brooks, FNP


Specialty: Family Medicine

Location: Klawock →

Certification: American Academy of Nurse Practitioners

Education & Experience:

Melissa received her Bachelors of Science in Nursing from the University of Phoenix, and her Masters in the Science of Nursing, Family Nurse Practitioner degree from the University of Cincinnati.

She spent the early part of her nursing career in the lower 48. Before becoming a Family Nurse Practitioner and moving to Klawock, she worked as an RN in the emergency department at SEARHC Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital and was the assistant manager of the outpatient department. Melissa received a post-graduate certificate in Nursing Education and is certified by the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners – DOT/CDL physicals.

Awards & Honors:

International Golden Key Society and Honor Society, University of Cincinnati.

Special Interests:

Rebecca’s professional interests are women’s health, colposcopy, prenatal and routine care. She also enjoys providing instruction on Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS), Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS), and Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) for medical providers and community members.

Personally, she enjoys subsistence activities with her family, as well as crafting, and kayaking. She is a member of Ducks Unlimited, and active in Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, and 4-H.


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Cate Buley, MD

Medical Director, Ethel Lund Medical Center

Specialty: Family Medicine

Location: Juneau →

Certification: American Board of Family Medicine

Education & Experience:

Dr. Buley was born and raised in Minnesota and earned a medical degree from the University of Minnesota Medical School and received Family Medicine training in Duluth, Minn. After spending a year in the Howard Hughes Scholars program at the National Institute of Health and three years at the Maniilaq Health Center in Kotzebue, Alaska, she took the advice of her then boyfriend (who is from Juneau and she later married) and did a family medicine rotation at Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital in Sitka. There she found her calling. A transfer to Juneau brought Dr. Buley to ELMC where she has remained and is now the clinic’s Medical Director.

Special Interests:

Dr. Buley enjoys spending time with her three children, Noatak (named after Alaska’s Noatak River), Shea and Georgia as well as her husband, Jerry; the family’s Chief Operating Officer (stay at home dad).


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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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Abbey Cohen


Specialty: Behavioral Health - Clinician

Location: Sitka →


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Somerset M. “Somer” Dunn, AUD, CCC-A


Specialty: Audiology

Location: Sitka →

Certification: American Academy of Audiology

Education & Experience:

Dr. Dunn earned her Audiology Doctorate from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, and she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with majors in psychology and speech, language and hearing sciences. She comes to SEARHC from Colorado, where she worked in a six-physician otolaryngology (ear, nose, and throat) practice that included four audiologists.

Awards & Honors:

Dr. Dunn holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology (CCC-A) credential from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, and she is a Fellow of the American Academy of Audiology (F-AAA).

Special Interests:

Dr. Dunn enjoys all aspects of audiology. She also loves to ski and hike, and she loves trying new foods.


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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.


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Stephen L. Ericksen, DMD


Specialty: Dentistry

Location: Klawock →

Education & Experience:

Dr. Ericksen earned his Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from the University of Louisville in Kentucky. He also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in public health from Utah State University in Logan, Utah. Before coming to SEARHC, Dr. Ericksen worked for the Northern Navajo Medical Center in Shiprock, N.M., and the Norton Sound Health Corporation in Nome.

Special Interests:

Dr. Ericksen is interested in hunting, fishing, computers, Mexican cuisine, remote control aircraft, and spending time with his family. He provides dental services at the Alicia Roberts Medical Center in Klawock and makes regular trips to the Hydaburg Health Center for clinics.


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Kelly Erickson, Physician Assistant


Specialty: Family Medicine

Location: Juneau →

Certification: National Commission of Physician Assistants

Education & Experience:

Kelly earned a Master of Physician Assistant degree from Oregon Health and Science University in Portland.

Special Interests:

Kelly practices Family Medicine acute care. She has a special interest in providing preventive medicine and in treating teenage patients.


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Shannon B. Farr, OD


Specialty: Optometry

Location: Juneau →

Certification: Diplomate status with the American Board of Optometry and Fellow with the American Academy of Optometry

Education & Experience:

Dr. Farr earned a Doctor of Optometry degree from the Pennsylvania College of Optometry in Philadelphia. She also holds certification in infant vision and aviation vision. She is a Captain in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. Before moving to Juneau, Dr. Farr worked at the Norton Sound Health Corp. in Nome from 2001-07, at the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corp. in Bethel from 1997-2001, and she completed a Navajo Nation residency in Winslow, Ariz., from 1996-97.

Awards & Honors:

Dr. Farr has won various U.S. Public Health Service awards, including an achievement medal, unit commendations, hazardous duty, and isolated hardship awards.

Special Interests:

Dr. Farr has an interest in ocular disease, such as common inflammations known as “iritis.” She also enjoys shooting billiards/pool and volunteering in the community.


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Sandy Fogel, DDS


Specialty: Dentistry

Location: Juneau →

Education & Experience:

Dr. Fogel earned her Bachelor of Arts in Biology and Spanish at the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph, Minnesota and following that, earned Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry. She completed a two-year Advanced Education in General Dentistry (AEGD) residency through Lutheran Medical Center spending the first year in Maui, Hawaii and the second year in Sitka, Alaska.

Sandy volunteered a great deal as she studied to become a dentist. She was a student mentor, volunteered at the Union Gospel Mission as well as with American Dental Association’s Give Kids A Smile program.

Special Interests:

Sandy enjoys traveling, hiking, gardening, and spending time with friends.


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Steven Forde, Physician Assistant

Medical Director, ARMC

Specialty: Family Medicine

Location: Klawock →

Certification: National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants

Education & Experience:

Steven completed his undergraduate and physician assistant education at the University of Florida School of Medicine in Gainesville, Fla. Before joining SEARHC, he spent 17 years working in internal medicine, geriatric care, and acute care in a hospital setting at Highlands Regional Medical Center in Sebring, Fla. He also was a medic in the U.S. Air Force.

Awards & Honors:

Steven received the Gold Seal award from the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants for being in its top 10 percent of applicants.

Special Interests:

Steven has special medical interests in acute, intensive care unit and cardiac care, and internal medicine. He also enjoys spending time with his family, baseball, hiking, hunting, and fishing.


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Anna Frisby, Physician Assistant


Specialty: Family Medicine

Location: Hydaburg →

Certification: National Commission for the Certification of Physician Assistants

Education & Experience:

Anna has been with SEARHC since 1995, when she started as a community health aide in Hydaburg. She later was promoted to community health practitioner (the highest level in the CHA/P program). In 2010, Anna entered the University Of Washington School Of Medicine’s MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies Program, which now has a University of Alaska Anchorage campus. She graduated from the program in the summer of 2012 and passed her physician assistant certification board exams from the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants that fall. During her second year of MEDEX studies, Anna spent time working in urgent care at the SEARHC S’áxt’ Hít Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital in Sitka during one of her clinical rotations. To complete her Alaska physician assistant license, Anna worked under the direct supervision of Dr. Ellen Kemper at the Alicia Roberts Medical Center in Klawock for four weeks before being able to work independently as the supervisory midlevel provider in Hydaburg.

Awards & Honors:

Anna received the 2009 “Shining Star” Health Aide of the Year Award from the directors of the Alaska Community Health Aide Program. During her 2012 graduation from the MEDEX program, Anna received the Anchorage Underserved Award, which goes to a student who has demonstrated a strong dedication to ongoing service to underserved communities.

Special Interests:

Anna’s medical interests include disease prevention and health promotion. She also loves volleyball, hiking, cake decorating and crocheting.


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Hanna Froehlich, OD


Specialty: Optometry

Location: Juneau →


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Jeffrey Fultz, DC, PT


Specialty: Physical Therapy

Location: Juneau →

Certification: Diplomate Academy of Chiropractic Orthopedists; Orthopedic Clinical Specialist, American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties; and Manual Trigger Point Therapist, American Institute for Myofascial Studies

Education & Experience:

Jeff received his Bachelor of Science Biology from Allegheny College; Doctor of Chiropractic from Western States Chiropractic College; Master of Community Health Education/Physical Therapy from Old Dominion University; Master of Public Health with concentration in Community Health and Preventive Medicine from University of New Mexico.

His previous career stops include the US Army – 45th Station Hospital in Vancouver, Washington; the US Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut; the Chinle Comprehensive Health Care Facility in Chinle, Arizona; the Northern Navajo Medical Center in Shiprock, New Mexico; and the Four Corners Regional Health Center in Red Mesa, Arizona.

After his arrival at SEARHC, Jeff said, “I am glad to be here. In the time that I have been here in Southeast Alaska, I have really appreciated the kindness of the people I have met. The cultural traditions and way of life here is quite a change from what I experienced in the Navajo Nation.”

Awards & Honors:

Jeff’s awards include two USPHS Commendations; two USPHS Achievement Medals; four USPHS Unit Commendations; two Surgeon General’s Certificates of Appreciation; two Army Achievement Medals; two Navajo Area Director’s Awards; and the Shiprock Service Unit Special Recognition Award.

Special Interests:

At work, Jeff’s special medical interests are Orthopedics, Manual Therapy, Myofascial-origin pain syndromes, and Headaches. Outside work his interests are hiking, running, fishing, soccer, mountain biking, music, kayaking, camping, reading and astronomy.


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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.


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Anthony E. Gastelum, FSW


Specialty: Behavioral Health - Clinician

Location: Kake →

Certification: Certificate of Behavioral Health Science/Drugs and Alcohol

Education & Experience:

Anthony Gastelum earned his Certificate in Behavioral Health Science/Drugs and Alcohol from San Diego Community College.

Over the years, he has been actively involved with the Organized Village of Kake Culture Camps; Tribal Youth Program; Tribal Courts; Circle Peacemaking; 7th Generation Mentoring Program; Across Ages Mentoring Program; SEARHC Behavioral Health Prevention; SEARHC Traditional Foods Project; and Andrew Zermmen Traditional Foods.

In his role as a counselor, Anthony has been extremely effective. He instills confidence in his patients that treatment will have a positive outcome.

Special Interests:

Anthony is passionate about helping people. He is a traditional singer and drummer who participates in and leads traditional ceremonies as a way to promote emotional healing.

Anthony also loves to spend time with his family, cooking and sharing ideas with friends.


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Lylith Grody-Pantinkin, MD


Specialty: Family Medicine

Location: Haines →

Certification: American Board of Family Medicine

Education & Experience:

Dr. Grody-Patinkin earned her Medical Doctorate degree from the Medical School for International Health (a collaboration between the Columbia University Medical Center in New York City and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beer-Sheva, Israel). She also completed a residency in family medicine at the University of New Mexico. She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Grody-Patinkin served as a community health aide trainer with the Norton Sound Health Corp. in Nome. Prior to moving to Haines, she worked as a family physician for SEARHC in Sitka and Hoonah.

Special Interests:

Dr. Grody-Patinkin’s medical interests include women’s health and family planning, preventive health and palliative care. She also enjoys anything outdoors with her dogs, cross-country, and backcountry skiing, hiking, biking everywhere, gardening, and she hopes to start sea kayaking.


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Marnie A. Hartman, PT, DPT, CSCS


Specialty: Physical Therapy

Location: Haines →

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:

Marnie earned a Bachelor of Science, a Masters of Physical Therapy, and a Doctorate of Physical Therapy, all from Loma Linda University in Loma Linda, Calif. Before moving to Alaska in 2005 to start the physical therapy program at the SEARHC Haines Health Center, Marnie worked at the Riverside Community Medical Group SPORT Clinic and the Sports Club Los Angeles/Irvine-Sportsmed, both in California, where she focused on orthopedics, sports rehabilitation, and prevention, including working with professional and developing athletes.

In early 2014, Marnie was invited to join the prestigious faculty with the International Spine and Pain Institute (ISPI). She will travel for ISPI to teach continuing education courses on the subject of using Therapeutic Neuroscience Education for the patient with persistent pain. Marnie considers this a great achievement that would not have been possible without support from SEARHC, especially the Haines clinic. “We have put this fundamental education into practice here and have made a great impact on our treatment of chronic pain. If it was not for this experience and the results of the team effort I am sure I would not have been identified as a leader and expert with this international organization,” Marnie commented after receiving the news from ISPI.

Special Interests:

Marnie has an ingrained love of treating the athlete, but as the only physical therapist in Haines, she said she is thrilled with the challenge of treating all in need. In recent years, she has taken a special interest in the biology of pain and the intimate interaction between the brain, pain, and functionality. She strongly believes in the paradigm shift of medical practitioners from a largely biology base to a biopsychosocial approach. When she’s not in the clinic, Marnie enjoys running with her dog on the Haines trails, helping others find their passion for a well and fit lifestyle, and relishing the traditions and surroundings that are Alaska with her partner, Greg.


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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.


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Vanessa R. Herring, DO


Specialty: Family Medicine

Location: Juneau →

Certification: American Board of Family Medicine, American Osteopathic Board of Family Physician

Education & Experience:

Dr. Herring earned her BA in Neuroscience from Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia and her medical degree from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Bradenton, Florida. Before coming to SEARHC, she completed her residency at Central Washington Family Medicine Residency Program through the University of Washington in Yakima, Washington.

Special Interests:

Dr. Herring’s professional interests are preventative medicine, osteopathic manipulation therapy, women’s health, full spectrum family medicine, and pediatrics. Outside the clinic she enjoys hiking, cooking, traveling, snowboarding and wine tasting.


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Diane E. Hill, PA


Specialty: Family Medicine

Location: Klawock →

Certification: National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants

Education & Experience:

Diane earned an associate’s degree in nursing from Anchorage Community College (now part of the University Alaska Anchorage). She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in general studies and completed her physician assistant certification training at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Grand Forks, N.D. She spent 25 years as a registered nurse (RN) at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital, including the last 20 years as an emergency room nurse. She holds a certified emergency nurse (CEN) from the Emergency Nurses Association. She also spent 10 years as a certified sexual assault nurse examiner in Fairbanks.

Special Interests:

Diane’s medical interests are emergency and internal medicine. She enjoys ornamental horticulture, swimming, biking, reading, politics, and the study of human behavior. She works regular office hours at the Alicia Roberts Medical Center. Her practice includes a focus on women’s health.


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Jessica M. Holland, RD, LD


Specialty: Nutrition

Location: Sitka →

Certification: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Registered Dietitian

Education & Experience:

Jessica Holland received a B.S. in Psychology from Northwestern State University, Louisiana. She received her B.A. in Dietetics and completed a Dietetics Internship at Idaho State University. Jessica also received practicum experience at Eastern Idaho Medical Center, Rocky Mountain Diabetes Center, Idaho Falls Kidney Center, Pocatello Cardiology, and Pocatello Cancer Center.

She says, “It has been a great opportunity to be a part of the SEARHC community. I enjoy being able to help provide healthcare to the wonderful people of Southeast Alaska.”

Special Interests:

Jessica’s professional interests are nutrition and diabetes.


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Kristen L. Homer, Nurse Practitioner


Specialty: Primary Care

Location: Sitka →

Certification: American Nurses Credentialing Center

Education & Experience:

Homer holds a Master of Science in Nursing degree and certificate in nursing from the Yale University School of Nursing. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology and anthropology from Middlebury College. She is board certified as a family nurse practitioner by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Before joining the staff at the SEARHC Mt. Edgecumbe High School Student Health Center, Kristen spent 6 1/2 years working at the U.S. Coast Guard-Air Station Sitka Medical Clinic. Before that, she was a public health nurse with the state’s Sitka Public Health Center and a community health aide/practitioner supervisor/field clinician for SEARHC. Kristen also has worked with Planned Parenthood of Alaska. She first came to Sitka as a health-planning intern with the SEARHC in 1990. Before that, she worked in tribal health with the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa in Michigan.

Special Interests:

Kristen has medical interests in pediatrics, adolescent and women’s health. She also enjoys reading, hiking, running and spending time with her family.


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Kim N. Hort, DMD


Specialties: Dentistry, Pediatric Dentistry

Location: Juneau →

Certification: Diplomate status with the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry

Education & Experience:

Dr. Hort earned her Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine in Philadelphia. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Albright College of Reading, Pa. After working at the SEARHC Juneau Medical Center from 2000-05, Dr. Hort took a leave of absence to go to Anchorage to complete a residency in pediatric dentistry at the Alaska Native Medical Center that is administered by Lutheran Medical Center of Brooklyn, N.Y. She returned to the SEARHC Juneau Dental Clinic in August 2007 after completing the program. She now heads SEARHC’s pediatric dental program, which provides special Denali KidCare clinics throughout the region.

Awards & Honors:

Dr. Hort received the Clinical Excellence Award for Dental Specialist 2012 from the National Oral Health Council Executive Committee. The award honors performance while providing clinical services, providing clinical consultations, program development, clinical presentations, and contributions to continuing education, and clinical impact. Dr. Hort also won the Richard C. Pugh Award for scoring in the top 3 percent on her American Board of Pediatric Dentistry certification exam.

Special Interests:

Dr. Hort has a special interest in the prevention of childhood caries (tooth decay) and raising cavity-free kids.


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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.


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Keegan Jackson, MD


Specialty: Family Medicine

Location: Juneau →

Certification: American Board of Family Medicine

Education & Experience:

Dr. Keegan Jackson earned her medical degree at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine in East Lansing, Michigan. She completed the Duluth Family Medicine Residency Program in Duluth, Minnesota before joining SEARHC Ethel Lund Medical Center in Juneau. Dr. Jackson’s special medical interests are geriatric medicine, women’s health and preventative medicine.

Special Interests:

Outside the office, Dr. Jackson enjoys traveling, hiking and curling.


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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.


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Thomas Jordan, DMD


Specialty: Dentistry

Location: Sitka →

Education & Experience:

Dr. Jordan earned a dental degree from the Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland and completed a residency in general practice at Denver General Hospital in Colorado.


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John K. “Kennon” Kirk, MD


Specialty: Family Medicine

Location: Juneau →

Certification: American Board of Family Medicine

Education & Experience:

Dr. Kirk earned his medical degree from Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Va. He completed a residency in Family Medicine with North Colorado Family Medicine in Greeley, Colo.

Special Interests:

Dr. Kirk’s special medical interests include obstetrics, newborns, pediatrics, hospital work, procedures, and family planning. He also enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking and camping, running, travel, Barbara Kingsolver novels, folk medicine, and fresh seafood.


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Jason Koskinen, DO


Specialty: Family Medicine

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

Certification: Board-certified in Family Medicine by the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians (ACOFP)

Education & Experience:

Dr. Koskinen graduated from Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in 2004 and completed his residency at Malcolm Grow Medical Center at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland.

Before attending medical school, he earned a BA in Economics with Business from Goucher College in Towson, MD, as well as an AS in Physical Therapy from the Community College of the Air Force.

His clinical experience includes all aspects of Family Medicine, osteopathic manipulation, sports medicine and performing minor in-office surgical procedures. Dr. Koskinen also served as associate professor at the Eglin Air Force Base Family Medicine residency and as medical director of the Physician Assistant Program at Eglin Hospital.

Awards & Honors:

Excellence in Research Award National Capitol Consortium, US Air Force Health Professions Scholarship recipient, elected first year class president and student government president for Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Special Interests:

Dr. Koskinen’s particular medical interests are preventive medicine, osteopathic manipulation, sports medicine, OB/GYN, dermatology, vasectomies, colposcopy, and exercise stress tests.

His personal interests are running and hiking, fishing, eating great food, and spending time with his family.


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Richard L. Kraft, MD


Specialty: Hospitalist

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

Certification: American Board of Family Medicine

Education & Experience:

Dr. Kraft earned a Bachelor of Science degree in microbiology from South Dakota State University in Brookings. He earned his Medical Doctorate from the University of South Dakota Medical School in Vermillion and completed a residency in family practice at the University of North Dakota in Bismarck. He worked at Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital in Sitka from 1987-95, and returned to SEARHC as a hospitalist in 2008 after 13 years working at Indian Health Service sites in South Dakota (Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and Standing Rock).

Special Interests:

Dr. Kraft has special medical interests in dermatology and sports medicine. He also enjoys spending time with his family, the outdoors, sports and crafts. “The atmosphere of the entire medical staff is wonderful. It is great to be back,” Dr. Kraft said.


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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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Pornson P. Linton, DNP


Specialty: Family Medicine

Location: Haines →

Certification: American Nurses Credentialing Center Commission on Certification

Education & Experience:

Pornson earned a Doctor of Nursing Practice from the University of Colorado. She also holds Master’s Degree in Nursing and a certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner from Texas-Pan American University in Edinburg, Texas. Prior to moving to Haines, Pornson spent three years as the clinic director at the SEARHC Kake Medical Center in Kake. She also worked as a nurse at two clinics in Texas.

Special Interests:

Pornson is interested in Family Medicine and preventive care. She also enjoys mushrooms and berry picking.


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Kari Lundgren, Behavioral Health Clinician


Specialty: Behavioral Health - Clinician

Location: Sitka →

Certification: National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants

Education & Experience:

Kari earned a degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Special Interests:

Kari is clinic administrator for the Mt. Edgecumbe High School Student Health Center. She enjoys serving as a “floating clinician” for SEARHC’s community-based clinics and the Ethel Lund Medical Center in Juneau.


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Rebecca Malone, APRN, FNP


Specialty: Family Medicine

Location: Haines →

Education & Experience:

Ms. Malone earned her Bachelor Degree in Nursing from Jacksonville University in Jacksonville, Florida and her MSN FNP (Master of Science in Nursing, Family Nurse Practitioner) at Kaplan University in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

Prior to becoming a Nurse Practitioner, Rebecca worked as a Registered Nurse at Lee Memorial Hospital in Fort Myers, Florida, Naples Community Hospital in Naples, Florida, Cornerstone Home Health in Haines, Alaska as well as at the SEARHC Haines Health Center.

In addition to serving SEARHC patients, Rebecca serves our country in the Army Reserve where she trains and prepares for the possibility of future military needs.

She is a member of Sigma Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, Golden Key International, and Alpha Beta Kappa Honor Society.

Special Interests:

Ms. Malone’s medical interests are family and community health as well as hospice care.


George (Craig) Manning

George (Craig) Manning, MS LPC


Specialty: Behavioral Health - Clinician

Locations: Craig → Klawock →

Certification: State of Alaska Board of Professional Counselors

Education & Experience:

George “Craig” Manning earned his Master of Science in Counseling Psychology at Alaska Pacific University in Anchorage and his Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Southern Utah University in Cedar City. Before joining SEARHC, he worked as a Staff Psychologist for the North Carolina Department of Corrections and as a Mental Health Manager at the University of Texas Medical Branch. Craig is the Behavioral Health Clinical Supervisor for SEARHC on Prince of Wales Island.

“Coming to work for SEARHC has been a breath of fresh air. Having spent much of my career in corrections, it is really nice to get back to community mental health. I have found SEARHC to be nothing but accommodating and generous. I have really been treated well and I feel like I belong” Craig commented.

Awards & Honors:

Eagle Scout

Special Interests:

Craig’s special career interests are chemical dependency and addictions.

Outside the office he is a home-body at heart. Spending time with family is Craig’s number one priority. He also enjoys the outdoors, and camping as well as attempting to learn the art of fishing, hunting and gathering.


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Annelle G. Maygren, OD


Specialty: Optometry

Location: Klawock →

Certification: Optometry

Education & Experience:

Dr. Maygren holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in chemistry from Black Hills State University in Spearfish, S.D. She earned her Doctor of Optometry degree (OD) from the Pacific University College of Optometry in Forest Grove, Ore. She is a member of the American Optometric Association, the Alaska Optometric Association, and the American Optometric Society. Dr. Maygren came to SEARHC in July 2012 from Fairbanks, where she spent a year working at Golden North Optics. Before that, she spent eight years working as an optometrist with her father’s optometry practice, Shasta Vision Group, in Mount Shasta, Calif. Dr. Maygren heads SEARHC’s eye clinic on Prince of Wales Island.

Special Interests:

Dr. Maygren’s medical interests include general optometry and working with kids. She also enjoys spending time with her husband and three children, hiking and reading.


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David O. McCandless, MD

Medical Director

Specialty: Family Medicine

Location: Haines →

Certification: American Board of Family Medicine

Education & Experience:

Dr. McCandless earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind. He earned a Master of Science degree from Pennsylvania State University in State College, Pa. He earned his Medical Doctorate from the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine in Oklahoma City, and he completed a residency in family medicine at The Washington Hospital in Washington, Pa. Dr. McCandless spent 20 years as a family practitioner with the Alaska Island Community Services (AICS) Tideline Clinic in Wrangell, where he served as medical director from 2004-07. Before joining SEARHC fulltime in January 2012, Dr. McCandless worked part-time for AICS and did locums work around the region, including with the SEARHC Alicia Roberts Medical Center in Klawock and Haines Health Center. He also served medical director with Southeast Region Emergency Medical Services (SEREMS).

Special Interests:

Emergency medicine is a special interest for Dr. McCandless. He also enjoys spending time with his family, including visiting his three grown children, river-tripping and hiking.


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Adam C. McMahan, MD


Specialty: Family Medicine

Location: Haines →

Certification: Family Medicine

Education & Experience:

Dr. McMahan completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks where he received his B.A. in Social Medicine. He went to medical school and received his M.D. at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. Adam’s residency was completed at Alaska Family Medicine Residency in Anchorage.

During medical school and residency, Adam was fortunate to receive urban and rural family medicine training at sites ranging from Providence Alaska Medical Center to Bethel and Anaktuvuk Pass.

Dr. McMahan said he and his family are looking forward to joining and serving the communities of Haines/Klukwan.

Special Interests:

Adam’s special medical interests are rural emergency and preventative medicine, pediatrics, and palliative care. Outside the clinic, he enjoys spending time with family and dogs, subsistence activities, gardening, trail running, cycling, and bluegrass music. 


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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.


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Patricia L. McPherson, MD


Specialty: General Surgery

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

Certification: American Board of Surgery, “Indian Health Pathway” certification from The Native American Center of Excellence; University of Washington School of Medicine, Advanced Trauma Life Support, Advanced Cardiac Life Support.

Education & Experience:

Before coming to SEARHC, Dr. McPherson held a position as a surgeon at Claremore Indian Hospital in Claremore, Oklahoma. She earned her medical degree at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. Dr. McPherson is not new to Alaska, however. She lived in Anchorage for 16 years and worked at Providence Alaska Medical Center as an EKG/CV technician before going to medical school, and received her two Bachelor of Science degrees from the University of Alaska Anchorage.

Dr. McPherson has a keen interest in rural general surgery and is very happy to be able to provide exceptional general surgery services to the people of Southeast Alaska.

Awards & Honors:

IHS Scholarship recipient

Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society member (UAA)

Special Interests:

Dr. McPherson enjoys cooking, hiking, and traveling.


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Lúcia H. Nascimento, DDS


Specialty: Dentistry

Location: Haines →

Certification: Wisconsin Department of Regulation and Licensing

Education & Experience:

Dr. Nascimento earned her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the Marquette University School of Dentistry in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She completed an Advanced Education in General Dentistry residency at the SEARHC Ethel Lund Medical Center through Lutheran Medical Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in zoology from the University of Florida in Gainesville, Fla., and an Associate of Science degree from City College of San Francisco in California.

Awards & Honors:

Dr. Nascimento won the 2006 High Achievement in the Undergraduate Curriculum in Dental Care for Persons with Disabilities Award from the Academy of Dentistry for Persons with Disability.

Special Interests:

Dr. Nascimento has medical interests in prosthodontics and periodontics. She also enjoys wood carving.


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Reeve S. Newton, DDS


Specialty: Dentistry

Location: Juneau →

Education & Experience:

Dr. Newton earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California-Berkeley, and he earned his Doctorate of Dental Science from the University of California-San Francisco. Before arriving in Juneau to work for SEARHC in 2006, Dr. Newton was in private practice in California for 23 years, then he worked for three years in American Samoa, four years in Germany and four more years in California.

Special Interests:

Dr. Newton enjoys the great outdoors. When asked about working for SEARHC, Dr. Newton said he is “impressed by the organization’s efforts to provide the best possible care for our patients.”


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Alice Nunes, DDS


Specialty: Dentistry

Location: Sitka →

Education & Experience:

Dr. Nunes is graduate of the University of Washington School of Dentistry where she received her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree. She also completed a two-year Advanced Education in General Dentistry degree from Lutheran Medical Center. Alice received her undergraduate degree from Barnard College/Columbia University in New York.

Prior to working at SEARHC as a dentist, Dr. Nunes was a dental assistant for SEARHC and participated in the Rural Under-Served Opportunities Program through the University of Washington.

Special Interests:

Dr. Nunes is interested in all aspects of general dentistry, especially fillings, crowns, oral surgery, and root canals.

Personally, Alice enjoys outdoor activities such as running and hiking. She has participated in more than a handful of marathons, including the Mayor’s Marathon in Anchorage and the Boston Marathon. She even spent a few years as a dog handler and musher in Bethel, Alaska.


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David Ogilbee, DPT


Specialty: Physical Therapy

Location: Juneau →

Certification: Licensed Physical Therapist, Alaska

Education & Experience:

David received his Bachelor of Science Business in Administration, from California State University Stanislaus in Turlock, CA and his Doctor of Physical Therapy, from University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA. He feels excited and honored to be working in an area that allows him to service the Alaskan Native communities, as well as gain a better appreciation regarding the communities and their traditions.

Awards & Honors:

Indian Health Service Native American Scholarship for Medical Professions

Special Interests:

David’s medical interests are Orthopedics, Vestibular Rehabilitation, and Sports Physical Therapy. Outside work his interests are wood working, fishing and physical fitness.


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Bradelle L. Padon, Nurse Practitioner


Specialty: Family Medicine

Location: Juneau →

Education & Experience:

Bradelle is a Nurse Practitioner at SEARHC, having earned her Masters of Science in Nursing from the University of Washington in Seattle after receiving her Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She also earned a Bachelor of Science in Health Promotion/Education from Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Oregon.

She previously worked on policy and prevention with the “Steps to a Healthier Southeast Alaska” program. Bradelle then went on to work in women’s health, spurring her interest in pursuing direct patient care. She began working at SEARHC in 2007 as a School and Workplace Coordinator, moving on to become a Patient Care Coordinator. While in nursing school, she worked as an ambulatory nurse at the Ethel Lund Medical Center and joined the team as a midlevel provider in 2013.

Awards & Honors:

IHS Scholar recipient 2010-2013

Special Interests:

Bradelle’s medical interests are in preventative medicine, diabetes management, and women’s health. Her personal interests are spending time outside in any capacity, her dog, cooking, traveling, walking, running, and laughing.


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Mark G. Peterson, MD


Specialty: Family Medicine

Location: Klawock →

Certification: American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM)

Education & Experience:

Dr. Peterson earned his medical degree from the University of Iowa, College of Medicine in Iowa City. He also earned a Master of Medical Management degree from Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana; and a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Alaska in Anchorage.

Mark spent 26 years working with Indian Health Services (IHS): 23 of the years in Juneau; 3 years at Fort Peck Reservation in Montana; and 5 years of locum tenens work. His time as a locum included work in New Zealand, India, Antartica and Kenya. Mark also spent a year doing community health work with new immigrants in Seattle and Minneapolis.

When asked about his work with SEARHC he said “I have had a very long association with SEARHC and have always appreciated the organization’s long term view. and goals that keep people healthy and support their desire to stay healthy is as important as treating their disease.”

 

Special Interests:

Mark’s professional interests include International and multicultural health care.

Outside the office he enjoys international travel, hiking, and bike riding. Mark once rode a bicycle from Cairo, Egypt to Capetown, South Africa.


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Magil Pratt, PHD, LPC, RPT


Specialty: Behavioral Health - Clinician

Location: Juneau →

Certification: Alaska Board of Psychologist and Psychological Assistant Examiners

Education & Experience:

Dr. Pratt earned a doctoral degree in counselor education from the University of South Dakota.

Awards & Honors:

Invited to present a paper at the 2004 World Meeting of the International Society for Research on Aggression in Greece.

Special Interests:

Dr. Pratt is a registered play therapist and has expertise in treating children who have experienced domestic violence and sexual assault.


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Jessica R. Priddy, FNP-C


Specialty: Family Medicine

Location: Klawock →

Certification: The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners

Education & Experience:

Jessica earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing as well as her Masters of Science in Nursing from the University of Southern Mississippi.

As a Nurse Practitioner, her career has been focused primarily on internal medicine, hospital medicine, and emergency medicine. Prior to that, she worked as an RN for many years in various settings ranging from critical care to home health administration.

Special Interests:

Jessica’s medical interests are in health promotion and preventative medicine. She is also a member of the Wilderness Medical Society. Her personal interests include hiking, hunting, fishing, photography, and enjoying the outdoors with her family.


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Doug Rather, PA


Specialty: Family Medicine

Location: Juneau →

Certification: National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants

Education & Experience:

Douglas completed his Physician Assistant studies at Touro University in Henderson, Nev. He also practiced as a chiropractor for several years before going to school to become a physician assistant.

Douglas was an Eagle Scout and completed a Latter Day Saints mission to England.

Special Interests:

Douglas has special medical interests in rural Alaska Family Medicine. He also enjoys flying airplanes (he is a private pilot), stream fishing for coho salmon, boating and spending time with his wife and three children.


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Cora M. Roberts, DHAT


Specialties: Dental Health Aide Therapist, Dentistry

Location: Hoonah →

Certification: Community Health Aide Certification Board, Dental Health Aide Therapist

Education & Experience:

Cora Roberts graduated from Hoonah City Schools. She received her Associate of Arts in Business Administration (AABA) in Visual Communication from American Intercontinental University. Cora completed the Dental Health Aide Therapy Educational Program through the University of Washington’s DENTEX Program in Alaska.

Cora worked as the Food & Beverage Assistant Manager at Icy Strait Point and as the SEARHC building attendant in Hoonah. She now works for SEARHC Dental as the Dental Health Aide Therapist. Cora says “The SEARHC departments and workers in Hoonah work well together to provide the best care for their community. I feel honored to serve my hometown of Hoonah at SEARHC Dental.”

Special Interests:

Cora’s professional interests are striving to prevent and educate about tooth decay. Her personal interests are family, arts and crafts, and subsistence fishing, hunting and berry picking.


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Lauren Sanzone, DDS, MPH


Specialties: Dentistry, Pediatric Dentistry

Location: Juneau →

Certification: American Board of Pediatric Dentistry

Education & Experience:

Dr. Sanzone is board certified and a graduate of the University of North Carolina School of Dentistry where she received her Doctor of Dental Surgery as well as her Certificate in Pediatric Dentistry. She also received a Master of Public Health Degree from the University of North Carolina School of Public Health. She received her undergraduate degree from Smith College in Massachusetts.

Prior to SEARHC, Dr. Sanzone practiced dentistry at a pediatric dental practice in Asheville, North Carolina after completing her pediatric dental residency at University of North Carolina School of Dentistry & University of North Carolina Hospitals in Chapel Hill.

Special Interests:

Dr. Sanzone’s has a keen interest in making sure patients understand the basic health information needed to make appropriate health decisions as well as the prevention of early childhood caries which is the breakdown of the teeth due to bacteria.

Personally, she enjoys running, hiking, biking, skiing, cooking, reading, and is attempting to learn to play acoustic guitar.


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Mia Schiff, CDCI DFSW II


Specialty: Behavioral Health - Clinician

Location: Juneau →

Education & Experience:

Ms. Schiff is the Community Mental Health case manager at SEARHC Juneau Behavioral Health.

Mia says SEARHC is an organization that is changing to become the provider of choice and she believes in working for the best organizations.

 

Special Interests:

Mia’s professional interests center around Chemical Dependency. Her personal interests outside the office are fishing, berry picking, reading and creating music.


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Marna L. Schwartz, MD


Specialty: Pediatrics

Locations: Angoon → Haines → Kake → Klawock →

Certification: American Board of Pediatrics.

Education & Experience:

Dr. Schwartz is a board certified pediatrician. She earned her medical degree from Harvard Medical School in Boston and completed her residency in pediatrics at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle. As an undergraduate, she graduated magna cum laude with honors from Williams College in Williamston, Massachusetts and received her Post Baccalaureate Premedical Certificate from Bryn Mawr College, in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. In 1988, right out of college she moved to Alaska and has been a resident for 20 of the past 27 years.

Dr. Schwartz also completed a one-year distance fellowship in neurodevelopmental disabilities and autism with the University of Alaska Anchorage lend program and had additional training in fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) diagnosis. She completed the training on evaluation of child abuse, sexual abuse, and neglect through the Western Region CAC. She is certified as a PALS instructor.

Dr. Schwartz worked as a pediatrician in Seattle at the Department of Public Health as well as in private practice. She worked at SEARHC’s Ethel Lund Medical Center in Juneau for 6 years and participated in the community pediatric call rotation at Bartlett Regional Hospital during that time. Dr. Schwartz worked as the Program Manager for Alaska Emergency Medical Services for Children. The HRSA grant funded program within Alaska DHSS strives to improve the quality of EMS services for children in the state.

Currently she is a traveling physician at SEARHC, and regularly visits our clinics in communities that do not have everyday access to a pediatrician.

Awards & Honors:

Dr. Schwartz is a Fellow in the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Special Interests:

Dr. Schwartz is interested in developmental pediatrics, adolescent health, infectious disease, and well-baby, child, and teen health care. Outside the office, she enjoys spending time with her two lovely daughters, Dessa and Tahlia. Reading, gardening and skiing are also personal interests.


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Sam J. Shell, PharmD


Specialty: Pharmacy

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

Education & Experience:

Sam Shell earned his Doctorate of Pharmacy from Southwestern Okalahoma State University. He worked as a wildlife biologist and welder before becoming a pharmacist.

Special Interests:

His professional interests include telepharmacy and specialty clinics. Outside the pharmacy, Sam enjoys hunting, fishing, trapping and shooting.


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Janice Heaton Sheufelt, MD

Medical Director, Primary Care Clinics

Specialty: Family Medicine

Location: Juneau →

Certification: American Board of Family Medicine

Education & Experience:

Dr. Sheufelt earned a medical degree from the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, and she completed her residency in Family Medicine with the North Colorado Family Residency program in Greeley, Colo. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from the University of Washington. Dr. Sheufelt was worked as a family physician at the SEARHC Juneau Medical Center from 1997-2000, when she moved to Yakima, Wash., to be a physician and faculty member at the Central Washington Family Medical Center, a residency program run by the University of Washington. When she returned to the SEARHC Ethel Lund Medical Center in 2004, Dr. Sheufelt was hired as the medical director in Juneau. She became clinic administrator/medical director at the Ethel Lund Medical Center in Juneau before assuming her current role as Medical Director of Primary Care Clinics throughout Southeast Alaska.

Awards & Honors:

Dr. Sheufelt participated in a faculty development fellowship run by the University of Washington Family Medicine Residency Network. Dr. Sheufelt received the National Impact Award for her service to her Native community during the 2012 National Indian Health Board’s Annual Consumer Conference.

Special Interests:

Dr. Sheufelt’s medical interests include all areas of Family Medicine. Her personal interests include her family, competitive cycling, running, reading and knitting.


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Karen Smith, FNP-C


Specialty: Family Medicine

Location: Juneau →

Certification: American Association of Nurse Practitioners

Education & Experience:

Karen Smith received her Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN) and her Masters of Science in Nursing MSN) from the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi.

Prior to coming to SEARHC, Karen was the Director of Telehealth at AMC Health in New York. She also spent a portion of her career as a plastic surgery nurse specializing in breast and chest wall reconstruction for breast cancer patients, a home health nurse, and a post-operative recovery room nurse.

Awards & Honors:

Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, Patient Educator of the Year nominee, Dean’s List

Special Interests:

Ms. Smith’s medical interests are wound care, prenatal care, and assisting women with breast reconstruction. She was a licensed tattoo artist that specialized in tattooing nipples and areolas as part of the reconstruction process).

Personally, Karen enjoys painting, pregnancy photography, hiking and supporting activities that support women that experience breast cancer.


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Mandie L. Smith, DDS


Specialty: Dentistry

Location: Sitka →

Education & Experience:

Dr. Smith earned her Doctor of Dental Science degree at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. She also completed a two-year residency at the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corp. in Bethel through Lutheran Medical Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. She also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from the University of Texas in Austin. Dr. Smith holds the rank of Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Officer Corps, and she spent five years at YKHC in Bethel before moving to Sitka to work for SEARHC.

Awards & Honors:

Dr. Smith was awarded the Indian Health Service’s Excellence in Clinical Dentistry Award in 2005 and she has won several other U.S. Public Health Service awards.

Special Interests:

Dr. Smith has medical interests in TMJ (temporomandibular joint) issues, complex medically compromised patients, complex restorative dentistry, and pediatrics. She also enjoys hiking, fishing, and enjoying her two young sons.


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Parcae K. Soule, LPC, CDC-2

Program Manager for Community Family Services

Specialty: Behavioral Health - Clinician

Location: Sitka →

Certification: State of Alaska (LPC), Alaska Commission for Behavioral Health Certification (CDC-2)

Education & Experience:

Parcae earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Washington State University in Pullman, Wash., and she earned a Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling (MMHC) from Walden University. She holds Licensed Professional Counselor and Chemical Dependency Counselor 2 credentials from the State of Alaska.

Awards & Honors:

Parcae is a member of the Walden Chapter of Psi Chi, an international honor society in psychology.

Special Interests:

Parcae enjoys spending time outdoors. Parcae works as a behavioral health clinician at the Haa Toowóo Náakw Hít outpatient behavioral health clinic in Sitka. Before that, she worked as a behavioral health clinician with the SEARHC Yéil Jeeyáx Raven’s Way adolescent substance abuse treatment program.


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Pamela Steffes, OD


Specialty: Optometry

Location: Sitka →

Certification: Diplomate, American Board of Optometry. Fellow of the American College of Medical Optometrists (ACMO). Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry.

Education & Experience:

Dr. Steffes earned a Doctor of Optometry degree from the Pacific University College of Optometry in Forest Grove, OR, and completed internships at Teplick Laser Center in Portland, OR, and The Children’s Eye Doctors in Redmond, Wash. She completed her Master of Business Administration at Washington State University.

Awards & Honors:

Dr. Steffes received the 2008 Caplan Award at the Biennial Indian Health Service Optometrist meeting. The award is recognition of “exemplary service and programmatic contributions” to the Public Health Service Optometry Program.

Special Interests:

Dr. Steffes provides a full range of eye care services to patients of all ages, including diabetic eye exams, contact lens services, refractive surgery co-management, and pediatric eye exams. Dr. Steffes also enjoys providing volunteer eye care services to those in need around the world, most recently traveling to Tanzania, Nicaragua, and Ecuador.


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Matt Taintor, MD


Specialties: Internal Medicine, Pediatrics

Location: Juneau →

Certification: Pediatrics (ABP) Internal Medicine (ACP)

Education & Experience:

Dr. Taintor earned his medical degree from the University of Minnesota and he completed a combined internal medicine/pediatrics residency at the University of Utah. He also holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and biology from Bethel University in St. Paul, Minn. Before medical school, Dr. Taintor lived in Juneau where he worked with Juneau Youth Services for a couple of years and spent time as a fly-fishing guide. Dr. Taintor worked for SEARHC in Sitka before his move to ELMC in Juneau. He and his wife are happy to be back in Juneau.

Awards & Honors:

While at the University of Minnesota, Dr. Taintor was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society.

Special Interests:

Dr. Taintor’s medical interests include pediatrics. He also enjoys playing outdoors with his kids, fly-fishing, and hunting.


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Sul Ross “Sr” O. Thorward, MD


Specialty: Behavioral Health - Psychiatry

Location: Sitka →

Certification: American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (also serves as an examiner in general psychiatry for this organization).

Education & Experience:

Dr. Thorward earned his medical degree from the University of Texas Medical School in San Antonio. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from the University of Texas in Austin. Dr. Thorward completed an internship at Providence Hospital in Seattle and a psychiatric residency at Northwestern University in Chicago. In his more than 30 years as a psychiatrist and health care administrator, Dr. Thorward has served as a unit director of San Antonio State Hospital in Texas; director of outpatient and short-term services for Harding Hospital in Columbus, Ohio; chief of behavioral health at Southwest Washington Medical Center in Vancouver, Wash.; president and CEO of Harding Hospital; administrative director for the Ohio State University-Harding Hospital after the hospital’s merger with the university; a psychiatrist for the Ohio Department of Mental Health; and a member of the Board of Trustees for OSU-Harding Hospital.

Awards & Honors:

In 2008, Dr. Thorward received the Exemplary Psychiatrist Award from the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI). He is a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, and a three-time winner of the Outstanding Faculty award from The Ohio State University.

Special Interests:

Dr. Thorward’s medical interests are community health systems, advocacy for mental health and health care financing. His personal interests include the Seventh Day Adventist Church, photography, hiking, theater, and fishing.


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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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Irbert L. Vega, MD, AAHIVS


Specialty: Family Medicine

Location: Sitka →

Certification: American Academy of Family Physicians

Education & Experience:

Dr. Irbert Vega completed his undergraduate studies at Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey. He obtained his medical degree at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Dr. Vega completed his residency in the Lancaster General Health, Family Medicine Residency Program in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Dr. Vega is excited about living in Southeast Alaska. He finds that the geography, natural resources, and cultures that comprise the area make it an inspiring place to practice family medicine.

Special Interests:

Dr. Vega’s medical interests cover the full spectrum of family medicine. His interests include the care of people who are HIV positive and medical education.


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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.


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Dan C. Weaver, DPT, BSN


Specialty: Physical Therapy

Locations: Hydaburg → Klawock →

Education & Experience:

Dan holds a Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree from the University of Montana in Missoula, a Masters of Physical Therapy degree from the University of North Dakota, and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from the University of Cincinnati. Before moving to Klawock in 2007 to start the physical therapy program at the SEARHC Alicia Roberts Medical Center, Dan spent 12 years working in the physical therapy department at the Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage. Dan holds the rank of Commander in the U.S. Public Health Services Commissioned Corps, and he is a certified pedorthist (a person who specializes in using footwear — including shoes, orthotics, and other footwear modifications — to solve problems in the feet or lower limbs).

Special Interests:

Dan has special skills in the prevention and treatment of foot complications among patients with diabetes. Dan enjoys kayaking, bicycling, jogging, biking, camping, fishing, hunting and the outdoors. In addition to seeing patients in Klawock, Dan also travels to the Alma Cook Medical Center in Hydaburg to provide physical therapy.


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Bruce Weeks, MD


Specialty: Behavioral Health - Psychiatry

Location: Juneau →

Certification: American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in both psychiatry and geriatric psychiatry

Education & Experience:

Dr. Weeks earned a medical degree from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine (Bronx, N.Y.). He completed a psychiatry residency and a geriatric psychiatry fellowship at Montefiore Hospital (Bronx, N.Y.).


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Matthew J. West, DMD, FAGD


Specialty: Dentistry

Location: Juneau →

Certification: Dentistry

Education & Experience:

Dr. West earned an Advanced Education in General Dentistry (AEGD) credential from the University of Oklahoma and a Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from the Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland after attending Northern Arizona University for his undergraduate studies. Before joining SEARHC in 2010, Dr. West was a dentist in Bethel for the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corp. (YKHC) and deputy director of dental services with YKHC from 2006-2010. He currently oversees SEARHC’s dental residency program through our partnership with NYU – Lutheran.

Awards & Honors:

Fellow in the Academy of General Dentistry (FAGD).   

Special Interests:

Dr. West serves on the board of the Alaska Academy of General Dentistry. He also is a graduate of the Kois Center (a continuing education program in esthetics, implant, and restorative dentistry based in Seattle). Dr. West enjoys hiking, biking, snowboarding, running, and being a roller derby referee.


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Kelly A. Whitcomb-Tincher, RD LD


Specialty: Nutrition

Location: Sitka →

Certification: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Registered Dietitian

Education & Experience:

Kelly graduated with honors from Western Kentucky University. She completed her Dietetic Internship at Morehead State University with hospital rotations at The Medical Center in Bowling Green, Kentucky; Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital (MEH) in Sitka, Alaska; and Alaska Native Medical Center (ANMC) in Anchorage, Alaska.


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Mark White, LPC CDC II


Specialty: Behavioral Health - Clinician

Location: Sitka →

Education & Experience:

Mark White is “honored to be part of the SEARHC Community and serving youth and families from across Alaska as part of the Raven’s Way Treatment team”. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Therapeutic Use of Wilderness from Prescott College in Arizona and a Masters degree in Counseling from Adams State University in Colorado.

He has worked as a Wilderness Expedition Specialist with the SEARHC Raven’s Way program; a counselor at Mt. Edgecumbe High School in Sitka; Head of School for Crested Butte Academy in Colorado; and Director of Quality for Axis Health System in Durango, Colorado. Mark is also a Mental Health First Aid Instructor (Adult and Youth).

Special Interests:

Mark’s professional interests include integrated healthcare, addiction and recovery. During his free time he enjoys subsistence fishing, family and life in Alaska.


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Kelly Williamson, MA, LPCS

LCC Behavioral Health Supervisor

Specialty: Behavioral Health - Clinician

Location: Haines →

Education & Experience:

Kelly is a Behavioral Health Clinician with a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of North Florida. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the State of Alaska with more than 15 years of experience providing direct behavioral health services to adults, adolescents, children, and families in the community, school, and home settings.

In addition to her behavioral health certifications, Kelly is also a certified veterinary technician, with a Bachelor’s degree in Large Animal Science from the University of Florida. Kelly and her family moved to Haines from Florida in 2010, and the entire family loves being a part of the Haines community.

Special Interests:

Professionally, Kelly’s interests are Parenting with Love and Logic, child/adolescent polytrauma, and foster children/foster parenting. In her free time, she enjoys reading, running and spending time outdoors with her family and pets.


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Shirley Workman, Nurse Practitioner


Specialty: Behavioral Health - Psychiatry

Location: Juneau →

Certification: American Nurses Credentialing Center

Education & Experience:

Shirley earned a Master of Science in Nursing degree and a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Akron in Ohio. She has more than 30 years’ experience in psychiatric nursing, including six years in Kotzebue with the Maniilaq Health Center.

Awards & Honors:

Shirley won a Veterans Administration Hands and Heart Award.

Special Interests:

Shirley’s medical interests include the holistic approach in improving mental health across the adult lifespan. She specializes in adult psychiatric mental health nursing, and she has extensive experience in treating patients with co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders.


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Iola Young, Physician Assistant


Specialty: Family Medicine

Location: Juneau →

Certification: National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants

Education & Experience:

Iola earned a degree from the University of Colorado.


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Emily Zimbrich, LPC, CDC II


Specialty: Behavioral Health - Clinician

Location: Haines →

Certification: State of Alaska Board of Professional Counselors

Education & Experience:

Emily earned a Masters in Clinical Christian Counseling from Cornerstone University in Lake Charles, La. She holds Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Chemical Dependency Counselor II (CDC II) credentials from the state of Alaska. Before joining SEARHC in July 2012, Emily previously was the director of Impact Counseling Services Inc. in Haines, which she founded in 1996. She also worked in residential treatment for adolescent girls in Wyoming, and she briefly worked with Lynn Canal Counseling in Haines and did contract work with a variety of mental health agencies in Alaska.

Awards & Honors:

Emily is in her second term on the Alaska Board of Professional Counseling (appointed in 2006, renewed in 2010), and has been vice chair of the board for the past four years.

Special Interests:

A long-time resident of Southeast Alaska, Emily was born in Juneau and raised in Haines. Her mother, Hazel Englund, was born in Haines to a family that homesteaded in the community. Emily enjoys working with people toward achieving goals they have set and seeing things change for the better in their lives. She also enjoys hiking, fishing, camping and berry picking.