Providers

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.

Elliot J. Bruhl, MD

 Sitka 

Medical Director, Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital
Elliot J. Bruhl, MD

Specialty 

Family Medicine

Certification 

American Board of Family Medicine

Education 

Dr. Bruhl earned his medical degree from the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Denver, and completed his residency at St. Joseph Hospital in Denver. He also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in geology from Carleton College in Northfield, Minn., and a Master of Science degree in hydrology from the University of Idaho School of Mines in Moscow, Idaho. Dr. Bruhl was at SEARHC Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital from 1998-2006, then spent 2007-08 as a physician and medical director at Sitka Community Hospital's Mountainside Family Healthcare. He returned to SEARHC Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital in April 2009. Before returning to school to become a physician, Dr. Bruhl lived in Alaska and was a wildlands firefighter at the Chugach National Forest Seward Ranger District and a commercial fisheries worker/deckhand in Homer.

Awards & Honors 

Dr. Bruhl was elected to the Sigma Xi science honor society while at Carleton College and the Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society while at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. He also won the 1997 F. William Barrows Resident of the Year Award from the Colorado Academy of Family Physicians.

Special Interests: 

Dr. Bruhl's medical interests are dermatology, orthopedics, men's health and sports medicine. During his personal time, he enjoys hunting, fishing, skiing and gardening. Dr. Bruhl also enjoys providing medical care for Sitka sports teams, including the Sitka Youth Football League junior, senior and Sitka High School football teams, the Sitka High School soccer team and at the state Class 1A-2A-3A state wrestling championships (held December 2007 at Mt. Edgecumbe High School). 

Cate Buley, MD

 Juneau 

Medical Director, Ethel Lund Medical Center
Cate Buley, MD

Specialty 

Family Medicine

Certification 

American Board of Family Medicine

Education 

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).

Jeff Chelmo, Physician Assistant

 Hoonah 

Jeff Chelmo, Physician Assistant

Specialty 

Family Medicine

Certification 

National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants

Education 

Jeff earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Mount Marty College in Yankton, S.D., and attended graduate school at Marquette University in Milwaukee. He earned a Doctor of Dental Science (DDS) from the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Dentistry in Omaha, Neb., and was a practicing dentist in southcentral South Dakota for 10 years before suffering a hand injury. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Creighton University in Omaha and worked as an emergency room and intensive care unit nurse for 2 1/2 years. Jeff then earned his Physician Assistant degree from the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, S.D., and he worked as a PA in northcentral Montana for 11 years before moving to Hoonah.

Awards & Honors 

Jeff was league champion at the Kimball, S.D., Golf Club (Sand Greens) in 1987 and club league champion in 1994 at Lake Platte golf course in Montana. He was most improved bowler in 1982 with Kimball Men's League.

Special Interests: 

Jeff has a special medical interest in rural health care, and he and his wife, Jenni, were trauma medical director and trauma medical coordinator for a small rural hospital in Montana. Jeff's personal interests include his wife and kids, woodworking, gardening, cooking, fishing and hunting.

Cal K. Curt, Nurse Practitioner

 Hoonah 

Cal K. Curt, Nurse Practitioner

Specialty 

Family Medicine

Certification 

American Nurse Credentialing Center

Education 

Cal earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree and his family nurse practitioner certification from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. Before moving to Hoonah, Cal spent 22 years working for a variety of rural clinics in northern New Mexico.

Special Interests: 

Cal has a special medical interest in rural health care and emergency medical services. Cal's personal interests include hunting, fishing, the outdoors, farming, ranching, reading, and watching his kids and grandkids.

Alexei Desatoff, DPT

 Sitka 

Alexei Desatoff, DPT

Specialty 

Physical Therapy

Education 

Alexei earned his Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Alexei has been with SEARHC since 2000 and was promoted to department manager of physical therapy at S’áxt’ Hít Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital in Sitka in 2010. Since becoming department manager, Alexei expanded the department to three physical therapists (Alexei; Gio Villanueva, DPT; and Christopher Jones, MSPT) and a part-time occupational therapist (Lois Denherder, OTR). He also led a renovation of the clinic space, increasing the area for therapeutic exercise and adding substantial new equipment. Alexei holds the rank of Lieutenant Commander in the USPHS Commissioned Corps.

Awards & Honors 

Alexei won the 2011 and 2004 U.S. Public Health Service Therapist Junior Officer of the Year Award, which honors a U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps junior officer who is selected by his or her peers across the country for “overall performance in the delivery of quality health care and outstanding contributions in the area of clinical health care/health care management.” He won his 2011 award for co-authoring and implementing a business plan (approved by the SEARHC Board) that brings significant upgrades and increased services to the hospital. Alexei won his 2004 award as a clinical instructor for Doctor of Physical Therapy students.

Special Interests: 

Alexei’s medical interests include outpatient orthopedics and sports medicine. He also is an avid cyclist.

Alexander R. DeYoung, DDS

 Haines 

Specialty 

Dentistry

Certification 

American Board of Dental Examiners (ADEX)

Education 

Dr. Alex DeYoung attended Clarion University in Pennsylvania where he received his B.S. in Molecular Biology. At Virginia Commonwealth University Medical College of Virginia he obtained his Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS). Dr. DeYoung received his Advanced Education in General Dentistry at Lutheran Medical Center. Before coming to work at SEARHC, he provided volunteer service for several Mission of Mercy Dental Service Projects, Give Kids a Smile, and Caritas in Richmond, VA.

Alex shared this comment about his work at SEARHC. "I have been interested in working in the Haines clinic since I moved to Alaska and heard about the long-need call for a full time dentist. I got into this profession to provide quality care where it is most needed and to help as many people as possible. Being able to do it in such a beautiful place, with so much to offer is a blessing I don't take for granted."

Special Interests: 

Professionally, Dr. DeYoung enjoys complex and challenging dentistry, continuing education and village travel. After hours he appreciates outdoor activities including fishing, hunting, hiking, camping and mountain biking.

Somerset M. “Somer” Dunn, AuD, CCC-A.

 Sitka 

Somerset M. “Somer” Dunn, AuD, CCC-A.

Specialty 

Audiology

Certification 

American Academy of Audiology

Education 

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, 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.

Valerie S. Edwards, MD

 Kake 

 Sitka 

Valerie S. Edwards, MD

Specialty 

Family Medicine

Certification 

American Board of Family Medicine

Education 

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 field work 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 hsuband 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.

Stephen L. Ericksen, DMD

 Klawock 

Stephen L. Ericksen, DMD

Specialty 

Dentistry

Education 

Dr. Ericksen earned his Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from the University of Lousville 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.

Kelly Erickson, Physician Assistant

 Juneau 

Kelly Erickson, Physician Assistant

Specialty 

Family Medicine

Certification 

National Commission of Physician Assistants

Education 

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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