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Sunshine Clinic Resumes Medical Director Search and Consults Foraker Group

by Phillip Manning ~ August 22nd, 2013

The Sunshine Community Health Center Board of Directors recently sent an announcement to KTNA saying that they were working with multiple groups to form a plan to “explore options” to maintain a “fully functioning clinic that delivers quality health care.”  The plan no longer includes bringing on Shelis Jorgensen as Medical Director.
Tom Phillips, President of the Sunshine Community Health Center Board of Directors, says that Shelis Jorgensen will not be filling the vacant Medical Director position at the Sunshine and Willow Clinics as previously reported.  He said he was not at liberty to discuss the reasons that Jorgensen, an Advanced Nurse Practitioner with a Doctorate in Nursing, will not be filling the position.

Phillips also says that SCHC has been working closely with the Foraker Group to help determine the Clinic’s actions going forward.  Foraker is an Anchorage-based non-profit management firm that provides consultation and training to other non-profits across Alaska.

As part of the Clinic’s transition, Phillips says that the Foraker Group has conducted and independent evaluation of SCHC Executive Director David Bryant, and presented the board with its findings.  A summary of those findings, as well as options on courses of action has been presented to Bryant to consider.  A decision from Bryant on which course of action to take is expected soon.  Phillips says he can not comment on the nature of the presented options until a decision is made, citing advice from legal counsel.  He does say that there are plans with options for both the Executive Director and the Board, and that the Foraker Group is in position to conduct training and mentoring for the E-D, Board, and staff.

Philips says that SCHC is resuming its search for a Medical Director.  He says that the current goal is to find a part-time, interim Director until a decision is made on who will fill the post in the long-term.  He asks for the community’s and staff’s patience, and says that the Board is listening to community concerns, and that the goal is to get the community and staff “back on board” with the Clinic.

Foraker’s assistance is being sought as the SCHC is preparing for a Health Resources and Services Administration site review that is linked with applications for federal funding for the Clinic.

Shelis Jorgensen and David Bryant could not be reached for comment.

6 Responses to Sunshine Clinic Resumes Medical Director Search and Consults Foraker Group

  1. kim clark

    Will there be some sort of follow up to this report? What has happened to the options offered to David Bryant? Which one has he chosen and how will it impact our clinic and the community? What were the options, can they now be discussed seeing as the ‘legal reasons’ for non discussion period must surely be over? Will David Bryant have to undergo training to help bring the clinic back to where it was before Sharon Montagnino and Dr. Loeb left? The clinic is one of the most valuable resources in this community, why are we letting it go down? Why is it currently being run by an executive director who doesn’t write grants and is clueless about the community and clinic, an operations manager with no clinical experience and very poor people skills and a vindictive human resources officer? Are there no other directors or managers within the clinic who could be put in charge of the running of the clinic for the benefit of it? It sounds as if the staff need an advocate that can present facts to the board, without fear of reprisal. Although in saying that, The Foraker group review was unbiased and the results should be taken seriously. Please follow up, KTNA, please talk to people who matter and get the facts out there. The Board of Directors have had long enough and need to start providing answers to our questions.

  2. Eva Marie

    first off let me start my comment by saying that SCHC is a GREAT clinic & the main purpose of the clinic is the PEOPLE of our community – I believe that has been the “purpose” of the clinic since it opened – like in 1 9 8 7!! It is still a “valuable resource” in the community & it is NOT “going down”, if anything, it is getting better. It will continue to grow AND get better especially if people with vindictive, forked tongues stop trying to stir stuff up just because there have been some changes. People change, people go & come – EVERY DAY, and if you don’t actually work here why in the world would you want to “CONTINUE” to try & get rid of people that actually want to do good things for the clinic AND the community??!!

    As for the ED, OM, and HR directors……………do you EVEN know them???!! As far as the “board” goes, the board started all this “mess” and needs to get over it & focus on the needs of the patients & needs of the community. Maybe its time we had a few “new” board members……and term limits for current board members. Just saying….

    Lastly, Kim, I thought you were retiring/moving/getting outta here??? What happened to that….

  3. Cari Sayre

    It’s pretty clear that some people are still hiding behind false names. Eva Marie and Kim Clark, I wonder why you can’t speak as yourselves. This community has always felt like family, as Dondi has said — we can disagree and still be respectful and caring. What is it that is making that impossible right now? I have my suspicions, and they have to do with the atmosphere of fear and uncertainty under the current ED. The ripple effect of his actions is vast, sad, and so very unlike our beloved community.

  4. Landis

    What does your post “mean,” Eva Marie? I can’t figure out your “points.”

  5. Cynthia Olson

    I have been an employee of the SCHC for a few months. At the Board meeting last night, I thought to myself, I must be going to work at the wrong place. I don’t work in an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty or fear of reprisal. I work with employees in all parts of the clinic and what I see is professional, smiling faces and people quietly doing their jobs. My husband and I have medical and dental appointments and are treated with respect and courtesy, as are all patients. We get lab results and call backs in a timely manner.

    Perhaps many employees feel like Eva Marie but are not speaking out for fear of being targeted with similar anger that has been directed at Mr. Bryant.

    I need to get Mr. Bryant’s signature and have always been able to get it. He is accessible. My office is 2 doors from his and I see employees talking to him at various times of the day. Through all the turmoil he has been very professional.

    The clinic was filled with joy and excitement when we learned Shelis Jorgensen was going to be the Medical Director. Then, dismay when we learned otherwise. However, there is an attitude of professionalism and acceptance that we need to make changes to be in compliance with the HRSA grant and let’s get it done. We look forward to having Mr. Phil Hess as the interim Medical Director and there is hope and anticipation of good things to come.

    Some employees may disagree with what I see and sense, but all are respectful and courteous to each other. This is really a pleasant place to work.

  6. Linda Jansen

    It is most painful for many of us, past and present employees, to continue to see so much wrongful suspicions and wrongful assumptions in all of the KTNA/facebook comments. PLEASE, if you merely suspect or assume please do not post your comment. Think about what you are saying and if it makes you feel good to post your negative comment based on nothing more than mere suspicion! You just continue to feed horrible negativity off of each other’s comments not knowing the truth or the facts!

    Cynthia is right about the excitment within this clinic when we saw Shelis here! We were thrilled! It was extremely disheartening and completely took the wind out of our sails to find out via KTNA announcement that the board refused her hire. THIS IS FACT!