On August 6th, KTNA reported that the Sunshine Community Health Center hired Shelis Jorgensen to fill the post of Medical Director. Jorgensen contacted the station on August 7th to provide additional details and clarification.
Jorgensen says that she looks forward to easing upheaval and staff anxiety that arose after the contract of the previous Medical Director, Dr. Mary Loeb, was not renewed. It is not an absolute certainty that Jorgensen will be the permanent Medical Director, however. She says that her plan is to bring as much stability as possible early on while she evaluates the Clinic’s current situation and her continuing role. She says it is her hope that she can provide stability in the long-term, but that the final decision will be made after an assessment period.
Jorgensen says that she will begin working at the Sunshine Community Health Center part-time to fulfill the Medical Director role, but will not initially be a healthcare provider at SCHC. She plans to continue seeing patients at Mat-Su Community Pediatrics in Wasilla for the immediate future. Additionally, the Talkeetna Women and Children’s Clinic at Northern Susitna Institute will be closed for the next few months, and patients of that clinic can be seen at the Wasilla office. Patients who were already scheduled for August 27th for immunizations at Talkeetna Women and Children’s will be seen, and the public health nurse will continue seeing patients on the last Tuesday of each month.
Jorgensen says she anticipates receiving a contract, soon. In a previous interview, SCHC Executive Director David Bryant said that Jorgensen’s start date was dependent on pre-employment procedures, but he anticipates her being able to start next week.