On Thursday, KTNA received a statement from Shelis Jorgensen addressed “To the Community.” In the statement, Jorgensen says that she wishes to thank “everyone that has been so very supportive, comforting and loving to [her] and [her] family.” She refers to the events at the Sunshine Community Health Center, where many expected her to fill the role of Medical Director.
The chain of events that led up Thursday’s statement has involved a somewhat fluid narrative regarding the Medical Director position at the Sunshine Clinic.
On August 6th, KTNA reported that Shelis Jorgensen, an Advanced Nurse Practitioner with a Doctorate in Nursing, had been hired by the Clinic to fill the role of Medical Director. Jorgensen had previously served as a provider at the Clinic for about ten years, but was not employed by the Clinic at that time. The story was developed with information provided by Clinic Executive Director David Bryant.
On August 7th, Shelis Jorgensen contacted KTNA to clarify some of the details of the story. At that time, Jorgensen said that her intent was to provide stability for the Clinic after the contract of former Medical Director, Dr. Mary Loeb, was not renewed. Jorgensen said that she had not made a final determination regarding her long-term status with the Clinic.
The next update came on August 22nd, when Tom Phillips, President of the Clinic Board of Directors, told KTNA that Jorgensen would not be filling the Medical Director vacancy. At that time, he said he was not at liberty to discuss the reasons behind that decision. After the Clinic Board meeting on August 27th, KTNA confirmed, through Executive Director Bryant, that Dr. Philip Hess would be taking over as interim Medical Director.
Jorgensen’s statement to KTNA on Thursday represents the first additional communication regarding her employment at the Clinic since Tom Phillips’ statement in August. She says that she has been advised that now is not the appropriate time to address or comment on what she calls, “the hurtful news articles released by the management/board of the Sunshine Clinic to the media.” She goes on to say that she plans to provide a response when, “the timing is appropriate.”
The statement also says that the Talkeetna Women’s and Children’s Clinic will resume its normal hours, and thanks the owners of that clinic for their support. Jorgensen closes her statement by saying she feels “humbled and honored” to be a part of the community, and looks forward to her continued service.
The complete text of Jorgensen’s statement is below.
To the Community:
Thank you to everyone that has been so very supportive, comforting and loving to me and my family throughout this unfortunate and tumultuous turn of events with the management/board at Sunshine Clinic. At present, I have been advised that now is not the time to neither address nor make any comments on the hurtful news articles released by the management/board of Sunshine Clinic to the media. Please know that I am anxious to provide my response, and will do so when the timing is appropriate.
Most importantly, I wanted to make sure that the community is aware that the Talkeetna Women’s and Children’s Clinic will resume normal clinic hours and that patients can call 733-2955 to schedule appointments. Additionally, I am extremely thankful to Dr. Tamara Krimm and Chuck Krimm, who own and run the clinic, for their patience and continued support for me, this clinic site and of the community as a whole.
I apologize to those that experienced any inconvenience with regards to clinic scheduling. I am humbled and honored to be a part of this community and look forward to my continued service.
Shelis Jorgensen, ND, ANP