The Sunshine Community Health Center has announced the hiring of Shelis Jorgensen as the Clinic’s Medical Director. According to Executive Director David Bryant, Jorgensen began work at the Sunshine Clinic on Thursday. This coincides with second-hand reports of Jorgensen being introduced as the Medical Director to Clinic staff. This is not the first time that the Clinic has announced Jorgensen’s hiring. A similar announcement was made by Executive Director Bryant in August. Through a set of unknown circumstances, that decision was then altered, and Jorgensen was not hired.
Shelis Jorgensen is an Advanced Nurse Practitioner, and holds a Nursing Doctorate. According to a written statement by Executive Director Bryant, Jorgensen was selected by a unanimous vote of Clinic senior staff, including current Interim Medical Director, Dr. Philip Hess. In addition to the Medical Director role, the statement says that Shelis Jorgensen will provide direct patient care at both the Talkeetna and Willow clinics.
Executive Director Bryant’s statement also says that part of Shelis Jorgensen’s initial set of projects will be exploring ways that the Clinic can safely provide after-hours care and ancillary care such as lab work or X-rays ordered by an outside physician. Currently, the Clinic has suspended or altered both of those practices over the objection of some members of the board of directors.
In a phone interview, Executive Director Bryant says that he believes bringing Shelis Jorgensen on board as Medical Director is the best way to move forward and rebuild some of the community’s trust in the Clinic.