Homer Steps Up

First-Ever Inter-Agency Steps Challenge in May

Focusing on the health of our community, these 4 agencies are putting each other to the wellness test! Who will be the most motivated in walking their way to health and win the trophy?

Week #3 Standings:
1st  City of Homer 
 – 218,934 Cumulative average steps
South Peninsula Hospital – 210,910 Cumulative average steps
 SVT Health & Wellness – 209,516 Cumulative average steps
 The Center-  200,960 Cumulative average steps

The individual participant goal is 7,500 steps each day. The individual with the most steps wins $250, and those who walk a minimum of 166,067 total steps will be entered into a drawing for the $1,000 cash prize, donated by the South Peninsula Hospital Foundation!

Great job to the top 20 walkers, listed in order of total steps walked and identified by team name only.


Ranking High Steps Days 1-21 Organization
1 462306 The Center
2 429967 SPH
3 424061 City of Homer
4 415258 SPH
5 396896 SPH
6 373968 SPH
7 359720 SPH
8 358051 SPH
9 352478 SVT
10 340773 The Center
11 327553 SPH
12 324814 SPH
13 303796 City of Homer
14 295088 SPH
15 292803 SPH
16 291169 SVT
17 287311 City of Homer
18 272810 City of Homer
19 270836 City of Homer
20 267616 City of Homer


A Day of Mindfulness Offered

Jerry Braza, PhD, will offer a one day Mindfulness training on Saturday, May 13, from 10am – 4pm at Many Rivers.  The morning session includes guided mindfulness practice and a mindful walk. The afternoon includes deep relaxation, mindful contemplation, mindful movements and practices for home.  No prior experience is needed. Braza is a leading voice in the field of health education and mindfulness, former university professor and author of two books on the subject.

People can register for half or full day training. A sliding scale registration fee is offered and range from $20-$30 for the half day, and $30-$60 for the full day.   Contact 235-0258 to register.

Free Speech and Swallowing Screenings during the month of May!

Difficulty swallowing? Can’t quite get the words to come out right? A 15 minute screening for speech, language, swallowing, voice, resonance, or cognitive communication is offered for free in May, which is Better Hearing and Speech Month.

Susan Cates-Blackmon, M.Ed., CCC-SLP, offers this screening which is perfect for adults, children and their caregivers who have concerns about a potential speech or swallowing concern.   Whether looking for reassurance or referral for further investigation about your concerns, this brief screening could help identify or resolve problems affecting speech or swallowing.

Call the hospital’s Rehab Department at 235-0370 to arrange your free 15 minute appointment.

Overdose Response Training Offered

South Peninsula Hospital will offer a free training for responding to opioid overdose. Attendees will learn how to recognize and respond to an opioid overdose and receive a free Narcan (naloxone) response kit. The training will be Thursday, April 20, from 5:30-6:30pm at the SPH training center and will be presented by Dr. Sarah Spencer, Addiction Medicine Specialist. Naloxone funding provided by State of Alaska Project Hope. Please register in advance at 235-0258.
(Photo attached) Sarah Spencer, DO

Farewell and Thank You Dr. Wiest!

Randy Wiest, MD, board certified family practice physician at Homer Medical Center, retired from his medical practice at the clinic.  Dr. Wiest practiced here for nearly twenty years, providing care for all stages of life.  He was a member of Active Medical Staff at the hospital and provided physician coverage in the Emergency Department and Acute Care units.  Thank you, Dr. Wiest, for your service to the community!

Hospital Boot Camp – Register by March 13

South Peninsula Hospital is offering a hospital boot camp in Homer April 7-8 for hospital and physician leaders. Led by Horty, Springer & Mattern Attorneys, this is a don’t-miss event for all hospital leadership positions, and a great reason to visit Homer this spring! Register online by Monday, March 13!

Registration now open for Baby Sitting Course for 6th – 8th grade students.

Safe Sitter class will be offered during school spring break on Thursday and Friday, March 16 & 17, 2017. The class is designed for students in 6th – 8th grades and teaches basic child care, infant and child CPR, first aid, safety for the sitter, behavior management and business etiquette.

The class is filled with fun games and role-playing exercises to prepare students for when they’re home alone, watching younger siblings or babysitting. Students even get to use manikins to practice rescue skills like choking rescue and CPR.

The class will run from 9:00am to 2:30pm both days. Pre-registration is required. The cost is $75 per person; scholarships are available based on need. Space is limited! Please call the hospital’s education department at 235-0258 for more information and to register.

Newby elected chair of SPH Foundation; Cooper steps down after 7 years of service

The South Peninsula Hospital Foundation Board of Trustees elected officers at its annual meeting held Monday, January 9.  Angie Newby was elected chair, Phyllis Cooper – vice chair, Mary Ann Rowe – secretary and Judith Lund – Treasurer.  Cooper was recognized during the meeting by fellow trustees and hospital administration for seven consecutive years as Foundation Chair.

The Foundation is a non-profit, charitable and fundraising foundation which supports the community health care mission of South Peninsula Hospital.  In addition to awarding five scholarships annually to local residents pursuing C.N.A. certification and allied health degrees, the foundation supports capital purchases and special projects, including support for diabetes education for uninsured patients.  Tax deductible donations can be made by mail to SPHFI, PO Box 2548, Homer, or through the Pick-Click-Give program when enrolling for the PFD.

The next Foundation meeting is Monday, April 24 at 3:30pm in the hospital’s conference room and is open to the public. Click here for more information on the SPH Foundation.

New Chief of Staff at SPH

Rob Downey, MD, is the newly elected 2017 Chief of Staff for the South Peninsula Hospital Medical Staff.  Dr. Downey offers an outpatient functional medicine practice, and is the Infection Prevention/Employee Health Physician and Long Term Care Assistant Medical Director for South Peninsula Hospital.  He is board certified in Family Medicine and is a certified practitioner by the Institute for Functional Medicine. Downey replaces outgoing chief of staff Dr. Sarah Spencer.

The Chief of Staff elect is Katie Ostrom, MD, OB/GYN, and Secretary/Treasurer is Teresa Johnson, MD, family practice.  In addition to the officers, the Medical Executive Committee includes past chief of staff William Bell, MD, family practice, and Members-At-Large Brent Adcox, MD, orthopedics, and Edson Knapp, MD, radiology.

Welcome Baby Everest!

Everest Reutov was the first baby born at South Peninsula Hospital in 2017.  Born Wednesday, January 4, at 8:15am to Kcenia and David Reutov of Homer, Everest was born a healthy seven pounds 10 ounces and 20 inches long.  Their due date wasn’t until much later in January, so this was a happy surprise for the couple to have the honor of first-baby of the year.  Although he is the first baby born at the hospital this year, Everest is certainly not the first child in the family, nor the first one born at the start of a new year.  One of seven children in the Reutov family, Everest is one of five born at South Peninsula Hospital and his sister was born January 1, 2005, in Kodiak.  She was not officially the first baby of the year there, however, as that honor went to another baby, born just one hour earlier.

Everest’s name was chosen by his siblings out of three options selected by his parents.  They had narrowed it down to Yoseph, Everest or Zenon.  The name Everest was chosen by unanimous decision by the siblings.  In addition to naming the new baby, another family activity is fishing, and Everest joins a long line of fishermen in the Reutov family.  His father, David, is fourth generation fishermen, and he hopes Everest will make it five.

Many people in the community already know Kcenia by the fresh baked breads she makes and sells under the business name Country Kitchen at the Homer Farmer’s Market. Folks will be able to meet Everest in person this summer in his mother’s arms or on her back at the market.

The family was showered with gifts from generous local businesses, including:

North Wind                                        Decorative Wall Decals
Homer Bookstore                            Gift Certificate
Ulmer’s Drug and Hardware        Gift Card
Two Sisters Bakery                          Gift Card for 8” cake
Old Inlet Bookshop                         Gift Certificate
Sprout Family Services                   Gift Bag
Paul Banks Elementary                  Gift
Movie Theatre                                  2- movie passes and refreshments
SPH Auxiliary                                      Diaper Cake
Mary Wallis                                         Baby Blanket / Burp Rag Set
Best Western Bidarka Inn             One night stay in the hot tub room
The “Other Book Club”                  2 wrapped gifts and box of chocolates

South Peninsula Hospital Birthing Center averages 130 births per year. While most births there are attended by certified nurse midwives, a full team of obstetrics nurses and OB/GYN and general practice physicians support the birthing experience as needed. For more information about the services or a tour of the birthing center, call 235-0240.