Every Voice Matters! Community Health Needs Assessment

Since 2008, South Peninsula Hospital has been working together with other local organizations, agencies and community members within the MAPP coalition to improve our community’s health. Every three years, we take a snapshot of the community’s health perceptions to inform existing and new hospital and community efforts. Please take a few minutes to take the survey online here. Responses are anonymous, and you will be entered in to win a gift card to local businesses! For more information, including past Community Health Needs Assessments, visit this page.

Free Community Yoga at SPARC Every Wednesday Evening in November & December!

We are proud to be sponsoring weekly free community yoga classes at SPARC (South Peninsula Athletic & Recreation Center, 600 Sterling Hwy) from 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm each Wednesday evening through December. Please bring your own yoga mat if you have one (we will have extras!), some extra layers, and a water bottle. All ages & abilities are welcome to these drop-in classes. Check the Events Calendar or the South Peninsula Hospital Facebook page for more information.

Know Your Numbers: Understanding Lab Results

Thank you to all who attended “Know Your Numbers: Understanding Your Lab Results”, a free community forum to help individuals interpret their lab results from the annual Rotary Health Fair.

Michael Hennigan, MD, Endocrinologist, Board Certified in Internal Medicine, provided the free presentation on Tuesday, November 15th from 6:00-7:30pm at Kenai Peninsula College discussing the purpose of each test and what the results mean, followed by a question and answer period.  Dr. Hennigan is a visiting specialist to the South Peninsula Hospital, offering endocrinology clinics at the South Peninsula Family Care Clinic on a monthly basis.

To view the video recording of this presentation, click here.

For a PDF of Dr. Hennigan’s slides, click here.

Rotary Health Fair

In-Person Health Fair Returns Saturday, November 5th!

Our free in-person fair event returns on Saturday, November 5th, 2022 from 9am-1pm at the Homer High School!

Over fifty exhibits will offer health information, screenings, demonstrations and more – click here for a printable PDF of the full exhibitor list. Don’t miss the Nolan the Colon inflatable walk-through experience, free flu shots, CPR trainings, Great Candy Exchange, and more! Click here for the full event flyer and visit rotaryhealthfair.org for more information.

Rotary Health Fair is in it’s 39th year and is sponsored by Homer Kachemak Bay Rotary in cooperation with South Peninsula Hospital. This year marks the return of the in person fair after a two year hiatus due to the pandemic.

End of Life community forum with Dr. Giulia Tortora

In September, South Peninsula Hospital hosted “End of Life Decision Making” presentation to discuss living wills, medical power of attorney and medical and legal components related to end of life. Presenters were Dr. Giulia Tortora, family practice physician at Homer Medical Center and Lindsay Wolter, local estate planning attorney. A recording of the event, and handouts are posted below.

Click here for PDF flyer.

Watch the video recording below or at this link.

Handouts:

PDF Slides of Dr. Tortora’s presentation

Alaska POLST (Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment) Form

Alaska Advance Health Care Directive

The Five Wishes Document

Estate Planning Handout

Dr. Christy Martinez and Dr. Sarah Roberts named as full time hospitalists

Dr. Christy Martinez and Dr. Sarah Roberts, board certified family medicine physicians at Homer Medical Center, have accepted full time positions as hospitalists at South Peninsula Hospital. Their move from family medicine to inpatient will begin on October 1. A third hospitalist, Dr. Kira Bendixen, will be joining them in November to complete the hospitalist team.

South Peninsula Hospital shifted to a hybrid hospitalist model over three years ago, when the providers from Homer Medical started rotating week-long coverage at the hospital. This was the first step towards having dedicated hospitalists, who work exclusively in the inpatient setting. However, it has been a continuing desire of the medical staff to have a more consistent, permanent team for inpatient care. The COVID19 Pandemic challenged the hospital to increase the capacity to care for critically ill and complex medical patients locally, particularly when the option to send these patients north to larger and more specialized hospitals was delayed or not available.  Additionally, Homer Medical was in need of a more consistent schedule of providers to offer patients, especially for scheduling recurring appointments. Dr. Christina Tuomi, Chief Medical Officer at the hospital and one of the primary care providers at Homer Medical Center, is excited about the decision. “With this change, the hospital is further developing services and expertise in our inpatient-based care, while offering more consistent access to providers and long range scheduling of appointments in the clinic setting. All to best serve our patients and the community.”

Dr. Martinez and Dr. Roberts have a combined 16 years of practicing family medicine at Homer Medical Center, Dr. Martinez with six and Dr. Roberts with ten. Dr. Martinez was born at South Peninsula Hospital and raised on the southern Kenai Peninsula, so brings lifelong connections to the community outside her practice. Their experience and personal knowledge of hundreds of patients and families will be an important addition to their medical expertise in their role as hospitalists. Martinez has been serving in the role of Hospital Medicine Director for the last four years, overseeing the inpatient area, and both have been part of the rotating schedule providing hospital coverage.   

Martinez reflects, “I will greatly miss the opportunity to care for local residents as their family physician, but I look forward to being a part of increasing Homer’s inpatient based services that will grow our local care to meet the needs of our community in new and necessary ways.” Roberts expressed, “I am honored to continue providing care for individuals and families during some of the most joyful, trying and difficult times, and hope that being a familiar face will make a difference.”

Both providers have added clinic days during the month of September to allow for necessary appointments to assist with the transition. Homer Medical Center is adding new providers to ensure choice and access for patients. Joe Llenos, MD, board certified in family medicine, and Bonnie Turner, family nurse practitioner, are joining the team and will begin seeing patients at the end of August. Additionally, Drs. Tortora, Swain and Tuomi will now have increased capacity to see more patients at Homer Medical as they will no longer have hospital rotations.  For a complete list of providers at Homer Medical Center, visit www.homermedical.org.

 

Welcome Joe Llenos, MD, new physician at Homer Medical Center

Joe Llenos, MD, board certified in family medicine, joins the provider team at the area’s largest primary care clinic, bringing with him over a decade of family practice experience. Dr. Llenos grew up in the Philippines, went to medical school at West Visayas State University, and did his Residency at The Institute for Family Health, New York. Dr. Llenos has a particular interest in geriatric care but enjoys helping people of all ages to manage chronic illnesses like diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, and more. His approach is to partner with his patients to set and reach goals to optimize their health through lifestyle changes with the support of medical assistance as needed.

Dr. Llenos and his wife, Cindy, moved to Homer earlier this month from Idaho, where he spent 13 years practicing family medicine. Healthcare and helping others run in the family, as Cindy is a nurse, and their son is in his third year of medical school in Ohio. When not caring for others, the family enjoys hiking, mountaineering, climbing, and all things in the great outdoors. Dr. Llenos especially enjoys landscape and night sky photography. His images emphasize the importance of nature, the night sky, and how important it is to minimize light pollution, as it disrupts biological rhythms. His photography can be seen on Instagram at Ancient_Fog_Photgraphy. His winning essay on the importance of dark skies is featured in saveastar.net, Astro2021 competition.

When asked about their interest in moving to Homer, Llenos credits the philosophy behind the patient care he saw last year during a site visit to SPH and hospital-owned clinics, a philosophy which is often not offered in larger healthcare systems. Llenos states, “I was impressed by your response to the pandemic, to your focus on truly helping people.” And regarding Homer, it was a slam-dunk decision given the lifestyle and access to the great outdoors.

Homer Medical Center is adding new providers to ensure seamless care for their patients in preparation for the departure of two of their long-time providers, Dr. Christy Martinez and Dr. Sarah Roberts, who are transitioning to full time inpatient hospital care in October.

Appointments are now being scheduled with Dr. Llenos by calling (907) 235-8586. Information on him and all the providers at Homer Medical Center can be found at www.homermedical.org. New patients are welcome at the clinic

Hours change at hospital’s Covid-19 Test and Vaccine Clinic on July 1st

Effective July 1, the hours of operation at South Peninsula Hospital’s Covid-19 Test and Vaccine Clinic at 4201 Bartlett Street will be 9am-5pm, Monday through Friday, and closed on weekends. PCR Covid-19 testing will be offered at the walk-up clinic, no appointment necessary, Monday through Friday from 9am-5pm. Insurance will be billed for testing. Those uninsured or not using insurance will be charged $50, and can pay at time of service or be billed. Test results will be provided on South Peninsula Hospital’s electronic health portal, and are normally available within 24 hours.

Testing is recommended for individuals experiencing covid-like symptoms, for those with known exposure to an individual who tested positive for Covid-19, for travel requirements, with a provider referral and in advance of medical appointments. In addition to the PCR testing offered at the hospital’s walk-up clinic, free home-test kits are available at the hospital’s main entrance 24/7, at the Homer Chamber of Commerce, and for purchase at numerous local retailers.

Covid-19 vaccinations will be offered on Thursdays and Fridays by appointment only, made here. Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines are available at this location for individuals ages five and over, and boosters are offered to eligible groups as recommended by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and as made available by FDA under emergency use authorizations.

In addition to the stand-alone clinic on Bartlett Street, both Covid-19 testing and vaccinations (including those for 6 months and older) are offered by appointment at Homer Medical Center and the hospital’s Family Care Clinic. For more information on SPH Covid-19 services and care, visit our Covid-19 information page.

Blood Drive in Homer: June 22 & 23, 2022

The Blood Bank of Alaska will be offering a 2-day blood drive in Homer on Wednesday & Thursday, June 22 & 23, 2022 in the Conference Rooms at the Best Western Bidarka Inn (575 Sterling Hwy, Homer) from 10am-5:30pm both days.

To log in and make an appointment:

please visit this link for Wednesday or this link for Thursday.

You can also call the Blood Bank of Alaska to make an appointment at (907) 222-5630.

Click here for instructions on creating a donor profile and scheduling appointments if you don’t already have a donor login for the Blood Bank of Alaska online Donor Portal.

Please bring photo ID, stay hydrated, and eat well on the day of your appointment!

Click here for PDF flyer with links.

Click here for PDF flyer for printing.

Demographics Questionnaire (available on-site at the time of your appointment also)

Parental Consent Form for donors under 18 years of age (also available on-site)

End-of-Challenge Party and Awards for Homer Steps Up! 2022!

The 6th Annual Free Community Walking Challenge “Homer Steps Up! 2022” ends on Saturday, May 28th! Join Homer Steps Up!, our co-sponsors, and Peninsula Independent Living Center for the 2022 Homer Steps Up! End-of-Challenge Party (and last Wellness Walk of the season) on Saturday, June 4th from 9am-10am at SPARC. We will be awarding the winning team with the trophy, announcing if we reached our community goal of 175 Million Steps Together in May or not, and awarding the individual winners of the end-of-challenge cash prizes!
Read the full challenge details at HomerStepsUp.com and on the Homer Steps Up Facebook page!