Homer Steps Up Walking Challenge!

Registration opens April 10 for the annual community steps challenge “Homer Steps Up!” four week long steps challenge from May 1-28, 2023. Visit homerstepsup.com for complete details and to enroll. Its FREE and FUN!

Free Community Yoga returns in March

Join a different instructor from Dharmic Spruce each Wednesday in March, beginning March 8 from 6-7pm for a free hour of yoga at SPARC on Sterling Highway near the middle school.

Each instructor will bring a unique experience and class tailored to their teaching style. You’re guaranteed to leave feeling refreshed, relaxed and rejuvenated.

All ages and abilities are welcome! Please bring your own yoga mat if you have one (we will have extras), a water bottle, and some extra layers.

Contact wellness@sphosp.org with questions, or 235-0285. 
View brochure

Healthcare Provider Scholarship Offered

This scholarship provides financial assistance to students from the lower Kenai Peninsula who are pursuing a career in a health care related field at an accredited professional or technical school. Applicants may apply as a high school graduate or in any given year of their post-graduate studies. The awards vary from $500-$3,000 and generally there are multiple awards made each year. Applicant must be pursuing a career in a health care field.

Hear from current recipients and learn more in this quick video, and apply online at the Homer Foundation


Healthy in Homer January 2023 – your local health & wellness e-newsletter from SPH!

The light is slowly returning! While the daylight hours remain short, it is of utmost importance to kindle our sparks of joy to sustain ourselves through the season. Read on for more wellness tips, local photos, SPH news & updates, local events and the January recipe!

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.


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.


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!

SPH sponsors Free Community Yoga

SPH will offer free community yoga, on Wednesday evenings at SPARC from 6:00 PM-7:00 PM, for four consecutive Wednesdays: March 16th, 23rd & 30th and April 6th.  Anna Raupp RYT, will offer “Yoga For Recovering From the Pandemic – Return to the Love of Life” in this series of classes for individuals of all ages and skill level.

It will explore some basic techniques of Kundalini Yoga to bring about relief and rejuvenation for the total self; mind, body and spirit. Each class will contain accessible breathing exercises, warm-ups, movement sequences, deep relaxation with the symphonic gong and mindfulness exercises designed to lift that deep fatigue and rekindle joy. Each class will have a theme related to releasing stress, strengthening one’s felt sense, and building resilience using kernels of ancient Yogic philosophy as well as current edge scientific theory.

The class will be a floor based practice with a combination of sitting and standing poses.  Please plan to bring your own yoga mat and a cushion to sit on. Accommodations can be made for those who would be better served to perform the practice from a chair.

COVID screening questions will happen at the door and be required for admission. Participants will be spaced 6′ apart and masks are optional but always encouraged. The cost is free. SPARC is on the Sterling Highway next to the Middle School in Homer.