Hospital CEO retires, leaving a decade-long legacy of leadership and dedication

After nearly a decade at the helm of South Peninsula Hospital, CEO Robert Letson retired in December, 2017.

As CEO, Letson is credited with numerous organization achievements, including improved financial performance, the addition and expansion of outpatient clinics and services, the inclusion of primary care, and the successful recruitment and retention of 26 new physicians.

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Dr. Ostrom offers new procedures at Homer Medical Center

Katie Ostrom, MD, OB/GYN at Homer Medical Center, now performs laser therapy as a painless alternative to using hormone therapy for vaginal restoration. The laser treatment stimulates the production of collagen in the vaginal tissue, improving the treated area’s functionality and restoring the proper balance to the mucous membrane.

This procedure can cure many of the uncomfortable conditions resulting from menopause or childbirth, allowing women to fully enjoy their postmenopausal and post-childbearing years. Treatable discomforts commonly include dryness, incontinence, burning, painful intercourse and laxity.

Laser therapy is the most effective treatment for these conditions without the use of pharmaceuticals or surgery. Visit www.homerobgyn.com for more information or call 235-8586 to make an appointment.

Welcome New Certified Nurse Midwife

South Peninsula Hospital welcomes Dana Whittaker, Certified Nurse Midwife, to the women’s health team at Homer Medical Center’s West Wing.  Whittaker, Certified Nurse Midwife and Advanced Nurse Practitioner, received her nursing degree from Weber State University and her masters from Frontier Nursing University.  She became a Certified Direct Entry Midwife in Alaska after attending Seattle Midwifery School where she specialized in home births. She has been a nurse at South Peninsula Hospital for 12 years, was in private practice for four years, and interned at Alaska Native Medical Center, Kachemak Bay Family Planning Clinic and at HMC West Wing.

Dana has been delivering babies for over 25 years and has worked in clinics and hospitals in the West Indies, West Africa and Senegal.  She treats delivery as a normal, physiological birth, and enjoys sharing the evidence that supports natural deliveries while supporting women’s choice.

For an appointment or to learn more about midwifery, well woman and newborn care at Homer Medical Center’s West Wing, call 435-3040, or visit homermedical.org

City takes the trophy in Homer Steps Up Challenge!

The City of Homer won the trophy in the first ever inter-agency steps challenge, sponsored by South Peninsula Hospital.

Agency# of ParticipantsCumulative AverageHigh Steppers
City of Homer32 participants337,571Todd Cook: 609,797 steps
SPH115 participants311,239dKristen Churchill: 640,707
The Center22 participants309,152Laurie Heckert: 745,484
SVT Health & Wellness15 participants287,108Monica Anderson: 453,614

Top stepper of the challenge was Laurie Heckert: 745,484.

Nearly 200 people participated in the challenge, organized by South Peninsula Hospital between lead health organizations in the community during the month of May.  The individual participant goal was 7,500 steps each day. The individual with the most steps won $250, and those who walk a minimum of 166,067 total steps were entered into a drawing for a $1,000 cash prize, donated by the South Peninsula Hospital Foundation.

The hospital plans to get even more teams involved next year, and offer an individual category.

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.

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!

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.