Upcoming Training Opportunity in Talkeetna

Youth Mental Health First Aid

Description: Youth Mental Health First Aid USA is an 8 hour public education program, intended for adults, which introduces participants to the unique risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems in adolescents, builds understanding of the importance of early intervention, and teaches individuals how to help an adolescent in crisis or experiencing a mental health challenge. Mental Health First Aid uses role-playing and simulations to demonstrate how to assess a mental health crisis; select interventions and provide initial help; and connect young people to professional, peer, social, and self-help care.

Audience: Talkeetna community

Upcoming Training:  August 29, 2015 at 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM

Location: Montana Creek Baptist Church, Mile 98.5 Parks Highway, Talkeetna

Cost: $0

Register: Those who wish to attend must register through the TTC Learning Management System (LMS).

Register online at

Contact: For more information, contact Wendi Shackelford at 907-264-6224 or

For more information on other TTC sponsored trainings, visit   

Donation drop-off at SCHC

Thanks to the great work of visiting and local firemen as well as volunteers battling the Willow blaze, the Sunshine Community Health Center in Willow opened Monday, June 22.  We thank our clients for their patience during this time.

SCHC have begun taking donations at both clinics for ‘those in need’ from the wildfire. Donations can be dropped off at either the Willow or Talkeetna clinic. Sunshine Transit will transport the goods to the main community drop-off center. For those of you that may need assistance with paperwork concerning the fire damage, our patient advocates are available.

There are no words to express our gratitude for the hard work that the visiting firefighters, our Alaska Fire Fighters, Troopers, DOF, DOT, and the many volunteers have done during this time. We thank you for your care and concern for the Willow Community.

Need a ride to Wasilla?

Sunshine Transit is now going to Wasilla, round-trip, Monday thru Friday! Sunshine Transit will pick-up folks at Trapper Creek, Talkeetna, Caswell, Willow, Big Lake and Houston locations. As there is limited space, you must call Sunshine Transit (733-9279) one day (24 hours) prior to the day you need to be in Wasilla. Calling the day you need a ride, will not insure you a seat on the bus.

Departure from the Talkeetna Clinic is 9:00 a.m.; departure from Wasilla is 3:00 p.m. We stop at Walmart, Fred Meyer and Target. Costs are: $8 – One Way; $15 Round-Trip; $10 for Seniors. Deviations must be approved by the office before departure.  If you would like a schedule sent to you, call Sunshine Transit and they can send you a list.

If you would like more information, such as a pick-up time in certain locations, please call Sunshine Transit at 733-9279. Come ride with us!

SCHC August Board of Directors Meeting Scheduled

Sunshine Community Health Center's next Board of Directors meeting is Tuesday, August 25th in Willow beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Strokes: seconds make the difference

There are symptoms you may recognize as 'normal' for yourself or someone you are close to, but are they really 'normal' symptoms or is there something serious going on? Listed below are symptoms of a stroke, call 911 or other emergency services right away. Symptoms may include:

•Sudden numbness, tingling, weakness, or loss of movement in your face, arm, or leg, especially on only one side of your body.

•Sudden vision changes.

•Sudden trouble speaking.

•Sudden confusion or trouble understanding simple statements.

•Sudden problems with walking or balance.

•A sudden, severe headache that is different from past headaches.

A stroke usually happens suddenly but may occur over hours. For example, you may have mild weakness at first. Over time, you may not be able to move the arm and leg on one side of your body.

Ischemic stroke

Symptoms of an ischemic stroke (caused by a blood clot) vary from one person to another. But symptoms usually occur in the side of the body opposite from the side of the brain where the clot occurred. For example, a stroke in the right side of the brain affects the left side of the body.

Symptoms of a stroke may be so minor that they are ignored or go unnoticed. Some people have symptoms that go away after a short time. This could be caused by a transient ischemic attack, or TIA. A TIA is a warning sign that a stroke may soon follow.

Hemorrhagic stroke

The symptoms of a hemorrhagic stroke (caused by bleeding in the brain) are usually the same as those from a blood clot. But you also may have other symptoms, such as:

•Severe headache, sometimes in a specific area.

•Nausea and vomiting.

•Neck stiffness.

•Dizziness, seizures, or changes in mental state, such as irritability, confusion, and possibly unconsciousness.

Hemorrhagic strokes usually occur during the daytime and during physical activity. Symptoms of a hemorrhagic stroke usually begin very suddenly (within seconds) and get worse over several hours.

The American Stroke Association developed this easy-to-remember guide to help identify the signs of a stroke: F.A.S.T.

FFace drooping. Is one side of the person’s face drooping or numb? When he or she smiles, is the smile uneven?

AArm weakness. Is the person experiencing weakness or numbness in one arm? Have the person raise both arms. Does one of the arms drift downward?

SSpeech difficulty. Is the person’s speech suddenly slurred or hard to understand? Is he or she unable to speak? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Can he or she repeat it back?

TTime to call 9-1-1. If any of these symptoms are present, dial 9-1-1 immediately. Check the time so you can report when the symptoms began.

Seconds can make the difference with anyone's life.

Patient Statement Tips

Sometimes a little information can go a long way. To help assist in knowing more about your statement as a patient, here are a few tips.

Sliding Fee: Sliding fee is set up as insurance. Lines labeled “Transfers from Insurance” are you co-payment amount. Some of those co-payments apply to medical visits, lab charges, x-ray charges and medications.

Payment plans: Although payments are expected at time of service, there are payment plans available. By contacting our billing representative, call 733-9244. We will work with you to adjust your payment to a level you are comfortable with. The agreed upon monthly payment will show as the amount due.

Transfer Credit – applied credit? This is a transfer to move your payment that created a credit on one visit to visit with an outstanding balance. You only see charges that still have a balance pending on the statement so you won’t usually see the “transfer credit” side of this transaction because it has been paid off.

Only visit with outstanding balances will show on your statement: If you have a visit and pay for it at the time of service or before your next statement is run, you will not see the detail on the statement.

And, payment is expected at time of service. As we are not a ‘free clinic’, please be aware that all charges may not be entered when you check out. But charges that are available when checking out, are due at that time.

Summer Food Program for Youth

Sunshine Clinic and our local Food Bank have worked with the State and Mat-Su Food Bank to provide free lunches for youth Monday thru Friday at our local Food Bank in Talkeetna (next to Sunshine Day Care and the Clinic) through the summer starting May 21st. 

Food will be provided Monday thru Friday in the Talkeetna Food Bank parking lot from 12 noon-1:30 p.m., free of charge to any child who shows up under the age of 18.  The food must be eaten on site; tables, chairs, and canopies will be available.

Mat-Su Food Bank is providing a ‘shelf-stable lunch’ that will be ready to give to kids in a large zip lock bag, no prep-needed.  Also, grant funds have been received to have some fruits and veggies available, so there may be a bowl of apples/oranges/carrots out as well.

As part of a grant Sunshine Clinic has just been awarded, Sunshine Transit will provide free transportation for youth, up to age 18, to and from this Summer Food Program, from both Cubby’s and the Road House. For more information on transportation,  contact Kim at Sunshine Transit, 733-9279.  If you would like to donate to free transportation for youth, come into the clinic and purchase a Transit Pass to be donated to youth in need. 

Thank you to Sunshine Clinic for allowing bathroom facilities to be available on site and supporting this programs organization.  Thank you to Sunshine Transit for providing transportation, and thank you to our local Food Bank Staff/Board and Mat Su Food Bank,  for providing the organization and the details to make this program happen, as well as, a passion for feeding youth.  There will also be Summer Food Programs in Trapper Creek and Willow; contact Lou Anne, 733-3383, for more information on those programs. You may also contact Anna Jolley, 733-9208 or Lou Anne, for more information on volunteering to serve Summer Lunch or donations to Transit.

A child who is nourished can live, laugh, and love more easily!  Thank you, Community, for your passion to help our youth in being healthy and resilient.

Just a reminder about prescription refills

As your summer, and ours, is about to kick-off and you're going every direction at full speed, think about yourself too! Remember to check your medications for refills. Normally, it takes three (3) days to have your prescription refilled; during this 'busy season', it could take longer, possibly a week (5 days). As you plan your summer adventures, think of yourself and your medications! Hope you have a great summer season.

Dental Clinic available in Willow

The finishing touches have been done to our Willow Clinic for our dental hygiene operatory. We are contacting our established patients in the Willow service area to meet the dental hygiene needs. Having routine cleanings is the single most important dental service in preventing gum disease. We look forward to providing our Willow clientele easier access as well as welcoming new patients. The Dental Clinic in Willow is available on Monday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Call and schedule your appointment today!

SCHC Clinics open Saturdays in Talkeetna and Willow

The Talkeetna and Willow SCHC clinics are now both open on Saturdays. The hours are from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Please note, this is only for the medical clinics at this time.

Do you need to report Elder Fraud?

Is someone you know receiving harassing phone calls for unneeded medical equipment or medications, mail concerning lotteries never entered, or other solicitations?  This is a major problem Nationwide costing families and our Nation billions in fraud.

Protecting Alaska’s Senior’s are: State of Alaska Office of Public Advocacy Elder Fraud Assistance, 907-334-5989; Attorney General’s Office Consumer Protection Division, 907-269-5200; and, The Better Business Bureau, 907-644-5208.

If you have any other questions concerning this presentation,  you may contact Anna Jolley at the Sunshine Clinic, 733-9208.

Health Quest Therapy at SCHC in Talkeetna

Health Quest Therapy, Inc., Alaska’s first choice for comprehensive Physical, Occupational and Pediatric Therapy, is available now in our Talkeetna clinic at SCHC. Health Quest Therapy, Inc. is offering complete physical therapy treatment for injury rehabilitation as well as pre- and post- surgical recovery and conditioning. 

Health Quest Therapist, and longtime Alaskan resident, Patrick Minder PHD, PT will staff the Talkeetna clinic.  With over 16 years of experience treating both orthopedic and neurological conditions, Patrick uses the latest manual therapy techniques and exercise prescription in the care of his patients. In addition, Patrick is a Star Certified Oncology Rehabilitation Clinician as well as a Certified Mulligan Practitioner.  Other therapists will join our Talkeetna treatment team to meet the demand.

“The opening in the Talkeetna clinic is critical to the health and well-being of the people in Talkeetna and the surrounding community,” Nisa ZumBrunnen, President and Owner of Health Quest Therapy said, “we are honored to be able to provide Physical Therapy care that is second to none.”

Health Quest Therapy uses state of the art treatment techniques and equipment while serving patients of all ages.  Health Quest accepts most insurance plans including: Medicare, Medicaid, Tri-care, and regularly sees self-pay patients as well.

Health Quest offers a FREE 15-minute assessment for patients who may be unsure if their pain or injury qualifies for physical therapy treatment.  It’s easy, just contact Health Quest Therapy at (907) 376-6363 or go online at and submit your name, email and brief description of your condition and a Health Quest representative will contact you. Contact: John Knutson, , 650 North Shoreline Drive, Wasilla, AK 99654; telephone 907-376-6363.

Are you in danger of losing your home?

Valley Charities may be able to help you.  If you qualify we can help with utility shut-offs, eviction prevention and first month’s rent.  Goals include Homeless Prevention Services:  Actions taken to prevent persons who are in imminent danger of becoming homeless from losing their permanent residence. This may include payment of past due rent or mortgage; payment of delinquent heating fuel or electric/gas utility bills. In most situations deposits are not funded. Housing Permanent Placement Services: Actions taken to assist homeless persons to obtain permanent housing by helping with first month's rent.  Please contact Adam Pollock, Case Manager, at Valley Charities, Inc., 354-4660.

State of Alaska Veterans' Benefits

The Office of Veterans Affairs offers information and benefits for Alaska's Veterans, their spouses and dependents regarding the best way to determine if they qualify for certain benefits and how to reach the proper person or program.  A veteran qualified for entitlements and benefits is based upon discharge from active military service or the National Guard, under other than dishonorable conditions, and may be more or less limited as the result of additional requirements such as disability or period of service.

For assistance, a representative from the Office of Veterans’ Affairs will be at SCHC in Talkeetna 10 a.m.-2 p.m., the second Tuesday of each month. Please do not hesitate to contact the Office of Veterans Affairs, 907-428-6016, if you feel that you could qualify for the various benefits that are offered. Your service for our country is deeply appreciated. Give us the chance to serve you!

Grants awarded to SCHC

Sunshine Community Health Center has been actively seeking grant money to enrich the lives of the youth in our communities. 

Recently, SCHC was awarded $1,000 by the National Center for Safe Routes to School and Schwinn’s Helmets on Heads Program.  Working with Backcountry Bicycles in Wasilla, Talkeetna Elementary Student Council, and Peer Helpers at Su Valley, this grant will help bring basic bike maintenance education, and bike/helmet safety to these elementary and middle school students in spring 2015.  The grant will also provide free helmets to those youth in need of one.

Also, Sunshine Clinic was recently awarded a Target Wellness Grant by Mat-Su Health Foundation.  This grant is to help youth in our community access free, safe, and reliable transportation for after-school activities.  Research consistently shows that youth involved in after-school activities are less likely to be involved with addictive substances like smoking and drinking, do better in school, as well as, being less likely to be a victim of childhood bullying, and less teen-pregnancy (  While this grant will not solve all transportation issues for kids in the northern valley, it is a step in the right direction.  A big thank you goes to Mat-Su Health foundation and Sunshine Transit for consistently working toward meeting the needs of those in our community to improve health and wellness.

PCMH Recognition for SCHC

Sunshine Community Health Center is pleased to announce that it has been awarded Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Recognition by the National Committee for Quality Assurance PCMH 2011 Program. PCMH standards emphasize the use of systematic, patient-centered, coordinated care that supports access, communication, and patient involvement. The patient-centered medical home is a way that emphasizes care coordination and communication to transform primary care into “what patients want it to be, a whole person approach to care.” You may be asking, “What is a medical home?”

A medical home means having a “home base” for your health care needs. It is more than just a place: it is a team of people making sure you stay healthy and get the best health care. It is where the health care staff knows you and your health history.

A medical home is where you, your medical team and your family that work together to make health care better for you. Your medical team is made up of you, your primary care doctor and other health care staff. You decide who you want on this team. The primary care doctor that you choose will make sure the medical team will work together to meet your health needs.

Medical homes can lead to higher quality and lower costs, and can improve patients’ and providers’ experience of care. This has been a long time coming, but very rewarding process to become a certified PCMH. This holds us to the highest standards in providing care to our communities.

Free Hearing Testing in Wasilla

The first Saturday of each month, there will be free hearing testing from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. by Wasilla Physical Therapy, at the building behind Geneva Woods Pharmacy off Seward Meridian in Wasilla. No appointment needed; for more information call907-376-7334 or e-mail 

Hospice Volunteer Training

If you are interested in ‘Hospice Volunteer Training’, please contact Anna Jolley RN, Care Coordinator, 733-9208. Please leave a message with your interest in ‘Hospice Volunteer Training’, name, number, community name.   Hospice Volunteers provide comfort and companionship to patients who are terminally ill or dying, and provide respite care for their primary caregivers by spending 1-4 hours a week visiting with a patient.  If we can get 5-6 people interested, we will have a training class in the in either Talkeetna or Willow, hosted by Mat Su Home Health and Hospice

New SCHC Fee Schedule

Effective July 1st, SCHC fee schedule will be adjusted and the nominal payment for Slide A visits will be:

New Nominal Fees

Office Visit    $25

Labs             $15

X-ray            $20

Meds            $5

Alaska’s Tobacco Quit Line offers enhanced tools for smokers

New mobile and online apps offer extra help to those who want to quit 

Two-thirds of Alaska adults who currently smoke say they want to quit. The state Department of Health and Social Services is now offering additional support to help them. Alaska’s Tobacco Quit Line has enhanced the free tools it offers to provide even greater support to help tobacco users successfully quit for good.

Our After-Hours Policy Statement

The following statement represents current Sunshine Community Health Center practices:

There has been some confusion recently about the after-hours services provided by Sunshine Clinic which we would like to clarify. Due to limited staff resources and concerns about liability, at this time Sunshine is providing after-hours contact with providers for triage and treatment recommendations limited to telephone contact only. Options are being explored which may allow this practice to change at some future point.

Adult Protective Services

Report any concern about an adult who is vulnerable to abuse or exploitation. Call 907-269-3666 (main number) or 800-478-9996 (in state). 

Mat-Su Health Foundation

Is Mat-Su Healthy? How can we make it the healthiest place in the country? Mat-Su Health Foundation (MSHF) worked in association with other organizations to conduct a Community Health Needs Assessment to identify the major health needs of Mat-Su residents and work with the community to prioritize and address those needs. Learn more »

Sunshine Transit

Find Sunshine Transit in Talkeetna and the Upper Susitna Valley at

Mission Statement

Sunshine Community Health Center is committed to accessible, proactive, quality health care, promoting community wellness through outreach and education.

Hours of operation


SCHC in Talkeetna and Willow
Monday - Saturday: 9am - 5pm

Talkeetna Dental Clinic
Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm