The Board of Directors has had an exciting year of coming together and better understanding how to accomplish the goals we set in our strategic planning.

There are many thanks to give the staff who do so much to allow this center to provide better health and wellbeing to our communities of Trapper Creek, Talkeetna, Sunshine, Caswell, Willow and beyond.  We know that the future of this center lies in your hardworking hands.  Thank you!

And finally, the Board would like to thank the Upper Susitna Valley communities for their unwavering support and confidence.  You are our foundation!

Want to join the team?

If you’d like to make a difference in your community and help shape the future of healthcare in the Upper Susitna Valley, serve on our board of directors. To find out how, click here:

2016-17 Board of Directors

William (Billy) FitzGerald


Billy lives in Talkeetna and joined the SCHC team at the request of a very good friend who was intimately involved with the development of the clinic from the early 90’s until 2008. When he joined, the board had been through difficult times and lost community support. It was, and still is, Billy’s primary goal, to strengthen the board’s relationship with the community.

Billy’s graduated from Needham High School 1971 and Dean Junior College 1973. He served on several volunteer boards in Talkeetna including the Talkeetna Community Council, Inc., the Talkeetna Historical Society, the Talkeetna Airmen’s Association, and the Denali State Park Citizens Advisory Board.

Billy’s hobbies are bird watching, any games that involve a ball, fishing, hunting for food and gathering blueberries and chaga.

Kathy Watkins

Vice President

Kathy lives in Willow and joined the Sunshine Board to be a voice for her community. She graduated from Alan Hancock College in 1980 with a A.A. in Social Science. After graduating she spent 30 years working for the Department of Health and Human Services in California. Kathy retired in 2010 and moved to Willow Alaska in 2015.  She has been married 20 years, is the Program Manager for Willow’s CERT team and a member of the Willow Garden Club and Iditaquilters.  Kathy loves serving her community.

Kathryn Ernst


Kathy lives in Trapper Creek and joined the Sunshine Board of Directors because she believes in affordable health care for all and her involvement with Sunshine goes back many years. She is a retired science and math teacher that taught at Su Valley, Palmer, and Mat-Su Community College.

Kathy graduated from Valparaiso Universtiy in 1967 with a B.S. in chemistry/math and education. She finished her M.S. in chemistry at the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 1970.

Kathy was a member of the Board of Directors for Sunshine that hired Jessica Stevens during a time when the clinic was in financial peril. She served on the board again from 2011-2014 during another difficult time. Kathy is also an EMT 2 and has been with the EMS system for over 30 years. Her hobbies include travel, birding, bicycling, and she enjoys gardening and the outdoors.

Mary Gunderson


Mary  is a long time resident of Talkeetna. She worked as Licensed Practical Nurse at University of Wisconsin in the early 1970’s and moved to Talkeetna in 1976. Mary earned her B.A. in Education and taught primary grades at both Talkeetna and Willow Elementary. Presently Mary is retired and keeps busy with grandchildren and art projects.

Richard Burgener


David Sutton


David lives in Talkeetna and is the longest continuously serving board member. He joined the Sunshine Board of Directors over 20 years ago to help promote a viable health care facility in the Upper Susitna Valley.

David graduated from Central Bible College in Springfield, Missouri in 1971 with a B.A. in Bible and a B.A. in Education. He also studied Education at the University of Alaska, Southeast.

David has worked in various positions in this community. He’s been in food service, a painter, warehouseman, active in all aspects of his Church, a supervisor for Mahay’s, and a bus driver. He enjoys fishing, reading, and hunting.

Romy Byrd


Romy lives in Talkeetna and joined the Sunshine Board to make a difference in her community and help improve the health care that is available. In 2002 Romy finished her B.S. in Microbiology from the University of Idaho.  In 2007 she graduated from UAA with a Bachelors of Nursing Science. Quickly after graduation, she passed the NCLEX test and became a nurse.

Romy worked in a research lab at the University of Idaho, as a float pool PCT (nurse’s aide) at Providence Hospital, as a medical surgical nurse for 4 years, as a float pool nurse for 5 years with additional education allowing her to float to the ER, the Progressive Care Unit, and the Mother Baby Unit.  Romy chaired a group led by nurses that worked to put nurses back at patient’s bedsides instead of on computers at desks. Research shows that patients do better when caregivers are actively participating in their recovery during their hospital stay. She also helped teach BLS and ACLS to health care providers.

As a mother with young kids at home, she finds it difficult to find time for hobbies but she likes to read and she used to run, play hockey, and cross country ski a lot.  She says, “I’d like to do that again someday.”

Bill Was


Bill is a relative new comer to Talkeetna having relocated to the area in August of 2013 from SE Michigan.  He grew up in Dearborn and graduated from Michigan State University with a B.Sc. in Food Science in 1978.  He lived in many areas of the Midwest while working for a number of companies like Pet, Incorporated, Kellogg, Incorporated and The Clorox Company in the food product development and quality assurance areas.  In late 1989 he left the food processing world for a career in IT Field Support while working with The Clorox Company.  The last three years of his working career were spent as a field support tech for the State of Ohio.

He remained in SE Michigan to assist his parents during their final years; after they passed he was the caretaker for the family home.  During this time he learned the joy of volunteering and dedicated 40 to 60 hours a month as a volunteer in the memory impaired section of the Northville (MI) Sunrise Assisted Living facility.  Living in Alaska had been a dream since his first backpacking trip with two college friends in September of 1996.  After rebuilding from financial losses incurred during ‘The Great Recession’ he was finally able to make his dream a reality.

Within a few months of settling in a small home seven miles south of Talkeetna he once again started volunteering, this time at KTNA.  He served for three years as a newscaster, music show host and technical resource for the station.  Concurrently, he began volunteering with the Upper Susitna Food Pantry (USFP) as a shopper.  In February of 2015 he was seated on the USFP board and a year later became the vice president.  In late March of 2015 a fall severely fractured his left radius and ulna; the initial care for this injury introduced him to the Sunshine Community Health Clinic.  Because reconstructive surgery was required he traveled to Wasilla for the care and the subsequent Occupational Therapy.  During this time he came to appreciate the mission of the SCHC and recognized its importance in providing quality local health care.  In the summer of 2017 a friend shared the SCHC was seeking new board members and he immediately applied and was eventually seated on the board.

Bill shares his life with a couple of exceptional canines (Anana – a 112 pound female Alaskan malamute) and Qanuk (an 86 pound male German Shepherd Dog) who love Alaska as much as he does.  Some of his hobbies include meteorology, walking/hiking the immediate area, bird watching/feeding, PC building/repairing and listening to music on a large, high end stereo system.  He recently purchased a travel trailer which will allow him to further explore his adopted home with his canine companions.

Cathy Mosher


Cathy has been in Alaska since 1983. She and her husband of 43 years are in the process of building a home in Willow. They have one daughter who lives in Oregon with her husband and three children. Cathy obtained her Associates Degree from University of Alaska Fairbanks in 2008.

While briefly living in Fairbanks where her husband worked; Cathy joined the Fairbanks Republican Women to get involved in the community. This opened the door to new experiences and friendships. Upon moving back to Willow, Cathy became involved in the Valley Republican Women and held various positions through the years. Cathy said that these positions have been a good influence on her; teaching her leadership roles, and networking. In June 2017 she was elected President of the Valley Republican Women. Cathy looks forward to serving on the Board of Sunshine Community Health Center.


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