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 Sunshine Community Health Center 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.

Kathryn Ernst

Vice President

Kathy lives in Trapper Creek and joined the Sunshine Board of Directors because she believes in affordable health care for all and because 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.

Richard Burgener


Kathy Watkins


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 B.S. in Social Science. After graduating she spent 30 years working for the Department of Health and Human Services in California. Kathy likes sewing and off roading.

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.”


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