AK DOC Today

News, Events, and Activities in the Alaska Department of Corrections

Nurses Week Spotlight: Nurse Josh Bearden

As we continue to celebrate Nurses Week and our outstanding Nurses across the state, today we highlight Nurse Joshua Bearden from Goose Creek Correctional Center.

Nurse Bearden started with the Department in June 2014 as a Nurse I at HMCC. There he was known for his great organizational skills and proficient approach to patient care. He advanced to Nurse II and quickly proved to be a lead nurse in the HMCC Clinic. As a primary dayshift nurse he not only was responsible for maintaining the daily activities of the clinic, but also assisted in orienting numerous new nurses to DOC.

In October 2015, Nurse Bearden transferred to Goose Creek Correctional Center where he quickly became part of a much larger team. Early 2016, the Nursing Supervisor for the GCCC Clinic, Shawn Strong, was in a serious vehicle accident and was subsequently out on an extended FMLA leave. Nurse Bearden stepped up to the plate and agreed to work temporarily as Acting Nurse III until Shawn could return. It was during that time that Nurse Bearden truly showed his leadership potential. His easy going demeanor enabled him to approach the day to day issues calmly and professionally. His insight and ability to solve problems was greatly appreciated during his short, yet effective time as Acting Nurse III. Once Shawn was ready to return to work, Nurse Bearden graciously stepped back down, and returned to his role as staff nurse in the clinic. This truly exemplified professionalism. Nurse Bearden is truly a great nurse and a great asset to the GCCC medical team. We look forward to following his accomplishments through his nursing career.

We appreciate you!

Nurses Week Spotlight: Nurse Barbara Polk-Grubb

As we continue to celebrate Nurses Week and our outstanding Nurses across the state, today we highlight Nurse Barbara Polk-Grubb from Anvil Mountain Correctional Center.

Nurse Polk-Grubb is from Collinsville, MS. She graduated from West Lauderdale High school. She waited a few years raising a family before following in her mother’s footsteps as a nurse. She graduated from nursing school in 1995 from the University of West Alabama. She worked in oncology and orthopedics for a few years. In 2002, she went to work for East Mississippi Correctional Facility where she fell in love with corrections.

In November 2011, Nurse Polk-Grubb moved to Alaska with her spouse and began her career at AMCC. If you ask her, she absolutely loves it! Nurse Polk-Grubb is an asset to AMCC and department. She performs well under pressure and has effectively handled unforeseen work conditions of a remote community (water shortages, inmate evacuations, several instances in which an inmate’s medical condition required a medivac to Anchorage, etc.). Nurse Polk-Grubb is a pleasure to work with and she works well with staff, the public and the inmate population.

We appreciate you!

Nurses Week Spotlight: Electronic Health Record Nurses

As we continue to celebrate Nurses Week and our outstanding Nurses across the state, today we highlight DOC Nurses from the Electronic Health Record.

Our DOC nurses have strong assessment skills, are able to handle stress well and thrive under pressure. This year, several of our nurses took on an additional challenge – the Electronic Health Record (EHR). Leading the way as super users and as pilot users at Hiland Mountain Correctional Center, the efforts of these nurses are improving the EHR for future use at all facilities.

Our super users volunteered to play this significant role in the EHR adoption. Their ability to quickly learn the system, share this knowledge and support other users has been invaluable. The HMCC nurses may not have started out as super users, but it is safe to say most of them could certainly serve in this role now. No matter their computer skills, these nurses have each gone above and beyond to learn the system and to brainstorm solutions to use the EHR to improve our processes. The HMCC nurses remain flexible and resilient as the pilot progresses.

Super user nurses involved so far: Daniel Alsdorf, Rachel Chesser, Cathy Easterling, Kilei Green-Luafulu, Jody Hatt, Tawny Schaf, Gemma Smith, Megan Starr, Tesfa Subani and Brenda Timmer.

HMCC nurses: Daniel Alsdorf, Gena Bryant, Moneak Cline, Dawn Gordon, Betty Hinton, Melanie O’Brien, Ryan Sather, Charlene Sauerbrey, Tawny Schaf, Megan Starr, Tesfa Subani, Sara Taylor, Leisa Wilson.

Nurse educator: Ivy Asamoah

Thank you all for your dedication and drive to make the EHR a success for DOC! We appreciate all you do!

Nurses Spotlight Week: Nurses Kim Hardin, Michelle Terry, and Lori Someillan

As we continue to celebrate Nurses Week and our outstanding Nurses across the state, today we highlight Nurse Kim Hardin and Nurse Michelle Terry from Palmer Correctional Center and Nurse Lori Someillan from Mat-Su Pre Trial.

Nurse Kim Hardin has over 20 years of DOC experience. Nurse Michelle Terry is coming up a year with DOC. It would be impossible to discuss or nominate one nurse when it is the team that makes nursing viable. These nurses work week on/week off; Nurse Terry starts the shift at 0600 and Nurse Hardin ends the day at 2315. The team works together to oversee the nursing needs of over 500 inmates at PCC.

They are a force for medical professionalism and make difficult situations look common and ordinary. The represent the high stands in nursing care and represent DOC with a professional demeanor, fairness and consistency. All the staff (administration, support and offices) have reported they feel lucky to have these nurses working at PCC.

Nurse Someillan works nights at MSPT. She is calm, consistent, professional, with a quick wit and subtle charm. She is the bedrock of providing care and making sure the day shift is supplied and aware of all events occurring on nights. She is patience safety minded, providing care day in and day out in a consistent manner. She is able to help inmates understand options and is respected by both security staff and inmates.

We appreciate all of you awesome nurses!

Nurses Week Spotlight: Nurse Chris Pekar

As we continue to celebrate Nurses Week and our outstanding Nurses across the state, today we highlight Nurse Chris Pekar from Yukon Kuskokwim Correctional Center.

Nurse Pekar is from Southwestern Pennsylvania in the little coal mining town called Bobtown. She attended college at Waynesburg College and received a Bachelors in Science of Nursing. After Graduation she married her husband Ed and they moved to Laurel, Maryland where she worked at Prince Georges County hospital on the trauma floor. Not being city people they moved to Walnut Cove, North Carolina, where they began raising their two children, Morgan and Drew. After living in North Carolina for about 6 years, they decided it was time to finally make their adventure of coming to Alaska a reality. They moved to Barrow, AK in 2003 which was an amazing adventure but a year of the brutal cold was plenty. So they traveled south to Bethel in 2004 and made it their home.

Nurse Pekar has been nursing for 22 years, and her experience spans from the very tiny NICU and pediatric patients to adults in trauma and CCU. Her passion has always been with children, however as long as she is taking care of people she will be happy and fulfilled.

Nurse Pekar loves teaching whether it is patients, new graduates, training new co-workers or teaching a class. She feels that we all have something to learn from one another whereas new graduates offer seasoned nurses cutting edge material they have just learned and as seasoned nurses we offer our experience in the field.

She loves her job at YKCC and says ist is very challenging at times and very rewarding as well. Nurse Pekar feels her experience over the years has prepared her very well for working at YKCC. She loves taking care of people and being able to help people who are in poor health and underserved. Nurse Pekar calls working in an environment such as DOC a very humbling experience.

We appreciate you!

Nurses Week Spotlight: Nurse Lydia O’Leary

As we continue to celebrate Nurses Week and our outstanding Nurses across the state, today we highlight Nurse Lydia O’Leary from Lemon Creek Correctional Center.

Nurse O’Leary is always looking for ways to brighten the day for those who have the privilege of working with her. Though she has been with the department for a relatively short time, her attitude and work ethic has had a very real and positive effect on the staff at LCCC.

Nurse O’Leary recently was elected president of the LCCC Wellness Committee. When looking for someone to fill that spot the comment was made that Nurse O’Leary was a wellness committee all on her own.

Since her election Nurse O’Leary with the help of other members has coordinated staff barbeques and fundraisers which have been very successful not only in the raising of funds for future events, but also in helping to improve morale and team atmosphere.

Nurse O’Leary has earned the respect and cooperation of the inmate population through being a true professional and her faithfulness in being firm and fair, and consistent. LCCC is truly lucky to have Nurse O’Leary on our team!

We appreciate you!

Nurses Week Spotlight: Nurse Valerie Beacom

As we continue to celebrate Nurses Week and our outstanding Nurses across the state, today we highlight Nurse Valerie Beacom from Goose Creek Correctional Center.

Nurse Beacom stands out as a strong leader who instinctively addresses safety and process improvement promoting safety on a regular basis. She readily confers with her team members to determine the best way to problem solve. Nurse Beacom provides supportive encouragement to all members of the GCCC team.

She has willingly accepted the role of lead nurse to provide a consistent resource to all floor staff on her rotation; additionally, she has thrived in this position and offered several process improvement suggestions related to sharps count, nursing assessments and nursing report hand-off for both shift and rotation reports.

Nurse Beacom is an exceptionally valued member of the GCCC team; her contribution to the team promotes high morale and confidence among her co-workers.

We appreciate you!

Nurses Week Spotlight: Nurse Jody Hatt

As we continue to celebrate Nurses Week and our outstanding Nurses across the state, today we highlight Nurse Jody Hatt from Wildwood Correctional Center.

Nurse Jody Hatt has been at the heart of DOC successes for 30 years. She is often the first person called for questions by nurses statewide – it seems like she has seen it all. We know we can rely on Nurse Hatt’s strong clinical skills, guidance and leadership.

Firm, fair and consistent is heard frequently in our environment; and Nurse Hatt epitomizes this mantra. Her influence carries to nurses, providers and patients. You’ll frequently hear Nurse Hatt reminding patients with diabetes to calculate their own insulin dosage and not rely on the nurse. They will be responsible for calculating the dosage when they release. This is a valuable lesson patients are learning while within our walls and preparing to safely care for themselves.

In addition, Nurse Hatt doesn’t hesitate to take on special projects to improve the system. Recently, she is serving as a super user for the Electronic Health Record (EHR). Nurse Hatt is helping with pilot at HMCC and is making significant contributions behind the scenes to work through the speedbumps in the EHR. Her energy, knowledge and optimism have been invaluable!

Nurse Hatt relocated to Kenai from South Dakota in 1979. She started her correctional nursing career at Wildwood Correctional Center in 1986 and became the Nurse III at WCC in 2000. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time on the boat with Steve, her significant other, and, of course, shopping.

Thank you, Nurse Hatt, for your 30 years of dedicated service to the Department of Corrections!

We appreciate you!

2016 Juneau Crime Conference

The Crime Conference is off and running! Come get “What you need when you need it!”

For any Law Enforcement in Juneau this week, even if not for the conference: We have over 15 vendors at the conference who have traveled from the Lower 48, bringing their wares for your perusal. Please come and wander through the conference vendor area in the main lobby of Centennial Hall. If you have office mates who are not APOA members, please invite them as well. It is a great opportunity to see the new wares and technology.

So, if you have time on Tuesday, May 10, or Wednesday, May 11, (or both!), please come by and see the booths! To encourage this, if you come visit, get signatures from three vendors on your business card or equivalent (name and contact info), turn it into the Registration Table, you’ll be in the running for a Conference Swag bag. At the end of Wednesday, one name will be drawn from the business cards. The winner will get a Conference Swag bag which contains over $75 in swag, include a dual power bank, hot/cold beverage tumbler, 5-11 socks, and more.

Vendors Attending:

  • Glock
  • Northern Security, Inc
  • Armour Express Body Armor
  • Braun Northwest
  • Watchguard Video
  • Bostec Inc/ Intoximeters, Inc.
  • 3M
  • Decatur Electronics, Inc.
  • Application Data System Inc.
  • Stalker Radar
  • CZ America
  • Taku Tactical
  • Benchmade Knives
  • Smith and Wesson
  • Vista Outdoor
  • Alaska Safety
  • Northstar Emergency Vehicles
  • FBI Guardian Management
  • Homeland Security Officer of Emergency Communication

Nurses Week Spotlight: Nurse Brenda Timmer

As we celebrate Nurses Week in Alaska, each day this week we will highlight a nurse from the Alaska Department of Corrections.

In the official proclamation Alaska Governor Bill Walker called Alaskan nurses, “a community treasure, as they bring compassion, understanding, and comfort to patients while using their knowledge and skills to deliver medical care.”

Nurse Brenda Timmer is a strong nurse and an asset to Fairbanks Correctional Center medical. On top of her job at FCC, Nurse Timmer is also a super-user of the electronic health record, and spent a week at Hiland Mountain Correctional Center entering data and assisting in any capacity needed.

Nurse Timmer is firm, fair, and consistent in her approach to correctional nursing. She is an asset to FCC medical, using her knowledge and computer skills for the betterment of the medical department. Nurse Timmer is always willing to pitch in where she is needed, picking up extra shifts, doing extra computer work, and offering her opinion often.

Nurse Timmer arrives early, works hard, and completes work tasks before the end of her shift (usually before noon). Her co-workers rely on her knowledge and skills.

Nurse Timmer we appreciate you!