April is Alcohol Awareness Month

This April, during Alcohol Awareness Month, SCHC encourages you to educate yourself and your loved ones about the dangers of drinking alcohol. Drinking too much alcohol increases the risk of injuries, violence, drowning, liver disease and some types of cancer.

To spread the word and prevent alcohol abuse in our community, SCHC is joining other organizations across the country to honor Alcohol Awareness Month.

If you are drinking too much, you can improve your health by cutting back or quitting. Here are some strategies to help you cut back or stop drinking:

•    Limit your drinking to no more than one drink a day for women or two drinks a day for men

•    Keep track of how much you drink

•    Don't drink when you are upset

•    Avoid places where people drink a lot

•    Make a list of reasons not to drink

If you are concerned about someone else's drinking, offer to help. In Talkeetna, Alcoholics Anonymous Group (AA) meetings are Sunday evening at 6:00 p.m. at the Talkeetna Library and Tuesday evening at 6:30 p.m. at Montana Creek Baptist Church. For information concerning Talkeetna meetings, call 907-733-6660. In Willow, Thursday evenings at 7:00 p.m. and the third Friday of each month from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at the Willow Methodist Church. For information concerning Willow meetings, call 841-2141 or call SCHC at 733-2273. We're here to help you and your loved ones.

All Staff Meeting April 16th - Clinics Closed

The March All Staff meeting that was held March 18th was a great training session for SCHC employees as new coding is about to begin for the clinical and billing staff. As a requirement of Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) guidelines, SCHC must have these meetings to keep our employees up-to-date with new procedures that will help us to better serve you and our community. Please mark your calendar, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 16th, for our next All Staff meeting, as the clinics will be CLOSED for the day. Be sure to mark your calendar of this date, particularly if you may possibly need a prescription filled or if you need to see a provider before that date. We appreciate your patience during these closures.

Drug Take Back - April 26th

The semi-annual "medicine take back" is scheduled for Saturday, April 26th, from 10am-2pm at the Sunshine Community Health Center in Talkeetna.  This is your opportunity to dispose of all expired and unused medication in a safe manner.  All medications, both prescribed and over the counter including narcotics, are accepted but needles and other medical equipment are not.  Medicine can be brought in its original packaging or as individual pills.  Please help to maintain the safety of the environment, as well as, keeping medication out of the hands of children and others who should not be using it.  If you have any questions, call Cici Schoenberger at the Clinic, 733-2273.

Community Grant Training Event

United Way Mat-Su Community Impact Grant and Mat-Su Borough Community Matching Grant Application Training

On April 8th, SCHC staff members will be attending a training session concerning overview and logic models for grant applications. The United Way Mat-Su Community Impact Grant and the Mat-Su Borough Community Matching Grant, both streams of funding, will be for a two year cycle, FY15 and FY16.  There will be a combined application this year where agencies can seek program funding from either United Way of Mat-Su or the Mat-Su Borough or BOTH.  There is anticipation that the applications will be released the beginning of April and SCHC will have 30 days to complete and submit the applications. As SCHC is seeking funding for more than one program, we will need to submit more than one application and this requires SCHC to participate in the training to be able to submit an application.  As we are now, all agencies must be in good standing with the granting organization to be able to apply.

April Health Fairs in Willow and Talkeetna

Alaska Health Fair's, a non-profit organization, will be having their community health fairs in Willow and Talkeetna. Mark your calendars to attend the one nearest you. Willow's Health Fair will be Saturday, April 19th from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Willow Community Center. Talkeetna's Health Fair will be Friday, April 25th from 8:00 a.m. until 12 noon at the Upper Susitna Senior Center. Health checks will likely include vision and hearing tests, blood pressure, height and weight, screening test for DM, high cholesterol, thyroid disorder and other blood disorders along with providing health education.

Also, during the Talkeetna Health Fair on April 25th, Melinda Gurney, Educational Specialist with Alzheimer’s Resource of Alaska in Palmer, will be available to speak with you individually or as a family consultant on available services and needs for people experiencing dementia or those caring for a patient with dementia. If you would like to speak with her before April 25th, you may contact her at 746-3416.

Race to Vaccinate

Congrats to Rigel Bender, winner of our “Race to Vaccinate” drawing!  Rigel is the winner of a cuddly toy husky dog wearing a collar signed by 4-time Iditarod champion Martin Buser.  The contest was held during this year’s Iditarod to help raise awareness of the critical need to keep Alaska’s children safe from vaccine-preventable diseases through timely immunization.  If you have questions on the immunization schedule or wonder what shots your children need, please give us a call at 733-2273.  Thank you to contest sponsors Vaccinate Alaska Coalition & the Alaska Immunization Program.

Choose RESPECT events were a great success

On March 29th, Upper Su Choose Respect events were held in Willow, Talkeetna and Trapper Creek.  We helped coordinate these community events as part of Governor Parnell’s Choose Respect Initiative to stop the epidemic of domestic violence and sexual assault in Alaska.  In Talkeetna, a march was held from the Flying Squirrel Café to the Roadhouse and Flags of Awareness were created to be taken up to Base Camp on Denali.  In Trapper Creek, community members gathered at the post office to help spread the universal message of respect, where Flags of Awareness were also created. Willow’s event included an information booth, outdoor StoryTRACK and craft activities for families.  This year, more than 170 communities throughout Alaska held Choose Respect events.  Many thanks to our volunteers and participants! For more info, check out http://gov.alaska.gov/parnell/priorities/public-safety/choose-respect.html.

DOT Medical Exams now offered at SCHC

Department of Transportation has now ruled that all providers who perform DOT physicals now be certified.  SCHC is proud to announce that our providers are now certified to perform DOT medical exams. DOT is now requiring more information from you, the driver. Appointments will need to be scheduled and forms filled out prior to the scheduled appointment. Please review the DOT guidelines below that are required for the appointment.

•    Wear comfortable clothing be prepared to undress to T-shirt and boxers/shorts.

•    If you take daily medications please be sure to take them as usual.  In particular blood pressure and diabetes medications.  It is recommended you take your medications at least 30 minutes before your appointment.

•    Bring ALL medications, vitamins, herbal and over the counter substances that you take to your exam

•    All drivers must bring the hearing aids, glasses or contacts they use for driving.

•    If you have had any medical procedures since your last certification you will need to bring the records from that specialty clinic.  These records will need to be available for review at your medical exam.  The best way to do this is to sign a release of information for SCHC to get your records.  This process usually takes 10 working days. Examples are: endocrinology, surgery, physical therapy, behavioral health, hearing exams, eye exams, drug and alcohol counseling with verification the completion of all counseling.

•    If you are enrolled in any of the federal exemption/waiver programs, you must bring that letter to your exam.  If you have lost your copy, you can obtain a new letter by calling (703) 448-3094 or by contacting medicalexemptions@dot.gov

•    If the driver wants to enroll in any of the exemption programs they should be made aware, this process can take about six months. If accepted they are given a two year exemption. All exemption program participants are allowed only a one year medical certificate. 

•    Vision exemption requires an annual eye exam by an optometrist or ophthalmologist.

•    Insulin exemption: If you are a diabetic and you use insulin, you will need to provide records that pertain to your diabetes management for the last five years. The Insulin waiver program 'grandfathers' you from 1996.

For more information, please contact:

Office of Medical Programs

Telephone: (202) 366-4001

E-mail: fmcsamedical@dot.gov

Driver Exemption Programs (Diabetes, Vision)

Telephone: (703) 448-3094

E-mail: medicalexemptions@dot.gov.

Medical Review Board (MRB)

Telephone: (703) 998-0189, ext. 204

From the Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is looking forward to the future of SCHC and welcomes the following new members to the board: Carla Kelly from Willow, Harold Conrad, Billy Fitzgerald and Dottie Leonard from Talkeetna.

Upon their retirement from the Board of Directors, we are grateful to Tom Phillips and Sarah Richardson from Willow, for their dedicated service during their terms on the board. We appreciate the Board of Directors and their support to our clinics and community.

Thank you for attending Open House

Thank you to all that attended the Open House events in Willow and Talkeetna, showing their support to SCHC and Sunshine Transit. We appreciate the relationships that we have with our patients and friends in the communities. Now that the spring and summer weather is upon us, we hope to be scheduling outdoor events that we can all enjoy.

JBER-Richardson Tax Assistance Available

Who is eligible for our FREE tax service? Active duty, Reserve Component personnel, military retirees and the dependents of these sponsors who have simple, non-complex tax returns are eligible for tax assistance service. You may file returns electronically whether you are getting a refund or you owe taxes. However, only tax returns prepared by a JBER-Richardson Tax Assistance Center staff member can be electronically filed at the JBER-Richardson Tax Assistance Center. For questions or an appointment, please call 907-384-1040.

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 »


Patient Portal 

The Patient Portal is now operational. We appreciate your patience while it was 'under construction'.

Patient Portal is a private safe and secure way for you to; enter medical history online (new patients), send messages to your provider, refill prescriptions, check lab results, schedule appointments and pay your bill online.

Patient Portal is a new initiative sweeping the country through Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) making your medical information available to you via the internet or at the clinic through the kiosks set up in the waiting room.

Click here to get started!  

Sunshine Transit

Find Sunshine Transit in Talkeetna and the Upper Susitna Valley at www.sunshinetransit.org


NOTICE: Upcoming Board of Directors Meeting

The next Board of Directors Meeting scheduled for Tuesday, April 29th, 2014, will begin at 6:00 p.m. at the Willow SCHC Clinic. Issues or concerns for the board will need to be presented within a 30 minute period. At 6:30 p.m., Alaska Primary Care Association will begin conducting a two-hour training session for the board. We appreciate your support in this matter. The next SCHC Board of Director's meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 27th at the Talkeetna Clinic.

Mission Statement

Sunshine Community Health Center offers accessible, proactive, quality health care regardless of an ability to pay.

Hours of operation

NOTICE: Clinics CLOSED Wednesday, April 16th for All Staff Day. Clinics will re-open Thursday, April 17th at regular times. We apologize for the inconvenience.


Talkeetna Medical Clinic
Monday - Friday: 9am - 5pm

Talkeetna Dental Clinic
Monday - Thursday: 9am - 5pm
Friday: Open Access policy has changed for Fridays. Appointments are booked for our patients that come in from outside our service area with pain, swelling or an emergent problem.

Willow Medical Clinic
Monday: 11am - 7pm
Tuesday - Friday: 9am - 5pm

Contact Information

Telephone 907-733-2273

Fax 907-733-1735

Email: schc@sunshineclinic.org