Klukwan, Haines clinics welcome new providers
Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium’s Klukwan clinic moved from a health aide clinic to a mid-level clinic with last month’s arrival of Michele Susie, a family nurse practitioner.
A full-time health aide previously staffed the clinic, with twice-weekly visits from Haines clinic doctors. Susie will work half her hours in Klukwan to complement the regular doctor visits, including offering night clinics once or twice a week. She also will serve in Haines and Tenakee Springs.
“Michele is going to be a great addition to our team in Haines and Klukwan,” said Marcia Scott, clinic administrator in Haines. “The people of Klukwan will have more consistent access to health care and going to the Klukwan Health Center may be a nice alternative for people who live up the highway.”
Susie earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Kentucky and a master of science in nursing from Spalding University, also in Kentucky.
She worked for SEARHC as a nurse practitioner and community health aide/practitioner program supervisor in Kake from 2007 to 2009. She then offered primary health care and emergency services in Montana. Susie also has experience in the villages of Port Graham and Nanwalek on the Kenai Peninsula and as an intermittent provider in Haines.
Her medical interests include Native health concerns and naturopathic herbs and diets, family medicine and pediatrics with an emphasis on wellness promotion and preventive medicine, and emergency medicine.
Dr. David McCandless started as a physician at the Haines clinic on Jan. 9. “We are happy to have Dr. McCandless join our staff full-time,” Scott said. “He has worked here periodically as an intermittent physician, so it seems like a fairly smooth transition.”
McCandless spent 20 years as a family practitioner with the Alaska Island Community Services Tideline Clinic in Wrangell, where he served as medical director from 2004 to 2007. He recently did temporary work with SEARHC, including in Haines and Klawock. He also has been medical director with Southeast Region Emergency Medical Services. Emergency medicine is a special interest for McCandless.
He graduated from the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine in Oklahoma City and completed a residency in family medicine at The Washington Hospital in Washington, Pa.