Alaska Stories

Summer 2018

A century of memories

Editing credit: Alaska Public Media

Ruth Ehrlich, who is 103, shares memories with her daughter Judith Renwick. She remembers seeing cars for the first time, working as a social worker in New York during the Depression and meeting her husband at a party where she mistook him for a bellboy.

Make friends

Editing credit: Alaska Public Media

Bob Murray, a resident of Providence Horizon House in Anchorage, Alaska, talks to his daughter Jenny Murray about growing up poor in the 1920s, his struggle with learning to read, and the life adventures that led him to an 18-year education career. When asked what he’d like her to know, his key tips included: “Make some friends; share some experiences. Everybody needs friends.”

Winter 2018

Feeding Body and Soul

Marina Preece Cummiskey

When Jackie Beck nursed her adopted 4-day-old baby boy for the first time, it was an experience as nourishing for his soul as it was for his body. Jackie recounts the profound bonding experience with Heather Preece, founder of Kodiak KINDNESS, a program that offers free infant feeding support to families. Heather remarks that the moment was the highlight of her career.

Fall 2017

Finding comfort with Alaska CARES

Production Credit: Alaska Public Media

A mother talks to Providence Foundation philanthropy officer Mary Sullivan about how Alaska CARES helped her son and family following revelations of him being sexually abused. Now a supporter of Alaska CARES, which helps children after the trauma of abuse, she shares their story to let others know that hope and healing are possible.

Summer 2017

Arresting the help

Production Credit: Alaska Public Media

Fredrick Katelnikoff, a security officer at Providence Health & Services Kodiak, shares with Father Innocent Philo the experience and lessons learned as a former village public safety officer (VPSO). VPSOs provide emergency assistance and law enforcement to rural Alaska communities hundreds of miles away from state services. He often relied on help from villagers he had arrested previously for minor crimes – encounters that taught him to treat everyone with respect.

Spring 2017

From refugee to caregiver

Production Credit: Alaska Public Media

Born in Congo, Agnes Twishime arrived at a refugee camp in Uganda when she was just three. Now with laundry services at Providence Alaska Medical Center, Agnes shares with Mission Services Director Kathleen Hollis her experience as a child refugee and desire to help care for the vulnerable and those in need.

Lessons from leukemia

Production Credit: Alaska Public Media

At just 5-years old, Joel Shelton was diagnosed with leukemia. His parents, Willy and Adrianne, talk about how the experience deepened their understanding of their son, and how it has given them a glimpse into the man he will become.

Why I became a nurse

Production Credit: Alaska Public Media

Asia Harmeling and Ralph Pasana talk about why they chose nursing. Ralph shares the memory when, as a teen one day, he wanted to spend time with friends rather than care for his grandmother and how that episode influences his work as a nurse today.

After abuse, hope for healing

Production Credit: Alaska Public Media

Bryant Skinner talks to colleague Sara Lovell about his work with Alaska CARES, a children’s advocacy center. One young girl’s drawings during her therapy to overcome abuse affirm his belief that there is hope for healing. Patient permission was granted to share this story.

Winter 2016

Riding a wave of love

Production Credit: StoryCorps

Lisa Aquino and her husband, Chris, were living abroad when he sustained a traumatic brain injury in a motor scooter accident, leading to weeks of intensive care. Lisa shares with friend and coworker Tricia Teasley a story of suffering, love and the healing touch of the Anchorage community.

A kitten for a dying man

Production Credit: Alaska Public Media

Arleta Lefler talks to her colleague, Theresa Gleason, about nursing being more than a job and how a stolen moment with a kitten allowed a man with cancer to die at peace.

A flame that came into my head

Production Credit: StoryCorps

Sister Genevieve Osayame’s spiritual awakening was akin to falling in love, she tells coworker Susan Halvor. From Africa to Alaska, Sister Genevieve has embraced the universal need for love, caring and someone to listen to.

How do we have any more tears left?

Production Credit: Alaska Public Media

Friends Ginny Shaffer and Lisa Solomonson recall the passing of Ginny's infant son, Bryson. At the time, Lisa was a nurse who cared for Bryson and his twin sister, Holland. Both were born with heart defects. Ginny and Lisa bonded during the care of Bryson and Holland through this difficult time.