SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

KMC gift shop volunteers donate proceeds to hospital operations


February 21, 2021
Sunday PM

(SitNews) Ketchikan, Alaska - The volunteers who run the gift shop in the Ketchikan Medical Center (KMC) lobby have given about $750,000 to PeaceHealth Ketchikan since the shop opened in 1977.

Kathy Fitzgerald is the volunteer shop manager. “All profits from the gift shop go back to the hospital through a grant program,” she said. “This year we had about $54,000 to dedicate to equipment and training materials.”

jpg KMC gift shop volunteers donate proceeds to hospital operations

Kathy Fitzgerald, the volunteer gift shop manager.
Photo courtesy Ketchikan Medical Center

In the past, volunteers met to decide where to donate the proceeds. It was, of course, different this year. “We ‘met’ and voted by email this year,” said Fitzgerald.

The volunteers’ recommendations were sent to the KMC Foundation Board which approved a wide-ranging list of requests across PeaceHealth Ketchikan departments.

Grants ranged from $280 for lymphedema treatment tools to $12,670 for six surgical helmets with air filtration systems which will be used to protect patients and surgical staff within the sterile field.

Also funded:

• $3,000 for clinician equipment for Home Health in Ketchikan and on Prince of Wales Island
• $415 for speech therapy materials and workbooks
• $3,500 to replace simulation equipment for New Beginnings Birthing Center to practice situations that might occur in high risk newborns
• $3,410 for occupational therapy tables that are height adjustable
• $6,500 for shelving storage for the Patients’ Compassionate Care program
• $2,275 for speech therapy performance measurement instruments for people with disorders that affect swallowing, speech, and eating
• $2,335 for equipment for patient in physical therapy who are working to regain strength and stability
• $10,000 for a defibrillator for orthopedics, general surgery and the urology departments for faster response times to care for patients in distress
• $7,000 to replace an elliptical item in physical therapy

Mischa Chernick, executive director of the Ketchikan Medical Center Foundation which oversees the shop said, “We are so blessed as a community to have such a dedicated team of volunteers. They give their time and talents to keep our hospital Gift Shop open.”

Fitzgerald agreed, “the volunteers have also spent countless hours listening to, cheering and supporting patients, family members and staff over the years. They are amazing but it has been a challenge keeping the shop open.”

Fitzgerald encouraged anyone interested in volunteering to contact the gift shop at



Edited By Mary Kauffman, SitNews

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PeaceHealth - Ketchikan Medical Center

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