All posts by Kirsten

Physician Assistant Job Opening

Alaska Hand-Elbow-Shoulder (AkHES), an upper extremity orthopedic surgical practice in Anchorage, Alaska, is seeking a Physician Assistant to join our practice. Orthopedic/Surgical experience is preferred but not required, as we are willing to train a new PA grad.

Responsibilities include: practice of medicine under direct physician supervision. Practice includes conducting exams in clinic (new and follow up patients) and writing prescriptions. In collaboration with their supervising physician, PA will be able to perform a variety of services, including diagnosing, treatment, therapy, and ordering surgery. Surgical assist duties in the OR would also be expected. AkHES is a primarily upper extremity orthopedic practice, with occasional lower extremity opportunities. Other duties include, but are not limited to: assisting physicians with EMTALA call, after-hours clinic call, and administrative duties.

This position requires current NCCPA certification, and all of the academic prerequisites associated with said certification.

As a full time, permanent position, this job offers competitive wages, health and dental coverage, life and short/long term disability coverage, and a simple IRA retirement plan.

The position work schedule would mirror that of the primary supervising physician. PA can expect Monday – Friday in either clinic and/or surgery, with additional varying city call days based on the assignments given to the supervising physician.

To apply, please contact the Administrator, Olivia Wolf, at (907) 771-3511 or


Aetna Preferred Provider

Aetna Preferred Provider

We have great news for our patients employed with the State of Alaska.  As of April 1st, 2017, AkHES is a preferred provider with Aetna!

What does this mean for you?  This means that claims will be paid at the in-network benefit level, meaning you will pay less money out of pocket for both your deductible and out-of-pocket expenses.

If you have any questions regarding this exciting announcement, please give us a call at (907) 771-3500 and select option 4 to speak with our billing department.


Now In-Network with Premera

Now In-Network with Premera

We are happy to announce that we are now in-network with Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield (including Federal Blue Cross)!

What does this mean for you as a patient?  This means that claims will be paid at the in-network benefit level, meaning you will pay less money out of pocket for both your deductible and out-of-pocket expenses.  Becoming preferred with Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield is just another way that AkHES can better serve you, our patients!

If you have any questions regarding this exciting announcement, please give us a call at (907) 771-3500 and select option 4 to speak with our billing department.


2016 Iditarod Sled Dog Race Part 2

Dr. Mac & Dee Dee 2.2.2016

DeeDee poses with Dr. McNamara

We are proud to sponsor and support Iditarod veteran, DeeDee Jonrowe, in this year’s Iditarod Sled Dog Race. DeeDee is one of the most well-known mushers in the Iditarod, with 33 Iditarod starts. She has had 16 top ten finishes and is a two-time runner up. DeeDee’s “can-do” attitude in spite of life’s challenges is an inspiration–especially as 2015 posed some very difficult challenges for DeeDee and her husband Mike. The Jonrowe family lost their home, vehicles, and mushing equipment in the 2015 Sockeye wildfire near Willow. Thankfully, the Jonrowe’s were able to get their dogs to safety. Also in 2015, DeeDee lost her mother Peg—her best friend and biggest supporter—to cancer. Through all of life’s challenges, however, DeeDee continues to stay positive and to never give up. Please join us in cheering on DeeDee and her team in her 34th Iditarod start this weekend!

To follow DeeDee’s journey to Nome, visit, and to learn more about DeeDee or to donate towards her journey to Nome, visit her website at

Go DeeDee!


2016 Iditarod Sled Dog Race Part 1

Dr. Mac, Joanne, and Martin Buser 2015

Dr. McNamara & Joanne with Martin at the 2015 Musher’s Banquet

Each year, we are thrilled to support our friend and seasoned Iditarod veteran, Martin Buser.  Martin is a four-time Iditarod champion with 29 consecutive Iditarod finishes, and 31 total finishes. Although he is a spirited racer and a strong competitor in the Iditarod, what makes Martin Buser a true champion is his fortitude and endurance in spite of circumstance.

For those who have not yet heard, one of Martin’s two sons, Nikolai Buser, was in a terrible car accident on January 22nd that landed him in critical condition at Harborview Trauma Center in Seattle, WA. Nikolai had 8 surgeries in 11 days. Up until about a week ago, Martin was at Nikolai’s bedside, comforting and encouraging Nikolai in his long recovery process. Martin recently flew back to Alaska to complete final preparations for this year’s 2016 Iditarod while his wife, Kathy, remains with Nikolai. Thus, it is with much enthusiasm that we proudly cheer on Nikolai Buser in his recovery process, as well as Martin Buser in his 32nd Iditarod sled dog race!

To follow Nikolai’s journey to recovery and to donate towards the family’s high medical bills, please visit the following crowdfunding website: We know that every prayer and every dollar is greatly appreciated by the Buser family.

To follow Martin’s journey to Nome, visit, and to learn more about Martin, visit his website at

Let’s go Team Buser!


Proud Sponsor of Team #9 in the 2016 Iron Dog


Dr. McNamara poses with Team #9 at the Iron Dog Safety Expo at Cabela’s on Wednesday.

We are proud to sponsor Team #9, Jordan Starr and Joshua Plumb, in the 2016 Iron Dog Pro Class Race. The Iron Dog is the world’s longest, toughest snowmachine race, with 2,031 rugged Alaska miles to cover and 41 teams competing for the Iron Dog cash payouts, totaling $145,000 this year, as well as other contingency prizes. The ceremonial start will take place in downtown Anchorage this Saturday (2/20), and the official race start will be at Big Lake on Sunday (2/21).

Jordan Starr moved to Alaska when he was 4. He works as an A&P aircraft mechanic, and has his pilot’s license. Jordan enjoys everything that Alaska has to offer including flying, camping, snowmachining, hunting, fishing, and spending time with friends and family.

Joshua Plumb is a lifelong Alaskan from Eagle River. He is enrolled at the University of Alaska, Anchorage seeking a business degree, and works as a heavy equipment operator. When Josh is not working he enjoys spending time with his family and friends, taking trips to the cabin, snowmobiling, and traveling. Josh and his wife Kateland have a 3 year old daughter named Elodie.

We wish Jordan & Joshua all the best in the 2016 Iron Dog Pro Class Race this weekend! GO TEAM #9!


Congratulations to our 2015 Photo Contest Winners!

Thank you to all who participated in our 3nd Annual Alaska Photo Contest. This year our participants collectively submitted 89 beautiful photos of Alaska! We are happy to announce our favorite captures in each of the 3 Alaska categories:

1ST PLACE – Alaska Wildlife
“1, 2, 3 – Ready or not here I come!” by Channcie B.

Channcie Bean 4

1ST PLACE – Alaska Scenery
by Roger N.

Roger Nordlund 2

1ST PLACE – Alaska Outdoor Activities
“A Puppy’s Eyes” by Corbin H.

Corbin Hiett 1

Since we had such AMAZING photos, we would also like to recognize the runner-up in each category. Here are the 3 honorable mention winners:

“Kung Fu Bear” by Channcie B.

Channcie Bean 1

“Volcano Redoubt” by Jeff B.

Jeff Bonin 1

HONORABLE MENTION – Alaska Outdoor Activities
“Autumn Float to Skilak Lake” by Barbara S.

Barbara Seward 3

Thanks again to all our participants. Keep an eye out for our 4th Annual Alaska Photo Contest coming in Fall 2016!


Should you drive in an arm sling?

Should you drive in an arm sling?

“When can I drive?” and “can I drive in a sling?” are common questions we hear from patients after shoulder surgery or treatment of other upper extremity injuries and conditions. The better question is should you drive in an arm sling.

A recent study published in the Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery sought to answer whether sling immobilization of the dominant driving arm had an effect on driving performance and safety. The researchers hypothesized that sling immobilization of the dominant driving arm would impede a driver’s ability to drive. Utilizing a simulated driving circuit, the researchers created a mock driving experience for study participants. The control group was made up of non-immobilized drivers, while the experimental group was made up of drivers immobilized in a simple shoulder sling. Driving performance was evaluated by the number of “collisions” (or the number of simulated on-road hazards that were struck by the driver) such as an oncoming car or pedestrian.

While there was no difference between immobilized drivers and non-immobilized drivers in routine driving scenarios, their results showed that in hazardous driving scenarios that required evasive driving maneuvers, non-immobilized drivers performed significantly better than immobilized drivers. The non-immobilized drivers had 1.7 collisions while the immobilized participants had 3.7 collisions. This is a statistically significant increase with the number of collisions more than doubling in immobilized drivers! Thus, it was shown through this study that sling immobilization of the dominant arm does impede a driver’s ability to effectively perform evasive maneuvers when faced with a driving hazard.

While only sling immobilization of the dominant driving arm was reviewed in this study, it is our opinion that driving with either arm immobilized in a sling is unsafe for you, your passengers, other drivers, and pedestrians. Instead, we encourage you to utilize the help of a friend or family member to get you where you need to go. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our trained medical staff.

Atanda, A., Chay, E., Hasan, S., Jazrawi, L. M., McGee, A. W., and Zuckerman, J. D. (2015). The effect of shoulder immobilization on driving performance. J Shoulder Elbow Surg, 24(2), 273-279.