Meet our caregivers

Welcoming Staff / Receptionist

Brenda Brunk

Medical Records Clerk

Bay Mills Community College in Immersion Language Class. Numerous trainings in Medical Record and HIPPA.

I started working at the medical clinic as a receptionist in 1995-2000, I have been doing medical records since then. I enjoy helping our patients and keeping the continuity of care for the patients, by making sure we have the records we need for their visits.Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Tribal Member

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Michelle St. George

Accounts Receivable/Benefits

I have been doing my current job for 13 years and have been working in various other departments for KBIC for 24 years. I enjoy helping our Tribal community understand the ever-changing world of Health Insurance!

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Janella Whiteman

Clinic Receptionist

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Business Office

Soumit Pendharkar

Health Administrator

Soumit Pendharkar is the Health Administrator for the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Donald A. LaPointe Health & Education Center.  Soumit completed his Bachelor's in Exercise Science at Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia, and then his Master of Health Administration at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina.  Soumit is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and has 18+ years health care leadership experience spanning the Indian Health Service, private medical groups, and large health systems.

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Micah Petoskey

IT Site Manager

ITT Tech/Global Knowledge

I started working in healthcare IT in 1996. I was a network technician for Baraga Telephone in the late 1990's. In 2000 I started working for the tribal natural resources department and I continued working in IT through supporting people and a few local businesses. In 2014 I was hired at the health center as the IT Site Manager.

I have always been drawn to technology. I love helping people in the healthcare setting as I feel I am indirectly helping our patients by helping our providers. That sort of service ads meaning to something I already enjoy. You have to have a passion for this because the technology changes very quickly so you have to be willing to learn and relearn at a near constant rate.

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Joslyn Haataja

Purchase Referred Care Clerk

I have been working at KBIC Health System for a year and I also have been working with the public for 5 years. I love working with the public and helping them with their medical needs. I do what I do because in the medical field people need our help and guidance and this job is very rewarding at the end of the day, especially when you can help people out and they are so grateful for what you have done for them.

Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Tribal Member

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Zelina Huhta

BALAC Coordinator

I am honored to be the BALAC Coordinator for the KBIC Medical Clinic.  I look forward to serving my community in this role and want to help to educate the community on the importance of food sovereignty and sustainability.  I am a single mother and have an amazing son , Joshua who is my rock.  He is why I strive to drive full force towards reaching all my goals.  We have a small home next to my parents and enjoy family and our pets.  I look forward to the upcoming new year and the ability to serve this wonderful community we live in.

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Medical Health/Nurses

Susan Ollila

Lead RN

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Michelle Maki

Clinic Nurse

Graduated Finlandia 2013

It's in my nature to be the caretaker of the people around me. It has been that way since I can remember starting with my younger siblings & helping my mom out at home from a very young age.lt feels good to help people & even better to see positive results in the science of medicine. I am blessed to work with a great of group of people. It's one of the best teams I have ever been part of!If you know me, you know I love to be in the woods or on our boat in the lake. This beautiful place I am blessed to call home runs in my blood & soul!! My family & friends mean the world to me & bring me more happiness than any amount of money could ever do!!

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Donna Pollard

Clinic Lab Nurse

Hi, my name is Donna Pollard. I've been married to my husband Randy for 20 years, and have 5 wonderful children: 4 daughters, 1 son. I love anything to do with the outdoors, spending time with family and friends. I  hired as on call LPN in 2013 at the KBIC Medical Clinic after a long employment with Aspirus Ontonagon Hospital of over 17 years. I worked in a variety of different departments: first as a CNA , then admitting/ switchboard clerk, then Acute floor as telemetry/ward clerk. I also worked on the floor while going to college for my nursing as LPN degree. I then worked for 2 yrs as LPN part-time to supplemental LPN at Aspirus long term hospital. I filled in on the Acute side with 3 months off until my employment here at KBIC.  I worked as an on-call LPN for 1-1/2 years  with all the doctors until I was hired on full time— mainly working in the lab or as needed on the floor with the doctors.  I love my job and spending time with all of my coworkers and patients here at KBIC , but I'm still  planning to continue to work toward my RN degree.

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Debbie Vizina

Clinic Nurse

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Catherine Lindstrom

Clinic Nurse

I attended Gogebic Community college where I graduated as a Licensed Practical Nurse. After working several years as a nurse in an Allergy Specialty Clinic in Marquette, I decided I wanted to return to the L'Anse /Baraga area were I was born, raised and spent most of my life. In August of 2017 I was blessed with a job here at the KBIC Medical Clinic where I am able to help members of this surrounding community that I hold dear.

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Nim Reinhardt

Clinic Nurse, RN-BSN

Bachelors of Science in Nursing from Northern Michigan University with a minor in Native American Studies. I am also an IHS and McNair scholar and plan to return to school for my Doctor of Nursing Practice. I began my career at KBIC in April 2018. Before moving to the area I lived in Marquette and worked for UP Health System-Marquette. I chose nursing because of my desire to help people and the many opportunities and paths it can lead to. When I am not working I enjoy being outdoors, spending time with my family and friends and traveling. Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians Member

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Whitney Newsome

Nurse Practitioner

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Medical Health/Doctors

Joseph Zobro


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Jody Jinkerson


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Rian Minteck


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Dental Health

Brent Johnson


Bachelor of Science in Biology from The University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse, Doctor of Dental Surgery from The University of Michigan.

I have been a dentist for 19 years, all of them with the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community.

Being from Ontonagon originally, I became a dentist so I could return to the U.P. Descendant of Little Traverse Odawa Tribe
What I love the most about my job, is that I have gotten to meet, and learn so much about so many people in our community. A fun fact is that I was a Fisheries Biologist prior to attending dental school.

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Heidi Voskuhl

Dental Hygienist

A.A.S in Dental Hygiene

I have been working here for almost 7 years.

I like having the unique opportunity to positively impact oral health and help patients lead healthier lives to every patient that comes into the dental clinic.

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Theresa Nygord

Dental Assistant

I started working as a Dental Assistant in 1996. I worked for two previous Dentists Dr. Anderson in his Baraga and Houghton/Hancock offices and Dr. Archibald in Houghton. I've been working in the KBIC Dental Clinic since 2002.

I enjoy working in dentistry for a number of reasons. One I like knowing that we are helping people get out of discomfort and helping to get them healthy and have a more confident smile. I also enjoy getting to know our patients as they come in over the years, hearing their stories and getting to know them as individuals. After working for 14 years at the KBIC Dental Clinic I've gotten to know numerous patients and staff many of whom have become friends. I enjoy seeing the children and helping them through their appointments and witnessing their progress over the years.I love spending time with my family and my two Pomeranian's Spunky and Coco.In my spare time I love gardening and fishing. I also enjoy a good book.

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Jayne Perrault

Dental Assistant

Attended ACC in Austin,MN
I have been with KBIC Dental for 3 years.

I have 8+ years experience as a Dental Assistant while living in Wisconsin.

I am married with 3 children and 3 grand children. I enjoy baking, gardening, walking, snowshoeing and spending time with family and friends.

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Behavioral Health

Ann Marie Amsler

LMSW (Social Worker)

Masters in Clinical Social Work

I have been working at KBIC for 5 years and have been working in the mental health field for almost 10 years.

Since I was young I knew that I wanted to do something where I could help people, and it wasn't until high school that I figured out I wanted to provide counseling and go into the social work field. I enjoy working here as each day holds something different and I love the opportunity to work with pregnant women and their children.

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Brian Kuopus


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Richard Brantner

Chief Pharmacist

Pharm. D. from Creighton University.

I chose pharmacy so that I could advocate for people's health while also attaining a better career and hence life for my family. I care about individualism and personal freedom. I want people to be able to make their own choices in life. The flip side is that personal responsibility comes with it. Fun fact: I am a musician and have been playing guitar for 26 years.

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Brittany Perrigo

Pharmacy Tech


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Kathy Mayo

Diabetes Program Coordinator

Kathleen received her BSN from Northern Michigan University in 1992 and became a Certified Diabetes Educator in 2002.
She has worked for KBIC Health System for 22 years.

Kathleen oversees all of community health programming: maternal child health, diabetes, chronic care, community health nursing, medical transportation and public health preparedness. She coordinates the department's public health accreditation activities and is a member of the safety committee, quality improvement team and purchase referred care committee. She enjoys working with individuals and groups providing health education.

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Dale Schmeisser

Registered Dietician

PhD in Nutritional Sciences, Registered Dietitian. I have been a practicing nutritionist/dietitian since 1983 and have been working at KBIC since 1998.

Healthy eating is key to everyone's physical, emotional and mental health, from pre-conception to the end of life. It's fundamental to all of the health care we provide here at KBIC. My goal is to help people achieve their best health by starting with the best diet that works for them. I am very pleased to be part of such a capable team of health care providers where I can help do that .

OK, when I have the time, I love to travel. I will always remember sitting on a rock surrounded by penguins in Antarctica. Penguins eat a lot of omega-3 fatty acids, dontchaknow.

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Kim LeClaire

Medical Transporter

I have worked 11 months with the KBIC Health Clinic. I love my job. I am out meeting new people helping in time of need with medical appointments. Love not doing a desk job!

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Elizabeth Mayo

Community Health Rep

I have been a Community Health Representative for 26 years. I was hired in February 1990 and was trained in Rapid City, South Dakota in March of 1991. I am a member of the Keweenaw Bay Indian community and have lived here all my life. I also have a nickname in which I am known by the community as Popcorn. When I am not working I spend time with family and friends.  I love my job and always am looking out for the Health, Safety and Welfare of my community.

Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Tribal Member

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Dawn Kemppainen


I have been working at the Health Center since Sept. 2011. I have always worked in the health field .I did Home Health for 9 years. I also did Rehab on the Skilled Nursing Unit at the old BCMH for 13 years.

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Karen Heck

Community Health Nurse

Graduated from Finlandia University in 2005 with an Associate’s Degree of Nursing
I am excited to be the Community Health Nurse for KBIC Health System! Such an honor to serve in this Tribal Community and I look forward to assisting with your health needs!

Previously, I worked in Long Term Care and Home Health and Hospice with a strong commitment for patient advocacy. My primary focus now is working with KBIC’s Diabetic Program, assisting patients to be active in their healthcare for treatment and prevention of Diabetes complications. Thank you for such a great program!

At home I enjoy being outdoors when the weather is favorable for wearing short sleeves, no sleeves, or just a hooded sweatshirt! I love the first smell of spring, the long days of summer, the crisp days of fall and the smell of wood smoke on a crystal clear night. I am blessed with a beautiful family, good neighbors, a couple of kind horses, and of course the sweetest dog ever!

An ancestry fact to share- My mother was Native Hawaiian and most of my siblings were born in Hawaii. My father was Norwegian!

Looking forward to a New Year with Keweenaw Bay Indian Community!

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Lena Wascher

WIC Coordinator, BSN,RN, CLS

I graduated from Finlandia University in 2014 with my Bachelor’s Degree in the Science of Nursing. I worked at BCMH on the IPU and ER and at Portage Home Health and Hospice before coming to the clinic. I started here at the DHHS as a clinic RN and then took the WIC Coordinator/MIHP home visitor position in November 2017 and I feel I have finally found my forever career. Since taking the WIC Coordinator position I have become a Certified Lactation Specialist and I am currently working on my International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant Certificate to better serve this amazing community. I have 3 boys and 1 granddaughter, that are the light of my life, and I have been married to my amazing husband for 21 years.  We have a small farm and logging company that keeps me busy on my off time. I look forward to serving this community for many years to come.

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Mary Dee Shanahan

Community Health Rep, LPN

Graduated from Gogebic Community College in 1980.

Hired as a CHR 02/01/1993, after working at BCMH since graduation. In the past the CHR primarily did home visits and transports. Now, we are coordinators for grants, doing community programs, along with Optical and Audiology Clinics.I take pride in my work, and believe that the Community deserves the best. Having been employed for the tribe for quite awhile, I have personally been involved with several generations of community members!

A fun fact is the Community Health Representatives are the "Jack of all Trades" for Community Health.

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Sarah Woodruff

School Counselor


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Heather Wood

Health Promotions 

Bachelor of Science in Preschool & Family Life Services; many certifications in evidence based curriculums, personal trainer, group exercise, car seat technician, etc.

I've worked at the LaPointe Health Center for over 12 years. During that time I've worked in medical reception and medical records, been the Women's Health Promotions Educator, and am now the Health Promotions Coordinator; which includes coordination of the KBIC Health System Maternal Child Health Programs. During this time I've managed several grant programs and learned a lot along the way. I've been able to develop relationships with co-workers, community members, and other tribal and non-tribal organizations and programs.

I suppose I fell into what I do by always being open to new challenges and responsibilities; and following a path set for me I didn't know about. I love that I get to learn new things, teach people, and help support and improve the services offered at the KBIC Health System. It's something different everyday. I care about our programs and the clients that utilize our services. When I'm not working I love to fish, camp, travel and learn about new/different places and cultures; cruising is a particular favorite.Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Tribal Member

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Cindy Miller

MIHP Nurse, RN

I graduated from the Mennonite Hospital College of Nursing in Bloomington, IL in 1982.

I have 14 years experience as an OB nurse, delivering babies and caring for mother and child in the hospital. I have also worked Home Health and done Hospice Cares. In 2013 I came back to my first love - Maternal Child Health - here at KBIC. I make home visits to pregnant women and to mothers and new babies. I really enjoy teaching women to care for themselves and their babies.

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Kristine Maki

Family Health Educator

Bachelor of Science in Psychology & Early Childhood Education from Northern Michigan University. I'm currently working on my MSW at Michigan State University.

I've been working in my current position for 2 and a half years.

I enjoy helping children and their families better their lives in all ways including but not limited to health, safety, education, and culture through tribal home visiting. I also help coordinate fun things for families to do together both during the day and in the evenings through Parent Circle gatherings and other program events. I love seeing children learn and my goal is to make sure they have fun doing so.

I have three children of my own and they help guide me everyday to be the best person that I want to be not just for them but for all the families that I work with. I also enjoy the occasional video game, books, and movies with family and friends.

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Ginger Shelifoe

Family Health Educator

Currently pursuing my Bachelors of Science in Psychology from Northern Michigan University, with graduation set for May 2019. I plan to attend University of Michigan to obtain my MSW in August 2019. I have been working in my current position for almost a year, but have been working with children for over 2 years. Before this job I worked with our youth department, with children ages 5-12. I enjoy working hands on with children and helping with their development through fun activities. I have one, four-year-old daughter, who is my motivation in life. <3<3

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Kristy Clisch

Community Health Worker

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