Interior physicians send letter to Governor requesting travel ban and shelter in place order

Published: Mar. 22, 2020 at 6:23 PM AKDT
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On Sunday afternoon a letter signed by Interior physicians was sent to Governor Dunleavy.

Jenny Lessner, MD of Family Medicine wrote the letter imploring Governor Dunleavy to hold a travel mandate for non-essential travel, as well as a shelter in place order. Lessner said reasons for the mandate and order are due to a high number of positive laboratory COVID-19 cases, as well as an increase in patients with symptoms of coronavirus.

Physicians in Anchorage and other communities around the state sent similar letters.

The letter from the Interior physicians is below:

March 22, 2020

The Honorable Michael Dunleavy

Governor of Alaska

550 W 7th Ave #1700

Anchorage, AK 99501

Dear Governor Dunleavy,

We are physicians from Fairbanks, Alaska, contacting you out of concern for our patients, our community and our fellow healthcare workers. We work in different medical specialties and clinical settings across Interior Alaska but we are unified in our expert

medical advice:

1. Alaska must have a shelter in place order immediately; and

2. Alaska needs a mandated travel ban.

We are seeing a rise in laboratory confirmed COVID19 cases as well as a dramatic increase in patients presenting with symptoms that are clinically consistent with COVID19 infection here in Fairbanks. New data suggests that COVID19 infection appears to be predominantly spread by people who are minimally sick or asymptomatic. It is these very citizens who feel well and are not adopting the necessary social

distancing measures that are spreading COVID19 in our community. We appreciate the steps that you have already taken to restrict travel and encourage Alaskans to stay home but it is becoming clear that the voluntary recommendations on travel and social distancing are proving inadequate. Many Alaskans have not adopted these necessary

measures and continue to move around our community and the state without regard for the consequences. We implore you to take immediate action to help slow the spread of COVID19 so that our limited healthcare resources will not be overwhelmed. Acting today will save

Alaskan lives.


Jenny Lessner, MD Family Medicine, with the following Physicians of Interior Alaska:

Muhammad K Ahmed, MD Endocrinology

Kendrick D. Blais, DO, FAAFP Family Medicine

Nate Buffington, MD Family Medicine

Mike Burton, MD Emergency Medicine

Kate Carey, DO Osteopathic Manipulation

Janice P. Chen, MD Radiology

Terry Conklin, MD Emergency Medicine

Dante Conley, MD, MSt, FACS General Surgery

Barbara Creighton, MD, FACP Internal Medicine Hospitalist

Peter Dillon, MD Family Medicine Urgent Care

Kristin Flowers, MD, FACS General Surgery

Julia Franklin, MD Family Medicine

Maren Gaul, DO Dermatology

Ken Glaeser, MD Emergency Medicine

Anne Rutherford Hanley, DO Pediatrics

Owen Wood Hanley DO, MPH Internal Medicine Hospitalist

Eiluned Hogenson, MD Obstetrics & Gynecology

Robin Holmes, MD Family Medicine

Gayle Hornberger, DO Family Medicine

Corrine Leistikow, MD Family Medicine

Maria Mandich, MD Emergency Medicine

Sally Mangum, DO, PhD Internal Medicine

Sadie Marden, MD, MPH Obstetrics & Gynecology

Peter Marshall, MD Family Medicine North Pole

Bill McIntyre, MD Emergency Medicine

Daniel McCulley, MD Internal Medicine, Geriatric Medicine

J William McKenna, MD Obstetrics & Gynecology

Janice Onorato, MD Neurology

Jessica Panko, MD Radiology

Stan Robinson, MD Emergency Medicine

Kimberly Schumacher DO, Obstetrics & Gynecology

Isaac Siegfried, MD Emergency Medicine

Mark Simon, MD Emergency Medicine

Claire Stoltz, MD Family Medicine

Art Strauss, MD Emergency Medicine

Ashley Lundren Strum, MD Internal Medicine

Mike Strum, MD Internal Medicine

Brian Tansky, MD Emergency Medicine

Rebecca Taylor, DO Family Medicine

Abraham Tsigonis, MD FACS General Surgery

Jean Tsigonis, MD, MPH Family Medicine

Kathryn Tsigonis, MD Family Medicine

Haley Turner, MD Family Medicine

Kerry Wappett, MD Obstetrics & Gyneology

Shannon Wiegand, MD Family Medicine

Greg Wood, DO Cardiology

Romel Wrenn, MD FACC Cardiology

Milton Wright, DO Osteopathic Manipulation

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