A sign welcomes visitors on July 7, 2021, in Seward, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

A sign welcomes visitors on July 7, 2021, in Seward, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Seward to lose only pediatric specialist

Dr. Roloff to depart in March

Seward is losing its only pediatric specialist early next year, the Seward Community Health Center announced Friday. Dr. Carolyn Roloff, who has visited the community a few days per month for the last few years, will no longer fill the role as of March 13.

The announcement was made in a press release from the Seward Community Health Center, which wrote that changes in Roloff’s life would take her away from the community.

In a letter accompanying the release, Roloff writes that her husband is applying for graduate school. That process is what moved her from Seward to Anchorage in the first place, she said, but it may soon take her out of the state entirely.

“I find myself forced to acknowledge that we no longer live in Seward and that I need my life to be fully in one place instead of split between two,” she writes. “It has truly been my joy to be able to take care of your children and get to know you over these past 5 years.”

Roloff will accept appointments two days a week from January until March.

After Roloff’s time with the health center comes to a close, she said she will no longer be able to accept any appointments to see children. Her work in Anchorage is “exclusively in the hospital setting, caring for kids sick enough to stay overnight or longer.”

The release from the health center says that they are actively working to recruit a pediatric specialist, and that patients of all ages can continue to be seen by qualified family medicine specialists at the center. These specialists are Jeanette Nienaber, Ed Gonzalez, Christie Griffin and Dr. Becki Schellinger.

To schedule an appointment with Roloff or any of the other providers at the center, call 907-224-2273.

Reach reporter Jake Dye at jacob.dye@peninsulaclarion.com.

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