RED LODGE – Beartooth Billings Clinic of Red Lodge received the Outstanding Rural Health Organization Award from the National Rural Health Association in April.
The 2012 Rural Health Award recipients were honored April 19 during NRHA’s 35th annual Rural Health Conference in Denver.
In November 2011, the former Beartooth Hospital and Health Center became Beartooth Billings Clinic and opened doors on a new facility in Red Lodge. Planning for a much-needed new facility began in 1998. Twelve years of crafting the best possible partnership with a tertiary medical center 63 miles away (Billings Clinic) resulted in a management agreement that offered the integration of a physician clinic while allowing Beartooth to remain independent and community-owned.
Financing for the new facility was made possible through a remarkable feat of community fund-raising.
In 2 ½ years, the communities of Carbon County raised over $3 million for a new healthcare facility, and the hospital staff secured an additional $1 million in grants.
“Our success,” says Foundation Director Sarie Mackay “is based on the fact that trust, interaction, and participation are what build healthy communities. Carbon County — and Red Lodge in particular — is a place where Montanans can share a vision and come together to make a difference.”
In the short time since Beartooth Billings Clinic opened its doors, its staff of 120 healthcare professionals has welcomed numerous Critical Access Hospital management teams who seek to create a similar model that links primary care, outpatient services, beneficial partnerships, and quality.
Beartooth Billings Clinic CEO Kelley Evans comments, “While it is a great honor for Beartooth Billings Clinic to be recognized in this way, this is an award to be shared by all the Critical Access Hospitals in Montana and across the United States who are so dedicated to their communities.”
Other nationwide recipients include: Crete Area Medical Center, Nebraska – Rural Health Quality Award; Access Health / Blessing Hospital, Illinois – Outstanding Rural Health Program; Joanne Cochran,