Velinda Stevens, the president of Kalispell Regional Healthcare, died early Sunday morning after a prolonged battle with cancer. She was 64.
Kalispell Regional Healthcare Board of Trustees Chairman Curtis Lund announced Jan. 22 that Stevens had died at 3:50 a.m. on Jan. 22, expressing “profound sadness” and extolling her legacy as a leader in healthcare advocacy.
“We’ve lost a visionary leader, and the people of Montana have lost one of their most passionate healthcare advocates,” Lund stated in a press release. “Those of us who had the good fortune of knowing and working with Velinda will miss our treasured friend and inspiring mentor. She leaves behind an incredible legacy that will impact this community and this organization for years to come.”
According to Lund, the KRH leadership team is confident that the transition “will have minimal disturbance to the operations of the organization and will not disrupt patient care.”
While the Board of Trustees conducts a formal search for Stevens’ successor, Lund will assume many of her responsibilities as interim CEO. Members of the KRH Senior Leadership Team will take on additional responsibilities as well and work together with Lund to lead the organization through the transition.
Stevens’ family has established The Velinda Stevens Endowment for Women and Children through the Kalispell Regional Healthcare Foundation to support her vision for the expansion of services. The A.L.E.R.T. program was also very important to Stevens. In lieu of flowers, her family requests that donations be made to either the endowment or the A.L.E.R.T. program.
“We are grateful for the outpouring of support from the Kalispell Regional Healthcare family and from those across the State of Montana,” said a family representative. “Velinda loved this community, and it’s humbling to know how much this community loved her in return. Thank you for respecting our privacy at this time as we cope with her loss.”
A celebration of Stevens’s life will be held in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, her family appreciates those who wish to share memories, favorite stories, and condolences. Cards and letters can be sent to: KRH Administration, 310 Sunnyview Lane, Kalispell, Mont., 59901.
“This is a difficult time for all of us at KRH, and no words that can adequately express our grief over her loss. She dedicated her heart and soul to this organization and to the health of all Montanans,” said Lund. “The best way we can honor her memory is to commit ourselves to the mission of Kalispell Regional Healthcare, which she loved so very much.”
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