Montana Children’s Medical Center Emerging as State’s Largest Pediatric Provider

Kalispell Regional Healthcare building $40 million pediatric center, $12 million digestive health facility

By Dillon Tabish
Work continues on the Montana Children’s Medial Center in Kalispell on Aug. 16. Justin Franz | Flathead Beacon

The largest pediatric health center in Montana is coming into focus on the Kalispell Regional Healthcare campus.

The Montana Children’s Medical Center, a 190,000-square-foot facility that will feature a newly established program for infants, children and adolescents, is under construction and slated for completion in spring 2019. Hospital officials announced the new name of the facility last week and provided one of the first glimpses of the emergent three-story site, which is estimated to cost $40 million.

“This is really special,” said Marcy Wasiluk, the pediatric service line manager at KRH. “We’re providing care to families that previously had to leave the valley or the state.”

The medical center, which was originally slated for completion in 2018, will significantly expand the variety of health care options for families that have historically had to travel to larger metropolitan sites, such as Spokane, Seattle and Salt Lake City, for essential procedures and services.

KRH officials say thousands of children are forced to leave the state on an annual basis for medical care, and the central goal of the new center is to keep Montanans closer to home.

KRH has served more than 5,000 in-state children since it began providing pediatric specialty services in 2015, according to the hospital.

In the last two years, the hospital has bolstered its lineup of doctors and other pediatric specialists and now employs more than 30 pediatric providers and more than 20 specialists, including oncologists, a neurosurgeon and a cardiologist. The hospital will have a neonatal intensive care unit with 12 units in the new facility and a pediatric intensive care unit with 18 units.

Jason Spring, the former CEO of North Valley Hospital and KRH’s chief strategic officer, will provide executive leadership of the Montana Children’s Medical Center. Federico Seifarth, a pediatric surgeon who joined KRH from the Cleveland Clinic, one of the nation’s best hospitals, will provide clinical oversight.

“The Flathead Valley and other communities in Montana need a dedicated children’s health care facility that is focused on high-quality, family-centered care that invites parent participation and decision-making in the care of their children,” Spring said in a statement. “Montana Children’s Medical Center will be those things and much more.”

As part of the hospital’s growing regional reach, KRH is establishing satellite offices and outreach sites for pediatric services across the state. A KRH satellite clinic opened last week in Missoula, and outreach sites where KRH staff can connect with pediatric patients are established in Polson, Bozeman, Great Falls, Helena and Anaconda.

KRH is in the midst of several significant changes. Earlier this month, the hospital’s board of trustees selected a new chief executive officer. Pamela Robertson, a former hospital executive in Texas, will formally take over Sept. 15. The hospital is also expanding its emergency services department and has broken ground on the Digestive Health Institute, a $12.9 million, 28,000-square-foot facility that is slated for completion in 2018.

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