News & Features

North Valley Hospital Honors Late Jon Torgerson

Education award recognizes local physician and avid backcountry skier who died in avalanche on Big Mountain

North Valley Hospital and its official fundraising arm on Wednesday launched an annual continuing education award to honor Jon Torgerson, the Whitefish physician who died this winter in a backcountry skiing accident that prompted a months-long search.

The relentless search for Torgerson brought scores of Flathead Valley residents together and weighed heavily on a community he touched through his work and active lifestyle. The recovery of his body on May 12, nearly three months after he went missing while skiing in a backcountry zone near Flower Point, brought closure to his family and friends.

To commemorate his service, the hospital with which Torgerson enjoyed long ties in a multitude of capacities chose to establish the fund.

“Creating an award in honor of Dr. Torgerson through the NVH Foundation is the perfect way to ensure that the medical community can keep his memory alive for years to come,” Alan Satterlee, Executive Director of the North Valley Hospital Foundation, stated in a press release.

The Jon Torgerson Award is given to a member of the North Valley Hospital community who demonstrates an extraordinary commitment to advancing his or her own understanding of medicine, or an exceptional dedication to the teaching of others.

“Talking with the many people who knew and worked with Dr. Torgerson, it was clear that he was valued and loved by lots of different people for many reasons,” Dr. Jason Cohen, chief medical officer at North Valley Hospital, said. “However, there was one theme that came up again and again – that Jon was a gifted teacher and lifelong learner. The Torgerson award honors this essential part of Jon, and is a recognition of his lasting impact on our lives and community.”

The NVH Foundation is grateful for contributions made to the fund and welcomes community members to honor Dr. Torgerson by making a gift to the fund.

Gifts can be made online at https://www.krh.org/nvh/foundation/ways-to-give/make-a-gift or by contacting the Foundation at (406) 863-3630.

Another gift option is to send a check to the NVH Foundation at 1600 Hospital Way, Whitefish, MT 59937 with an indication that your gift is for the Jon Torgerson Fund.