Since opening to the public in December 2015, Big Sky Medical Center has seen
a steady number of patient visits from Big Sky and surrounding communities.
Our clinic now serves an average of 23 patients per day, and hospital services
range from MRI and radiology to emergency room procedures. “There is a growing
need for healthcare for a growing number of people in this community,” Big Sky
resident Robin Stephenson said.
Building the new intensive care unit (ICU) focused on critical care for our growing population of adults and seniors and Southwest Montana’s first NICU for babies in vital need of specialized care that allows families to stay close to home.
Serving our communities’ vulnerable neighbors through mission-driven services and patient financial assistance. Additionally, Bozeman Health is expanding the services it offers to those in need of mental health and substance abuse related services in Bozeman, Big Sky and throughout our growing region.
Establishing funds to support new equipment and treatments in cancer care and cardiac care.
Helping accelerate the pace at which new specialties and healthcare services become available in Big Sky, in addition to enabling special equipment purchases and provide for emergency simulations and scenario-based training for BSMC employees.
Bozeman Health and the Big Sky community have been in partnership for over a
decade. Bozeman Health had the foresight to anticipate the eventual need for a 24/7
medical center, so in 2007, it purchased land for a future hospital site in Town Center.
In December, 2015 that partnership produced Big Sky Medical Center, the first
truly new hospital constructed in Montana in decades. The $27-million investment
by Bozeman Health in the Big Sky community is considered a turning point for
residents of southern Gallatin County. Big Sky Medical Center features:
The opening of Big Sky Medical Center is already paying dividends for the rapidly
growing communities of southern Gallatin County:
Bozeman Health knows that the Big Sky Medical Center represents not an
end, but the beginning of a journey to top-notch healthcare for Big Sky and
surrounding communities. The convergence of a rapidly growing population
base, increased tourist visits and the speed of innovation in the healthcare field
necessitates constant investment for the benefit of the community.
As healthcare continues to evolve with unprecedented speed, ongoing innovation
is vital and Big Sky Medical Center’s doctors and administrators need to be
empowered to grow and adapt in the name of great patient care. To address this
need, the Big Sky Medical Center Fund for Excellence and Innovation has been
established. This donor-supported fund will help in the following areas:
The Fund for Excellence & Innovation will allow Big Sky Medical Center to acquire
new leading-edge equipment, to have staff members trained in new techniques,
and to more quickly provide new kinds of treatments to patients that might not
otherwise be available in Big Sky.
As leaders at Big Sky Medical Center, we hear it in nearly every conversation we have in the community: “What are we going to do – together – to address the growing mental health challenges we face in Big Sky?” Alongside those concerned, personal voices, we heard it too in our 2018 Community Health Needs Assessment, where a lack of behavioral health services was identified as South Gallatin County’s number one healthcare concern. While we cannot address these challenges alone, we believe Big Sky Medical Center must be at the heart of any serious community-wide solution for real progress to be made.
Building on important insights gained through Elevating Behavioral Health, an 18-month community collaboration that brought together a dozen leading organizations throughout our region to help understand and begin addressing growing challenges, Bozeman Health and Big Sky Medical Center are ready to expand the services they offer to those in need of mental health support. However, charitable support from individuals, corporations, and foundations will be essential as we design, implement, and sustain programs that are intended to have both immediate and long-term positive impacts. Equally important are the partners with whom we plan to work when implementing our bold plan, including Women in Action, Big Sky Community Organization and others.
Investing in Integrated Behavioral Health (IBH) helps to bring vital mental health screening and treatment services into primary care settings, identifying those at risk and quickly connecting them to the professional, compassionate support they need. We seek to implement IBH in BSMC’s primary care clinic, hiring a full time mental health counselor to work alongside our outstanding physicians and APCs. Pilot tested during 2017 and now being implemented in Bozeman Health’s internal medicine, pediatrics and women’s specialty clinics, our IBH and LAUNCH programs also train our front line caregivers to help ensure the greatest possible impact for our mental health counselors.
As Big Sky’s behavioral health needs continue to grow, enabling BSMC’s emergency department and inpatient hospital to better meet the needs of those who come to us in crisis must grow as well. New technologies have the power to play a vital role in improving patient access to care and supporting our dedicated physicians as they do their important work. A new partnership with a nationally renowned tele-health provider will allow our physicians and nurses in Big Sky 24/7 access to psychiatric resources that can help with diagnosis, stabilization, medication management and compassionate placement with partners best suited to meet longer-term behavioral health needs. Charitable funds received will cover the purchase of high-quality, secure telehealth equipment and provide for three years of 24/7 contracted coverage.
The stigma that continues to surround mental health impacts patients in need, standing as a barrier to their willingness to seek care. It impacts community members and even professional care team members who are often reluctant or unaware of how best to respond when they come into contact with those who may be in crisis. It impacts potential donors who, while often passionate about the need, remain hesitant to publicly offer their charitable support to this still challenging field of medicine. Bozeman Health and Big Sky Medical Center are committed to reducing this stigma and, at the same time, helping to reduce our state’s high suicide rates working in partnership with other community leaders and organizations, such as Women in Action and Big Sky Community Organization. Funds received will help to cover costs for suicide prevention programming, the development and implementation of mental health education programs and the design and deployment of customized, community focused communications campaigns.
“The work we’ve done through Elevating Behavioral Health, alongside amazing partners like YCCF, WIA, the City/County Health Department, MSU, Bozeman and Big Sky schools, the Help Center, and so many others, has really helped to understand what our communities need most and how leaders at Big Sky Medical Center can best make a difference for the future,” said Vickie. “Our region faces real and growing challenges in this arena, but we believe that our vision is the right one. With support from our donor community, we’re confident we can take big steps forward in addressing mental health needs and substance use disorders.”
Looking forward, we’re eager to continue active conversations with Big Sky Community Organization, WIA, and others. Working together, we can ensure that partners have access to our expert educational and clinical resources and that those who present at those partners’ facilities will have compassionate access to the care they need.
Providing a top-quality healthcare facility for the many families and visitors that live, work, and recreate
in Big Sky is just the first step in the process. In order to meet future needs, expand the scope of services
available locally and ensure that highly-trained personnel can serve Big Sky’s medical needs into the next
several decades, philanthropy will play an essential role.
Donating to Big Sky Medical Center’s Fund for Excellence and Innovation is an investment in the future of
Big Sky. The Big Sky spirit is about being forward-looking, forward-thinking and forward-investing. We invite
you to catch the spirit and discuss this initiative with us in greater detail.
Bozeman Health cares deeply for our neighbors in this special place we call home. Please join us as we seek to provide the highest quality care across the communities we proudly serve. Caring Forward: The Campaign for a Healthier Community.