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Notes From Your Community

Jeff Egbert Selected as Interim CEO

Jeff Egbert has been selected as the interim CEO for Community Medical Center. Jeff has nearly 25 years of hospital executive expereince including stints as hospital CEO in Texas, Oregon, Alaska, and Arizona. He most recently served as the interim CEO for RegionalCare's hospital in Wilmington, Ohio.

Family Health: Care in golden hour offers premature babies best chance

There are a lot of choices and options when deciding where to give birth. Here's some important information that should also be considered when making this decision.

Family Health: Short winter days can be conditions for SAD

Feeling a little bummed out this first week back to a "normal" schedule after the holidays? You're not alone. Here are some tips for dealing with SAD.

Family Health: Breast cancer treatments bring new choices

Be careful if you are seeing advertising claims that cancer can be "cured" in a matter of days. There are many different factors involved in the choices surrounding cancer treatments. Here's a great article by Dr. Michelle Proper, Radiation Oncologist at Community Cancer Care Center, regarding breast cancer treatment and choices.

Family Health: Healthy gifts keep on giving

This article comes from our weekly Family Health publication in the Missoulian.  The article discusses what is perhaps the best Christmas gift of all, namely, the gift of health, and it offers several gift suggestions that promote one's health.

Informational sites regarding Ebola and what you need to know

The following links have been approved by Community Medical Center as a resource for individuals looking to learn more about this virus.

Missoulians for Community’s Future Website is now live

This past March, after more than a year of research, interviews and discussion, Community Medical Center’s Board of Directors chose to partner with Billings Clinic RegionalCare to deliver the highest quality patient care possible in Western Montana while preserving options and competition in health care services.

Frequently Asked Questions about this partnership

We're committed to answering your questions about the exciting partnership between Community and Billings Clinic RegionalCare.  Do you have any questions not answered here?  Please email us at: contactus@communitymed.org

How does the partnership between Community and Billings Clinic RegionalCare benefit Missoula?

Once finalized, this exciting partnership will offer the unique clinicaland managerial expertise of Billings Clinic RegionalCare to Western Montana,ensuring options, enhanced services and additional specialty providers in ourthriving community.

Family Health: Vitamin D could help fight asthma epidemic

Vitamin D is an essential nutrient, meaning the human body cannot make enough to prevent deficiency so diet is important. Our skin helps produce some vitamin D through sun exposure, just not enough to prevent deficiency. Because very few foods naturally contain vitamin D, we fortify milk, orange juice and other foods. Without a healthy diet, the risk of vitamin D deficiency increases.

Community Medical Center’s neonatal ICU graduates meet up at 5th reunion

While all the people who gathered on Sunday weren’t related, they shared another common bond. All of them had a child who had been in Community Medical Center’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, or who were NICU nurses. The event served as a reunion for all of the unit’s “graduates.”

Community Medical Center Partnership Announcement

The Community Medical Center’s Board has voted to partner with the Billings Clinic and RegionalCare Hospital Partners.  This new partnership will work to achieve the following key objectives:

High readmission rate for angioplasty is troubling

Percutaneous coronary intervention, or angioplasty, is a common and effective procedure to open narrowed or blocked arteries supplying blood to the heart.

These procedures are usually performed in the hospital and can be lifesaving for heart attack patients. For other patients, PCI can reduce symptoms such as chest pain and improve a person’s ability to participate in activities like walking or sports.

Number of Smoking Americans on the Decline

We all know tobacco use is not healthy. The good news is more people are quitting and the death rates from tobacco use are on the decline. The data is not conclusive regarding vapor smoking systems but please know that Community does not support tobacco use or vapor smoking systems.

Cancer survivors face physical, mental changes

Surviving cancer can mean finishing treatments, and that’s a huge achievement. But today’s definition of a cancer survivor has expanded to include everyone diagnosed with this disease and their family members as well. These are the people who live with cancer, its treatments and issues that continue for the rest of their lives.

Answers to some common questions about cancer

Most people know the basics of cancer – that it happens when abnormal cells divide out of control, sometimes invading surrounding tissues. You might also know that it’s second only to heart disease as the leading cause of death in the U.S. That adds up to many lives touched by this disease, and it brings up many questions. Here are some common ones, along with answers:
What causes cancer?

Nurse navigators help patients negotiate cancer care

"You have cancer.” No matter how gently they’re said, these words can make you feel like you’ve been dropped into a strange land without a map. Your schedule is suddenly filled with tests and treatments that you may not understand, and the new medical concepts and terms can seem like a foreign language.

Community is making incredible strides in providing complete cancer care

Breaking News: Community is making incredible strides in providing complete cancer care for the people of Western Montana.

We Are Community Publication

Several times a year Community Medical Center publishes a magazine titled "We Are Community." This publication is written, designed and produced right here in Missoula. The stories that you are about to read are from real patients, families and medical providers that have opened up their hearts to share a piece of their lives with you. They are our friends, neighbors, co-workers and loved ones. We hope you enjoy this issue.

Play it Safe on the River

Here in Missoula, the time between “let’s go floating” and pushing off from shore can be counted in minutes. Strings of floaters drifting through town and down the Blackfoot or Bitterroot are a sure sign that summer is here, and if you’re not on a river you’re probably wishing you were.

The Role of Lactation Consultants

Something as normal and natural as breastfeeding a baby should come easily, right? Well, sometimes it does. But just as babies crawl, walk and talk at their own pace, they also can have their own issues with nursing. For some newborns and their moms, getting started with breastfeeding can be a frustrating experience—especially after the exhausting process of giving birth.

The Benefits of Breastfeeding

When it comes to feeding your baby, the oldest method is still the best. Breast milk provides the exact nutrients, calories and fluids a newborn needs. And as babies grow, breast milk changes to accommodate their changing nutrition needs.

The Benefits of Skin to Skin Contact

The best place for a newborn baby to be is with its mother—skin-to-skin. Research shows that placing naked newborns directly on their mother’s chest has significant benefits for both the mom and baby.
A head start to health

Sunscreen minimizes skin aging, study says

It’s good advice: Before you step outside, smooth on some sunscreen to protect yourself from a painful sunburn, as well as sun damage that can lead to skin cancer.

Couplet Care keeps newborns with moms

“Let’s go watch the babies.”

Just a few years ago, that wasn’t the mysterious suggestion it seems like today. Not only in Missoula but in hospitals across the country, pink- and blue-wrapped newborns spent their first hours in a brightly lit nursery, often behind a picture window.

Ty Robinson Shares the History of Community

When the Missoula Mercantile was the center of Missoula, Ty was there. When one of the most prestigious law firms in town was founded, Ty was there. And when a new community hospital was built, Ty was there. Relive this most important time in Missoula’s history as we debut this new video featuring Ty’s memories and the history of how Community came to be.

Family health: As spring weather arrives, a bicylce safety refresher

Last Tuesday, was the day I believe Missoulians officially claimed the spring season. It was snowing, but it was a wet snow that left a fresh, clean fragrance in the air. You know, the kind of snow that would be gone by midmorning because the sun would stake claim over the frost and chill. I have to admit that I was feeling somewhat overwhelmed as I drove to work. It seemed that despite the snowfall everyone decided to ride their bike that day – they were everywhere.

Good nutrition aided by team work, self discipline

This is a great time for us to improve our health and well-being by being mindful of our choices and increasing our knowledge about what is best for our bodies. While adopting a nutritious lifestyle doesn’t mean you can never again enjoy a scrumptious dessert or savory appetizer, it does mean you have to determine that you will ensure those become occasional indulgences and not regular affairs.

Coffee in moderation can be beneficial to health

In health care, we’re inundated with information. We measure clinical quality, health information, safety information, privacy information, accountability standards, and management of patient data and the wealth of nutrition information.

In the coffee world, the information that is managed involves crop growing information, international ethics, roasting information, standards of excellence in production and serving quality standards, and industry information based to maximize consumer satisfaction.

Nutrition crucial while undergoing cancer treatment

Whether it is cancer prevention, cancer treatment or advanced cancer, nutrition can play a vital role in maximizing your quality of life.

‘Birth plan’ guides delivery

A “birth plan “is just that: A basic plan for something you have little control over when the time comes for labor and delivery of a baby. But it gives a woman the options to be in charge of certain things that she may or may not want to have happen when the time comes.

Fight HPV with test, screening, vaccination

January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month.

Over the past decade, the growing body of knowledge related to viruses and the role they play in infection and cancer has grown tremendously. As the medical community begins to unwind the co-factors and promoters related to these processes, we are finally beginning to see some effective changes in prevention and protection. There is a greater understanding of lifestyle risks, exposure risks, environmental risks and, finally, protective factors.

Flu symptoms can be very dangerous for children

As a parent, it can be hard to determine when your child’s illness needs professional medical attention or if he or she can be treated at home. You do not want to rush into an emergency department if it is not an emergency, but at the same time you do not want to hesitate to get professional medical attention if your child really needs immediate evaluation. Different conditions require different levels of care. Influenza is one condition that can present such a dilemma.

Vitamin D deficiency worsens disorders

Since the 1960s, asthma has increased so dramatically as to be declared an epidemic. This increase has hit heaviest in developed countries, leading us to question what lifestyle changes might be to blame.

Protect against illness by washing hands, surfaces

Hand washing seems like such a simple activity. Did you know that hand washing is the No. 1 defense against illness? Illness is caused by bacteria, viruses and other microbes – aka “bugs” – and hand washing gets rid of them. How should hands be washed?

Prevention worth a pound of cure on snowy roads

We’ve seen it on TV. Most of us have heard the warnings. Some of us probably have even experienced problems. Whether you are the most seasoned winter traveler or someone who likes to stay close to home, a few minutes of your time can really pay off when it comes to driving in winter conditions– call it preventive medicine.

Assistance available for medical expenses

The holiday season is upon us. For most, this is a time of joyous celebration, sharing with friends and family, as well as reflection on being thankful for health and prosperity. For some, however, medical issues resulting in overwhelming financial obligations can put a serious damper on the spirit of the season.

This financial pressure can be difficult for some families to deal with and navigating through options and information can be complex. Numerous avenues exist to assist individuals and families with these financial burdens if you ask the appropriate questions and do some research.

Mothers’ Milk Bank will help ensure Missoula infants get proper nutrition

Linsey Wiesemann benefited firsthand from the generosity of another nursing mother four years ago, just after her family brought its new addition, baby Abdisa, home from Ethiopia.

Holidays present safety hazards

Winter holidays in Montana are magical and memorable, but also can present unique child safety issues many of us neglect to consider. We decorate our homes, host guests and indulge in a frenzy of activities that create unintended safety hazards for our children. To keep the holidays happy, safe and injury-free, please consider the following child safety precautions:

Winter can be harsh on skin

Winter season is one of the most challenging for your skin. Exposed skin suffers from exposure to wind, snow, frost and heating of your home or workplace. Your skin can become dry, sensitive and irritated. So, what is the best way to protect your skin and keep it healthy?

Community Medical Center performs first single incision surgery

Community Medical Center has become the first hospital in Western Montana to perform single incision robotic surgery with the da Vinci Si™ System.  Dr. Kristin Janczewski, General Surgeon, successfully removed three gallbladders through single incisions in the patients’ navals.

Tips on keeping pesky pounds at bay after losing them

Imagine this common scenario: Your doctor has suggested you lose a few pounds, perhaps to reduce your risk of developing diabetes or to help manage your diabetes, and you have accomplished this feat. Now you are faced with the task of keeping off those unwanted pounds.


Diabetes is a disease that needs to be taken seriously

When someone learns they have diabetes, they may feel sad, scared or find the diagnosis hard to believe. For many people, they don’t feel sick or different than before the diagnosis. It’s important to take the disease seriously.


Sleep necessary to ward off unhealthy conditions

“What’s so great about sleep?” I asked someone who’s good at it and looks forward to really sleeping in. She replied, “It’s fun and productive! People just don’t realize that!” The facts not only back her up, they point to bonuses for diabetes and weight management. Why is sleep fun? Our minds are unchained in sleep. During REM sleep, when we’re dreaming, our brain shuffles thoughts and forms new associations. We’re uninhibited and imaginative.

Community Medical Center holds groundbreaking and open house

On Tuesday, October 16th, Missoula Community Medical Center will be hosting two special events. First, there’s a grand opening for the newly completed NICU and Labor and Delivery Unit. At the same time, there will be a groundbreaking ceremony for the new multi-million dollar oncology center.

Mammogram remains best way to discover breast abnormalities

A mammogram is an X-ray of the internal structures of the breast, and it is the best tool we have at detecting abnormalities in the breast. Finding a lump in your breast, noticing breast discharge or receiving a callback for “additional views” after your screening mammogram can be a stressful situation.

Community Medical Center’s breast health navigator earns respect from patients, colleagues

Creating a new position out of thin air, funding it and then waiting to see if the gamble meets the need is not an easy decision for any organization.

Yet that’s exactly what Community Medical Center did in 2009 when the hospital hired Michelle Weaver Knowles, a registered nurse, to be its first breast health navigator.

Introducing Nurse on Call - A FREE Service for Anyone

Anytime you’re worried about the health of a loved one, we’re here to help. Community Medical Center’s free 24-7 Nurse on Call telephone service will give you the answers you need to help you breathe easier. Call us at 406-327-4770.

Scott Hamilton Speaking at Voices of Hope Video

In this video, Scott Hamilton, winner of sixteen consecutive skating championships, including Olympic Gold, share his keys to his greatest victory of all, surviving cancer.

Vaccinations Reduce Spread of Pertussis, aka Whooping Cough

Looking back at the history of pertussis, outbreaks were first described as early as the 16th century. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that in the 20th century, pertussis was one of the most common childhood diseases. In the United States, it was a major cause of childhood mortality. After a vaccine for pertussis was developed, incidence of the disease dropped more than 80 percent.

Family Health: Ensure results of tests accurate

You’ve just visited your health care provider and the next step is to “get some tests.” Tests are selected from a very large menu in diagnostic areas such as laboratory, imaging, cardiology and pulmonary function. The determination of which tests are necessary is made based on the reason for the visit, varying from a general health check to having very specific symptoms.

Mnemonic device simplifies medical, mental worries

Terrified to go to the doctor or hospital? Are you anxious about those checkups, a possible new diagnosis or being labeled crazy, or do you have a fear of needles or think you might get bad news? Is it time for you to get that physical or mental ouch taken care of, but you’re afraid?

Community Launches its own custom publication called We Are Community - If These Halls Could Speak

Community Medical Center recently launched a custom publication called We Are Community - If These Halls Could Speak. These stories are told by both patients and staff at Community Medical Center.

Community Recognized by Leading Gastrointestinal Medical Society for Quality and Safety

The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE), a leading gastrointestinal medical society, has recognized Community Medical Center as part of its program specifically dedicated to promoting quality in endoscopy, in all settings where it is practiced in the United States. Community Medical Center is one of more than 400 endoscopy units to be granted the recognition since 2009.

Community Medical Center Wins Mountain-Pacific Health Quality Award for Montana

Mountain-Pacific Quality Health is proud to announce the winners of the 2011 Hospital Quality Awards.

Community Wins Two Silver ADDY Marketing Awards

For the second year in a row, the in-house marketing team at Community Medical Center has won ADDY awards for their hospital marketing efforts.

Planning Eases Decisions at End of Life

Benjamin Franklin once said, "In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." And with death comes tremendous heartache for the living. Communication is key to ensuring a peaceful passing for the dying and easing the stress on the living.

Evaluation Can Prepare You and Care Providers for Surgery

If you or a loved one has had surgery in the past few years, you may have wondered why you have to go through so many hoops when you're only having a gallbladder removed.

A letter to Community from Congressman Denny Rehberg

Thank you for your invitation to attend the grand opening of Phase I of the Community Women's and Newborn Center. I wish I could be there to join you.

A letter to Community from Senator Jon Tester

Congratulations on the grand opening of the Women's and Infant Center. This is a great addition to the Missoula community and it will contribute enormously to the health and well being of women and babies in all of western Montana.

Travel Health

A winter storm warning has been issued and you receive the news with a hint of guilty delight because you have already booked a vacation to the sunny beaches of Mexico!  Those of us fortunate enough to escape the winter doldrums, cold and snow should consider some simple pre-trip health preparation

Holiday Safety for Children

Montana winter holidays are magical and memorable, but also can present unique child safety issues many of us neglect to consider.  We decorate our homes, host guests, and indulge in a frenzy of activities that create unintended safety hazards for our children. To keep the holidays happy, safe and injury-free, please consider the following child safety precautions.

Suicide - You are Never Alone

Mental illness in 90 percent of suicide cases account for successful suicide, Phillip Hollman gives some advice on the risks associated with suicide.

Sleep and Shift Work Disorder

Phillip Holman gives helpful hints about some useful  strategies to help you manage your sleep issues and take control of Shift Work Disorder(SWD).

Back To Sleep And Tummy Time To Play

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome remains the leading cause of death among infants in their first year of life, prevention programs are helping the number of these deaths decline. 

Community Medical Center Invests in Electronic Health Records

Community Medical Center has invested in significant information technology initiatives and projects to introduce comprehensive Electronic Health Records (EHR) systems into Community Medical Center and Community Physician Group offices.

Missoula Outdoor Fitness

If the physical stresses of the activities we are doing are greater than our bodies can tolerate, we are setting ourselves up for injury.

The Best Medicine for Stress

Wedding season is just around the corner. Are you feeling the stressful tug of family expectations? Is the economy getting you down? Are you feeling disconnected and just plain old stressed out?

Finding Colon Polyps Early Key

Cancer of the colon and rectum is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the country.  Almost 150,000 new cases will be diagnosed in 2011, and almost 50,000 people will die from the disease.

Practice Medication Safety

Storing your medications correctly is very important.  Medications should be kept in their original labeled containers.  This helps to maintain the quality of the medications and decreases confusion in case there are several in the same area. 

Blood Donation - The Gift of Life

In the three seconds it will take you to read this sentence, someone, somewhere will need a unit of blood to save their life.  Odds are that sooner or later that “someone” will be someone close to you; 1 out of every 4 people will need blood in their lifetime.

Recognizing Depression at Any Age

As a father of nine children and a husband, I am always concerned about the genetic legacy we pass down to our children. Depression is one of those conditions that can have genetic familial roots and may be part of other ongoing medical diagnoses.

Preventing Diabetes and Heart Disease in Montana

The incidence of diabetes in Montana, as well as in the rest of the country, continues to increase.  The most recent data, from 2006, reports that 48,000 Montanans, 6.4% of the population, have diabetes.

Who Needs the Flu Shot

Children who have not been previously immunized and who are between 6 months and 8 years of age will need a series of 2 vaccines spaced at least 4 weeks apart to help boost their immune response.

Weight Loss Slower is Better

Current media has tricked us into thinking that exercise means tremendous and immediate weight loss. The truth is that for most of us who are not in great shape, exercise will help us to build muscle as we start to lose fat.

Stop Ignoring the Voices in Your Head

I hope we never meet, at least on a professional level.   I am an Intensive Care Unit nurse at Community Medical Center. So if we do meet, it is likely because you or somebody you love requires the specialized and intensive care that I and my colleagues provide 24 hours per day, every day of the year. 

What is a Nurse Practitioner?

A nurse practitioner (NP) is an advanced practice nurse who usually has a few years of experience as a registered nurse (RN) in a hospital or other setting before returning to school to obtain a Master’s Degree. A Master’s Degree typically takes two years, during which the nurse learns to perform a variety of procedures, such as suturing (sewing up cuts), as well as how to diagnose and treat medical conditions. The nurse practitioner learns to make prevention, wellness and individualized care the priority.