Cabinet Peaks Medical Center awarded grant for care coordination

Submitted by Kate



In November of 2018, Cabinet Peaks Medical Center Foundation, along with CPMC’s Quality and Discharge Planning Department were awarded Montana Healthcare Foundation’s Grant for the amount of $100,000 to aid in the Lincoln County Community Care Coordination project.

The project will develop a system for the medical center to notify area clinics when one of their primary care patients was seen in the Emergency Department (ED), and help to identify if the shared patients needs additional resources in and out of the healthcare realm.  This will be done by reviewing data that involves total number of ED visits, the time frame of those visits, additional family member utilization of the ED, and the primary reason for the ED visit.  To aid in this, CPMC will explore communication health care tools that allow the ability to exchange information with medical and social resources as well as patients, family, and caregivers.

“Currently the Lincoln County health system can be somewhat disjointed, which is not unexpected as there are four clinics with each having their own processes,” stated Laura Larson-Crismore, Quality Manager at CPMC.  “Patient transitions throughout the care continuum are often difficult to track between the hospital, clinics, & social resources.  It is our goal to help bridge that gap.”

In addition, the project seeks to enhance collaboration between clinics and other resources, expand care coordination with the ability to provider warm patient handoffs through patient care teams, improve population health, decrease readmissions, aid in appropriate utilization of the ED, and lower overall healthcare costs.

Kate Stephens, Executive Director of the CPMC Foundation stated, “The Foundation is thrilled that we could be a part of helping to bring this grant to Cabinet Peaks Medical Center and the people of Lincoln County.  It is always a joy to work with Laura, who authored the majority of the grant.  She is passionate about what she does here at CPMC for the patients of Lincoln County, and that shows through in the effort she puts forth to bring these kinds of projects to our facility.  We are honored to be a part of this good work in any way we can.”

Larson-Crismore reports that the ball is already rolling for the project.   “We are thrilled and grateful that Montana Healthcare Foundation saw the potential to improve Lincoln County health through our proposal and award us this grant.  With this funding, we are able to dedicate staff and time to pull this project together, which ultimately will lead to improved health outcomes throughout our community.”

The Montana Healthcare Foundation makes strategic investments to improve the health and well-being of all Montanans.  Created in 2013, MHCF has more than $170 million in assets making it Montana’s largest health-focused private foundation.  MHCF contributes to a measurably healthier state by supporting access to quality and affordable health services, conducting evidence-driven research and analysis, and addressing the upstream influences on health and illness.  To learn more about the Foundation and its focus areas, please visit

For more information on this new grant program, please call Laura Larson-Crismore at Cabinet Peaks Medical Center at 283-7000.

Upcoming free animal tracking field classes

Wildlife Researcher and professional tracker Brian Baxter will be instructing animal and bird tracking field classes in our area this winter. You can go to or call 406-291-2154 to register for this free class.

Brian and Wildlife Photographer Don Jones recently had an article entitled, “Wily Weasels” published in the 2018-2019 Winter Issue of Sandpoint Magazine. These classes usually meet at 9 am and run to 3 pm for the time zone of location, and we briefly discuss tracking methods in the morning, then head strait to the field. Come prepared for a field day with proper layers, good boots, and / or snowshoes, ski or trekking poles, measuring tape, water and lunch. Camera’s and binoculars optional. Hikes are of moderate difficulty, and approx. 3 miles roundtrip.

Brian’s teaching style is a combination of woodsman’s craftsmanship, supported by a solid, scientific basis, and is intended to awaken the senses and increase awareness of the wild in us and around us. Mr. Baxter also incorporates some modern technology, and a sense of humor which makes the day not only a learning experience, but a fun and enjoyable day as well! For More Info: Contact Brian at: OR Call 406-291-2154.

January is Radon Awareness Month

Naturally occurring gas can be harmful, but can be mitigated

Radon is a colorless, odorless, tasteless radioactive gas that comes from the natural breakdown of uranium, a natural element in rocks, soil and water.  Radon can enter and accumulate in your home, posing a hazard to your health by damaging your lungs.  Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer behind smoking and secondhand smoke.

Testing for radon and acting to reduce radon levels in your home could save your life and the lives of your family.  There are many radon testing devices available for sale at your local hardware store, online, county health offices, radon professionals, Kansas State University’s National Radon Program, and the Montana Department of Environmental Quality Radon Control Program.  The devices are easy to deploy and provide accurate results for the homeowner.

Radon is measured in picocuries per liter (pCi/L) of air. The Environmental Protection Agency identifies 4.0 pCi/L as the “action level” for radon, meaning you should start investigating the possibility of lowering elevated radon levels via mitigation or ventilation.  Studies indicate almost half of the homes tested for radon in Montana have radon levels that exceed the action level.

Radon can accumulate to unhealthy levels, especially during colder months when windows and doors are kept closed. Ventilating, or mitigating, radon gas from under the basement floor or crawlspace is a common approach to lowering radon levels and can cost $500 to $2,000 to address, depending on the degree of mitigation needed.

If you are building a new home, consider installing the preliminary parts of a radon system including a sub-slab gravel layer, plastic sheeting, vent pipe, and electrical box. Incorporating a radon mitigation system into home construction can save money and lives.

If it comes to mitigating high radon levels, you can do it yourself if you’re up to the challenge.  Many homeowners hire a certified radon mitigator to install ventilation systems.  Be sure to obtain bids from more than one mitigator, check their insurance coverage, and call their references before entering into a contract with a selected mitigator.  The Radon Control Program webpage contains two sources of certified radon professionals at:

For more information about radon, contact the Radon Control Program toll-free at 1-800-546-0483 or by visiting the web site at:  The websites of Kansas State University, and EPA are also informative: County health departments are also good sources for local information.