recognized for improvement in patient care

Cabinet Peaks Medical Center was recently awarded the Montana Rural Healthcare Performance Improvement Network’s Quality Improvement Award.  The award was announced during the general session at the MHA Annual Convention held in Billings in September 20, 2019.

The Montana Rural Healthcare Performance Improvement Network (PIN) is a voluntary membership of 48 critical access hospitals throughout the state.  Through this Network, member hospitals are able to benchmark their performance with their peers on a variety of financial, utilization, and direct patient care measures that encourage safe, effective, patient-centered care delivery in even the most remote communities of the state.  PIN quality of care measures are based on national benchmarks, but are tailored to reflect the realities of the state’s rural populations.

Cabinet Peaks Medical Center has demonstrated a commitment to its community and the region it serves through its involvement with the MT Rural Healthcare PIN.  Throughout the last year, PIN members focused on four core improvement areas: patient satisfaction and engagement, transitions of care from the emergency room, emergency room stay times, assessment and provisions of influenza immunizations for inpatients, and influenza immunizations for healthcare workers.  Award winners are required to demonstrate measurable improvement in one of the previously mentioned quality of care focus areas over the previous year and show consistent participation in the PIN’s data programs.  Applicants are also required to demonstrate an active and leading role in supporting PIN quality improvement efforts by participating in PIN events and sharing with peers throughout the state.

“The Montana Performance Improvement Network has recognized several Critical Access Hospitals for their commitment to quality.  We are once again grateful to be counted as one of those facilities and work alongside one another to improve health care throughout rural Montana, “ stated Laura Larson-Crismore, Quality Manager at CPMC.

The mission of the MT Rural Healthcare PIN is to develop and provide collaborative support systems which will enable small rural hospitals to have the ability to deliver quality care and achieve customer satisfaction.   PIN activities are supported by the Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility (FLEX) Program, which provides funding to spur quality and performance improvement activities, stabilize rural hospital finance and integrate emergency medical services (EMS) into existing healthcare systems.  The program encourages the development of cooperative systems of care in rural areas to increase efficiencies.

Larson-Crismore concluded, “We have a very dedicated team at CPMC and are blessed to have their continued support to achieve this honor.”

Submitted by Kate Stephens


Introduction to the Kootenai Climate Group

The Kootenai Climate Group was formed last spring by local residents who are concerned about climate change. Our mission statement is to increase climate change awareness and promote policies that empower people to take constructive action to reverse human-caused climate change.

This is the first in a series of articles about climate change, what it means to Montana, and what we can do to avert the worst possible outcomes.

We want to move public discourse beyond partisan politics and start working towards solutions that protect human health, the natural environment and improve our lives. We intend to:

-Learn about climate change and climate solutions

-Share this knowledge with our community

-Communicate with integrity and respect

-Urge our political leaders to provide leadership in addressing climate change

-Make the climate issue more visible and tangible to our community

-Collaborate to find solutions

We are particularly interested in what we can do at the local and state level to help transition to renewable energy, improve energy efficiency, support transportation systems that are less reliant on fossil fuels, adjust forest and agricultural practices to increase carbon storage, and reduce unnecessary waste.

We are currently working on the following initiatives:

-Providing climate information at community events

-Writing newspaper columns and editorials on climate change issues

-Showing films and hosting panel discussions

-Expanding library resource materials on climate

-Encouraging people to talk with friends and neighbors about climate change and climate solutions

-Supporting state and federal legislation that addresses climate change

-Urging our leaders to take action

-Working with local government and businesses to reduce fossil fuel use, reduce waste and improve recycling

We meet at 5:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month at First Montana Bank in Libby. Newcomers are welcome!

Submitted by Kris Newgard


New owners of Camp Creek Coffee Roasters

Amanda Houser at the Heritage Museum’s Winter Expo on Saturday, Nov. 9. Houser and Gabe Grossmann recently purchased Camp Creek Coffee Roasters. The business remains open at 316 Mineral Ave. in Libby and they hope to expand their hours soon. Photo by Tracy McNew, The Montanian