As the community has grown so has its medical needs. At the heart of Kalispell lies Kalispell Regional Medical Center, the most comprehensive facility anywhere in Northwest Montana. KRMC has kept pace with and continues to strategize for the future with expansion plans that will serve the population for the next 15 to 20 years.
KRMC recently completed a $45 million expansion and upgrade, including a new patient tower. Along with a new modular temporary unit that adds 14 more beds, and possible future plans for another new patient tower, the 330,000 square foot facility will meet the preventive, acute care and rehabilitation needs of patients on both sides of the Continental Divide and Canada. KRMC offers superior access to diagnostic and medical imaging capabilities. Its new 3-Tesla MRI scanner is the strongest commercially available anywhere in the country – the same technology found in major academic and metropolitan medical centers.
In 2005, a new computer-guidance system called the navigator was implemented, giving the hospital’s neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons state-of-the-art capabilities. Also in 2005, the medical center invested in a new 64-slice computed tomography scanner which will advance the center’s diagnostic capabilities far into the future.
The 10,000 square-foot Radiation Oncology Cancer Center opened in December 2003 featuring IMRT technology and vast diagnostic and ultrasound imaging resources. KRMC has also implemented one of the first Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) systems of its kind in the state of Montana to cancer patients in our community.
In 2003 KRMC partnered with its medical staff to build HealthCenter Northwest. The 72,000 square-foot facility combines a super-surgical center and a leading-edge diagnostic imaging hub with 12 acute-care beds and 15 in-patient rehabilitation beds. Imaging services include standard X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography, ultrasound and mammography. A Women’s Center houses dressing rooms and reception areas to ensure privacy and comfort.
The open-heart surgery program, in partnership with the International Heart Institute of Montana, provides the latest technology and surgeries for cardiac patients.
Flathead Orthopedic Center
Other major construction projects on the medical campus include a 7,600 square-foot expansion of Flathead Orthopedic Center in Kalispell. The $2.5 million investment includes a new urgent orthopedic care which opened in January 2006.
KRMC also operates A.L.E.R.T., the nation’s first rural air ambulance.
KRMC also manages the 110-bed Brendan House transitional and long-term care residential facility which recently added a new wing, the 40-bed Pathways mental health and chemical dependency treatment center, home health and hospice programs, and a medical equipment supplier.
In 1996, under the umbrella of Northwest Healthcare, The Summit Fitness Center opened a new 84,000 square foot facility, offering a complete environment of fitness and rehabilitative services overseen by a medical advisory committee. The Summit features a 25-yard, six lane multi-use pool and therapy pool, whirlpool spa, men’s and women’s locker rooms with their own steam rooms and saunas, family changing rooms, a cardiovascular mezzanine, climbing wall, regulation size gymnasium, four indoor tennis courts, three racquetball courts and a squash court, weight training area and complete physical therapy and cardiac rehabilitation departments, a child care center and after-school program.
With a medical staff of over 200 – a full range of specialists and family practitioners – and over 2,000 employees, KRMC is the largest private employer in Flathead County. It operates under its nonprofit parent corporation Northwest Healthcare, with a local board of directors.
For more than 100 years North Valley Hospital in Whitefish has served the north Flathead Valley.
A completely new $26.25 million facility which opened in 2007. The 82,352 square-foot alpine style hospital is 60 percent larger than the old building and centrally located on a 45-acre parcel near the intersection of Montana 40 and U.S. 93.
From its warmly decorated patient rooms to its abundant use of natural light and extensive art display, the new one-level building reflects the hospital’s Planetree-based philosophy of holistic patient care. Adopted by the hospital in 2002, Planetree promotes active participation by both patient and family in the healing process.
Six private and 12 semi-private patient rooms feature French doors opening onto healing gardens; as well as “cuisine-on-call” and nourishment center’s for families to prepare their own meals.
The emergency department has increased in size by 60 percent and includes a covered ambulance bay and helipad. The hospital’s three operating rooms have 40 percent more space than before, and the same-day surgery center features 12 private recovery bays, and a separate entrance.
The latest in diagnostic services, including a new 1.5 Tesla magnet MRI, is available at the new facility, along with the birth center’s AquaDoula Tub for women who choose water births.
North Valley Hospital was selected as a national award winner for the fourth consecutive year for exceeding patient expectations by Avatar International Inc.