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Kalispell residents top $8 million in cumulative donations to Logan Health

Logan Health announced plans to develop an Emergency Medical Services consortium to provide resources and elevated emergency services to rural Montana communities. The consortium will be funded by a generous gift to the Logan Health Foundation from Kalispell residents Eddie and Candy DeBartolo, who have donated more than $8 million cumulatively and are the single largest donors in the history of the organization.

“Many of Logan Health’s initiatives would not be possible without the philanthropic support of our community donors like Eddie and Candy DeBartolo,” said Logan Health President and CEO Craig Lambrecht, MD. “This EMS consortium is another example of the DeBartolo’s generosity serving as a catalyst to bring vision to fruition, and we are deeply grateful for their gracious commitment to Logan Health. I can’t thank them enough for their continued generosity.”

The September 25, 2021, Amtrak Empire Builder derailment, just outside of Joplin, MT, first sparked the idea to create the consortium to foster timely, safe emergency care for rural Montana.

“The scope and size of this incident and the number of patients involved necessitated a large response from many different communities and jurisdictions from a large portion of North Central and Northwest Montana,” said Wynand Nel, MD, Medical Director and Chief of Staff at Liberty Medical Center.  “In the wake of this disaster, we quickly identified an opportunity for more proactive coordination between agencies, hospitals, and others.”

According to Logan Health Emergency Medical Services Executive Director Ryan Pitts, RN, the consortium will enable more interoperability and communication between agencies; provide education and training programs to emergency medical services personnel; support local agencies with equipment and supplies through service enhancement grants, host annual conferences and more.

“Our goal is to build an infrastructure focused on the needs of patients in any emergency situation,” said Pitts. “I believe the connectivity, communication and collaboration that this consortium will achieve will be a game changer for patients in our region.”

While the initial members of the consortium include Logan Health hospitals and EMS services, Logan Health looks forward to partnering with other regional agencies and organizations who choose to participate.

“Montana’s geography presents many challenges for rural health care, and emergency medical services are no exception,” said Cherie Taylor, Vice President at Logan Health Cut Bank. “By working together, we can accomplish far more than any of us can on our own.”