14:44 PM

North Valley Hospital to become Logan Health Whitefish

The North Valley Hospital Board of Directors voted late last week to move into the future more closely aligned with Logan Health. The current affiliation between the two organizations will shift to a fully integrated model where the hospital becomes a member of the Logan Health family. This includes rebranding North Valley Hospital as Logan Health Whitefish.

“This is the natural next step in what has been a beneficial relationship between the two organizations for over five years,” said Mirna Bowden, MD, North Valley Hospital Board of Directors Chair. “By fully integrating with Logan Health we will better position the organization for success in the future through advanced IT platforms and the benefits of economies of scale. Patients will still receive the same high quality of care.”

North Valley Hospital and Logan Health (then Kalispell Regional Healthcare) first announced an intent to discuss an affiliation in 2015 after working cooperatively for more than a decade to meet the health needs of the community.

Since that time the two organizations have shared physicians and other clinical staff, shared best practices, and streamlined access and delivery of many specialty services for patients from either location. Many business services, such as finance, health information technology and material management worked together to create efficiencies and maximize economies of scale.

With the financial backing of a larger system, North Valley Hospital added new services, new technology (including MAKO robotic surgery), and updated facilities, including the new physical therapy building in Columbia Falls.

“Operationally, the two organizations have aligned many practices, protocols and patient care initiatives, which were most evident during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Kevin Abel, North Valley Hospital CEO. “By working together to create solutions for testing, staffing, patient care — and most recently vaccination — the operational teams became even more united.”

The decision to move forward under the new Logan Health brand will include a name change as well. In December of 2020, Kalispell Regional Healthcare announced a rebranding initiative to unify all facilities and departments under one name – Logan Health. All facilities, clinics and other healthcare services have adopted new, consistent, patient-friendly names that reflect the unity of the new brand and the service location. Changing the hospital’s name to Logan Health Whitefish reflects the connection to the Logan Health brand while recognizing its unique geography. There is only one city called Whitefish in the entire United States, and it is located in Northwest Montana. The new name differentiates the organization from all other critical access hospitals across the country. The transition of the brand is expected to begin in the coming months.

 “Our patients expect us to continually improve quality, open up access, focus on important care transitions and deliver a good experience. This can best be done by functioning as a true system of care,” said John Flink, Chair of the Logan Health Board of Trustees, “This is a natural evolution of our relationship and I would like to thank the North Valley Board for their thoughtfulness and commitment to our future together.”