What is your background? What brought you to the Flathead Valley?
I’m proud to call the Flathead Valley my first home! I am a 4th generation Montanan, born and raised in the Flathead Valley. My family roots run deep in the timber and farming industries. I grew up participating in local, family-oriented activities such as 4-H (horse) and O-mok-see. After graduating from Bigfork High School, I completed the pre-med program at Carroll College in Helena. During my time in Helena, I had the privilege of shadowing a physician assistant. I knew immediately that it was the career path for me! I was pleased to graduate from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus’ PA program in 2004, the only pediatric-focused PA program in the nation. During my PA training, I rotated with Dr. Jenko and Dr. Wilder, both founding physicians at Logan Health.
My immediate and extended family still live in the Flathead Valley. I always hoped to move home and raise my children in the Valley. In 2019, my husband accepted a position as a trauma, acute care, and critical care surgeon at Logan Health. Then in 2020, I had the opportunity to join Logan Health Children’s.
What is your specialty of practice?
I began practicing as a Physician Assistant in adult surgery at the University of Colorado in 2004 then transitioned to Children’s Hospital Colorado in 2007 where my practice included pediatric surgery and its sub-subspecialties (including pediatric trauma, burn, and transplant surgery). I had the unique opportunity to grow as a PA in a large academic institution where I was active in leadership roles and the education of physician residents and students. I’m currently a PA in Pediatric Surgery. It’s a pleasure to be a part of the Logan Health Children’s family, the most comprehensive group of pediatricians and pediatric specialists in the state.
What is the best part about your job?
The kids! Without a doubt, it’s the kids. There’s nothing better than connecting with and helping kids and their families. It’s also working with the dedicated providers at Logan Health. We all have one goal – to better the care of Montana’s children. I work with an all-women team in pediatric surgery and we have fun!
What are some of your professional interests?
I have specific interests in patient/family education, providing education to other medical professionals, program development, quality improvement, injury prevention, and pediatric trauma care.
What are you hoping to accomplish at Logan Health?
I’m committed to our mission to keep patient’s healthcare local. What if your child had the unfortunate experience of being seriously injured? There are so many benefits from receiving care close to home. I’d like to help further develop the pediatric trauma program, work to add additional expertise and specialists, and create pathways incorporating high quality care. It’s a system where I’d be confident in the care my own children receive!
How do you like to spend your free time?
When I’m not at work, I’m with my family. With my husband, we have a 16 year old daughter and a 4 year old son. We are an adventurous family with a love for the outdoors. You’ll find us climbing up the mountains in the summer and skiing down them in the winter. We enjoy all things water, including paddle boarding and fishing. If we’re not on the mountain or in the water, then you’ll find us exploring the countryside on a horse or chasing the high school volleyball scene. One thing’s for sure, it’s great to be here, raising my children in the place I have forever called home!