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Emergency services - Logan Health and Billings Clinic

You do not get to choose when an emergency happens, so having lifesaving trauma care and resources available nearby is critical. And with a highly rural population sometimes living hundreds of miles from the nearest trauma center, trauma survival rates in Montana are lower than much of the rest of the country.

When Billings Clinic and Logan Health united in 2023 to create a Montana-based, independent health system, one of the primary goals was to create a statewide complex care network to serve residents no matter where they live. A key part of those unified services is the combined expertise, teams and resources of two of Montana’s largest trauma centers, creating a statewide trauma network.

Combined, their Emergency Departments – where nearly every trauma patient first enters the hospital – treat about 80,000 patients annually. These are patients that come from all 56 counties in Montana and many surrounding states.

Logan Health operates a Level III Trauma Center in Kalispell and is designated by the State of Montana as an area trauma hospital. The full team offers a suite of multi-specialty services and comprehensive trauma care.

In August of 2023, Billings Clinic became Montana’s first American College of Surgeons verified Level I Trauma Center and the state’s first comprehensive trauma center. This means that Billings Clinic has shown that it provides system leadership and the highest level of comprehensive trauma care for all injuries, and that it has the right people and resources to do so effectively and consistently.

Getting to someone in need quickly also helps save lives. That is why both Billings Clinic and Logan Health offer emergency air transportation services that can rapidly bring skilled emergency providers across the region. Logan Health’s Advance Life-Support and Emergency Rescue Team (A.L.E.R.T.) air ambulance service utilizes an airplane and a helicopter, while Billings Clinic’s MedFlight operates an airplane out of Billings and a helicopter out of Bozeman. These serve as a mobile ICU or emergency department while a patient is taken to the hospital and both transport about 1,500 patients annually.

Having these resources and programs available means that patients across Montana and northern Wyoming have top-notch trauma care available close to home. Patients and their families can stay closer to home to get the care they need, when they need it.

But the services extend far beyond the hospitals’ walls. Education and training are also key parts of Billings Clinic and Logan Health’s commitment to trauma care. This includes working with a regional trauma network that connects facilities throughout Montana and Wyoming. This allows facilities to share resources and expertise, with specialized training at rural facilities from trauma specialists, so that much of that lifesaving care can be administered before a patient needs transport. Additionally, community education from both teams helps to spread awareness, train people in lifesaving care, and provide injury prevention education to the general public.

As the trauma needs of the region continue to grow, Billings Clinic and Logan Health are committed to enhancing services and keeping trauma care close to home.