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News Event Recap

2018 Statewide Integrated Behavioral Health Summit

2018 Statewide Integrated Behavioral Health Summit

Thank you to everyone who joined us in Missoula for the 2018 Integrated Behavioral Health Summit! We had approximately 350 people from across the state attend. The summit presented successful approaches and models for integrating behavioral health services into primary care and showcased promising Montana programs.

A huge thank you to our partners at the Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training Program in collaboration with Western Montana AHEC-Missoula for helping us organize and host this event.

Presentation Materials

IBH Intensive Session for Behavioral Health Clinicians (Presenters: Joan King, Holly Schleicher, Lacey Alexander-Small)

Laurie Francis, Partnership Health Center: Presentation Slides

Brenda Reiss-Brennan, Intermountain Healthcare (keynote): Presentation Slides

Additional Materials

Additional Information

MHCF Senior Program Officer Scott Malloy opened the summit and gave a review of the day.
Joan Kenerson King from the National Council for Behavioral Health facilitated a panel on the nuts and bolts of IBH and team-based care.
Doris Fischer and Sue Heald from Madison County provided a rural approach to care integration.
Dr. Earl Sutherland from Bighorn Valley Health Center provided a administration perspective to care integration.

Presenter Bios

Dr. Aaron Wernham - CEO, Montana Healthcare Foundation

Dr. Aaron Wernham is a family physician and CEO of the Montana Healthcare Foundation, where he brings experience in both medical practice and health policy work to the job of providing strategic direction for the Foundation. Over more than a decade in clinical practice, Dr. Wernham worked in underserved communities in urban California and rural Alaska, where he also served as a policy advisor for Alaska Native Tribes. In his work on health policy at the national level, Dr. Wernham developed and led the Health Impact Project, a major national initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; he has served on several National Academy of Sciences committees, and authored a number of peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and public health reports.

Dr. Wernham received his medical degree from the University of California, San Francisco.

Dr. Anne Rich – Psychiatrist, Bozeman Health

Dr. Anne Rich is a psychiatrist at Bozeman Health doing Integrated Behavioral Health. She is a native of Missouri and received her medical degree from the University of Rochester Medical School in Rochester, NY. She then completed a one-year internal medicine internship at the University of Utah Health Sciences before moving to Seattle to complete her psychiatric training at the University of Washington Medical School. Dr. Rich also has specialty training in Psychosomatic Medicine and has performed research in Depression and Breast Cancer, Psychiatric Illness in Pregnancy, and educational topics in psychiatry. She is the only Psychosomatic Medicine boarded psychiatrist in the state of Montana and is considered an expert in treating patients with both psychiatric and medical illnesses/conditions such as cancer, diabetes, autoimmune disorders and pregnancy. She has been an Assistant Professor at the University of Utah and University of Vermont prior to coming to Bozeman, MT and has been Director of Medical Student Education in Psychiatry at the University of Vermont. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor with the University of Washington and is a college faculty mentor with WWAMI Montana and the associate clerkship director for psychiatry clerkships.

Dr. Brenda Reiss-Brennan – Principle Investigator, Intermountain Healthcare

Dr. Reiss-Brennan is a medical anthropologist and psychiatric nurse practitioner working in primary care for over 35 years. As a principal investigator, she leads Intermountain Healthcare’s (IH) adoption, diffusion, and evaluation of clinical integration for mental health and medical care. The cost and quality evidence of the Mental Health Integration (MHI) innovation has transformed primary care culture and has spread rapidly over 90 IH medical clinics including uninsured, rural and specialty, as well as 45 non-IH community clinics throughout the United States. MHI provides team-based culture for the advancement of IH medical health homes which supports the shared accountability driven by U.S. health reform. Dr. Reiss-Brennan holds a longstanding faculty appointment at the University of Utah, College of Nursing. She serves as a local, national and international consultant for cultural innovation, implementation and spread of MHI cost, quality and patient and staff experience research to improve population health.

Dr. Bruce Swarny – Psychiatrist, Livingston HealthCare

Bruce Swarny, MD, joined Livingston HealthCare as a psychiatrist in 2015. He specializes in psychoanalysis. Dr. Swarny has an extensive background in family medicine, having practiced as a family physician in Glendive, Montana for 20 years. He earned his medical degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.

Throughout his years in rural family medicine, Swarny cultivated an interest in mental health. In 2010, he completed his psychiatric residency at the University of Washington and returned to Montana.

“I have to say my philosophy is grounded in starting out as a primary care provider. I like to work with an individual in the context of not just their health, but their social situation, family situation,” Dr. Swarny says. “I think that, in taking on psychiatry, I’m aware of the stigma that’s attached, and that it’s a barrier sometimes for people seeking help. If people only knew how much of our lives as primary care physicians are devoted to the same thing—how many people we are seeing for depression and anxiety—I think it would help alleviate some of the stigma, because these are really common problems.”

Outside of work, Dr. Swarny enjoys fitness, meditation and piano practice. An interesting tidbit: In the early 1980s, during his service in the U.S. Navy, Swarny had the opportunity to work at the White House. He administered therapeutic, stress-relieving massage to President Ronald Reagan.

Dr. Bryan Cochran – Professor, University of Montana

Bryan Cochran, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist and Professor at the University of Montana, where he has been on faculty since 2003. His primary research areas are underserved populations, particularly LGBTIQ+ individuals, and substance use disorders. He is one of the co-Investigators for the HRSA grant Behavioral Health under the Big Sky, a Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training initiative designed to place graduate students from behavioral health disciplines into primary care settings throughout Western Montana.

Doris Fischer – Madison County Mental Health Local Advisory Council

An East Coast city girl, I first saw Montana in 1980 and fell in love with it. For the past 23 years, the Ruby Valley of Southwest Montana has been my home. I retired in 2013 from a career in community planning, which included jobs in Wisconsin, Yellowstone National Park, Missoula County MT, Madison County MT, and most recently MT Fish, Wildlife & Parks. Retirement enabled me to adopt a sweet Golden Retriever named Goose. Retirement also allowed me to join the Madison County Mental Health Local Advisory Council. My layperson involvement in addressing the behavioral health needs of and services to Madison County has been rich with learning, personal reflection, new friendships and community collaborations, and responsibilities.

Dr. Duncan Campbell – Psychologist & Professor, University of Montana

Duncan Campbell is a clinical psychologist and Professor of Psychology at the University of Montana. His research examines mental health care engagement and the influences of patient-based and systems-level variability on treatments for mental health concerns in general medical settings. Dr. Campbell teaches graduate-level and undergraduate courses in Health Psychology/Behavioral Medicine and Integrated Care. He is the Principal Investigator on UM’s IBH Workforce Development Initiative, a training project funded by the Montana Healthcare Foundation.

Dr. Earl Sutherland – Chief of Clinical Operations, Big Horn Valley Health Center

Dr. Sutherland is the Chief of Clinical Operations for the Big Horn Valley Health Center. He completed his Ph.D. in School/Clinical Child Psychology from the University of Virginia. He also holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in Psychology and an M.S. in Clinical Psychopharmacology. He is Licensed as a Psychologist in Montana and New Mexico. He holds a Prescribing Psychologist License in New Mexico and is Board Certified in Medical Psychology. His career has encompassed work in public schools, child advocacy centers, community health centers, private practice, general and psychiatric hospitals, as well as the Indian Health Service. His current interests include the development of integrated care programs, psychopharmacology and the assessment and treatment of children. Professional recognitions include the Indian Health Service Director’s Award, FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award, Montana Psychological Association Charles E. Kelly Award, and the American Society for The Advancement of Pharmacotherapy National Service Award.

Dr. Holly Schleicher – Psychologist & Assistant Professor, University of Montana

Holly Schleicher, Ph.D. is a licensed Clinical Psychologist and a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Montana. She serves as Director of Integrated Behavioral Health on a workforce development grant funded by the Montana Healthcare Foundation. She provides tele-health IBH consultation through Project ECHO at Billings Clinic. She also serves as a consultant on the BHWET initiative designed to place graduate students from behavioral health disciplines into primary care settings throughout Western Montana. Dr. Schleicher received her doctoral training from the University of Montana and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Health Psychology at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics. She has provided clinical service and consultation at a major medical hospital, interdisciplinary chronic pain clinic, and primary care clinics. Professional interests include integrated care, pain management, mindfulness, and mood and anxiety disorders.

Jill Steeley – Executive Director, PureView Health Center

Jill is originally from Salt Lake City, UT, but has enjoyed life in Montana for the past fourteen years. Jill is the Executive Director of PureView Health Center, a federally qualified health center that provides access to comprehensive health care to underserved residents of the Helena and Lincoln communities. Prior to joining PureView, Jill spent nearly four years as the Director of the Health and Human Services Division of the Gallatin City-County Health Department in Bozeman, MT, seven and a half years as the Director of the Madison County Health Department in Virginia City, MT, and was a senior analyst for Goldman Sachs in Salt Lake City, UT, for four years. Jill has a Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Montana and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix.

Jill has been actively involved in the three Montana communities she has lived in. As a board member for Thrive, a non-profit in Bozeman, MT; as a board member for the Center for Mental Health out of Great Falls, MT; as a board member for YWCA Helena, as board member for the Association of MT Public Health Officials, as a Governor-appointed member of the MT Public Health Services Task Force, as the Chair of the Public Health Workforce Development Task Force, as the Chair of the Lewis and Clark County Local Advisory Council for Mental Health, and as a volunteer in her son’s elementary school.

Jill enjoys cooking, skiing, fly fishing, and spending time with her son enjoying all there is to do in Helena, MT.

Jim FitzGerald – CEO, Intermountain & ChildWise Institute

Jim joined Intermountain, a nationally recognized mental health agency, in 1978. Prior to becoming Chief Executive Officer in 2001, Jim worked in direct care, operations, and all facets of program development, training, policy, and finance.

Throughout his career, Jim has focused the agency upon strengthening families and improving society’s ability to provide prevention, protection, treatment and permanency for all vulnerable youth. A dedicated leader in youth advocacy, he has participated in the state and national forum of child welfare, mental health, public policy, and systems change. In concert with a dynamic board and staff, he is responsible for optimizing Intermountain’s missional impact through organizational development and strategic transformation.

Jim is also the CEO of ChildWise Institute, a Montana not-for-profit 501c (3) organization established by Intermountain. The mission of ChildWise is to elevate the well-being of vulnerable children through advancing awareness, accelerating knowledge, and advocating for positive societal change. ChildWise has garnered attention across the State of Montana and at the national level.

Jim holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of California, a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Montana.

Jim Hajny – Director, Montana Peer Network

Jim has been in recovery for 24 years from a dual diagnosis in which he was hospitalized three times and has survived two suicide attempts. He believes recovery is not only possible, but it should be a part of the process when someone is given a diagnosis. “Without the message of hope or recovery we have nothing…and peer support should be part of that message.” Jim is the author of Into Recovery, his screenplay Misunderstood has been performed live on stage and he wrote and directed the documentary Dandelion, chronicling early childhood trauma. Jim is also the founder and program coordinator for Peer Solutions Drop-In Center in Livingston, Montana. Jim has worked as a peer supporter for 10 years sharing his recovery with others. He chaired the Montana Peer Support Task Force for four years and served two years as a Governor appointee to the Mental Disabilities Board of Visitors.

Lacey Alexander – Director of Behavioral Health, Big Horn Valley Health Center

Lacey Alexander, LCSW, is the Director of Behavioral Health for Big Horn Valley Health Center (BVHC). She is an enrolled member of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe and has worked throughout her career to advance wellness and resiliency in tribal communities. Prior to joining BVHC she developed and directed multiple non-profit programs providing resiliency support and mentoring services to tribal youth. She also serves as a member of the Montana Native American Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team.

Lacey oversees the implementation and direction of integrated services for BVHC. She has worked as both clinician and care manager for BVHC’s integrated behavioral health/primary care program and now as department administrator has been instrumental in developing and implementing an integrated medication-assisted treatment program. She is currently directing the implementation of integrated services in seven community health center sites. She continues to direct the BVHC IBH training program and was the lead in creating a training partnership with Chief Dull Knife Tribal College. That partnership has resulted in the development of a combined LAC/BH Care Manager Program with the integrated practice course and practicum held at a BVHC clinical site.

Joan Kenerson King – Senior Integration Consultant, National Council for Behavioral Health

Joan Kenerson King has worked in the behavioral health field for over 30 years and currently is Senior Integration Consultant; in which capacity she consults with organizations, counties, and states on developing systems of care that integrate physical and behavioral health and promote wellness and trauma-informed care. Prior to joining the staff at the National Council of Behavioral Health, she devoted the majority of her consulting practice to the development of recovery-oriented systems of care, recovery-oriented practices and to exploring and helping organizations develop integrated systems of care. In addition, she provided training and consultation in supporting the development of the voice and stories of people in recovery. Her work included state, local and agency related recovery oriented change.

Joan is passionate about facilitating transformation in systems so that they fully embrace the voice and knowledge of the people they serve. Her keen areas of interest are the development of peer cultures, the use of formal and informal peer support, activating the voice of people in recovery, integration of care across various systems and developing cultures of wellness.

Her current areas of focus beyond integration are developing culturally responsive services in rural and tribal communities, developing integrated systems that care for pregnant women and families and in facilitating organizational transformation.

She graduated from Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, VA in 1979 with a bachelor’s degree in nursing. She received her master’s degree in psychiatric nursing from the University of Pennsylvania in 1990.

Justin Murgel – Director of Provider Network-Montana, PacificSource Health Plans

Justin Murgel, Director of Provider Network-Montana for PacificSource Health Plans is a native of Helena and a graduate of the University of Montana-Western in Business and Communications. Prior to PacificSource, Justin spent more than 14 years with Intermountain, a Mental Health and Child Welfare agency in Helena, serving as the Chief Business Officer and Chief Operations Officer.

In 2015 Justin decided to take a “leap of faith” to join PacificSource and while it has been a great experience it has also been a steep learning curve. He enjoys partnering with providers and health system to better serve Montanans.

Justin strives to make connections to multiple disciplinary teams in the Health Care and Provider Communities throughout Montana. He also looks forward to learning innovative ways to deliver care and discover different payment models that support our communities.

Justin has been married for over 18 years to his wife (Sara) together they have two beautiful daughters, Maddy (16) and Grace (12). He and his family are very active in the community coaching local sports and volunteering. They love to be outdoors, hiking, fishing, hunting, camping and boating.

Kristin Juliar – Director of Montana Area Health Education Center and Montana Office of Rural Health, Montana State University.

Kristin Juliar is the Director of the Montana Area Health Education Center (AHEC) and the Montana Office of Rural Health (MORH) at Montana State University in Bozeman. Ms. Juliar serves on the Advisory Board for the American Hospital Association’s Association for Community Health Improvement. She is on the Board of the National Rural Health Resource Center, the MT Public Health System Improvement Plan Advisory Committee, served on the board of Mountain Pacific Quality Health Foundation and is an active member of the National Rural Health Association. Her special interest is in health care workforce, including work to establish the MT AHEC system, MT Healthcare Workforce Advisory Committee, MT Graduate Medical Education Council, MT Behavioral Health Workforce Advisory Committee, MT Community Health Worker Stakeholder Project, MT Regional Initiatives in Dental Education, and a number of nursing projects. Kristin is past Executive Director of a rural development organization in Minnesota and was Director of the Minnesota Healthcare Education Industry Partnership for Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. She has an MA in Urban and Regional Studies.

Lacey Alexander – Director of Behavioral Health, Big Horn Valley Health Center

Lacey Alexander, LCSW, is the Director of Behavioral Health for Big Horn Valley Health Center (BVHC). She is an enrolled member of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe and has worked throughout her career to advance wellness and resiliency in tribal communities. Prior to joining BVHC she developed and directed multiple non-profit programs providing resiliency support and mentoring services to tribal youth. She also serves as a member of the Montana Native American Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team.

Lacey oversees the implementation and direction of integrated services for BVHC. She has worked as both clinician and care manager for BVHC’s integrated behavioral health/primary care program and now as department administrator has been instrumental in developing and implementing an integrated medication-assisted treatment program. She is currently directing the implementation of integrated services in seven community health center sites. She continues to direct the BVHC IBH training program and was the lead in creating a training partnership with Chief Dull Knife Tribal College. That partnership has resulted in the development of a combined LAC/BH Care Manager Program with the integrated practice course and practicum held at a BVHC clinical site.

Lakiasha Gregerson – Manager, Grant Creek Family Medicine

Lakiasha Gregerson joined Providence Medical Group as a manager at Grant Creek Family Medicine in February 2015. Lakiasha attended the University of Montana to pursue an education in psychology. She completed her Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration in the summer of 2018 through the University of Providence. Her passions include population health and workflow standardization. She loves the challenge of keeping up with the changes in healthcare, and adapting to improve the overall model of care.

Laurie Francis – Executive Director, Partnership Health Center

Laurie has been working in health care for the past 20 years, constantly learning ways to reach deeper (or broader) to improve health and wellbeing in individuals and communities.  After working in critical care and beginning a number of prevention-type programs, she founded a community health center (medical, dental, behavioral health, education) twenty years ago. Related to this work and more recent exposures, she has given numerous talks concerning patient-centeredness, staff engagement, organizational alignment, health literacy, and measurement systems that drive improvement.  Publications are in the areas of health literacy, outcomes, and self-efficacy.

During the summer of 2017, Laurie returned to health center leadership after six years at the Oregon’s Primary Care Association as Senior Director of Innovations.  There she led an incredible team of talented individuals while advancing the understanding and implementation of advanced and emergent models of care, services, and partnerships to move upstream in order to dramatically improve population health and wellbeing. Now, Laurie resides in Missoula, Montana and serves as executive director of Partnership Health Center and continues to experiment with programs that attend to drivers of health while focusing significantly on powerful teams, data-driven decision making, and joy at work. She has served on numerous boards as well as the Institute of Medicine Roundtable on Health Literacy. Her educational background includes a bachelor’s in human biology from Stanford, a bachelor’s in Nursing at Montana State University, and an MPH from the University of Washington.  Laurie has two daughters, one living in Southern California and working with Hulu and the other in her second year of medical school with WWAMI.

Marie Matthews – Medicaid and Health Services Branch Manager, MT DPHHS

Marie Matthews currently serves as the DPHHS Medicaid and Health Services Branch Manager, which includes the title of state Medicaid Director. In her current role, Marie oversees four divisions that provide services for the elderly, individuals with disabilities, people with mental illness and health coverage for thousands of Montanans of all ages. Marie has previously served in other key agency positions such as the Operations Service Branch Manager and the Business and Financial Services Division Administrator over the past two decades. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family and enjoying the great vast Montana landscape.

Patty Estes – Senior Director, Network Innovation and Strategy, BCBS of MT

Patty Estes, Senior Director of Network Innovation and Strategy has lived in Helena since high school and started her career as a licensed practical nurse in Helena before earning a Mathematics/Computer Science degree from Carroll College in 1991. The combination of nursing and analytics offered her a chance to intern at BCBSMT in health informatics where she’s been for the past 28 years. She helped champion health care transformation by developing BCBSMT’s Patient-Centered Medical Home program in 2009 which has proven results in bringing high quality, cost-effective care to Montanan’s. She enjoys partnering with providers and health systems to promote the importance of primary care and is committed to educating health care purchasers on why the primary care model will enhance patient satisfaction, improve the patient experience, and deliver lower costs with better quality. She has been married for more than 30 years to her husband (Kern Kemmerer) and has one grown child, two giant dogs and loves all things outdoors to enjoy the beauty of Montana.

Richard Miltenberger – Board Member, Montana Health Co-op

Mr. Miltenberger received degrees in both History and Political Science from Southern Methodist University in 1981, graduating cum laude. Following graduation, he pursued a career in health insurance, going to work for a large TPA in the Southeast, Gilsbar, Inc. While there, he headed up an operations department and developed innovative benefit plan designs.

In 1985 he was awarded the “Certified Employee Benefits Specialist” designation by the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. In 1989, Richard went to work for a division of the Marsh & McLennan Company in Chicago, specializing in association health plan consultation, and was a founding manager in the newly developed Seabury & Smith division. Later, he joined Montgomery Ward and Co. as Senior Director, responsible for benefits and product development.

Following several years with United Healthcare, Miltenberger accepted a position with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana as Vice President of Sales and Marketing, and later Vice President of Underwriting and Product Development, introducing their Health Savings Account-qualified products. Mr. Miltenberger joined Mountain West Benefits as a partner in the fall of 2006. In January 2014, Mountain West Benefits joined Leavitt Great West Insurance Services, an affiliate of the Leavitt Group. Mr. Miltenberger served as a Vice President and co-owner at Leavitt prior to joining InterWest Health as President and CEO in the Spring of 2016.

Miltenberger has served on the boards of the Montana State Fund, Montana Chamber of Commerce, Montana Health Co-op, Montana Club, and other organizations. He is a frequent speaker at health care and insurance industry conferences.

Richard and his wife Katrina have been involved with numerous charities and nonprofits including the Boy Scouts, their church, InterMountain Children’s Home, and other groups. They have six grown children, seven grandchildren, an aging horse, and reside in Clancy, Montana.

Sandi Larson – Director of Behavioral Health, Riverstone Health

Sandi Larsen, M.Ed., LAC, LCPC is both a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and Licensed Addiction Counselor in the State of Montana. Larsen is a member of NAADAC National Association for Addiction Professionals. She is a 2006 graduate of Montana State University – Billings with a Master of Education in School Counseling from Montana State University – Billings and a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology in 2000. She began her career as a psychotherapist and addiction counselor at the Mental Health Center in Billings, MT. Larsen is the Director of Behavioral Health for Riverstone Health, which integrates behavioral health into the primary care setting. Ms. Larsen started with Riverstone Health in 2010. Larsen has a distinctive understanding of treating mental health in primary care as well as educating primary care providers about mental health. She works as a Behavioral Health Provider in clinic and has a teaching role with the Montana Family Medicine Residency. Larsen is dually licensed with a focus on treating patients with co-occurring psychiatric and substance use disorders. Larsen is certified in EMDR. Larsen has presented on several topics to include trauma-informed care, addiction medicine and treatment of patients with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders, the role of behavioral health in managing chronic health conditions.

Scott Malloy – Senior Program Officer, Montana Healthcare Foundation

As a senior program officer, Scott provides leadership for the foundation’s programs, grantmaking, initiatives, and capacity building. He also leads work in the Behavioral Health focus area and the Integrated Behavioral Health, Substance Use Disorder Prevention and Treatment, and Behavioral Health Leadership initiatives.

Prior to assuming his role at the Foundation, Scott worked as the director of a program assertive community treatment (PACT) in Phoenix, Arizona and the Executive Director for Western Montana Mental Health Centers in Butte, Bozeman, and Livingston, Montana. Scott has developed and overseen a variety of programs including jail diversion, crisis intervention training, crisis stabilization and response, peer support, school-based mental health programs, supported housing, supported employment, and PACT.

Scott was raised in Miles City, Montana and received his bachelor’s degree from Rocky Mountain College and his master’s degree in social work from Arizona State University. Scott is licensed as a clinical social worker and currently serves as a board member for the Human Resource Development Council in Bozeman.

Dr. Stephen Tahta – Chief Medical Officer, Allegiance Benefit Plan Management

Dr. Tahta has spent 30 years immersed in the healthcare sector, including 20 years of experience after finishing training and Board Certification as a cardiothoracic surgeon. Although much of his early career was spent in clinical practice and research, the last 12 years have brought increasing experience in medical staff and department administration, as well as hospital operations. Until 2018, Dr. Tahta was the Chief Medical Officer of Monida Healthcare Network, a Physician – Hospital Organization with 350 physicians, 300 allied health professionals and 8 hospitals, where he worked for 5 years. He has also been a Corporate Board Member for a critical access hospital in Montana. He has run 7 medical missions to Ethiopia, operating on children with heart valve disease.

Embracing lifelong learning and change, from 2014 to 2016, Dr. Tahta spent 2 intensive years obtaining an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, graduating with honors, whilst holding down full-time employment. Executing a long planned career change, he recently left clinical practice to effect change on a larger scale in the healthcare industry. Currently, he is the Chief Medical Officer at Allegiance Benefit Plan Management, a third party administrator, where he has been working for a year.

Sue Heald – Retired

Sue had a 30-year career with the Forest Service and retired in 2011. She joined the Madison County Local Advisory Council when it was formed and recently co-led a year-long Montana Healthcare Foundation planning grant in Madison County. She resides in Ennis, MT.

Ursula Holloway – Providence Grant Creek Family Medicine

Ursula Holloway received her B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Montana in 2011 and her MSW from Walla Walla University in 2015. She currently works for Providence Grant Creek Family Medicine providing integrated behavioral health therapy for a wide range of clients in clinic and periodically completing mental health evaluations in the emergency department. Ursula primarily uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, solution-focused, and strength-based models in practice with clients. She is certified by the Montana Board of Behavioral Health as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.

Past experience includes working for a large community mental health center which involved crisis facilities, group homes, and school settings as CSCT therapist, as well as providing group and individual outpatient therapy for adolescents and adults.

Teresa Vial – Medical Provider, Missoula Urban Indian Health Center

Teresa Pirro Vial, FNP-BC, is joining the Missoula Indian Health Center (MUIHC) as the first full-time medical provider ever employed by the Health Center. Teresa is a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner who comes to MUIHC with an impressive background in emergency medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, and adult and pediatric medicine. She has been a nurse for 34 years and provides care for all age groups. After 12 years working at Johns Hopkins Bayview’s Emergency Department in Baltimore, Maryland, she finished her Master’s in Science in Nursing and obtained her Family Nurse Practitioner degree. Teresa then moved to Alaska where she provided primary and emergency medicine in the rural village, Togiak in Bristol Bay, Alaska as well as private practice family medicine clinic. Teresa and her husband moved to Missoula to be closer to family. Teresa’s unique skill set and her prior experience working with Alaskan Natives will positively impact the community and personal health of American Indians’ in and around Missoula.