I was born and raised in Missoula and graduated from Hellgate High School. I attended the University of Arizona on an ROTC scholarship and graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Hospital Administration. After graduating from the University of Arizona I received my commission in the military and moved overseas. I started off as a platoon leader in the Mechanized Infantry and ended my military career as an aide-de-camp at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. After leaving the Army I went back to University of Arizona and earned an MBA in Hospital Administration.
After my MBA I worked for one of the Big 5 Consulting Firms (Deloitte and Touché, Health Care consulting focused around process redesign and system implementation. After 3 years as a consultant the travel really began to wear me down and I started to look for a more stable position in a hospital. In 2003 I found the perfect job in Missoula at Community Medical Center!
The CFVH board member from CMC was traditionally our CEO. By happenstance I filled in at a couple of board meetings at CFVH for our CEO when he was not able to attend. I was absolutely intrigued by the dynamics of the hospital (CFVH) at the time… a departing CEO, major renovation in-progress, Critical Access hospital in a small town, unbelievably dedicated and hard working physician staff, very attractive environment, etc... honestly I also really enjoyed the drive to Plains from Missoula; it was great "thinking time" and I don’t think you can find many more beautiful 70 mile work-related road trips in the United States. After attending my 2nd board meeting I asked the CEO if I could attend regularly in his place and he granted my request.
While there are a multitude of issues facing hospitals across America right now, if I had to pick the "biggest challenge" facing hospitals in years to come I would say "Financing the Mission", in other words, achieving the healthcare mission while maintaining a viable financial margin. We are very fortunate in Western Montana as I think we have been somewhat sheltered from the economic and political forces that are directly impacting hospitals across much of the United States, but it’s catching up with us. Depending on the outcome of the upcoming Elections we may see significant change in a very few short years.
I met my wife in the Army while at Airborne School at Fort Benning, Georgia. She was a First Lieutenant at the time and outranked me. When we exited the Active Duty military she was a Captain and I was a First Lieutenant. I quickly joined the Army Reserves and stayed in for three extra years until I was promoted to Captain because I didn’t want to be outranked by my wife for the rest of my life. Turns out that it didn’t matter, she’s still the boss!