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Press Release: New Appointed Hospital CEO

Friday, May 23, 2008

May 23, 2008– Plains, MT – Erika Swanson-Lawyer, Clark Fork Valley Hospital Governing Board Chairperson, announced today that the hospital's governing board has invited Gregory Hanson, MD to serve as its President and CEO. Dr. Hanson has been Acting CEO for approximately five months. "Dr. Hanson has demonstrated an ongoing dedication to the healthcare of the residents of Sanders County by serving as an employed physician for the past 13 years. He assumed the volunteer role as Board Chairperson two years ago and has been instrumental in guiding the hospital during some of the most dynamically changing times in our hospital's history. We, the community board, believe that Dr. Hanson has shown a remarkable ability to guide the hospital and his calm and steady leadership style will provide a strong foundation for the hospital to continue to grow and meet the challenges facing the healthcare industry while still maintaining that "hometown" feel."

Hanson resides in Plains with is wife, Janice, and three children. He will direct the efforts of the 16 bed critical access hospital and its related entities including 4 rural health clinics, a strong physical therapy department, home health and hospice services and home oxygen service. Hanson also was serving as board chair when the hospital added cardiology to the services it is providing the county.

"I am extremely humbled and grateful for the confidence that the governing board and staff has placed in me. We will build team unity as we work together to provide outstanding care to our friends and neighbors throughout the county, and to promote our Mission, Vision and Values through all levels of the organization. I believe in Sanders County and treasure the friends and neighbors we have come to know over the years and am confident that our hospital and network of physician offices are poised to meet the challenges that are facing healthcare delivery in Sanders County over the next few years."

Hanson also commented that "although it will be hard to replace Dr. Dean French, who recently departed to assume a management position at a larger hospital in Nebraska, we will work hard to find providers to serve both in the role of hospitalist as well as another Family Medicine provider to serve the residents of Thompson Falls. Until we have located another primary care provider For Thompson Falls, I will continue to see patients (on a limited basis) in the Thompson Falls office. Additionally, our team of local providers will be assuming Dr. French's duties in the hospital until we have found a replacement.

Swanson-Lawyer added, "I don't think we could have conducted a national search and found anyone more uniquely qualified to lead our community-owned hospital into the future than Dr. Hanson. I would hope that the community would welcome him in this new role and continue to support all the efforts the hospital makes to enhance and improve the services it is providing to our county."

Clark Fork Valley Hospital is a 16-bed Critical Access Hospital that has served Sanders County since 1971.

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