Evans recognized for dedication to rural health

The Office of Rural Health at Montana State University has announced that Kelley Evans, CEO of Beartooth Billings Clinic was awarded the Frank Newman Rural Health Leadership Award for 2017. 
The late Dr. Newman represented the spirit of Montana in nearly 50 years of service to rural communities and healthcare in our state. Dr. Newman traveled to every corner of Montana, worked with rural hospitals and healthcare providers, and believed that communities had the capacity to support high quality healthcare. He helped many people persevere in their goals and hopes, and inspired many young people to pursue their dreams. Frank was committed to rural health in Montana and exemplified that commitment through support for health professions, a belief in the young people of our state, and an optimist view of the future.
Evans has served as CEO of Beartooth Billings Clinic for the past 25 years, with tireless advocacy for rural health in Montana, as well as encouragement and support for programs that inspire Montana students to pursue healthcare careers.  Having collaborated with the late Dr. Newman herself, Kelley finds inspiration in his vision of quality rural health care, using innovation, perseverance and compassion to maintain the fiscal viability of the Critical Access Hospital. Kelley’s list of service as an advocate of rural Montana health is an extensive one, emphasizing the depth of her dedication. It includes the National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services; National Rural Health Accountable Care Consortium, American Hospital Association Board, AHA Liaison to Section for Long-term Care and Rehabilitation, Frontier Medicine Better Health Partnership, Montana Health Research Education Foundation, Montana Hospital Association Board, MHA Performance Improvement Network, Montana Family Medicine Residency Board, Montana Facilities Financing Authority, Montana State University Health Administration Advisory Board and proudly, and is a past recipient of the AHA Most Valuable PAC Player Award.
Kristin Juliar, Director of Montana Area Health Education Center and Office of Rural Health, commented “We believe Dr. Newman was inspired by Kelley to fully create the Community Health Services Development Program that we are still using today.” Added Maggie Karas, Community Relations Coordinator at Beartooth and longtime colleague of Ms. Evans, “She exemplifies Dr. Newman’s passion throughout her career in her absolute enthusiasm for quality and viable rural Montana healthcare. We have been so fortunate to have a leader who knows what is needed and who won’t back down from the many challenges rural facilities face on a daily basis.”

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