Montana Children's Medical Center

Pediatric New Facility, photo credit HKS Inc. Architecture

Why build a pediatric services program in Kalispell?

Many Montana children leave the state for medical care every year. Kalispell Regional Healthcare is committed to helping Montana’s families get the care that they need here at home instead of having to travel out of state.

What does the pediatric services program include?

  • Pediatric primary care – multiple pediatricians practicing in primary care clinics in Flathead, Lake and Lincoln counties
  • Pediatric subspecialists on the medical staff, including anesthesiology, child and adolescent psychiatry, neonatology, perinatology, cardiology, critical care, endocrinology and diabetes, gastroenterology, hospitalists, neurology, neurosurgery, ophthalmology, oncology and hematology, radiology and surgery. These providers have chosen to live and work in Montana alongside the patients they serve. Montana Children’s Specialists, the largest group of pediatric specialists in the state, will staff Montana Children’s Medical Center and provide services at outreach and satellite locations throughout the state.
  • Inpatient pediatric acute care – pediatric unit/pediatric intensive care unit and the neonatal intensive care unit
  • Emergency care and pediatric patient transport through the A.L.E.R.T. program and emergency departments of Kalispell Regional Medical Center and North Valley Hospital
  • Ancillary support services, including pharmacists, respiratory therapists, clinical social workers, dietitians, physical therapists and speech therapists who specialize in caring for children
  • Patient and family support services, including psychosocial support, spiritual care, educational support, financial counseling, support groups and educational classes
  • Recreation and wellness programs at The Summit Medical Fitness Center
  • School-based programs for Flathead Valley students, including the development of new integrated programs
  • Montana Children’s Health Alliance – future partnerships and affiliations with independent pediatric providers and health care organizations in Montana

What will be in the new facility?

Rendering of Montana Children's Medical Center, photo credit HKS Inc. Architecture
  • Twelve-bed neonatal intensive care unit
  • Six-bed pediatric intensive care unit
  • Twelve-bed pediatric unit
  • Patient rooms and family areas conducive to children and families
  • An architectural and interior design with which children can identify through color and pattern
  • Dedicated spaces for family caregivers
  • Customizable spaces to allow children to bring items from home, to make their environment familiar
  • Specialized equipment on site
  • Acuity adaptive rooms that are flexible to minimize movement/disruption to the continuum of patient care
  • Lighting that emphasizes daylight and connects the indoors and outdoors
  • Design details that engage a child’s imagination from the moment he/she arrives
  • Ample space for expanded services, including shelled space for the future addition of inpatient beds and other services as needed
Families are integral to pediatric patient care. Ample space will allow for family respite or education areas on the patient unit and amenities within the patient rooms to support parenting other siblings, running the household from the hospital and continuing to work. Good sleeping accommodations, space to store personal items, a work surface and internet access will be vital for parents.

The building design will create an efficient environment for health care workers by eliminating unnecessary steps, considering the movement of people, providing spaces that are highly flexible and connecting easily to the main hospital.

What won’t KRH be able to provide?

  • Care for third-degree burns, or those requiring a burn unit
  • Transplants
  • Pediatric heart surgery

What is the construction timeline and impact for our neighbors?

The Montana Children’s Medical Center will be developed in phases, with phase 1 completing the first floor and phases 2 and 3 completing the second and third floors, respectively. Total square footage is estimated to be approximately 190,000.
  • Construction for phase 1 began in in August 2016 and is expected to be complete in spring 2019.
  • The addition is located on the east side of Kalispell Regional Medical Center.
  • KRH is sensitive to the parking and traffic concerns of our patients, visitors, employees and surrounding neighbors. Every effort will be made to mitigate traffic and provide additional options for parking.

What is this new facility expected to achieve?

The program will reduce health care related travel for Montana’s families.
  • Currently, the distance from Kalispell to the nearest children’s health care facilities (Spokane, Washington; Seattle, Washington; Salt Lake City, Utah; Denver Colorado) is 200 to 1,000 miles, depending on the medical specialty needed.
  • Traveling such a distance for children’s medical services creates several disadvantages:
    • Health care fragmentation and disruption in patients’ continuum of care
    • Upheaval of family dynamics – siblings are separated from their parents and brother(s)/sister(s) or forced to miss school, parents miss work, and households are estranged from their support systems, including friends, extended family, church and social circles
    • Financial burden for families – costly out-of-state medical bills for families as well as out-of-pocket expenses for lodging and travel
    • Economic impacts to local Montana communities – loss of revenue when families leave the state
Montana Children’s Medical Center will provide pediatric care in a unique healing environment.
  • Kalispell is an ideal location to provide specialty health care for children. Unique features of this area include:
    • Beautiful natural scenery and views of the mountains from patient rooms
    • Clean, fresh air
    • Options for family accommodations, including on-site RV spaces
    • Small family-centric community
    • Friendly staff
    • High-quality care with proven outcomes
    • Fellowship trained pediatric medical staff, who live in the Flathead Valley and are attracted to this area because of its beauty, recreation and balanced lifestyle
Photos courtesy of HKS Inc. Architecture