By Allison Linville
Ashleigh Magill, MD, had been working in the North Valley Hospital (NVH) emergency department for only two months when she was elected as the medical director for the department. However, she was more than ready to accept the role, and as a testament to her expertise and leadership ability, she was selected by a team of longtime NVH physicians.
Dr. Magill’s training took her from medical school at Indiana University to Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, where she completed her residency and taught as an academic attending physician. When she and her husband Mark Magill, MD, an orthopedic surgeon with Northwest Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, made the move to Whitefish, she fully stepped into the community and the hospital.
“We love everything about this community,” said Dr. Magill. “We immediately felt welcome, and we’ll someday raise a family here. Because we enjoy living here, we wanted to use our profession to give back and continuously work to improve health care and provide even better care for the community.”
With the support of administration and medical leadership, Dr. Magill quickly established a fast path to upgrading all systems at North Valley Hospital to work seamlessly with Kalispell Regional Medical Center (KRMC) and to operate at or above the national standards for emergency care.
“Our emergency department offers the highest level of care that you will find in a small-town critical access hospital, and it’s comparable to health care in a major metropolitan market nationwide,” explained Dr. Magill. “We had an awesome opportunity to advance our systems a few years ago, and we had a team that was willing to put in the work. Now, the community can come to this ER and get the best standard of care that you would expect anywhere.”
Another community benefit to solidifying the exceptional care at the NVH emergency department has been aligning care standards with KRMC. Dr. Magill explained, “We have worked closely with KRMC physicians to match a standard of care across the valley. Through this effort, we can ensure a seamless transition of care and the best outcome for patients at whichever facility they arrive.”
This has added benefits as the two hospitals work together as affiliates of Kalispell Regional Healthcare. “Patients that are transferred also know that the transfer will go smoothly when both facilities operate with similar standards and practices,” said Dr. Magill.
Dr. Magill details the efforts the emergency department has made to address critical concerns. In the last two years, Dr. Magill and her team in the emergency department have established standard protocols for addressing many conditions, most notably common issues such as: