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Billings experts warn suicide attempts under-reported, problem on the riseBillings experts warn suicide attempts under-reported, problem on the rise

Q2 story by Aja Goare (MTN News) - Nov. 2016

A Billings police officer said he’s lost track of how many suicide attempts he has responded to over the years, but said there is one he won’t soon forget.

"We had a guy on the Rims that was considering jumping and we stood up there for about four hours talking to him," said Officer Tom Keightley, who has worked as a negotiator with the department for the past six years.


ECMO machine saves woman's life at Billings ClinicECMO machine saves woman's life at Billings Clinic

Q2 story by David Jay (MTN News) - Nov. 2016

After about nine months of training, Billings Clinic used the Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) machine for the first time.

That machine saved a life and a family.


Local prostate cancer survivor shares Movember motivationLocal Prostate Cancer Survivor Shares Movember Motivation

KULR 8 story written by Tracy Smith - Nov. 2016

The November movement has men growing a mustache for charity to raise awareness about men's health such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health issues like depression. For one gentleman though, awareness came in a different form: through family history.


Training helps mammography techs improve imagingPicture perfect: Training helps mammography techs improve imaging

Gazette story written by Zach Benoit - Oct. 2016

Jennifer Jodrey, a Billings Clinic mammography technologist, didn't even know she needed the training.

Performing mammograms — using low-dose X-rays to image examine the tissue of a woman's breast, most often to detect cancer — is her job, and she's been doing it daily without problems.

But it only took a day or so of training with Louise Miller, education director and co-founder of Mammography Educators, to see the difference in her work.


'Superhero medicine' helps Billings woman in fight with uterine cancer'Superhero medicine' helps Billings woman in fight with uterine cancer

Gazette story written by Zach Benoit - Sept. 2016

To break the news to her two young sons that she had a case of advanced uterine cancer, Tennille Grossman explained it in a way that they not only understood, but that they loved: with superheroes.

The cancer cells were "bad guy germs" that had invaded her body, and a doctor was going to go in and take as many of them out as she could. But, as bad guys are wont to do, a few of them managed to hide and could multiply.


Rural America Finally Gets Mental Health HelpRural America Finally Gets Mental Health Help

Governing.com article written by Mattie Quinn - Sept. 2016

...Progress in addressing their issues can be made by arming providers in the primary care setting with more and better mental health training.

This is an approach that Montana, which has the highest suicide rate in the country, is taking. The Billings Clinic, the largest health-care organization in the state, has been working with nurse practitioners to arm them with additional mental health training for the primary care setting. “As long as community health workers have more training, I think that’s a great substitute,” says Eric Arzubi, chair of the department of psychiatry at the Billings Clinic.


Billings Clinic Classic packs downtown to raise money for mental healthBillings Clinic Classic packs downtown to raise money for mental health

Billings Gazette article written by Jaci Webb - Aug. 2016

A big night in downtown Billings Saturday brought in more than $600,000 to address the mental health crisis.

The Billings Clinic Classic with featured band, America, drew a capacity crowd to the street party and concert at the Alberta Bair Theater. The street party and concert have become multigenerational events, presented by the Billings Clinic Foundation to raise money for health care.


Billings Clinic completes expansion, adds new hybrid ORBillings Clinic completes expansion, adds new hybrid OR

Billings Gazette article written by Zach Benoit - Aug. 2016

More than three years and nearly $21 million of work to expand, renovate and update Billings Clinic's suite of operating rooms is nearly finished.

Designed to meet growing patient numbers, the effort increased the number of operating rooms from 10 to 13 while adding a new high-tech hybrid operating room that allows for complex treatments not available at the hospital before and new catheterization and electro-physiology laboratories.


Experimental depression therapy showing promise in Billings Clinic studyExperimental depression therapy showing promise in Billings Clinic study

Billings Gazette article written by Zach Benoit - Aug. 2016

By the summer of 2014, 17-year-old Timothy Bates had all but given up.

On a steady stream of depression medications since he was 14 and prone to self-harm that included cutting — "I loved my razor blades for a while," he said — the Wyoming teen was depressed and suicidal when he was checked into Billings Clinic's psychiatric department for a two-week stay, his second such trip in just a few months.

With other methods showing little to no improvement, staff there pitched a experimental but low-risk and low-cost approach involving sleep disruption and specialized light therapy that in limited studies had shown promise in quickly reducing depressive and suicidal tendencies.


Hilands Golf pros play 100 holes for charityHilands Golf pros play 100 holes for charity

Q2 Story by Casey Conlon (MTN Sports) - Aug. 2016

It was an early morning, and a late night, for one Hilands Golf Club foursome Friday.

"First tee shot was at 6 a.m., and it usually takes about 14 hours," assistant professional Jeff Allen told us.

And still, it's one of the Hilands' pros favorite days of the year, as they play 100 holes to help families of children battling cancer.


Doors into the Psychiatric CenterFor people who are a risk to themselves or others, clinic provides regional emergency treatment

Billings Gazette article written by Zach Benoit - Aug. 2016

Inside the lobby of the Billings Clinic Psychiatric Center, just to the right of main reception desk, is a large set of heavy double doors.

They're almost always closed and locked, save for the comings and goings of staff and patients, and it might be tempting to try to imagine what's behind them: sterile white hallways, flickering fluorescent lights, sparse concrete or padded rooms, patients in frayed pajamas or straitjackets


Bonding with baby through infant massageBonding with baby through infant massage

Q2 Story by Victoria Hill (MTN News) - July 2016

Slow, continuous, gentle touches.

That's how Heidi Ann Charlton bonded with her son Bodie, who entered this world 10 and a half weeks too soon at 2-pounds, 7-ounces.

"With a normal baby, you want to rock them and pat them and rub their back and stuff. It's just too much for them. They say that it's almost painful,” Charlton said.

The Billings Clinic Neonatal Intensive Care Unit quickly became home and that's when Bodie was introduced to infant massage.


Sports performance programs at Billings Clinic, Granite Fitness form partnershipSports performance programs at Billings Clinic, Granite Fitness form partnership

Billings Gazette article written by Zach Benoit - July 2016

Working with more than 400 middle and high school athletes in the greater Billings area between them, the sports performance and training programs at Billings Clinic and Granite Health and Fitness could’ve easily continued down their separate paths.

But, earlier this summer, a year’s worth of discussions and getting to know each other’s programs instead led the clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine’s Sports Specific Training and Granite’s Elite Sports Performance to partner, combining their staff and resources into what they say is a more comprehensive program that better trains student-athletes in the region while helping to prevent injury.


Billings Clinic aiming to get psych patients out of emergency roomsBillings Clinic aiming to get psych patients out of emergency rooms

Billings Gazette article written by Zach Benoit - May 2016

All too often, patients in psychiatric crisis end up in a hospital emergency room where they have to wait sometimes for hours to receive care.

With that in mind, Billings Clinic announced Monday that its Clinic Classic fundraiser would go toward expanding its psychiatric department while building a new psychiatric stabilization evaluation unit that would get patients out of the emergency department and in front of psychiatric health workers who can better meet their needs.


May is Melanoma Awareness MonthMay is Melanoma Awareness Month

Q2 video by Victoria Hill - May 2016

The first Monday in May is observed as Melanoma Monday, which is designed to raise awareness of skin cancer.

Dr. Michelle Spenny, a dermatologist at Billings Clinic, stopped by Montana this Morning to talk about the risks.


Billings baby benefits from 2 hernia surgeries from new pediatric docACTING FAST - Billings baby benefits from 2 hernia surgeries from new pediatric doc

Billings Gazette article written by Zach Benoit - Apr. 2016

Had Dr. Erin Grantham not been hired by Billings Clinic last year, things might have turned out much worse for baby Brylon Harrell.

At just eight weeks old, the boy underwent a significant surgery to repair a combined and painful hernia and testicular torsion that would have, without quick treatment, otherwise left him with lifelong damage and then had a second hernia fixed several weeks later.


More Montanans need colorectal cancer screening40% UNTESTED - More Montanans need colorectal cancer screening

Billings Gazette article written by Zach Benoit - Apr. 2016

Nearly 40 percent of the 315,000 Montanans who should be screened for colorectal cancer either aren't doing so or aren't getting it done properly.

With that in mind, the Montana Department of Health and Human Services aims to cut that percentage in half.


Bozeman cancer survivor thankful for oncologist’s advice to beat infertilityBozeman cancer survivor thankful for oncologist’s advice to beat infertility

Bozeman Daily Chronicle article written by ARINA BILLIS - Apr. 2016

Twenty-two years ago, Mark Poertner was diagnosed with a rare, aggressive cancer in his bone tissue. Doctors gave him a 1-in-5 chance of survival.

He beat those odds, but during his rigorous treatment for Ewing’s sarcoma, Poertner became infertile.


Early spring effects on plants and your healthEarly spring effects on plants and your health

Q2 Story by Pat Gooden (MTN News) - Mar. 2016

As Spring kicks in early this year, you not only need to think about taking care of your plants, but you might also be feeling an early bout with allergies.

Experts share what you can do right now for both your plants and your health.

The unseasonably warm weather and lack of moisture is causing allergy concerns for many, and also begs the question: Is it too soon to pull out your garden tools and water your plants?


Hooked at birth: Billings' youngest drug addicts battle painful withdrawalHooked at birth: Billings' youngest drug addicts battle painful withdrawal

Q2 Story by Aja Goare (MTN News) - Feb. 2016

Every 25 minutes across the U.S., a baby is born suffering from withdrawal, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

The nation’s most innocent beings, newborn babies, are experiencing drug addiction in utero, at an alarming rate.


Depression screening recommended for pregnant and postpartum womenDepression screening recommended for pregnant and postpartum women

Q2 Story by Pat Gooden (MTN News) - Feb. 2016

Depression is a condition that affects millions of Americans and is common among patients seen in primary care.

Still, many people suffer with it in silence, and now a government task force is tackling the issue with a new recommendation for pregnant and postpartum women.

"I would have anxiety attack and I wouldn't know why I was upset or why I was sad, or why I was crying, why I didn't want to leave the house," recalled mother of a 10-month-old, Brianna Overbey.


Billings pediatrician reflects on first-place win at 1999 science competitions - Billings Gazette StoryBillings pediatrician reflects on first-place win at 1999 science competitions

Billings Gazette article written by Mike Kordenbrock - Feb. 2016

An overpopulation of squirrels in 1999 led to a series of big wins for a then-Billings West High senior, who would later return to her hometown a full-fledged pediatrician.

Erin Allen, formerly Erin Murphy, returned to Billings last fall with her husband, Nathan Allen, an emergency room doctor, and their three children. Now, she and her husband work for the same hospital that runs the Billings Clinic Science Exposition — the science competition she took first place at in 1999.


Science Expo Application Deadline - KULR8Application deadline for Billings Clinic Science Expo quickly approaching

KULR 8 story by Tracy Smith - Feb. 2016

The science expo helps educate youth about science and engineering covering 24 counties in Montana.

In 1999 Dr. Erin Allen, a Pediatrician with Billings Clinic, won the expo. She said it was a huge stepping stone for her career in medicine.


Pediatric Unit Opens at Billings Clinic - Billings Gazette StoryPediatric Unit Opens at Billings Clinic

Billings Gazette article written by Susan Olp - Jan. 2016

Bright colors, lots of natural light, whimsical paintings, a touch of nature and interactive electronics all play a part in the new Bob and Penni Nance Pediatric Unit that was unveiled at Billings Clinic.

A large crowd was on hand for the open house and ribbon-cutting on the second-floor of the east wing. Visitors enjoyed a tour of the seven large private rooms, including one dedicated to patients with cystic fibrosis.


Billings Clinic aims to raise $250K by Christmas for new pediatric infusion center - Billings Gazette StoryBillings Clinic aims to raise $250K by Christmas for new pediatric infusion center

Billings Gazette article written by Zach Benoit - Dec. 2015

With patients like Casey in mind, the Billings Clinic Foundation is launching on Dec. 1 a fundraising effort called the Let Your Love Glow campaign to raise $250,000 in 25 days to move and expand its Pediatric Infusion Center, which provides intravenous infusions for youth fighting various illnesses.

The center helps youth in their treatment for a wide range of illnesses, including cancer, Crohn's disease and a variety of blood and immune system disorders.


Noninvasive brain surgery helps woman's tremors - Billings Gazette Story'To someone like me it makes a huge difference:' Noninvasive brain surgery helps woman's tremors

Billings Gazette article written by Zach Benoit - Nov. 2015

Growing up, Diane Kylander noticed that her mother's hands would shake but didn't think much of it.

Now 72, the Billings performer and writer for decades figured it was just something that happened later in life, until it began happening to her, too.


Implant helps epilepsy patients deal with, minimize seizures - Billings Gazette StoryImplant helps epilepsy patients deal with, minimize seizures

Billings Gazette article written by Zach Benoit - Oct. 2015

On Oct. 7, Christina Idukas shared a bit of encouraging news with the Billings Clinic epileptologist who’s been treating her for seizures that have plagued her for 20 years.

“I haven’t had any seizures since before July,” she said. “That’s the first time in 20 years that has happened.”

Dr. Marie Collier, the epileptologist, responded by grinning and holding up her hand, followed by an enthusiastic demand for a high five and the two women slapping palms.


Nurses, docs get training, resources on child sex assault exams - Billings Gazette StoryNurses, docs get training, resources on child sex assault exams

Billings Gazette article written by Zach Benoit - Oct. 2015

Fifteen nurses and doctors are spending the week in Billings learning how to better understand, identify and address sexual assault cases involving children.

The five-day session is hosted by Billings Clinic and has brought in medical professionals from across Montana, and one from Missouri, to the Center for Children and Families for Pediatric Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner training.


Billings Clinic nearing completion of $1M urology department expansion - Billings Gazette StoryBillings Clinic nearing completion of $1M urology department expansion

Billings Gazette article written by Zach Benoit - Oct. 2015

In order to meet a huge bump in patient numbers over the past 10 years, Billings Clinic’s urology department is undergoing a near-complete $1 million expansion and has doubled its staff.

“Everything about us has doubled, at least,” said Dr. Lisa Bland, a urologist at the hospital. “Our space has more than doubled and will all have a big impact on access for patients.”


Bedside pharmacy services help outgoing Billings Clinic patients - Billings Gazette StoryBedside pharmacy services help outgoing Billings Clinic patients

Billings Gazette article written by Zach Benoit - Sept. 2015

Had Jim Ryan had his knee replacement surgery even a year ago, the first day or so of his recovery could’ve been very different.

There’s no pharmacy in Jordan, where he lives, and he probably would’ve had to find a pharmacy in Billings to get his prescriptions filled after being discharged from Billings Clinic, not to mention finding a place to go for refills.


Web, mobile tech used to connect with patients, improve care - Billings Gazette StoryWeb, mobile tech used to connect with patients, improve care

Billings Gazette article written by Zach Benoit - Sept. 2015

Over the past three or so years, Billings Clinic patients have been gaining access to a growing number of online and mobile services aimed at improving their care while cutting through some of the frustrating wait times that can come with navigating the health care system.


Billings man gets help from new equipment after unexpected heart attack - Billings Gazette StoryBillings man gets help from new equipment after unexpected heart attack

Billings Gazette article written by Zach Benoit - Aug. 2015

When TJ Hanes, 51, went out to a local shooting range on Memorial Day, he’d been fighting for a few days with what he thought was heartburn.

But it didn’t take long for him to realize it was a precursor to something much more serious: a major heart attack.


Breast Milk Donation - Billings Gazette StoryBillings nurse donated 39 gallons of breast milk; walk scheduled for breast-feeding awareness

Billings Gazette article written by Zach Benoit - July 2015

As a nurse in Billings Clinic’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Chelsea Heine knew breast milk’s health benefits for infants and was keenly aware of the need for it in NICUs.

So when her son, Kane, now 2, was born late preterm and had trouble gaining weight from feeding, she quickly began to pump and save milk for her son and soon after realized she could help others along the way.


Cystic Fibrosis - Billings Gazette StoryBillings cystic fibrosis community looks to raise funds, awareness ahead of Great Strides Walk

Billings Gazette article written by Zach Benoit - June 2015

Alex Laas, 13, has lived with cystic fibrosis for his entire life.

The aspiring young screenwriter who’s already created a short film that aired at a Billings film festival last year attends school and chases his hobbies with aplomb, like any other boy his age.


Heart attack care at Billings Clinic improved with collaboration - Billings Gazette StoryYale project aims to improve heart attack care at Billings Clinic through organizational culture

Billings Gazette article written by Zach Benoit - June 2015

With the help of Yale University and nine other like-minded hospitals, Billings Clinic hopes that an ongoing research project will help improve care for heart attack patients across the country.

Called Leadership Saves Lives, the two-year project is run by Yale’s Global Health Leadership Institute and looks at the organizational culture and structure of Billings Clinic and nine other hospitals across the country and how it relates to and can affect acute myocardial infarction care.


Less invasive procedure decreases recovery time for polyp removal - Billings Gazette StoryLess invasive procedure decreases recovery time for polyp removal

Billings Gazette article written by Zach Benoit - Apr. 2015

For two years, Scott Wildung experienced daily pain, bleeding and other issues from what turned out to be an overgrown, flat and pre-cancerous polyp in his rectum.

But when he woke up at Billings Clinic on Dec. 11, 2014, after the anesthesia wore off from a newly developed and minimally invasive procedure to remove the polyp, that all changed right away.


Skier tears aorta and gets life-saving procedure in Billings - Billings Gazette Story'I feel lucky': Skier hits tree, tears aorta, gets life-saving procedure in Billings

Billings Gazette article written by Zach Benoit - Feb. 2015

As he sat in a hospital bed at Billings Clinic on Wednesday afternoon, Aaron Johnson chuckled as he acknowledged how differently things could have ended up. His arms and neck were free of tubes for the first time since undergoing a life-saving procedure Feb. 7 to repair a torn aorta.

“I feel lucky,” the 26-year-old said. “I feel like if everybody wouldn’t have played their part, it would’ve been a different story.”


From tragedy to recovery - Billings Gazette StoryFrom tragedy to recovery: A Billings man's journey home

Billings Gazette article written by Nick Balatsos - Jan. 2015

Doug Vezey got off work early on Halloween last year. It was supposed to be a quiet weekend.

While he waited for his wife to get home from NAPA Auto Parts, where they have both worked for years, Vezey took their dog, a Chow named Buster, for a walk.

They made it a couple blocks when he heard the roar of an engine as it accelerated through an intersection and then a crash.

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