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Published on November 11, 2019

Billings Clinic announces new Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Billings, MT – The Billings Clinic Board of Directors announces the hiring of the next Chief Executive Officer of Billings Clinic. Dr. Scott Ellner will join Billings Clinic in January 2020 as CEO.

Dr. Ellner has been serving as Group President and CEO of Centura Health Physician Group in Colorado. In this role, Scott had oversight of 900 physicians as part of the 17 hospital and 235 clinic system that spans across Colorado and into western Kansas.

After earning his Master’s in Public Health, Dr. Ellner pursued his medical degree (D.O.) at Western University of Health Sciences. This was followed by a residency in general surgery at the University of California San Diego. After residency, he went to the University of Connecticut for an advanced fellowship in minimally invasive surgery.

Scott practiced as a trauma surgeon in Connecticut at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center, which is part of the Trinity Health System, while also serving as an Assistant Professor of Surgery at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. He became President of the Saint Francis Medical Group in Hartford, Connecticut, where he led a group of over 500 physicians.

Dr. Ellner has led focused initiatives to improve quality and patient safety. In addition to his clinical practice and leadership role at St. Francis, he completed a year-long fellowship on patient safety and leadership with the American Hospital Association and earned a Master’s in Health Care Management from Harvard University.

Dr. Ellner speaks nationally and internationally on surgical quality and physician leadership and has several peer-reviewed publications. In 2013, he was named by Becker’s Hospital Review as one of the Top 50 Leaders in Patient Safety.

Dr. Ellner and his wife Jenn, a critical care nurse, are looking forward to living in Billings with their two children.

“As a board, we are very impressed with Dr. Ellner’s passion for patient safety and quality, along with his commitment to the people that make it possible to deliver on the mission,” said Joy Ott, Billings Clinic Board Chair. “He is passionate about fostering a culture where people find purpose, feel valued, and have an opportunity to make a difference as they grow.”

Ms. Ott also expressed sincere gratitude to Dr. Bob Merchant and Dr. John Schallenkamp for their work as interim co-CEOs for Billings Clinic.  


About Billings Clinic

Billings Clinic is Montana’s largest health system, serving Montana, Wyoming and the western Dakotas. A not-for-profit organization led by a physician CEO, Billings Clinic is governed by a board of community members, nurses and physicians. At its core, Billings Clinic is a physician-led, integrated multispecialty group practice with a 304-bed hospital and Level II trauma center. Billings Clinic is the largest trauma center and the first established and longest standing ACS-COT continually accredited trauma center in the state of Montana. Billings Clinic has more than 4,200 employees, including more than 430 physicians and advanced practitioners offering more than 50 specialties. Billings Clinic is the first Magnet-designated health care organization in Montana and a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network. More information can be found at


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