Montana Public Radio

St. Patrick hospital

St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula.
Courtesy St. Patrick Hospital

On Monday, Montana reported a total of 919 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 56 new cases since Sunday. That’s the biggest one-day spike since the pandemic started in March.

This spike has prompted some hospitals to tighten visitor guidelines.


If you head outside around 8 tonight, you might hear a cacophony of humans, faces turned toward the full moon, howling.

The daily howl is a socially-distanced cry of support for health care workers on the front lines stemming the surge of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Brie Hobbs is one such worker, a registered nurse in the intensive care unit at St. Pat’s hospital in Missoula. She spoke remotely with Nicky Ouellet.

St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula.
Courtesy St. Patrick Hospital

Providence Montana announced Wednesday it will break ground on a multimillion-dollar medical office building across from Missoula’s St. Patrick Hospital. Residents can expect to see construction crews in the vacant gravel lot at 600 W. Broadway this fall.

Dr. Ira Byock is the Author of "Dying Well", "The Four Things That Matter Most", and "The Best Care Possible".
Courtesy Dr. Ira Byock

A Missoula physician who’s gone on to become a national expert on reforming healthcare — and especially end of life care — is inviting dialog on the topics at an event Tuesday night.

Two bills designed to help protect Montanans from unexpected and exorbitant air ambulance bills get their first hearings at the state legislature Tuesday.
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Things have really changed when it comes to flying medical services in Montana in the last few years.

Jeff Fee is the CEO of Providence St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula. He was used to seeing what he called the John Deere colors of his hospital's medical helicopter flying in and out of Missoula, and then, a couple of years ago, things changed.

Kathy Schaefer, regional director of women's health for Providence shows one of the new labor and delivery rooms at St. Patrick hospital in Missoula.
Eric Whitney

Missoula’s St. Patrick hospital invited the media to see its new family maternity center that opens Monday. Women’s Health Director Kathy Schaefer showed off one of the hospital’s seven rooms where moms will deliver babies.

Courtesy Photo

In America, there’s a big problem with people getting discharged from hospitals, and then having to come back because something went wrong. Medicare, the government health program for people over age 65, sees about 20 percent of its patients being re-admitted within a month of being discharged. And that costs money.

Courtesy Photo

A new list of hospitals designated as Ebola treatment centers is out, and none of those hospitals are in Montana. The list was released by federal Department of Health and Human Services Tuesday.

In September, Missoula’s St. Patrick Hospital said it has been provided federal funding to build, “a specially equipped bio-containment wing,” and that its staff, “are highly trained in specific and unique protocols necessary to treat” patients with “serious infectious disease agents.”

Charting the Path of the Deadly Ebola Virus in Central Africa. PLoS Biol 3/11/2005: e403 doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0030403 (CC-BY-2.5)

Governor Steve Bullock says he's confident that should Missoula's Providence Saint Patrick hospital be asked to treat an Ebola patient, it would provide top notch care.

St.Pat's is one of four hospitals in the country specifically prepared to care for someone with such a highly infectious disease.

As we reported yesterday, some people who work there aren’t sure the hospital is adequately prepared to accept an Ebola case.

Missoula City Website

The news that a nurse has contracted the first-ever case of Ebola transmitted in the United States could make it more likely that any future Ebola patients in the United States might come to Missoula. That nurse in Dallas became infected while caring for a patient from west Africa.

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