The Blaine County Journal News-Opinion - We've Got The County Covered

Community Health Centers Forming Partnership


September 19, 2018


CHINOOK, MT. September 12, 2018 – Sweet Medical Center (SMC) of Chinook and Bighorn Valley Health Center (BVHC) of Hardin are forming a partnership with the goal of offering the best possible care and more services to residents of Eastern Montana. After careful analysis, the Boards of Directors of both health centers, which are made up of local residents representing patients and their communities, decided that a merger of the health centers would be beneficial for the patients, employees and residents of the regions served. SMC Board President, Barb Skoyen explained, “It’s our job to ensure that SMC is prepared for the future, while providing affordable access to the variety of healthcare services desired by residents of Blaine County and the surrounding region. This partnership helps ensure we can do that.” Skoyen points out that, “SMC patients are already enjoying the benefits of this partnership with our addition of behavioral health services. That would not have been possible at this time without the assistance of BVHC.”

Merging the health centers will result in less duplication of the administrative and compliance requirements of the industry, so that more focus can be placed on improving patient care and health outcomes thorough clinical integration, increased access to care and services. All of which position the organization to meet the demands of a rapidly changing health care system.

SMC CEO, Dana Pyette assures area residents, “SMC is not going anywhere. We’re committed to serving our patients with even more services, so you can take care of your whole health close to home. Both entities are in great financial condition, have highly skilled staffs and share the same vision for healthy communities, so this is a perfect time to learn from each other and work together to grow for our patients!”

Pending final approval from regulatory agencies, the partnership will be official on November 1, 2018 and representatives from SMC and BVHC will keep patients informed as developments occur in their collaboration efforts.

Sweet Medical Center is a nonprofit, Patient Centered, Federally Qualified Health Center

Serving EVERYONE and Empowering People to Live Healthy Lives

Bighorn Valley Health Center is a nonprofit, Patient Centered, Federally Qualified Health Center with locations in Hardin, Ashland, Colstrip and Miles City providing comprehensive integrated care including medical, dental, pharmacy, mental health, substance use disorder treatment and care management support for patients.

For more information, contact: Christy Pease, Communications Specialist at 406.357.3968 or


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