Glacier Direct Nursing Brings Home Helath Care to Rural Communities


April 12, 2023

Health care is a big issue nationwide and a very real concern for the majority of people. The further one gets away from the big city the harder it becomes to obtain quality reliable and affordable healthcare. When it comes to an aging population in the very rural settings of the Hi-line in Montana those opportunities dwindle down to practically nothing.

On Thursday, April 13 at the Blaine County Library, Kristy Naler and Marcy Kleinjan with Glacier Nurse+Direct will provide a Town Hall Q & A to explain the service they can bring to the community to possibly offer a solution to those in need. The presentation will begin at 7:00 pm.

Kristy and Marcy are long time Registered Nurses with many years of experience covering a wide range of care. "The frustration we have felt as home health Nurses and seeing how people tended to fall through the cracks in rural settings especially is what has motivated us to become more involved in this particular area of Nursing. People really want to stay at home, especially with an aging population that is so prevalent in rural communities," said Naler.

The creation of Glacier Nurse Direct was years in the making but just recently came to be a reality. Kleinjan, a Montana native and a University of Montana graduate has been an RN since 2007, working primarily in western Montana. Kleinjan has a wealth of experience to her credit including oncology, cardiac, rehab and geriatrics, but primarily home hospice and end-of-life care. From the start Kleinjan recognized the gap in health care patients were experiencing, many without insurance, others in need of in-home care, but were left outside the home health/hospice realm.

In 2022 Kleinjan began to experience burnout and decided to reach out to Naylor leading to the formation of Glacier Nurse Direct. Nalor has a bachelor's degree of science from Montana State University and is an experienced Registered Nurse with 26 years of experience. Nalor worked end-of-life and home care patients for 13 of those years and is passionate about caring for people and being of service.

The aging population, the 'Boomers' age 65+ is such a tremendous portion of the population and Naler knows first-hand the issues folks on the Hi-line face, "When I was in Chinook in February helping take care of my Dad and seen what was really going on. I began to really focus and try and find a way to make something happen. I dropped a few comments and suggestions to people to kind of gauge what the response would be and it was pretty favorable."

Finding qualified folks to take care of the elderly is difficult in small communities, "There aren't beds available for them to be cared for or qualified individuals to take care of them in the home and we want to provide an insight on how to possibly improve. The cost to send an individual to a nursing home is so excessive and compared to what home health would cost is a fraction."

Health care costs are soaring everywhere and will always be of concern to those in need, "Medicare does cover a certified home health care program. We are considered Private Duty Home Health Care and are not covered by Medicare but are a lot cheaper than a Nursing Home. We basically fill in the gap from when a home health care nurse who stops in for an hour or two and what the Nursing Home would provide."

Being able to get to the home and provide immediate help is something Glacier Nurse+Direct can provide, "In order to get home health they have to a have a Physicians order and then qualify to get care. We are a concierge service that gets calls from anyone who needs it and we don't require a physician to order it."

As part of their presentation at the Town Hall they will ask attendees, "Could our private in-home nursing services benefit you or a loved one in Rural North Central Montana? Would Glacier Nurse Direct be an affordable option for those to age in place or remain at home to recover from an illness or surgery? Stop by the Blaine County Library Thursday, April 13 and find out the answer.


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