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We Believe Every Second Counts

December 17, 2021

Nearly 45 million seconds have passed since we broke ground on the Benefis Women’s and Children’s Center in May 2020.

Moment by moment, the new center rose. Ten thousand and more steps brought us to today.

Thank you to the Benefis Foundation donors, without whom the project wouldn’t have been possible. You’ve given generations of patients today and into the future a beautiful gift.

Thank you to the Benefis Foundation and Benefis Health System boards for your vision and leadership. You make the future of healthcare in northcentral Montana stronger.

Thank you to the builders, the designers, the painters, the artists, the elevator techs, the tile setters, the welders, the HVAC installers, the landscapers, the glaziers, the plumbers, the masons, the electricians, the heavy equipment operators, the furniture movers, the cleaners, the IT experts, the maintenance and facilities team members, and the many others who brought the center to the finish line. Your work shines.

We celebrate the medical professionals who will be the heart of the center. Thank you for your guidance on what you and your patients need. Thank you for all you will do to improve the lives of the patients who will step into the center.

The Women’s and Children’s Center welcomes the first patients on Monday, Dec. 20. Thank you to the families who will come to us for care.

This center is for you.

benefis womens and childrens center completed

We Believe That Caring for Women Means Supporting Their Dreams

December 14, 2021

benefis womens and childrens center december 2021

A cookie shop that began in a garage. A childhood at her mom’s health food store that inspired a pop alternative. A local coffee roaster that has been caffeinating Montana mornings for decades.

The women behind the products at the Café in the new Benefis Women’s and Children’s Center are part of the story of the center. Women-owned companies feature prominently in the menu options.

Here's the list of businesses whose sparkling waters, coffee, and sweet treats you’ll find in the lobby Café:

  • Cognitive Surplus
  • Morning Light Coffee
  • Central Milling
  • Custom Culinary Inc.
  • Nixie Sparkling Water
  • Florida’s Natural Growers
  • Hope’s Cookies
  • Rotella’s Italian Bakery
  • Sweet Street Desserts

Come grab a coffee and bite while you check out the new center this year.

We Believe in Capturing the Imagination

December 8, 2021

benefis womens and childrens center decembr 2021

A sense of lightness and wonder fill four special additions to the Benefis Women’s and Children’s Center.

Seven petals are now dancing through the two-story atrium amid 11 hand-blown water droplets in three shades of blue glass.

The petals are built with LED lights and glow in the windows. They cast shadows that subtly shift throughout the day.

Each petal has a hand-painted fabric skin with crystals to catch the light. The petals are semi-translucent depending on the light and viewer’s perspective. The petals are 10-15 pounds each, spread over six-to-seven feet of length.

“Each one is slightly different,” artist Ona Magaro-Nezbeda of Livingston said. “It pulls you into the space, and with every viewpoint, the piece looks different.”

The petals have a kinetic quality, both in the floating/cascading way they’re arranged and in the way they gently move with the breeze.

“It’s playful,” Ona said. “The whole piece moves with you.”

Ona said she hoped the lightness and color of the petals and water droplets would help counter feelings of heaviness and brokenness that people sometimes feel when they are fighting for better health.

“This center is very well thought out for an overall beautiful, calming effect,” she said.

Ona also did 50-some glass dogwood, maple, and willow leaves that hang above stairs on the third floor of the building, which is focused on women’s health.

The donor wall echoes the cascading petals and recognizes the major donors to the center. Dr. Greg and Joan Tierney generously dedicated the atrium sculpture. The staircase glass leaves are a gift from the Roland and Helen Lapee Family Foundation (Sue Warren, chair).

In the Pediatrics lobby, children will have an interactive wall with screens featuring a forest scene and a trout stream. Leaves will follow them as they move, and fish will rise to the surface to say hi.

Janie Delorme of Float4 produced the interactive wall program. She called the center “beautiful” as she worked on the last touches.

“I hope it’s going to turn their minds off anything making them nervous and to make it fun to come here,” Janie said. “Or, when you’re waiting for your brother or sister’s appointment, you can chill out here.”

The joyful spirit continues outside with a metal mural of children flying a kite. In the outdoor pediatrics therapy play area, passersby can see the mural, which is illuminated in fun colors at night.

lpw architects

We Believe It's (Almost) Time to Celebrate!

November 19, 2021

benefis womens and childrens center november 2021

Even before the last wall was painted and the final provider moved into her new office, the new Benefis Women’s and Children’s Center welcomed two moms who have been part of the campaign since the beginning.

For KC Beall, mom to Rydell and Grady, the center will mean communication and collaboration among providers for all-around better care for her and her children.

Lindsay Somerfeld, who anticipates taking her four children, ages 3 to 13, to the center, called the place a “healthcare home.” She says that’s “what all moms want for their family. Having love and care united to make it feel like a home for your children’s growing years.”

She knows how good our women’s health team is. They took her through four births and three miscarriages and fertility treatment with support, sensitivity, and loving care.

Lindsay says the Women’s and Children’s Center will provide easy access to the best doctors in the region, “who can provide us with all our needs in one specialized area.”

This dedicated center will truly change the way women and children in our community access care. The goal of the center is to meet a need in caring for young families in northcentral Montana.

This center is about prioritizing women and children, about showing that their health and well-being is important to Benefis and to the entire community.

The Benefis Women’s and Children’s Center, a three-story outpatient clinic, has risen along 10th Avenue South thanks to the generosity of donors. Loyal and first-time donors, local clubs, and young professional donors who maximized a matching grant combined for nearly $4 million in donations to build the center.

Thank you to all who carried this campaign to the finish line for people like Lindsay and KC and their children and all the moms and children who will need us in the years to come.

In the year ahead, we hope you will be our guest at the new Benefis Women’s and Children’s Center to see for yourself what the amazing things donors have done for Montana families.

We believe it's all in the details.

October 21, 2021


As construction nears the final month, the finishing details that set apart the Benefis Women’s and Children’s Center are emerging.

On the first floor, the fixtures are in place in the model kitchen and bathroom, where our pediatric therapists will help children develop the skills they need for home. Squishy green turf in the outdoor physical therapy space will provide a soft landing for any young tricycle riders who go off course. Faux stumps are ready to be climbed on, and a small hill is ready for rolling down. The last of the aluminum siding has just arrived for the north side of the outdoor area.

benefis health system womens and childrens center

The other half of the first floor will be home to imaging and basic labs. X-ray and screening mammography rooms await equipment. Much of the flooring is in place. Changing rooms are ample and comfortable.

On the second floor, the pediatric floor, the unique curved wooden ceiling is in place (coming soon to other spaces, too), and wallpaper designed by local student artists lends a fun flair to exam rooms that will soon be furnished.

On the third floor, the future home of the Women’s Health Department, ultrasound rooms have attached bathrooms for convenience and privacy. A private entrance, away from pregnant women and kids, leads to the fertility exam rooms, lab, collection room, and provider offices. Exam rooms are painted shades of purple and cream. A training room await chairs and medical students.

In the lobby, the café is tiled, and the support structures are in place for the glass art pieces that will hang in the atrium and above a staircase. The glass art will be among the last elements added.

While a nationwide glass shortage and COVID-19 precautions have slowed progress, construction is on track for a Dec. 1 finish, followed by furniture moving in and then a mid-December opening.

Squishy green turf in the outdoor physical therapy space will provide a soft landing for any young tricycle riders who go off course.

We believe in the power of play.

September 23, 2021


Big things are happening these days as work continues inside and out on the Benefis Women's and Children's Center.


New drone footage shows the playground taking shape. Play is the avenue to wellness for our pediatric therapy patients, and soon children will be on tricycles working their legs and motor skills on the track (shaped like an 8).

Passersby on 10th Avenue South may also have noted trees and bushes growing around the building (thanks, landscapers!). Curbing is in, too.

The Women’s and Children’s Center is on track for a December opening.

We couldn’t have gotten this far without donors. If you can be one of them, please click below to contribute:

Donate Today


We believe generosity changes lives.

July 21, 2021

benefis womens and childrens center july 2021

Young philanthropists from our community teamed up to max out the $100,000 offered through the Young Professionals Donor Match Program supporting the Benefis Women's and Children's Center.

$100,000 | Goal: $100,000


Because of the match, offered by a generous benefactor, contributions from young donors (born from 1978-2000) worked twice as hard.


"What an amazing show of support. We know when you're younger there are so many demands on your resources, which makes reaching this goal all the more incredible," said Marilyn Parker, chief operating officer at Benefis Foundation. "We hope that for the next generation of local leaders, this project kicks off a lifetime of supporting causes that improve our community."

The contributions from young professionals, like all contributions toward establishing the center, will have an impact far into the future as we invest in the health of local families.

Donations given now are helping outfit the building with important features such as tricycles for the outdoor pediatric physical therapy space and quiet spaces for couples in treatment for fertility issues.

Though the Foundation has met the match goal, it's not too late to take part in the campaign. Please note (and tell your friends) that young professionals can still be recognized on the Young Professionals Donor Wall with a contribution of $500 or more by July 30, 2021. If you don't fit the young professionals criteria, your gifts are, of course, still much appreciated.

We believe that every stage of development is exciting.

June 3, 2021

About a year into construction and with the December 2021 opening galloping toward us, construction crews have made significant progress on the Benefis Women’s and Children’s Center.

Most of the windows and much of the siding is in place. Inside, the second floor is the nearest to completion. It’s the future home of pediatrics, and paint is already on some walls.

The Dr. J.W. “Bill” and Lynn Bloemendaal Education Center takes shape on the first floor of the center.

Members of the Benefis senior leadership team tour the center, which is expected to open in December.

On the third floor, dedicated to women’s health, the Sheetrock is going up, and exam rooms and nursing stations are taking shape. Sheetrock will go up soon on the first floor, which will host radiology, laboratories, pediatric physical and occupational therapies, education space, and a small café.

Building the many curves of the center’s design has been a challenge, with 10 or so different radiuses to incorporate, said Sean Ginnaty, superintendent for Dick Anderson Construction. Even the stairs have a subtle curve.

However, the project has generally avoided construction supply chain problems by virtue of its start early in the pandemic, and a relatively mild winter also helped construction. The building includes 310 tons of structural steel, 47 tons of rebar, 1,230 cubic yards of concrete so far (That’s 4.9 million pounds!), plus 164,000 linear feet of steel studs.

This is Sean’s first project incorporating QR codes that document every step in a room’s construction so it will be easy to find wiring later, and every furniture piece in a room will be listed.

“We’re at the point that we are really going to start seeing changes come on quickly,” Sean said.

A two-story atrium will add light and beauty to the center. A Livingston artist is creating a suspended glass piece for the space.

We believe that meaningful work is the most rewarding.

February 3, 2021

benefis womens and childrens center feb 2021

Someday the Benefis Women’s and Children’s Center may mean healthcare for her, and perhaps even for a family of her own family eventually, but for now building it means a good job for Aubrey Chevalier.

Aubrey is an apprentice wireman with Valley Electric, a subcontractor helping the outpatient treatment center take shape along 10th Avenue South.

“A bunch of hardworking, blue-collar Americans have good jobs because of this, and then their families will have a place for treatment,” she said. “It will be a beautiful place for people to go to.”

A bunch of hardworking, blue-collar Americans have good jobs because of this, and then their families will have a place for treatment. It will be a beautiful place for people to go to.”

Aubrey Chevalier

Construction of the center is ahead of schedule, and passersby are taking notice of the curves of the atrium area and awnings at the future 10th Avenue South entry.

That’s the most interesting part of the project for Jeff Arndt, carpenter foreman for Dick Anderson Construction, general contractor on the center. Jeff was busy installing interior door frames, an early step toward putting in place the 374 doors the center will have.

“You look at the plans on paper and think through, how are we going to do that?” he said. “One day you have a hole in the ground and practically the next a building.”

As he works, Jeff thinks of his children, ages 14, 10, and 8, and especially his sister and niece, who frequently needs medical treatment.

I think this center is something Great Falls needs as one central location focusing on women and children. It’s a great addition to the community.”

Jeff Arndt

“I think this center is something Great Falls needs as one central location focusing on women and children,” he said. “It’s a great addition to the community.”

On the first floor on a recent morning, Jason Feeler welded a beam into place at the future home of a radiology room. Nearby will be X-ray and mammography.

Step between metal studs and you’re in the future physical therapy space where plumber foreman Scott Bergan of Falls Mechanical Services is roughing in the waste and venting system. He’s just finished the main lines on each floor.

Scott takes meaning in the impact the center will have on families from across the region.

“It’s a long time coming for women and children to be able to be treated at the same time at the same place,” he said. “It’s going to be nice for families.”

It’s a long time coming for women and children to be able to be treated at the same time at the same place. It’s going to be nice for families.”

Scott Bergan

Foreman Bill Drake took a break from his work installing HVAC supply and return systems on the third floor, still mostly open but soon to host women’s wellness spaces, to marvel at the size and number of rooms in the center. He’s married with two daughters under three. He thinks of them exploring the space a year from now and medical services they may use as they grow.

Our goal is to end 2021 with the Women’s and Children’s Center open and helping families like Bill’s – and Scott’s, Jeff’s, and Aubrey – on the road to greater wellness.

We believe in the value of hard work.

July 20, 2020

picture of rocket drive-in

More than six decades before construction began on the Benefis Women’s and Children’s Center, the lot along 10th Avenue South was the site of a young, hardworking family’s restaurant.

Bill and Dorothy Radovich opened Rocket Drive-Inn in 1957. A Great Falls Tribune article at the time heralded the canvas canopy that would protect the customers and their cars from the sun and rain as a “drive-in first” for Great Falls. The drive-in featured an amusement park for children.

The business also was home to the first Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise in Montana, son Ron Radovich said. He and his father met KFC founder Colonel Sanders, too, and found him “quite a guy, really.”

rocket diner news article

Pictures show an empty field behind the drive-in with views of the mountains. Benefis Health System and other members of the medical community developed across that corridor. Ron remembers his dad keeping horses near the restaurant, with three corrals and a barn.

“My dad was quite the horseman, and he had his horses close by,” Ron said. “Back then it was all sand dunes. There was nothing out there.”

Tenth Avenue South was in its construction heyday in the 1950s and 1960 as American society became increasingly car-centric. In 1951, the Warden Bridge and interstate highway system turned sleepy, residential 10th Avenue South into what was at one time the state’s busiest commercial artery.

The restaurant was well positioned along that busy street and built a loyal group of customers.

Dorothy was the office manager for Talcott Building Co. and served as president of the local chapter of the National Association of Women in Construction and on the regional board. Bill also worked in construction. Dorothy died at 85 in 2010, and Bill died in 1999 at age 80.

Daughter Lynda Pancich was a carhop by age 12 or 13 and worked through high school at the drive-in, which expanded to include a sit-down restaurant. She remembers taking home $1.65 an hour, but then a burger was only a quarter.

rocket diner article

The Rocket was known for Rocket Burgers, which were half-pound burgers with special buns and more. Bill liked to play a little joke on people who would ask for “the biggest burger you’ve got.” He had 9-inch buns and burgers to match to serve to wide-eyed diners.

Every morning, her parents opened the Rocket at 5 and worked until it was time to go to their day jobs. They returned to the restaurant during the lunch rush, worked more in the evenings, and closed at midnight.

“To do that as many years as they did, it was a labor of love,” Lynda said. “Their other jobs sustained the family, but this taught us work ethic. My dad was a great one for, ‘If you’re not a half-hour early, you’re late.’”

Ron said he remembers the drive-in as “a lot of work,” he said. “It was tough times back then. I have mixed feelings. I’m glad it was there, but I don’t really miss it.”

The Radoviches sold the business in the mid-1970s to another family, which ran it for a few years. Then the lot became DJ’s Auto Plaza and more recently Pierce's Auto Group, both car dealerships.

The Radoviches worked hard to make their businesses a place where the average person could get great food and great service for a reasonable price. Lynda said she’s glad to see the empty lot turn into something new.

We believe in cheerful inspiration.

May 27, 2020

benefis womens and childrens center wallpaper

Fuzzy bumblebees, smiling chipmunks, and waving bears will be part of pediatric exam rooms in the new Benefis Women’s and Children’s Center thanks to two teenage artists involved with the project.

Great Falls High School seniors Amarice Jenkins and Masina Seau developed the artwork for the center’s pediatric exam room wallpaper. They’re both heading to college in the fall to study art.

“I hope that my art makes the patients more comfortable and happier while they are in the center,” Masina said.

Architect Dani Grebe of L'Heureux Page Werner Architecture said the girls’ artwork makes her smile every time she sees it.

“I adore the designs they came up with for the wallpaper,” she said. “They’re so charming.”

The artwork will be in exam rooms on the second floor of the outpatient treatment center, which is planned for the 2700 block of 10th Avenue South on Benefis East Campus. Children will come to the Benefis Women’s and Children’s Center for wellness checks, physical therapy, mental health counseling, and more.

Dani and LPW interior designer Rachel Manning decided they wanted the pediatric exam rooms to have an accent wall with entertaining wallpaper that would distract and delight young patients. They’ve designed wallpaper before, but for the Benefis project, they thought it would be fun to shine a light on talent in our community.

That’s when Dani learned about the Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art’s Curative Art Collective, a program to help artists ages 15-18 develop their creative voices and channel their energies into a healthy outlet.

Amarice jenkins

Amarice Jenkins

Artist, intern, summer camp counselor, and teacher at Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art's and Curative Art Collective.

Amarice is part of the collective. She’s also been an intern, summer camp counselor, and teacher at the Square. Amarice is “a stellar, stellar student who gives a lot of herself,” said Sarah Justice, executive director of the Square. Sarah said the opportunity for high school students to have their work in a public space is “a huge deal. They’re grateful for the opportunity.”

Amarice said she pulled inspiration from her life in Montana for her cheerful chipmunks.

“I hope to inspire kids to be more fascinated with the wilderness and the fine arts,” she said.

Masina juggles school and a job. “She’s responsible and talented,” Sarah said.

Masina drew designs featuring bears, bees, and crossed fishing poles and paddles.


Masina Seau

Responsible and talented, hardworking artist.

“My inspiration for the bear and bees came from my love of bumblebees and Montana’s state animal. My inspiration for the crossed fishing poles comes from my childhood of fishing with my family,” Masina said. “I felt both pieces represented Montana well because it shows the nature and how lovely our beautiful state is.”

The young artists were challenged to create pieces that celebrate Montana wildlife and that appeal to pediatric patients from toddlers to teenagers.

Click here to donate to the center to support the young patients who will find comfort and a road to wellness at the Benefis Women’s and Children’s Center.

We believe in paying it forward.

May 7, 2020

benefis womens and childrens center groundbreaking

“We stand here because we believe,” Benefis Foundation Board Chairman Dean Nelson said as Benefis broke ground on a new outpatient treatment center Thursday, May 7.

“We believe in making a powerful difference in young families’ lives in our community. We believe in supporting women’s health. We believe in our providers,” Dean said. “We believe in the future of Benefis Health System.”

The Benefis Women’s and Children’s Center will have 42 exam rooms on three floors. The first floor will have basic lab services, screening mammography, and pediatric therapies. Pediatrics will occupy the second floor, and the third floor will be home to women’s health.

The groundbreaking represents the beginning of construction, which is expected to last through 2021.

benefis health system womens and childrens center groundbreaking

Organizers limited attendance at the groundbreaking ceremony due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Architect Dani Grebe from LPW Architecture said the center symbolizes belief in the future of Great Falls. The center will be on the 2700 block of 10th Avenue South, formerly a car dealership and now part of Benefis’ East Campus.

The center is designed “for the intimate moments that will unfold inside,” Dani said.

“Patients have been at the heart of every design decision,” she said. “We have been thoughtful about the myriad emotional journeys people take in healthcare.”

Shannon Hoiland said she wishes Great Falls had this center when her children, now 10 and 13, were babies.

“It was challenging running from building to building for multiple appointments,” she said. “It’s still challenging, but at least I’m not carrying them.”

A trustee on the Benefis Health System Board of Directors, Shannon anticipates being a patient at the new center.

“I’m glad we get to pay it forward for the next generation of moms,” she said. “This center will make their lives easier, and their families’ healthcare more convenient.”

She also said she appreciates that pediatric behavioral health is central to the center. She saw parents’ frustration at long waiting lists and full practices before Benefis added providers.

Dr. LaToya Floyd, a child and adolescent psychiatrist, said she looks forward the new medical home the center represents. She anticipates that having myriad pediatric providers together in one building will help with collaboration, “the key to helping children with complex conditions.”

“With this new center and your partnership, we will work to keep northcentral Montana children and teenagers thriving for generations to come,” she said.

Click here to join donors “paying it forward” for Montana families.

We believe in asking the experts.

April, 22, 2020

The Benefis Women’s and Children’s Center will benefit generations of northcentral Montana women. This effort for women is led by women.

Dani Grebe of L’Heureux Page Werner is the project’s architect, and her colleague Rachel Manning is designing the interior of the three-story, 48,000-square-foot outpatient building.

Rachel is an expectant mother, and she anticipates bringing her own family to the center. Dani, too, will see “her” building from a patient’s perspective when it opens in late 2021.

Benefis Health System Vice President of Communications and Business Development Kaci Husted is leading the project at the senior leadership level.

lpw architectslpw architects


“This center has truly been designed for women, by women,” Kaci said. “It’s great knowing that some day when I have my own family, I’ll receive my care and my children’s care in a world-class setting developed with our needs in mind.”

Among the services for women, the center will offer OB/GYN care, women’s wellness, fertility care, maternal-fetal medicine care, childbirth education, postpartum lactation support, screening mammography, and more.

The center also will include special touches to improve the patient experience. For example, couples having fertility challenges may feel uncomfortable in a waiting room filled with children and pregnant women. The center will have a quieter waiting space for them and their own entry to exam rooms. Ultrasound rooms will have easy bathroom access.

Having women at the forefront of this project translates into design that works for women.

Click here to donate to the center in honor of the women in your life.

We believe that art can inspire healing.

April 3, 2020

Magical glass pieces will seem to dance in the atrium of the new Benefis Women’s and Children’s Center.

Livingston artist Ona Magaro-Nezbeda has been chosen as the artist for the project. Ona is an artist who aims for the “dancing effect of weightlessness” in the large glass piece she’s planning for the new center’s two-story atrium.

ona magaro-nezbeda

As she works on her art for the center, Ona said she draws inspiration from the tenacity of her father, injured as a teenager when he was helping a woman change a flat tire. A car smashed into the trunk as he removed the spare tire, killing the stranded motorist and knocking him out of his laced-up Army boots.

Ona’s father, a farmer, was one of the first patients to receive both skin and bone grafting, and he had countless surgeries as he tried to recover in the hospital. Every day is a struggle to get out of bed.

“I have never experienced the physical pain and challenges that my father has, but I have experience in feeling helpless and needing medical attention,” she said. “Knowing you are walking into these facilities ‘unhealthy’ and feeling ‘broken’ can have just as much of an impact on our physical condition, as well as our emotional well-being.”

That’s where her art pieces, in the atrium and above a staircase, will come in.

“Color inspires us, stimulates us to experience joy, appreciation, and healing,” she said. “I want to create these experiences for others.”

Ona’s pieces will debut with the opening of the Benefis Women’s and Children’s Center, which is scheduled for late 2021. Help make that possible by donating to the project.

We believe that form follows function.

March 3, 2020

When Kelly Timmer and other providers who will work at the Benefis Women’s and Children’s Center saw the initial design for patient exam rooms in 3D, they realized that what they’d originally envisioned needed a few tweaks.

Benefis maintenance staff built mock exam rooms, complete with foam versions of everything that will be in the actual rooms.

benefis providers looking at mock exams rooms

“We were able to participate in the early layout design, but then as we went through the workflow, we said, ‘Yeah, that’s not going to work,’” Kelly said.

“With the mock-up rooms, we could see what was comfortable and what needed to be changed before the center is built,” she added. “We made a lot of changes from what I’d envisioned.”

Kelly, a nurse practitioner specializing in women’s health, fertility, and adolescent health at Benefis Health System, said several Benefis providers offered input on many features for improved patient and provider experiences, which include

  • Screens, so a patient and her partner will be able to see the same thing Kelly sees as she conducts an ultrasound.>
  • Specific considerations for couples going through fertility treatment so they won’t be constantly surrounded by pregnant women and children during their visits, which can be emotionally challenging.
  • Easy access to bathrooms from ultrasound rooms.
  • A reception area designed for better patient privacy and staff teamwork.
  • Mounted monitors to free up counter space and make it easier to share what’s on the screen with patients.
  • Nurses’ stations with views of the feeds from fetal monitors.
  • Dimming lights for procedures that require a darker room.
  • Lockers for the staff to use.

You can help make this plan a reality by contributing through the Benefis Foundation here.

We believe in growing for the greater good.

February 24, 2020

Three floors, 42 exam rooms, and 48,000 square feet: the numbers associated with the planned Benefis Women’s and Children's Center are powerful, but even more profound are the individual names and faces of the providers who will one day offer care in the new center.

Meet the healthcare providers who will practice medicine in the planned Benefis Women’s and Children’s Center:

Benefis Womens Health Providers
Seated (left to right): Obstetrician/gynecologists Dr. Melissa Papp, Dr. Jeffery Palen, and Dr. Lindsay Conner. Next to them are Dr. LaToya Floyd, a child and adolescent psychiatrist; Dr. John Hamilton, a pediatric neuropsychologist; and Dr. Marwan Bakhach, a pediatric endocrinologist. Standing (left to right): Nurse practitioners specializing in women’s and family health are Sydne Skaer, Kelly Timmer, and Jaimee Gregoire. Next to them are Dr. June Murphy, who specializes in high-risk pregnancy care; Dr. Rachel Amthor, a pediatrician; and pediatric nurse practitioners Sara Goroski, Crystal Bahnson, and Diane Evans. At their side is pediatrician Dr. Emily Grant.

Since first settling on the concept of developing a Women’s and Children’s Center, Benefis has grown its provider count in those specialties drastically, increasing the number of pediatric-focused providers by five and growing our number of women’s health providers by four, doubling our total Women’s and Children’s provider count.

We believe in design that resonates.

January 29, 2020

The spectacular falls of the Missouri River, right in Benefis Health System’s backyard, inspired the interior design of the Benefis Women’s and Children’s Center.

Today marks the debut of the proposed interior design of the planned outpatient healthcare center.

Central to the design is the idea of “cascading.” Curved lines in the floor and layered curves in the ceiling will echo the flowing Missouri River. Natural materials and textures will pay homage to the landscape. An art piece will be in the spirit of a waterfall.

“We want it to be welcoming and calming for patients,” said Rachel Manning, interior designer with L'Heureux Page Werner Architecture.

The concourse will be a special area of the center, filled with natural light from big windows and offering great views across Great Falls from three levels.

The building will be decorated in warm tones similar to other Benefis buildings, accented with shades of blue, green, and purple.

interior of benefis women's and children's center

The first floor, home to basic lab services, screening mammography, and pediatric therapies, will be a calming blue. Pediatrics will occupy the second floor and will be done in a playful green. The third floor, where women’s health providers will be based, will be done in purples. Golden-hued wood will be used throughout.

Every level will have a children’s play area. Rachel also highlighted the planned pediatric therapies space, which replaces the disjointed facilities currently in use. The design includes a spacious, open, well-equipped indoor therapy area, plus private treatment rooms. It will be adjacent to an outdoor therapy space, which aims to make the tasks of physical and occupational therapy feel like play.

“This will be a great upgrade,” she said.

The building’s design also includes two respite areas, tucked away for patients struggling with fertility and other issues who may want a quiet space as they await their appointments.

interior of benefis women's and children's center fish wall

“It’s been really fun to design the Women’s and Children’s Center. The design is so focused on the patients who will be served,” Rachel said. “We’re working now on integrating new technology. Having all these services in one building is going to make a big impact.”

Rachel approaches the design not only as someone who cares about the future of healthcare for women and children but as someone who will use the center as a patient—she will bring the child she’s expecting there, too.

The outpatient treatment center is planned for the 2700 block of 10th Avenue South on Benefis East Campus. It was previously the site of a car dealership.

We believe this center will be integral to the future of healthcare in northcentral Montana. Today, we’re asking for your help in charting that new course by supporting the development of the Benefis Women’s and Children’s Center. Donate here:

We believe that true wellness comes from within.

January 9, 2020

It’s the light in the darkness, the sign pointing the way in the wilderness, and the helping hand in the moment of need. Pediatric mental health services are critical for our community, and Benefis Health System is expanding these services as part of its new Women’s and Children’s Center.

With nearly a quarter of Montana students giving serious thought to attempting suicide, we need to act now.

Pediatric behavioral health is too-often a neglected part of childhood wellness in Montana. The new center will increase the space dedicated to the mission of serving this need in our community, led by experienced providers specializing in pediatric psychiatry and pediatric neuropsychology.

“With the advent of the Women’s and Children’s Center, we’re speaking about creating a medical home and bringing in the neuropsychologists, child psychiatrists, and the pediatrician that’s generating the referral,” pediatric psychiatrist Dr. LaToya Floyd said. “We’re bringing them together in a collaborative way, because together, we’re stronger.”

Be part of helping the next generation of our community by donating today at

We believe that providing today, provides for tomorrow.

December 17th, 2019

Before the next generation of providers begins to care for the people of northcentral Montana, they are first students learning how to do right by their patients.

family playing with mother reading a book

Often, medical students are an afterthought when it comes to designing clinics – that won’t be the case in the new Benefis Women’s and Children’s Center.

Not only is our state facing a shortage of providers, but the average age of providers in Montana is currently 53 years old, indicating that the shortage will only worsen. Benefis is taking on a larger role in training future providers to support healthcare needs within our state, and the new Women’s and Children’s Center is being designed with space just for medical students and residents.

Right now, about twenty medical students a year crowd into a makeshift office as they study under Dr. Jeffery Palen and other obstetrics and gynecology providers at Benefis.

“Having a dedicated space for medical students will contribute to their well-being. That translates to better care for patients.”

–Jeffery Palen, DO, FACOOG - Obstetrics-Gynecology

Help us write this new chapter for our community’s providers-to-be by donating today at

We believe that a soothing environment is a healing environment.

November 27th, 2019

An outdoor playground where physical therapy feels like fun. Art to help imagination take flight. A track for tricycles. Room to decompress.

family playing with mother reading a book

When children come into the new Benefis Women’s and Children’s Center, we want their eyes to shine and for nervousness to give way to interest and enthusiasm.

While the current space is limited and cramped, the new center will double the space for pediatric therapy services. Moreover, pediatric therapy services will be housed in the same location as all other pediatric services, allowing all caregivers to work more collectively and efficiently.

The outdoor therapy zone is expected to have a playground feel. Thoughtfully designed sculptural elements that kids can play on will serve therapeutic goals and be fun at the same time.

“It’s going to create a comfortable and attractive area.”

–Dani Grebe - Architect

The Center is also being designed with different comfort environments. For example, some children will want to be in open areas to talk and play with one another, while other children will prefer peace in more private spaces.

"A suspended art feature in the two-story main concourse near the pediatric therapies area will add to the magical experience," Grebe said.

These advancements are only possible with your support. We ask you to join us in helping care for those who will be the future of our community.

Donate today at

We believe in lighting the path.

November 7th, 2019

Of all the paths young feet walk on during their journey to adulthood, the path that leads them to a future of good health is among the most important.

family playing with mother reading a book

The new Benefis Women’s and Children’s Center is dedicated to expanding pediatric services needed within our community. With this in mind, endocrinology is one of the specialties recently added to our other Benefis Pediatrics services.

With a focus on treating hormone imbalances within the body, endocrinologists help children suffering with diabetes, unusual growth rates, early or late puberty, thyroid problems, and more. As childhood obesity rates continue to rise, expertise in hormones and glands is needed now more than ever.

While Benefis Pediatrics has already added pediatric endocrinology, the Benefis Women’s and Children’s Center will offer expanded space for pediatric specialty services. In this case, the Center will make it more seamless for patients, providing well-rounded endocrinology care with an on-site team of nutrition, exercise therapy, and psychology experts to help kids plan for a longer, better life.

“Every patient is different, and we have to customize plans to them. Patients need an integrated approach.”

–Marwan Bakhach, MD. - pediatric endocrinologist

The designated pediatric space in the Center is being designed with children in mind, from elevator buttons at their level to colorful settings to make children more comfortable while visiting their healthcare providers.

Benefis Health System’s state-of-the-art Women’s and Children’s Center will affect generations of families and change the way women and children in our community access healthcare; however, it won’t be possible without your help. Please help today and be a part of something that will have a lasting impact on our community.

Donate today at

We believe in building with intention.

October 24th, 2019

We are proud to unveil the design of the Benefis Women’s and Children’s Center.

This state-of-the-art outpatient treatment center will be an addition to Benefis East Campus.

The 48,000-square-foot building design aims to provide functional and calming spaces both inside and out for patients to gather, receive first-class healthcare, and experience pivotal moments. This specialized outpatient center will be the first of its kind in northcentral Montana. The building style complements the current East Campus buildings; internally the design reproduces the finishes in Benefis South Tower while introducing more natural materials and an open layout with natural light, providing an overall pleasant atmosphere. Along with that, certain areas of the building speak to the youthful spirit and activity of the pediatric patients who will receive care in the center.


The center will consist of three stories with women’s health on the third floor, pediatrics on the second floor, and lab/imaging and pediatric therapies on the first floor.

Services offered for women at the new center will include:

  • OB/GYN care
  • women’s wellness
  • fertility care
  • maternal-fetal medicine care
  • childbirth education
  • postpartum lactation support
  • screening mammography
  • and more

Services offered for children and teens at the new center will include:

  • occupational, speech, and physical therapy
  • psychiatry
  • neuropsychology
  • endocrinology
  • general outpatient pediatrics

"With the advent of the Women’s and Children’s Center, we’re speaking about creating a medical home and bringing in the neuropsychologists, child psychiatrists, and the pediatrician that’s generating the referral. We’re bringing them together in a collaborative way because together, we’re stronger.”

–Dr. LaToya Floyd, a child and adolescent psychiatrist

Our goal is to start construction on the Women’s and Children’s Center in Spring 2020. With your support, we aim to open the center in late 2021.

We believe that new stories begin every day. Today, we need your help to write a story that ends with a healthier generation of Montanans. Please give today.