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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: benefis.org/give


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 benefis.org/give.


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 benefis.org/give.


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 benefis.org/give.


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 benefis.org/give.


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.