The Billings Clinic is an integrated health care organization, based in Billings, Montana. Billings Clinic is a not-for-profit organization which serves the local community as well as residents of Montana, Wyoming and the western Dakotas.
Billings Clinic has over 230 physicians and over 60 physician assistants and nurse practitioners on staff. Physicians in over 35 specialty areas provide care at their local and regional clinics as well as at their hospital and long-term care facility. Their primary and specialty care clinics are located at Billings Clinic downtown, Billings Clinic Heights, and Billings Clinic West, as well as in Bozeman, Columbus, Miles City and Red Lodge, Montana; and Cody, Wyoming. Primary care is also available at Colstrip, Montana.
Billings Clinic Hospital is at the heart of their downtown medical campus. The 272-bed hospital includes a 14-suite Family Birth Center, a 15-bed transitional care unit, and Level II trauma center. Billings Clinic also owns and operates Aspen Meadows, a 90-bed retirement community and long-term care facility located on the west end of Billings.
In September 2007, Billings Clinic broke ground on its new 50,000 square foot cancer center, south of Billings Clinic.
In December 2007, Billings Clinic began construction on their 29,000 square foot Surgery Center to be located at the corner of 10th Avenue North and North 30th Street. The Billings Clinic Surgery Center focuses on outpatient surgical procedures.
Billings Clinic history stretches back to the founding of the Billings Clinic and Billings Deaconess Hospital. Billings Clinic evolved from the general practice of Dr. Arthur J. Movius who founded his Billings practice in 1911.
Movius was trained with a year’s internship at a Minneapolis, Minnesota hospital and had experience in the primitive surgery of the day. He, like other surgeons, depended on informal training to develop his skills: reading, medical center visits and experience.
The practice grew and by 1915, Dr. J.H. Bridenbaugh joined Movius as an assistant. Bridenbaugh took over obstetrics and the working of a strange gadget that had just been added, the x-ray machine. When Bridenbaugh went to war in 1917, he was assigned to radiology and received basic training in that field. After the war he installed new diagnostic x-ray equipment and radiation therapy—both radium and x-ray.
During the 1920s a third general practitioner joined the group. By 1930, a fourth physician with training in obstetrics was added. Shortly after, another general practitioner was added, bringing skill in the management of fractures and trauma problems. The group was known as the Movius-Bridenbaugh Clinic.
In 1939, the group devised a plan to bring in physicians as partners to the practice, and the name was changed to The Billings Clinic. Growth of the clinic after World War II required expanded facilities. In 1950 building construction began across the street from Billings Deaconess Hospital.
Billings Deaconess Hospital was incorporated in 1907 but didn’t open until after World War I. Community support was elicited to fund the project in 1922. The Reverend Charles D. Crouch was appointed by Bishop Charles Wesley Burns to complete the fundraising effort. Assuring each giver that every penny donated would be spent on the hospital; he is credited with having gathered over $75,000. The cornerstone of the building was laid in 1923, and the hospital opened on June 30, 1927.
The inception of the laboratory was in 1935. In 1950 Dr. Edwin Curtiss Segard began his sojourning at Deaconess as the first pathologist. Segard was the Laboratory Director from 1950 to 1980. Segard pioneered the implementation of quality systems and laboratory testing.
The hospital had 58 beds and a medical staff of 12 doctors and 16 nurses. One floor was used as a nurses’ residence, housing many students of the Billings Deaconess Nursing School.
As the population of Billings expanded so did the need for additional space. In 1943, a student nurse residence hall was constructed. This freed space in the hospital for more patient rooms. By 1952, the hospital added a north wing, increasing bed capacity to 144. Services were expanded to include new x-ray facilities, laboratory services, operating rooms, delivery rooms, psychotherapy services and the region’s first isotope therapy department.
By 1961, a south wing was added, increasing the number of beds to 205. The pediatrics area was also enlarged and the hospital gained a new chapel. During the 1960s and 1970s. Billings Deaconess continued to expand its services and capabilities. In 1972, the hospital pioneered Billings’ first open-heart surgery.
To better reflect the expansion of services in the region, Billings Deaconess Hospital changed its name to Deaconess Medical Center.
In 1993, the Billings Clinic and Deaconess Medical Center merged to become an integrated health care organization named Deaconess Billings Clinic. In 2001, The Family Birth Center was opened, offering a 12-suite LDRP unit, a new concept in birthing for the area.
In 2004, Digital radiology was implemented system wide; and one electronic medical record was implemented at all Billings Clinic locations.
In 2005, Deaconess Billings Clinic changed its name to Billings Clinic. In 2006, MedFlight, a helicopter was added to the existing fixed-wing plane emergency transport program. In 2007, The Emergency & Trauma Center opened, offering expanded emergency and Intensive Care services.
Today the hospital has grown into a 272-bed trauma center that provides inpatient and outpatient care serving people in a four-state region. Billings Clinic is led by President and CEO, Nicholas Wolter, MD.