All posts by Angelo Antoline

Advanced Care Hospital of Montana celebrates Hospital Week

This week at Advanced Care Hospital of Montana, we’re celebrating Hospital Week and the great staff and patients that we interact with every day.

Advanced Care Hospital provides long-term acute and critical care to patients recovering from serious illnesses or injuries in Montana, Wyoming, and western South Dakota. We accepted our first patient in 2008, and now treat more than 400 patients every year (or more than 2,500 patients since opening).

Our patients often require additional critical care services for medically complex conditions such as trauma, infectious diseases, wound healing, cardiovascular disease, stroke, amputations and respiratory failure.

With that being said, many people still don’t have a good understanding of a how a long-term acute care hospital compares to a short-term acute care hospital. So, here is a brief explanation:

A short-term acute care hospital is where a patient goes when he or she is first ill or injured. These types of facilities accept emergencies, deliver babies, perform surgeries, and have a wide variety of diagnostic capabilities like MRI or CT scans. Patients typically stay about 3-5 days in these types of facilities.

Patients with medically complex conditions may be referred to a long-term acute care hospital like Advanced Care Hospital of Montana – which also is a certified acute care hospital – for continued care beyond their original hospital stay at the short-term acute care hospital. These patients are in the treatment mode of their illness, but they are still too sick to go home or receive a lower level of care. These patients require a physician to see them on a daily basis and 24/7 nursing care.

At Advanced Care Hospital of Montana our medical team is led by a full-time medical director and includes specially trained physicians, nurses, therapists, specialists, pharmacists, dieticians and other medical professionals. Members of our staff have voluntarily earned – and continue to maintain – advanced certifications so they can deliver exceptional care to our patients.

For their commitment and dedication, today and every day, we celebrate our staff!

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Welcome: Dr. Tom James

Advanced Care Hospital of Montana welcomes Dr. Tom James as our Director of Palliative Medicine.

Dr. James has been an active member of our medical staff since 2008 and is a board-certified family physician. In 2012, he received a Certificate of Added Qualification in Hospice and Palliative Medicine through the American Board of Family Medicine. As a specialist in palliative medicine, Dr. James will be developing the Palliative Medicine service line at the hospital and will be available for consultations on patients with serious illnesses requiring additional help with symptom management.

Dr. James is a graduate of Montana State University and the University of Tennessee School of Medicine. He completed his residency training in Tallahassee, Fla. Dr. James has lived and worked in Billings, Mont., for the past 20 years. He is on the active medical staff of St. Vincent Hospital as well as Billings Clinic.

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Employment Open House! Wednesday, March 16, 2016

On Wednesday, March 16, 2016, Advanced Care Hospital of Montana is hosting an Employment Open House.
The event will be from 4pm to 7pm at the hospital, located at 3528 Gable Road.
Stop by and tour our facility and find out about our exciting job opportunities in a variety of healthcare positions!

View open positions here.

We currently have openings for:
• RN’s
• LPN’s
• PCT/CNA’s (entry level and experienced)
• Respiratory Therapists
• Radiology Technologist
• Pharmacy Technician
• Case Manager
• Clinical Liaison

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Hospitalists Join Advanced Care Hospital of Montana

Hospitalists Join Advanced Care Hospital of Montana

JC Hospitalists, PLLC, recently joined Advanced Care Hospital of Montana to provide additional internal medicine services at the hospital. Advanced Care Hospital of Montana is a 40-bed freestanding facility providing long-term acute care and critical care services for patients recovering from serious illnesses or injuries. It is the only long-term acute care hospital serving Montana and surrounding states. JC Hospitalists is a physician group that provides services to critical-access and long-term acute care hospitals in Idaho and Montana.

Healthcare professionals from JC Hospitalists who will have a routine schedule at Advanced Care Hospital of Montana include internal medicine physicians Drs. Ann Agnew, Dr. Julie Lyon, Dr. Carolyn Matzinger, and nurse practitioner, Heidi Gonzales.

“We’re excited to welcome JC Hospitalists to our healthcare team,” says Dr. Daniel Talley, Medical Director of Advanced Care Hospital of Montana. “By developing relationships and collaborating with physician groups like JC Hospitalists, we can provide the best care possible to our patients, helping them recover as fully as possible.”

Hospitalists are physicians who specialize in caring for patients in a hospital environment. Because hospitalists practice medicine only within the hospital, they can provide patients with physician-based medical care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

“Often it’s difficult for a patient’s primary care physician to see patients in the office and in the hospital at the same time,” Talley says. “A hospitalist acts as a patient’s primary care doctor while he or she is in the hospital, becoming the center-point for communication between the patient, family members, and the hospital’s healthcare team. The hospitalist can spend time with a patient and remain readily available for tests, results, and consultations. This can help eliminate wait time and possibly even help the patient return home sooner.”

When a patient is discharged home, the hospitalist and members of the patient’s healthcare team communicate with the patient’s primary care physician to ensure necessary follow-up care.


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Heart Health – What Women need to Know

With most of the research into heart disease focused on men, how heart disease affects women is not nearly so well known, even though more women die of cardiovascular disease than men. In 1998, a study by the National Center of Health Statistics revealed that 46% of women perceived their most serious health threat as breast cancer and only 4% indicated they believed heart disease was the most serious threat. In fact, at that time the real incidence of heart disease in women was 36% and breast cancer was 4%. Hopefully, women are better informed now.

We’ve known for a long time that there are none of us who escape an increased risk of heart disease as we get older. It’s also fairly common knowledge that smoking, a high-fat diet, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, a family history of heart disease and an inactive lifestyle raise anyone’s risk at any age. Since 1998, we’ve learned more about how the risks for heart disease change during a woman’s lifetime and how symptoms of a heart attack can differ from what most men experience. We now know that women who have not yet experienced menopause seem to enjoy some unique risk-lowering benefits as a result of estrogen and that these benefits are lost with menopause.

At about the age of 50, the age when natural menopause often begins, a woman’s risk for heart disease increases dramatically. (The same rise in risk applies to younger women who undergo early or surgical menopause and don’t take estrogen.) In addition to changes in estrogen, the effects of aging usually affect heart health. Blood pressure may rise with menopause. Cholesterol levels may change. Certain types of fat in the blood may increase. Unknown factors are also likely to be at work. More research focused on heart disease in women suggests that these factors may be better understood in the future.

Meanwhile, we need to adopt practices that lower the risk of heart disease while also learning more about how to identify heart attack symptoms. For example, both men and women may have a tightness, squeezing, pressure or pain in the chest, shortness of breath, sweating, or pain that spreads to shoulders, neck, arm or jaw. They may also have a feeling of heartburn without indigestion, nausea or vomiting, as well as sudden dizziness or a brief loss of consciousness.

According to the American Heart Association, women also report experiencing an uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of the chest that can last more than a few minutes, goes away and comes back. They can feel pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach, as well as shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort. Some women report a sense of impending doom.

Because heart attack symptoms in women may be misinterpreted, women are more likely to die from their first heart attack. Rather than reporting a crushing pain in the chest, as men often describe a heart attack, women may feel pain under the breastbone. They may report indigestion, difficulty breathing, abdominal pain, nausea or unexplained fatigue. If they are elderly or have diseases such as arthritis or diabetes, these symptoms may be incorrectly attributed to another cause or disease, delaying medical intervention.

If you experience symptoms of a heart attack, the first step is to accept that you may be having one. Denial can be deadly. Dial 911 for an ambulance. A patient being transported in an ambulance will begin receiving life-saving medical treatment while en route to the hospital. Only ambulances with medical personnel are equipped to revive a patient if her heart suddenly stops beating.

To lower your risk of a second heart attack, participate in both inpatient and outpatient heart rehabilitation programs. Inpatient rehabilitation should include comprehensive daily medical management by a board-certified rehabilitation specialist and rehabilitation nursing focused on development of self-management skills. Medical management should include respiratory care and wound care if surgery was performed. Every heart patient should receive individualized rehabilitation, including one-to-one therapeutic exercise and functional retraining by an interdisciplinary team. These therapies should include a program that addresses gait and mobility, training in how to safely accomplish activities of daily living, and nutritional instruction and counseling.

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Talley named Medical Director of Advanced Care Hospital of Montana

Talley named Medical Director

Daniel Talley recently was named Medical Director of Advanced Care Hospital of Montana, a 40-bed freestanding facility providing long-term acute care and critical care services for patients recovering from serious illnesses or injuries. It is the only long-term acute care hospital serving Montana and surrounding states.

Talley possesses more than 20 years of healthcare experience with certifications in critical care, pulmonary medicine, internal medicine and sleep disorders. Prior to joining Advanced Care Hospital of Montana, he served in various medical and leadership roles in hospitals throughout the states of Washington and Wisconsin. He is a member of the American College of Chest Physicians, American Academy of Sleep Medicine, and the Christian Medical and Dental Association.

Talley earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Washington in Seattle, and a medical degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. He completed an internal medicine residency at Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines, Iowa, and a transitional residency program at Deaconess Medical Center in Spokane, Wash. His post-graduate education also includes sleep disorders medicine at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Milwaukee, and pulmonary/critical care medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.


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