What are your specialties and certifications?
Board Certified in Family Medicine
Why did you go into medicine? Why did you choose your particular field?
I decided to go into medicine because I believe in living a life of service
to the people around me. Medicine addresses people's basic needs in
a very effective way. Being a doctor is a way for me to be able to give
back to my community every day. I love complex systems and the process
of optimizing them and managing people's health is being part of one
of the most complex systems out there. I also love the relationships that,
as health care professionals, we build over time. This really made it
easy to choose family medicine. I think primary care has the biggest impact
on the largest population of people. I can care for someone of any age,
any social situation, anywhere in the world. I feel like I can get to
know individuals over time and really customize my care to them in order
to meet their most basic and core healthcare needs. Being a doctor, I
never get bored because the problems that I deal with are so diverse.
I love taking care of people from the moment they are born until the end
of their life, and I love taking care of family systems, as our health
is so influenced by our social situation and the people around us. I get
to work in multiple environments, the clinic, the hospital, long term
care facilities, and in administrative roles.
What are some of your clinical interests?
I really enjoy taking care of whole families across the lifespan. My pediatric
practice is very strong, I am lucky to continue to be able to do inpatient
pediatrics and newborn care as well as well child checkups and sick visits.
I feel strongly that preventative medicine is the base of good health
so I really enjoy doing wellness visits and counseling. As I believe that
mental health is the key to good health in general, I get a lot out of
improving people's mental health and coordinating their mental healthcare.
I enjoy procedural medicine especially doing dermatologic procedures,
women's health procedures, and joint injections. I tend to do a lot
of women's health in my practice as well. I am doing a lot more work
in improving healthy behaviors and helping people with diet and exercise
goals as well as weight loss.
What do you love about practicing medicine?
I love forming relationships with my patients and optimizing their individual
health. I also love making a positive impact on the health behaviors of
people in my community.
"I can care for someone of any age, any social situation, anywhere
in the world."
What is your philosophy of care?
By forming strong relationships with people I can improve their health
behaviors that influence their physical and emotional well-being. I would
like to provide high quality, evidence based, individualized care to all
of my clients to help them manage and prevent diseases and improve their
What do you most want people to know about the way you practice medicine?
I am very collaborative. I love educating people and helping them to make
the best decisions they can about their healthcare and overall well being.
I really believe that empowering my entire team to provide the highest
level of care strengthens the patient experience and overall health.
What can your patients expect during an appointment?
They will be part of a well coordinated care team. My nurses help me to
provide excellent care and they begin that process well before a patient
arrives for an appointment. They can expect to spend time with my nurse
identifying care gaps that need to be closed and verifying their medications,
health habits, and new additions to their health history. I am there to
focus on their overall well-being as well as problem solve their current
concerns. They can expect me to be focused on their care and actively
involve them in decision making. They can expect to be provided with a
good summary of what the plan is as well as education about what they
can do to improve their care.
What do you wish you could tell every patient (and they would actually
do) and why?
That my team is here for them. That we love feedback on how we can improve
our care. That we want to know what they feel like they can change and
what they think will be too difficult for them to implement. That we are
here to provide the most up to date recommendations with the best information
available, and they then can use that information to better their health.
What have your patients taught you?
My patients teach me things every day. They show me how strong people can
be in the face of adversity. They show me that making behavior changes
is possible even when it is incredibly difficult. They teach me about
kindness and the importance of human connections in life. They teach me
how to experience joy and how to experience grief. They teach me tolerance
"I love taking care of people from the moment they are born until
the end of their life."
Who is someone you admire, and why?
I really admire my nurse. She is an incredibly strong person despite incredible
adversity. She continues to care for others and be present as a friend,
caregiver, and excellent community member. She really is the embodiment
of someone who gives more than she takes.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up mostly in rural Wisconsin.
What brought you to the Bitterroot Valley?
My husband's family is from eastern Montana. The mountains had been
calling to me.
What do you enjoy about living and working in a small community like ours?
This is such an amazing small community. The people here are so involved
and invested in making this town a better place. People are warm and open.
It is small enough that you can get really involved in improving it and
really have an impact on its people. I love running into the people that
I care for when I am out and about. It really helps me deliver more customized
care to them.
Living in such a close-knit community, how do you create a successful work–life balance?
I have really clear work/life boundaries that I am able to maintain by
structuring my work environment. I feel like people are really respectful
of that because they get to see me as a regular person out in their community
living a life beyond work. They see me with my kids and husband and realize
that I am not just a physician but I am a mother and partner as well.
This actually makes it easier to maintain a balance.
What are some of your non-professional interests and favorite hobbies?
I love snowboarding, yoga, knitting, running, gardening, hiking, and spending
time with friends and family.
Is there anything about you that might surprise people?
I was a piano performance major as an undergrad. I really like a good pun.
What would be your personal motto?
Be open, warm, and accepting.
Do you have pets?
I used to have dogs but now I have too many little children. I will probably
have another dog in the next couple of years when my children are a little older.