More than 600,000 people live in rural and remote areas of Montana, but there are only 48 critical access hospitals. This impacts the access and care provided to those living in the rural areas.

Dr. Bill Gallea, Emergency Physician in Helena, MT, recognized the need and identified the importance of providing comprehensive training to medical providers throughout Montana. He brought a core group of health care providers to attend a CALS course in Minnesota in 2013. On completion of the course, the group’s members agreed that CALS would serve the need they had identified to improve the medical care in rural Montana. They returned to Helena with great enthusiasm and commitment to bring the CALS course to their state.

With the generous help of ACEP, the first CALS Montana course was held in Helena in August 2014.

This was followed by a CALS instructor training course. Nineteen dedicated and highly qualified medical professionals attended this instructor training and since then have started hosting their own CALS courses throughout Montana.

The first CALS course taught exclusively by Montana CALS instructors was held in Helena in December 2014. The course was attended by 17 healthcare providers consisting of physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses and paramedics. The positive response led to immediate planning for the next class in Lewistown, MT, in March 2015.

For more information on CALS in Montana, contact Ann Gihl at

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