North Valley Hospital Announces New Chief Medical Officer and Chief of Staff
WHITEFISH, MT – July 28, 2016: North Valley Hospital is pleased to announce that Dr. Jason Cohen has accepted the role of Chief Medical Officer following the retirement of Dr. Ron Miller, and Dr. Ryan Gunlikson will take on the title of Chief of Staff.
Jason Cohen, MD is board certified in internal medicine and has been a hospitalist for North Valley Hospital since 2013. Dr. Cohen previously worked at Marcus Daly Hospital, a rural critical access hospital in Hamilton, Montana, as a hospitalist before taking on the role of Quality Lead. He commuted monthly to North Valley Hospital for two years before accepting the full time position of Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Cohen is happy to be at North Valley Hospital, where he says he is “excited about the culture and the Planetree philosophy” that makes North Valley a unique and wonderful place to work.
“I see that people feel valued here and ideas from staff at all levels are heard by leadership,” states Dr. Cohen. “I appreciate that North Valley Hospital is able to cultivate that kind of environment.”
Dr. Cohen notes the affiliation with Kalispell Regional Healthcare is “an opportunity for the community to see more options in healthcare services.” He wants to streamline the process of collaborating with KRH to help patients in the Flathead Valley and surrounding rural areas to have greater access to the quality healthcare options and systems. “I look forward to helping create more care options and clearer access for patients. It fits right in line with our Planetree philosophy of healthcare,” says Dr. Cohen.
Before relocating to Montana in 2011, Dr. Cohen was a member of the teaching faculty at the University of New Mexico, where he taught residents and medical students and worked in quality improvement and standardization. His role at North Valley Hospital as Chief Medical Officer will allow him to work as an intermediary between medical staff and hospital leadership to communicate priorities from all parties, disseminate information, and advocate for needs of the medical staff and the community.
Ryan Gunlikson, MD is a board certified general surgeon with North Valley Surgical Services and has been on staff at North Valley Hospital since 1999. He was nominated for the one-year position of Chief of Staff by the hospital medical staff. The Chief of Staff works as an advocate for the medical staff at the board level. The position is focused on personnel and building staff and board relationships, in addition to facilitating physician meetings. Dr. Gunlikson will work as a liaison for physicians to the board and alternatively will also discuss board decisions with medical staff.
“I’m excited to be involved at the board level during this transition time,” states Dr. Gunlikson. “Working in this role during the affiliation will allow us to optimize North Valley Hospital’s patient care as we collaborate with Kalispell Regional Healthcare, while also maintaining our unique identity as a Planetree facility.” Dr. Gunlikson has long held privileges at both facilities.
“I’m enthusiastic about being involved in the hospital at a more in-depth level again and exploring new directions and opportunities in this role,” says Dr. Gunlikson. He explains that medicine and the medical world have changed quickly since he was last the Chief of Staff in 2008, and he’s looking forward to being an advocate for physicians and the community. “I want to be engaged in the process and show that we care about what we do here at North Valley. Even though it might seem like a small level, it’s great to take part in making sure that our service areas have the best possible care and services possible.”
Dr. Ryan Gunlikson is a native to the Flathead Valley. He attended Montana State University, University of Washington, and University of Colorado before returning to the Flathead as a surgeon at North Valley Hospital. Gunlikson enjoys raising his family here and he and his wife and their three children take advantage of all the area has to offer for recreation from camping to mountain biking to skiing in the winter.