Since 2018, there has been an undeniable force of positivity following Dr. Jose Ortiz throughout the Clinic and Acute Care halls of Beartooth Billings Clinic. Originally hailing from Puerto Rico, Ortiz, MD, FAAFP, has been practicing family medicine since 1997 along which his professional path led him west from a New York residency to serving Colstrip Medical Center (yes, Colstrip, Montana!) for 20 years. He has practiced at Beartooth Billings Clinic for almost five.
While “Googling” any must-know points that Ortiz may have not been forthcoming with, there is a 5.0 review on ShareCare from a “Blessed” patient last November. “Dr. Ortiz is a great physician and person whom we dearly miss in Colstrip. So much so I continue to drive from Colstrip to see him.” The review is testimony to his core philosophy of “one patient at a time.” “I see a patient and take as much time as needed for their proper care,” Ortiz continued, “I cannot think about who I saw previously or will be seeing next, or if I’m running behind or ahead of schedule. I treat my next patient, and the next, the same way until my day is fulfilled.”
Dr. Ortiz’s positive energy is the outcome of finding good in every day and a continued passion for his life’s work. Ortiz is a perfect fit for the Red Lodge area with strong engagement with trauma/EMS, stroke education, preventive, and family medicine. Accepting new patients, please call Beartooth Billings Clinic for an appointment at 406-446-2345.
On October 25, 2022, Beartooth Billings Clinic lost a fierce advocate and supporter in the passing of Mitzi Vorachek. Mitzi loved Beartooth, the staff, the patients, the building, all of it. When she talked about Beartooth, you could hear the pride in her voice.
She served as a governing board member from 2014 to present, sitting on every committee at one time or another, and guided our work as the Chair for three years. She served that extra year as Chair to help lead during the Covid response, to provide continuity and much needed support in a difficult time. In her leadership she was thoughtful and moved with purpose. She never shied away from voicing her opinion and always encouraged others to speak up as well, fully understanding the importance of teamwork in problem solving. She was always thinking of others and finding ways to honor and celebrate the excel- lent Beartooth team. During Covid she organized several staff thank you care packages and food deliveries. She also coordinated with Red Lodge Fire and Rescue and local
law enforcement to stage an appreciation parade with vehicles arriving at the Clinic with sirens and horns blaring. Mitzi gave generously; attended fundraisers, donated to the Foundation, and was always advocating for others to do the same. She listened, she led, she loved, and she laughed. She was truly a champion for all and the legacy she leaves will endure the test of time. The Karas Service Award is the perfect way to honor Mitzi and her inspiring passion and love for her beloved Beartooth.
~Kelly Heaton & Sarah Ewald, Governing Board Members
RED LODGE – Looking at year four, Sandra Moe, registered dietitian practicing at Beartooth Billings Clinic, will be offering the free LifeStyle Balance class aimed at preventing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The yearlong informational class dives into result-driven fundamentals, healthful facts, available resources, and class-connected support in rebalancing your habits to become healthier and, ultimately, happier.
“The Lifestyle Balance class is a CDC evidence-based program designed to help patients learn more about preventing and delaying the progression of Type 2 diabetes.” Moe continues, “participants will learn more about nutrition, physical activity, sleep, stress, and the tools and skills to implement behavior changes in their daily lives, all while learning from each other.”
Some weeks are more difficult than others and though we need to be focused on our progress, it is okay to reward yourself in moderate and new-to-you ways.
Previous class attendees share their successes – and failures – openly, all noting they have reached one or more of their goals:
“It’s more like gathering of likeminded people, we shared insights and ideas on achieving our goals.” ~Teresa Oliphant
“Two important goals I achieved–first I dropped my A1C to 5.3 which is outside of the Diabetes Zone and eliminated the need for medication. Secondly, through applying the lessons from the program, I lost 31 pounds over the course of the class. The class was life changing for me.” ~2021 – 22 Class Attendee
“What makes the materials come alive is the Coach Sandy Moe. She is skilled at working with the human dynamic of a group. She makes sure … no one person dominates the group. Everyone trusts her and she makes it a safe place for all to share.” ~Pat Ruzich