The Summit April/May 2023

Click below to view The Summit for April/May 2023.

National Donate Life Month an annual campaign that recognizes and celebrates those who have received transplants, recognize those who continue to wait, honor donors and donor families, and thank registered donors for giving hope. Inspired by the natural world of a pond coming to life in the spring, this year’s DLM theme is Make a Splash!

There are also more than 12.7 million people worldwide living with treatable blindness. SightLife can restore their sight, but we need your help. You can help by registering your decision to be an organ, eye and tissue donor at

SightLife Family Services will be hosting a “Stories of Transformation” webinar on Thursday, April 21 at 5pm PT/8pm ET. The webinar will feature three cornea transplant recipients who will share their stories of sight restoration. We hope you can join to be reminded of the incredible impact of our work. Register today!

SightLife Stories of Hope


Abby Lotz, Chief Executive Officer, described the opening of the new state of the art 3D mammography service at the Clinic as an example “of what can be done when you partner with your community and have that giving.”

The 3D mammography unit is “fully funded from earnings from our endowment which was the purpose of why we started that effort so many years ago,” added Lotz. 

“It has been a long time coming, and I’m so excited. It is amazing technology and provides a special service to our women here and in the surrounding communities,” said Dulcie Trager, Radiology Technologist.

“It is like a mini CT for the screening and the best for locating dense breasted tissue on women.  This 3D technology will bring it out so there will be fewer call backs as you’ll know more and find more immediately,” said Trager.  The 3D unit can be used on men as well. 

Call 406-446-2345 to schedule an appointment.

Don’t risk losing your coverage.

Make sure Medicaid and Healthy Montana Kids has your current contact info.

Visit or call 1-844-682-6837.

Dr. Greg Burfeind entertaining and educating Mountain View first graders.

RED LODGE – Growing up in Missoula is the beginning to Dr. Gregory D. (Greg) Burfeind’s story of finding Red Lodge and Beartooth Billings Clinic. At The University of Montana – and a robust Griz fan for life –  Burfeind studied sociology and found a passion for medicine in a Wilderness EMT class.  He sustained his undergraduate years working in the athletic equipment room at U of M and at a summer church camp on Flathead Lake, where he worked with and eventually would marry his wife, Kelly. After receiving his bachelor’s degree, he was a school bus driver and worked in Glacier National Park. “What drew me to medicine is I wanted to do something where I could tangibly help people,” said Burfeind.   “Two days after getting married at the camp on Flathead Lake, I was starting medical school in Denver.” Life hasn’t slowed down since.  He graduated from the University of Colorado School of Medicine and moved on to residency at McKay – Dee Hospital in Ogden, UT.

Burfeind recalls visiting Red Lodge and the Beartooth Mountains with Kelly for the first time ten years prior to joining Beartooth Billings Clinic. At the time he commented, “this would be a great place to live … back to Montana, in a small town, practicing family medicine.” Dr. Burfeind later joined Beartooth Billings Clinic, a Critical Access Hospital, in 2016 and is now one of the nine rural healthcare providers at Beartooth living, working, and raising his young family in Red Lodge. His family enjoys hiking, skiing, camping, and getting his children involved in activities such as ice skating and horseback riding.

His practice at Beartooth keeps him involved in every facet of family medicine with self-identified strong points in sports medicine, geriatrics, and pediatrics. Giving him variety, Burfeind’s time is split practicing family and primary care in the clinic with shifts covering the emergency department and hospital. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians, Beartooth Billings Clinic Hospice Medical Director, and is key part of Beartooth’s antibiotic stewardship program to improve how antibiotics are prescribed for and used by patients to advance patient safety and improve outcomes. Accepting new patients, please call Beartooth Billings Clinic for an appointment at 406-446-2345.

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


Moe: Not Your Regular Dietician

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

The new series of LifeStyle Balance begins late October. To begin your health journey, contact Sandra Moe at 406-446-0664 or email her at

Caring for children in a disaster before, during and after an emergency.

Click here for information from the CDC