Choteau Acantha: Benefis receives new accreditation

The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) has awarded Benefis Health System in Great Falls with Sponsorship Institution designation. This new accreditation gives Benefis the opportunity to sponsor residency programs that will teach developing physicians who want to be in Montana and are graduates of accredited medical schools.

“This is monumental for Benefis and medical education in Montana. The process of securing this accreditation is rigorous and challenging, and not one that we at Benefis took lightly,” said John Goodnow, CEO of Benefis Health System. “By awarding Benefis with Sponsoring Institution, we can become an even greater contributor to our community and state by evolving medical education and ensuring we have the most qualified doctors graduating from medical school.”

Over the next few years, Benefis will prepare its programs, facility and obtain additional accreditation for supplementary programs before it starts accepting residents.

“We are excited for Benefis Health System with this landmark achievement. The difference that the future teaching programs of Benefis Health Systems will make, will be impactful and improve the health of the region for generations to come,” said Dr. Robert Hasty, ICOM founding dean and chief academic officer.

By achieving this accreditation, Benefis will be able to open its doors to students from the new Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine (ICOM). ICOM was recently allowed to start recruiting students to its new school that will open September 2018. Students from Montana will have the opportunity to join students from primarily Idaho, Wyoming, South Dakota and North Dakota in a modern, state-of-the-art medical school with the plan to have them return to their beloved states and practice premiere medicine to residents in rural communities.

“We have a need for more doctors in Montana and we want the opportunity to help educate them here in Montana. By having students start their medical education in Idaho and then have the opportunity to patricpiate in a residency program back here at home is a great benefit to Montanans,” said Goodnow.