April Perkins, Dr. Charles Charman, Kevin Mchugh, Douglas Henry and Mrs. Kirgan

We are ecstatic to have received so many submissions for our Celebrating Montana Healthcare Careers: National Rural Health Day Contest this year. We would like to recognize the students who participated in this contest, and the healthcare workers they interviewed. Each week we will post five submissions. Thank you to everyone who participated! 

Sierra Perkins

Name: April Perkins from CMC Hospital, Missoula Valley Pediatrics

Student: Sierra Perkins, sophomore at Sentinel High School

Challenges: The challenges are how far patients have to travel to see a doctor in the winter also the doctors and resources are very limited because of how many people see them.

Benefits: You get a better relationship with the patients, and the excellent providers. April’s favorite part of her job is the kids she gets to work with day in and day out.

Abigail Puente

Name: Dr. Charles Charman. a hospitalist at Community Medical Center

Student: Abigail Puente, a junior at Sentinel High

Challenges: Being isolated is very hard not only socially but medically as well. We don’t have very many medical services near towns. We need to depend on helicopters a lot to transfer patients but sometimes it’s difficult because of bad weather.

Benefits: We get to know a lot of people. You don’t only meet them and care for them in the hospital, but you see them out in local places and remember who they are. You get to know them as a person, not just a patient.

A career path Abigail is very interested in is becoming a doctor or a psychologist. Dr. Charman is a big influence and a big motivator in her life. He has given her great advice and she don’t want to throw it all away, so she am going to take advantage of it.

Carson Kelly

Name: Kevin Mchugh, a personal trainer at Missoula Underground Strength Training

Student: Carson Kelly, a senior at Sentinel High

Challenges: The rural environment of the state is also a negative to out gym. Most gyms thrive in population dense areas for more clients. Luckily we live in the 3rd largest city in Montana.

Benefits: I believe that being located in Missoula and a more urban area of the state helps our gym. One of the few things I can think of that helps our gym living in a rural state is that many need to stay in shape for a lot of their jobs, such as farming and ranching.

Paige Torbergson

Name: Douglas Henry PA-C, Missoula bone and joint

Student: Paige Torbergson a sophomore from Sentinel High

Challenges: The challenge of working in a rural community is that sometimes you don’t have the needed specialist so you have to send the patient to another hospital.

Benefits: A benefit to working in a rural community is that people want to get better faster so they can go have fun also his patients and co-workers are very nice.

Taylor Tennant

Name: Mrs. Kirgan, a counselor at Sentinel High School

Student: Taylor Tennant, from Sentinel High School

Challenges: Mrs. Kirgan says in a rural community like Missoula, people are often isolated and with that it is hard for people to get help where they live.  People have to be willing to drive to a bigger town to get medical help.

Benefits: Mrs. Kirgan says that she loves the people. They are friendly, down to earth people. People go to their neighbors and check up on them. The stigma with mental health is a tough barrier to break for some people.