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Bozeman Health personnel decision facing opposition from Bozeman residents

Almost 150 residents signed the petition, concerned that Gallatin County may lose orthopedic trauma services.
Posted at 3:11 PM, May 21, 2024

BOZEMAN — Dr. Tim Hiesterman is one of Gallatin County’s only orthopedic trauma surgeons, and some Bozeman residents are fighting to keep his on-call services available.

"It really is just about patient care. What is available in this valley where you’ve got lots of opportunity for trauma with ski hills and construction," Says Marian Struble, the organizer of the petition.

She's one of almost 150 citizens who are concerned about losing Dr. Hiesterman’s orthopedic trauma services.

"The decisions that are made affect more than the one person that they are making a decision over," she says.

The decision Struble refers to is Bozeman Health’s choice to exclude Dr. Hiesterman from on-call scheduling. According to Marian, this could affect immediate access to trauma services in the ER.

"All his patients are trauma patients, so unless he admits a patient, if it’s an emergency, those patients are going to have to go somewhere else because we don’t have the specialty to cover this," she says.

I reached out to Bozeman Health for comment. They say that when Dr. Hiesterman left his contracted position at Bridger Orthopedic, they brought in another trauma surgeon to fill the lapse in specialty services.

Dr. Hiesterman still operates a private practice with full access to operating rooms at Bozeman Health Deaconness Regional Medical Center. According to Bozeman Health, the practice doesn’t meet care-team requirements for on-call scheduling.

However, the hospital offered the following comments regarding the partnership:

“This year Dr. Hiesterman has provided care to an equal number of orthopedic trauma patients as the other 13 orthopedic surgeons who provide care at Bozeman Health. We welcome and support Dr. Hiesterman to continue to provide care in our community and at Bozeman Health.”