Transforming Healthcare


Everyone is Welcome at Sapphire Community Health.

Sapphire Community Health is a community-based, outpatient primary health care center designed to serve the Bitterroot Valley.

We have been recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) as a Patient-Centered Medical Home, this means our model transforms how primary care is organized and delivered; here’s what we mean:


1. Comprehensive Care

As a patient-centered medical home we provide for a large majority of each patients each patient’s physical and mental health care needs, including prevention and wellness, acute care, and chronic care. Providing comprehensive care requires a team of care providers. This team might include physicians, advanced practice nurses, physician assistants, nurses, nutritionists, social workers,  and care coordinators. We bring together large and diverse teams of care providers to meet the needs of our patients.

2. Patient-Centered

The primary care medical home provides health care that is relationship-based with an orientation toward the whole person. Partnering with patients and their families requires understanding and respecting each patient’s unique needs, culture, values, and preferences. The medical home practice actively supports patients in learning to manage and organize their own care at the level the patient chooses. Recognizing that patients and families are core members of the care team, medical home practices ensure that they are fully informed partners in establishing care plans.

3. Coordinated Care

The primary care medical home coordinates care across all elements of the broader health care system, including specialty care, hospitals, home health care, and community services and supports. Such coordination is particularly critical during transitions between sites of care, such as when patients are being discharged from the hospital. Medical home practices also excel at building clear and open communication among patients and families, the medical home, and members of the broader care team.

4. Accessible Services

The primary care medical home delivers accessible services with shorter waiting times for urgent needs, enhanced in-person hours, around-the-clock telephone or electronic access to a member of the care team, and alternative methods of communication such as email and telephone care. The medical home practice is responsive to patients’ preferences regarding access.

5. Quality and Safety

The primary care medical home demonstrates a commitment to quality and quality improvement by ongoing engagement in activities such as using evidence-based medicine and clinical decision-support tools to guide shared decision making with patients and families, engaging in performance measurement and improvement, measuring and responding to patient experiences and patient satisfaction, and practicing population health management. Sharing robust quality and safety data and improvement activities publicly is also an important marker of a system-level commitment to quality.

You’ll love the way we care for you.

Sapphire Community Health Patient-Centered Medical Home

Patient-Centered Medical Home

Sapphire Community Health is a Patient-Centered Medical Home, which represents the idea that the patient is the most important person in health care.

Nobody knows more than the patient about his or her own needs and goals. Health care professionals can assess and advise, but people are much more likely to reach their goal if they work as part of a team with their provider(s). This means that patients who choose to actively participate in discussing their concerns and issues, decide to learn what's involved in pursuing wellness and then take steps to actually move toward health are far more likely to experience success.

Every PCMH-recognized practice must demonstrate that it is built on a standard of excellence in pursuing the core ideals which are essential to the health of the whole individual.

Our Team

we offer comprehensive medical, mental health, substance abuse, and pharmacy services by board certified physicians, nurse practitioners, and support staff.

At Sapphire Community Health we provide integrated care that focuses on the whole person. Our clinic provides superior, affordable primary care for the whole family. We are committed to fostering an environment that respects diverse cultural backgrounds and values the dignity of all people. We offer compassionate care for people of all ages. At Sapphire Community Health we offer the education, experience and internal motivation to make the changes you want in your life. You’ll love the way we care for you.


Providers and Medical Staff


Brett Bender


Brett practices Spine and Pain Medicine at Sapphire Community Health, where he also serves as the Chief Medical Officer.

Melanie Goodnight


Melanie is a Certified Family Nurse Practitioner who strives to educate patients on their co-morbidities and improving their overall health. She enjoys ranching with her husband and two young boys in Florence.

Susan Devine


Susan provides comprehensive mental health care for clients, including assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of mental health disorders. Susan is also a certified health and wellness coach and utilizes a holistic approach to patient care.

Lauren Fowler


Lauren enjoys working together with her patients to provide optimal health care. In her free time she likes hiking, camping and spending time outdoors with her husband and their dog, Samson.

Christina Crites


Chris is an RN and has been enjoying the psychiatric nursing field for five years. She calls Montana home and enjoys hiking and walking at distances less than 200 feet.

Deborah Eckheart


Originally from the Land of Oz (Kansas), Deb has a background in school mental health, parent education, and social work. She enjoys working with people throughout their lifespan and approaches therapy through the lens of trauma and attachment.

Lorri Weddle


Originally from Duluth, MN, Lorri works with Lauren Fowler and thoroughly enjoys her job! Lorri lives in the Bitterroot Valley where she absolutely loves working, skiing, hiking, camping, riding four wheelers, photography and her job!

Virginia Froseth


Virginia focuses on primary care and pain management with Dr. Bender. She is currently in the process of earning her Health Coach certification.

Nicolette Paddock


Nicolette lives in the Bitterroot Valley with her husband and 5 children. She has been the lab tech for the past year at SCHC. She loves the morale of the clinic and its wonderful team of medical professionals.

Tamera Klapwyk


Tami is a Montana native who has worked in agencies, schools and private medical practices offering services to children, families, couples and adults. Tami specializes in child attachment, adoption issues, and adult trauma.

Stewart McCracken


Stewart has been a licensed addiction counselor since 2012. Before joining Sapphire Community Health, he worked in private practice, with DHS, CPS, the Department of Labor, the Forest Service, and Jobcorps with disadvantaged students. Stewart lives in Superior, MT.

Executive Staff


Janet Woodburn


Janet has spent 30 years in non profit agency management; coming to us from St. Louis, MO. Janet is responsible for the overall management of the organization.

Chris Farey

Quality Manager

Before coming to Sapphire Community Health, Chris spent 14 years working in ED Admitting; HR; Physician Services; and 9 years in Quality Management. In her off time she enjoys photography, pottery, knitting, and spending time with her grandchildren.

Coy Altenbaumer

Clinic Operations Manager

Coy has years of experience with healthcare management in both hospital and clinic settings across the country. Originally from Arkansas, Coy enjoys hiking the vast Montana wilderness and photographing the abundant wildlife.

Medical Records

Tamara Rodriguez

Medical Records Coordinator

Tamara hails from the Great White North and has worked in records management for many years.

Administrative Support Staff


Sherri Sonksen

AP/AR Billing

Bill Bratches

IT Support

Bill is a Partner at Topdown Consultants in Hamilton, MT.



Katrina Yeaman

Patient Access

Tanya Charles

Patient Access

Tanya grew up in Anaconda AND owns a small cattle AND goat operation in Hamilton. In her free time she enjoys horseback riding, hunting, BBQ’n, and sewing quilts for her loved ones.

Board of Directors

The Sapphire Community Health Board of Directors is a dedicated group of volunteers whose mission is to make quality health and mental health care accessible to the community.

Research shows that patient participation on governing boards ensures higher quality care, lower costs and better outcomes. Sapphire Community Health’s Board of Directors includes members from the community we serve. Our Board of Directors provides policy and fiscal oversight and advises the overall strategic direction of Sapphire Community Health. We thank our volunteer board members for their hard work to enhance community health and well-being in Ravalli County.

The Sapphire Community Health Board of Directors meets every 3rd Wednesday of the month, from 6 to 8pm at 316 north 3rd St. Hamilton, MT.


  • Dixie Stark
  • Miles Wetzel
    Vice Chairperson
  • Jim Morton
    Secretary / Treasurer
  • Johanna Dreiling
  • J William Peters
  • Judy Griffin
  • Carlotta Grandstaff
    Board Member
  • J Mara Arlington
    Board Member
  • Patty West
    Board Member