Helena-area business news – Independent Record

Helena Surgicenter gains accreditation

Helena Surgicenter has been accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC).

Accreditation distinguishes this surgical center from many other outpatient facilities through its adherence to rigorous standards of care and safety.

Status as an accredited organization means Helena Surgicenter has met nationally recognized standards for the provision of quality health care set by AAAHC. More than 6,600 ambulatory health care organizations across the United States are currently accredited by AAAHC.

Ambulatory health care organizations seeking AAAHC Accreditation undergo an extensive self-assessment and onsite survey by AAAHC expert surveyors – physicians, nurses, and administrators who are actively involved in ambulatory care. The survey is peer-based and educational, presenting best practices to help an organization improve its care and services.

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While the on-site survey is an important component of the process, ongoing compliance and continuous improvement are part of the accreditation maintenance mindset that a facility should integrate into its daily activities long after the survey has been completed. The intent of accreditation is for organizations to adopt policies and procedures that fuel ongoing QI and self-evaluation every day.

Helena SurgiCenter is a caring, comfortable and convenient facility that provides patient-centered care in an outpatient setting. Our physician owned and operated facility is home to the latest advances in technology and equipment, many of the area’s most reputable surgeons, and a hand-picked team of experienced and highly-trained nurses and technicians.

For over 20 years, Helena SurgiCenter has consistently maintained our signature commitment to the care and improvement of patient lives by delivering high-quality, cost-effective health care in the community.

Apprenticeship Week is Nov. 13-19

Gov. Greg Gianforte proclaimed Nov. 13-19 Apprenticeship Week to highlight the benefits of apprenticeships in empowering Montana workers and ensuring employers have a highly-skilled workforce.

On Wednesday he visited with apprentices and journeymen at Precision Plumbing in Billings to highlight expanding programs and the state’s record number of registered apprentices.


Gov. Greg Gianforte, right, visits with Precision Plumbing apprentices and journeymen in Billings.

Since 2020, active apprenticeship enrollment in Montana has increased over 20%.

Montana’s Registered Apprenticeship Program, administered by the Department of Labor & Industry, enables workers to receive paid, supervised, on-the-job training in more than 100 different fields across Montana.

In 2022, Montana added more apprenticeships to the Registered Apprenticeship Program than ever before, many of which were added following a rule change championed by the governor that went into effect that year.

While preserving workplace safety and training standards, the rule change revised the previous journeyman to apprentice ratio of 2:1 to 1:2, allowing one journeyman to supervise two apprentices.

Employing over 40 apprentices and journeymen, Precision Plumbing is one of more than 600 businesses who have partnered with the program, employing more than 3,000 apprentices statewide.

“It’s a blessing to be able to get more guys trained up in the field because there is such a lack of plumbers and construction people in general in the industry,” said Dave Biegel, vice president of Precision Plumbing.

Biegel also shared that before the ratio change, their employees would have to wait three to four years before getting an apprenticeship. Now, they only have to wait three or four months.

The governor also established the Montana Trades Education Credit in 2021, providing employers a credit for employee education and training. The governor nearly doubled MTEC in 2023, his staff said.

Register for sugar beet, barley forum

Registration is open for the 2024 Montana and Wyoming Sugar Beet and Malt Barley Symposium, which will be held Jan. 9-10 at the Billings Hotel and Convention Center.

Sugar harvest (copy)

A runner passes a growing pile of sugar beets at the Western Sugar refinery as the harvest gets under way in 2019.

The event is a joint effort of Montana State University Extension and the Mountain States Crop Education Association, or MSCEA. The MSCEA comprises industry representatives and MSU Extension faculty members.

Events on Jan. 9 will focus on barley production. Presentations will cover topics including precision agriculture, irrigation, disease and weed control. Jan. 10 will focus on sugar beet production, including topics such as disease and weed management, marketing and interpreting soil test results. A complete agenda can be found at mountainstateag.org.

Pesticide applicator and certified crop adviser credits will be available. Symposium registration and other details are online at mountainstateag.org. Pre-registration for the event is $42.50 per day. Please note that a convenience fee will be added to online transactions. A special hotel rate of $98 per night is available until Dec. 25.

For more information, contact Trestin Feagler, MSU Extension agent in Yellowstone County, at 406-256-2828 or trestinbenson@montana.edu

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