Margaret Bortko appointed Health Officer and Medical Director

Madison County Board of Health approves unanimously

The Madison County Board of Health held a special meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 8 at the Administration Building in Virginia City. The agenda included two items, to appoint a Board of Health Member to the role of Health Officer and to transfer the duties of Medical Director to another Board Member - both due to the recent resignation of Dr. Molly Biehl who served in these roles for two years but recently accepted a new position with SCL Health and is relocating to another county.

Margaret Bortko, FNP, a member of the Board of Health who volunteered to inherit both roles, was appointed to serve in both capacities by unanimous vote. Margaret Bortko has lived in Madison County and provided healthcare services to both the Ruby and Madison Valleys since 1996. Bortko most recently worked as a professor of nursing at Montana State University in Bozeman. A founding member of the Madison County Board of Health, Bortko has experience in disaster response, emergency medical services education, HIV prevention, childhood immunization clinics, hospice care oversight, suicide prevention and wellness education.

In this meeting, Bortko described plans to assist the Public Health Department in tasks such as immunization and wellness education, through volunteering her time in the role of Medical Director. The Public Health Department is eager to utilize Bortko’s skills in this capacity, as it will help fill current gaps in staffing that prevent the Department from performing such tasks.

Montana Law designates that each jurisdiction shall maintain a Board of Health to extend guidance to promote measures for the improvement of health conditions and wellness among the population of that jurisdiction. This law also designates that the Board of Health recommend a Health Officer. Both the Madison County Public Health Department and the Madison County Sanitarian’s Office work closely with the Board of Health and Health Officer to assure these measures are implemented. A formal recommendation for Bortko’s appointment will be submitted for approval by the Madison County Commissioners during the Feb. 22 Board of Commissioners meeting.

The Medical Director is the medical provider who grants the Public Health Office the ability to order and administer immunizations by standing order, works closely with the Department Director to establish procedures for clinical services, and assists the office with medical guidance needed for day-to-day business.

The Madison County Board of Health will meet for their next quarterly meeting on March 15 at 5:30 p.m. in the Madison County Administration Building in Virginia City. These meetings are open to the public, and accessible via Webex, with login information posted on the agenda prior to the meeting. Anyone wishing to participate in these meetings can do so during the public comment period, or submit requests to include new business items before the agenda is posted. Any requests should be submitted to the Madison County Public Health Department. 

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The Madisonian

65 N. MT Hwy 287
Ennis, MT 59729

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