We are physician innovators and problem-solvers working together to improve access to high quality pediatric care for families and to create opportunities for physicians across Montana to collaborate. Our goal is to make the world better for everyone who cares for Montana’s children.
Chelsea Bodnar MD, MPhil, FAAP, CEO
Chelsea is a Montanan, a mom, a wife, and a pediatrician. She lives in Missoula with her husband and three kiddos. Her career has been fueled by a belief that in service to the youngest members of our community we can and must always strive to do better. She is a relentless optimist and unrelenting advocate for the power of collaboration.
April Malan MHA, MLS, ASCPcm, Director of Operations
April is a native Montanan and an operational healthcare leader. As a motivated and passionate professional with a tenacity for innovation and quality care, her career focus has been to improve healthcare access to all patients whilst leveraging technology, relationships, and improvement in logistical footprints across Montana. April and her three amazing children spend their spare time enjoying adventure all around Montana, but she is especially attracted to the Flathead and Bitterroot Valleys.
Brian Bost, MD, MPH, FAAP, Medical Director of Complex Care
Brian is a physician who is board certified in both pediatrics and internal medicine, which allows him to be knowledgeable with a wide range of medical conditions that span all age groups. His interests are care coordination, medical complexity, medical informatics and transitions of healthcare from pediatrics to adult providers. Brian grew up in Colorado, completed medical school in Dublin, Ireland, and completed his residency in Massachusetts and Johannesburg, South Africa. He has been involved in capacity-building global health projects for over a decade and has worked in Kenya, Jordan and Cambodia. Before coming to Montana Pediatrics, Brian worked full-time in Denver as a med-peds hospitalists in a healthcare system that was a model for integrated healthcare delivery. Brian is combining his passions and is excited to work to improving care coordination and providing support for patients and their families, and the local health care providers for children with medical complexity.
Kate Lufkin, Chief Communications Officer
Kate is passionate about finding solutions to community challenges by bringing traditionally siloed organizations and individuals together to work collaboratively. Paired with her love and experience building impactful brands, Kate has nearly a decade of experience working with community organizations and a track record of successful grassroots development of education and workforce solutions. She loves the variety that Montana has to offer, but particularly loves living in Northwest Montana where she’s active almost every evening and weekend with skiing, hiking, rafting, or just spending time outdoors with friends and family.
Matthew Larsen, RDN, LN, CDCES, Diabetes Program Manager
Matthew thrives on empowering and supporting individuals and communities on their journey to their highest attainable health. As a dietitian-nutritionist and diabetes care and education specialist, he engages people where they are to assist them in getting to the next steps in their healthy lifestyles. A Montana State University graduate, Matthew has ten years of experience leading preventive healthcare teams and positive patient outcomes. Outside of Montana Pediatrics Matthew enjoys time in the mountains, sailing, or being in the garden with his wife, two kids, and dog.
Carly Rickard, Chief Development Officer
Carly is a development professional and a proud graduate of the University of Montana. She realized her passion for pediatric healthcare philanthropy at the age of 14 when she helped start a 5K benefiting local children with pediatric cancer. Since then, she has dedicated her volunteerism and professional career to fundraising and advocating for children’s hospitals and pediatric healthcare programs.
Kristin Melli, CPNP-PC, Fort Peck Program Manager
Kristin is a pediatric nurse practitioner, specializing in primary care, who has had the pleasure of working with children in a variety of healthcare settings and locations over the past 10 years. Currently, she lives in Kalispell with her husband and three kids, where she’s had the exciting opportunity to enter a whole new healthcare setting for her: telemedicine. Her work as a nurse practitioner is predicated on the belief that all children deserve the same quality of healthcare. She is humbled by being invited into situations where children are experiencing illness, injury, trauma, and stress (and wellness, too!) and seeks to be a compassionate, reliable partner in the care of every child she meets. Kristin loves collaborating with and learning from her physician colleagues, patients, and families to come up with practical health plans that best serve the families entrusted to her care. Apart from nursing, she enjoys bike rides with her husband, downhill skiing, reading novels, bribing her children to enjoy hikes and gardening with her, and is very interested in healthy soil and how it relates to human health.
Jacqueline Dittmann, Operations Specialist
Jacqueline is a healthcare professional with a background in population health management focused on quality measures, data reliability, and improving patient and provider outcomes all while fostering collaborative relationships for health care innovation across Montana. Jacqueline and her husband love to travel and spend time camping, rafting, and fly fishing in the amazing creeks and rivers all over Montana. Jacqueline also has a passion for DIY and handmade crafts especially stuffed toys, leather and waxed canvas totes, and quilting.
Kathy Ferdig, RN, BSN, Pediatric Care Coordinator
Kathy is from Great Falls, Montana, but as part of being raised in an Air Force family she grew up in Lompoc, California and Papillion, Nebraska. She returned to her Montana roots in 2001 bringing with her her husband and two daughters. Kathy graduated from Montana State University in 2006 and began her nursing career in Billings. As a mother of a medically complex child herself, Kathy has great insight and firsthand knowledge of the challenges faced by the entire family unit. She combines her personal experiences and knowledge with passion to efficiently organize patient care, increase communication across all of those who care for children with medical complexities, and aims to help establish better care and experiences for everyone she serves. Outside of work Kathy can be found spending time with her family and her fur-babies, photographing the world around her, crafting, and spending time around Flathead Lake and Glacier National Park.
Ashley Bennett, PhD, BCBA-D, LBA, Behavioral Health Integrations Manager
Ashley is a Behavior Analyst who is fiercely dedicated to improving the lives of children and families impacted by developmental and behavioral healthcare needs. Ashley received her education from Gonzaga University and The Chicago School of Professional Psychology and enjoys building new programs that center on quality of care. Prior to relocating to Northwest Montana, her 15 years of experience enabled her to establish the Touchstone Health Service’s Autism Center of Excellence, while finding a passion for developing creative solutions to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities, including assessing and identifying solutions that can better support individuals at school, in healthcare systems, and more. Ashley has two dogs and enjoys hiking, yoga, and traveling.
Melissa Eastlick, MSW, Medical Social Worker
Melissa has been working with families across Montana for most of her professional career. Prior to joining Montana Pediatrics, Melissa worked in several early childhood professional positions. In 2007, she became a Family Support Specialist and found a passion for working with parents who had children with developmental delays and disabilities. It was during this time that she fell wildly in love with supporting parents and their children. Over time, this love led to her pursuit of a Master’s degree in Social Work and now helping parents bring more fun and ease into their parenting is her passion. When Melissa is not working she can be found cooking, dancing, or connecting with her family and friends.