fbpx Skip To Content

Our Staff

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, Chief Operating Officer

    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.

  • 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.

  • 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, Clinical Operations and Program Manager

    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.

  • 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, SWLC, CMC Program Manager & Patient and Family Experience Advocate

    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.

  • Chani Knight, PMP, Director of Outreach & Engagement

    Chani is an enthusiastic relationship builder, passionate leader, and experienced project manager dedicated to bringing people together and breaking down barriers of access across a myriad of industries. Prior to her role with Montana Pediatrics, she worked and volunteered time across nonprofits, community cooperatives, and marketing and advertising agencies bolstering her experience in outreach campaigns and program management, and tasking her with the management of initiatives related to statewide healthcare access, local and rural healthcare programs, and national child advocacy projects. While she was raised in Northern Nevada, she now calls Montana home and can be found enjoying all the state has to offer through hiking, camping, reading, traveling, and overall spending time with her family.