County Commission approves agreement to recruit doctor for Community Health Care Center, including potential $20,000 fee

During a special meeting on Thursday, Cascade County Commissioners approved a contingency agreement with The Curare Group, Inc.

The group represents Dr. Christine Potterjones, who is a candidate for a full-time position at the Community Health Care Center.

Potterjones has previously worked at Benefis Health System and is now hoping to return to central Montana, according to the CHCC.

Potterjones has an exclusive agreement with the Curare Group for placement, which is common in the medical industry, according to Trista Besich, chief financial officer at CHCC.

Potterjones is scheduled to visit the center on Friday and if she accepts a position at the center in the next two years, Curare’s fee is $20,000.

Commissioners approved the agreement, including the fee, during Thursday’s meeting.

They said the fee gave them a sense of sticker shock, but that they understood that it’s industry standard for doctors.

Besich said that the fee is actually low compared to many others in the field and that often the fee is $30,000 and up to $50,000 depending on the medical specialties.

Besich said the center has one full-time doctor, but they’ve had a vacancy for some time. They hadn’t actively recruited, but are now starting to ramp up recruitment efforts and are expanding services.

The clinic receives federal grants and focuses on serving low to moderate income patients, including those who are uninsured or underinsured, Besich said, but the center is open to the entire community.