By Shannon Johnson
Fallon County residents will now have another option for their healthcare as Leanne R. Cota (formerly Breihahn) – PA-C, MPH, a former provider at Fallon Medical Complex, begins her own mobile medical house call business, “Just like old-timey docs,” Cota explains. “I like to say it is bringing the medical provider home”. I go to people’s houses, farms or ranches and provide medical care right then and there.” The adventure began just a little over a year ago with paperwork details. Mrs. Cota states that Beth Epley has been a great help thru the Eastern Plains Economic Development Corporation. Glendive’s Dr. Joan Dickson, is the supervising physician.
Country Home Medicine is a faith-based family oriented medical company. Country Home Medicine is a veteran owned and operated company. Cota plans to take patients on as a primary care provider and for small urgent care type issues. This type of home based medical care is becoming popular on both the east and the west coasts of the United States and she saw how it could be a great benefit to those in rural areas. “I think most people who are in the medical community have an innate desire to help people,” she said. “It’s stirred out of that and seeing a need. Especially in a community like ours where a lot more people, as they age, are staying at home. Sometimes it’s hard for them to get out, like in the wintertime.” Although Country Home Medicine offers a convenient method of healthcare for individuals of all ages especially in the winter months, it is a year-round service.
Cota is in the process of becoming credentialed with both Medicare and Medicaid. After that she plans to become credentialed with other major local insurance providers. With many people having no insurance or having high deductibles, it was important that Cota keeps her services affordable. She explained. “There are so many people who can’t get medical care, or think they can’t, because they don’t have insurance, or their insurance deductibles are astronomical and I’d like to help close that gap.”
Cota hopes that this will help people be more proactive in their healthcare and speak with their provider when they have a concern or questions. “I am going to promote health and wellness, but I’m also going to ask them to participate and actively engage in that.” She noted. “I want people to feel empowered about managing their own health.”
Cota will be able to do a lot for patients on house calls, but for the things that will take additional resources, she will be able to electronically prescribe treatments as necessary, make referrals as they are needed, as well as advise patients if they need to be seen in a facility for testing, lab work or require a higher level of care.
Medicine has always been a big part of Cota’s life. Her mother, Ruth Hill, who has passed away, was a nurse. “My mom was a great inspiration to me,” she smiled. “I began working in health care back in high school, I took a nurse’s aide course that my mom taught at the local junior college back in 1982, and then I worked at the local hospital in Avon Park, Florida as a nurse’s aide on the med/surgical floor. When I graduated from high school I went to college in Collegedale, Tennessee for a nursing program. I started out on the prerequisites but life brought a detour that took me to different states but all the while in medicine. I continued with my education at night and working full time and with a young child. She graduated college in 1994 with her first Bachelor’s degree in management. In 2002 she completed her dreams of being in medicine by graduating as a physician assistant with a bachelor of science and a master’s of public health degree.
As a physician assistant Mrs. Cota has 17 years of experience which has encompassed working in neurology, neurosurgery, cardiology, dermatology and rehabilative medicine prior to joining the active duty Air Force as a captain. Once in the military she honed her skills in family practice, women’s health and also as a certifying official in the PRP (Personal Reliability Program) which is similar to flight medicine. Cota was stationed at Elmendorf, Anchorage, Alaska and Malstrom, Great Falls, Montana. She also served in Afghanistan in 2008 – 2009 as a medical provider.
Mrs. Cota states that “I’ve been and done, I’ve traveled a lot, had a lot of variety so when the initial opportunity opened to come to Baker, Montana, I was like okay, that’s where I’m going. Montana is where I want to be, and I’ve never regretted my decision.” Mrs. Cota is also quite active in her church, Baker Assembly of God and also helps facilitate Baker’s Celebrate Recovery connection group. In her spare time she raises turkeys and ducks and enjoys working outside stating “It helps keep me grounded.”
Cota resides in Plevna with her new husband, Alan Kay Cota and her youngest child, Brandon. Her daughter, Heather and husband Bobby live in Georgia and Alan’s daughter Brianne is in Butte, Montana. Alan and Leanne have both become invested in this community over the years, which also gave her the drive to start this company. “For me it’s about taking care of our people here,” she explained. “It about keeping our resources here instead of them going somewhere else.” Cota wants to see the resources within the community utilized to support the local economy.
Cota is excited about beginning this journey. Anybody who is interested in using Country Home Medicine can contact Cota via call or text at 406-778-7750.