Community Medical Center in Missoula

Community Medical Center in Missoula.

Missoulian photo

It turns out that deciding what to do with $74.9 million is a lot more work than anybody expected.

The Montana Attorney General’s Office has yet again extended its deadline for approving the proposed use of proceeds from the sale of Community Medical Center to a partnership between Billings Clinic and RegionalCare Hospital Partners.

This is the second time the deadline has been moved.

Three weeks ago, the AG’s office declared that March 13 would be the day a decision would be issued. Last week, however, a lawyer for the CMC Board of Directors asked the AG’s office for more time.

“Based on our discussion today about the need for some more time to review and comment on the organizational documents for Community Hospital Legacy Fund, CMC would like to request an extension of at least one week of the agreed deadline,” wrote attorney Gary Chumrau of Garlington, Lohn and Robinson law firm to assistant Attorney General Kelley Hubbard.

Hubbard wrote back, saying the AG’s office consented to the extension.

The AG’s office approved the actual sale earlier this year, but because the Missoula hospital was a nonprofit that was sold to a for-profit corporation, the state must also approve how the sale proceeds are used.

The CMC Board of Directors submitted a proposal to use the bulk of the proceeds, $64.2 million, to create a new nonprofit foundation, the Community Hospital Legacy Foundation, which will have the same health care-minded mission as CMC and will serve the same geographic region.

Another $10.5 million would be given as a gift to the University of Montana Foundation.

That money would be used to help build a CMC Legacy Health Professions Complex on the UM campus, create a physician assistant program, create a scholarship endowment for health care students and help fund health care programs and infrastructure at the new Missoula College.

The donation to UM has generated some controversy in the community. 

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