DOJ: News Release

Search Committee Nominates Candidates for Montana Healthcare Foundation Board

Search Committee Nominates Candidates for Montana Healthcare Foundation Board

The Montana Healthcare Foundation’s interim trustee E. Edwin Eck and his selection committee have forwarded Attorney General Tim Fox their seven nominations for the foundation’s board. The nominees are:

• Dr. Paul R. Cook, Red Lodge
• Michael V. Harrington, Missoula
• Judith LaPlan, Sidney
• Joanne M. Pieper, Belgrade
• Denis J. Prager, Clyde Park
• William P. Underriner, Billings
• Mignon R. Waterman, Helena

Additional information about the nominees is available in the search committee’s memo to Attorney General Fox, which is available online here. The memo describes the steps the committee made to notify Montanans of the opportunity to apply, as well as the review and selection process.

“E. Edwin Eck, and his search committee members, Karen Fagg, and James Soft, have invested a tremendous amount of time and energy into compiling this list of nominees from across Montana, and I am grateful for their service,” Attorney General Fox said. The committee reviewed 100 applications and interviewed dozens of Montanans over the past several months. “I am excited to interview these nominees individually and independently determine whether each nominee meets the statutory requirements and qualifications required for appointment to the Montana Healthcare Foundation’s initial board of directors.”

Attorney General Fox formed the Montana Healthcare Foundation after he and Commissioner of Securities and Insurance Monica Lindeen approved the limited acquisition of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana’s insurance portfolio assets by Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC). State law required the Attorney General to distribute the transaction’s $40.2 million purchase proceeds directly to a non-profit foundation whose mission is to improve the quality, availability, and awareness of healthcare programs and services for Montanans. In order to best fulfill that responsibility, the Attorney General’s Office created a new non-profit organization, which is a 501(c)(3) charity with an independent board of directors. The Attorney General’s approval of the conversion transaction also required HCSC to create at least 100 new jobs in Montana, which HCSC is fulfilling with the establishment of a call center in Great Falls.

In accordance with state law, the Attorney General’s Office will confirm that the nominees meet the statutory requirements for the new foundation’s board members. If the nominees meet the criteria and successfully complete background checks, Attorney General Fox will formally appoint them as members of the board. It is anticipated that the process will conclude in two to three weeks. Upon the Attorney General’s final appointments to the board, E. Edwin Eck’s position as interim trustee of the foundation will terminate.

The Montana Healthcare Foundation is an independent, non-governmental entity.

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