Increased demand for local medical services has prompted Livingston HealthCare to add several new providers to its existing roster, specifically in the areas of general surgery, orthopedics, family practice, internal medicine and emergency room. Additional hiring for still more providers is ongoing.
Joining the team full time are: Warren Liebers, MD; Justin Roberts, MD; Kyra Piñango, MD; Henry Piñango, MD; Gregg Schellack, DO and Russell Saari, PA-C.
Warren Liebers, MD, joins the LHC Emergency Department with a well-demonstrated affinity for high pressure situations. Liebers works as an ER physician along with operating an aviation business in Three Forks where he instructs would-be pilots and lives with his wife. Originally from Nebraska, Liebers had an early passion for flying airplanes, beginning in his adolescent years and he has held a commercial license since 2001.
Liebers received his undergraduate degree from Kearny State College (now University of Nebraska at Kearny) where he studied wildlife biology, he later enrolled and graduated from University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and completed his residency in Minot, North Dakota. He is board certified in Family Medicine.
Liebers ran a private family practice in Conrad, Montana for several years before moving to Butte, Montana to work as an emergency medicine physician. Lieber later moved to Homer, Alaska to work as an emergency medicine physician and also a commercial tundra pilot.
Emergency room medicine and aviation, according to Liebers, combines the similar practice of situational awareness, calm in high pressure situations as well as the checklist of procedures necessary for successful resolution.
Justin Roberts, MD is a board certified surgeon who comes to LHC from Texas Tech University, Lubbock. Roberts has previously worked as an Associate Professor of Surgery, supervising residents and teaching while also serving as a surgeon at a Level 1 trauma and regional burn center. Prior to teaching, Roberts ran a private practice and worked in general ER surgery and trauma coverage at Hendrick Medical Center, Abilene, Texas.
Roberts earned his Bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and his doctoral degree from Texas Tech, Lubbock, while finishing his internship and residency in general surgery at University of Oklahoma, Tulsa. Roberts has received numerous awards in teaching and mentoring while working as a surgeon. He is an avid outdoorsman and a licensed pilot.
Kyra Piñango, MD a Livingston native, returns to her hometown as a family practice physician specializing in obstetrics in the LHC Clinic. Kyra studied at Walla Walla University in Washington state, transferring to and earning her degree from Union College, Lincoln, Neb. She received her medical degree from Loma Linda University, Calif.
Kyra made the choice to become a physician after a mission trip to an orphanage in El Salvador while she was still in high school at Mount Ellis Academy (Bozeman). She says coming home to Livingston as a physician was always part of her plan. “These are my people. I couldn’t be happier to take care of my community as a physician and of course, finally come home.” A welcomed addition to Kyra’s planned homecoming was bringing along her husband, Henry and their young son, Tiago.
Henry Piñango, MD is a board-certified specialist in Internal Medicine specializing in Geriatrics, who also has assumed the role of LHC Hospice Medical Director as of Sept. 1. Henry attended high school in Indianapolis and later college at Southern Adventist University, Collegedale, Tenn., where he earned his degree in biochemistry. While working as a chemist in a battery factory, Henry realized he loved to explore how things work, but the lack of human interaction reminded him of life-affecting experience he had as a young adult. While still a teen working as an aid in a nursing home, Henry discovered he had a passion for caring for the aged. This discovery led him to enroll at Loma Linda University to study medicine and meet his future wife, Kyra.
“Part of what I liked about the idea of moving to Livingston, was the opportunity I have to serve the older generations here,” Henry says. “I bring a perspective to geriatric care that includes the whole picture of health – physical, mental and emotional – that this population faces.” This population, incidentally, includes Kyra’s 87-year-old grandfather who still drives a tractor.
Gregg Schellack, DO orthopedic specialist/surgeon, born in Butte and raised in Dillon joins the LHC Clinic staff with unique insight into diverse populations. Schellack attended Montana State University, where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in political science/pre-law. After working a few years for an electronics and a motor sports company, Schellack realized he wanted a little more from his career, so he dusted off his dream of becoming an orthopedic specialist and returned to MSU to complete his pre-med requirements. Schellack earned his osteopathic medical degree from Des Moines University, Iowa.
Schellack completed his internship in orthopedics at the Naval Medical Center, San Diego and his Surgery Residency at Loma Linda University. His Navy career as an orthopedic surgeon spanned from California to Florida and abroad to Naples, Italy. While he served as a military surgeon in California, he also took on extra work as a children’s orthopedic surgeon, gaining him additional insight into the field. It was at the Naval Hospital Lemoore where he served as Director of Surgical Services, that he met Russell Saari, PA. The pair were instrumental in growing the hospital’s orthopedic unit into the top-producing Naval clinic.
Schellack and his wife Michelle, originally of Great Falls are pleased to return to their home state to raise their three children.
Russell Saari, PA-C, specializing in orthopedics, was born in Caldwell, Idaho and grew up in Grand Junction, Colo. Saari earned his Bachelor’s Degree in psychology from University of Maryland, University College, College Park; Doctor of Chiropractic from Texas Chiropractic College, Pasadena, Texas; a Bachelor’s of Medical Science in Physician Assistant, from Midwestern College of Health Sciences, Glendale, Ariz. Campus and his Masters of Physician Assistant Science in Family Practice Medicine from University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Medicine, Omaha.
Saari’s orthopedic career has encompassed 28 years with the United States Navy, both stateside as well as tours to Africa and Afghanistan. Saari says orthopedics is a field that is especially interesting to him because “I like to know and see how things work. I enjoy fixing things. The difference between fixing fighter jets and people is that jets merely spit out data, while the connection with people is much more satisfying.”
All the same, Saari still enjoys tinkering with motors and takes particular pride in rebuilding suspensions such as his off road 4x4 rock crawler. “There’s less at stake with machines, but it’s not as rewarding,” he adds.
Saari and his wife of 30 years, (who is also his high school sweetheart), were especially drawn to Livingston because they both feel more at home in a small community. Saari says a small town reminds him somewhat of the environment in the military in which relationships were cultivated by proximity. “You see people beyond just the work environment – the community becomes part of you,” he says.
About Livingston HealthCare: Livingston HealthCare in Livingston, Montana, is a nonprofit, 25-bed critical access hospital with a Level 4 Community Trauma Facility, a multispecialty provider clinic, as well as rehabilitation and home-based services. Livingston HealthCare is an affiliate of the Billings Clinic system. www.LivingstonHealthCare.org