PLUMMER — Helo Hancock started as the new CEO of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe’s Benewah Medical and Wellness Center on Monday.
"Helo has a wealth of experience and knowledge from his time working with the Tribe and I have no doubt he will do a tremendous job for us at the Benewah Medical and Wellness Center," said Chief Allan, chairman of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe. "We have great faith in his leadership and abilities and we look forward to seeing what great things he has planned for the BMWC."
Hancock has been employed by the Coeur d’Alene Tribe since 2005, including working for the past nine years as the legislative director. As such, he was involved in a variety of issues that impacted the Tribe at the local, state and federal levels, including health care policy, taxation and gaming.
Prior to that, Hancock worked as an in-house attorney for the Tribe in the Office of Legal Counsel.
"It has been such an amazing honor and privilege to work for the Coeur d’Alene Tribe in different roles over the last 11 years," he said. "I am extremely excited to be the new leader of the Benewah Medical and Wellness Center," Hancock said. "The BMWC is a spectacular facility that plays such a critical role in the overall wellness of our reservation. Together with the Tribe, we have so many wonderful opportunities to build upon the BMWC’s tradition of excellence in delivering state-of-the-art health care to this great community."
Gary Leva was the previous CEO. He had been in the position for about five years. His contract ended earlier this year.
The Tribe first opened the Benewah Medical Center in 1990 with 14 staff members, 800 patients and a $900,000 budget. The Tribe moved the medical center into a new building that opened in 2012.
The 50,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art medical facility is equipped with the latest technology to enhance the continued provision of health care services to native and non-native patients on a sliding fee scale. New patients are always welcome and no one is denied health care based on ability to pay.
Today, the Benewah Medical Center employs about 150 and takes care of 35,000 primary care visits annually with an $18 million budget.