North Valley Hospital and the North Valley Hospital Foundation in Whitefish announced Wednesday an award to honor the late Dr. Jon Torgerson, who died in an avalanche in February.
The award, established in the spirit of Torgerson’s commitment to continued education, will go annually to a member of the North Valley community — an employee or close medical partner — who “demonstrates an extraordinary commitment to advancing their own understanding of medicine, or an exceptional dedication to the teaching of others.”
Medical staff at North Valley, particularly Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jason Cohen, spearheaded the idea for an award in Torgerson’s name in conjunction with his family, said hospital communications relations manager Allison Linville.
“Talking with the many people who knew and worked with Dr. Torgerson, it was clear that he was valued and loved by lots of different people for many reasons,” said Cohen in the statement. “However, there was one theme that came up again and again — that Jon was a gifted teacher and lifelong learner.
“The Torgerson award honors this essential part of Jon, and is a recognition of his lasting impact on our lives and community.”
Torgerson, a longtime physician at North Valley Hospital in Whitefish and a resident of Columbia Falls, was 62 years old when he vanished Feb. 17 while backcountry skiing near Whitefish Mountain Resort.
Alan Satterlee, executive director of the North Valley Hospital Foundation, said in the statement that creating an annual award in Torgerson’s name for continued enrichment is “the perfect way to ensure that the medical community can keep his memory alive for years to come.”
According to Linville, the goal is to raise $20,000 initially to sustain an annual $1,000 award in perpetuity.
The hospital foundation welcomes community members to honor Torgerson by making a gift to the fund. Gifts can be made online at https://www.krh.org/nvh/foundation/ways-to-give/make-a-gift or by contacting the foundation at 863-3630. Or, send a check to the NVH Foundation at 1600 Hospital Way, Whitefish, MT 59937 with an indication that your gift is for the Jon Torgerson Fund.
Reporter Adrian Horton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 758-4439.