Skip to main content



Sweet Grass County residents have built a legacy of commitment to community health care.  The original hospital and nursing home were built in 1950 and 1965 as separate entities. Individual and group donations were the key to building and operating these facilities. In 1992, the hospital had to close due to challenging financial circumstances. The facility reopened in 1995 in the same location as a nursing home.

In order to reopen the hospital, a major expansion to the nursing home was required. The hospital expansion was financed through a general obligation bond, nursing home reserves, donations from the Sweet Grass Health Care Foundation and a Community Development Block Grant.  In 1998 and 2001, expansions also added a rural health clinic and assisted living facility.  These expansions were largely funded by medical center reserves, local donations, revenue bonds and a USDA rural development loan.

Since 1995, Pioneer Medical Center (PMC) has continued to grow in order to meet the healthcare needs of Sweet Grass County. In addition to providing critical health care services, PMC is the second largest employer in Sweet Grass County with nearly 165 employees. The total economic impact attributed to PMC operations is estimated to be over $8.5 million dollars.

In 2016, PMC transitioned from a county facility to a 501c3 and signed a formal affiliation agreement with Billings Clinic (BC). PMC was the first affiliate of BC beginning in 1997. Under the formal affiliation agreement, BC will continue to provide management services for PMC and employ the CEO as well as some of the medical staff.   Additionally, BC will appoint two members of the governing board of PMC.  To continue the long supportive relationship with Sweet Grass County, the Board of Directors will include one seat designated for a Sweet Grass County Commissioner. The relationship between PMC and BC focuses on collaboration intended to enhance patient care in Sweet Grass County.  BC and PMC will work together to find the best processes and opportunities to improve access, quality, and service.




Pioneer Medical Center (PMC) is a 25-bed Critical Access Hospital, Rural Health Clinic, and 16-unit Assisted Living Facility located in beautiful Big Timber, Montana. Pioneer Medical Center has a service area of just under nineteen hundred square miles and provides medical services to the Sweet Grass County population of approximately 3,623 people.

Pioneer Medical Center engaged in the Community Health Needs Assessment, administrated by the Montana Office of Rural Health and funded in part through the Montana Health Research and Education Foundation (MHREF) Flex Grant.

In the summer of 2018, an environmental scan of all relevant data was conducted to gather health, economic, and demographic information for Sweet Grass County. Existing data in the form of surveys and county/state reports were utilized. In addition, the Montana Office of Rural Health staff traveled to Big Timber and held 4 focus groups and 2 key informant interviews.

Claim Company