The former medical director of Community First Care in Missoula will step in as the chief medical officer at Partnership Health Center, the organization announced this week.

As CMO, James Quirk, Jr. will oversee all clinical services while supporting strategic partnerships at the local, state and federal level. He began the job on April 1.

“We’ve been excited about his arrival for some time, and with so much happening in healthcare currently, it is even more of a gift to add his insight and expertise to our team," said Laurie Francis, executive director. “He joins an incredible group including Interim Medical Director Dr. Kate Krebsbach, who has done an outstanding job and will remain in a leadership role as we all step into the future together.”

Quirk served as medical director of Community First Care in Missoula for the past three years, though he has been involved with Partnership for years. He served as a physician preceptor at the facility for the Family Medicine Residency of Western Montana in 2014, when he was recognized by his class as Outstanding Clinic Preceptor of the Year.

PHC is the main primary care training site for resident physicians in the program.

“In the next 12 months, how healthcare is delivered in the United States will be revolutionized due to the necessity of caring for people in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Quirk. “With the help of the fantastic team already in place at PHC, we will continue to meet the challenges of this novel virus and improve healthcare delivery and efficiency for generations of Montanans.”

Quirk has worked in a number of settings, from Pinedale, Wyoming, to Red Lodge. He holds a medical degree from the University of Colorado School of Medicine and completed his family practice residency at the Duluth Family Practice Center and the University of Minnesota.

“I have lived in Missoula for six years and PHC’s mission aligns perfectly with why I wanted to be a doctor and how I think healthcare should function,” said Quirk.