Simply the Best

Stillwater Billings nurse Bev Kovanda nets two big awards as she closes out career
Marlo Pronovost
Thursday, May 23, 2019
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Photo by Natasha Sailer
            Dr. David Kane speaks about Bev Kovanda (right) at the surprise awards event held two weeks ago.

A few Wednesdays back was big day for Bev Kovanda. The Stillwater Billings Clinic nurse and director of quality knew she had won a “Heart of Healthcare” award from the Billings Gazette — an honor that strives to recognize the very best nurses in the area. What she didn’t know was that she had also snared the Alice M. Gordon lifetime achievement award. Kovanda learned that when she walked into a room and found her entire family — siblings, kids and grandkids — on hand to celebrate her double-honor.

While Kovanda herself was not interested in speaking about her awards, others were.

Dr. David Kane has worked with Kovanda for nearly three decades in Columbus.

“Bev is very dedicated and hard working,” said Kane recently. “She accepts challenges and expects others to work hard and better themselves as well. She is kind and caring.”


Recently, the Billings Gazette announced the 10 winners of this inaugural award, meant to identify the very best of the nursing population in the area. Readers nominated more than 200 nurses. A panel of judges from City College, Montana State University Billings and Rocky Mountain College narrowed the list to 12 who “represent the best of the profession, both in terms of training and compassion.”

Under Kovanda’s photo, it states that she has spent her entire 39-year career at Columbus hospital, which is now called the Stillwater Billings Clinic. A floor nurse for 10 years, Kovanda served as the director of nursing for 25 years. She is currently the director of quality.

Kovanda is a second-generation nurse, having felt the first tug toward a nursing career while still in high school.


This award is presented to a nurse within the Billings Clinic organization who has more than 25 years experience and who has dedicated her time to the advancement of nursing through education and providing information to those around them, said Stillwater Billings Clinic Director of Community Health Services Natasha Sailer.