Rick Rasmussen

Chief Executive Officer

Rick joined Northwest Specialty Hospital in 2012 as Chief Financial Officer and Facility Compliance Officer. He became the CEO of NWSH in 2014. Before joining NWSH, he spent 25 years at L-P Corporation. While at L-P Rick was involved in all aspects of the finance department and graduated from the Mahler Executive Management Program. Rick attended the University of Montana in Missoula, Montana where he played football, was on the track team and graduated with honors in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting. He grew up in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho and was Valedictorian and Student Body President at Coeur d’Alene High School. Rick is also very active in the Kootenai County community, was elected to the North Idaho Officials Association’s Hall of Fame in 2009, was the PSB Community Star Award Winner in 2012, currently serves on the Coeur d’ Alene Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and is a member of Coeur d’Alene Rotary Club. Rick also sits on the board of INNOVIA and the local Make-A-Wish foundation, and was most recently the Kootenai Humane Society Capital Campaign Fund Chairperson. Rick has received the volunteer of the year award from the Coeur d’Alene Rotary and the 2019 Distinguished Citizen of the year award from both the Hayden and Coeur d’Alene Chamber. Rick is happily married to his high school sweetheart, Sharyl, and they have two daughters, Chelsey and Kylie.


Denise Fowler

Chief Nursing Officer

Denise joined Northwest Specialty Hospital in March of 2016. Denise’s professional experience in nursing spans three decades with her most recent role as the Chief Clinical and Chief Nursing Officer at Whitman Hospital and Medical Center in Colfax, Washington. Denise has held various nursing leadership, performance improvement and clinical roles throughout her career. Denise is very familiar with our local market having held positions at both Deaconess and Providence Health Care. She holds a Bachelor degree in Nursing , and a Masters of Science in Healthcare Administration. Denise enjoys sports and is a big Gonzaga basketball fan. When not watching sports she and her husband enjoy spending time with family, traveling, camping and playing golf.


Chris Gregg

Human Resource Director

Chris brings over a dozen years of experience in the healthcare industry, with the bulk of those years witnessing the growth of NWSH. Starting in 2005, through the years at NWSH, Chris has served in several departments, but landed in the human resources department in 2012. His skills and tenure are being used to support NWSH in the role of HR Director. Chris holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix, with honors. In early 2018, he achieved HR certification through the Society of Human Resources Management. Chris enjoys woodworking, spending time with his wife and two small dogs, playing the bass guitar, and volunteering with youth programs.


Brian Brigham

Chief Financial Officer

Prior to joining the hospital in 2014, Brian worked for nearly 20 years in a variety of financial roles at L-P Corporation, most recently as Accounting Manager. He is responsible for all of the accounting functions at the hospital and also serves as the Compliance Officer. Brian graduated from the University of Idaho where he received a B.S. degree with majors in both accounting and operations management. In his free time he enjoys coaching his children in youth sports and spending time with his family on the lake.


Shelby Cathey

Business Office Director

Shelby joined Northwest Specialty Hospital in 2015 as Business Office Manager.  Shelby offers more than 20 years of professional experience in healthcare, with the past 11 years in healthcare leadership.  She has worked with many provider types including Critical Access Hospital, Provider Based Clinics, Healthcare Consulting, to Utilization Management for a large payer group.  Shelby attended college at Lewis-Clark State College with an emphasis on Medical Office studies.  She is a Certified Professional Coder, Certified Revenue Integrity Professional and active member of AAPC & AAHAM.  Shelby grew up in the Northwest and in her free time enjoys spending time with her family.


Craig McIntosh

IT Director

Craig joined Northwest Specialty Hospital in January 2013 as the IT Director. Before joining NWSH he spent 19 years working in the Medical & Information Technology Profession in various regional hospitals and as an IT consultant nationwide. Prior to working in the IT world, Craig was an Emergency Department Registered Nurse, and a US Army Combat Medical Specialist. Craig has called North Idaho home since 1983, attending Coeur d’ Alene High School, North Idaho College, and the University of Idaho.


Mike Varga

Director of Pharmacy
Mike joined Northwest Specialty Hospital in 2010 as the Director of Pharmacy.  Before joining Northwest, Mike earned his Doctor of Pharmacy degree with honors from Washington State University.  He is responsible for overseeing the pharmacy team, medication management in the hospital as well as maintaining all medication related standards required by the Joint Commission.  Born and raised in Spokane Valley, Mike enjoys spending time with his family, golfing and relaxing at Priest Lake.


Barb Patton

Executive Assistant to the CEO
Barb joined Northwest Specialty Hospital in 2014 as the Executive Assistant to Rick Rasmussen. She began her career in Healthcare Administration in 1992. Barb earned her BS degree in Business Management from Western Governors University. With four children, Barb and her husband have been active volunteers for a variety of youth sports organizations in our community for over two decades. A former collegiate volleyball player, herself; Barb has been coaching club and High School volleyball since 2003.