During the COVID-19 pandemic, our focus is on providing directly relevant resources and technical assistance to help our partners navigate new state and federal opportunities. Our commitment to improving the health and well-being of Montanans has never been stronger. We are inspired by the dedication, innovation, and leadership we’ve witnessed from our grantees and partners during the past several weeks.
In this update, we are announcing new projects and sharing resources for combating COVID-19. Keep reading to find out about:
- The Kaiser Health News expansion to Montana
- How we are helping the county and tribal health departments respond
- How to implement telehealth under the new COVID-19 regulations
- How to apply for nonprofit loan programs
Kaiser Health News to Expand Coverage in the Mountain West
We are excited to announce that MHCF and Headwaters Foundation have partnered with Kaiser Health News to create a new health news bureau in Montana. Kaiser Health News is the nation’s preeminent health journalism outlet. The resources and expertise they will bring to the state underscore our commitment to ensuring that Montanans have reliable information on critical health and health policy issues. While we have been working on this long-term partnership for quite some time, the beginning of this project is timely as the state navigates the unfolding COVID-19 pandemic.
Helping County & Tribal Health Departments Respond
In February, we issued a $500,000 grant to the DPHHS Public Health and Safety Division to continue our partnership to support county and tribal health departments. In the past 5 years, this program has supported more than 40 health departments to take critical actions such as completing community health assessments and community health improvement plans. Recognizing that county and tribal health departments are now consumed by responding to COVID-19, we are currently working with PHSD to determine how to make this grant most helpful. If you are part of a county or tribal health department, please email Kerry Pride to let her know whether and how a small grant (likely $15,000 or less) and/or technical assistance might help your COVID-19 response.
Resources to Combat COVID-19
How To Implement Telehealth
The federal government and Montana Medicaid implemented emergency changes to allow providers to quickly start or expand telehealth services in response to COVID-19. Many providers have curtailed or eliminated in-person services, so these new rules are crucial for Montanans who need care. We’ve developed telehealth training webinars that go over the new policy and give examples of organizations that are using telehealth successfully in behavioral health and rural health settings. (A new webinar on using telehealth for peer support will be posted soon.) And, if you need more help beyond these webinars, our staff are working to offer or find help with specific technical questions.
How To Apply For Nonprofit Loan Programs
The Montana Nonprofit Association is providing crucial information and resources for nonprofits. We recommend joining their daily town hall meetings. They dive into how to navigate federal relief and how to apply for the nonprofit loan programs that are now available through the CARES Act. (All their town hall meetings are recorded.)