July COVID-19 Response Update

As we continue to navigate the evolving challenges of this pandemic, we want to give you an update on our response. Our staff and partners’ health and safety are our primary concerns, and accordingly, our staff is continuing to work remotely for the foreseeable future. We have created a policy to allow for in-person meetings on a case-by-case basis, but most of our conversations will continue to take place remotely.

Through our Public Health Focus Area, we are supporting local and tribal public health departments in their COVID-19 response. Our $500,000 grant to the MT DPHHS Public Health and Safety Division is available to local public health departments to help with urgent needs while building longer-term capacity. Please contact Kerry Pride if you think there is a way we can help. 

The newly-formed Montana Public Health Institute received 501(c)3 status from the IRS and is quickly ramping up to support local health departments. Hillary Hanson started work this month as the new organization’s chief operating officer (and first employee!). Stay tuned for more updates in the coming weeks. 

We are continuing to use our Grant Application Assistance Initiative to help organizations take advantage of the whirlwind of recent grant and funding opportunities.We submitted 14 grant applications on behalf of organizations across the state, and $4,371,729 has been awarded so far, including: 

  • $2,371,729 to American Indian tribes and urban Indian health centers to help with their COVID-19 response.
  • $2,000,000 to MT DPHHS increases the state’s capacity to provide behavioral health crisis services in hard-hit communities. 

We support the increased use of telehealth in primary care, behavioral health, and peer support through developing training webinars and providing technical assistance to our partners. 

As a final reminder, we have scanned federal COVID-19 legislation to identify all measures relevant to tribes. Here is an up-to-date list of resources. We will be updating this resource if and when Congress passes additional COVID-19 legislation. As needed, we also offer technical assistance to connect Montana tribes with suitable opportunities.