Montana Healthcare Foundation announces commitment to improving student health and education outcomes

New multi-year initiative will create school-based health centers in communities with high needs

Bozeman, Mont. (Sep 15, 2020) –  Today Montana Healthcare Foundation (MHCF) announced that it committed at least $5 million over the next 10 years to support new partnerships between schools and health care providers to create school-based health centers in communities that need them most.

School-based health centers offer easy access to medical, dental, and behavioral health services for students. Many centers provide services for families, school staff, and community members as well. Providing health services in school can help teachers and administrators appropriately address behavioral issues, treat health problems that impact attendance, and keep students in school and learning.

“We know that education suffers when students’ health needs aren’t met,” said Dr. Aaron Wernham, MHCF CEO. “School-based health centers are a great way to address physical, behavioral, and dental health issues that impact learning and improve both health and educational outcomes.”

Funding is available for health centers to partner with schools to implement school-based health centers. Federally qualified health centers, rural health centers, and tribal health departments are eligible. The first round of grant funding opens on September 23, 2020. For more information, visit mthcf.org/initiatives/school-wellness. The initiative is currently undergoing an official name and branding process. MHCF will announce more information about the initiative and the first cohort of grantees later this year.