Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, we adopted a measured and strategic approach to our work. We continued stable and consistent support for our current programs and leveraged new funding sources and policy changes to help the state respond to COVID-19. This approach gave us the flexibility to respond quickly to our grantees’ needs and rapid shifts in federal and state policy and funding.
We developed strategic initiatives to address high-priority health issues like perinatal drug and alcohol use, Medicaid and health policy, and homelessness. These initiatives support programming that addresses specific health and health system issues in a structured, data-driven way.
Based on our research of proven programs nationally and our understanding of what would work well in Montana, we introduced our first strategic initiative focused on providing behavioral health services in primary care practices.
We began our first full year of programming. After spending countless hours learning about Montana’s most pressing health and system challenges, we decided to focus on four broad areas: American Indian health, behavioral health, public health, and health partnerships. We began providing grants, technical assistance, and other resources for organizations working in these areas.
Former Attorney General Tim Fox led a statewide search to establish our Board of Trustees. In December, we made our first grant of $1.3 million to support county and Tribal health departments through a partnership with the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services.
The Montana Healthcare Foundation was created in 2013 as a result of the sale of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana. By state law, the assets from this sale were transferred to a charitable trust to be managed for public benefit.