Implementing the Tribal Health Improvement Program (T-HIP)

The goal of this initiative is to improve health and well-being and to reduce disparities in health and life expectancy among American Indian people in Montana. In 2018, the focus of this initiative is on assisting tribes in implementing the new Medicaid Tribal Health Improvement Program (T-HIP).

Montana health statistics paint a troubling picture of American Indian health status. The median age at death is nearly 20 years shorter for American Indian people than for white people in Montana. Leading causes of death—including injury, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and cirrhosis—are all also substantially higher. Measurably improving health disparities will require coordination of tribal, state, federal, and MHCF resources, and stable, disciplined investment over many years. Montana’s newly created T-HIP creates an unprecedented opportunity to build a strong, evidence-based prevention system on Montana’s reservations. Establishing successful programs will require planning, public health expertise, and program implementation and management.

Only tribes and tribal government agencies may apply for funding under this initiative. Grantees should meet the following criteria:

  • Document commitment from tribal leadership to implement the T-HIP program.
  • Identify key staff and the tribal department where the T-HIP program will be established.
  • Have in place an IHS 638 contract for health promotion/disease prevention services, or use grant funds in part to develop the contract.
  • Tribes may use these funds to pay for the services of a contractor if needed. Any contractor chosen should have expertise in American Indian public health systems and a track record of successful efforts to engage and support tribal health systems.

If you are interested in applying for a T-HIP implementation grant, please contact MHCF Senior Program Officer Tressie White. 

Strengthening American Indian Health Services

Focus Area: American Indian Health

Our Work in Reducing Disparities

Reducing Disparities Grantees

Two Eagle River School

Two Eagle River School Wellness Project

Project Term: 12 months; 2017-2018
Grant Amount: $50,000

This grant will fund a partnership between Two Eagle River School and Tribal Health of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT) to bring a licensed mental health counselor into the school to provide behavioral health services to the students. Two Eagle River School is a tribal alternative middle and high school serving 110 students on the Flathead Reservation. After multiple suicides in the community over the past year, the school has identified an immediate need to address the mental health and historical trauma needs of the students. The project is supported by the CSKT Tribal Council and will form a new partnership with CSKT Tribal Health. Freedom Lodge is a non-profit that will provide training to the therapist to address historical trauma within the school and assist with the evaluation of the project.  


Blackfeet Tribal Health

Blackfeet Emergency Medical Services Program

Project Term: 24 months; 2017-2019
Grant Amount: $75,136

This project will train and certify six paramedics from Blackfeet Tribal Health’s current emergency medicine technician staff. A consultant will provide classroom and skills training, and paramedic students will have the opportunity to do ride-alongs and work in the emergency departments of partner organizations including. Trained paramedic staff will allow the tribe to address workforce challenges and provide much needed services for the community.


Missoula Urban Indian Health Center

Qua Qui Connection: The Circle of Good Medicine and Holistic Health

Project Term: 24 months; 2017-2019
Grant Amount: $150,000

This project will add primary care services to the current behavioral health and diabetes programming at Missoula Urban Indian Health Center (MUIHC). The addition of a primary care services will help MUIHC become a fully-functioning urban Indian health center that provides comprehensive, culturally appropriate care for one of the largest urban Indian populations in the state. Grant funding will be used to support a primary care provider to launch the medical clinic.

Fort Belknap Tribal Health

Diabetes Care Clinic

Project Term: 18 months; 2017-2019
Grant Amount: $90,000

This project will expand Fort Belknap’s current diabetes program by establishing a Diabetes Care Clinic to provide consistent, comprehensive, and culturally appropriate primary care to patients diagnosed with diabetes or prediabetes. The project will also create an independent, tribally-run health board to administer the clinic and provide a stable governing body to oversee its functions. Grant funding will be used to contract with a health system administrator to assist in developing the tribal health board and oversee the Diabetes Care Clinic and its supportive components. Partners include the Indian Health Service, and the Fort Belknap Tribal Health and Centralized Billing Departments.

Eagle Shield Center

Blackfeet Community Hospice Project

Project Term: 12 months; 2017-2018
Grant Amount: $26,262

This planning grant aims to achieve two primary objectives: establish a partnership among tribal agencies on the Blackfeet reservation who will collaborate toward developing hospice services for the community and provide a one-day workshop to educate the Blackfeet community about hospice and end-of-life care. Since 2007, Blackfeet community members and a researcher from Montana State University have been collaborating on end-of-life experiences among Blackfeet people using a participatory approach. The partnership includes the Blackfeet Tribal Business Council, the Eagle Shield Center, the Blackfeet Tribal Health Department, Tribal Planning, Blackfeet Community College, Blackfeet Family and Child Services, Indian Health Service, and the Tribal Diabetes Clinic. At the conclusion of this project, a solid partnership will be established in the community and the workshop on available hospice services in the Blackfeet community will increase the community’s knowledge of end-of-life care needs and services.

2018 Call for Proposals

Find out about this year’s available grants.