Focusing on value-based initiatives to improve Montanans’ health.

We are dedicated to improving the health status of Montanans and to increasing the quality and accessibility of health services for people across the state. Health disparities – defined as the higher rates of illness experienced by certain populations, including socially or economically disadvantaged families, racial and ethnic minorities, children, and older adults – are a focus of this portfolio.

Many communities, particularly in rural Montana, have limited access to health services, and healthcare workforce shortages and budget shortfalls are widespread. In recent years, Montana has seen per capita health spending rise faster than 41 other states. As health care costs continue to rise, there is a need for innovations that improve health outcomes while also helping to contain costs.

Value-based approaches that seek to realign incentives to produce better outcomes have emerged as a priority in Montana. For example, in the HELP Act that expanded Montana’s Medicaid program, the state legislature mandated that the program reduce costs and improve medical outcomes. The Governor’s Council on Healthcare Innovation and Reform also focused on value-based approaches to health care delivery system and payment reform.

Funding Opportunities

We are currently accepting two types of grant proposals in Partnerships for Better Health: competitive grants submitted under the 2018 Call for Proposals and invited grants submitted under our Housing and Health Care Initiative.

Housing and Health Care

Implementation of Value-Based Care

Our Work in Partnerships for Better Health

Partnerships for Better Health Grantees

United Way of Yellowstone County

Collaborating to End Homelessness and Addiction in Yellowstone County

Project Term: 12 months; 2018-2019
Grant Amount: $50,000

Two coalitions in Yellowstone County are tackling two of the biggest problems in the region: methamphetamine use and the lack of safe, affordable housing. The community seeks to align the work of these teams using a collective impact model. To foster efficiency and synergy the grantee will contract with one individual to oversee the coordination of start-up efforts, including stakeholder engagement, needs assessment, resource assessment, and planning. The grantee hopes that an investment in the critical building blocks of collective impact will lay the right foundation to substantially reduce methamphetamine use and to make homelessness brief, rare, and nonrecurring in Yellowstone County. Partners currently include health care organizations, behavioral health treatment providers, nonprofits working on homelessness and substance abuse prevention and treatment, criminal justice, and law enforcement.

MSU Foundation

Promotion and Delivery of Thrive-Montana, an Internet-Delivered Cognitive Behavior Therapy Program

Project Term: 12 months; 2018-2019
Grant Amount: $26,904

This project will establish and strengthen state partnerships for effective promotion and delivery of Thrive-Montana, an evidence-based, internet-delivered cognitive behavior therapy program designed to assist adult Montanans experiencing anxiety, depression and/or suicidal thinking. To achieve this goal, MSU has built-in funding for effective marketing messages to reach vulnerable populations throughout the entire state. Funding will support staff FTE to outreach rural areas and assist with messaging and communication. Key outcomes for this project are to strengthen partnerships with MSU Extension system, One Montana, Montana National Alliance for Mental Illness, and Montana’s Department of Public Health and Human Services to identify state health care systems, community critical care hospitals, health departments, and other identified state and community organizations for implementing effective promotion and delivery of Thrive-Montana.

MSU - Office of Sponsored Programs

Partnerships to Support Palliative Care in Montana Critical Access Hospitals

Project Term: 24 months; 2018-2020
Grant Amount: $79,785

This project will develop partnerships which enable Montana critical access hospitals to provide primary palliative care services. Many Montanans are living with serious and life-limiting illnesses in rural settings with limited access to palliative care services. Most critical access hospitals in Montana do not offer palliative care services and challenges associated with providing palliative care in rural areas are well documented. The goal of this project is to provide palliative care education to rural health care providers and improve access to palliative care for rural dwellers who are living with serious and life-limiting illnesses. Partners include the Family Medicine Residency program of Western Montana and four critical access hospitals in western Montana.

Montana Medical Association Foundation

Optimization of Patient Care Through Health Information Exchange

Project Term: 12 months; 2018-2019
Grant Amount: $50,000

This project will build on a previous MHCF grant to explore the need and feasibility of a Montana health information exchange (HIE). This is part of a multi-stakeholder effort to establish a sustainable, statewide HIE that can serve as a patient’s data home and allow health care providers to access and share health-related information statewide. The stakeholders engaged include the Montana hospitals, physicians, behavioral health providers, primary care providers, Indian Health Services, insurance companies, patients, employers, Montana Veterans Affairs Health Care System, Montana Office of Rural Health, Mountain Pacific Quality Health, and the State of Montana. This grant will integrate a community pilot HIE in Billings into the statewide effort, support the formation and initial organizational development of a new nonprofit health information organization, and support activities related to the completion of a business plan, including communications and fundraising plans.

Livingston HealthCare Foundation

Sweet Park Smiles

Project Term: 12 months; 2018-2019
Grant Amount: $20,803

This project will enable Park and Sweet Grass primary care providers to adopt and engage in the state’s Oral Health Framework in order to address the region’s oral health needs, actively support referrals to dentistry, and further facilitate partnerships with dentists. The heart of this project is training medical teams in oral health, including screening, risk assessment, fluoride varnish application, and referral. Sweet Park Smiles is a collaboration effort by Community Health Partners, Livingston HealthCare, and Livingston Food Resource Center.

2018 Call for Proposals

Find out about this year’s available grants.