Improving the health and well-being and reducing disparities in health and life expectancy among American Indian people in Montana. 

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 Program Director Tressie White. 

T-HIP Resource Guide: Promising Programs in Native American Communities

At the request of the American Indian Health Leaders, we worked with Dr. Bruce Goldberg and Mary Dalton to review promising programs in Native American communities across the country. This resource guide was created to help tribes in planning and implementing Tiers 2 and 3 of the Montana Medicaid Tribal Health Improvement Program (T-HIP). This document will be updated periodically as new programs arise or are identified. 

Resource Guide

Focus Area: American Indian Health

Our Work in Reducing Disparities

Reducing Disparities Grantees

Mountain-Pacific Quality Health Foundation

Implementing Trauma-Informed Care

Project Term: 24 months; 2018-2020
Grant Amount: $98,284

For this project, Mountain-Pacific Quality Health will collaborate with the Billings Area Indian Health Service and service unit facilities in Montana to support the implementation of comprehensive approaches to trauma-informed care that effectively address trauma and its impact on American Indian and Alaska Native populations in Montana. Mountain-Pacific will also offer these services to tribal health departments and urban Indian centers at their specific request and as resources allow. Mountain-Pacific will provide project management services to facilitate the transformation to trauma-informed care, train staff on trauma-informed principles and approaches, design and track workflows for trauma screening, develop an emotionally safe environment, determine and ensure safeguards like compassion fatigue training to prevent secondary traumatic stress in staff, and foster partnerships for referral sources that can monitor and maintain the ongoing mental and emotional well-being of patients and staff.

Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana

Montana Native American Girl Empowerment Project

Project Term: 12 months; 2018-2019
Grant Amount: $15,000

This project will plan for and develop a resiliency and reproductive health training program for young Native American women in Montana. The project focuses on building ‘protective assets’ which are strengths and skills that can help young women stay safer, conquer crisis, and better plan for the future. Strengthening these assets can include building a strong female support network, developing a safety plan, and learning about Native American culture and history. Through implementation in Native American and urban communities across the state, this project seeks to lower rates of sexual assault, improve school performance, and increase access to community support for these young women. The project will be carried out in partnership with the Tribal Tobacco Prevention Program, tribal health programs, and urban Indian health centers.

Blackfeet Tribe

Blackfeet Partnership for Food Sovereignty Strategic Plan

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

For this project, Blackfeet planners, in partnership with community-level organizations and the MSU Native Land Project, will engage in a facilitated strategic planning process to design a comprehensive food sovereignty strategic plan and begin implementation. The overarching goal of the project is to end food insecurity and the many of the problems implicit in disconnecting from traditional food sources. Objectives include coordination of food production and delivery systems on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, the creation of a Blackfeet food code, and development of measurements tools to track potential health changes due to interventions in the food and health system. Funding will be used for a project manager and consultant to assist with the strategic planning process. Key partnerships include the Blackfeet Tribe, community partners, and the MSU Native Land Project.

Bighorn Valley Health Center

Establishing A Structured Framework to Improve Sustained Health and Well-Being

Project Term: 12 months; 2018-2019
Grant Amount: $25,000

Embedding Lean Six Sigma as an evidence-based quality performance improvement methodology will allow Bighorn Valley Health Center (BVHC) to make progress toward enhancing a systems approach toward value-based health care services. BVHC is expanding to increase access and services, merging with existing clinic sites to share expertise and resources, and extending outreach to develop community partnerships. In order to optimize clinical workflow, patient experience, and outcomes, the health center will engage various resources and expertise to train our teams to apply and practice Lean Six Sigma tools, to ensure projects and workflows are well defined, measured, analyzed, improved, and controlled. Grant funding will support the initial cost to integrate the Lean Six Sigma framework across the organization.

Bighorn Valley Health Center

Feasibility Study for Itchik Diiawakaam Family Healing Center

Project Term: 12 months; 2018-2019
Grant Amount: $49,350

This project will support a feasibility study for establishing the Itchik Diiawakaam Family Healing Center within the Apsaalooke Nation. This center aims to provide a program and facility that allows individuals and families to heal together in their community while immersed in Crow cultural values and support. The center’s focus on relational justice, foster care alternatives, integrative approaches to mental and physical health, meaningful work, trauma resolution, and indigenous models of education will serve as a blueprint for the exploration process. The center will be piloted in Lodge Grass on the Crow Indian Reservation, and residents will be engaged in all facets of program creation and implementation. This grant will fund staff time to complete the feasibility study. Project partners include Lodge Grass City Government leadership and tribal community members.

2019 Call for Proposals

Find out about this year’s available grants.