Strengthening American Indian health services so that the American Indian people in Montana have access to stable, well-run, high-quality, tribally-led health care.

The goal of this initiative is to strengthen American Indian health services so that American Indian people in Montana have access to stable, well-run, high-quality, tribally-led health care.

American Indian people in Montana often lack adequate access to quality preventive, primary, and specialty health care. Specific problems include fragmentation among the Indian Health Services (IHS), tribal, urban, and private health care systems; longstanding underfunding; complex state and federal funding and regulations with frequent changes in policy; under-funding of urban Indian health centers relative to other parts of the American Indian health care system; and missed opportunities to generate stable funding for improved health services through billing insurance. National experience shows that tribally-run health systems can achieve outstanding clinical care and better health outcomes, yet there are relatively few tribally-led health services in Montana.

Only tribes, tribal government agencies, and urban Indian health programs may apply for funding under this initiative to carry out projects that meet the following criteria:

  • Applicants must describe a plan for creating, strengthening, or assuming management from IHS (via public law 638) of a specific program or service that responds to a clearly identified health priority.
  • Applicants must identify a viable source(s) of revenue (such as billing insurance or using T-HIP funding) to support the program beyond the term of the grant.
  • Applicants must consider whether there may be any potential partnerships with outside organizations such as hospitals or health departments that could strengthen the project.
  • Applicants must demonstrate that they have the capacity to carry out the project.

If you are interested in applying for support to strengthen American Indian health services, please contact MHCF Program Director Tressie White

Grant decisions will be based on our general selection criteria (which can be found in our 2019 Call for Proposals) and the specific requirements for this initiative.

Reducing American Indian Health Disparities Initiative

Focus Area: American Indian Health

Our Work in Strengthening Health Services

Strengthening Health Services 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.