Innovation and partnerships to address the root causes of illness and using existing resources more effectively to improve health outcomes and reduce health care costs. 

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 2019 Call for Proposals and invited grants submitted under our Housing Is Health Care Initiative.

Housing Is Health Care Initiative

Implementation of Value-Based Care Initiative

Our Work in Partnerships for Better Health

Partnerships for Better Health Grantees

Powder River First Responders

Regional Training Opportunities

Project Term: $12 months; 2018-2019
Grant Amount: $13,500

This project will provide three training and outreach sessions that incorporate local and regional services focusing on all aspects of emergency care in the frontier setting. The training will not only cover the participants who attend but also will enable them to bring what they learn back to their facilities and train others. The goal of the project is to create a more seamless continuity of care and a better working relationship between services and facilities.

Poverello Center

Medical Respite Program Evaluation and Capacity Building

Project Term: 24 months, 2018-2019
Grant Amount: $25,470

This project will evaluate Poverello’s pilot respite care program which was previously funded by MHCF. The respite care program established care coordination for homeless individuals recovering from a hospital stay to help them transition from the homeless shelter to transitional housing. Providence Hospital is supporting the continuation of this program because of its success in reducing emergency department readmission and inpatient stays among the homeless population. Evaluation will be a key next step for demonstrating this program’s success and modeling it for replication in other organizations.

MSU - Office of Rural Health

Montana-Regional Initiatives in Dental Education

Project Term: 12 months; 2018-2019
Grant Amount: $46,660

This one-year planning grant is a result of statewide gatherings convened by the Montana Oral Health Program in 2016 and 2017. Participants included health, human service and education professionals with a passion and history for improving Montanans’ oral health. The resulting Oral Health Strategic Framework states: “MSU, WWAMI and UW School of Dentistry will continue to develop a sustainable model of dental education in Montana with at least 50 UW SOD students completing rotations in rural, tribal, and underserved communities by 2023 to meet the oral care needs of rural residents, and to better understand the opportunities, challenges, and promise of serving in these settings.” This one-year planning project will put together a plan to reach that goal. Elements of the planning process are to 1) engage in collaborative planning with organizations across that state to increase the number of dental student rotation sites, 2) develop a plan to expand clinical training experiences for dental students, 3) deliver continuing development to oral health professionals, and 4) support collaboration among health professionals to support the delivery of dental care in rural and underserved areas.

Mountain-Pacific Quality Health Foundation

Comprehensive Medication Management Pharmacist Training and Pilot Program for Primary Care

Project Term: 12 months: 2018-2019
Grant Amount: $21,912

For this project, Mountain-Pacific will partner with a consultant to train five care management pharmacists on comprehensive medication management (CMM). CMM is an evidence-based approach to improve patient outcomes. It ensures practices individually assess patient medications to determine each medication is appropriate, effective, safe (considering comorbidities and other medications), and able to be taken by the patient as intended. Mountain-Pacific will partner with clinics and payers to define options for providing CMM services onsite, collaborating with community pharmacies, and remotely providing medication management to two primary care practices in the Comprehensive Primary Care Plus (CPC+) program. This project aims to improve medication-related therapy outcomes, decreases adverse drug events, and decreases utilization of health care services.

Missoula Food Bank and Community Center

Place-Based Health Care: Increasing Access Through Partnership

Project Term: 24 months; 2018-2020
Grant Amount: $66,350

For this project, the Missoula Food Bank and Community Center, in collaboration with Partnership Health Center, will increase access to family practice, behavioral health, and dental services for people experiencing food insecurity in Missoula County. The project will place a satellite health office in the food bank facility and co-design programming with health benefits. The grant funds will support site design and program implementation.

2019 Call for Proposals

Find out about this year’s available grants.