Filters:

Alluvion Health

Implementation of an Innovative Alternative Payment Model for Direct Primary Care

Project Term: 12 months; 2019-2020
Grant Amount: $32,750

Alluvion Health will increase access to primary care, behavioral health, and dental care with a focus on preventive services, by collaborating with organizations who do not have the ability to offer health insurance benefits to their employees. This project will improve access to high quality health care with a simple, flat, affordable fee. Patients will have access to Alluvion Health providers with the ability to be referred to sliding fee specialty care. Funding will be used to support the program manager for project development and operation and legal fees to review and advise on employee contracts. Through this project, Alluvion Health will work to develop and foster strong partnerships with the local business community and will work with other organizations across the state who have implemented similar programs and can help provide technical assistance. The project’s goal is to design a program that creates access for patients currently in this unique health care gap, supports employers’ interests in caring for their employees’ health, and ensures a long-term viable solution for improving the overall health of the community.

Arlee Community Development Corporation

The Community Dining Project

Project Term: 24 months; 2018-2020
Grant Amount: $51,090

This project will develop a community dining program in Arlee, Montana. The model is based on a national program developed by Harvard University, that involves strengthening families, improving kinship support, and addressing healthy eating and nutrition. The project builds on current programming by the Arlee Community Development Corporation which includes hosting community dinners with youth tracks for 26 families; providing nutrition education, meal planning, and cooking classes; and developing garden boxes and a community farmers market. The project’s goal is to conduct community dinners that incorporate youth and adult cooking classes, include traditional native foods in meal planning, and facilitate dinner conversation and games. Partnerships include the Arlee School District who will be providing kitchen space, Hopa Mountain who will help train staff in developing community engagement techniques, and CSKT Tribal Health.

Barrett Hospital Foundation

Southwestern Montana Rural Accountable Care

Project Term: 24 months; Ended 2017
Grant Amount: $50,000

This goal of this project was to support Barrett Hospital’s participation in Montana’s first Rural Accountable Care Organization (RACO). The RACO consists of 12 critical access hospitals in Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming that collectively serve more than 9,000 Medicare patients. Barret Hospital’s project developed an evaluation and measurement process for key health outcomes and implemented case management and patient discharge care plans. Highlights include: more than 63 percent of Medicare patients received annual wellness visits (the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid’s goal is 50 percent); a multidisciplinary team was developed to do a monthly review of all patients (reducing the cost of sub-acute care by 15 percent over 6 months); several reports were designed and implemented, giving providers the ability to focus on and follow up with chronic disease patients. The hospital plans to continue working with the RACO workgroup and a consultant and will sustain this project through internal funds. 

 

Billings Clinic

Transforming Primary Care to Meet the Needs of Alzheimer’s Patients and Caregivers

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

This project developed and implemented a clinical care pathway to screen for and improve outcomes among Alzheimer’s patients at Billings Clinic and two rural healthcare facilities: Glendive Medical Center and Lewistown’s Central Montana Medical Center. As part of the project, patients over the age of 65 were screened appropriately for Alzheimer’s dementia and related dementias (ADRD) and that those diagnosed with ADRD and their caregivers received high-quality care and support. A detailed clinical care pathway and set of tools that address clinical care, support services, operations, and billing issues, with the goal of transforming and standardizing dementia care were also put into place. The project produced a robust framework, and the sites will continue to work on implementing the clinical pathways and will collect data and outcome measures over the next 12 to 24 months. Billings Clinic is interested in sharing the success of this project and their specific approach with other clinics across the state.

Bitterroot CASA, Inc.

Bitterroot CASA Advocacy Training & Sustaining

Grant Amount: $55,826
Dates: 2020-2022

Bitterroot Court Appointed Special Advocates (BCASA) will provide well trained and supported advocate volunteers to connect with and speak for the best interests of children under the jurisdiction of 21st District Court. BCASA currently represents 81 children removed from their homes due to abuse and neglect, and the number of children they serve has more than doubled over the past 18 months. BCASA will strengthen its program and partnerships to meet the advocacy and permanency needs of every abused and neglected child in Ravalli County. The funding will provide an increase in the program director hours, increasing the director’s capacity to recruit, train, and manage advocate volunteers. Through the active partnerships with the 21st District Court, Family Social Services, and the National CASA program, they will provide in-service training and support volunteer advocates as they care for children and navigate the complex issues and multiple causes of child maltreatment. Bitterroot CASA will facilitate 12 presentations in 7 communities to recruit at least 20 new advocates. The overall goal of the project is to increase awareness of abuse and neglect to decrease the number of incidences in Ravalli County.

Cabinet Peaks Medical Center Foundation

Enhanced Transition of Care for Residents of Lincoln County

Project Term: 12 months; Ended 2018
Grant Amount: $44,236

This project sought to develop a new approach to discharge planning for hospitalized patients that systematically identified and addressed the social factors that influence health outcomes (such as the ability to afford home heating, food, housing, and medications). The project’s overall goal was to reduce re-admissions related to socioeconomic barriers to health, increase the acuity of patients seen in the emergency departments, and encourage better utilization of local clinics for outpatient care. A discharge planning tool was successfully developed, and staff hired to work with patients during the admission process to determine after discharge needs. During this project, Cabinet Peaks Medical Center experienced a 23% decrease on average in re-admissions. Strong community partnerships were also developed which will help address the ongoing health and social needs within the community.

Cabinet Peaks Medical Center Foundation

Lincoln County Community Care Coordination

Project Term: 24 months; 2018-2020
Grant Amount: $100,000

This project will focus on patients and families who are emergency department high utilizers by developing a care team that includes primary care, substance abuse counseling, a county jail diversion team, and socioeconomic resources. Currently, the Lincoln County health system consists of four clinics that each have separate records and processes. This project will explore health care communication tools that will allow the clinics to exchange information among themselves and with social resources. Outcomes include enhanced communication and collaboration between the clinics and other resources, expanded care coordination with the ability to provide warm patient handoffs through patient care teams, improved population health, decreased readmissions, appropriate emergency department utilization, and lower health care costs.

Cascade County Community Health Center

Health Wealth Service Partnership Pilot Program

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

This pilot program assessed, tracked, and analyzed the link between mental, physical, and financial health by working to establish a financial planning service for Cascade County Community Health Center clients with large receivables balances. The project made progress with the branding and establishing a workplan for their approach and began to engage patients with financial coaching. There was a delay in the project when the financial consulting partner, Rural Dynamics, was sold to a national firm. However, they did find a new partner: MOFI, a regional community development corporation that has a financial literacy component. As part of the project, four case managers were trained and began working with patients, they are also working with a bank system to establish short-term credit instrument for patients who are participating in the program. The goal of this project was to develop a health care model that included financial health and could definitively prove the impact of financial instability on physical and mental health. While this ambitious goal was not fully realized during the grant, the health center is committed to continuing the project and to tracking its outcomes.

Community Health Partners

Promotoras de Salud: Bridging Latino Health Disparities

Project Term: 24 months; Ended 2017
Grant Amount: $20,000

This project’s goal was to develop a program to reach the growing and isolated members of the Latino communities in Belgrade and West Yellowstone with education on basic health care and disease prevention. The program trained six individuals to be “promotoras,” or “promoters of health.” Promotoras received basic training in nutrition, diabetes management and prevention, and STI prevention which they then shared with their friends and community members in informal settings. The project’s success in reaching and engaging the Latino community led the Gallatin City-County Health Department to move the program’s operations in-house thereby ensuring its sustainability. 

Community Health Partners

Park County Connect Program: A Community-Based Model to Reduce ER High-Utilization

Project Term: 24 months; Ended 2018
Grant Amount: $93,000

High utilizers of the emergency department drive up costs unnecessarily and are not entering the healthcare system at an access point that is prepared to address their underlying needs. To improve care and health outcomes while lowering unnecessary costs to the health care system, Community Health Partners, the Park County Health Department, Livingston Mental Health Center, and Livingston HealthCare partnered to create the Park County Connect Program. Grant funding supported a social worker, housed in the health department, who designed and implemented a community-based outreach program for people while frequent the emergency department on a regular basis. This pilot project successfully established relationships between the partnering agencies and facilitated the connection of emergency department high utilizers with primary care providers. The program continues to expand care coordination to other community agencies and hopes to eventually build a more comprehensive care coordination and data sharing platform into the community.

Family Medicine Residency of Western Montana

Planning Grant to Develop an Online Certificate Program & CME Opportunities in “Climate and Health”

Grant Amount: $24,984
Dates: 2020-2021

The University of Montana Family Medicine Residency of Western Montana will develop a “Climate and Health” course for undergraduate students in the Climate Change Studies Program. The project will also offer an online certificate program for students in health profession training programs and develop online training certificates or continuing education opportunities for health care providers already practicing around the state. The project will be implemented in collaboration with existing climate study resources at the University of Montana. Grant funds will be used for project staff salaries, consultants, travel, and supplies. Partnerships include other colleges within the University of Montana, Montana Health Professionals for a Healthy Climate, Western Montana AHEC, the Center for American Indian and Rural Health Equity, and the MSU Extension Program. Prospective partners that will be engaged as part of the planning process are also identified. The project’s overarching goal is to create a “Climate and Health” program that is affordable, high-quality, accessible, inclusive, relevant, and useful to the health of Montanans.

Glacier County Emergency Medical Services

Integrated Mobile Health

Project Term: 24 months; Ended 2017
Grant Amount: $50,000

For this project, Glacier County Emergency Medical Services (GCEMS) implemented the state’s first Integrated Mobile Health Program (IMH). IMH is a new and evolving health care delivery model that builds on the concepts of community paramedicine and adapts them to serve the specific needs of the local community. The project’s primary goal was to improve the health of the community and reduce the number or emergency room admissions and hospital readmission. GCEMS successfully developed and implemented the IMH program to work alongside local health care providers and develop individualized, in-home treatment plans for patients who visit the emergency department regularly or who are at-risk for being readmitted into the hospital. Throughout the course of the grant, the program completed 1,148 patient visits which consisted of chronic illness management, respite services, end-of-life care, wound care, and other treatments and services prescribed by health care providers based on individual patient needs. As a result of this program, the grantee reported a nearly 90 percent decrease in hospital visits among the enrolled patients (from 387 to 40 visits). At the close of the grant in 2017, the project was working towards sustainability, however, the program was ended by the county in 2018 due to ongoing GCEMS budget concerns.

Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies

Montana Children’s Health Data Partnership Project

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

The project sought to identify shared data measures of early childhood health to create a Montana Data Dashboard that can be used by various organizations, including local Early Childhood Coalitions, to work collectively to improve early childhood health outcomes. Additionally, as part of the shared data measures, this project focused on identifying HOPE (health outcomes from positive experiences) measures as well as resiliency factors that contribute to childhood health. Through a collaborative, process with 19 organizations 13 early childhood coalitions participating, 11 shared data measures were identified to be used to create the dashboard. A strategic plan for promoting and implementing the 11 shared data measures was also developed. At the conclusion of this project, Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies has received commitment to promoting and using the 11 shared data measures from Zero to Five (sponsored by Headwaters Health Foundation) and is partnering with the Department of Public Health and Human Services to identify ways to integrate the 11 shared measures in DPHHS’s early childhood work.

Human Resources Development Council of District IX

Assessment of Chronic Homelessness Community Costs

Project Term: 12 months; Ended 2017
Grant Amount: $20,000

The Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) is a leader in community efforts improving lives for low-income people and those struggling with homelessness. This project produced a study that analyzed the costs expended each year by community stakeholders which could be impacted by housing. The report also gave recommendations for alternative models like the Housing First Model which connects homeless persons with stable housing and supportive services and costs approximately $11,860 per household annually. Importantly, the report has been shared with statewide providers and has been used as part of our Housing and Healthcare Initiative.

Livingston HealthCare Foundation

Sweet Park Smiles

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

Sweet Park Smiles is a collaborative effort by Community Health Partners, Livingston HealthCare, and the Livingston Food Resource Center to coordinate and expand oral health resources in Park County. This project helped the county’s primary care providers adopt a framework for addressing oral health and actively support referrals to dentistry. The project trained medical teams in oral health screening, risk assessment, fluoride varnish application, and specialist referrals. Through training and process development coordinated by Community Health Partner’s dental officer, the project also enhanced the ability of Livingston HealthCare providers to screen and apply varnish to children through their routine child check-ups. Training in the application of varnish, charge codes for Medicaid, and referral processes for more serious dental issues will continue for an additional five pediatric teams.

Lockwood School District

Lockwood Mobile School Based Health Center

Project Term: 12 months; Ended 2018
Grant Amount: $75,000

Through this project, the Lockwood School District worked with St. Vincent Healthcare to plan for and begin delivering health services to the community of Lockwood through the establishment of a mobile clinic. This mobile clinic, donated by the Ronald McDonald Foundation, began providing primary care services to students and the community members of Lockwood in July 2018. This is the first primary health care facility in the unincorporated city of approximately 8,000 residents. The Lockwood School District is continuing to partner with St. Vincent and will expand their scope of services to include behavioral health services in the next 24 months. The construction of a permanent clinic, operated by St. Vincent, is being included in the construction plans for the construction of the Lockwood High School.

Missoula Aging Services

Care Transitions Achieving Better Health Outcomes

Project Term: 24 months; Ended 2018
Grant Amount: $135,250

This project supported a care coordination position to help older adults transition successfully from the hospital back into their homes. This group of patients tends to utilize high-cost services such as inpatient care more frequently than the general population, and social risk factors such as poor housing and social isolation often lead to poor clinical outcomes. The project used an established model that involves home visiting followed by frequent phone or in-person contacts during the month after a hospital stay. The program also identified social risks and helped coordinate appropriate referrals as needed. Missoula Aging Services successfully developed data sharing agreements with the local hospital and other partners to ensure the discharge needs of the patients were met. The program saw a dramatic decrease in readmissions for this senior population and an increase in discharge instructions and care recommendations among patients. Funding from local partners and potentially the local hospital will help continue these care transition efforts.

Missoula Aging Services

Missoula Aging Services Co-Located Resource Specialist

Project Term: 12 months; 2019-2020
Grant Amount: $10,000

Missoula Aging Services (MAS) and Partnership Health Center (PHC) will partner to serve low- and moderate-income older adults by providing services that help with health and social needs. MAS will place one of their resource specialists at PHC one day a week. The resource specialist will meet with patients and their caregivers to identify and address unmet social needs–such as transportation, food, and housing–that adversely impact health outcomes. Overall, the project seeks to reach older adults in need of services and to empower them to lead healthier lives and live as independently in their own homes and communities for as long as possible.

Missoula City-County Health Department

Missoula Foster Child Health Partnership: Model Practice for Montana Replication

Project Term: 24 months; 2018-2020
Grant Amount: $69,653

This project will evaluate the Foster Child Health Partnership, the home visiting model currently used in Missoula, to create a documented protocol for replication in preparation for piloting the program in one additional Montana county, in cooperation with DPHHS. The grant will support an independent program evaluation that uses local and DPHHS data to characterize impacts of support to foster parents, foster care medical providers and Child Protective Service caseworkers and to assess foster child health outcomes. The grantee is seeking model practice designation from the National Association of City and County Health Officials (NACCHO), which would be an important step toward broader replication of the model. The grantee will engage with Missoula’s federally qualified health center, Partnership Health Center and the Kindness, Elegance, Love Project (PHC-KELP) along with other agencies to coordinate services to biological parents after family reunification. This project’s goal is to demonstrate the improved health outcomes of the Foster Child Health Partnership and to replicate similar partnerships in other counties in Montana. Partners include Missoula City-County Health Department, MT DPHHS Child and Family Services Division and Providence Grant Creek Foster Care Clinic.

Missoula County

Missoula Benefits: Exploring Options for Uninsured Residents

Project Term: 12 months; 2019-2020
Grant Amount: $25,000

Missoula County will explore options for providing affordable health insurance to uninsured county residents. The grantee will do this by determining 1) the key demographic features of the uninsured in Missoula County; 2) the viability of a local health insurance option built on Missoula County’s health insurance plan and Partnership Health Center’s clinical resources; 3) the financial and organizational mechanics necessary to create a health insurance program for Missoula County residents not currently insured through their employers or federal programs. Grant funds will support a contract with a professional health insurance consultant for a one-year planning phase and feasibility study. This project is the result of a partnership between Missoula County Commissioners, Missoula County Risk and Benefits (the department overseeing Missoula County’s self-insured health care system), and Partnership Health Center.

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.

Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services

Montana Oral Health Program

Project Term: 12 months; Ended 2018
Grant Amount: $100,000

This project helped develop and implement a framework for oral health improvement in Montana. The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services began to develop a statewide framework to improve oral health, and in the fall of 2016, they held a Dental Action Summit which brought together 34 oral health stakeholders to establish strategic direction in addressing oral health disparities. Grant funding allowed the state to successfully make progress on priority areas that were identified including: improving community-level outreach and technical support for water fluoridation and dental sealants, developing a dental health workforce plan that includes in-depth examination of dental therapists to expand access to care, collecting and disseminating timely surveillance on oral health outcomes, and conducting a demonstration project that would provide case management through a “dental home” model for Medicaid-enrolled children to increase access to effective care.

Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services

Community Integrated Healthcare Emergency Medical Services

Project Term: 24 months; 2019-2021
Grant Amount: $160,000

This project will help the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) develop a framework to support the statewide implementation of community integrated healthcare (CIH). A part of the project, the DPHHS Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and Trauma Systems will select six EMS pilot sites to begin providing CIH services. Each site will train EMS staff to provide an expanded range of services such as wound care, post-hospitalization follow-up, medication set ups, home safety checks, and other services in the home. At the end of the grant term, the pilot projects will be evaluated, and DPHHS will convene a payer group to consider reimbursement for CIH based upon the results. Grant funds will be used primarily for supporting pilot sites to implement CIH in their systems and for program evaluation. As part of the project, partnerships will be developed with regional hospitals, critical access hospitals, Indian Health Services, VA hospitals and clinics, local clinics and providers, and community stakeholders – all of whom are essential for implementing this project successfully. The goal of the program is to reduce unnecessary EMS transports and unwarranted emergency department visits, and to improve health outcomes among medically vulnerable patient populations, meet community health needs where there are current gaps, remove barriers to health, and address disparities also affecting health outcomes. 

Montana Food Bank Network, Inc.

Hardin Rural Health Food Box Program

Grant Amount: $10,000
Dates: 2020-2021

The Montana Food Bank Network (MFBN) will partner with Big Horn Valley Health Center (based in Hardin, MT) to screen patients for food insecurity and provide food boxes and referrals to other community resources to those in need. Grant funds will be used to purchase food for the food boxes, train the clinic staff, print materials, and support the program coordinator.

Montana Free Press

In-Depth Health Care Reporting in Montana

Grant Term: 12 months; Ended 2019
Grant Amount: $10,000

This project allowed the Montana Free Press to research, investigate, report, and publish in-depth stories about health care and health care policy in Montana. The independent news site experienced tremendous growth in exposure and pick-up rate during the grant period, and many of their most popular stories and podcasts were directly related to health care and policy in Montana. Some of the key stories that were produced as part of this grant included:

  • Forgotten Communities” (Aug 2, 2018), which detailed how cuts to state-funded health services were disproportionately impacting rural communities. This article was the third most popular story on the website during the grant period.
  • Two Visions for Medicaid Expansion” (Feb 25, 2019), featured a discussion between Rep. Mary Caferro (D-Helena) and Rep. Ed Buttrey (R-Great Falls). This podcast provided an unfiltered debate between two key lawmakers on what was arguably the most significant issue of the 2019 legislative session. This was among the site’s highest performing podcasts with more than 550 unique downloads.
  • “The People of Medicaid” was a podcast series that went beyond the political debate and put a human face on a complex issue of Medicaid.

Montana Free Press

Statewide Coverage Of COVID-19 On Individuals, Communities, Health Care System, and Legislation

Grant Amount: $20,000
Dates: 2020-2021

The Montana Free Press will cover the impact of COVID-19 on the physical and mental health of Montanans as well as the state’s response in the upcoming legislative session. For this reporting, the Montana Free Press will use their staff reporter as well as their freelance reporting team. Grant funds will be used to enable reporters to focus on the health and health policy impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. The Montana Free Press has established partnerships with news organizations across the state. They will provide their stories free of charge to local and statewide news organizations, further strengthening these partnerships. The project’s overall goal is to provide high-quality, sustained, statewide coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts on individuals, communities, health care infrastructure, and legislation in Montana.

Montana Legal Services Association

Montana Health Justice Partnership – Part 1

Project Term: 24 months; Ended 2017
Grant Amount: $100,000

The Montana Health Justice Partnership (MHJP) – a collaboration between the Montana Legal Services Association (MLSA), the Montana Primary Care Association, and four Federally Qualified Community Health Centers (CHCs) – provides legal assistance to patients in some of Montana’s most rural and isolated communities. MHJP’s model, a medical-legal partnership that explicitly engages both community health centers and the Primary Care Association, is the first of its kind in the United States and an emerging model for future medical-legal partnerships.

Through implementing this new partnership, the MLSA was able to provide legal services to rural and isolated communities addressing issues that impact health and well-being, and helping these rural patients live healthier lives. The grant allowed a strong, new partnership to form and enabled the partners to create systems that are integrated into the workflow of CHCs. The partnership has resulted in an increase of legal services in counties where partner CHCs are located: 168% increase in Cascade County, 177% increase in Hill County, and 184% increase in Lincoln County. The increase in Yellowstone County was minimal, largely because MLSA already had an office in Billings and since the migrant farmworker population served by the Billings CHC is much harder to reach and will require additional time to build trusting relationships.

The MHJP achieved national prominence over the course of this grant. In 2016 and 2017, partners were invited to present at the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership (NCMLP) Annual Summit in Washington, D.C., and were included in a small cohort of national leaders under a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation research initiative to study medical-legal partnership operations and dynamics. In addition, MHJP was approached to be part of a collaboration between NCMLP and the Network for Public Health Law with a goal to provide expertise in public health law to partners working on medical-legal partnerships and be a conduit for best-practices. MHJP will also be featured in a case study series that NCMLP will develop and release over 2017-18. The MHJP team will continue to play a leadership role with other state organizations nationally to support the development and implementation of a statewide strategy to build sustainable medical-legal partnerships.

Project Materials:

MLSA Referral Process
MLSA and Montana Primary Care Association MOU
MHJP Health Harming Legal Needs and Social Determinants of Health Training
MHJP Authorization for Uses and Disclosures of Protected Health Information
MHJP Authorization to Release Case-Related Information
MHJP Screening Tool

Montana Legal Services Association

Montana Health Justice Partnership – Part 2

Project Term: 24 months; 2017-2019
Grant Amount: $100,000

Montana Legal Services and Montana Primary Care Association partnered in 2015 to create the Montana Health Justice Partnership (see Montana Health Justice Partnership – Part 1). The partnership provides legal assistance to low-income patients in several rural community health centers across the state on issues such as housing in disrepair, medical debt, family violence, denial of senior benefits, employment problems, health care access, and other issues that can have direct and indirect impacts on health. This project will expand the project’s service area to include two additional rural community health centers and will help sustain their activities while they finalize a sustainability plan. Grant funding will be used to add capacity through hiring a part-time paralegal which will allow the program to expand to two additional health care centers, increase capacity, and strengthen effectiveness.

Montana Medical Association Foundation

Montana Health Information Exchange Feasibility Development Plan

Project Term: 18 months; Ended 2018
Grant Amount: $50,000

This project’s goal was to explore the potential for creating a health information exchange (HIE) for Montana. The project successfully enabled over 100 individuals from 74 organizations to collaborate on a feasibility study. Partners included the Office of the Governor, the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, Montana Hospital Association, health insurance providers, and the Montana Primary Care Association. The launch event in December 2016 brought over 100 individuals from across the state together to share perspectives and concluded with support for the initiative. This diverse stakeholder group worked together over the following year to explore topics of privacy and security, business and finance, technology, clinical quality, and governance, and they offered recommendations in support of creating a state HIE. The project is summarized in the 2017 Montana HIE Planning Project Report, crafted by the consultant team from MyHealth Access Network. In addition, the project resulted in the establishment of a 501(c)3 organization, Big Sky Care Connect, and the appointment of a 12-member organizing board. Interest and support continue to grow for this private-public partnership.

Montana Medical Association Foundation

Optimization of Patient Care Through Health Information Exchange

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

This project strengthened partnerships to promote health and health information technology through the planning and successful award generation of a health information exchange in Montana. This is part of a multi-stakeholder effort to establish a sustainable, statewide health information exchange that can serve as a patient’s data home and allow health care providers to access and share health-related information statewide. This planning grant resulted in the formation of a new 501(c)3 organization, Big Sky Care Connect: organizational and legal documents were finalized, a 25-member board selected, and organizational structure developed. The new organization was awarded a CMS innovation grant of $20 million and is now in a capital campaign to secure additional matching funds to maximize the potential award from CMS.

Montana Nonprofit Association

Montana 2020 Census Outreach

Project Term: 12 months; 2019-2020
Grant Amount: $50,000

This project will build awareness of the upcoming Census 2020 and encourage engagement in Montana’s 30 hardest to count communities. This project will be accomplished through outreach, coordination, and mobilization activities – all of which will be leveraged by the Montana Nonprofit Association’s relationships with nonprofit organizations across the state. Outreach will include producing and disseminating nonprofit and community-specific information and marketing for Hard to Count (HTC) communities and the use of social media. Coordination will include using a dedicated staff position to strengthen partnerships and liaise with other Census 2020 participants and local nonprofits, to amplify all Census 2020 efforts. Mobilization activities will include coordinating with Western Native Voice – which has funding to focus on Native communities in Montana – and other census outreach entities such as local nonprofits and community foundations. MNA will work with a coalition of other networked statewide leaders to advance the Census effort including Western Native Voice, the State of Montana, and Montana Human Resources Development Council Association among others. Grant funds will be used to hire an outreach coordinator and to support outreach to the target communities.

Montana Public Radio

Montana Care Issue Reporting

Project Term: 12 months; 2015-2018 (project extended)
Grant Amount: $20,000

Montana Public Radio will collaborate with Yellowstone Public Radio to research, produce, and broadcast statewide 16 in-depth stories on current health and healthcare issues in Montana. This funding would allow reporters to travel to remote parts of the state to research and cover issues relevant to rural Montanans and tribes.

Articles:*

  1. Montana Legislature Questions Cost of Air Ambulance Services (Dec 1, 2015)
  2. Montana Healthcare Leaders Aiming for Reform, Innovation (Jan 20, 2016)
  3. Montana Primed for Growth in Healthcare Spending, Jobs (Jan 27, 2016)
  4. Montana’s Growing Demand for Health Professionals Spurs Education Initiatives (Feb 22, 2016)
  5. Tester: ‘Veterans Choice Managers Inept,’ New Law Needed (Mar 3, 2016)
  6. Chronic Pain Patients Propose Policy Changes (Mar 10, 2016)
  7. Chronic Pain Patients Lobby For ‘Bill of Rights’ (Mar 11, 2016)
  8. Veterans Health Fix Failing in Montana (Apr 18, 2016)
  9. Montana’s ‘Pain Refugees’ Leave State for Treatment (Apr 25, 2016)
  10. Pain Helped Him Pull the Trigger (Apr 26, 2016)
  11. State Medical Board Examines Pain Treatment, Opioid Abuse Questions (May 23, 2016)
  12. Montana’s Medicaid Expansion Jobs Program Facing Scrutiny (Nov 21, 2016)
  13. Montana Healthcare Leaders Want to Ditch Fax Machines, Build An ‘Information Utility’ (Dec 8, 2016)
  14. Tester: Obamacare Repeal Has ‘Real World Impacts’ (Jan 8, 2017)
  15. Obamacare Brings Insurance, Jobs to Montana’s Indian Reservations (Jan 12, 2017)
  16. Montana Healthcare Employment Up in 2016, Future Uncertain (Jan 25, 2017)

*Disclaimer: The statements and conclusions of these articles are those of the Grantee and not necessarily those of the Montana Healthcare Foundation.

Montana State University

Dissemination of Rural Perioperative Surgical Home Model and Local Community Capacity Building

Project Term: 24 months; 2019-2021
Grant Amount: $54,260

Montanans lack access to evidence-based perioperative surgical services, which include patient/family education, preoperative testing and assessment, care coordination across referral and specialty providers, provider co-management, and recovery coordination. A fully functional Perioperative Surgical Home (PSH) currently operates at Bozeman Health. This project will extend PSH functions to nine additional Montana counties. The project addresses critical gaps in Montana’s perioperative care through engagement and collaboration with health partners; extension of PSH services; longitudinal tracking and evaluation of health outcomes for rural, remote and isolated patients; and, dissemination of an evidence-based rural model of PSH and a patient flow algorithm to aid other health entities to prepare patients and families for major surgery fully. Funding will be used for four engagement events located strategically among the nine target counties; longitudinal tracking and assessment of health outcomes by county; dissemination of patient outcome assessments back to the county health officials and practitioners. The health advisory council, lead extension specialist, and local extension agents will facilitate new and strengthen partnerships with community hospitals, critical access hospitals, rural health clinics, federally qualified health centers, independent practices, and health workers.

Montana State University Billings

Planning Healthcare Expansion to Address Healthcare Needs to Eastern Montana

Project Term: 12 months; 2019-2020
Grant Amount: $25,000

Montana State University Billings (MSUB) and City College will implement and expand the work already undertaken by the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education (OCHE) and the Montana Office of Rural Health and Area Health Education (MT AHEC) through the Montana HealthCARE Project to address the nursing workforce shortage in eastern Montana. This project will facilitate planning and partnerships to provide opportunities for health care classroom instruction and job placement for students. It will also identify, assess, and address current and future workforce development needs for eastern Montana medical providers. Grant funds will be used primarily to develop a report of the findings from discussions with eastern Montana medical facilities. Partners include Billings Clinic, SCL Health St. Vincent, and Eastern Montana AHEC. The project’s goal is to address the health care shortage that impacts rural areas by providing recommendations for how MSUB can expand their health care programs.

Montana State University Foundation

Developing an Assessment of Climate Change and Human Health for Montana

Project Term: 24 months; 2019-2020
Grant Amount: $94,500

This project will establish a collaboration of health and climate science experts to produce Montana’s first assessment of the impacts of climate change on human health. “Assessing Climate Change and Human Health in Montana” (C2H2 for short) will be released in 2020 as an online web resource and a printed document with associated outreach and educational materials and activities. C2H2 will present health-relevant climate information describing recent trends and future projections; explain how climate change affects aspects of human health; and offer practical recommendations to guide local, state, and tribal efforts to anticipate and adapt to climate-related health threats in Montana. The report will receive both public comment and scientific peer review before its release, and professional evaluation after release. The goal is to provide the best-available science and health-related data at a level that is easy to access and understand by communities, medical professionals, and policy makers in Montana. C2H2 will serve as a Special Report to the 2017 Montana Climate Assessment.

Montana State University Foundation

Working Together to Respond to Farmers & Ranchers Under Stress in Rural Montana

Project Term: 12 months; 2019-2020
Grant Amount: $32,737

This project will create the first statewide network focused on stresses that affect farmers and ranchers in Montana. The project will form a Montana Farm/Ranch Stress Prevention Advisory Council comprising of members from the agricultural, health, tribal, veteran, local government, and Montana State University communities. This council will oversee the creation of an online clearinghouse of stress prevention and mitigation resources as well as a variety of radio/television/podcast/webinar educational resources. Funding will be used to convene the Advisory Council as well as to develop and market the online clearinghouse and educational resources throughout Montana. The project’s goals are to open the conversation about the causes and effects of stress, thereby destigmatizing conversation surrounding this topic, and to equip community members with evidence-based resources to assist them in managing their stress. These goals will ultimately lessen the risk of mental illness and suicide among Montana’s farming and ranching communities.

Mountain-Pacific Quality Health Foundation

Comprehensive Medication Management Pharmacist Training and Pilot Program for Primary Care

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

Mountain-Pacific Quality Health Foundation partnered with Capita Consulting to train five care management pharmacists on comprehensive medication management (CMM), an evidence-based approach to improve patient outcomes. The trained pharmacists then worked with a panel of complex patients to establish a CMM model of care. The project achieved positive results, but the pharmacists discovered that the amount of time it takes to manage the needs of complex patients was higher than they anticipated, making sustainability a challenge. The project identified promising options for ongoing sustainability, but they were not able to explore billing and practice implementation procedures to support the program during the grant term.

MSU - Office of Rural Health

The Montana Graduate Medical Education Council’s Rural Residency Sustainability Initiative

Project Term: 12 months; Ended 2016
Grant Amount: $25,000

This project’s goal was to provide rural training opportunities in Montana for medical residents. The project successfully held two “meet the residents” events which were attended by individuals from over 30 health care facilities. This direct contact with potential residents resulted in many placements. The project also produced a “culture of learning” toolkit which included state reference materials, statistics, and self-assessment tools for potential recruitment efforts. Surveys indicated that rural hospitals found the toolkit to be relevant and helpful. Annual conferences and resident connection events will be continued through funding from the residency programs and other sources.

MSU - Office of Rural Health

Montana-Regional Initiatives in Dental Education

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

The MSU Office of Rural Health increased the capacity of current Montana-Regional Initiatives in Dental Education (RIDE) Program sites and added additional sites. The RIDE Program creates systems to educate and train dental students from the University of Washington in rural and underserved communities in Montana. This project analyzed the capacity of current RIDE sites, developed new sites in Crow Agency, Hardin, Lame Deer, and Browning, helped create created quality clinical experiences for dental students, offered faculty and preceptor development training, and developed a collaborative model of education. In 2019, the eight RIDE students provided more than 6,300 dental procedures in regional clinics (regional clinics serve children and patients below 200% federal poverty level). To date, 79% of RIDE-trained dentists currently practice in rural and underserved areas. The partnership that the Office of Rural Health developed with the Rocky Mountain Tribal Epidemiology Center as part of this project was vital to developing new sites and systems to place students. The Montana Area Health Education Center will continue to integrate this pilot dental program with other nurse and resident training and residency programs.

MSU - Office of Rural Health

Montana RIDE – Regional Initiatives in Dental Education

Grant Amount: $100,000
Dates: 2020-2022

The Office of Rural Health and Dental Health Sciences department at Montana State University will implement clinical rotations in rural, underserved, and tribal locations for dental students. The Office of Rural Health will establish a public health-oriented dental education program, create a formal network of training locations, and implement a coordinated plan for training, recruiting, and supporting oral health workers. Grant funds will be used for project staff salaries, travel expenses, and contracting with the Rocky Mountain Tribal Leadership Council’s Epidemiology Center (RMTEC) to serve as a tribal liaison. Partnerships include RMTEC, the University of Washington School of Dentistry, and clinical rotation sites.

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.

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.

NeighborWorks Great Falls

Home Matters: Linking Homes and Health Outcomes

Project Term: 18 months; Ended 2017
Grant Amount: $10,000

NeighborWorks Great Falls completed two surveys of health outcomes, one of the residents of new apartments and the other of homeowners in newer homes. The surveys indicated better self-reported health outcomes after residents moved to the new home or apartments. Focus groups were conducted with discharge planning professionals, and they indicated that housing is considered in discharge planning and that supportive housing is needed. This study and community engagement was the impetus for the grantee to engage in a MHCF Housing and Healthcare Initiative planning grant.

Partnership Health Center

Care Management for Super-Utilizers Program

Project Term: 24 months; Ended 2018
Grant Amount: $148,183

This project established an innovative pilot to serve “super-utilizers” – frequent utilizers of Partnership Health Center’s services and local emergency rooms. Super-utilizers are the approximately one percent of patients accounting for twenty-two percent of total health care expenditures, and they often suffer from multiple health conditions and socioeconomic barriers to care which contribute to multiple emergency room visits and hospital admissions. The project created a team consisting of a licensed clinical social worker, registered nurse, and primary care provider to coordinate care and conduct home visits and follow-up calls with select patients to address their medical, behavioral and social needs. The health center also successfully redesigned their care approach to prioritize patient needs and focus on interventions that lessened the cycle of hasty emergency department use and inpatient stay. Outcomes included reductions in the number of emergency department visits and inpatient stays and increased self-efficacy among patients. Recognizing the success of the program, Medicaid changed its reimbursement models for this super-utilizer approach to care.

 

Partnership Health Center

Implementing a Medical-Legal Partnership at Partnership Health Center

Grant Amount: $24,000
Dates: 2020-2021

This planning grant will develop a new medical-legal partnership (MLP) in the Partnership Health Center. The MLP model integrates the expertise of legal professionals into clinical settings to help health care providers address structural problems at the root of many health inequities. By strategically partnering with community leaders in western Montana, Partnership Health Center will create a planning coalition to draw on local expertise, in-kind support, and develop program sustainability plans beyond the first year of the grant. This grant will leverage new and existing partnerships with legal service providers, judges, state public defenders, crime victim advocates, other major local health care providers, and professional organizations. Grant funds will be used to hire an on-site project coordinator to facilitate this integrated care system and to train Partnership Health Center providers and staff on the MLP model.

Poverello Center

Medical Respite Shelter for Homeless Patients

Project Term: 24 months; Ended 2018
Grant Amount: $50,000

For this project, the Poverello Center partnered with St. Patrick’s Hospital to establish care coordination for homeless individuals recovering from a hospital stay to help them transition from the homeless shelter to transitional housing. The project expanded on Poverello’s existing medical respite program by supporting more robust care coordination, evaluating health outcomes, and strengthening and formalizing partnerships and funding agreements. In partnership with the VA, the Poverello Center successfully converted five of their beds to house veterans. In addition, the project was successful in reducing emergency department readmissions and inpatient stays among the homeless population participated in the program. Care coordination and transitional shelter services will be sustained moving forward through ongoing support from the VA and St. Patrick’s Hospital.

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.

Powder River First Responders

Regional Training Opportunities

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

This project supported two training and outreach sessions that incorporated local and regional services to improve the coordination of emergency response in southeastern Montana’s frontier setting. The training helped create a better continuity of care by strengthening working relationships between emergency services and health care facilities. The trainings also established a new framework for documentation that will help the Powder River First Responders coordinate their services in the future.  

Providence Montana Health Foundation

Medical-legal Partnership at Providence St. Patrick Hospital

Project Term: 24 months; 2019-2021
Grant Amount: $100,000

Providence St. Patrick Hospital (SPH), in partnership with the Montana Legal Services Association (MLSA), will launch the state’s first hospital-based medical-legal partnership. To do this, SPH will have a dedicated MLSA staff attorney available to address patients’ civil-legal needs. The staff attorney will provide direct service to patients, in addition to guiding medical providers and social workers in legal matters specific to a patient’s case. The attorney will also offer training on common civil-legal problems and barriers patients face. The three target populations are those who most commonly have civil-legal issues that impede their health, including people who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness, people with mental illness, and older adults who are socially vulnerable. Hospital staff will refer patients to the attorney for eligibility screening and potential civil legal assistance. Funding will be used to support a portion of the attorney’s salary. Other salary costs and benefits, as well as professional supervision hours and other operational expenses, will be covered by SPH. As similar projects nationally and in Montana have demonstrated, medical-legal partnerships are an innovative, effective way to resolve the social and environmental factors that contribute to health disparities and have a remedy in civil law.

PureView Health Center

Development of East Helena School-Based Health Center

Grant Term: 12 months; Ended 2019
Grant Amount: $48,527

PureView Health Center established a school-based health center in East Helena by partnering with Intermountain and the East Helena School District. As part of the project, they developed a business plan and began offering primary and behavioral health care services to students and community members. Staff from the school-based health center also worked with the Office of Public Instruction to identify ways to support a positive school climate and implemented multi-tiered systems of support. Services started in May 2019, and student use of the clinic has steadily increased each month. With a robust business model in place, the school-based health center will continue to offer primary care and behavioral health services to the students of three East Helena elementary schools and one middle school.

Red Lodge Area Community Foundation

Carbon County Area Ride & Transit: A Planning Proposal to Address Rural Isolation & Mobility Needs

Grant Amount: $24,853
Dates: 2020-2021

The Red Lodge Community Foundation will complete a feasibility study to establish a transit service in Carbon County. The study will identify the needs, best geographic route, operation times, and estimated ridership. They will work closely with a county Transportation Advisory Committee to leverage data that has already been collected on the transportation needs of the community. Grant funds will be used for project staff salaries, a group facilitator, travel, communications, and marketing. Partnerships for this project include the Transportation Advisory Committee, which includes multiple health care and social service organizations, Riverstone Health, and Community Care. The project’s goal is to reduce transportation barriers for the aging and at-risk population in Carbon County, and ensure residents have transportation to medical appointments, health facilities, grocery stores, and social events.

Richland County Health Department

Connecting Resources for Emotional Wellness

Project Term: 12 months; Ended 2018
Grant Amount: $28,328

This project used innovative strategy to address the upstream risk factors contributing to poor emotional health and the consequent occurrence of mental health crises. Using an Emergency Preparedness Tabletop Exercise Model, the Richland County Mental Health Local Advisory Council successfully brought together multiple agency stakeholders to identify resources and gaps in support services. The methodology and results of this project were documented and translated into a toolkit that can be widely distributed to others who may be interested in conducting a similar project. On a local level, emotional wellness resource cards were developed and distributed and a “no wrong door” policy was developed; the goal of the “no wrong door” policy is to create an environment among health and service providers in Richland county where community members can be linked to behavioral health services from any point of service through which a person enters. All the products created through this project are designed to divert people from behavioral health crisis by strengthening emotional wellness supports in the community and increasing the opportunity for early intervention and engagement with behavioral health services.

RiverStone Health

Integrated Clinical Pharmacy Services Best Practices

Project Term: 12 months; Ended 2017
Grant Amount: $25,000

This project focused on supporting clinical pharmacist and primary care integration to improve health outcomes. Important achievements included working with DPHHS to develop administrative rules for Medicaid reimbursement for clinical pharmacist practitioners. The grantee will continue to work on establishing standard outcomes measures across the state that will be used to demonstrate the value of clinical pharmacy services. Ongoing planning and educational sessions will also occur to assist pharmacists who are interested in establishing clinical pharmacy services in a physician practice.

Project Materials: 

Rocky Mountain Development Council

Tri-County RSVP Keeping You Home Project

Project Term: 12 months; Ended 2016
Grant Amount: $25,000

This project’s goal was to reduce the risk of hospital re-admission for high-risk seniors and disabled individuals. This pilot project successfully recruited 13 RSVP (retired senior volunteer program) volunteers to work with 47 discharged patients from St. Peters Hospital in Helena and four other rural hospitals. A care coordination training toolkit was developed and agreements for accessing patients’ health records were secured. Only two of the patients who took part in the program were re-admitted to St. Peters (which was well below the 20 percent re-admission rate that the hospital had experienced prior). Local health care providers found the program to be useful in reducing hospital re-admissions and plan to support it moving forward. 

 

Smiles Across Montana

Expanding Smiles Across Montana Services

Project Term: 24 months; 2019-2021
Grant Amount: $100,000

Smiles Across Montana will expand the reach of their mobile dental clinic to serve rural and tribal communities across the state. The program will focus on providing dental hygiene services and oral hygiene education to children and Medicaid recipients. Funds will be used to support networking, planning, and implementing the mobile dental clinic’s services into new facilities and communities. As part of the project, Smiles Across Montana will prioritize developing strong partnerships which will help them increase access to preventative oral health services in rural Montana and make referrals to higher level of dental care as needed. The project’s goal is to bring equitable oral health to all Montanans and to work together with other programs to improve the overall health of Montana’s most vulnerable populations.

Sprout Oral Health

School Nurse Fluoride Varnish Programs

Project Term: 24 months; Ended 2018
Grant Amount: $50,000

Sprout Oral Health developed and implemented a sustainable School Nurse Fluoride Varnish Program (SNFVP) that can be replicated in schools and Head Start programs throughout the state. When implementing this program, Sprout Oral Health targeted low-income Head Start and elementary aged students as fluoride varnish can significantly reduce tooth decay, a chronic disease which disproportionally impacts children of low socio-economic status. Eighteen schools participated in the program with an average federal Free and Reduced Lunch rate of 70%. From these schools, 121 children received no-cost fluoride varnish. The School Nurse Fluoride Varnish Program Manual and Reimbursement Toolkit has been disseminated through existing and new partnerships, such as Montana Association of School Nurses. The School Nurse Fluoride Varnish Program has now been integrated into the package of community-based dental programs Sprout Oral Health maintains and implements across rural and frontier Montana.

The Montana Racial Equity Project

The Allostatic Load Project

Project Term: 12 months; 2019-2020
Grant Amount: $25,000

This project will research, identify, and connect black, brown, and indigenous people of color to the critical health resources they need to heal from the effects of acute and chronic racism. Along with identifying resources for individuals seeking care across the state, the project will develop a curriculum to train mental and physical health practitioners in multicultural assessment and treatment of black, brown, and indigenous people of color. The project will convene meetings and focus groups with key partners and potential practitioners. These meetings will be provided to stakeholders who will not only offer services at low-to-no cost for referred clients but also assist with the development of a training plan based on their existing knowledge and needs to treat minority patients adequately. Grant funds will be used for travel costs associated with this project, and part of the salary for a part-time employee to conduct the research and develop a training curriculum. The project’s overall goal is to serve the needs of people of color in Montana better and reduce the rates of prevalent racial health disparities in Montana.

United Way of Yellowstone County

Collaborating to End Homelessness and Addiction in Yellowstone County

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

United Way of Yellowstone County brought together two groups working on related challenges in Billings—the Billings Substance Abuse Connect coalition and the Billings Continuum of Care—to develop a working partnership through which to pool resources, share data, and make significant progress in reducing substance abuse and homelessness. As part of the project, each coalition completed a needs and resource assessment, a joint strategic plan, a governance structure, and they built a shared data platform to guide and track their activities. As a result of this collaborative work, United Way received over $1 million from the Office of National Drug Control Policy, $200,000 in County Matching Grant funds, and $70,000 in local donations. The coalitions are using these grants to establish diversion and treatment services, like a community crisis line, a mobile crisis response team, and training for law enforcement and first responders in de-escalation strategies. An innovation spotlight summary of the project can be found here.

University of Montana

Montana Interprofessional Student Hotspotting

Project Term: 24 months; 2019-2021
Grant Amount: $95,967

This project will pilot a cross-disciplinary student hotspotting program to work with Partnership Health Center’s Complex Care program. Student hotspotting, an initiative of the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers, is a team-based, patient-centered approach to serving patients with complex medical and social needs. Led by University of Montana College of Health Professionals and Biomedical Sciences (CHPBS) faculty, the program will create student teams that provide home-based non-clinical interventions to high-utilizing patients in Partnership Health Center’s Complex Care program. Funding will be used for the operational, administrative, and training costs to develop and implement the training program at the University of Montana. Partners include the Montana Geriatric Education Center, Partnership Health Center, the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers and University of Utah Interprofessional Education and Student Hotspotting, who will provide training and technical support for the program. The project’s goal is to improve patient quality of life, integrate medical, behavioral, and social care, and increase utilization of primary care services through home-based, non-clinical interventions that address the social determinants of health.

University of Montana Foundation

Capacity Building for the University of Montana Public Health Training Institute

Project Term: 24 months; 2019-2021
Grant Amount: $96,683

The University of Montana (UM) will develop a Public Health Training Institute within the School of Public and Community Health Sciences. Training opportunities will be developed to build the capacity of public health practitioners and the broader health care system. Through a partnership with the Public Health Workforce Development Group, made up of members of the non-profit public health entities and the state health department, nine training topics have been identified as areas of need to build the capacity of Montana’s public health workforce. Through this project, the needs of the broader health care system, including primary care, behavioral health, and tribal and urban Indian health centers, will be identified and five additional trainings will be developed to meet those needs. Trainings will be delivered online for free or, for sustainability purposes, for a nominal fee. Grant funds will be used to cover the cost of program staff to carry out the data gathering and analysis, for consultation with subject matter experts as the training modules are developed, and to cover the costs of travel for meetings and marketing. Through this project, UM will strengthen the partnerships it has developed with the state health department, the non-profit public health entities, and local health departments. New partnerships will be developed with the boarder health care field, including the Montana Hospital Association and Montana Primary Care Association. The project’s goal is to build the capacity of the public health and broader health workforce while simultaneously building the capacity of the School of Public and Community Health Sciences to establish a Public Health Training Institute that will serve as a state-wide resource for health training.