Improving health and academic outcomes for students by supporting new partnerships between schools and health care providers.

Untreated health issues create challenges for students in all areas of their lives, including the classroom. Mental illness, dental infections, and medical illnesses such as asthma are common causes of excessive absences, classroom behavioral challenges, and poor academic performance. The ripple effects can extend into critical school metrics such as attendance and graduation rates. Addressing untreated health issues can help students reach their full academic potential and achieve greater personal success.

We created the School-Based Health Initiative to support consistent, high-quality, and convenient health care to students and their families in a safe, familiar place. The School-Based Health Initiative provides grants to plan for and implement health centers in schools across Montana, offering a powerful way to address the health and behavioral challenges that keep children from succeeding in school. 

Funding Opportunity

This initiative provides funding for health care providers to partner with schools to implement school-based health centers. Federally qualified health centers, rural health centers, and tribal health departments are eligible. The partnering schools that this initiative will target fall into one of the categories below, including:

    1. Schools identified as “comprehensive” schools under the Every Student Succeeds Act
    2. Alternative high schools
    3. Schools identified as “targeted” schools under the Every Student Succeeds Act and in which 70% or more of the students qualify for free or reduced lunch
    4. Schools that serve a large number of students with complex needs based on school-level Youth Risk Behavioral Survey and any other school-level specific data or 70% or more of the students qualify for free or reduced lunch, and there is evidence of complex health needs

Our upcoming round of grant funding will open June 15, 2021. Applications will be due September 15, 2021, and projects will begin November 1, 2021. Grant applications are by invitation only. Funding is available for planning and implementation projects.

For more information on this funding opportunity or If you are interested in applying for a planning or implementation grant, please contact our office.

To help support the implementation of this initiative, the Montana Healthcare Foundation gave the Montana Office of Public Instruction a grant for $100,000 over two years. The Montana Office of Public Instruction will help with outreach to high-priority schools and will work to align current programming (such as the Multi-Tiered System of Support) with Montana Healthcare Foundation-funded projects in those schools. More information can be found in the grant summary


About the School-Based Health Initiative

News & Updates


Community Health Partners

Bozeman School-Based Health Center

Project Term: 24 months; 2019-2021 Grant Amount: $75,000 This project will allow Community Health Partners (CHP) to establish the first school-based health center in Bozeman. As part of this project, CHP will establish a school-based health center at Bozeman High School. The project establishes a new partnership between CHP, Intermountain (behavioral health provider), and the Bozeman School District. The project will use funds to employ a behavioral health provider at the high school and allow key health and school personnel to participate in the project and integrate the project into existing systems. Additional school-based health services will be added as the specific needs are determined throughout the project. The project has targeted up to 200 youth in need of support and includes students in the alternative high school program as part of the service population. Bozeman School District already utilizes a multi-tiered system of support (MTSS) to address social and emotional needs for youth, which is critical to the project’s success. The school anticipates this program improving health outcomes, attendance, decreasing disciplinary events, and increasing overall school success.

Community Health Partners

School Wellness with Community Health Partners and Belgrade School District

Project Term: 24 months; 2019-2021

Grant Amount: $50,000

Community Health Partners (CHP) will establish the first school-based health center in Belgrade at the Belgrade Middle School and a new partnership with the Belgrade School District. The project will bring a nurse practitioner and a medical assistant from CHP into the school to provide regular, weekly clinic hours in a remodeled classroom space. This opportunity will give students and families access to health care services like vaccinations, sports physicals, concussion management, and other athletic injury follow-ups. Health services, like behavioral health and dental, will be included as specific needs are determined throughout the project. As part of this grant, the school will assess and consider updates to school policies and practices to reduce out-of-school suspensions and truancy and increase student engagement. Funding will be used to employ the new school-based health center staff. The project aims to improve student health outcomes and attendance, decrease disciplinary events, and increase overall school success.

Bighorn Valley Health Center

Integrated and Sustainable School-Based Healthcare in Big Horn County

Project Term: 24 months; 2020-2022

Grant Amount: $300,000

Bighorn Valley Health Center (BVHC) will begin providing school-based health services in the Hardin High School, Crow Agency Public School, and the Wyola School District. School-based health services – delivered through a combination of in-person and virtual visits – will be available for students, school staff, and the surrounding community. Grant funds will support salaries for project management and partnership liaison staff. The project’s goal is to bring needed health services to rural and frontier communities in the southcentral region of the state.

Sapphire Community Health, Inc

Sapphire's School Wellness Project

Project Term: 12 months; 2020-2021
Grant Amount: $50,000

Sapphire Community Health (SCH) will undergo a planning process to implement school-based health services in three school districts in Ravalli County. The school districts include Victor School (a school designated as “comprehensive”), Stevensville Alternative High School, and Hamilton Alternative School. As part of the planning process, SCH will pursue formalized relationships and collaborate with the school districts. Grant funds cover staff costs related to relationship building and planning the implementation of school-based services. Ultimately, SCH intends to use a newly acquired mobile unit to provide medical and behavioral health services to students in these rural communities and in turn, to improve students’ ability to learn and succeed in school.

Alluvion Health

Alluvion Health Vaugh Schools School Wellness Initiative

Project Term: 24 months; 2020-2022
Grant Term: $100,000

Alluvion Health will implement school-based health services, including medical, dental, and behavioral health, in Vaughn Public School. Vaughn Public School is a K-8 school located 15 miles from Great Falls. Alluvion will use a newly acquired mobile unit to provide dental services and provide medical and behavioral health services within the school. Grant funds will cover startup costs including salaries for the staff providing services. The project’s goal is to offer health services to the students and staff members of Vaughn Public School and the surrounding communities of Sun River, Fort Shaw, and Simms and in turn, to improve students’ ability to learn and succeed in school.

Upload Image...