Strengthening health services, so American Indian people in Montana have access to stable, high-quality, and American Indian-led health care.

In this initiative, we help tribes and urban Indian health centers build and strengthen their health programs. We also focus on helping develop stable revenue and strong business operations so that these programs can grow and thrive beyond our grant and provide long-lasting benefit to the community.

Funding Opportunity

Only tribes, tribal government agencies, and urban Indian health programs may apply for funding under this initiative. Projects must meet the following criteria:

  • Applicants must describe a plan for creating, strengthening, or assuming management from Indian Health Services (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 our office

Our Work in Strengthening Health Services

2020 Year in Review

In our first annual report, you'll find an overview of the progress we've made in each of our priority areas and the strategic approach we too in our response to COVID-19. 

Read the Report

Strengthening Health Services Grantees

University of Montana Foundation

American Indian Governance and Policy Institute

Dates: 2020-2022
Grant Amount: $99,956

The University of Montana’s American Indian Governance and Policy Institute (AIGPI) will develop a comprehensive tribal public policy needs assessment. The assessment will inform AIGPI’s tribal policy research and analysis agenda for the next ten years. AIGPI’s mission is to coalesce the research and service resources available within the Montana University System and work with tribes to address core causes of poor socioeconomic conditions and health on Montana reservations. This work will be achieved by enhancing tribal governing structures through tribal-level policy changes to improve government function, strengthening regulatory authority, and supporting self-governance. AIGPI will provide tribal policymakers with a critical service consisting of credible, in-depth research and analysis to further tribal leader’s efforts to strengthen reservation economies and build community and individual health and prosperity. Partners will include Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders Council and representatives from each Montana Tribe. Grant funds will be used to support the time, effort, travel, and meeting costs for AIGPI’s director to conduct outreach, data collection, data analysis, and convening an advisory committee.

Mountain Shadow Association

Kaala's Village Development Project

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

Mountain Shadow Association (MSA) will move a planned family healing center on the Crow reservation (Kaala’s Village) from the feasibility study phase into the development phase. MSA will hire a supportive housing consultant to help them with the development. The project will be informed and guided by a community-based advisory board that will meet monthly to receive updates on the developer’s work plan progress and ensure that the project remains grounded in the values, needs, and vision of the community and remains focused on meeting the immediate integrated health care needs of local families. Grant funds will be used to convene the advisory board and contract with BeauxSimone Consulting to assist MSA and the advisory board in solidifying a development team, finalizing the concept plan, identifying a property management company, and securing additional funding for Kaala’s Village (‘Kaala’ is the Crow word for ‘grandmother’). Partners that are committed to participating in the advisory board include the Apsaalooke Nation Housing Authority, the City of Lodge Grass, Plenty Doors Community Develop Corps, the Casey Family Foundation, Big Horn Valley Health Center, Tribal Legislative Health and Human Services Committee, Tribal IQWA Coordinator, Indian Health Services, Lodge Grass Schools PTO, peer support specialists, USDA Rural Development, and Meadowlark Counseling. The grantee hopes to create a final conceptual model that can support a successful capital campaign and integrate appropriate partners, resulting in the full implementation of Kaala’s Village.


Helena Indian Alliance

Integrated Behavioral Health for Urban Indian Center

Project Term: 24 months; 2019-2021

Grant Amount: $150,000

Helena Indian Alliance will implement integrated behavioral health in their primary care clinic and behavioral health department. As part of this project, they will perform evidence-based screenings for behavioral health disorders in their primary care clinic, train their staff on screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment for substance use disorders (SBIRT). They will also implement integrated services and make referrals for behavioral health on the same day that a patient presents to the medical clinic. The warm handoff model will be used for primary care as well as behavioral health to ensure treatment for the whole person at each visit. Grant funds will be used for training and implementation of the project, hiring a care coordinator or behavioral health provider for the clinic, providing psychiatric consultation, and developing sustainability. The project’s goal is for the integrated behavioral health model to be a permanent and lasting resource in the clinic and community.

University of Montana

Improving Access, Training, and Recruitment for American Indian Health Care

Project Term: 24 months; 2019-2021
Grant Amount: $97,359

The University of Montana will work to improve care for American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) in Montana by increasing cultural awareness among medical students and improving access to care for specific medical services. Medical residents and health professions students at the Family Medicine Residency of Western Montana and the University of Montana will learn cultural humility through the development of a didactic curriculum for both learners and practicing professionals, as well as an immersion clinical experience at the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT) Tribal Health. The clinical experience will enhance cultural training and allow active recruitment of residents and students to work in AI/AN health care upon graduation. This project will also development models for new services to be provided by resident and faculty physicians at CSKT Tribal Health, beginning with maternal and obstetrical care. New services will help to address current barriers to care experienced by Tribal Health recipients. Grant funds will help develop curricula, provide resources for the creation of new models of care, and improve and expand the clinical training opportunities in AI/AN settings. This will help meet the overall goal of improving care for one of Montana’s largest underserved populations.

Families First Children's Museum

Confederated Salish Kootenai Tribe Family Education Services

Project Term: 12 months; 2019-2020
Grant Amount: $26,118

The Families First Children’s Museum (FFCM) will provide family education classes and resources for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal (CSKT) community intended to foster healing and help develop resilient communities. The project will introduce new, relevant, and evidence-based curricula within three separate tracks: parents/caregivers, foster parents, and childcare providers. Funding will be used to hire native instructors and support curriculum development. Through current partnerships with CSKT, the Department of Human Resource Development, and Salish Kootenai College, as well as growth in collaboration with the Tribal Health Department, Tribal Education Department, local childcare providers, and organizations like the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, FFCM’s work will extend to reach more families and create connections between parent education skill development and a stronger family resource network.