Public health plays a vital role in protecting and improving the health and well-being of Montana communities. We work to strengthen public health in Montana by supporting the development of systems that allow local and tribal public health departments to respond effectively to community needs.
County and tribal public health departments work diligently and often behind the scenes to protect and improve health. They implement immunization programs, ensure the community has safe food and water, track down the source of disease outbreaks, and lead community efforts to identify and solve their most challenging health problems. Despite their critical role, many of Montana’s health departments operate on a shoestring budget and have little time or funding to build more effective programs to meet community needs.
Our commitment to strengthening Montana’s public health system began with our first grant in 2014. With that $1.3 million grant, we provided funding and technical support to county and tribal health departments around Montana through a partnership with the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services. The grant enabled local health departments around the state to receive governance training and carry out a range of critically needed activities such as community health assessments, strategic planning, and program development.
In 2020, after years of planning with partners around Montana, we launched the Montana Public Health Institute to build on and expand our support of local public health. The Montana Public Health Institute supports county and tribal health departments to improve their core programs and respond to community health needs.
We also helped fund the formation of the Confluence Public Health Alliance, an innovative new nonprofit that houses Montana’s three public health associations: the Montana Public Health Association, the Association of Montana Public Health Officials, and the Montana Environmental Health Association.