Project Name: North Central Montana Rural Health Neighborhood Project

Project Overview: Bullhook Community Health Center, in partnership with six rural community health centers and the Montana Primary Care Association, is undertaking a planning project to strengthen the relationships between the participating centers and community-based partners in North Central Montana, in preparation for a collaborative initiative to improve health outcomes for residents of the area, which encompasses 11 counties covering 34,498 square miles. Deep poverty, limited access to reliable transportation, vast food deserts and the barriers of distance and geography exacerbate the health conditions of the largely underserved population, which includes Native American communities at risk for poor health outcomes.

The planning project is intended to build stronger relationships and improve coordination among North Central Montana’s rural health centers and collaborating partners with the goal of establishing a “rural health neighborhood” among the participating health centers to transform clinical practice and enhance comprehensive services. Following the planning phase, the collaborating organizations expect to initiate a behavioral health/substance use disorder outcomes improvement project utilizing common metrics and a standardized, cloud-based referral system.

Planning project objectives are to:

  • Select CHC assessment tools;
  • Define project tracking metrics;
  • Develop shared protocols and processes; and
  • Design a strategy and implementation plan for an evidence-based, technology supported comprehensive behavioral health/substance use disorder initiative that will include the collaborating partners as well as Native American clinics and tribal organizations.

Project Partners: Community Health Care Center, Inc., Glacier Community Health Center, Marias Healthcare Services, Sweet Medical Center, Central Montana Community Health Center, Big Horn Valley Health Center, Montana Primary Care Association.

About the Grantee

Bullhook Community Health Center is a non-profit, community-based health service organization in Havre, Montana, serving the residents of Hill County and surrounding areas. Bullhook is a Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) providing a wide range of preventive, primary care and specialty services including Medical, Dental, Pediatrics, Women’s Health, Addiction Counseling, Mental Health, Pharmacy, Care Management, Outreach and Enrollment Program, the Montana Asthma Program, and the Children’s Advocacy Center. Bullhook is also a Montana State Licensed Addiction Counseling Facility. For more information, visit: