Expanding access to care and empowering health is what drives us every day in our work with members and their care providers. It also guides how we invest in and work alongside community organizations across Montana, driving change at the local level.

In 2023, we renewed our efforts to advance resources and programs that address the social and economic factors that influence our ability to achieve our best health. Amplifying the work of our community outreach and clinical teams, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana is teaming up with mental health advocates, food banks, youth sports programs, and other local initiatives to support the well-being of Montanans.

We contributed more than $1 million in grants and sponsorships to Montana organizations, including our Big Blue Sky InitiativeSM major grants funded by the Blue ImpactSM program. 


Blue Impact



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Closing Gaps in Care

We support community efforts that complement our collaboration with care providers to close care gaps in immunizations, diabetes care, cardiovascular care, behavioral health, early detection cancer screening, and maternal and infant health.

With support from a Big Blue Sky Initiative grant, the St. Vincent Healthcare Foundation premiered a documentary series by filmmaker Ken Burns: “Hiding in Plain Sight: Youth Mental Illness.” The Foundation continues to raise awareness and reduce stigma associated with mental illness with viewings of the film and workshops at schools, colleges, community forums and other settings.

Our support for the Caring Foundation of MontanaSM — which operates the Care Van® mobile health program — is helping thousands of people across the state gain access to immunizations and other important preventive health services and education.

The Caring Foundation added vision screening devices in 2023 to allow rural partners to increase screening rates. It also started a new partnership with the Roosevelt County Health Department that includes STI testing, responding to a surge in syphilis cases.


Kee Dunning presenting on stage in group setting


Teaching Respect and Communication Skills to Help Save Montana’s Youth

Billings-area psychotherapist Kee Dunning is on a mission to save the lives. She and her team have traveled the state to try to prevent youth suicides.


Care Van® Impact



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Addressing Hunger and Nutrition

Reliable access to nutritious food is essential to health and wellness, and too many people in communities across Montana — about 1 in 10 — live in food-insecure households.

In 2023, BCBSMT again provided a major grant to the Montana Food Bank Network, which partners with nearly 340 community organizations, food pantries, shelters, meal programs, schools and others who serve their communities with direct food distribution.

“We’ve all seen the increases in food prices at the grocery store, and for families who are living paycheck to paycheck, those increases hit them the hardest,” says Lorianne Burhop, Montana Food Bank Network’s chief policy officer. “The most direct connection, of course, is health.”


Crowd of youths on bikes riding in race


Youth Sports

As supporting partners of the Montana Interscholastic Cycling League, among other youth activities investments, we’re offering young Montanans healthy opportunities in traditional and nontraditional activities.


49th Annual Governor's Cup Raises Funds for Preventive Care

In June, BCBSMT presented the 49th annual Governor’s Cup, which serves as the primary fundraiser for the Caring Foundation of Montana. More than 2,400 elementary school students participated in the race’s six-week Kids Marathon training program.

Worksheets about mental health tips on school desk


Locally Defined Solutions


Health needs are very different from community to community across our vast state. We’re helping meet these locally defined needs in collaboration with the people and organizations that understand them best.

A grant from BCBSMT is helping Montana Pediatrics address challenges in pediatric care: after-hours urgent care, rural and urban Native American support, support for families in crisis or transition, care for children with Type 1 diabetes, rural complex care and integrated mental and behavioral health.

Another grant is supporting the Alluvion Health Foundation’s mobile autism clinic, improving access to diagnostic evaluations and ongoing care for children living in rural and underserved areas of north-central Montana.

Physician and young patient holding up hands


Improving Behavioral Health Care Access

The Montana Academy of Pediatric Physicians is helping pediatricians and primary care providers get training to meet the behavioral health needs of Montana families.

Community job training event


Economic Opportunity and Stability

It’s hard to focus on health without stable income, access to jobs, and chances to gain new skills and grow. BCBSMT’s major grants have consistently supported organizations that provide job training and other resources that help Montana families and individuals thrive.


Female engineer overseeing solar panels


Improving Quality of Life With Clean Energy Jobs

Missoula Economic Partnership is launching a pilot program focused on creating clean-energy careers and increasing access to support services for low-income women and women of color.

Last Updated: Feb. 02, 2024