HELENA — Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana (BCBSMT) awarded the Montana State University Foundation a $50,000 Healthy Kids, Healthy Families® (HKHF) grant Friday, Sept. 9, to support its One Community in Health initiative through the school’s College of Nursing.
One Community in Health provides health and dental screenings, and preventive treatment for children on the Northern Cheyenne, Blackfeet and Crow Reservations, and funding from this grant will directly impact more than 150 children on the Crow Reservation in the 2021-22 school year.
“Montana State University is an incredible partner to all Montanans,” said John Doran, BCBSMT Divisional Vice President of External Affairs. “We are grateful for this opportunity to partner with the College of Nursing to help provide invaluable resources and services to children on the Crow Reservation.”
According to the MSU Foundation and College of Nursing, students take a course on providing culturally sensitive care to help them understand and prepare for their immersion experience on an American Indian Reservation. College of Nursing students have now traveled to the Northern Cheyenne, Blackfeet, and Crow Nations to provide medical and dental care for youth, earning clinical hours toward completing their undergraduate nursing degrees. Students rate it as the best pediatric clinical experience in the nursing program, and many have asked to return to the community later in their programs of study.
Additionally, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana and Caring Foundation of Montana’s Care Van program has worked in conjunction with the College of Nursing this year on the Blackfeet Reservation in March, and on the Crow and Northern Cheyenne reservations in April.
The HKHF initiative is an ongoing commitment by BCBSMT to invest in and partner with like-minded nonprofit organizations that offer sustainable, measurable programs to reach children and their families in the five following focus areas: nutrition, physical activity, disease prevention and management, substance abuse prevention, and suicide prevention.
Since 2014, BCBSMT has awarded more than $1.5 million through the HKHF initiative. In addition, BCBSMT contributes more than $500,000 each year to nonprofit organizations that support efforts throughout the state to improve the health of all Montanans. BCBSMT also presents the Governor’s Cup each June and supports the Caring Foundation of Montana’s Care Van program, which provides access to preventive health care services at low or no cost. The Governor’s Cup, which has been running strong since 1974, promotes the benefits of physical activity though running and walking, is host to more than 4,500 participants each year, whose race fees directly benefit the Caring Foundation of Montana.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana (BCBSMT) is a division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company and Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. BCBSMT is the largest and longest-standing statewide, customer-owned health insurer and full-service health benefits administrator in Montana. BCBSMT has provided high-quality health insurance plans and administrative services to Montanans for more than 80 years and is committed to ensuring its members — no matter where they are on the health spectrum — achieve maximum health. Headquartered in Helena with five regional offices, BCBSMT’s purpose is to stand with its members in sickness and in health.
About the MSU College of Nursing
The MSU College of Nursing is the largest supplier of baccalaureate nurses and home to the only graduate nursing program in the State of Montana, offering both Masters of Nursing and Doctorate of Nursing Practice degrees. The College of Nursing works to enhance the health of the people of Montana and to transform lives and communities in the people's interest. The College of Nursing has an organizational structure in support of this mission including faculty, staff, administration, and partnerships that will serve the proposed project.
About the Montana State University Foundation
The Montana State University Foundation is committed to enhancing the continuing excellence of MSU by attracting private financial support from individuals, corporations, and foundations, and being prudent stewards of its resources and friendships. By seeking and securing private support, the Foundation furthers the mission of MSU to educate students, create knowledge and art, and serve communities, by integrating learning, discovery, and engagement.