Mountain-Pacific Quality Health surprised with $50,000 HKHF grant
Organization to target suicide prevention by developing a youth-centered campaign
Helena — Montana has the unfortunate distinction of being home to the highest rate of death by suicide of any state in the nation, and sadly, the greater Helena area has suffered several youth suicides over the past five years.
Mountain-Pacific Quality Health Foundation’s (MPQH) hope is to reduce youth suicide in the greater Helena area, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana (BCBSMT) is backing the organization’s effort by awarding a $50,000 Healthy Kids, Healthy Families grant to provide the necessary funding. MPQH’s primary objective for the grant is to increase awareness of mental illness and teen suicide, and the impact among youth using four key strategies:
- Establishment of a local youth task force
- Assessment of suicide and mental health awareness
- Deployment of communication strategies using multiple media that target youth
- Provision of resources, tools and skills to help youth develop resiliency and cope with mental illness, stress and other challenges that are precursors to suicidal behavior
“It was such a surprise, really exciting, a relief. We’re just thrilled.” MPQH Director of Medicaid Services Janet Whitmoyer said after she and several of her coworkers accepted the grant at a surprise ceremony Monday, Aug. 14 at BCBSMT’s Helena headquarters.
“This is a dream come true for us. We know that Blue Cross and Blue Shield is very influential – a leader in health care and so forth in the state of Montana. … Having them for a partner is just so exciting and thrilling. I think it’s going to pay dividends even beyond the state of Montana.”
HKHF is a signature program of BCBSMT and part of an ongoing commitment to invest in and partner with nonprofit organizations that offer sustainable, measurable programs to reach children and their families in the five following areas: nutrition, physical activity, disease prevention and management, supporting safe environments, and suicide prevention. The $50,000 HKHF grant is one of four BCBSMT awards each year.
”What has been transpiring in our community is heartbreaking,” said John Doran, Divisional Vice President of External Affairs and Chief of Staff at BCBSMT. “We all have a responsibility to do what we can to help those in a crisis and prevent this tragic trend from continuing.”
Ideally, MPQH hopes to develop an effective youth-centered campaign that can be adapted and replicated in other communities throughout the state, region and nation, but first they’ll start with Helena, East Helena, Montana City and Clancy. Officials with MPQH have already begun working with a consortium of area stakeholders to brainstorm suicide prevention ideas and strategies.
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 believes that Montana consumers and employers deserve the best of both worlds — access to quality, cost-effective health care and superior customer service from a company that focuses solely on members. BCBSMT has provided high-quality health insurance plans and administrative services to Montanans for nearly 77 years. BCBSMT is committed to ensuring its members — no matter where they are on the health spectrum — achieve maximum health. BCBSMT’s mission is to stand with its members in sickness and in health. BCBSMT’s website is www.bcbsmt.com.
Mountain-Pacific Quality Health Foundation
Mountain-Pacific Quality Health Foundation (MPQH) is a 501c (3) nonprofit corporation that strives to be a recognized leader for driving innovation in health care in the states and region it serves. MPQH first began partnering with providers, practitioners and patients in Montana in 1973. The nonprofit now supports the health care communities of Montana, Wyoming, Hawaii, Alaska, the U.S. Pacific Territories of Guam and American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. MPQH provides Medicaid utilization and pharmacy review and management services for the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services. Through its review, management and authorization process, it has documented success in assuring that the children, families and other clients are receiving the most appropriate, cost-effective setting, using the most appropriate medical, transportation and community support services, prescription drugs, equipment and supplies. MPQH’s website is mpqhf.com.