Diabetes Empowerment Education Program


Mountain-Pacific Quality Health invites anyone with diabetes or high blood sugar (pre-diabetes) to join them for a series of free classes that provides tips and information about how to take control of diabetes.

In this series of six classes, participants will learn about:
• How diabetes affects people—both physically and emotionally
• How to find healthy eating habits while still enjoying food
• How to be safely active all year
• How to develop skills and action plans for staying healthy
• How to be an effective member of their health care team with their doctors, health care providers, and diabetes educators

Take charge of your health and control diabetes! Play these fun and educational activities to learn more about healthy eating, diabetes, and your body!


Click on a city below to find out more information on their Diabetes Empowerment Education Program (DEEP)TM!

Billings           Anaconda            Townsend                 Lewistown                Scobey

Learn more about the Diabetes Empowerment Education Program here!

Interested in becoming a trained diabetes educator? Click here!


For more information please contact Melonie Van Dyke Phone: 406-457-5819 Email: mvandyke@mpqhf.org

or Stephanie Paugh Phone: (406) 320-2106 Email: spaugh@mpqhf.org


Profile of the Week: Strong Women

Strong Women

The primary objective of the StrongWomen™ Program is to help communities nationwide to implement safe and  effective strength training programs for midlife and older women.

Women begin to show decline in muscle mass beginning at age 30 and if this condition is not reversed, women will have reduced strength and other severe consequences as they age. Women need to maintain a healthy level of muscle mass at all ages for optimal health through weight lifting two or more times per week,  but only 17.5% of women meet these recommendations. The Strong Women program, developed by Tufts University, is designed for women to increase muscle strength by strength training for 2-3 sessions per week for fourteen weeks. This strength training program is now being offered through MSU Extension offices in Montana, and the results have been inspiring.  Participation, improved functional strength and balance, and a strong sense of camaraderie and achievement are positive outcomes for Montana’s rural women. These trainings are conducted by Extension educators who have been certified to teach Strong Women programs.

About Strong Women:
The StrongWomen™  program is an evidence-based strength training program developed by the staff of  the Hancock Center at the Friedman School at Tufts University. The primary objective of the StrongWomen™ Program is to help communities nationwide to implement safe and  effective strength training programs for midlife and older women.

Who should attend trainings:
* Professional and community leaders who are working with a non-profit and are interested in the fields of public health, nutrition and exercise or wellness should attend.

* Potential program leaders should be regularly lifting weights/strength training, be in good physical health, and be able to collaborate with local agencies or organizations to provide the Strong Women program in their community.


For a list of all locations and contact information, click here


Anaconda Baby Friendly Hospital

The staff of Community Hospital of Anaconda is very proud to be the 39th Hospital in the U.S. and the first in Montana to earn the “Baby Friendly” designation. The overall goal is to provide excellent health care in a very caring environment. The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) is a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to encourage and recognize hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level care for infants, mothers, and families.

The BFHI promotes, protects, and supports breastfeeding through The Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding for Hospitals, as outlined by UNICEF/WHO. The steps for the United States are:

  • 1 – Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.
  • 2 – Train all health care staff in skills necessary to implement this policy.
  • 3 – Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.
  • 4 – Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth.
  • 5 – Show mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation, even if they are separated from their infants.
  • 6 – Give newborn infants no food or drink other than breast milk, unless medically indicated.
  • 7 – Practice “rooming in”– allow mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day.
  • 8 – Encourage breastfeeding on demand.
  • 9 – Give no pacifiers or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants.
  • 10 – Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or clinic.
All hospitals designated Baby Friendly prior to 2004 must update their polices and procedures to meet the new BFHI guidelines. Currently, under the direction of Baby-Friendly USA, the Anaconda Hospital is auditing all of their policies and procedures for each of the 10 Steps.  The high standards of the BFHI will continue to be met through QI process and this information is presented to our hospital Leadership team and Board of Directors.

Hospitals around the country are becoming breastfeeding friendly for a number of different reasons including; marketing purposes, ethics, and others.  Anaconda decided to become breastfeeding friendly because they felt that it was the best practice for the health of the mothers and babies.

More than one million infants worldwide die every year because they are not breastfed or are given other foods too early. Millions more live in poor health, contract preventable diseases, and battle malnutrition. Although the magnitude of this death and disease is far greater in the developing world, thousands of infants in the United States suffer the ill effects sub-optimal feeding practices. A decreased risk of diarrhea, respiratory and ear infections, and allergic skin disorders are among the many benefits of breastfeeding to infants in the industrialized world.

Please visit the website at: http://www.communityhospitalofanaconda.org/getpage.php?name=baby to learn more information about the Community Hospital of Anaconda. To learn more about the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative, please visit: http://www.babyfriendlyusa.org/.


Small Steps to Health and Wealth

Designed to motivate participants to improve both their health and their finances

Small Steps to Health and Wealth™ (SSHW) is a MSU Extension program designed to motivate participants to improve both their health and their finances.  The program was developed by faculty with Rutgers Cooperative Extension and has been adapted for Montanans by the MSU Extension faculty.  Since January 2008, Teton, Deer Lodge, Cascade, Blaine, Fergus, and Richland County have offered the class in their counties to over 100 people.  The program consists of three sessions featuring:  Discussions of similarities between health and personal finance issues, suggested behavior change strategies that can be applied to both areas of life, and the impact of health on finances and finances on health.  The program concludes with a discussion of key health and wealth success factors:  Attitude, automation, awareness, knowledge, control, environment, goals, and time.  Participants set health and wealth goals and take action to achieve their goals by identifying small progress steps.  Follow-up check lists at periodic intervals help participants track progress toward their health and wealth goals.

Montana’s SSHW program has received national publicity, and the main SSHW Website on the Rutgers University server recommends interested states follow the Montana SSHW template as a guide to developing a state-specific program.


Visit the national website at: http://njaes.rutgers.edu/sshw/

Note: MSU Extension does not currently offer Small Steps to Health and Wealth. A Revised version of the program may be available this fall. Updates to follow.