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


Livingston Health Care Programs


Livingston HealthCare serves and strengthens the Park County region as a healthcare provider, as the county’s largest employer, and as a community citizen. Beyond the healthcare services we provide, they offer community benefit services and programs that promote health, healing and overall well-being.


Livingston HealthCare helps to prepare your child for life and learning with this free check-up performed by pediatric specialists from Livingston HealthCare, Community Health Partners, the Park County Special Education Coop, Head Start and Family Outreach. For children birth to five years old these screenings assess readiness for learning and life and include:

  • Physical check-up
  • Physical skills check-up
  • Speech & language check-up
  • Learning readiness check
  • Hearing screen
  • Snacks and other fun activities

An annual free screening event is held each fall. Mini-screenings are offered once a month at Livingston HealthCare.

The Athlete Wellness Program is Livingston HealthCare’s commitment to Park County school sports. Livingston HealthCare encourages 12-17 year olds to get a “Good to Go!” annual checkup. The 30-minute visit includes a thorough physical evaluation, vision exam, growth check, and education with a healthcare provider to prepare teens for summer activities, school sports, and life. Each year they provide more than 500 checkups at discounted rates to prepare students for the new school and sports year. Designed to improve The program is provided each summer on specific days to Park County student athletes.

Athlete Wellness

The Athlete Wellness Program includes one free orthopedic examination and two free visits to a physical therapist to take action on injuries received during a school sports practice or game. Although other services that may be needed during the exam such as e-rays, MRI, lab work, etc. are not included for free, most of these services are covered by most insurance plans.  All students need to do is mention their status as a student athlete and Livingston Health Care will get students in as soon as possible—to get them back to their sport and their team.

Free Clinical Breast Exams 

The American Cancer Society recommends that women under age 40 should have a clinical breast exam at least every 3 years. After age 40, women should have a breast exam by a health professional every year, including a screening mammogram. Free clinical breast exam appointments are now available at Livingston HealthCare as part of Paint Park County Pink, a program to increase awareness about breast health and breast cancer prevention.

Livingston HealthCare Mammogram Program

Livingston HealthCare’s goal is to ensure that women in Park, Sweet Grass, and Meagher counties have access to annual mammograms.The Livingston HealthCare Mammogram Fund helps provide access to mammograms for uninsured and underinsured women, thanks to a grant from the Montana Affiliate of Komen for the Cure. The program guidelines have been created to complement the Montana Breast and Cervical Health Program to serve as many women as possible.


Livingston HealthCare’s Mammogram Program covers screening and diagnostic mammograms and breast ultrasounds for women:

  • Aged 49 and under (including women under 40 where a mammogram is medically necessary)
  • Who have no insurance or a high deductible
  • Who meet the income requirements (see website for more information)
  • Who live in Park, Sweet Grass, or Meagher Counties

Health Screens

A health screen is a great way to get a basic overview of your current state of health. Health screens are available at Livingston Memorial Hospital on a walk-in basis in addition to the annual Fall and Spring health Fairs! The testing includes a blood profile and coronary heart disease risk evaluation. The screen will also check:

  • Glucose
  • Creatinine
  • Uric Acid
  • Potassium and Sodium
  • TSH
  • Hematocrit
  • Cholesterol
  • Triglyceride
  • HDL-Cholesterol
  • LDL-Cholesterol


Livingston Local Food Project

The Livingston Local Food Project was designed to enhance the understanding of the citizens of Livingston and Park county regarding affordable, novel food production options and the benefits of healthy eating.


The Livingston Local Food Project began in April of 2012 and ran through October of 2012. Organic seeds of various vegetables including peppers, beans, lettuce mixes, broccoli, carrots, corn, onions and more were purchased for the Livingston School District 1 and 4 school gardens. The veggies, grown in green houses and in outdoor raised garden beds, were used for lessons in classrooms and in the school lunch program. The plan is to continue to use the vegetables in the school system.

Montessori Island School also participated in the Livingston Local Food Project. The school purchased a 10-tray food dehydrator and seeds and plants that were grown in the school’s garden. The veggies produced were served to the students in both fresh and dehydrated forms. The school demonstrated to the students that the dehydrated vegetables lasted much longer than the fresh ones. The vegetables that had been dehydrated were served during lunchtime after the produce in the garden had diminished.

Additionally, five container gardens were planted and distributed to high-traffic locations in Livingston. These gardens were themed and used for demonstration purposes. Each them contained theme-related ingredients in the garden. Themes included a herb garden, an Italian garden, a Mexican garden, a French garden and a cool greens garden. Each container garden came with a description of the ingredients and a brief summary of the benefits of using container gardens in areas where space is limited. Because these gardens were placed in high-traffic parts of town hundreds of people saw them and learned about them.

Contact: Tracy Mosley or Breanna Polacik


Livingston Community Garden

The Livingston Community Garden Project is on a 4-5 acre piece of land belonging to the City of Livingston on the northwest side of town.

It is linked to what will be an experimental food producing park with a 42′ geodesic dome greenhouse where all interested citizens will be able to find out what is possible to grow under the Montana Big Sky year round.

Originally, the idea to build a smaller greenhouse to grow flowers for sale and a warm indoor place for residents to spend some time with growing greenery in the gloomy months of winter was formed.  Sandy Wulf, Project Coordinator, went to a local green thumb, Linda Mahr with the idea. She and Al Aval had recently formed a non profit with the intention of helping encourage the consumption of fresh, local food here in this mountainous region. A new twist was added to the original thought, and this project, backed by the resources available to the non profit, Ciboria, and linked with the city’s own resources was born. Linda and Al have been experimenting in their own 15′ version of the geodesic dome and their back yard with hardy varieties of fruit and nut trees of the Ukraine and some tropicals and subtropicals as well as native edibles and more common food varieties for several years as plans developed.

In 2009, all the items necessary for the first phase, the Community Garden, were secured. This provided growing spaces for 28 individuals or families. Access issues arose which have made it necessary for the project planners to fund a vehicle bridge for access from the cemetery to the site before any more progress can be made.

Many upcoming events are currently being worked on to raise needed funds and encourage community involvement and dedication as well as looking to donors for help.  In the past, garden plots were reserved for the  growing season.  The plot fee for the entire season was $40 (plus a $15 refundable deposit for 1st year gardeners).  This fee includes tilling, tool use, compost, water and some seed and plant starters.  The project is well on its way to becoming a source of sustainable health for Livingston community members.