The Healthy Teton County Coalition


The Healthy Teton County Coalition began in October 2013, when several concerned community members got together and brainstormed how business, organizations, and individuals living and working in Teton County could get together and advocate for healthier lifestyles.

There are already a good number of resources available in Teton County that promote healthy living, and the Coalition strives to serve as a network for those resources, making them more accessible to its residents. The coalition has advocated for healthier lifestyles by promoting local fun runs and putting on a local bike fair with Benefis. The bike fair was able to provide free helmets and bike safety education to 3rd graders in Teton County. The Healthy Teton County Coalition is open to anyone and everyone who is investing in making Teton County a happier, healthier place to live.


To promote healthy living among residents of Teton County through community-wide collaboration and communication.


The Healthy Teton County Coalition is a united effort to improve the quality of life and health of residents of Teton County.

1. Focus on a community-wide network and effective communication that will improve access to existing resources in Teton County
2. Periodically assess the health status and needs of individuals living in Teton County.
3. Identify and prioritize shared objectives that will improve the health of Teton County residents, including long-term systems level change and short-term high impact projects.
4. Establish local partnerships and community problem solving capacity that will address the prioritized objectives.


Contact Melissa Moyer at 406-466-2562/ for more information


Learn more here!

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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

MT CVD and Diabetes Prevention Program logo

Montana Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes Prevention Program

Diverse Montana Communities Deliver Lifestyle Change Program to Prevent Diabetes

Since 2008, Montana communities have been helping prevent type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease among adults at high risk through the Montana Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes Prevention Program (CVDDPP).  The 10-month CVDDPP is based upon research evidence that intensive lifestyle change can prevent or delay the development of diabetes by 58% among adults at high risk.1

Lifestyle coaches educate and motivate participants to develop and maintain healthier eating and physical activity habits, which lead to weight loss and control.  These lifestyle coaches are registered dietitians, registered nurses, cardiac rehabilitation nurses, and exercise specialists trained to deliver the CVDDPP.

Eligibility criteria for the CVDDPP are based upon risk factors for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.  Adults aged 18 years and over with a Body Mass Index (BMI) ≥25 kg/m2, medical clearance from a doctor, a commitment to lifestyle change, and one of the following may participate:

  • History of pre-diabetes, impaired glucose tolerance, or impaired fasting glucose
  • History of gestational diabetes or birth to a baby weighing >9 lbs
  • High blood pressure (≥130/85 mmHg or treatment)
  • Dyslipidemia (triglycerides >150 mg/dL, LDL cholesterol >130 mg/dL or treatment, or HDL cholesterol <40 mg/dL for men and <50 mg/dL for women)
  • A1C between 5.7% to 6.4%


In Montana, an estimated 185,000 adults over age 20 have pre-diabetes.3 The rate of diabetes reported by adult Montanans increased from 2.8% in 1990 to 7.0% in 2010.4  Based on these rates, it is estimated that nearly 70,000 adult Montanans have diagnosed diabetes.5  Over 8% of deaths in Montana are diabetes-related.6


Participating in the program is an effective way to slow these trends.  Over 2,000 Montanans have participated in the prevention program since it began in 2008.  Here are the average 10 month program results:

  • Weight loss of 15.4 lbs
  • Blood pressure reduction from 133/81 mmHg to 127/78 mmHg
  • LDL cholesterol reduction from 123 mg/dL to 119 mg/DL
  • HDL cholesterol increase from 49 mg/dL to 51 mg/dL
  • Fasting blood glucose reduction from 102 mg/dL to 97 mg/dL


Fourteen sites and four telehealth sites currently deliver the CVDDPP in communities designated8 as

  • Urban: Billings
  • Rural: Missoula, Kalispell, Great Falls, Helena, Butte, Bozeman
  • Frontier: Libby, Choteau, Dillon, Baker, Colstrip, Ekalaka, Forsyth,  Miles City


Go to to contact the site near you, read news and journal articles, and learn more.  For more information, contact Diane Arave, the Montana Diabetes Project Quality Improvement Specialist in Prevention, at or (406) 444-0593.


References and Data Sources

1. Knowler WC, Barrett-Connor E, Fowler SE, Hamman RF, Lachin JM, Walker EA, Nathan DM; Diabetes Prevention Program Research Group: Reduction in the incidence of type 2 diabetes with lifestyle intervention or metformin. N Engl J Med 2002;346:393–402.

2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National diabetes fact sheet: national estimates and general information on diabetes and prediabetes in the United States, 2011. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011.

3. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. National Diabetes Statistics, 2007 fact sheet. Bethesda, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, 2008.

4. Montana DPHHS, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.

5. U.S. Census Bureau: State and County QuickFacts.

6. Montana DPHHS, Office of Vital Statistics.

7. Vanderwood KK, Hall TO, Harwell TS, Butcher MK, Helgerson SD. The Montana Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes Prevention Workgroup. Implementing a state-based cardiovascular disease and diabetes prevention program. Diab Care 2010;33:2543–2545.


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:

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.

got grit

Got Grit? — Obstacle Course Race in Choteau July 3rd 2013

Got Grit? Obstacle Course Race

July 3rd at 2pm; Choteau, MT


Come join the fun in Choteau, MT on July 3rd at 2pm to participate in an obstacle course race. This race is sure to bring out the kid in you!

There are 25 obstacles, including through the spider rope maze, going down the slip and slide (watch out for the cactus at the end- ouch!), wallowing in mud pits, crossing through Spring Creek culvert, jumping on car hoods and much, much more child-like behavior.

There will be first place prizes awarded to the number one male & female (ones to go home and brag about, of course).  But even if you are not the fastest participant on the block, you can compete for other awards, including: Oldest Participant Award, Dirtiest Person Award, Cleanest Person Award and Filthiest Family Award.  Oh, and one more category, Best Costume Award. So go out to your local thrift store and find your best awe-inspiring, GOT GRIT costume.

If you leave this race without a smile, you must have been at the wrong race! For registration and details, visit:

This obstacle course race is a Benefit for Teton Medical Center Cardiovascular and Diabetes Prevention Program. So be sure to come help a great cause and participate in the race. In 2012, over 200 people participated!

Registration prices are:
Single Participant —     Early $35          

Fairfield Community Flu/Health Clinic

Fairfield Public Schools hosted a health clinic providing flu vaccines, pneumonia shots, and blood draws.

To kickoff National Diabetes Awareness Month in November, Fairfield Public Schools hosted a health clinic on Wednesday, October 27, 2011 in the high school multipurpose room. The Teton County Health Department administered flu shots, flu mists, and pneumonia shots throughout the day. The Benefis Orthopedic Center also participated by offering blood draws for basic lab tests (lipid and glucose) and PSA testing. Furthermore, the results of the lab tests will be available at the Employer Wellness Fair at the Orthopedic Center of Montana on November 9, which includes many more health fair stations for participants. The health clinic also included free diabetes screening and information provided by the local Fairfield Lions Club. The Fairfield Lions Club also sponsored this endeavor by splitting the cost of refreshments along with Fairfield Public Schools for participants, while asking for citizens to recycle old eyeglasses for their Sight Project.

As Fairfield Public Schools wanted to provide this service for the community, they distributed posters around town and advertisement in the local newspaper. The health clinic drew in community members to provide 110 vaccinations and 25 blood draws. In the future, the school would like to be more proactive about getting the word out in order to offer this service to as many people as possible. They would also like to incorporate the First Responder Class in the high school to provide respiration counts and blood pressure measurements for participants which would also give the class members a chance to practice skills learned throughout the course. Overall, the volunteers and organizations involved in this health fair made it a success!

The annual health fair in Fairfield is now overseen by Teton Medical Center. The 2013 Health Fair will be on April 5.

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