Profile of the Week: Nourish the Flathead

Nourish the Flathead

Nourish the Flathead’s mission is to reconnect people to the sources of our food through education, outreach and market support. 


Nourish the Flathead runs a community garden behind Flathead Valley Community College, within that garden they run a youth program called Stand Up. Dig in. (SUDI).  The beds that SUDI works contain food that is donated to the Flathead Food Bank.


Nourish the Flathead works with youth programs in Kalispell; The Montana Academy, the Flathead Youth Home, Center for Restorative Youth Justice and the Sinopah House.

Currently, they have a dedicated board that helps make everything happen.  They hope to begin funding their projects through grants now that they have their 501c3.

They also run the SNAP booth at the Whitefish Farmers Market and work to promote local food and businesses that use local food through our website.



Nourish the Flathead strives to work to connect youth to gardening, local food and community service, thus they work with youth in both their community garden as well as our SNAP booth.  They also have 40 plots within the garden that are rented by adults in the Kalispell area and help fund their garden project.  They endeavor to involve the adults in the Nourish Community as well.



For more information, please visit:

Nourish the Flathead:

Nourish the Flathead on Facebook:

Their Partner Organization, Farm Hands:

Journeys from Home Montana – “Better Health through Walking and Bicycling”

“Better Health Through Walking and Bicycling” is organized by Journeys from Home Montana. This particular collection of in-school and out-of-school programs conducts workshops for community members, teachers and bicycle advocates directed at making the community more friendly to walking and bicycling.

Journeys From Home Montana (JFHM) promotes living an active healthy lifestyle.  We encourage communities to become pedestrian and bicycle friendly by offering tools, techniques and mentoring to meet that objective. The core of our work is done on the ground with teachers, parents, advocates and children; face to face in small communities conducting seminars, workshops and on-line classes.

 JFHM communicates through their website and their Facebook page


  • To give children the skills necessary to become competent, predictable, and comfortable on their route to school.
  •  To give parents the confidence to allow children to travel freely in their community.

The Task

Provide children and youth with the experiences necessary to acquire the tools and knowledge that will allow them to travel safely and predictably under their own power in their own community.

The Vision 

We envision all children living and learning in a loving, least restrictive environment.  We recognize children as intelligent individuals.  We see children empowered by the opportunity to make choices and gain knowledge through guided discovery.  Our hope is that all children have opportunity for a happy and healthful childhood that will lead to a meaningful and productive adulthood.

The Mission 

We, as responsible caring adults, will study all available information regarding the development and education of children.  We will work diligently to provide the opportunities and experiences that allow youth to mature independently.

The People

We are a multi-generational group of educators, designers and filmmakers that are pro-active and solution based. Our passion and specialty is the prevention of traffic related childhood injury. Since the 1970’s we have been developing and implementing countermeasure procedures to educate children, parents, teachers, law enforcement personnel and total communities. We are in the beta testing stages of the next generation of materials. These new materials are brought forward by the children (now adults with kids) that were involved and trained with the original program. This next generation of developers offers tools and experiences never before imagined in an injury prevention program. They have survived their Journeys from Home and share a committed appreciation for quality education. It is their experiences and observations that make this new generation of materials come to life.


At the completion of this initial effort “Journeys From Home Montana” will hold and maintain a web site that contains immediate access to international research and recommendations to maintain a sustainable non-motorized community transportation plan.

Many teaching materials will be free, downloadable and ready for immediate use; activities ranging from preschool, elementary, middle school, young adults and veteran riders through CyclingSavvy.

An on-line Teacher Training/Mentor component will be available and continually updated.

This website will become a home for parents, children, administrators, instructors, teachers and researchers to share insight and concerns.


Journeys From Home Montana staff and volunteers have presented information at local regional and national events, listed here: Community workshops

For more information about Journeys From Home Montana or any of their workshops, please contact:

Roger DiBrito, Executive Director


Columbus Senior Center Diabetes Class

The Columbus Senior Citizens Center will be hosting a fun and interactive wellness course teaching participants about diabetes and pre-diabetes. Montana ranks 8th in the country in diabetes rates with 8.8% of people diagnosed (Americas Health Ratings)

Did you know…..

29.1 million people or 9.3% of the population have diabetes.

Diagnosed:21.0 million people.

Undiagnosed:8.1 million people (27.8% of people with diabetes are undiagnosed). (CDC)


Profile of the Week: Crow Men's Health

The Crow Men’s Health Project

A partnership between Montana State University faculty and Crow men to work collaboratively to identify and address health issues of concern

The Crow Men’s Health Project began in 2007 as a partnership between Montana State University faculty and Crow men to work collaboratively to identify and address health issues of concern. Differing from other forms of research that typically involve a researcher bringing a project into a community and making it fit, this program hinges on a technique called community-based participatory research (CBPR), a research method in which community members and researchers work together. Researchers and members from the Crow community work together to establish trust, share power, and foster co-learning while addressing community-identified needs and health problems.

The partnership is coordinated by MSU researcher Paul Lachapelle, Boise State University researcher Tim Dunnagan and a five-member Crow Men’s Health Advisory Council responsible for creating a research environment to successful conduct research, interpret results, and determine how results should be used for action. Community meetings open to Crow men of all ages have been held at different locations on the reservation, and health experts have been brought in to present health data collected from existing sources. While working together to identify health problems, the issues identified by meeting attendees have been cancer, obesity, alcohol related diseases, diabetes, mental illness and heart disease. The Advisory Council has decided to focus on prostate and colorectal cancer; topics that have been raised repeatedly and discussed at length in community meetings.

Since the project began, the partnership has continued to show many positive results. The new collaborative effort has held numerous community meetings, received approval and support of the Crow tribal Chairmen, organized a tribal Ride for Health ceremony with 70 men participating in traditional attire to raise health awareness, and is drafting a formal tribal endorsement to be introduced into the Crow legislature. From here the project will continue community meetings, design data collection methods to better understand present and future health-related needs, and pursue long-term funding to address prostate-colorectal cancer interventions.

For more information, please visit

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



CATCHThe CATCH Program established that healthy habits in childhood can promote behavior changes that can last a lifetime.

CATCH stands for a Coordinated Approach To Child Health.  CATCH  is a coordinated school health program that promotes physical activity, healthy foods and tobacco prevention. CATCH reaches kids from preschool through 8th grade and has been implemented in thousands of schools across America and Canada. In 2003, St. Patrick Hospital saw a need in Western Montana for a childhood obesity prevention program, and they adopted CATCH because it is evidence-based and supported by a national program.

CATCH school, after school and early childhood programs can be found in all 50 states, Canada and US Department of Defense Schools around the world.  Most school districts adopt and support the program on their own; St. Patrick Hospital’s structure however, is unique.  St. Patrick Hospital sponsors CATCH in over a dozen Western Montana school districts and community sites through the funding of curriculum materials and one staff member, who gives on-going technical support and training.  Today, Missoula CATCH is considered a community wide CATCH program that can be found in all Missoula County Public Schools and community events.  Locals are talking the CATCH talk!

CATCH is effective because healthy behaviors are reinforced through a coordinated approach – in the classroom, in the cafeteria, in physical education, at home, and after school. And, most importantly, CATCH makes it fun to learn about healthy behaviors!


Five Components of CATCH:

1. CATCH – Physical Activity

2. Go for Health – Classroom Curriculum

3. Eat Smart – School Nutrition

4. Home Team – Family Activities

5. Community – Implemented Programs

In Physical Education

Combines high energy, non-elimination activities with teaching strategies that keep kids moving and having fun. CATCH PE significantly increases physical activity levels of students during PE class, and provides for a variety of learning experiences for students of all abilities

In the Classroom

Teaches children to identify, practice, and adopt healthy eating and physical activity habits. Hands-on activities encourage changes in behavior that support healthful eating and physical activity patterns to reduce the risks of heart disease, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, and obesity.

In the Cafeteria

The CATCH Program considers school cafeterias an extension of the classroom. Through the Eat Smart component, breakfast and lunch become opportunities for children to learn, practice, and adopt healthy eating habits. School food service personnel prepare healthier meals and help coordinate healthy messages with the rest of the school.

At Home

The CATCH Family component is designed to get students, parents, and extended family members involved in practicing and adopting healthy eating and physical activity behaviors at home. By doing so, the home environment becomes an extension of the CATCH Program at school.

In the Community

CATCH Kids Club (CKC) is a physical activity and nutrition education program designed for after-school and summer settings. CKC is user-friendly that both children and staff enjoy!

Lisa Tims – CATCH Coordinator

St. Patrick Hospital

500 W. Broadway, Missoula, MT 59802


Phone:  406-329-5759



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



The mission of Thrive is to encourage healthy family and child development through community awareness, parent education and support to children and families ensuring positive outcomes for children. This is done through multiple programs:

Child Advancement Program (CAP):

The Child Advancement Project (CAP) matches nurturing community mentors who provide support and encouragement to children in Bozeman schools grades K-12 during the school day.  Established in 1989, CAP is one of the first school-based mentoring programs, and matches over 500 students and volunteers each year.  These mentors work one-on-one with children to increase academic and social competency.  They help students establish meaningful goals and develop a belief in their individual uniqueness and their ability to shape their own futures.  The mentor’s efforts work to complement those of the student’s teacher and family.

Mentors are able to choose the age of their student (K-12), and the day and time of the week they will visit.  After mentors are screened, trained and supervised by CAP coordinators, they meet at their student’s school 1 hour a week for the entire school year.

Thrive is proud to announce that the CAP program has been named to the National Registry of Evidence Based Programs and Practices. In 2009 Thrive received a Service to Science grant and used the money to assess the impact of CAP. An article detailing the research was submitted to the School Community Journal and will be published sometime this fall.

Girls for a Change:

The mission is to bring girls, women, and other community members together to empower girls to embrace their future.  Supported by parents, friends, and mentors, girls are able to gain confidence about their individuality and secure in their ability to lead and achieve self-sufficiency, fulfillment and success.

Founded in Bozeman in January 1997 by sixteen girls and their female mentors, Girls for a Change has been devoted to encouraging the healthy development of girls. The group has sponsored a number of activities including team building activities, journaling workshops, community-based mother-daughter groups, challenge courses, communication skills seminars and an annual local conference.

Beginning in 2005, 124 high school girls, ages 13-18, attended the “Opening Doors” one-day event held at Montana State University. The conference was planned “for girls, by girls” and centered on assets, opportunities and resources. During the conference, participants learned strategies to communicate effectively and cope with stress and anxiety. Girls also discovered how to enrich their lives through civic engagement and examined educational and career opportunities. Interacting with local, professional and inspirational business women, participants explored stereotypes of women in the media, discussed world issues facing today’s women and increased self-awareness and confidence through creative writing, yoga, and improvisation.

Since 2005, Girls and adult community members have worked together to create and host an annual conference at Montana State University. Both middle school and high school girls plan and participate in the conferences.

Recently, they have:

  • Successfully hosted their 8th Annual Girls for a Change 100% Possible Conference for 185 girls from 34 Montana communities!
  • Participated in the Aspire Conference hosted by the Women’s Foundation of Montana.
  • Hosted a group of Brazilian exchange students to participate in dialogue about what is 100% positive in our lives.
  • Celebrated real beauty during “Love Your Body Day”.
  • Participated in Clean Up Bozeman Day by cleaning up the area around Bozeman High School
  • Celebrated sustainability by hosting a “Water Challenge” booth at the Clean Up Bozeman Day Sustainability Fair.
  • Improved a trail bed with Gallatin Valley Land Trust.

Parent Liaison Program:

Liaisons help parents: Work in partnership with schools to enhance opportunities for their child’s success, access community resources, and assist parents in developing effective parenting strategies based on their child’s stage of development.

Liaisons, who work within Bozeman schools, assist teachers in engaging parent support and help teachers to handle families issues which relate to the child’s school performance.  Liaisons facilitate effective communication between school and parent while assisting parents in increasing their ability to advocate with schools on their children’s behalf.

Visit the website for tips on:

  • Babysitting & childcare
  • Blended Families
  • Bullying
  • Conflict
  • Discipline
  • Eating
  • Family Time
  • Manners
  • Potty Training & Bedtime
  • Resiliency
  • Safety
  • School & Learning
  • Self-esteem
  • Siblings
  • Stress
  • Swearing
  • Teenagers

The Parent Place:

The Parent Place is a local family resource center providing education, support, and resources for all parents.  Some of the programs offered at the Parent Place include:  Play groups, gym day, single parent group,  Dads nights, ages and stages, Parenting With Love and Logic courses, and one-on-one parenting consultations.

Playgroups are designed to help parents of children age birth-three expand their support networks. This group brings families together and gets them out of the house and helps them feel connected. Playgroup meets every Monday and is one of the most popular groups.

Gym Day is for parents and toddlers to have a place to go and socialize and be able to actively play on Winter days. The Parent Place provides toys and the school districts in Bozeman and Belgrade provide a gym to use for one hour in each community. The average number of parents and children for a gym day in a week is 96 people.

Dad’s Days are for all Dads, Uncles, Grandfathers, and male role-models and the children they adore.  Encouraging healthy relationships through fun-filled activities is the focus of this program.

Love and Logic Parenting classes are a signature program of Thrive, and all classes take place from 6-8pm.  Childcare is provided at a minimal cost for most classes. Pre registration is required, and the cost is $100 per individual and $175 per couple.

One-on-One parenting consultations are also made with families to help them become the best parents they can be and connect them to helpful resources within the community.

Partnership Project:

The Partner Project helps young parents with children age birth to 5 get off to a good start.  Thrive, Gallatin City-County Health Department, and the Young Parent Program work together to provide home visits, parenting classes and groups, child care, health care, education and support accessing other community services.

Support workers connect families to appropriate community resources, and help parents feel confidence and support in their parenting efforts.  These partnerships help parents communicate their frustrations and ask help with parenting concerns.  Support workers help parents set goals and work with them to provide the necessary resources to achieve their goals.

 For more information about Thrive, visit the website at:


Sage Gardeners

Reconnecting seniors to their gardening roots one accessible garden at a time.

Sage Gardeners is a non-profit philanthropic organization based out of Bozeman, MT. Their goal is to reconnect senior citizens in either retirement communities or private residences with their gardening roots by providing easily accessible raised gardens. Sage Gardeners believes it is important that seniors have easily accessible organic vegetable gardens because they provide quality organic produce, physical activity and social interaction for seniors. Raised gardens are constructed so that they are easy to access and do not require seniors to be on their knees or bent over in order to plant or take care of the vegetables.

Sage Gardeners began in 2010 with a vision to make accessible gardens available to seniors in Gallatin county. The first gardens were built for the Parkhaven Retirement Community in Manhattan, MT with funding assistance from the Rural Health Initiative Incubator Mini-Grant Program. In 2011, gardens were built for the Summerwood/Spring Run Retirement Community in Bozeman, MT also with funds from the Incubator Mini-Grant Program. Both of these garden projects are ongoing and had bountiful harvests since they began.

Gardens have also been built for several seniors living in private residences around Gallatin county. The private residence project focuses mainly on low to moderate income seniors in Montana. Sage Gardeners will create, build and assist in maintaining raised organic vegetable gardens in the private backyards of Montana seniors. They will assist in planting and harvesting, as well as assisting in maintaining the gardens annually and/ or aiding in purchasing fresh compost, mulch, plants, and seeds for the following years. The organization will provide ongoing support to the individuals based on each senior’s needs and abilities.  The goal of this project is to provide as many gardens as possible as funding allows.

Currently Sage Gardeners is focusing on providing gardens to retirement communities and private residences in the Gallatin county. However the long-term goal of Sage Gardeners is to provide accessible raised garden beds for retirement communities and private residences statewide.


Interested in learning more about Sage Gardeners or how you can help them grow?

Visit their website:


MWHPC logo

Montana’s Worksite Health Promotion Coalition

   The Montana Worksite Health Promotion Coalition is a resource for Montana employers regarding the art and science of health promotion and wellness at work. 

Worksite health promotion has been proven to have a substantial impact on health care costs, absenteeism, workers compensation costs, and productivity. The website is designed to provide resources, encouragement, and a standard of excellence for those interested in working with us to promote healthy worksites in Montana.

This program conducts continuing statewide assessments of the state of employers engaging in worksite wellness. The coalition works as a resource for employers who offer worksite wellness programs. The coalition is designed to identify the employers taking progressive action to increase their employee’s satisfaction and productivity. To recognize these employers, the coalition offers an awards model, Excellence in Worksite Health Promotion Awards.

The Excellence in Worksite Health Promotion Awards mission is to “encourage, recognize, educate and create a standard of excellence for worksite health promotion programs.” The award qualifications are set high to serve as health goals for any organization to strive for. The Excellence in Worksite Health Promotion Awards has quality standards that are important components of worksite wellness programs. The standards include; management commitment, leadership, mission, assessment tool, target audience, tracking systems, interventions, measurement of outcomes, communication of results, and marketing. The criteria for the awards are evidence-based practices. The award qualifications may be modified as worksite wellness research develops. The awards are not intended to represent any level of certification. The qualifications for the awards are not necessarily the best or only ways for employers to deliver worksite wellness programs.

The coalition offers three different recognition awards: bronze, silver, and gold. These three awards differentiate between different levels of worksite wellness achievement. Worksite wellness programs awarded the bronze award focus on minimal or introductory services, voluntary participation, no targeted interventions or documented return on investment, and information dissemination with some activities. Programs that receive the silver award; have 30% voluntary participation, education focused on skill building, medical self-care, one-on-one consultations, and some targeted high-risk interventions. The gold award is received when; many corporate policies support wellness, there is incentivized participation (70%), the programs focus on targeted interventions, telephonic health coaching for high risk, there is a documented return of investment, and there is Population Health Management.