Montana Rural Health Initiative


Franklin S. Newman Rural Health Leadership Award Cycle is Open!


The Montana Office of Rural Health/AHEC and Montana Rural Health Association are seeking nominations for the Franklin S. Newman Rural Health Leadership Award.  Dr. Newman represented the spirit of Montana in nearly 50 years of service to rural communities and healthcare in our state.

About Dr. Franklin S. Newman:

Dr. Newman was instrumental in founding the Montana WWAMI Medical School Program, the Montana Office of Rural Health, the Montana AHEC, the Montana Family Medicine Residency Program, and many other programs.  He served his country in the U.S. Marine Corps, and was a founding member of the Big Sky Wind Drinkers running club. Dr. Newman counseled hundreds of young people interested in a career in medicine and other health professions.  He was actively teaching in the WWAMI Targeted Rural Underserved Track at Montana State University, and working at the Montana Office of Rural Health/AHEC until his death at age 80 on Veteran’s Day, 2011.

Award Details:

Nominations for the Award should reflect Dr. Newman’s commitment to rural Montana, his support for health professions, his belief in the young people of our state, and his optimistic view of the future.  Dr. Newman traveled to every corner of Montana, worked with rural hospitals and healthcare providers, and believed that communities had the capacity to support high quality healthcare.  He helped many people persevere in their goals and hopes, and inspired many young people to pursue their dreams.

 The award will be presented at the Northwest Regional Rural Health Conference in Spokane, WA on March 19, 2014, as well as at the June 6 meeting of the Montana Office of Rural Health/AHEC Advisory Board in Bozeman.


Please provide a short essay, approximately ½ a page, describing how the nominee exemplifies the spirit of Dr. Frank Newman.  Submit to Rachel Pearson ( by March 5, 2014.  If you have questions, please contact Kristin Juliar at or call 406-994-6003.

The 2014 Excellence in Worksite Health Award Cycle Opens January 13, 2014!

MWHPC logo jpeg

The Montana Worksite Health Promotion Coalition (MWHPC) has sponsored the Excellence in Worksite Health Awards since 2007. These awards recognize businesses, schools, and other organizations whose wellness programs meet a certain wellness criteria. The awards are broken down into levels, Bronze, Sliver and Gold. Award categories build on one another with the Bronze Award going to a more basic wellness program and the Gold Award going to more comprehensive wellness initiatives. To learn more about these awards, the application process, the criteria, or to view the 2012 winners please visit the MWHPC website. If your worksite has a great wellness program or you know of an organization with a strong wellness program, we encourage you to apply for this wonderful award!

The RHI is hosting 2 National Rural Health Day Contests this year!


RHI’s Rural Health Success Story Contest

What is the Rural Health Success Story Contest?
The Montana RHI is holding a National Rural Health Day Success Story Contest to give you an opportunity to share a story about how rural health has successfully helped a community in Montana.

Contest Deadline and Eligibility:
Submissions of stories will be accepted until 5:00 pm (MST) on Monday, November 18, 2013.  Citizens within Montana are eligible to enter the contest.  Each story is one submission; however, you may submit as many stories as you would like.

The top three success story winners will be awarded a $50 Amazon gift card.  The winners will be announced on National Rural Health Day: November 21, 2013.

A panel of judges from the Montana Office of Rural Health will critique the stories based on creativity and how well they describe success in rural health.  A winning story will focus on a rural, particularly a frontier, location which has collaborated with community partners to help improve the health of those involved.  We would like to know the type of program, who the program impacts, and how health problems were identified and addressed.

RHI’s Rural Health Photo Contest

What is the Rural Health Photo Contest?
The Montana RHI is holding its first National Rural Health Day Photo Contest to give you an opportunity to share, visually, what rural health means to you. Please submit your photo with a title and caption including the location of where the photo was taken.

Contest Deadline and Eligibility:
Submissions of photos will be accepted until 12:00 pm (MST) on Wednesday, November 20, 2013. Citizens within Montana are eligible to enter the contest. Each photo is one submission; however, you may submit as many photos as you would like.

The top three photo contest winners will be awarded a $25 Amazon gift card. The winners will be announced on National Rural Health Day: November 21, 2013.

A panel of judges from the Montana Office of Rural Health will critique the photos based on creativity and how well they capture rural health in Montana.
A winning photo will illuminate the meaning of rural health in Montana in a totally unique way. Need some inspiration or ideas? Check out the Centers for Rural Health National Rural Health Day Photo Contest submissions from 2011 here.

Submission instructions for both contests:

Please email your rural success stories or photos to the Montana Rural Health Initiative at  Please indicate if RHI has permission to share your story on our website (

Prevention Means Business Infographic from the Prevention Institute

phi-prevention-means-business (1)

Nominate someone for a Health Hero Award!

ERM logo

AFHK MontanaERM and AFHK would like to recognize individuals and/or public and private organizations that go above and beyond their job duties to promote health in Montana through nutrition and physical activity. If you know someone deserving such recognition, please submit a nomination describing how the nominee has made a noteworthy contribution to their organization, local community, or the state as a whole. Letters of nomination should include specific activities that warrant the award.

Please consider the following when making a nomination:

  • Worked on a policy, program, project, or promotion to encourage healthy nutrition and physical activity choices and behaviors including but not limited to:
    • Increasing access to healthy food choices or nutrition program participation
    • Alleviating or decreasing hunger in the community
    • Increasing access to physical activity for kids, families, or communities
    • Advocating for workplace changes to support healthy choices
  • Went beyond the normal requirements of the job
  • Employed a creative or innovative method to overcome a problem
  • Maximized limited resources

Deadline: Monday, July 10, 2013

ERM and AFHK will announce the awards in August and present the awards at Build a Stronger Montana: End Childhood Hunger Conference September 23-24 at Montana State University in Bozeman (

Thank you for taking the time to recognize those who work to improve health in our state. Please return the  ERM AFHK Award Nomination Form May 2013 via email, fax, or mail to the contact information below:

Julie Middleton, Awards Committee Chair

Fax: (406) 994-5653 l Phone: (406) 994-5310

PO Box 170520

Bozeman, MT 59717


    Build a Stronger Montana: End Childhood HungerMontana End Childhood Hunger logo

        September 23-24, 2013 at Montana State University, Bozeman

This Summit will:

  • Highlight the experiences hungry children deal with in the Montana
  • Showcase the Best Practices that are working to help hungry children
  • Demonstrate pathways to ending child hungry in the community
  • Promote community groups to identify their own needs, provide tools and help   them develop plans for implementation in their towns, cities and counties.
  • Enhance networking between participants across social, cultural and economic   borders
  • Show the connection between children’s health and their futures as well as the economic viability of the state and communities

Approximately 200-250 stakeholders from diverse public and private sectors will gather to learn about childhood hunger in Montana through pre-conference site visits, excellent presentations, networking, and round table discussions. An opening keynote will highlight the purpose of the Summit, provide background information about hunger in Montana and the United States, and motivate Summit participants to learn strategies to bring back to their own Montana communities.


Farm to Cafeteria Programs Across Montana


The Farm to Cafeteria Network, a project of NCAT, recently completed a survey of 35 institutions in Montana including healthcare facilities, correctional facilities, K-12 schools, and colleges. Check out the great map for information on where and how the institutions are utilizing local food systems.

Obesity Infographic from the Institute of Medicine


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