Tester Secures Critical Resources for Lincoln County Health Alliance

Senator Announces $200,000 Investment in Mental Health Care for Libby-Area Residents

(U.S. Senate) – U.S. Senator Jon Tester today announced a $200,000 investment to improve mental health care throughout Lincoln County.

The grant will be used by the Lincoln County Health Alliance and will fund behavioral health services in northwest Montana.

This grant will help address Lincoln County’s most pressing health concerns as outlined in the 2017 Community Health Needs Assessment: mental health and substance abuse.

“In rural Montana, folks shouldn’t have to drive long distances to access lifesaving health care and treatment,” Tester said. “That’s why it’s vital that we give rural health care facilities the tools they need to provide quality mental health care to families in northwest Montana.”

Tester helped secure the grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as part of their Rural Health Care Services Outreach Program. The Lincoln County Health Alliance is a collaboration between the Cabinet Peaks Medical Center, Northwest Community Health Center, the Center for Asbestos Related Disease and Kalispell Regional Healthcare.

“Lincoln County Health Alliance (LCHA) is ecstatic to receive the funding from HRSA for Rural Health Care Service Outreach Program,” said Ahyoung Huff, Lincoln County Health Alliance Network Director. “Our project will improve patient access to behavioral health services in Lincoln County as well enhancing health information exchange between healthcare facilities to provide more timely access to secure health information. Cabinet Peaks Medical Center, Northwest Community Health Center, Center for Asbestos Related Disease and Kalispell Regional Healthcare are passionate about providing exceptional care to the patients in Lincoln County and grateful for HRSA’s contribution to improve patient satisfaction and population health.”

Last year, Tester met with patients and medical providers in Libby during his statewide health care listening tour. He also recently helped secure $50,000 for a new ultrasound machine at the Cabinet Peaks Medical Center.

Tester has been a longtime advocate for rural health care and was recognized as a champion for community health earlier this year.

In the recent budget bill, Tester secured millions of dollars to train doctors in rural communities and increase access to critical mental health and substance abuse services. Tester was the only member of the Montana delegation to vote for the funding.

Tester also authored the Restoring Rural Residencies Act to bring more medical professionals to rural Montana.