Tester Secures $4.3 Million to Help 16 Montana Health Centers Combat Drug Abuse

Senator Announces Funding During Opioids Roundtable in Kalispell

(Kalispell, Mont.) – After passing a sweeping legislative package this week to combat the opioid and meth epidemics, U.S. Senator Jon Tester today announced more than $4.3 million in federal funding to help 16 community health centers across the state combat drug abuse and addiction.

Tester made the announcement during a roundtable discussion with local pharmacists, social workers, and treatment managers about the addiction epidemic in Kalispell.

“Overcoming addiction is a huge challenge in the state of Montana,” Tester said. “And if we don’t address this issue, it’s not going to get any better. We’ve got to figure out ways to help people get back on their feet and that’s what this money is for.”

The funding comes from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Expanding Access to Quality Substance Use Disorder and Mental Health Services program, which aims to “support health centers in implementing and advancing evidence-based strategies that best meet the substance use disorder and mental health needs of the populations they serve.” Tester was the only member of Montana’s Congressional delegation to vote for the 2018 budget bill that authorized this funding.

On Monday, Tester helped pass legislation to help fight drug abuse and treat addiction across Montana. The “sweeping package of bills” supports federal, state, and local initiatives aimed at treating and preventing addiction and combatting drug trafficking. The legislation also incorporated provisions from Tester’s Opioid Response Enhancement Act and ANTI-Drugs Act.

Tester secured more big investments in rural health care and addiction treatment on Tuesday with the passage of the bipartisan 2019 Health and Human Services Appropriations Bill, which he helped craft as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. The critical funding bill included $1.5 billion to help states treat substance abuse and addiction through the State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis Grant Program and $1.8 billion for Substance Abuse Block Grants, which support community-based efforts to combat the abuse of substances like alcohol and meth.

The funding is allocated as follows:

• Bighorn Valley Health Center, Inc. (Hardin) – $304,000
• Bullhook Community Health Center, Inc. (Havre) – $296,500
• Butte-Silver Bow Primary Health Care Clinic, Inc. (Butte) – $285,000
• Community Health Care Center (Great Falls) – $95,000
• Central Montana Community Health Center, Inc. (Lewistown) – $285,000
• Community Health Partners Clinic (Livingston) – $285,000
• Flathead Community Health Center (Kalispell) – $285,000
• Glacier Community Health Center, Inc. (Cut Bank) – $285,000
• PureView Health Center (Helena) – $285,000
• Lincoln County Community Health Center (Libby) – $285,000
• Marias Healthcare Services, Inc. (Shelby) – $285,000
• Partnership Health Center (Missoula) – $293,000
• Ag Worker Health & Services (Billings) – $285,000
• Sapphire Community Health, Inc. (Hamilton) – $249,275
• Sweet Medical Center, Inc. (Chinook) – $285,000
• RiverStone Health (Billings) – $285,000

Read more about Tester’s efforts to combat drug abuse and addiction HERE.