Tester Secures More Than $5 Million for Montana Public Health Emergency Preparedness

Senator announces funding to help the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services respond to potential health crises

(U.S. Senate) – U.S. Senator Jon Tester announced today that he has secured more than $5 million in funding for the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) to adequately respond to critical health crises in the state.

The $5,075,000 grant will be used by DPHHS to support public health preparedness efforts for all county and tribal health partners in Montana, enabling them to work collaboratively to address community needs when an event impacts the public health.

“In rural states like Montana, many folks live a hundred miles or more away from the nearest health center,” Tester said. “This funding will ensure our state has a plan to address any potential public health emergency whether it’s in Missoula or Mosby, so our families can breathe easy knowing that there is a plan if something unexpected happens.”

This funding is critical to developing standardized plans, procedures, and communications that work across the board both in-state and nationally. It creates quick and effective communication between DPHHS and public health and medical communities, supports large-scale sheltering and feeding of people displaced by natural disasters such as fires and floods, and implements effective control measures to curb the spread of diseases. It also helps hospitals across Montana develop response plans related to evacuations and crises and helps the state public health laboratory ensure the availability of state-of-the-art testing services.

Tester is a relentless supporter of emergency preparedness efforts that impact public health. Last year, he was the only member of the Montana delegation to vote for a bipartisan funding deal that funneled millions into wildfire prevention. Earlier this year, he pushed the Trump Administration to help Montana prepare for potentially disastrous flooding, and, following a Tester-backed letter, FEMA provided disaster relief to affected communities in the state.

Tester has also been a consistent advocate for ensuring that the public has access to critical health care services. This year, the Administration adopted Tester’s legislation that would bring more doctors to rural hospitals and he slammed President Trump and his cheerleaders for their support of a ruling that would rip away health care from tens of thousands of Montanans.