Tester Announces More Than $800,000 to Help Montana Community Health Centers Fight COVID-19

Funding will go towards screening and testing, acquiring medical supplies, and boosting telehealth

As part of his ongoing effort to ensure that Montana health providers are properly equipped for the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. Senator Jon Tester today announced that the state will receive $810,430 in grant funding-split between 14 Community Health Centers (CHCs)-to aid them with screening and testing, acquiring medical supplies, and boosting telehealth capacity.

“Montana is staring down the barrel of this pandemic, and it’s our Community Health Centers that will be on the front lines when it comes to testing and treating Montanans,” said Tester. “These centers are already in a pinch even though they’re often the primary care providers in their communities, and this funding is critical so they have more resources to protect the folks they serve. As the Senate works to create another funding package to address this crisis, I will keep fighting to ensure that Community Health Centers have the tools they need to win this fight and continue the great work they do to keep folks across the Big Sky healthy and safe.”

This grant funding is provided by the Health Resources and Services Administration in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and comes as part of a Tester-led push earlier this month to allocate $100 million in funding to help CHCs across the country prepare for the COVID-19 outbreak.

“This initial round of funding comes at a critical time for all of the health centers that are on the frontlines of the state’s COVID-19 response,” said Jill-Marie Steely, CEO of PureView Health Center. “We appreciate Senator Tester’s commitment and leadership on behalf of CHCs and know he will continue to advocate for the additional funding and policy changes that enable to us to respond to this national emergency.”

The funding will be split across 14 Montana CHCs:

  •  Bighorn Valley Health Center (Hardin) – $58,290
  •  Bullhook Community Health Center (Havre) – $54,113
  •  Butte-Silver Bow Primary Health Care Clinic (Butte) – $62,149
  •  Great Falls Community Health Care Center (Great Falls) – $50,464
  •  Community Health Partners Clinic (Livingston) – $63,216
  •  Flathead County Community Health Center (Kalispell) – $60,596
  •  Glacier Community Health Center (Cut Bank) – $52,656
  •  Lincoln County Community Health Center (Libby) – $57,647
  •  Marias Health Care Services (Shelby) – $55,780
  •  Missoula County Community Health Center (Missoula) – $69,383
  •  Montana Migrant & Seasonal Farm Workers Council (Billings) – $57,314
  •  PureView Health Center (Helena) – $50,464
  •  Sapphire Community Health Center (Hamilton) – $52,111
  •  Yellowstone City-County Health Department (Billings) – $66,247

Tester has been relentlessly pressuring the Trump Administration and Congress to ensure that Montana’s health centers and hospitals have the resources they need to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. He recently demanded that Majority Leader McConnell and Minority Leader Schumer act to secure long term security for CHCs-whose funding expires on May 22nd-and work to fix their telehealth systems. Yesterday, he took to the Senate floor to ensure that the needs of Montana hospitals are met in the 3rd coronavirus spending package, and he implored the Trump Administration last week to make sure that rural states like Montana have access to medical gear to prepare the COVID-19 pandemic. He also recently urged the Federal Communications Commission to increase access to telehealth services for rural areas.

Visit tester.senate.gov for a list of resources for Montanans during the COVID-19 outbreak