Department of Public Health and Human Services


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Prevention Resource Center VISTA Project

PRC VISTA Blog & Current VISTA Host Sites

02 May 2016
10 Differences between Maryland and Montana

10 Differences between Maryland and Montana

THERE IS NO SALES TAX IN MONTANA. This is pretty awesome and something that took me awhile to get used to. So much better than Maryland’s 6% sales tax.

18 April 2016


I wanted an adventure...I had visions of myself loving life in a small town, going on grand adventures one can only have in the “Wild West”, and really having a positive impact in the organization I’m serving in. None of that has happened.

08 April 2016
Strengthening the Community

Strengthening the Community

However, my Public Health mind was confused, “why aren’t they putting this money into prevention programs that would work to keep people out of the legal system?” But then I learned more.



Anaconda Family Resource Center - Boys & Girls Club of Deer Lodge County

Current VISTA: Molly Joyce

Mission: The mission of the Anaconda Family Resource Center is to increase the strength and stability of families through our community-based programs by:

  1. Increasing parents' confidence and competence in their parenting abilities;
  2. Providing children a safe, stable, supportive family environment;
  3. And otherwise enhancing child development.


Family Support Network

Current VISTA: Elizabet Woche

Mission: Family Support Network recognizes that children are the foundation of the future and that the family, as a basic unit of society, is the natural environment for the growth and development of all its members. Our agency seeks to provide intervention, support and assistance to children diagnosed with a mental illness and their families, as well as families and their children at risk for abuse or neglect. FSN recognizes the importance of parents in the lives of their children and seeks to help them access appropriate support and services and to educate them in appropriate, nurturing parenting techniques.


Hopa Mountain - StoryMakers Program

Current VISTA: Melinda Peirce

Mission: Hopa Mountain's StoryMakers program provides parents of children ages 0-5 with high-quality books and early learning resources to support them as they read, sing, and talk positively with their children every day.

A growing body of research confirms that a strong early-learning home environment predicts children’s success in school. Success in school strongly predicts health and economic self-sufficiency in adulthood.


ChildWise Institute - Adverse Childhood Experiences

Current VISTA: Casey Crowley

Mission: To advance awareness; accelerate knowledge; and advocate for change to optimize society's resources for the well-being of children.

Goals: In Montana, the majority of adults have one or more Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). ACEs contribute to negative health and social outcomes which contribute to mental illness, less productivity, incarceration, and other causes that keep individuals in poverty. By completing assessments, advancing awareness and training 20 volunteers, Montana will be more adept in recognizing and addressing the issues of children today that cause negative effects for both childhood & adulthood. These processes will have lasting effects on today's children that improve their physical & social health, productivity at work, mental illness, and other factors which negatively affect an individual and a community.

DPHHS Child & Family Services Division - Foster Care Independence Program

Current VISTA: Derek Deeney

Mission: The Montana Chafee Foster Care Independence Program Helps Youth in Foster Care Achieve Self-Sufficiency.

Goals: -Higher graduation and GED achievement rates for Chafee eligible youth. -Decrease homelessness rates for Chafee eligible youth. -Develop a sustainable mentorship program for Chafee eligible youth with responsible adults in the community. -Build a Youth Advisory Council to improve Chafee services, cultivate teen leaders to speak publically and train peers and adults, coordinate state-wide youth events, perform legislative advocacy, and peer to peer mentoring. -Increase in the number of Chafee eligible youth obtaining and sustaining employment. -And many more!

DPHHS - Montana Children's Trust Fund

Current VISTA: Kami Kirchberg

Mission: We believe that Montana’s children are the state’s greatest assets. Today’s children are the leaders of tomorrow. We hold their future in our hands, and our future is in their hands.

Helena Food Share

Current VISTA: Nick Chmura

Mission: Serving our neighbors in need by providing food in a respectful and dignified way and by working with others to eliminate hunger in the greater Helena area.

Montana Department of Justice - Office of the Child & Family Ombudsman

Current VISTA: Joseph Cobbs

Mission: Per Montana statute, the Office of the Child and Family Ombudsman is an independent, impartial, confidential, and knowledgeable resource serving to protect the interests and rights of Montana’s children and families.  The Ombudsman utilizes best practices and works collaboratively with the Department of Health and Human Services to strengthen child and family services.

No Kid Hungry Campaign

Current VISTA: Colin Wethered

Mission: No child should grow up hungry in America. But 1 in 5 children struggles with hunger. Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign is ending childhood hunger in America by connecting kids in need with nutritious food and teaching families how to cook healthy, affordable meals.

Goals: No Kid Hungry in Montana aims to decrease rates of childhood hunger by increasing access to food and providing free nutrition education.

Prevention Resource Center - VISTA Leader

Current VISTA: Victoria Green

Mission: Create and sustain a coordinated, comprehensive system of prevention services in the state of Montana.

Goals: Reduce child abuse, reduce youth substance abuse, reduce youth violence, reduce school dropout, and reduce teen pregnancy.

YWCA of Helena

Current VISTAs: Jocelyn Olsen, MaryJane Ilgenfritz

Mission: Our mission is to prevent homelessness, provide safe and supportive housing for women and children experiencing homelessness, and provide services that restore hope, self-sufficiency, and happy and healthy lives. Together with YWCA USA and YWCAs across the country, we are dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.


Sunburst Community Service Foundation

Current VISTA: Kelly Russell

Mission: The Sunburst Community Service Foundation is dedicated to the growth of individuals, families and communities. We organize and promote cultural and creative opportunities, as well as provide resources to educate and nurture mutual respect, tolerance and healthy values in the communities we serve. The Sunburst Community Service Foundation is a non-profit organization established in 1995 in Eureka, Montana by a small group of community members that has now grown to provide services in five locations in western Montana.

Lame Deer

Boys & Girls Club of the Northern Cheyenne Nation

Current VISTA: Amon Barry

Mission: To inspire and enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible, and caring citizens. The Boys & Girls Club of Northern Cheyenne Nation has been a cornerstone of the community since opening it doors in 1994. Serving some 500 youth, the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Northern Cheyenne Nation provides a safe, structured and positive environment for young people after school, during holidays and summer vacation.


Missoula Food Bank 

Current VISTA: Liz Corey

Mission: Missoula Food Bank is Missoula County’s primary resource for emergency food assistance. The organization has been providing services to all those in Missoula County in need for 31 years through four distinct programs: 1. Store Distribution; 2. ROOTS (Recognizing Other Opportunities to Serve); 3. Kids Table; and 4. Food Circle.

Montana Primary Care Association

Current VISTA: Courtney Buys

Mission: MPCA is a statewide organization that represents 17 federally qualified community health centers (CHCs). MPCA is dedicated to supporting the work and effort of CHCs as well as working toward a more equitable and accessible health system in Montana. MPCA’s program areas include training and technical assistance around clinical improvement measures, patient centered medical home, federal compliance, emergency preparedness, operations, and outreach and enrollment for the the new Health Insurance Marketplace.