Department of Public Health and Human Services

VISTA

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Prevention Resource Center VISTA Project

Current PRC VISTA Host Sites

Bozeman

Child Care Connections

Current VISTA: Stephanie Hurn

The goal of this project is to improve academic engagement for students living in poverty by increasing access to affordable child care and after school programming to make gains in school readiness. The VISTA will assist in building capacity to strengthen internal systems and processes that enable Child Care Connections to carry out current programming for low income families by increasing and diversifying resources. This VISTA project will move low income families out of poverty by increasing access to quality child care services resulting in children being provided early learning opportunities to improve their success later in life and more parents being able to increase their earning or career potential.


Montana Afterschool Alliance

Current VISTA: Katy Johnson

The goal of the project is to improve academic engagement for students living in poverty by identifying barriers facing low income students, connecting with current afterschool programs and expanding afterschool program participation across the state. This will be achieved through the ongoing development of a statewide database of afterschool programs and effective communication tools to accurately populate the database. The database will enable Montana Afterschool Alliance to better communicate with funders to ensure resources for future needs of the programs. This VISTA project will move low income youth out of poverty by increasing access to quality out of school programs resulting in higher academic success and workforce skills.


Gallatin City County Health Department

Current VISTA: Sarah Dobson

The goal of this VISTA project is to increase access to healthcare services through the development of a Community Health Improvement Plan aimed at addressing the priority areas identified in the 2018 Community Health Assessment. The VISTA will build capacity within the local public health system through expanding and strengthening community partnerships and assisting community organizations in developing and implementing strategies for addressing key health issues and disparities that were identified in the Community Health Assessment. This VISTA project will move low income residents of Gallatin County and surrounding areas out of poverty by supporting and facilitating Community Health Improvement Planning resulting in sustainable public health programs that reduce health disparities, ensure health equity, and improve health outcomes.


Montana Team Nutrition - Montana State University

Current VISTA: Sarah Penix

The goal of this VISTA project is to increase access to healthy foods, especially fruits, vegetables and whole grains through the implementation of farm to school initiatives throughout the state. The VISTA will assess the barriers to implementation needs and opportunities and develop a training plan to address those gaps in farm to school implementation. This VISTA project will move low income children out of poverty by assessing and addressing training, resources and communication gaps resulting in the increased access to healthy foods through the implementation of farm to school initiatives in schools, aftershool and early care and education settings.

Helena

DPHHS - Addictive and Mental Disorders Division

Current VISTA: Alisha Mehdi

The goal of this project is to increase access to mental health and substance use treatment for low-income individuals needing inpatient crisis intervention by assessing Mental Health Centers and hospitals across the state to identify availability of emergency detention beds and treatment services, including opioid treatment services, offered to keep people in crisis treated in or near their own community. This will require developing assessments and a database that includes treatment parameters that are available at the crisis center or facility. This VISTA project will move individuals that need secure inpatient crisis intervention out of poverty by providing current, up to date data for emergency detention beds that are available statewide.


Montana Primary Care Association

Current VISTA: Rick Leary

The goal of this project is to increase access to preventative health care services and disease screening processes to low income patients by developing a sustainable patient navigation project in Montana's 16 Federally Qualified Community Health Centers. This will require investigating the current state of patient navigation in Montana, researching other successful Patient Navigation programs and developing a strategic plan for Montana; and identify and apply for grant funding to allow for the long-term sustainability. This project will move at risk households out of poverty by increasing access to healthcare, including preventative disease screening, ensuring that households do not sink further into poverty due to a diagnosis of cancer.


DPHHS - Children's Special Health Services Section, MAPP-Net Grant

Current VISTA: Allison Lynch

The goal of this VISTA project is to increase access to mental and behavioral healthcare to low income children and youth by creating a statewide resource guide for access to mental healthcare in their communities. The VISTA will create a directory of primary care providers participating in services available through the MAPP-Net grant, including pediatric mental and behavioral health providers across the state and conduct outreach to inform providers of resources available through the grant. This VISTA project will move children and youth with mental and behavioral concerns living in rural and tribal communities out of poverty by creating a resourced guide for access to mental healthcare resulting in greater pediatric mental healthcare access across the state.


Adult Protective Services

Current VISTA: Tyler Vittorio

The goal of this VISTA project is to increase access to healthcare for seniors living in poverty and/or on fixed incomes by enhancing the reporting system and develop training and education to community stakeholders and citizens on abuse, neglect and exploitation. The VISTA will research current trends and issues related to mandated reporters in Montana and assist in developing the reporting system. This VISTA project will alleviate poverty among the elder and vulnerable adult populations by creating training materials on abuse, neglect, and exploitation that will keep more seniors financially secure.

Kalispell

 

Missoula

AWARE Inc., Telehealth Services

Current VISTA: Miranda Chen

The goal of this VISTA project is to increase access to mental health services to individuals and families in rural communities across Montana by identifying current barriers to use and expansion of telehealth services. The VISTA will research and assess the current barriers and assist in the development of a strategic plan for enhancing current services. This VISTA project will move individuals with psychiatric disabilities and substance use disorders out of poverty by providing needed services via telehealth resulting in decreased symptoms and increased chances at success in sustainable employment.


AWARE Inc., Employment Support

Current VISTA: Maddie Marcellino

The goal of this VISTA project is to increase access to employment and healthcare services to adults with severe Disabling Mental Illness or Developmental Disabilities. The VISTA will partner with current state departments and organizations to provide more robust and evidence based customized employment services to Montanans with severe mental illness or disabilities. This VISTA project will move adults with severe mental illness or disabilities out of poverty by improving employment outcomes resulting in improvements in income status, housing status, social opportunities and improved mental health outcomes.


Montana Food Bank Network

Current VISTA: Meredith Dahlk

The goal of this VISTA project is to increase access to food resources through the development of new partnerships and outreach strategies to increase the awareness of and access to SNAP assistance. The VISTA will conduct outreach and develop partnerships in areas of the state not currently served to include service providers, the faith community, healthcare providers and others to connect them with SNAP education resources provided by Montana Food Bank Network and provide education on incorporating SNAP education into their services. This VISTA project will move low income seniors and families out of poverty through partnership and outreach to strengthen access to SNAP assistance resulting in reduced food insecurity.


Missoula Food Bank and Community Center

Current VISTA: Molly Kirkham

The overall goal of this VISTA project is to increase access to food resources by establishing a system of communication for the community organizing program. The VISTA will assist in the development of organizational systems and a team onboarding process in the volunteer program and assess and develop efficient organization systems to build capacity for Missoula Food Bank to host more volunteers. This VISTA project will move low income individuals in Missoula County out of poverty by establishing systems and strengthening the volunteer program.

Whitefish

Farm Hands - Nourish the Flathead

Current VISTA: Andrea Getts

The goal of this project is to increase access to food resources for low income individuals in the Flathead Valley by identifying the barriers that currently exist with current food resource programs and implementing a plan to remedy those barriers. This will require engaging community stakeholders and the low income community to assess the barriers and identify solutions and use these findings to improve or expand food access programs currently operating in Flathead County. This project will move low income individuals out of poverty by increasing access to food resources.

Browning

FAST Blackfeet

Current VISTA: Mackenzie Sachs

The goal of this project is to Increase access to food resources through the development of a nutrition education program that increases food sovereignty and traditional ways of eating. The VISTA will partner with the Agriculture Resource Management Plan Program of the Blackfeet Tribe to develop a nutrition education program to educate community members on how to both eat healthy and access healthy food resources in their community. They will partner with clients and the FAST Blackfeet board to define a system to coordinate and facilitate nutrition education in the community. This VISTA project will move low income individuals in the Blackfeet community out of poverty by increasing access to food resources resulting in a reduction of food insecurity.

Three Forks

Whitetail Ranch Center

Current VISTA: Meggie Burns

The of this project is the increase access to healthcare to low-income Veterans by providing specified treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder through a unique, holistic, long-term residential ranch. This will require assessing the needs of low-income veterans, identifying barriers preventing veterans suffering from PTSD from accessing support and developing and growing partnerships to address those needs. The VISTA will identify funding sources, operational partnerships, including partners working on Opioid issues, and develop and grow a volunteer base. This project will move Veterans out of poverty by providing mental health services and social re-orientation, resulting in the ability to live independently and sustain a job with a reduced risk of suicide.

Bigfork, Somers, and Lakeside

No Kid Hungry

Current VISTA: Davis Neuhouser

The goal of this project is to increase food access for low-income students in the Bigfork and Somers-Lakeside School Districts by developing and expanding school breakfast, afterschool, and summer meal programs. This will require developing and administering assessments to staff and students; developing and implementing a strategic plan for alternative breakfast models; developing and implementing a strategic plan for afterschool meal programs; developing a strategic plan for summer meals program; and developing a volunteer network to organize and sustain the project. The project will move low-income students out of poverty by increasing access to food resources both during and after school hours. 

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