Montana Area Health Education Center and Office of Rural Health

Working to connect students to healthcare careers, professionals to communities, and communities to better health.

  • "Deer" by Jason Thomas
  • Missouri River - Fort Benton, MT by Amanda Judisch
  • Kootenai River - Libby, MT by Amanda Judisch
  • "Open Road" by Audrey Schadt
  • Amsterdam, MT by Jordan Brown

The Montana AHEC mission is to improve the supply and distribution of healthcare professionals, with an emphasis on primary care, through community/academic educational partnerships, in order to increase the access to quality healthcare.


Montana Office of Rural Health and Area Health Education Center
Montana State University
P.O. Box 170520
Bozeman, MT 59717-0520
Fax: 406-994-5653

Kristin Juliar

Staff Directory


Montana Healthy Communities Logo

Montana Healthy Communities Conference: New Knowledge, New Partners, Better Solutions

October 27 - 28, 2015

Best Western Premier Great Northern Hotel - 406.457.5500
835 Great Northern Blvd, Helena, MT 59601 - Google Map

There is more to health than health care. Affordable housing, fresh produce, safe places to exercise, quality early child care, and good jobs are all critically important when it comes to the health of Montana's residents.

This 1.5 day conference brings professionals from the community development and health and human services fields to address "upstream" factors that influence health, share what makes for success and discuss next steps for collaborative action back home, including an optional 3-hour facilitated strategic session on Wed. morning October 28.

Keynote Speaker: James S. Marks, Executive Vice President of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

National experts from:

  • Association for Community Health Improvement   
  • Build Healthy Places Network                          
  • National Local Initiatives Support Corporation
  • The Food Trust
  • Federal Reserve Bank

Local leaders include:

  • Angela McLean, Lieutenant Governor, State of Montana
  • Judith LaPan, Public Administrator, Richland County Public Health  Department
  • Kelly Lynch, Community Development Division Administrator, Montana Department of Commerce
  • S. Kevin Howlett, Director, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Health and Human Service Dept.
  • Mike Halligan, Executive Director, Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation
  • Larry Bonderud, Mayor, City of Shelby
  • Heather Fink, Community Health Improvement Manager, Healthy By Design
  • Cindy Smith, CEO, Bullhook Community Health Center
  • Kenny Smoker, Jr., HP/DP Wellness Program Coordinator, Fort Peck Tribes
  • Sarah Fitzgerald, Chief Lending Officer, Montana CDC
  • Danica Jameison, President & CEO, Greater Gallatin United Way
  • Michael McCormick, Executive Director, Livingston Food Resource Center
  • Todd Wilson, Director, CrowTribal Health Department (Supportive Housing)

          And more!

Participants will learn about cross-sector approaches for building healthier communities, hear from other Montana organizations about what makes for success, and have an opportunity to discuss next steps for collaborative action in their own communities. 

Hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, the Montana Health Care Foundation, and the Montana Area Health Education Center and Office of Rural Health at Montana State University.

Registration is $30.00 and includes breakfast, lunch and evening networking reception now OPEN! Registration ends October 16th!

**Registration Tip: the registration page "times out" after 10 minutes.  To ensure that you complete registration and payment within 10 minutes please consider typing your short bio before beginning the registration process and then "cut and paste" your bio into the registration form.**  

Besides the conference hotel, the closest lodging options are:

  • Lamplighter Motel - 406.442.9200
  • Jorgenson's - 406.442.1770
  • Holiday Inn Downtown - 406.443.2200
  • Wingate By Wyndham - 406.449.3000

Full list of lodging options in Helena:

**If you have questions about registration for this conference, require food accommodations or need a scholarship please contact, Montana Area Health Education Center and Office of Rural Health consultant, Chelsea Culpon at or 406-431-4493**

 Montana Community Health Worker Dialogue Follow-Up

Thursday, October 22, 2015

1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Helena, MT  - Disability Rights Montana, Liberty Room
1022 Chestnut St, Helena, MT 59601 – Google Map
Call-in Number: 888-387-8686, 8422675#

Montana Community Health Worker Dialogue Meeting - Follow Up

Sponsored by the MT AHEC

Please RSVP:

Jordan Brown

 National Rural Health Day - November 19, 2015

National Rural Health Day


The National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health sets aside the third Thursday of every November – November 19th, 2015 – to celebrate National Rural Health Day. First and foremost, National   Rural Health Day is an opportunity to “Celebrate the Power of Rural” by honoring the selfless, community-minded, “can do”  spirit of that prevails in rural America. But it also gives us a chance to bring to light the unique healthcare challenges that rural citizens face – and showcase the efforts of rural healthcare providers, State Offices of  Rural Health and other rural stakeholders to address those challenges.

The MORH/AHEC will hold 2 essay and photo contests regarding community activity involvement and healthcare careers for K-12 students and adults in order to celebrate National Rural Health Day. Submissions must be sent by November 2, 2015. Please view the rules and other information here or contact Jordan Brown at


Frank NewmanIn honor of National Rural Health Day, the third Thursday of every November, the Montana Office of Rural Health/AHEC and Montana Rural Health Association are seeking nominations for the Dr. Frank Newman Rural Health Award. Dr. Newman represented the spirit of Montana in nearly 50 years of service to rural communities and healthcare in our state. The nominees who most exemplify what Dr. Frank Newman represented, will be announced on National Rural Health Day - November 19, 2015.

Dr. Newman was instrumental in founding the Montana WWAMI Medical School Program, the Montana Office of Rural Health, the Montana AHEC, the Montana Family Medicine Residency Program, and many other programs. He served his country in the U.S. Marine Corps, and was the founder of the Wind Drinkers running club. Dr. Newman counseled hundreds of young people interested in a career in medicine and other health professions. He was actively teaching in the WWAMI Targeted Rural Underserved Track at Montana State University, and working at the Montana Office of Rural Health/AHEC until his death at age 80 on Veteran’s Day, 2011.

Nominations for the Award should reflect Dr. Newman’s commitment to rural health in Montana, his support for health professions, his belief in the young people of our state, and his optimistic view of the future. Dr. Newman traveled to every corner of Montana, worked with rural hospitals and healthcare providers, and believed that communities had the capacity to support high quality healthcare. He helped many people persevere in their goals and hopes, and inspired many young people to pursue their dreams.

There are three award categories.  Awards will be given in these categories:

  1. Frank Newman Rural Health Leadership Award
  2. Frank Newman Rural Clinician Leadership
  3. Frank Newman Rural Health Emerging Leadership (High school, college or early career)

If you have questions you can email or call 406-994-6003.

The award recipients will be announce on the Montana Office of Rural Health/AHEC website ( on National Rural Health Day – November 19, 2015.

Please provide:

  • The name and community of the nominee
  • A short essay, approximately ½ to 1 page, describing how the nominee exemplifies the spirit of Dr. Frank Newman.
  • The award category
  • The names, contact information, and affiliations of the nominator(s)
Please share the application with those who may have nominees that portray Dr. Frank Newman's commitment to rural health in Montana - Frank Newman Award Application

Pathways Into Health Logo

Pathways Into Health Conference

October 12-14, 2015

Welcome Evening Reception Sunday, October 11 *Post-Conference Activities – October 14 *Student Health Professions Day – October 15

Click here to view the CONFERENCE BROCHURE

Pathways into Health Banner

The purpose of this conference is to bring together a diverse group of individuals and organizations to contribute to the cultivation of a robust American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) health care workforce. The conference presented and discussed educational methodologies for AI/AN health professions education, effective and promising practices to encourage Native individuals to pursue health careers, as well as opportunities for adequate preparation and support to succeed.

The overall theme of the conference is uniting individuals and organizations and sustaining those connections to develop, grow, and enhance pathways into health professions for American Indian and Alaska Native individuals and communities.

Four core concepts illuminated to advance this process include:

  1. Cultural Attunement
  2. Interprofessional Education (IPE)
  3. Innovations in Distance Learning and Telehealth Technologies
  4. Health Career Development Through the Lifespan

Free Continuing Education for Conference Participation!

Special thanks to our Conference Sponsors

Learn more about Sponsorship Opportunities and Benefits here.

The Pathways national conferences are organized by a volunteer Conference Development Committee. Learn how you can get involved! Contact us

For more information please contact us at

 2015 Community Health Worker Dialogue

Thank you for attending the Community Health Worker Dialogue Meeting!

If you were unable to attend but would like to keep updated on the process and strategic planning of Montana's Community Health Workers please contact Jordan Brown at and request to be put on the electronic mailing list.

Send questions or concerns to:

Jordan Brown