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

National Rural Health Day







November 19, 2015

This year, the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health will be joined by Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell during a full day of live events, broadcast via web, with the support and participation from public, private and non-profit stakeholders in rural health, including but not limited to:

  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Federal Office of Rural Health Policy
  • The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, Office of Rural Health
  • The Rural Assistance Center, soon to be The Rural Health Information Hub
  • The National Rural Health Association
  • The National Cooperative of Health Networks
  • The National Rural Recruitment and Retention Network
  • The AgriSafe Network

Please click here in order to view the full webinar flier!


Please view Governor Steve Bullock's Letter of Support for National Rural Health Day 2015!

A Montana community is featured in the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health "Real Doc Hollywoods and Community Stars" online publication. Please take a minute to check it out!

Congressman Ryan Zinke's National Rural Health Day recognition video:


Congratulations to the National Rural Health Day Photo and Essay Contest Winners!

Rural Health Photo Contest Winners:

18 and Under Division

1st Place - Mikayla Beyl

Mikayla Beyl

2nd Place - Ellise Nienabar

Ellise Nienabar

3rd Place - Audrianna Denmars

Audrianna Denmars

Adult Division

1st Place - Lorette Carter

Lorette Carter

Shelby School District #14 Walk'n Wheel
Photo Title: Starting the Day Off Right

2nd Place - Lorianne Burhop

Lorianne Burhop

Ambulance barn in Two Dot, MT, illustrating the unique health access challenges of rural Montana, as well as the need to support existing resources!

3rd Place - Starr Brown

Starr Brown

Paddle Boarding on Apgar Lake in Glacier National Park

Health Career Interview Essay Contest Winners:

  • Kelsey Meier - Interview with Kerrie Emerick, Dermatologist at Yellowstone Pathology
  • Ellise Nienaber - Interview with Dr. Daniel Shaub, DDS

Congratulations to the Fall 2015 Frank Newman Award Recipients!

Frank Newman

In celebration of National Rural Health Day (November 19, 2015), the Montana Office of Rural Health/
Area Health Education Center announces the Frank Newman Rural Health Award recipients.

We are pleased to have four awardees this year:

Rural Health Leadership—

  • Dr. Jay Erickson
Assistant Dean for Regional Affairs, MT WWAMI Clinical Coordinator
Family Medicine Physician, Whitefish
  • Steve McNeece

President and CEO, Community Hospital of Anaconda

Rural Clinician Leadership—

  • Elizabeth Kinion, EdD, MSN, APN-BC, FAAN
Primary Care Nurse Practitioner and Nurse Researcher
Montana State University, Bozeman
  • Dr. Michael Nolan
Family Medicine Physician, Havre

Congratulations to our award recipients!

We are inspired by your commitment to rural health in our local communities and across Montana.

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

Montana Healthy Communities Logo

Thank you for attending the Montana Healthy Communities Conference: New Knowledge, New Partners, Better Solutions!

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.

October 27 - 28, 2015

This 1.5 day conference brought over 200 professionals from the community development and health and human services fields together to address "upstream" factors that influence health.

Thank you for helping make the Montana Healthy Communities Conference on October 27th and 28th a success.  We are already hearing about new collaborations emerging from the discussions among participants. 

Next steps

  • Presentation PowerPoints:  We will post presentations to the conference website. You will receive an email notice when the presentations are available.
  • Small Group Discussions:  We will compile notes from the small group sessions and you will receive a report on the themes and ideas that emerged.
  • Webinar Series:  The Montana AHEC/Office of Rural Health will host webinars over the next year related to topics and strategies developed during the conference.
  • Project Profiles:  We will profile promising collaborative projects in more detail, and post them to the Montana Rural Health Initiative website.
  • Participant Evaluation: Please watch your email inbox for a formal participant evaluation. Your feedback is very important will help us to plan related follow-up events.

Speaker Presentations:

Social Determinants of Health: How Do We Fare Nationally and in Montana?

David Erickson, Director, Center for Community Development Investments, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

Ela Rausch, Senior Project Manager, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis 


Keynote Address

James  S. Marks,  Executive Vice President, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation


Health Sector: Strategies and Opportunities

Heather Fink, Community Healthy Improvement Manager, Healthy By Design

Kenny Smoker, Jr., HP/DP Wellness Program Coordinator, Fort Peck Tribes

Larry Bonderud, Mayor, City of Shelby

Cindy Smith, Chief Executive Officer, Bullhook Community Health Center

Moderator: Kristin Juliar, Director for Montana AHEC and Office of Rural Health, Montana State University


Community Development Sector: Strategies and Opportunities

Sarah Fitzgerald, Chief Lending Officer, Montana CDC

Michael McCormick, Executive Director, Livingston Food Resource Center

Todd Wilson, Director, Crow Tribal Health Department (Supportive Housing)

Danica Jamison, President and Chief Executive Officer, Greater Gallatin United Way

Moderator: Cathy Costakis, Senior Consultant—Built Environment for Montana AHEC and Office of Rural Health, Montana State University

Conference 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.

Additional support for this conference was provided by:

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana
First Interstate BancSystem Foundation
PacificSource Health Plans
Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS)
The O.P. and W.E. Edwards Foundation
Montana Credit Union Network
Montana Primary Care Association
Montana CDC
Mountain Pacific Quality Health Foundation