Inspiring online presentations and conversations to guide productive cross-sector conversations for improving your community

This Virtual Journey is a way to move forward with our cancelled April conference by bridging the content and experience over weinbars. Join us without traveling or missing our beautiful Montana summers for FREE! 



Schedule of Webinars

Speakers Biographies

Speaker Biographies


(Coming soon)



Thursdays at 10:00 AM MDT
July 16
July 23
August 13
August 20
1-hour FREE webinars


This Virtual Journey is a way to move forward with our cancelled April conference by bridging the content and experience over weinbars. Join us without traveling or missing our beautiful Montana summers.

The Virtual Journey will lead you on a systematic, step-by-step voyage to construct a community based strategic game plan that creates healthier communities in a collaborative, cross-sector manner.

Now more than ever:

  • communities understand the impact that health has on the economy,
  • communities need to combine and leverage resources, and
  • community partners and businesses must collectively identify and tackle issues through multisector cooperation.

Our journey this summer includes two webinars featuring Benjamin Winchester discussing the positive trends in rural living including migration, “brain gain,” economic development and more. Each webinar will also feature the perspective of a local Montanan leader.

The other two webinars are interactive learning sessions that will teach you as an individual, or as a working group from your community, how to engage in design thinking to help you build or strengthen healthy communities efforts, with professional guidance from the international design thinking specialists, Do Tank.

Fall webinars will be a combination of local and state speakers sharing their experience and expertise on Big Sky healthy communities work and interactive learning sessions and technical assistance with Do Tank.

A celebration and sharing will wrap up the year!

Learning Objectives

  • Knowledge on leveraging funds, skills and expertise for maxiumum impact.
  • Timely and relevant information on trends in rural Montana from keynote content experts as well as local Big Sky leaders sharing what has worked here.
  • An expanded network of like minded, community-improving Montanans.
  • How to design virtual ground rules for seamless virtual meetings and collaboration.
  • Tips to help “bridge the gap” of communication between different sectors and professions.

Do Tank

  • 4 facilitated design thinking sessions with local team breakouts. These sessions are stackable or progressive, where they build upon each other. Mark your calendars to attend every session in the Virtual Journey, and invite your team members and community stakeholders to join.
  • Detailed and specific guidance, with custom Montana tools, about how to use design thinking to create a common vision and plan.
  • Our sessions will foster learning communities at the local level to increase skills in designing strategic approaches to healthier communities.


What is Montana Healthy Communities?

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. 

Economic Vitality = Healthy Communities

Montana Healthy Communities is a grassroots collaboration of various organizations committed to raising awareness in Montana about the relationship between the physical and mental health of its citizens and the economic vitality of the community. This includes the coordinated discussion, planning and funding for quality jobs, transportation, research, broadband, schools, safe walking, biking and recreational options, early child care, housing, infrastructure, revitalization and historic preservation. 

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Hosts & Sponsors 


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


Sponsor Logos

Educational partners and sponsors include: Center for American Indian and Rural Health Equity (CAIRHE), MoFi, Montana Health CO-OP, Montana Hospital Association, Montana InBRE-the IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence, Montana Primary Care Association, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana, Montana Department of Commerce, Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, Montana State University Extension, Mountain-Pacific Quality Health, Northwest Area Foundation, O.P. and W.E. Edwards Foundation, PacificSource Health Plans and the University of Montana Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities.

Montana Healthy Communities Archive 


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2017 Conference


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2016 Mini Grants

2016 Webinars
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2015 Conference