The organization shall be known as the Montana Area Health Education Center and Office of Rural Health
(Montana AHEC/ORH). The Montana AHEC/ORH is a located in the MSU College of Nursing, and affiliated with the
WWAMI Program of the University of Washington School of Medicine and the Regional WWAMI AHEC Program.
The Montana AHEC/ORH shall be located on the campus of Montana State University-Bozeman serving the needs of
the citizens of the state of Montana.


Section 1. Mission

The overall mission of the Montana AHEC is the same as the National AHEC Program mission, which is:
To enhance access to quality health care, particularly primary and preventive care, by improving the supply and distribution of
healthcare professionals through community/academic educational partnerships.
The mission of the Montana ORH is “to serve its communities through: (1) collecting and disseminating information within the
state, (2) improving recruitment and retention of health professionals into rural areas, (3) providing technical assistance to attract
more federal, state, and foundation funding for rural health, and (4) coordinating rural health interests and activities across the

Section 2. Goals

The goals of the Montana AHEC are to:

  1. improve the supply, distribution, utilization and support of healthcare professionals;
  2.  improve access to educational resources for healthcare providers in the State of Montana;
  3. encourage, strengthen and support rural healthcare institutions/agencies/facilities in becoming access
    points for the education of healthcare providers; and
  4. enhance the quality and efficiency of academic programs in the health professions.

The goals of the Montana ORH are to:

  1. Establish and maintain a State clearinghouse for collecting and disseminating information on rural
    health care issues, research findings related to rural health care, and innovative approaches to the
    delivery of health care in rural areas.
  2.  Coordinate activities carried out in the state that relate to rural health care; including providing
    coordination to avoid duplication in such activities.
  3.  Identify Federal, State and nongovernmental programs regarding rural health and provide technical
    assistance to public and nonprofit entities regarding participation in such programs.
  4. Encourage recruitment and retention of health professionals in rural areas.
  5. Participate in strengthening State, local and Federal partnerships in rural health.

Section 3. Objectives and Aims

The Montana AHEC/ORH mission and goals are accomplished by pursuing the following objectives and aims to:

  1. facilitate productive networks and linkages between healthcare units to the benefit of underserved
    frontier and rural communities;
  2. foster and encourage collaborative community-based health programs that serve to stabilize
    local rural healthcare systems as an aid to recruitment and retention;
  3.  increase the number of minority and underserved youth entering health education programs;
  4.  serve as a resource, clearinghouse and disseminator of health information and data relating to health
    professions education, health provider education, and continuing education;
  5.  promote improved health and disease prevention through educational interventions;
  6. respond to emerging community-based unmet needs regarding health issues especially in regard to
    workforce issues and Community Health Services Development;
  7.  provide technical assistance and support to community health systems on healthcare-related issues
    underserved, rural and remote communities;
  8. contribute to achieving the goals of Healthy People with special attention on reducing health disparities
    and thereby improving the health status and health outcomes for frontier, rural, and underserved
    constituents; and
  9. help implement collaborative community-based, multidisciplinary education and training for health professionals and health professions students and thereby strengthen the capacity to serve health professionals, students and communities.


Section 1. Composition of the Advisory Board

The Advisory Board shall be comprised of healthcare providers, health professions educators and consumers and
representatives of health interest groups. The Advisory Board shall consist of a balanced representation
reasonably divided between institutions, agencies, organizations and health interest groups with special
appreciation for geographic, demographic, and programmatic representation. The Advisory Board shall
determine the optimum size and make-up of the Board based on current organizational and programmatic needs.
The following areas of representation should be included:

  •  Health professions education
  • Health professions practice
  • Underserved/under-represented populations
  • Legislative
  • Healthcare Administration
  •  Consumer/Public
  • State Agency Representation
  • Resident/Student(s) in a Montana medical/health profession program

Ex-officio representatives – Regional AHEC Directors; Dean of Nursing at MSU. Additional ex-officio member
could serve at the pleasure of the Dean of the School of Medicine at the University of Washington or the
President of Montana State University. The ex-officio members shall not have voting privileges.
The size of the advisory board, including ex-officio members, should not exceed 25 members.

Section 2. Powers and Duties

The Advisory Board shall advise the chief administrative official of the center on all major policies concerning the
operation of the center, on establishment of center program priorities and on other issues as necessary, including
administration and evaluation. The Advisory Board shall have the responsibility and authority to perform all
duties stated in these ByLaws and to make other recommendations as it may deem appropriate and necessary to
facilitate the accomplishment of the mission, goals and objectives of the Montana AHEC/ORH.
Included among the functions of the Advisory Board are:

  1. conduct annual reviews of the mission, goals, objectives, programmatic activities and policies of the
    Montana AHEC/ORH;
  2. make recommendations on changes in the mission, goals, objectives and programmatic activities;
  3. promote the Montana AHEC/ORH as a statewide resource;
  4. serve as an advocate for the educational needs of healthcare providers in Montana;
  5. participate in annual strategic planning; and
  6. advocate for rural health needs of Montana.

Section 3. Election and/or Appointment

The board shall be appointed by vote of two-thirds of the board membership. Members of the Advisory Board
shall serve for three years, with all members being eligible for reappointment. A member of the Board may be
removed by a vote of two-thirds of the entire membership of the board as then constituted.

Section 4. Officers, Terms and Duties

The Advisory Board Chair (Chair) shall be elected by the board and shall serve at the pleasure of the board for a
term of three years. The Chair shall also serve as Chair of the Executive Committee. The Chair shall preside
over meetings of the Advisory Board. The Chair is an ex-officio member of committees. The Chair, in consultation
with the Executive Committee,shall appoint Standing Committees, and Ad Hoc Committees; with the
exception of the Nominating Committee.
The Vice Chair shall be elected by the board and serve at the pleasure of the board for a term of three years. The
Vice Chair shall preside in the absence of the Chair. The Vice Chair shall assist the Chair, as directed, in
fulfilling the administrative responsibilities and duties of the Advisory Board. If the position of Vice Chair shall
become vacant, that position shall be filled by election through a majority vote of the Advisory Board and serve
for the duration of the term.

Section 5. Quorum

A quorum for any meeting of the Advisory Board shall consist of the majority of the entire voting membership of
the board as then constituted. If a quorum is not present for any meeting, the Chair may declare, in the absence
of an objection by the majority of members present, that a quorum is present in order to conduct the scheduled
business agenda of the board.

Section 6. Meetings

The Advisory Board shall hold at least three meetings during each calendar year. Special meetings may be called
at any time by the Chair or by a majority vote of the board. Notice of the time and place of meetings of the
board shall be given to each board member. Notification of regular meetings shall be sent at least one month
in advance of the scheduled meeting. Meetings of the Advisory Board, Executive Board, and committees of the
board shall be open meetings. The Chair may declare a meeting closed to discuss personnel issues and other
items declared to be confidential or personal. In general, the policy on open meetings shall be that of Montana
State University. Minutes of the Advisory Board, Executive Board and committees of the board shall be written
and circulated to members.

Section 7. Meeting Location and Scheduled Dates

The decision on location and dates for meetings shall be made by the Chair in consultation with the Director of
the Montana AHEC/ORH. The Director of the Montana AHEC/ORH and his/her staff shall assume the
responsibility for making arrangements for meetings; including notification of members. Members have the
option to participate by conference call for all meetings.
Section 8. Travel Reimbursement
Members of the board may submit claims for reimbursement of travel expenses to attend meetings in amounts
allowed by Montana State University.


Section 1. Nominating Committee

There shall be a Nominating Committee consisting of two or more members elected by the board. Members of
the Nominating Committee shall serve a term of three years. The duties of the Nominating Committee shall be

  1. submit names for members of the board to serve as Chair and Vice Chair;
  2. submit names to the board of persons to be considered as new members of the board; and
  3. contact appropriate health provider organizations/associations to solicit suggestions for board

Section 2. Executive Committee

The Executive Committee shall consist of the Chair, Vice Chair and Chairs of Standing and Ad Hoc
Committees. The Executive Committee shall:

  1. perform the necessary duties of the board which may occur between scheduled meetings;
  2. appoint Standing Committees and Ad Hoc Committees;
  3. work with the Montana AHEC/ORH staff to schedule meetings and provide information to the board;
  4. maintain liaison with the Dean of Nursing;
  5. review and act on recommendations of the committees of the board; and
  6. conduct other activities as needed

Section 3. Standing Committees and Ad Hoc Committees

Individual Advisory Board members may submit recommendations to the board that assist in accomplishing the
mission, goals, objectives and programmatic activities of the AHEC/ORH. In the event of special circumstances
and/or issues of urgency, the Chair, in consultation with the Executive Committee, may appoint members to
Standing Committees or Ad Hoc Committees to assist the Montana AHEC/ORH staff. These committees may
be appointed on an ad hoc basis to assist the board in its essential functions of:

  •  program development;
  • public relations;
  • health professions education;
  • evaluation; and
  • others as suggested by the board and AHEC/ORH staff.


The Director of the Montana AHEC/ORH shall be an employee of Montana State University. The Director shall report
administratively to the Dean of Nursing and shall maintain liaison with the Regional WWAMI AHEC Program at the
University of Washington School of Medicine. The Affiliation Agreement and Memorandum of Cooperation between
the University of Washington School of Medicine and the Montana AHEC/ORH at Montana State University shall be
utilized by the Director as a guide to the performance of responsibilities and duties. The Director shall be responsible for the day-to-day administration of the Montana AHEC/ORH office and its programs. The Advisory Board shall have the
responsibility to make recommendations to the Director.


Funding for the Montana AHEC/ORH is a responsibility of Montana State University. Sources of funding may include:

  1. state allocations provided by Montana State University;
  2. grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements available through federal, state, and private sources;
  3. foundation grants and gifts.

The Advisory Board shall make recommendations on seeking new funding for the Montana AHEC/ORH. The Montana
AHEC/ORH shall provide the board with annual programmatic and financial reports and other funding information as
requested by the board.


The Advisory Board, by the affirmative vote of two-thirds of its total membership, may alter, amend, or revoke these
ByLaws at any regular or special meetings of the board.

(Bylaws updated February, 2013)