IHP Health and Community: Public Health in Montana

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Montana features breathtaking landscapes and natural resources, but also bears the burden of a lack of access to hospitals and specialized healthcare, radical inequities within the population, long distances to even basic services, structural legacies of westward expansion, and housing and mental health crises. Explore all of this and more while based in Helena, a small city of less than 30,000 people where more than 30 percent of local jobs are in the public sector. Helena is within a few hours of two of the geographically largest Native American land holdings in the United States. It is also the main city near Fort Harrison Veterans Medical Hospital, making Helena a place where students can compare three distinct health systems: standard private systems, the Indian Health Service (IHS) system, and the US Military (MHS) system.

  • Investigate public health challenges including access, specialty care, mental health, and housing.
  • Compare three health systems on the frontlines of care of the northern border of the US.
  • Explore the cultural diversity and traditions of Montana and the northern US.
  • Examine public health initiatives and the relationships between providers and those who need care.

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