HELENA – Montana Gov. Steve Bullock released a plan in June that aims to lead to a healthier Montana. The plan is entitled, “Big Sky. New Horizons. A Healthier Montana: A Plan to Improve the Health of Montanans.”
“We all know that healthy children are better students, healthy adults make a more productive work force, healthy seniors enjoy more satisfying retirement years, and a healthy population is essential to a healthy economy,” Bullock said. “This plan focuses on prevention, saving health care dollars and creating a common agenda for health improvement.”
The plan was released in conjunction with a meeting of the Association of Montana Public Health Officials and the Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) at the Great Northern Hotel in Helena.
DPHHS led the effort to examine the health of Montanans and develop strategies to address critically important health issues using the best science available. Participation from more than 130 organizations provided essential input into the plan from stakeholders across Montana.
The plan focuses on six health priority areas:
• Preventing, identifying and managing chronic diseases;
• Promoting the health of mothers, infants and children;
• Preventing, identifying and controlling communicable disease, preventing injuries and reducing exposure to environmental health hazards;
• Improving mental health and reducing substance abuse; and,
• Strengthening Montana’s public health and health care system. Within each health priority area are strategies for action.
The document is available at www.dphhs.mt.gov.
Creating a healthier Montana will take strong partnerships among state, tribal and local governments, as well as private, non-profit and other community organizations. The governor will appoint an oversight body to direct and oversee the implementation of this plan.
Gov. Bullock encouraged all Montanans to join him in taking responsibility for their health by following recommendations from the plan.
“Stay active and eat well; get age appropriate immunizations; take simple steps to prevent injuries; see a healthcare provider regularly; and contribute to and enjoy a healthy environment,” he said. “Together we can create a healthier Montana.”