Community members in Glacier County and surrounding areas may soon be receiving a survey in their mailbox. This survey will be sent to a random sample of homes and will help Logan Health Cut Bank, formerly Northern Rockies Medical Center, to identify health services needed in the community. This information will be used for strategic planning, grant applications, new programs, and by community groups interested in addressing health issues.

This project, administered by the Montana Office of Rural Health and funded in part through the Montana Health Research and Education Foundation (MHREF) Flex Grant, will assist the hospital in an analysis of local community needs, use of local healthcare services and overall community health. This process was developed to maintain quality healthcare to serve the continuing and future needs of the community.

“The feedback of our community is crucial to the operations of our organization and provides invaluable insight that allows us to appropriately plan our strategies for addressing the identified needs of our community members,” stated Cherie Taylor, Vice President of Logan Health Cut Bank. 

The community health assessment process promotes healthcare as a local affair. Citizens of rural counties can take responsibility for the health of their community by completing the survey they receive in their mailbox. Most communities face a large number of complex issues in addressing the health and wellness of their citizens, but fortunately, Glacier County can engage in effective problem-solving, which is the most important factor in the survival of rural health services.

An accompanying goal of this process is to keep healthcare dollars within the local community. While most healthcare services can be provided locally, rural citizens often drive to large medical centers for care, spending money on health-care and non-health care purchases that could be spent locally. It is estimated that within a typical rural community, millions of dollars of revenue are lost in this way. This revenue could be retained in the local community with stronger community-healthcare provider linkages.

“We are pleased to be able to bring some of the best community health resources to Glacier County. The goal of this initiative is to assist forward-thinking rural hospitals and communities in aligning their resources, to address their present and future needs in the best way possible,” said Natalie Claiborne, Assistant Director, Montana Office of Rural Health.

Logan Health Cut Bank’s services include emergency care, acute care, laboratory services, imaging services, rehabilitation, skilled swing bed, mobile MRI, mammography and dexa scans, GI scopes, and nursing outpatient services.

For more information, contact Toni Altenburg, Community Health Improvement Manager at (406) 873-3696 or at taltenburg@logan.org.

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