Catch us at the Cover Montana Summit

Megan Grotzke, Referral Coordinator at Lewis & Clark Public Health, will be presenting with Connie Winner, Clinical Services Division Administrator at Montana Department of Corrections, on October 17 from 10:15-11:30 at Fairmont.  The presentation is part of the 2-day Cover Montana Summit: Outreach and E3 – Enrollment, Engagement, & Enabling Services.

The presentation comes on the heels of a decision to pilot CONNECT at the Montana men’s prison.  More information about the pilot will be available in the coming months – stay tuned for updates on our blog.


What is Cover Montana?
A project of the Montana Primary Care Association, Cover Montana is a network of organizations committed to increasing access to affordable insurance. Cover Montana is dedicated to growing and strengthening outreach, enrollment, and patient engagement efforts throughout the state.
Who should attend?
Stakeholders who are interested in connecting Montanans to new affordable health insurance options.
+  Those who want to network with enrollment assisters and stakeholders from across Montana.
+  Those who are interested in skill building that can benefit enrollment assistance and other care coordination roles.

What is the cost to attend?
Free! We work closely with our sponsors to ensure there is no fee to attend the Summit. Attendees are responsible for their own lodging and transportation.

For more information, visit the Cover Montana Summit website.

CONNECT Partner: The REAL Community Project

CONNECT is partnering with Youth Connections on a new Helena-based project designed to give local faith leaders access to our electronic referral system and get more people connected to necessary services.

The REAL Community Project, or simply REAL, (Referrals, Education, Action, Love) is an initiative to engage faith communities in the Helena area to prevent substance abuse and make the Helena area safer and healthier for kids and families. This will be accomplished through referrals for services, an educational conference providing resources to faith leaders, and a volunteer fair to inform the public about opportunities where they can provide service to the community.

Faith leaders are often trusted and respected by those in their community. They tend to be one of the first places people turn in times of need. By equipping these faith leaders with knowledge about the issues surrounding drugs and alcohol in the community and tangible ways to help prevent substance abuse, Helena can become a safer place for everyone.

To learn more about REAL, visit their website or email Rachel Dober at Rachel@youthconnectionscoalition.org.

Statewide Expansion Information

This is just a quick note regarding the statewide expansion of the CONNECT Electronic Referral System.  Things are moving forward and a lot of great conversations are taking place regarding the future of CONNECT in Montana.

Over the next few weeks, our site will be populated with numerous tools and resources to assist individuals and communities as they prepare for local implementation or regional expansion of CONNECT.  Our site now has a new page dedicated to information about the expansion, found here.  Soon it will contain detailed information about the 2-phase expansion timeline, upcoming system enhancements, various outreach and marketing materials, and other items that will support CONNECT administrators and advocates.  Be sure to sign up to follow our blog via email to receive the most up-to-date news, straight to your inbox.

A huge thank you goes out to those who have helped us gather momentum as we approach this massive endeavor!  Your commitment has an impact.

If you have questions or would like to learn more about how you can become a part of this statewide referral network, contact Megan Grotzke here.

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Free Online HIPAA Training

TA Coalition Webinar: Myths and Reality: The HIPAA Privacy Rule

Description:  HIPAA is a privacy rule intended to safeguard private health information, but is often misinterpreted and misapplied. With better understanding of flexibility within HIPAA, mental health stakeholders can promote both individuals’ privacy rights and appropriate inclusion of families/partners and providers.

This webinar will feature various scenarios that illustrate both commonly-held misperceptions about HIPAA, as well as more complex issues.  It will address such topics as communications among health providers, disclosures to caregivers, rights of people to access information about their own treatment, special rules pertaining to mental health and substance use information, and other important topics.     

Follow this link to access the free training! https://www.nasmhpd.org/content/ta-coalition-webinar-myths-and-reality-hipaa-privacy-rule

The link is also available on our Training Resources page.

New Lewis & Clark County CONNECT Agency

Montana Legal Services Association (MLSA) is now a user of CONNECT!  The agency is set up and able to accept referrals.

Curious about MLSA?  Here’s what you need to know:

Montana Legal Services Association is a statewide, nonprofit law firm that empowers low income people by providing legal information, advice, and other services free of charge. MLSA works to help people escape abuse and domestic violence, keep their housing, preserve their public benefits, protect their finances, and more.

Contact Melissa Magnuson with questions about MLSA by email or at 406-442-9830.

Visit mtlsa.org to learn more!

New Lewis & Clark County CONNECT Agencies

Please join me in welcoming Bridges and Helena Area Habitat for Humanity to the L&C County CONNECT Referral System!

Bridges is an enrichment and educational program of Helena Community Connections, Inc., that engages community organizations in offering presentations and workshops that explore challenges and opportunities associated with the aging process.  The target audience is “next generation of dependent adults” who seek to make decisions now that result in optimal independence, health and purpose as they experience the aging process.  Some programs offering meals invite $5 donation to match AARP catered meal grants.

Current Programs:

Bridges Buffet – a monthly noontime catered lunch program that engages participants with a variety of speakers who explore challenges and opportunities in eight wellness areas including physical, emotional, financial, spiritual, social, occupational (how we spend our time), environmental (connections to community), and intellectual.

CareMpower – a monthly volunteer caregivers catered meal program that promotes socialization among volunteer caregivers and engages subject matter experts who promote caregivers self-care, specialized caregiver skills as well as inspire and encourage those who offer care to others.

Cranium Café – a monthly noontime brain health workshop led by Nanette Holmes, Life Enrichment Director – Touchmark, that engages participants in learning and practicing brain health exercises, learning how the brain changes over time how to keep it healthy, and discussion.

My Destiny –  a quarterly financial  and estate planning workshop led by Marsha Goetting PhD of Montana State University Extension Services who engages participants in a fun and educational exploration of the importance of financial and estate planning and tips for getting started.

Gentle Ways – a weekly morning workshop that engages participants of all ages and abilities in gentle strengthening, balancing and flexibility exercises led by experienced practitioners.

Big Sky Caregivers Connect – a monthly noontime volunteer caregivers support group conducted at Touchmark by trained and experienced facilitators that offers opportunities for volunteer caregivers to share their experiences, learn from others, and find support and information to enhance their lives and those receiving their care.

Contact Rick Hulbert with questions about Bridges via email or at 431-7085. Visit bridgeshcc.org to learn more!


Helena Area Habitat for Humanity serves individuals and families who earn between 30 and 80% AMI (area median income). We are currently offering two programs: the Homeownership Program and the Critical Home Repair Program. We are looking for clients who are interested in working with us to build their own home. Eligibility for this program is based on income and credit history. We are happy to provide financial coaching to families who are serious about becoming homeowners.

Our Critical Home Repair program is geared towards current homeowners who need assistance with a repair, for example, a leaking roof, plumbing or electrical issues, and other issues that may compromise the structure and safety of the home. Habitat asses each client on the following: need, willingness to partner, and ability to pay. We provide these homeowners with an interest free loan to perform the repair and the necessary technical assistance. Through donors, sponsors and volunteers, we are able to subsidize each project to meet our client’s income.

Contact Sophia Webb with questions via email or at 406-449-4663, ext. 102.  Visit www.helenahabitat.org to learn more!


Interested in learning more about CONNECT?  Contact Megan Grotzke (mgrotzke@lccountymt.gov) at 406-547-8979.

CONNECT With Us

Although CONNECT is a web-based referral system, it has not had an online presence outside of the system itself until now. This website will host a number of training resources for current CONNECT users, contact information for site administrators in each county, Frequently Asked Questions about CONNECT, helpful tips, updates and more.

Do you have a story about how CONNECT has changed your referral process?  Have you or your staff members had success in optimizing the level of care provided to a client because of CONNECT?  We would love to hear from you and share your story with others!

Watch for CONNECT on social media in the future, and don’t forget to subscribe to our blog for the latest updates and news about how Montana is coming together to serve clients and simplify the referral process.