- Written by Jaimee Green
A community-based steering committee met Thursday, March 19, to begin prioritizing health care needs in Culb-
ertson. (Submitted photo)
Residents living within the service area of Roo-sevelt Medical Center in Culbertson identified alcohol and substance abuse [49.2 percent], cancer [48.1 percent] and obesity [34.4 percent] as the top-three area health concerns in the community, following the recent compilation of the healthcare organization’s community needs assessment survey.
Collectively, 49 percent of responders indicated they felt their community was healthy.
On Thursday, March 19, a community-based steering committee meeting was held where attendees were asked to begin prioritizing the areas where the most benefits could be realistically gained for the collective community in the area of healthcare. Department managers at RMC have also begun a series of implementation meetings that will address the findings, prioritize and identify staff members to begin a plan-of-action for areas where changes can be made immediately.
“The survey results enable us to begin moving forward with positive changes that align with our strategic plan and mission of continuing to offer quality healthcare to the community. The goal throughout this entire process is ultimately to create a community where people are living happy, healthy lives with access to as many services, outreach and educational opportunities we can feasibly and financially offer,” said RMC Administrator Audrey Stromberg.
Within the community, there are a number of organizations that have resources dedicated to community health and wellness that RMC can partner with so that the community can collectively reach their common goal of wellness.
“No organization, including RMC, has the human or financial resources to identify and independently implement the changes necessary to impact every area of concern. This has to be a community-wide effort,” said Stromberg.
Today, healthcare organizations are being tasked with focusing on population-health in community settings rather than illness-based care, which will require partnering with other individuals and agencies with expertise in some of the areas identified as needs or concerns. “We are hopeful that the steering committee will continue with its’ commitment to the work that was started and will be successful with engaging others in the work that needs to be to done to assure a broad-base of health services in our frontier community,” said Sharon Schmitz, Better Health Improvement Specialist for the Frontier Medicine Better Health Partnership.
The survey found that the top-three programs community members would like to see more of in their community were geared toward weight loss, women’s health and fitness; while the top three key components for a healthy community were access to healthcare and other services, affordable housing and healthy behaviors and lifestyles.
The top-rated services offered at RMC were ambulance and laboratory services and physical therapy, with an overall Quality-of-Care rating of “excellent” to “good,” with 3.3 out of 4.0. The services most received by the community were influenza injections through the clinic, routine check-ups and cholesterol checks.
The survey revealed the community’s desire to have local access to a dental clinic, [31 percent] fitness center, [16.6 percent] and message therapy, [14.1 percent]. Those surveyed identified the top-three ways for improving access to quality local healthcare as adding more specialists, [38.3 percent], more primary care providers, [37.7 percent] and additional out-patient services, [30.1 percent].
The survey, mailed out in December to 880 random members within the community, was part of RMCs dedication to getting input from the community while meeting their obligations to maintain their non-profit status. Of the surveys returned, 58 percent of respondents were from Culbertson, 20 percent were from Froid and 9 percent were from Bainville. Of those, 59 percent were female and 38 percent were male, with a number of “no-responses” for the remaining percentages. The majority of the respondents were age 56-65, [26 percent]. The remaining participants were between the ages of 46-55, [20 percent] and 46-55, [16 percent].
“It’s important for the community to realize that, at the end of the day, RMC still has to make decisions that are fiscally responsible to ensure the implementation of those new things identified by the community as essential don’t become a detriment to the organization’s bottom line. We are a non-profit organization, so it’s important for RMC and the community to find that compromise that best meets the needs of everybody,” said Schmitz.
RMC is part of the Frontier Medicine Better Health Partnerships project, which was formed to address the unique healthcare challenges faced by frontier healthcare. Throughout the state, there is participation from 24 other healthcare organizations.
The surveys were compiled by the Montana Office of Rural Health and Area Health Education Center in Bozeman and contracted through the National Rural Health Resource Center, of Duluth, MN. The project was fully funded through the Frontier Medicine Better Health Partnership Grant.
Historically, the community needs assessment survey has served as a vital tool that has helped RMC determine parts of the population most at risk for varying healthcare issues, as well as identify the top concerns of the community. RMC then uses this data to provide care and services through community outreach programs, preventative care measures and education.
In 2010 congress enacted the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act (PPACA), which put in place comprehensive health insurance reforms with the goal of enhancing the quality of healthcare for all Americans. This Act also required non-profit hospitals to complete a community needs assessment every three years in order to maintain their non-profit status.
To review the entire survey log onto www.rooseveltmedical.org
Copies are available at RMC for review.
- Written by Culbertson Searchlight
Pictured are (from left to right) Tom Nelson, Culbertson Area Community Foundation foundation board member; Ken Arneson, Culbertson Saddle Club president; and Genny Nordmeyer and Buzz Mattelin, foundation board members. (Submitted photo)
The Culbertson Area Community Foundation met at the RC Complex, Monday, March 16, to recognize endowment donors and present awards to this year’s grant recipients. The community organizations receiving $1,000 grants this year are the Culbertson Museum and the Culbertson Saddle Club.
The Culbertson Museum will use the grant money to upgrade security and fire system at the museum.
For the past 25 years, the museum has opened its doors on Mother’s Day weekend and has closed them near the end of September.
The museum provides information to travelers and provides tours for groups of students from area schools.
Museum visitors come from near and far to view the 10 rooms and new barn area that house many unique items from this area, some of which are nearly 200 years old. The Culbertson Museum strives to keep up with the current regulations while preserving the past.
The Culbertson Saddle Club will use the grant funding to purchase new tables and chairs from a local business, that will be used in the barn for people who rent the facility for wedding receptions, family reunions, and other events so that they will not need to get tables from outside resources.
The tables and chairs will be an improvement for all to use during the annual Frontier Days rodeo.
The club carries on traditions a half a century old to the community of Culbertson, with the mission to keep the West alive for future generations.
The Culbertson Area Community Foundation board has expressed its appreciation to community members and businesses for recent contributions that help build the community foundation.
- Written by Culbertson Searchlight
Guy Salvevold of Culbertson was this year’s winner of the first annual Ice-Breaker Fundraiser, sponsored by the Roosevelt Memorial Healthcare Foundation. He received a check for $727.50 from the 50/50 fundraiser. The ice broke three miles south of Culbertson on March 18 at 11:25 p.m. according to a clock-device observed continually by Steve Baldwin, an RMHF board member. Salvevold guessed March 19 at 1:15 a.m., which was the closest estimate to the actual time the ice broke. The foundation will use their $727.50 portion of the fundraiser to help with the replacement of the cracked window in the resident’s Sun Room. “I think it’s important for the community to support these kind of fundraisers because many organizations depend on them to make needed improvements that can’t always receive a line-item in the budget, but are still greatly needed,” said Salvevold. The window will cost an estimated $18,000 to replace. To date, a total of $8,543 has been raised toward the project. The foundation hopes this new fundraiser will become something the community will look forward to each year and that it will grow as it gains popularity.
- Written by Culbertson Searchlight
Bainville School is one of four Montana schools that will soon receive computers from the United State Senate’s Computers for Schools Program.
Bainville and a school in Sidney will each receive five computers, a total of 25 computers will be donated. The other schools are in western Montana.
Sen. Steve Daines announced Tuesday, March 24, that he helped facilitate the donation of the computers.
The schools will receive HP8000 computers to enhance and encourage education and learning.
“As someone who spent 12 years in the technology sector, I know firsthand how important it is for students to develop and maintain their computer skills to succeed in this increasingly global economy,” Daines said. “I hope these computers help students to connect with the world beyond their classroom walls, explore new topics and advance their education.”
- Written by John Plestina
Gov. Steve Bullock signed House Bill 132 into law last week, paving the way for the Roosevelt County DUI Task Force to receive about $18,000 in funding by July 1.
The new legislation allows reallocation of unspent special revenue funds to Roosevelt County and 35 other counties that have DUI task forces or other county drinking and driving prevention programs, by allowing for the county portion of driver’s license reinstatement fees collected in counties that do not have task forces to be distributed on an equal basis to the 36 counties that have task forces on July 1 of each year.
DUI Task Force secretary Mary Vine said the exact amount is unknown, but it is believed to be about $18,000.
The bill was introduced for the current legislative session at the request of the Montana Department of Transportation.
During the monthly DUI Task Force meeting, Wednesday, April 1, there was a discussion of what to do with funding.
Possibilities include establishing a scholarship and purchasing monitoring equipment for monitoring non-tribal DUI offenders through the Fort Peck Tribal Court DUI Court program.
The county commissioners approved a resolution that formally established the task force in April 2014. A group had held organizational meetings since late 2013. The task force meets monthly and includes representatives of the Wolf Point Police Department, Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office, Montana Highway Patrol, Fort Peck Tribes Department of Law and Justice, Fort Peck Tribal Court and members of the community.
In other business, the task force discussed two more alcohol sales and service training classes ― one in Wolf Point and one in Culbertson ― before the current fiscal year ends June 30.
Employees, managers and owners of bars, restaurants, convenience stores and other retail stores that sell or serve alcohol must take an alcohol sales and server training class that is mandated by state law and become certified within 60 days of being hired. After 60 days, employees cannot legally work without certification and owners of establishments could face fines for not ensuring that themselves and all of their employees are certified.
The DUI Task Force also discussed possibly paying the Wolf Point Police Department to cover overtime for officers to do compliance checks at bars for certification of all servers and observance of state laws, including not over serving intoxicated patrons and not serving minors.