Healthy Lives, Vibrant Futures collectively encourages and fosters a productive, healthy and vibrant community. It is a coalition of nonprofits and government entities in Cascade County, including United Way of Cascade County, Indian Family Health Center, the Cascade City-County Health Department, Benefis Health System, Alluvion Health, Alliance for Youth and Get Fit Great Falls.
Every three years, the coalition distributes a Community Health Needs Survey and invites County residents of all backgrounds to have a voice in the priorities of local organizations working to improve community health. The survey results are shared with the community at a Community Health Symposium. Feedback from the Symposium will be used to develop a Community Health Improvement Plan to guide Coalition work over the following three years.
Find past health assessments and improvement plans here.
The current priorities are:
United Way leads the effort to improve Cascade County residents’ ability to access timely, appropriate medical, dental and behavioral health care.
- Increase the number of people who have a primary care provider and promote prevention.
- Improve access to dental care for vulnerable populations.
- Improve access to mental health care.
- 9 in 10 people have health insurance.
- 2 in 3 people have dental insurance.
- Fewer people surveyed reported using urgent care/walk-in clinics as their primary health care.
- 2 in 5 people delayed or didn’t get medical care. Top reasons why: the cost & wait time.
- 1 in 2 people surveyed said at least one person in their home doesn't have dental insurance.
- 1 in 10 people in Cascade County experience frequent mental distress.
SAPA leads diverse community stakeholders to address all areas of substance abuse education, treatment, prevention & intervention.
- Reduce teen substance abuse by limiting access and improving community awareness.
- Reduce adult substance abuse, including binge drinking, illicit drugs and tobacco.
- The percentage of teens who reported smoking, trying marijuana is declining.
- More than 500 people have joined Sober Life, a support group for people in recovery.
- Expanded awareness campaign and increased parent education.
- 1 in 2 high school students vape. 1 in 4 middle school students vape. 1 in 5 adults use tobacco.
- 1 in 5 adults binge drink.
- Montana ranks in the top 10 states with the highest rate of DUIs. Montana also has the most lenient DUI laws.
Get Fit leads the effort to promote healthy lifestyles through a unified community effort that encourages cultural & system change.
- Increase the number of people who eat healthy.
- Help people of all ages have an active lifestyle.
- Make our community more walkable and to create spaces where people are active.
- 1 in 4 students eat fruit at least once a day; 1 in 5 eat vegetables at least once daily.
- 1 in 2 students are active for 60 minutes 5 or more days a week.
- Passing park district improved accessibility, downtown more connected and walkable.
- 1 in 3 Cascade County adults are obese.
- 2 in 9 adults are never physically active.
- 1 in 3 people in Cascade County don’t live near a large grocery store.
- 5 of top 9 causes of death tied to obesity.
The Prevention of Child Abuse & Neglect task force leads this effort.
- Expand community outreach and education on child abuse and neglect.
- Provide prevention tools to new parents and pediatric providers.
- Prevent repeated child abuse and neglect.
- The annual Your, Mine, Ours campaign increases awareness and shares ideas to prevent child abuse.
- Key partners are being trained to identify and prevent child abuse and neglect.
- 1 in 6 Montana children removed from their homes lived in Cascade County.
- 9 in 10 children were removed due to neglect.
- 3 in 4 children were removed because of substance abuse issues in their homes.
- Childhood trauma hinders child development, leads to lower education outcomes.