University of Montana receives $1 million for health and medicine efforts | Local

The University of Montana announced Thursday it is receiving $1 million in seed money from the Madrona Hill Foundation for the school’s health and medicine efforts.

“Everyone deserves access to high quality care providers, and with this private support, (UM’s health and medicine initiative) is taking the lead in ensuring that happens,” said Reed Humphrey, dean of UM’s College of Health Professions and Biomedical Sciences and head of the initiative, in a statement.

The money will help create training programs for health care professionals and is also aimed at attracting and supporting students in the fields, according to the news release.

As planned, the funds will help alleviate a coming health care crisis in Montana, the news release said. In the next decade, Montana will need another 16,000 health care workers as baby boomers retire and also need more care themselves, a UM economist said in the release.

With the money, UM will help start an occupational therapy training program in collaboration with Montana State University-Billings. “A feasibility study funded by Montana’s Office of Public Instruction showed a desperate and growing need for occupational therapists,” the release said.

The money also creates the Burnham Family Population Health Fellowship for doctoral students in public health and the Burnham Family Practice in Montana Scholarship, according to the release.

UM currently has seven clinics, more than 20 laboratories and 55 degree paths in health and medicine.