Key Health Organizations in Billings, Montana Collaborate on Community Health

A Strategic Alliance

Rival hospitals and a health department in Billings, Montana, have formed a unique collaboration called the Alliance to address community-wide health issues. The Alliance includes the Billings Clinic, RiverStone Health, and St. Vincent Healthcare and was formed to improve community health. Since 1994, St. Vincent Healthcare, the Billings Clinic and Riverstone Health (Yellowstone City-County Health Department) have integrated their resources to create and sustain innovative programs that benefit their community’s health.

“From what I’ve seen, it’s unusual to have competing hospitals working together with the local health department to achieve shared goals,” says April Keippel, St. Vincent Healthcare grant project coordinator. “We’ve found we have a much stronger impact working collectively. We’ve also involved the community…”

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“Hearing directly from the people in our community adds both depth and perspective to our secondary data. It helps us better discern where to director our intervention efforts and engages the entire community in the process,” says Luke Kobold, director of strategic planning at Billings Clinic.

“Having PRC as an outside party conducting research is beneficial, because they bring transparency to the process. PRC has to understand Alliance members’ different cultures and time lines as we work together to implement the needs assessment and improvement plan,” said Dr. Clair Oakley, program director of population health services at RiverStone Health.

Download the full case study to read about the challenges, solutions and results from The Alliance.