Health

Jackie Yamanaka

Billings Clinic launched a pilot project to help rural primary care providers deliver mental or behavioral health care to their patients.

“Montana is at the epicenter of a mental health crisis,” says Dr. Eric Arzubi, chair of the Psychiatry Department at Billings Clinic.

He says there aren’t enough psychiatrists, so it falls upon primary care providers in rural areas to help their patients who are struggling with mental and behavioral health issues.

Team USA

Two time Olympic gold medalist  Dot Richardson will light the torch at tonight’s Big Sky State Games’ opening ceremonies. Richardson was part of the 1996 and 2000 Olympic softball teams.

Karen Sanford Gall, executive director of the state games, says this year they have added 2 new sports, lacrosse and curling, and have expanded some sports, including shooting. 

Montana Department of Transportation

The Montana Department of Transportation reports that traffic fatalities are outpacing this same period last year. That’s even before the start to the traditional summer driving season which begins with the Memorial Day weekend.

MDT Director Mike Tooley says as of May 16, 2016, 61 people, or 19 ahead of the same period last year, have lost their lives in vehicle crashes in Montana.

Consumer Reports gave Montana poor marks for not using simple language to get more information about doctors.

Lisa McGiffert is the Director of Consumer Reports' Safe Patient Project. Her complaint is with terminology on the Montana Board of Medical Examiner website.

“The terms on that page are licensee search as opposed to something real simple like find your doctor or look up your doctor,” said McGiffert.

Consumer Reports reviewed medical board websites in all 50 states.

Hospitals and clinics across Montana have long had a hard time recruiting doctors and nurses to serve the state’s needs. That can be true of other healthcare professions, too, like therapists, pharmacists and technicians. A new analysis this year says demand for healthcare workers in Montana is going to grow by 40 percent in the next 10 years.

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