4-in-1 Project Purpose: Develop increased capacity to assist in the building of a premier health and wellness model for the services we plan to and currently offer the Indian community in Billings, MT and the counties of Yellowstone and Big Horn.
4-in-1 Project Goal: The Billings Urban Indian Health and Wellness Center (BUIHWC) will further grow and improve upon the current services it offers to the American Indian community in Billing, MT and surrounding counties in the four program areas of Health Promotion/Disease Prevention (HP/DP); Immunization; Alcohol & Substance Abuse; and Mental Health.
Currently, the Billings Urban Indian Health and Wellness Center (BUIHWC) serves urban, off-reservation residents of Yellowstone and Big Horn Counties through a variety of medical and behavioral health services. BUIHWC is able to provide quality healthcare services through a Title V Indian Health Services contract as well as state and federal grants and 3rd party billing capacity.
The Health Center provides services to approximately 7,000 American Indian individual and families (e.g., youth, adolescents, adults) residing in the Yellowstone County service area. The American Indian population within Yellowstone County represents an estimated 10 percent of the entire American Indian (66,839) population in Montana (US Census Data, 2021).
According to the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (2020), American Indian populations continue to experience lower health status, lower life expectancy, disproportionate disease burden, discrimination in health service delivery, and insufficient services attributable to cultural difference. In 2020 Covid-19 became the leading cause of death in American Indian communities in Montana with 251 deaths being reported, a number that outpaced heart disease (119) and cancer (93).
Furthermore, the Covid-19 pandemic has hit Native communities hard and the mental and physical health issues and ramifications of this are layered and undeniable. Numerous sources and articles address the heightened need for mental health services which indicates an even higher need when considered against the backdrop of ongoing Covid-19 pandemic impacts for our Native American population.