Funding for two specific health care problems is being sent to community health centers, including Hamilton's Sapphire community Health Care Center.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced the award to fight mental health issues and to address the opioid overdose crisis.

The Bitterroot Valley health center will get $175,700 for the efforts. Statewide, 17 community health care centers are splitting $2,852,000.

HHS Secretary Tom Price, M.D., said Thursday that "these grants...go directly to local organizations, which are best suited to address substance abuse and mental health issues in their own communities."

HHS has a five-point strategy to fight the opioid epidemic:

  • Improve access to treatment and recovery services
  • Target use of overdose-reversing drugs
  • Strengthen our understanding of the epidemic through better public health surveillance
  • Provide support for cutting-edge research on pain and addiction
  • Advance better practices for pain management.The Sapphire Community Health Center is "sliding scale" health facility at the corner of North 3rd and Pine.

    Other centers receiving grants are the Missoula City/County Health Department/Partnership Healthcare and in Billings, Missoula, Libby, Miles City, Hardin, Helena, Butte, Livingston, Lewistown, Great Falls, Havre, Cut Bank, Kalispell, Chinook and Shelby.