Billings Clinic

A 3D printed mask being donated to Billings Clinic.
Jess Sheldahl / Yellowstone Public Radio

Montanans are helping solve the problem of critical shortages of medical masks as coronavirus continues to spread. Sewing machines and 3D printers and lots of volunteers are making reusable masks to protect healthcare workers from the novel coronavirus.

The front of a building with a sign that says "Billings Public Library."
Aura Wetzel / Yellowstone Public Radio

The Sunday evening announcement that schools would be canceled this Mar. 16 sent many parents into crisis mode to find childcare.

But thanks to quick planning by the incident command team at the Billings Clinic, essential healthcare works and first responders in Billings have a free and secure place to take their kids. The plan to use the Billings Public Library came together in a matter of hours.

Missoula City Council President Bryan Von Lossberg; Adriane Beck, director, Office of Emergency Management; Cindy Farr, supervisor Missoula Health Department infectious disease office; Ellen Leahy, director Missoula City-County Health Dept; March 3, 2020.
Edward O'Brien / Montana Public Radio

There are still no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Montana, but experts expect that will change. If and when it does, Missoula County health officials say they’re ready.

The Missoula City-County Health Department is preparing for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, the same way communities prepare for wildfire or flood emergencies.

Two women administer CPR to a dummy
Navy Medicine / Flickr

Since 2002 Billings health care providers and emergency responders have been teaching lifesaving cardio pulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, to the general public and for free. They're doing it again on Feb. 29.

A man stands at a podium in a room full of people.
Kay Erickson / Yellowstone Public Radio

Community leaders, health care providers and media got their first look at the overall health of Yellowstone County with the release of the latest health needs assessment on Feb. 10.  Mental health, substance abuse and obesity top the list.

A panel of people in a room.
Kayla Desroches / Yellowstone Public Radio


Edit December 19, 2019: A former version of this article misstated the date of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources considered the bill on full and permanent LWCF funding. The commitee heard the bill November 19.

Some businesses in Billings are calling for Congress to fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund. They say access to the outdoors helps them recruit and keep employees in eastern Montana.

stethescope, pills, and notepad
wuestenigel / Flickr

Rural areas across the United States struggle to find and keep doctors. In Montana, rural residency programs aim to fix that problem by training new doctors away from city centers. Hospitals will be able to access federal funding for rural physician training starting in October.

CEO Julie Hauk at the Rehabilitation Hospital of Montana
Kayla Desroches / Yellowstone Public Radio

A medical center dedicated exclusively to injury rehabilitation opened in Billings this week. They say their facility is unique in the state.

Traci Jordan (Left)  and Kacy Keith (Right) sit together
Kayla Desroches / Yellowstone Public Radio

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly named Kenzie House as Sober Beginning's third sober home. Kacy Keith and Traci Jordan recently opened Ruthie House.

Three new sober homes have opened in Billings this summer. The women behind them say dorm-style houses offer a safe space for people working through addiction. But some treatment providers say sober living homes are part of a larger system of treatment that needs improvement.

A map of the new campus plans
Billings Clinic

Billings Clinic announced Wednesday it hired Bozeman-based Martel Construction to build phase one of its new medical campus in Bozeman.