MACo’s Health & Human Services Committee focuses on supporting the progressive broad definition of health, education, and human services with emphasis on interdependency of programs.

Committee Policy Statements

Committee policy statements are a compilation of various issues and/or beliefs, which members have identified as major concerns and goals of county government. A “policy statement” provides guidance to staff, legislators, and the public on MACo’s position regarding possible legislation and/or issues that may arise during a legislative session and/or the Interim.

Health & Human Services Committee Policy Statements

MACo supports the progressive broad definition of health, education, and human services with emphasis on interdependency of programs. Governments are the primary providers of basic human services, and public health to protect and enhance the lives of citizens.

  1. MACo supports the concept of flexibility of administration and local control of health, education and human services programs, in order to provide the most efficient service to Montana citizens. MACo believes that county agencies, public health and environmental departments must be involved in the planning and development of health and related services, as the counties are providers of public health and medical care.
  2. MACo supports the Montana Public Health Improvement process in its effort to strengthen the prevention programs and to focus resources on health threats determined to be priorities in communities and the state.
  3. MACo supports efforts that will raise public awareness about the importance of local public health departments’ preparation for National Public Health Accreditation, thereby supporting a strengthened public health system for the state.
  4. MACo supports local public health departments in their efforts to improve and protect the health of every community by advancing strategies that strengthen the foundation, quality, and performance of local public health departments, and for the State to provide adequate state funding for public health services that do not reduce county revenue sources.
  5. MACo supports the Montana Indoor Clean Air Act, and vaping should be included in the definition.
  6. Many human service programs originate at the state or federal level, and counties are directed to implement them. Therefore, counties should be fully reimbursed for the cost of services mandated by state or federal programs.
  7. MACo supports the need for the Legislature to define serious mental illness in conjunction with the custody of the mentally ill. Further, there is an urgent need for the Legislature to provide financial assistance relative to the seriously mentally ill.
  8. MACo opposes any privatization of DPHHS eligibility determination programs, unless it can be demonstrated that privatization can be efficient and cost effective.
  9. MACo believes the ability of families to care for their own must be ensured and safeguarded by society. If the parents fail, it is society’s responsibility to provide for alternative arrangements which are permanent, and which meet the child’s physical, mental, and emotional needs. Childcare services are critical to the protection and developmental needs of children. Licensing, monitoring of providers, information and referral, and assistance in selecting appropriate care should be available to all without regard to income or resources.
  10. MACo supports providing adequate funding to chemical dependency treatment programs and drug treatment courts throughout the state and in the jail and prison systems.
  11. MACo supports efforts to increase public health inspection fees to reduce the property tax subsidy of the inspections and reimburse the actual cost of performing inspections.
  12. MACo supports efforts to provide adequate state funding for local aging services that do not reduce county revenue sources.
  13. MACo supports the Board of Medical Examiners providing Montana first responder volunteers with convenient testing venues in order to complete testing and certification requirements in a reasonable time frame with minimal travel at their own expense.
  14. MACo supports the presumptive eligibility programs through the Montana Department of Public Health & Human Services.
  15. MACo believes that all Montana Public Schools participating in the USDA School Food Program must be in compliance with Montana Rules for Food Service Establishments within all County School District’s Public School Food Service Establishments according to Montana Law, prior to receiving USDA support.
  16. MACo supports Medicaid Expansion as long as there is sufficient federal and state funding to support the expansion with adequate means test in order to be eligible, and basic coverage only.
  17. MACo supports providing adequate state funding for comprehensive community-based Behavioral Health Services.
  18. MACo supports improved and increased crisis services for children and adolescents and improvement of the transition of services for children aging into the adult system.
  19. MACo supports the work of, and adequate state funding for, community crisis centers to provide community-based services and efforts to divert the mentally ill from jail.
  20. MACo supports adequate funding to address human trafficking.
  21. MACo supports continuing the dialog and pursuing the prevention of sexual abuse in families.
  22. MACo supports efforts to improve the prevention of physical and emotional abuse.
  23. MACo supports the suspension of Medicare/Medicaid benefits during prison incarceration rather than discontinuation of these benefits.
  24. MACo supports the continuation of Medicare/Medicaid benefits for detention center inmates prior to adjudication.
  25. MACo supports the State funding the Montana State Hospital.

Committee Members

  • Carl Seilstad, Co-chair, Fergus County Commissioner
  • Joette Woods, Co-chair, Liberty County Commissioner
  • Mary Armstrong, Valley County Commissioner
  • Deanna Bockness, Prairie County Commissioner
  • Sidney Fitzpatrick, Big Horn County Commissioner
  • Andy Hunthausen, Lewis & Clark County Commissioner
  • Mike Huotte, Anaconda-Deer Lodge County Commissioner
  • Scott MacFarlane, Gallatin County Commissioner
  • Jim Moore, Judith Basin County Commissioner
  • Bob Mullen, Jefferson County Commissioner
  • Melanie Roe, Sweet Grass County Commissioner
  • Tom Rolfe, Lewis & Clark County Commissioner
  • Don Ryan, Cascade County Commissioner
  • Jacob (Jake) Strissel, Hill County Commissioner
  • Juanita Vero, Missoula County Commissioner