Governance: Community Boards

A board of directors, the majority of whom are patients at the health center, govern each Community Health Center and Urban Indian Organization.

The Montana Primary Care Association (MPCA) provides training and leadership development for these Boards. The MPCA orients new board members and educates them about their roles and responsibilities, the programmatic requirements for their health center, and best practices and their application.

The MPCA works with boards to develop their vision for their health center, plan strategically, and drive quality improvement throughout the organization. Additionally, MPCA assists boards with problem solving and mediation.

The Dr. Alan Strange Legacy Award honors a leader or emerging leader who has been committed to improving access to care in the community health field in Montana.

Dr. Alan Strange, Ph.D. was a founding member of the movement that created Community Health Centers across Montana, which started in Yellowstone County. Dr. Strange was a significant contributor to national and state efforts to build a health care system to serve rural areas and get people, especially those most vulnerable, care.

About Dr. Alan Strange

Dr. Alan Strange was the first Executive Director of the Montana Primary Care Association. Dr. Strange requested the initial funding for the Montana Primary Care Association in 1991 and put his energy into increasing the number and diversity of primary care services available to the unserved and underserved in Montana.

Originally from the East Coast, Dr. Strange graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a degree in Behavioral Sciences. For more than 25 years, he worked with the Bureau of Primary Health Care programs, including development and administration of a rural health initiative medical practice and small urban Community Health Centers in Montana. Alan was the initial board member and later Executive Director of the National Rural Primary Care Association.

Dr. Strange also served on various state, regional and national advisory boards and helped shape health care policy for the nation. His vision for meeting the needs of rural and underserved populations led to countless people receiving care who would otherwise have gone without. Dr. Strange’s focus always remained on how to improve access to primary health care throughout our country and especially in Montana.

As one former co-worker explained, “We are all standing on his shoulders.” The Montana Primary Care Association wouldn’t be where it is today without his work and direction.

This award honors his legacy.

Previous Winners

Jamie Brownell

Dr. Shawna Yates

John Felton

Mary Jane Nealon
Kimberly Mansh

Jim Morton

Dr. Roxanne Fahrenwald
Lil Anderson