Impact students like Chaz with your Annual Drive contribution

When you give to the Annual Drive you are helping give back to our students and ensuring their success. This is your opportunity to invest in your students and put their most immediate needs first!

Meet Charles “Chaz” Rourke – a student at Montana State University Billings.

Chaz was a medic in the Army and wanted to work in the medical field. After his service was finished, he planned on becoming a physician assistant or nurse practitioner. He began classes at the University of Montana. By his third year, Chaz saw people struggling and decided to pursue a job in real world health care. He took time off from college and joined hurricane relief efforts. When he returned to Missoula, he went to work at Partnership Health Center, where he has now worked for over six years.

The director of innovations engaged Chaz and an RN to make a difference in the lives of those they served. They knew that the top five percent of Medicaid patients were utilizing more than 50 percent of Medicaid spending. They pursued grant funding to decrease the consumption of these “super utilizers” and chronically homeless individuals through an integration of Behavioral Health Services.

After the grant period, Medicaid ran the data. They determined that Chaz and his team had saved the program more than $500,000. Medicaid offered them assistance to continue the program and develop it for use throughout Montana. They received a Medicaid contract and this summer they helped start a clinic in Bozeman.

Chaz speaks passionately about one chronically homeless individual who was recently housed that had over 750 emergency room visits in 20 years. He is now down to 0 inappropriate utilizations of the ER in his first six months.

“I looked online and found this wonderful Montana university with great reviews. It met all of the criteria I was looking for,” Chaz said. “I needed an opportunity where I could balance both of my aspirations – one for higher education and the other to maintain my commitment and engagement with the community.”

Chaz is now a senior in MSU Billings online health care administration program.

Chaz had exhausted all of his GI benefits with what he describes as “exploratory college” at UM. The Veteran waiver at MSUB allowed Chaz to continue his education. He will graduate this spring so he can continue to make a difference and impact lives in his field. Chaz, and students like him, are why we give.

Make a gift today to support most immediate needs at MSU Billings. Your designation to this important fund is what makes a difference. Thank you for giving to the Annual Drive on behalf of students like Chaz!

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