Griz Health

Griz Health Program

Griz Health will serve a resource for students, faculty, and staff as the campus community operates during the COVID-19 pandemic. We anticipate that Griz Health participants will create a presence on the UM campus to promote best practices and to actively participate in mitigation strategies to prevent disease transmission. Duties could include serving as a resource about vaccinations, working to address vaccine hesitancy, collecting and analyzing data about mask-wearing on-campus, and dissemination of health information. 

 Griz Health students will be enrolled in a continuing education Moodle platform. The program will provide trainings and informational resources for students.

The application period for this program is currently closed.

The Story Behind Griz Health Innovation

Griz Health Student Volunteers started as a program in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. From the outset, the program brought in over 40 students volunteers who were willing to donate their time to contact tracing, informational outreach, social media campaigns, UM Genomics Core sample processing, campus-wide asymptomatic testing, and vaccine clinics.  

At the end of the semester, students gathered data to contribute to a national study on mask adherence using SOMAD as well as a survey on perceptions of mask adherence across Montana.  

The Pilot 

These students inspired a pilot program that turned into the course entitled: Griz Health Innovation I & II. During the Spring of 2021, in collaboration with Blackstone Launch PadUM Health & Medicine and Montana Pediatrics, students were presented with barriers in health care delivery and worked in teams to pitch solutions to a panel of judges. Students were assisted by mentors from the University of Montana, the Rural Institute, Montana Pediatrics and Tulane University. Finally, this program was supported by Take Control MT, the School of Community and Public Health, and Western Montana AHEC. 

“I am really impressed by this program. I didn’t really know what to expect, but I just love how it brings people together to brainstorm solutions to real problems. This type of thing needs to happen more!!” ~ Student participant 

After presenting their pitches to a panel of judges we received extensive feedback on the program including that it could be longer, that it could be a class, and that it was desperately needed. Participants, judges, and mentors alike not only felt that the experience was worthwhile, but that a key component was getting the chance to problem solve with interdisciplinary students from all corners of campus.