Highway to Care
Governor’s Cup participants running to help improve health care access of Montanans
Crossing the finish line at the end of a race brings a rush of fulfillment and exhilaration.
Whether covering more than 26 miles in the marathon or walking with family and friends in the 5K, runners in the 46th annual Governor’s Cup will have accomplished goals tied to health and fitness. The impact of participating in the race won’t stop at the finish line in downtown Helena on June 8, and it won’t be limited to those in sneakers running in and around the Capital City.
That is because for the second consecutive year, the Governor’s Cup is serving as a major fundraiser for the Caring Foundation of Montana®. Registration fees and sponsorship dollars for the event will go directly to helping provide access to preventive health care services to Montanans across the state. The foundation’s Care Van program helps deliver access to these services.
Runners put their feet to the pavement, so Care Van can put its tires on the highway. It’s a win-win for everyone.
“The Caring Foundation benefits all Montanans, from children to seniors, by reducing barriers to receiving preventive health care,” said Jamey Petersen, Executive Director of the Caring Foundation of Montana. “Our Care Van program works with local providers to bring services to those living in rural and underserved communities across Montana. In addition to providing access to care, the program covers all or most out-of-pocket expenses in lieu of patients for services provided at Care Van clinics, regardless of insurance or ability to pay.”
Since the recognizable white van first hit the road in 2014, Care Van’s impact continues to grow, and with it, so has interest in the program. At the end of last year, the program had logged more than 75,000 miles, helping to deliver more than 14,000 vaccines and health screenings in 37 counties across the state.
Nearly 20,000 Montanans have been supported through the services that Care Van has helped provide access to. Lives are being changed and barriers are being knocked down for those in underserved areas of Montana, both rural and urban.
While the Care Van program started with a focus on immunizations, the scope of services offered has expanded. These now include dental screenings, vision screenings, A1C screenings, Hepatitis C testing, and diabetic retinopathy screenings. The increased services, as well as demand for the program, meant that expansion was only a matter of time.
Through the formation of the foundation in 2018 and the fundraising muscle of the Governor’s Cup, the Care Van program grew exponentially in the past year. Not only adding another van, but also another Care Van specialist. This will allow the program to reach even more Montanans this year and beyond.
Be a part of this year’s Governor’s Cup and run for a cause. Register today at govcupmt.com.
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