With more than 5,200 residents working in the health care field, Missoula places a priority on preventing and treating illness among residents and visitors.
The area’s wide range of care services includes specialized clinics addressing acupuncture, mental health, urgent care, family medicine, aquatic rehabilitation, alternative healing and mall walking. Missoula’s health department staff encourage residents to take advantage of a setting ripe for outdoor activity with their “Eat Smart, Move More” program. Additionally, more than 60 workplaces are enrolled in the department’s wellness program. Residents who need an extra hand obtaining health care benefit from programs such as Partnership Health Center, which offers medical, dental and pharmacy services to 8,000 needy patients. Missoula’s Women, Infant and Children Program is the state’s largest, assisting about 2,700 clients monthly.
The program helps those in need as well as investing in small business; WIC coupons contributed $32,224 to local farmers’ markets. Two full-service hospitals serve the Missoula community. St. Patrick Hospital and Health Science Center, a nonprofit center sponsored by the Sisters of Providence, is licensed for 213 beds and has 300 staff physicians. St. Patrick offers comprehensive health care services as well as senior care and sick-child service for working parents. As a health science center, St. Patrick is involved in national medical research and education. St. Patrick offers the only bariatric surgery program in western Montana. Community Medical Center has 146 beds and 300 physicians. Its comprehensive services include pediatric and adult intensive care, a Level III trauma center and the Rehabilitation Institute of Montana. Community’s orthopedics unit was ranked fourth in an independent, national survey of 100 hospitals.
Montana Geriatric Education Center, located on Missoula’s University of Montana campus, trains health professionals in issues relating to geriatrics, including patient communication and managing end-of-life illnesses such as heart failure. By 2025, nearly a quarter of Montana’s population is expected to be older than 65, making Montana the state with the fourth highest population of elderly residents.