• Language matters when it comes to talking about energy, says Mark Mathis, a noted author, consultant, and filmmaker, and he urged attendees of the Montana Petroleum Association’s annual luncheon to change terminology in speaking of energy issues, and to take control of their own message.Call carbon based fuels TECHMAP fuels. Don’t call them, “fossil fuels,” which carries with it a
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  • Six businesses will receive Montana Family Business Program awards at the 2016 Montana State University Jake Jabs College of Business & Entrepreneurship State Farm Insurance Family Business Day, set for Friday, Oct. 7, at the Best Western Plus GranTree Inn in Bozeman.
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  • The numbers show Montana Fair had another very successful year.Metra Park Manager Bill Dutcher reported the fair numbers to Yellowstone County Commissioners on Tuesday. Metra Park depends on fair revenues to fund about a fourth of their annual budget.
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  • Just as Daytona Beach is noted as the home of NASCAR, members of the Professional Indian Horse Racing Association (PIHRA) hope to make Billings synonymous with Indian Relay Races. Having held their national championship in Billings for the first time last year, with great success, Metra Park’s Grandstand will once again be the venue September 22-25.
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  • Big Sky Economic Development (BSED) will hold their annual board meeting in conjunction with a summit on the economy of the health care industry, October 12 and 13 at the Doubletree by Hilton in Billings.The event begins on Wednesday, Oct. 12, at 10 am, with a presentation on the year in review by the leadership of the Big Sky Economic
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  • Some years ago a veteran manufacturer in Montana, owner of his own, very successful company, attending a seminar on “sustainability” was heard to declare, “We have always been sustainable. Successful manufacturing has always been about sustainability. It’s about keeping costs down and operating efficiently.”
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  • Once again Montana ranks at the top of the list of states with the highest rate of entrepreneurship, in the 2016 Ewing Marion Kauffman index. It is the fourth year in a row that Montana has ranked at the top, although Montana has been a leader in the rate of entrepreneurship for decades.
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  • Montana State University’s Montana Manufacturing Extension Center recently released the 2016 version of their annual State of Montana Manufacturing report, showing that Montana has increased its manufacturing base.
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  • Billings-based GTUIT, LLC has earned the 203rd position on Inc. magazine’s 2016 Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing private American companies with a three- year revenue growth rate of 1,894%. For 35 years, Inc. has tracked the fastest-growing private companies which have included firms like Microsoft, Under Armor, Oracle and Yeti Cooler.
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  • This issue of the Big Sky Business Journal reports on the end of a proposed project that makes one wonder if everyone understands the nature of economies and the importance of setting community priorities right.
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  • The Billings Alliance, during its quarterly board meeting, endorsed and agreed to help fund a campaign by the Billings Area Chamber of Commerce, to again approach the Montana state legislature to pass legislation that would give municipalities the power to enact local option taxes.
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  • Billings civic leaders have spent a couple of years trying to improve Billings air service, amid a lot of talk in the community that it is not competitive with Bozeman, and not keeping up with the times. To better inform the community about the facts, a community informational meeting was held last week co-hosted by Big Sky Economic Development (EDA),
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Montana is one of nine states selected to receive a two-year, $300,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to help create a more highly educated and diverse nursing workforce.

 

According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the grants provide funds for nursing coalitions in each state to work with academic institutions and employers to help nurses earn advanced degrees. In particular, states will encourage strong partnerships between community colleges and universities to make it more efficient for nurses to transition to a baccalaureate degree and beyond. The ultimate goals are to improve patient care and help fill faculty and advanced practice nursing positions. In Montana, the goals for the first two years of the grant include improving incentives for nurses who seek additional education and removing barriers so registered nurses with associate degrees can progress toward a bachelor's degree in nursing.

The Montana grant will be made to the Montana Area Health Education Center in the MSU College of Nursing on behalf of the Montana Action Coalition. In addition to Montana, states chosen to receive similar grants are California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Texas and Washington.

The funding comes from a new Robert Wood Johnson Foundation program, Academic Progression in Nursing, or APIN, which is designed to respond to recommendations from the Institute of Medicine for improving health in the U.S.  

"The Montana Action Coalition is thrilled to have been chosen as a recipient of this grant," said Casey Blumenthal, vice president of MHA, An Association of Montana Healthcare Providers. "The goal of the Montana project is to build partnerships among nursing education and practice to help achieve the new national recommendations for nursing education."

According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, about half of nurses in the United States have a bachelor's degree or higher, but the Institute of Medicine recommends that 80 percent of the nursing workforce have bachelor's degrees by the year 2020. 

"The nation needs a well-educated nursing workforce to ensure an adequate supply of public health and primary care providers, improve care for patients living with chronic illness, and in other ways meet the needs of our aging and increasingly diverse population," said Pamela Austin Thompson, national program director for APIN, chief executive officer of the American Organization of Nurse Executives and senior vice president for nursing at the American Hospital Association. "We have great confidence in the nine states that will receive these grants to implement bold and effective strategies that will work in their states and create models that other states can utilize."

In addition to awarding grants, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is supporting "The Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action," a collaborative effort to advance solutions to challenges facing the nursing profession. The campaign is coordinated through the Center to Champion Nursing in America, an initiative of AARP, the AARP Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. It supports 49 state-based action coalitions around the country that are leading the APIN work in each of the nine funded states.

APIN is run by the American Organization of Nurse Executives on behalf of the Tri-Council for Nursing. The Tri-Council for Nursing consists of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the National League for Nursing, American Nurses Association, and the American Organization of Nurse Executives, which is leading the $4.3 million, two-year initiative. 

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on pressing health and health care issues in the United States and works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, measurable and timely change. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org.

 

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