• George A Warmer, CCIM, Managing Partner, Coldwell Banker Commercial CBS, Billings, has been awarded the Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) designation by the CCIM Institute. The designation was awarded during the Institute’s Annual Governance meetings Oct. 29 in Austin, Texas. Warmer was among the 244 commercial real estate professionals who earned the designation by passing the CCIM Institute’s Comprehensive Examination,
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  • When shopping for Christmas, check out local businesses first. Encouraging community support of local businesses is the purpose of “Small Business Saturday”, November 28 in Billings. It’s the time for local Billings businesses to shine!Each year the Billings Chamber of Commerce invites small and local businesses to participate in the Small Business Saturday program and rally communities to support local entrepreneurs.
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  • It was called a “jewel for Yellowstone County” when it was first announced that the Sindelar family is donating 720 acres along the Yellowstone River for public use. And, as one stands on a precipice, rising a hundred feet over the river, gazing across the property, the landscape does seem ethereal, and the river does sparkle like a diamond. Looking
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  • Montana’s new school choice program is scheduled to launch in January, but already it’s running into constitutional problems. Proposed regulations don’t allow faith-based schools to participate in the program, which is discriminatory and unconstitutional, one attorney says.Potential regulations for Montana’s new school choice program would unconstitutionally ban religious schools from participating, an attorney says.“They’re interpreting their own constitution to require
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  • Almost immediately after the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan was posted on the federal register, dozens of states filed a lawsuit challenging the regulations.But North Dakota didn’t join those other states as co-plaintiffs. Instead Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, a Republican who is expected to run for governor in 2016, filed a separate suit against the federal government.The Clean Power Plan
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  •   To open a medical school in the state without first identifying where students can find residency positions is not a plan that he’s “comfortable” with, said Nicholas Wolter, MD, CEO of Billings Clinic, in talking with board members of Big Sky Economic Development.And, to establish a medical school in Montana that the Billings medical community doesn’t support, “with the
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  • Jerry Brown, Governor of California, declared that California was burning because of climate change, and, he said, “We can’t wait for the government to act.”How profoundly perceptive. He has nailed it. Unfortunately, (and this is a head scratcher) he made the statement while at the same time appealing to government for help.If, indeed, the climate changes in ways that are
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  • Wood’s Powr-Grip in Laurel is in the process of moving into a new addition – one that will allow the company to expand to meet a growing market. The company manufactures and distributes vacuum lifting equipment, to markets around the world.“We are fortunate to see sales back on an upward trajectory and we want to make sure we position ourselves
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  • A family business is about hard work and dreams.The family businesses which were honored at the Montana State University Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship Family Business Day were families who know about the hard work and have been successful in achieving those dreams. And, they are on their way to achieving even greater dreams – and embracing more
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  • Three Billings civic organizations are taking steps to expand air service at the Billings airport, by offering to subsidize service from American Airlines for flights to and from Dallas, Texas.Last week, the Big Sky Economic Development Authority’s executive committee voted to recommend that their board commit $25,000 toward a goal of $750,000 in commitments from the community as a source
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  • A Bozeman- based company with locations in Billings, Big Sky, Sidney, Ralston WY; Williston ND, and Dickinson ND, received special recognition at the Montana State University Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship during their Family Business Day awards presentation in Bozeman on October 23.Williams Companies of Bozeman, a business that provides leading-edge plumbing services to the region is the
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  • One of Montana’s outstanding startup businesses came close to being shut down by proposed legislation earlier this year. Fortunately, the bill was “tabled,” and the Garrity family – and independent, family breweries across the state — were able to move forward with their dreams.Michael Garrity has a passion for making beer. He and his wife, Erin, began to dream of
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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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