Our highly-skilled team provides the training and technical assistance needed for Prevention Specialists across the state to fulfill their role of reducing youth and adult substance use and abuse.
Each RTAL provides targeted training and technical assistance to community-based prevention specialists to address problems associated with underage drinking, adult binge drinking, marijuana abuse, methamphetamine use and other emerging substance misuse and abuse priorities, with an emphasis on at-risk populations of youth on probation, youth in foster care and youth on reservations. RTAL’s provide guidance in the areas of program development, quality assurance and data tracking, prevention workforce development, cultural competence training, and program evaluation. They assist Prevention Specialists through planning, coordination and collaboration of identifying and prioritizing community-based needs, identifying available resources and gaps in services, as well as implementing effective strategies and evaluation plans to address community needs. This regionalized system has provided additional support to communities in need with the addition of more localized technical assistance providers.
Montana Health Planning Regions
Each of the five Health Planning Regions are allocated a full-time Regional Technical Assistance Leader (RTAL) position. Eastern and Southwest regions are shared, while North Central, South Central and Northwest are each covered by one individual. There is an additional full-time RTAL position covering all 7 Tribes in Montana.
The RTALs oversee both Block and Partnership for Success Grant Prevention Specialists.
1 – Eastern Region
2 – North Central Region
3 – South Central Region
4 – Southwest Region
5 – Northwest Region
6 – Tribal regions designated TA
1 - EASTERN
Although a native of California, Nicole moved to Western Montana at a young age. She lived in the beautiful state until life took her family to western Minnesota in 2018. Nicole has worked in substance abuse prevention for 11 years, all in Eastern Montana. Her family includes her husband Patrick and two sons, Hunter and Conner. She enjoys cooking, baking, reading, gardening and spending family time at the lake and berry picking in the forests of Minnesota. Her favorite spot in Montana is the West Fork mountains of the Bitterroot Valley. In her career of Prevention, Nicole’s greatest accomplishments have been implementing nearly two dozen alcohol policies at retail establishments and county governments, and creating a sustainable infrastructure and funding for Eastern MT Community Mental Health Center to continue substance abuse prevention in Eastern Montana.
2 - NORTH CENTRAL
A Montana native, born in the shadow of the Mission Mountains and raised in the Flathead Valley, Jenny thought to follow a career of agricultural education and research. When life took her to Bozeman for college she stayed in those mountains for nearly twelve years before finding her way to the prairies of Eastern Montana. She has worked in justice and prevention for seven years now and shares her passion for adventure with her partner, Bruce and daughters, Katey and Britany. Jenny enjoys exploring new places, cooking, playing with her golden retriever and laughing with her family and looks forward to summertime fun on Fort Peck Lake. During her time in prevention, Jenny has enjoyed collaborating with community partners and seeing the dedication and commitment to prevention that she feels, reflected back by those amazing souls she works with.
3 - SOUTH CENTRAL
Sara was born and raised on a large family farm in South Central Montana and pride’s herself on being a true Montana girl. She enjoys hunting big game and roughing it in the wilderness one day and dressing up in heels and dresses for special occasions the next. Sara and her husband Ben enjoy camping all over Montana with their two children, Madelyn and Jack. Sara has worked in Prevention since 2008 and has experience providing Substance Abuse Prevention Services in all of South Central Montana’s 11 counties. If she isn’t working in Prevention, you can probably find her at the gym or in a coffee shop reading a good book
4 - SOUTHWEST
Laura and her family moved to Montana from Colorado and love everything Montana has to offer. Laura holds a BS in Organizational Management and a Masters Degree in Counseling. With a firm belief that prevention is a critical piece to the Behavioral Health community. She loves connecting communities to resources and tearing down silos. She has been working in prevention in Montana for 6 years. Her favorite destination in Montana is Glacier National Park. Her family loves hiking and dodging grizzly bears. Her passions include ice fishing, hiking or camping.
Her greatest prevention accomplishment is bringing the regional Block grant contract to Butte Cares and setting up that structure. She was so excited to be part of bringing this prevention funding to an organization that’s primary focus is prevention. Seeing how that helps those funds go directly to prevention and the focus be on hiring and training the best prevention specialists possible is so exciting.
5 - NORTHWEST
Brandee is a native of Montana. She moved back home to raise a family after exploring California, Colorado and Washington. Brandee has worked in the prevention field for almost 20 years, starting her career specializing in domestic violence prevention. The last 13 years she has been in underage substance abuse prevention. She has two children. Brandee enjoys hiking, mountain biking, spending time with family at the lake and going on adventures. Her favorite spot in Montana is on the lake or deep in the mountains. Brandee’s greatest accomplishment in prevention is helping to create the Prescription Drug Task Force in Missoula, MT and becoming an RTAL for Youth Connections.