Billionaire couple Mark and Robyn Jones, the founders of the insurance firm, Goosehead, have pledged a $101 million gift to Montana State University. The goal is to train hundreds of nurses each year and expand access to healthcare in the state’s rural areas, particularly the state’s numerous Native American reservations. Native Americans face higher mortality rates than other residents, and nearly a quarter of women in the state did not receive adequate prenatal care in 2020. Since nurse practitioners are more likely than physicians to take up rural assignments, the donation will meet a very real need in the healthcare sector. Apart from funding a new midwifery program, the grant will endow five new professorships and new facilities at the university’s five campuses. A scholarship fund will also make tuition fees more affordable, particularly for Native Americans who want to work in their own communities.

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