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Old 06-24-2010, 09:32 PM
 
Location: At the end of the road
468 posts, read 627,051 times
Reputation: 450

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We currently live in Minnesota. My husband got his school counselor license last year, but there are very few school counseling jobs here. We have finally decided that we are willing to move to wherever he gets a job. We noticed that there are several job openings in western Montana, which we do love. We have only been there during the summer when we went to Glacier and traveled around the area a bit. I am not terribly worried about winters since we live in MN. To cover a few bases after perusing the forum,I don't want to change anyone or anything, we can live with passive aggressive quite nicely( learned how to in MN, after growing up on the east coast), and my husband, in particular, loves hunting, fishing, guns, camping, etc. I am currently back in school working on a B.S. in Natural Resources so I think that there will be plenty to keep me interested.

I do have concerns about the medical care. Am I right to assume that the best medical care in the western part of the state is in Missoula? Our oldest is cognitively and physically disabled. I am not as concerned about proximity to medical care as I am about the quality of it.
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Old 06-25-2010, 11:33 AM
 
Location: Bozeman, Montana
1,191 posts, read 2,571,681 times
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With your medical needs, I recommend Helena.

There are good hospitals in Bozeman and Helena, which are also in the western part of the state, but the major area of medical services and doctors is in Billings, in eastern Montana.

Helena has had the long-time pediatric specialty hospital in the state, Shodaire SHODAIR CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL | Child & Adolescent Psychiatry | Genetic Services | Helena, Montana

Here is a quote from their "About Us" page:

"For more than 114 years, Shodair has stayed in step with the ever-changing needs of Montana’s children. Shodair’s medical specialists develop programs that meet our mission of providing for the care and treatment of children suffering from illness, diseases, and other physical, mental, and emotional conditions that impair their health and well-being."
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Old 06-25-2010, 09:03 PM
 
Location: At the end of the road
468 posts, read 627,051 times
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Thank you so much! I will definitely check them out. We have always had good experiences with Children's Hospitals.
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Old 06-26-2010, 02:22 AM
 
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While Missoula's hospitals are not the best in the state, I think they are still very good.

As long as you live near one of the larger cities in the state (Missoula, Helena, Bozeman, Billings), I don't think you will have a problem.

Hospital concerns aside, I have to put in my vote for Missoula. I was raised in Hamilton (about an hour south of Missoula), and have visited/lived in other areas of the state.

As far as weather, Missoula/Bitteroot Valley is IMO the best in the state. The winters are usually milder, and the wind hardly blows at all. I'm living in Bozeman right now, and can say that winters in the Bitteroot Valley were a lot milder.

Billings would be at the bottom of my list. The eastern part of the state flattens out quite a bit as you travel east of Bozeman/Livingston. The wind definately blows harder in Billings. There seems to be more crime in the Billings area as well.

Just my 2 cents. Let me know if I can answer any more questions for you.
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Old 06-27-2010, 06:14 AM
 
Location: At the end of the road
468 posts, read 627,051 times
Reputation: 450
Thanks for the info! Billings is definitely not on our list. We passed by on our way to Yellowstone a few years back. It is good to know that the Missoula hospitals are decent. I like the idea of milder winters. While we are used to winters, I don't necessarily want to be colder than necessary.
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Old 06-30-2010, 02:41 AM
 
Location: Upper Midwest
1,877 posts, read 3,722,603 times
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Please don't consider Great Falls. The only thing this town has going for it is the River's Edge Trail and for flying in and out of. (Mostly out of.) Other than that, I find it rather dismal and isolating. I kind of block this fact out, but I find myself bored every summer, I realized. That summer boredom is creeping in again. Wish I were back home. (Note where I'm moving underneath my name... outdoor recreation paradise.)
It's a military town (Malmstrom Air Force Base), quite isolated. Schools aren't the best, especially when you get to the high school level. Both high schools rank 4 and 5 respectively on greatschools.org. Having actually attended one of them (the one ranked 4), I can see why. And they've added on since I've left. Cripes, if they're no longer overcrowded and still can't get their stuff together...

The western part of the state is the only part worth considering anyway, so you're on the right track.

Great Falls is the beginning of the flatlands, really. Going from west to east, it's about where the Montana beauty begins to end. Lewistown is where it truly ends, IMO. I deal with people who fly into Great Falls all the time. They ask "Where's the mountains?" or "Where are the FALLS?" I say "Wrong part of the state... no falls."

Billings has some pretty parts to it. Especially that overlook, looking down on the city. But, yeah, really not much different than Great Falls. You can sort of take your pick. Similar shopping... both are rather homely and isolating. (Overall, I think I prefer Billings, but again... I wouldn't choose either place to live.) I feel like I've wasted years living in Great Falls, being mere miles away from such scenic beauty. I feel like my town is not apart of it.

All the suggestions here are good. For medical and schooling, I would think it would be down between Bozeman and Helena.

Feeling a little anxious about my move (simply because any major life change is nervewracking, and there's comfort in familiarity), but I'm definitely getting ready for the Montana chapter of my life to be done...

But good luck to you, I think you're choosing the right part of the state, anyway.

Last edited by MSPLove; 06-30-2010 at 03:00 AM..
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Old 06-30-2010, 12:12 PM
 
Location: In The Outland
6,023 posts, read 11,899,738 times
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A picture (or more) is worth a thousands words they say. I have no Idea who these "They" people are though but it may be true !

East of the divide pics:

Montana's newest state park/wildlife refuge combo park, The Marias River.


We need all the juice we can get and you can farm between them.


The private prison at Shelby. No fun being stuck in there, no fun working there.


More tax money wasted on a never finished gov building.


The obelisk marking the divide on Highway 2 at Marias Pass.
The following pictures I took on the west side of the divide.
Note that all my pics I took in the northern half of Montana on both sides of the divide.


The Lower Flathead River on the Flathead Indian Reservation.


Missoula lake in the Bitterroot range.


Golden fall colors of the Western Larch (Tamarack) found all overt the western part of Montana that is west of the divide.


Out and about, hunting for trout. My favorite thing without a doubt !
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Old 06-30-2010, 08:24 PM
 
Location: At the end of the road
468 posts, read 627,051 times
Reputation: 450
Rickers-the sides of the divide are dramatically different. Thanks for the pics! Every time we head west on road trips, I love getting to higher elevations and getting west of the divide.

Minnesconsinite-I think it must have been your posts about Great Falls that I read before. Whichever ones I read, they left a striking impression. I was already sorta turned off about there. We can only look where they have job openings and even then, I am not going to uproot everyone unless I am sure it is the right place for us. We made that mistake when we took a chance on Minnesota. Love up north, but not so much the Cities. I don't want to make that mistake again. I want to be in place that I feel is right for our family for a long time.
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Old 06-30-2010, 09:06 PM
 
Location: Bozeman, Montana
1,191 posts, read 2,571,681 times
Reputation: 655
Here are some more images to ponder....

Montana State University campus photo of Bozeman
http://pics4.city-data.com/cpicv/vfiles22877.jpg

The State Capitol, Helena photo
http://knapton99.com/Helena%20MT%20capital.jpg (broken link)
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Old 06-30-2010, 11:46 PM
 
1,872 posts, read 3,575,207 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lunabell View Post
Rickers-the sides of the divide are dramatically different. Thanks for the pics! Every time we head west on road trips, I love getting to higher elevations and getting west of the divide.
Something that might surprise you and others is that the elevation in Billings is actually higher than it is in a lot of Western Montana! Thompson Falls has beautiful trees, river, lake and seems to be in the mountains, but the elevation is lower than Billings' is! I couldn't believe it when I learned that! I guess all those trees make it deceiving!
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