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Highlights from St. Luke’s and our community partners to improve health.

St. Luke’s Magic Valley awards community health grant money to local partners

By Michelle Bartlome, News and Community
June 6, 2019

St. Luke’s Magic Valley awarded $290,250 to 32 different organizations as part of St. Luke’s Community Health Improvement (CHI) Fund grants for 2018-2019. Since 2006, more than $3.1 million has been distributed to organizations throughout the Magic Valley.

A special recognition luncheon took place Wednesday, June 5, at St. Luke’s Magic Valley, and representatives explained the importance of the funding to their organizations.

Boys & Girls Club of Buhl

The organization intends to use its grant funding to implement Triple Play, a nationally tested fitness program that strives to improve the health of members ages five to 18 by increasing their daily physical activity, teaching them good nutrition and helping them develop healthy relationships.

“This grant assists us in providing our members with the necessary equipment and instruction to participate in sports and recreation activities and healthy lifestyle instruction,” said Amarae Williams, director for Boys & Girls Club of Buhl. “It is funding like this that allows our non-profit organization to continue those efforts in building healthy lifestyles for the youth that we serve.

“St. Luke’s has been a vital piece in our efforts in implementing health and wellness activities throughout our summer program. We cannot thank you enough for the contribution and your continued support of our program. Your dedication to the communities you serve is evident and greatly appreciated!”

Minidoka Senior Center

Grant funding will be used for the center’s Meals on Wheels program.

“This grant will make it possible to increase our delivered meals from 100 to 204 daily,” said center Director Penny Schell.

“St. Luke's is a real lifesaver for our Senior Center,” she said. “We are now able to update our equipment and supplies with the grant and increase the number of seniors we are serving.”

Rising Stars Therapeutic Riding Center

Rising Stars will use the funds from the CHI grant to help mitigate the cost of hippotherapy (therapy provided on horseback by a licensed therapist) for participants’ families.

“This service has not been approved by Medicaid for reimbursement, and while we hope this will happen in the near future, this support from CHI is so crucial to us being able to provide these services at an affordable cost to families whose income tends to be limited,” said Marni Porath, the organization’s director.

“Rising Stars strives to provide services to children and adults at minimal cost to the participant. It is our wish that participants will not be excluded from the benefits of our service due to lack of ability to pay,” she said. “This funding helps us to continue to provide necessary services to our participants at a rate that is manageable for them.”

About the grant program

Special consideration for grants was given to proposals that target needs identified by St. Luke’s through its Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA). The CHNA is a comprehensive analysis of Idaho’s most important health needs based upon an extensive review of local, regional and national data along with in-depth interviews of key community leaders.

The CHNA top three priorities are:

  • Improve the prevention, detection and treatment of obesity and diabetes.
  • Improve the prevention, detection and management of mental illness and reduce suicide.
  • Improve access to affordable health care and affordable health insurance.

Find more information on St. Luke’s community involvement and support online.

About The Author

Michelle Bartlome is the public relations manager at St. Luke's Magic Valley.