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Applied research is a systematic investigation into real-world issues. Through the practical application of scientific results, applied research can influence policy, practice, behavior, and the environment to improve the lives of individuals, communities, and populations. The pillars of applied research at St. Luke's are: population health, patient quality of life, and economic value.

Areas of Focus

  • Clinical and community integration - an integrative model of population and community health to create effective linkages between the clinical and community settings
  • Social determinants of health - recognizing that social and environmental determinants of health are primary drivers and need to be addressed when focusing on disease prevention and management
  • Total Health in the Emergency Department (ThED) program - helping connect emergency department patients with primary care, social, and community resources in order to improve overall health
  • Concussion - research into long-term effects of concussion, including quality of life, to assist in providing effective treatment and management plans for patients
  • Suicide and behavioral health - optimizing screening and treatment to prevent suicide
  • Pediatrics complex care - researching appropriate care coordination models to improve care
  • Lifestyle medicine - promoting healthy behaviors as foundational to medical care, disease prevention, and health promotion
  • Community health - working with communities to address self-identified issues
  • Obesity/bariatrics - optimizing physical and mental health outcomes to improve health-related quality of life among bariatric patients

Investigators and Partners

Applied Research Medical Director

St. Luke's Investigators and Partners

  • St. Luke's Sports Medicine Concussion Clinic
  • Behavioral health service line 
  • Lifestyle medicine department
  • Community health department
  • St. Luke’s Children’s
  • St. Luke’s emergency department/Emergency Medicine of Idaho
  • Social work department
  • St. Luke's Clinic – Bariatrics and General Surgery
  • Medical imaging 
  • Lab services 

External Investigators and Partners

  • Children’s Hospital Colorado


  • Boise State University 
  • Columbia University
  • Idaho State University
  • University of Colorado School of Medicine
  • University of Idaho
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Washington


  • Several community partners throughout the Treasure Valley including the Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline, Empower Idaho, Jannus, Inc., and the Idaho Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health

Publications to Date

  • Swann-Thomsen, H., Lindsay, R., Rourk, S., Hofacer, R., & Nguyen, E., (In press). A systematic review on care coordination using the National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs. Professional Case Management.
  • Swann-Thomsen, H.E., Vineyard, J., Hanks, J., Hofacer, R., Sitts, C., Flint, H., & Tivis, R., (2021). Pediatric care coordination risk tiering: Moving beyond claims data. Journal of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine, 14(3), 485-493.
  • Bolter, N. D., Gao, Y., Conger, S. A., Spear, C. E., Radin, A. K., & Flint, H. (2019). Parents’ knowledge, attitudes and behaviours related to children’s beverage consumption in youth soccer: A qualitative analysis. Health Education Journal. 
  • Nilsson, Kurt (Jan 2019). Analyzing the Effects of Repetitive Impacts to the Head Utilizing Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI). Presentation at the Pediatric Research in Sports Medicine Society (PRISM) 6th Annual Meeting.
  • Bergerson, S., Flint, H., & Hansen Z. (2018). Economic Evaluation of Concussion Programs in the State of Idaho: The Collective Potential of Prevention and Clinical Care. Population Health Management
  • Lucas, S., Jones Petranek, L., Nilsson, K., Flint, H., Pardue, K. (November, 2018).  Parents as Advocators and Navigators:  Perspectives Concerning Youth Sport Athletes with Post-Concussion Syndrome – Preliminary Findings.  Presented at the 94th Annual Conference of Western Society for Physical Education of College Women, Pacific Grove, CA.
  • Nilsson, K. J., Flint, H., Reis, J., & Pardue, K. (2017). St. Luke’s virtual concussion clinic: A unique structure to provide comprehensive care for patients. Sports Journal.
  • Nilsson, K. J., Flint, H., Kendrick, L., Gao, Y., Cutchin, S., Pentecost, R., & Pardue, K. (2019). Repetitive Head Impacts in Youth Football: Description and Relationship to White Matter Structure. Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine, 7(3).
  • Vineyard, J., Hanks, J. Sitts, C. Flint, H., & Tivis, R. (November, 2018). St. Luke’s Children’s Pediatric Care Coordination Acuity Tool. Presented at the American Academy of Pediatrics, Orlando, FL.
  • Vineyard, J., Hanks, J. Sitts, C. Flint, H., & Tivis, R. (November, 2018). St. Luke’s Children’s Pediatric Care Coordination Acuity Tool. Presented at the Complex Pediatric Care Association, Portland, OR.
  • Vineyard, J., Hanks, J. Sitts, C., Flint, H., & Tivis, R. (March, 2018). St. Luke’s Children’s Pediatric Care Coordination Acuity Tool. Presented at the Children’s Hospital Association Quality and Safety Conference. San Diego, CA.
  • Bohecker, L., Hanks, J., Sitts, C., Flint, H., & Tivis, R. (November, 2016). The Big Exhale: A Cohesive Model of Pediatric Care Coordination. Presented at the Children’s Hospital Association Quality and Safety Conference. New Orleans, LA.

Contact Us

For more information, or if you’re interested in partnering or participating in applied research at St. Luke’s, please contact our applied research manager at (208) 381-8934 or by email

Support Local Research Opportunities

Your generosity will change lives.

To support applied research in our community, please select St. Luke's Research and designate Applied Research under special comments about your donation. Questions? Call (208) 381-5355.