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St. Luke's and Saint Alphonsus Announce Changes to Humphreys Diabetes

By Ken Dey, News and Community
December 15, 2010

BOISE, Idaho – St. Luke’s Health System will assume full sponsorship of Humphreys Diabetes Center (HDC) in an agreement reached between HDC, St. Luke’s and Saint Alphonsus Health System.

The two health systems, which had jointly sponsored the services provided by HDC over the last 14 years, will now integrate diabetes services within each of their respective organizations.

St. Luke’s will continue offering diabetes services at the current HDC location under the banner of St. Luke’s Humphries Diabetes Center. The center will continue offering both inpatient care at St. Luke’s Boise and Meridian hospitals and outpatient programs across the health system’s service region.

Saint Alphonsus will expand its existing Joint Commission certified inpatient diabetes program to begin offering outpatient services that incorporates its hospitals in Baker City, Ontario, and Nampa along with partnerships St. Al’s has with other organizations in surrounding communities.

The decision to end the joint sponsorship was reached as a result of an increased demand for diabetes services and awareness that the current organizational structure for HDC was not sustainable.

“We continue to see a growing number of individuals who are at risk, newly diagnosed, and living with diabetes in our community,” said Gary Fletcher, St. Luke’s Treasure Valley CEO. “But over the past several years, even with the support from Saint Alphonsus and St. Luke’s, the rise in operational costs, and significant declines in reimbursement have made it increasingly difficult for HDC to remain financially viable and continue to respond to the increasing need for diabetes services.”

Both health systems had been increasing financial contributions to HDC. Last year St. Luke’s and Saint Al’s each contributed $300,000 to subsidize operations.

“The decision by both health systems to end this joint agreement and develop individual programs was felt to be the best option to address the increased demand for care and to take advantage of efficiencies within our systems,” said Sally Jeffcoat, Saint Alphonsus CEO.  “We feel strongly that the new integrated models at each organization will expand our community’s diabetes education capacity and result in better coordination of care.”

The changes aren’t expected to interrupt service for patients and physicians who currently use the services of HDC.  Based on need, physicians will be free to send their patients to either St. Luke’s Humphreys Diabetes Center or Saint Al’s integrated diabetes care and education program.

Final details of the transition are still being defined, but both St. Luke’s and Saint Al’s expect to have their new integrated programs in place by early spring.

History of Humphreys Diabetes Center

When Fred Humphreys, CEO of WestOne Bank, was diagnosed with diabetes he was inspired to establish a center in the Treasure Valley where patients, their families, and health care professionals could gain in-depth knowledge about the disease. Humphreys Diabetes Center (HDC) began as a department of Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in 1987. In 1996, St. Luke’s Regional Medical Center joined as a co-sponsor. The following year HDC was incorporated as a free-standing diabetes center with a community-based board of directors.

Today, more than 600 local physicians refer their patients to HDC for education and services, translating into 3,000 patients seen each year by HDC educators. HDC clients learn how to manage diet, exercise, and medication to stay healthy and prevent complications such as heart attack, stroke, blindness, kidney failure, and reduced blood flow that may lead to amputation of the toe, foot, or leg. HDC programs are recognized by the American Diabetes Association. For more information visit  hdiabetescenter.com

About The Author

Ken Dey served as Public Relations Coordinator at St. Luke's from 2008-2014.