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St. Luke’s Beth Toal on Collaboration and Giving Back

By Beth Toal, News and Community
January 26, 2016

St. Luke’s Health System is an important part of the communities we serve. For more than 100 years, St. Luke’s has been part of the rewarding life of our part of the world, giving to the neighborhoods, towns and cities we are so privileged to be involved with and receiving the blessings of engagement in return.

Today’s guest blogger is Beth Toal, St. Luke’s vice president for Communications & Marketing, with her perspective on the relationships and partnerships St. Luke’s has forged with our communities.

- David C. Pate, M.D., J.D.

I grew up in the Treasure Valley. In fact, I was born at St. Luke’s.

Through my years at Borah High School and my undergraduate studies at Boise State, I knew that if given the opportunity, I would stay in Idaho to live and work. I found that fortunate opportunity through my work at St. Luke’s.

This region is special. I love the ready access to the beautiful outdoors, the lifestyle, the strong economy, great schools, quality health care and safe neighborhoods; these are just a few examples of what sets our area of the country apart. 

Beth Toal, St. Luke’s vice president for Communications & Marketing

But what really connects me to this area is our commitment to community and our focus on relationships. We know that when we work together, we can make a difference for those in need.

I see that caring, community-minded spirit every day at St. Luke’s. We’ve served community healthcare needs for more than 110 years. Since those early days, we’ve understood that strong relationships are essential to fulfilling our mission to improve the health of people in our region.

Surveys and validation from respected rating organizations in the healthcare industry show that we do this well. The care we provide and the caring that patients experience at St. Luke’s are at the core of what we do.

But we know there is more to it than that. While we have been grateful for the support we’ve received, we have also felt a fundamental responsibility to give back, to be involved and to contribute to the strength of the communities we serve, often in ways that on the surface may seem unconventional and beyond healthcare services.

And we’re committed to collaboration. We recognize that improving health goes well beyond caring for people when they are sick or injured. It begins with engaging in community conversations, listening to the suggestions and ideas of others and working in partnership with our friends and neighbors to address basic needs – foundational elements of a healthy community that all residents of our wonderful area can benefit from.

Our staff members coach youth sports teams and serve on boards. We volunteer to support other not-for-profit organizations, participate in school supply drives and support community events.

St. Luke’s leaders actively participate on committees that explore important community issues such as refugee resettlement, alternative transportation, homelessness, education and economic development. We set aside a portion of our operating revenue each year to provide grants for other service organizations in our community that are addressing critical needs such as mental health services, preventative dental care, access to healthy food, youth development programs and more. 

These roles in our community are by no means unique to St. Luke’s, and that is really the point. Idaho is a special place and, as with others that contribute to and enjoy all the great things this region has to offer, St. Luke’s is committed to doing its part to ensure that all that we value about our community is not only preserved, but continues to develop and thrive.

These are the connections I stay in Idaho for and the connections I stay with St. Luke’s for. I couldn’t be prouder of this community and how vital, vibrant community resources come together to get important things done.

About The Author

Beth Toal is vice president for Communications & Marketing of St. Luke's Health System, based in Boise, Idaho.