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St. Luke’s, YMCA Collaborate on Innovative South Meridian Project

By Amy Stahl, News and Community
November 3, 2016

A new partnership with the Treasure Valley YMCA will enable St. Luke’s to offer innovative programs in fast-growing South Meridian.

The collaboration was announced Oct. 25 at a ground-breaking ceremony for a new YMCA and St. Luke’s health and wellness center, to be built adjacent to Hillsdale School near the intersection of South Eagle and West Amity roads.

The 60,000-square-foot building will include youth development programs, fitness areas, group exercise studios, family locker rooms, gathering spaces, gyms, classrooms and a teaching kitchen. St. Luke’s will provide health and wellness services in about 8,000 square feet spread over two floors. The building is expected to be completed in early 2018.

The strength of the partnership gives St. Luke’s a unique opportunity to improve the health of the community, said Chris Roth, St. Luke’s senior vice president and chief operating officer.

“Working together, we can do something extraordinary,” he said. “We are not building a hospital or a clinic, we are investing in the community in a new and meaningful way.”

A donation of farmland by the Hill family helped jump-start the community collaboration. In addition to the YMCA and St. Luke’s, partners in the project include the West Ada School District and the city of Meridian.

A new city park will be constructed next to the school, and pending the outcome of a bond election in November, the complex could include a Meridian Library District branch and an indoor aquatic center.

A project of this magnitude requires patience, vision and willing partners, said Kristin Armstrong, St. Luke’s manager of community health. Armstrong, who started her professional career running the West YMCA aquatics program, has been involved in the South Meridian planning process for several years.

At the groundbreaking event, she praised the partners for recognizing the benefits of shared resources and a long-term commitment to improve the quality of life for people of all ages.

“We must continue this vision to make Idaho the healthiest place to live,” Armstrong said.

Roth and other partners studied YMCA/healthcare initiatives in other cities to formulate a framework for the new partnership. He is confident that the South Meridian project will set a new standard.

“We believe that this innovative approach will be a model for the nation,” he said.

About The Author

Amy Stahl works in the Communications and Marketing department at St. Luke's.