In an effort to improve health and provide exceptional patient-centered care, St. Luke's Health System has identified the most significant health challenges facing people in Southwest Idaho.
St. Luke's recently completed a 2016 Community Health Needs Assessment in each of its hospital communities. The CHNA is a comprehensive analysis of the region's top health needs, and is required by the IRS every three years under the Affordable Care Act. The CHNA process includes extensive review of local, regional and national data along with in-depth interviews with key community leaders. The needs are then ranked based on the potential to improve community health.
St. Luke's Boise/Meridian CHNA top three priorities are:
"The CHNA process allows us to pinpoint those areas of most concern to our neighbors and communities and to address them most effectively, through St. Luke's programs and through partnerships with some incredible community organizations," said Dr. David Pate, St. Luke's president and chief executive officer.
"The partnerships we are involved in optimize our effectiveness, and really show just how true it is that we are better together," he said.
To address these high-priority needs, St. Luke's created a three-year implementation plan. The collaborative plan includes St. Luke’s programs as well as impactful community-based initiatives with partner organizations.
#1 - Obesity and diabetes
Twelve programs and initiatives are being supported through St. Luke’s direct funding or in-kind expertise and partnership. Examples include the Promise Partnerships with United Way, Saint Alphonsus and local school districts; the YMCA’s Healthy Living Center and St. Luke’s health coaching.
#2 - Mental Illness and Suicide
The majority of the 14 programs making up this portion of the plan are community partnerships. One of the most impactful programs is the Ada County Paramedics Psychiatric Emergency Team. St. Luke’s is providing a Community Health Improvement Fund grant of $40,000 to build up a Psychiatric Emergency Team. CHIF grants will also help form the Children's Counseling Collaborative and fund Housing First.
In addition, in fiscal year 2017 St. Luke's provided an operational subsidy of $165,000 to Allumbaugh House, a regional facility that offers detox and crisis mental health services to qualified residents.
#3 - Affordable Health Care and Health Insurance
The six programs addressing the access include transportation solutions, financial care, senior health insurance advisors and Latino community outreach.
St. Luke's is also supporting a partnership between Ada County Paramedics, the State of Idaho, BSU, ISU, and various city- and county-based EMS services to provide innovative, free primary care services in remote, rural areas.
Anita Kisseé was the Treasure Valley public relations manager for St. Luke’s Health System.