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Community Health Improvement Grants Support Stronger Partnerships

By Chris Langrill, News and Community
February 8, 2018

The goal of the St. Luke’s Community Health Improvement Fund (CHIF) is to give non-profit organizations a boost.

Even better? When those non-profits give each other a boost.

That’s exactly what’s been happening between two Treasure Valley non-profits, Girls on the Run and Create Common Good.

A few years ago, Melissa Bixby, the program director for Girls on the Run, attended a St. Luke’s luncheon with Tracy Hitchcock, the CEO of Create Common Good. Several non-profit leaders were on hand to discuss how they were spending the funds that were awarded to them through the CHIF.

“St. Luke’s is all about collaboration, and how you can be involved with one another,” Bixby said. “So that got me thinking: ‘How can we be involved with Create Common Good?’”

The two organizations combined their efforts to provide snacks for Girls on the Run programs across the Treasure Valley.

“This spring will be our third season working with Create Common Good,” Bixby said. “In the past, we tried to do what we could to provide the healthiest snacks possible. But partnering with Create Common Good has allowed us to bring in a lot more fruits and vegetables.”

This week, St. Luke’s announced that Girls on the Run and Create Common Good were two of the nearly 90 non-profit organizations across the Treasure Valley that received grants from the CHIF. In all, the St. Luke’s Health System will invest more than $550,000 in these grants for 2018.

St. Luke's will also invest an additional $284,000 in community health improvement grants in Magic Valley.

Special consideration was given to organizations whose proposals target similar needs identified by St. Luke’s through its Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA).

The CHNA’s top three priorities are:

  • Improve the prevention, detection and treatment of obesity and diabetes.
  • Improve the prevention, detection and management of mental illness and reduce suicide.
  • Improve access to affordable health care and affordable health insurance.

Based on that, it’s easy to see why Girls on the Run has been awarded grants for four consecutive years.

“Our goal is to have a well-rounded girl, not only in the physical sense but in the mental and social sense, too,” Bixby said. “Our goal is to raise the next generation, and hoping for a healthier, better generation moving forward.”

The Idaho Walk Bike Alliance is another organization that received a CHIF grant this year. The organization’s mission is to promote active transportation as healthy, safe and reliable for Idahoans.

Cynthia Gibson, the executive director of the Idaho Walk Bike Alliance, said the funds will provide scholarships to people in other Idaho communities who want to attend this year’s Idaho Walk Bike Summit in Boise.

“We don’t want anybody to not come to the summit because of cost,” Gibson said.

This year’s summit will partially focus on how cycling can positively impact Idaho’s smaller, rural communities.

“Those are the communities we want to help the most,” Gibson said. “The goal of the summit is to educate communities on … how to improve their community and make it more walkable and bike-able.”

As the Idaho Walk Bike Alliance, Girls on the Run and Create Common Good strive to meet their goals, it’s easy to see why the CHIF is so invaluable to non-profit organizations. 

“St. Luke’s, they’re in the community everywhere,” Bixby said. “You see them everywhere. So, to have this element of supporting non-profits … it allows us to be better as a whole community. It’s not just health care. They’re providing a lot of opportunities in this community.” 

List of 2018 St. Luke’s CHIF recipients:

  • ACHD Commuteride
  • Ada County Paramedics
  • Advocates Against Family Violence
  • American Cancer Society
  • American Heart Association
  • American Lung Association in Idaho
  • Angel Wings Network, Inc.
  • Assistance League of Boise
  • Autism Society Treasure Valley
  • Baby Steps Program at St. Michael's Cathedral
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of SW Idaho
  • Boise Parks and Recreation
  • Boise Public Schools Education Foundation
  • Boise State Dance Marathon
  • Boise State University
  • Boise Urban Garden School
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Ada County
  • Boys & Girls Club of Nampa
  • Boys & Girls Club of Western Treasure Valley
  • Caldwell School District (Sacajawea Elementary)
  • Camp Rainbow Gold
  • Canyon County Community Clinic
  • Cascade School District
  • Children's Home Society of Idaho
  • Community Council of Idaho
  • Create Common Good
  • Dravet Syndrome Foundation
  • Eagle Academy High School
  • Elderly Opportunity Agency
  • FA Club
  • Faces of Hope Foundation
  • Family Advocates
  • Genesis Community Health, Inc.
  • Get it Dunn
  • Giraffe Laugh Early Learning Centers
  • Girl Scouts of the Silver Sage
  • Girls on the Run Idaho, Inc.
  • Hands of Hope Northwest
  • Idaho 2 Fly
  • Idaho Chapter National Hemophilia Foundation
  • Idaho Foodbank
  • Idaho Hunger Relief Task Force
  • Idaho Immunization Coalition
  • Idaho Voices for Children
  • Idaho Walk Bike Alliance
  • Idaho Youth Ranch
  • Idaho Zoological Society
  • Jayden DeLuca Foundation
  • Learning Lab
  • Legacy Corps / Jannus
  • Mentoring Network, Inc.
  • Mercy Housing Northwest-Idaho
  • Metro Community Services, Inc.
  • Mountain Home Parks and Recreation
  • Mountain Home School District
  • Mountain Home Senior Citizen Center
  • Nampa Family Justice Center
  • Nampa Housing Authority
  • Nampa School District
  • National MS Society
  • Neighborhood Housing Services
  • Oregon Food Bank
  • Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
  • Project Healing Waters-Boise
  • Recreation Unlimited, Inc.
  • Reel Recovery
  • Ride for Joy
  • River Discovery
  • Ronald McDonald House Charities of Idaho
  • Salmon River Senior Citizens
  • Salvation Army of Boise
  • Salvation Army of Nampa
  • Snake River Stampede
  • Southwest District Health
  • Special Olympics Idaho
  • Surviving Hearts
  • Susan G Komen Idaho Montana
  • Terry Reilly Health Services
  • Treasure Valley Believe in a Cure
  • Treasure Valley Children's Relief Nursery
  • Treasure Valley Down Syndrome Association
  • Treasure Valley Food Coalition
  • Treasure Valley YMCA
  • Valley Regional Transit
  • Vallivue School District (Ridgevue High School)
  • Wish Granters
  • Women's and Children's Alliance
  • Witco, Inc. 

About The Author

Chris Langrill is a writer and copy editor for the St. Luke’s Communications and Marketing department.