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  • Neighbors helping neighbors: St. Luke’s, Sodexo join forces with Mountain Home Senior Center to keep it clean
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Better Together

Highlights from St. Luke’s and our community partners to improve health.

Neighbors helping neighbors: St. Luke’s, Sodexo join forces with Mountain Home Senior Center to keep it clean

By Daniel Mediate, News and Community
December 28, 2020

Sometimes costly, sometimes confusing and sometimes both, Connie Cruser has heard plenty of sales pitches for COVID-focused cleaning services offered to the Mountain Home Senior Center.

With mentions of chemicals and complex processes for fumigation, it has been a lot to take in for the chairperson of the center’s board. Cruser wasn’t sure which was the most effective option to keep people safe.

It turns out, the best solution came from her connections to St. Luke’s.

In early December, a person who came into the senior center ended up testing positive for COVID-19. That is always cause for concern, but especially at a place that connects with many high-risk people.

“I thought, ‘Oh, what are we going to do?’” Cruser said.

Cruser, who serves on the St. Luke’s Elmore Community Board and Foundation Board, called Chief Nursing Officer/COO Lisa Melchiorre to ask for help.

Melchiorre connected with Jason Sanchez, a Sodexo-employed environmental services manager at St. Luke’s Elmore Medical Center, to see if he could help.

Sanchez showed up later that day at the senior center thoroughly cleaning surfaces and other areas, while showing Cruser and employees proper cleaning techniques. He also provided a list of cleaning supplies he recommended for future use.

“He saved my sanity,” Cruser said.

Sanchez saw it as an effort to support the Mountain Home community.

“As a Sodexo team member, it is a privilege to support St. Luke’s as well as my community any way possible,” he said. “It is especially gratifying to help those that are most vulnerable during this time.”

Partnerships with neighbors are a signature quality of both St. Luke’s and the communities the health system serves, of course.

Over the past year, teamwork like this has been plentiful. Long-standing relationships have been strengthened during the pandemic and new collaborations have sprung up.

Koenig Distillery shifted from producing spirits to making hand sanitizer for St. Luke’s. United Way of Treasure Valley sourced and donated N95 masks to medical centers. The St. Luke’s Elmore staff organized a drive-by parade for long-term care residents to boost spirits over the summer.

The list is near endless, underscoring a pattern of regional cooperation and community partnerships to improve health.

Cruser called Melchiorre afterward to share her gratitude for finding someone willing to quickly help and provide sustainable cleaning methods.

“I was so thankful that he spent the time that afternoon to come over,” Cruser said. “This is just wonderful.”

About The Author

Daniel Mediate works in the St. Luke’s Community Engagement department.