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

St. Luke’s grants help improve mental health, address community health issues

By Daniel Mediate, News and Community
March 24, 2020

Idaho consistently ranks among the states with highest rates of mental health issues and deaths by suicide.

More than one in five high school students in the Gem State seriously consider taking their own life, according to the 2019 Idaho Youth Risk Behavior Survey, conducted by the State Department of Education.

The number of young people struggling with mental health issues doesn’t sit well with Anselme Sadiki, executive director of the Children’s Home Society of Idaho.

“My dream would be to have available access to counseling services for every child who suffers from mental or behavioral health, without exception,” he said. “That would be my dream. There are so many – at least 34,000 children in Idaho – who have no access to mental health services whatsoever.

“There is no reason we should not be able to meet the mental health needs of the children in our community. We have the capacity and resources to ensure that every child lives to her/his full potential.”

The Children’s Home Society is working to make that dream a reality with support from many organizations, including St. Luke’s.

The Children’s Home Society, which operates the Warm Springs Counseling Center, provides an array of mental, emotional and behavioral health services, with its mission to “improve the lives of children in the community.” The organization was one of nearly 100 nonprofit organizations that recently received Community Health Improvement Fund (CHIF) grants from St. Luke’s.

As part of its community benefit strategy as a not-for-profit health system, St. Luke’s invested approximately $650,000 in CHIF grants in this most recent grant cycle to nonprofit organizations that are addressing significant health issues identified in the 2019 Community Needs Assessments and social determinants, or influencers, of health across the greater Treasure Valley. An additional $290,000-plus will be invested in the Magic Valley area.

The grants are helping nonprofit organizations continue to serve vulnerable populations, especially during this time of heightened public health challenges related to COVID-19.

“It is a humbling opportunity to invest in large and small nonprofits doing extraordinary work at the ground level,” said Theresa McLeod, St. Luke’s senior director of the Community Engagement department, which administers the CHIF grants.

The Children’s Home Society will use the grant to operate its community support program, which provides mental, emotional and behavioral health care for at-risk children.

“Through this program, we are able to reach out to those who cannot afford it, or families and children who are really in dire need of mental health care and have difficulty accessing the services,” Sadiki said. “We can’t express how grateful we are to St. Luke’s Health System for the grant. This is incredible support.”

The Children’s Home Society serves the majority of the Treasure Valley, from Caldwell to Mountain Home. Sadiki and his staff see the number rising of children in need of mental health counseling. Last year, the Children’s Home Society provided mental health counseling to 3,400 kids. The year before, the organization supported 2,796.

The organization is now providing on-site counseling services to students at Whitney Elementary, a community school in the Boise School District.

“The needs are growing significantly,” Sadiki said. “We need to hire new health-care providers to be able to go into the schools to provide services there.”

St. Luke’s and the Children’s Home Society have a long-established partnership, with both organizations tracing their Idaho roots to the early 1900s. The Children’s Home Society has received CHIF grants for several years, using them to provide thousands of counseling sessions to children.

“This grant has a very huge catalytic effect,” Sadiki said. “The benefit of this grant helps us to continue to strengthen our partnerships with other agencies, such as the Women’s and Children’s Alliance. Within that, it really does create a platform where we can cultivate group partnerships with other health-care providers in the community.”

Applying for CHIF grants

St. Luke’s accepts CHIF grant applications each year in August and September. Grants are often awarded during the following January. For the Twin Falls area, St. Luke’s Magic Valley accepts applications and awards grants two times per year.

Priority is given to organizations that address the significant health issues identified in St. Luke’s Community Health Needs Assessments. These issues include obesity, diabetes, mental health, suicide, access to affordable health insurance and more.

Grant proposals are reviewed by St. Luke’s leaders, medical directors, public health experts and volunteers from St. Luke’s Community Boards. Recipients submit activation reports highlighting how grants were used throughout the year. 

List of 2020 CHIF recipients from Mountain Home to McCall

Ada County Highway District

Ada County Medical Society Foundation

Alzheimer’s Association, Greater Idaho Chapter

American Cancer Society

American Heart Association

American Lung Association in Idaho

Angel Wings Network Inc.

Assistance League of Boise

Autism Society Treasure Valley

Because Kids Grieve

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Idaho

Boise Bicycle Project

Boise Public Schools Education Foundation

Boise Rescue Mission Ministries

Boise Urban Garden School

Boys & Girls Club of Nampa

Boys & Girls Clubs of Ada County

Camp Rainbow Gold


Children’s Home Society of Idaho

City of Boise Parks and Recreation

City of Caldwell

City of Cascade

Comprehensive Cancer Alliance for Idaho

Create Common Good

Dance Marathon at Boise State University

Destination Caldwell

Donnelly Fire-EMS Members Association

Elderly Opportunity Agency

Epilepsy Foundation of Idaho

Expedition Inspiration Fund for Breast Cancer Research

FA Club

Faces of Hope Foundation

Family Advocates

Genesis Community Health

Giraffe Laugh Inc.

Girl Scouts of Silver Sage Council

Girls on the Run Idaho Inc.

Good News Food Pantry

Horizon’s Lifestyle and Education Management team

Idaho Academy of Family Physicians

Idaho Caregiver Alliance

Idaho Children’s Trust Fund

Idaho Diabetes Youth Programs

Idaho Farmers Market Association

Idaho Hemophilia Foundation

Idaho Hunger Relief Task Force

Idaho Immunization Coalition

Idaho Walk Bike Alliance

Idaho Youth Ranch


Idaho State University Foundation

Jannus Inc.

Jayden Deluca Foundation

Jesse Tree

Learning Lab

Lee Pesky Learning Center

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

Life's Kitchen

Marie Blanchard Friendship Clinic

Marsing School District

Mountain Home High School

Mountain Home Parks & Recreation

Mountain Home School District

Muscular Dystrophy Association

Nampa Housing Authority

Nampa Salvation Army

Nampa Schools Foundation

Nampa School District

National Hemophilia Foundation

National MS Society

Pancreatic Cancer Action Network

Parma Area Senior Citizens

Reel Recovery

River Discovery

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Idaho

Salmon River Senior Citizens

Sleep in Heavenly Peace

Special Olympics Idaho

St. Michael’s Cathedral

Supportive Housing & Innovative Partnerships

Surviving Hearts Cancer Support Group

Susan G. Komen Idaho Montana

Terry Reilly Health Services

The Idaho Foodbank

The Mentoring Network Inc.

The Speedy Foundation

Treasure Valley Believe in a Cure

Treasure Valley Children’s Relief Nursery

Treasure Valley Down Syndrome Association

Treasure Valley Food Coalition

United Ostomy Association of America

Valley Regional Transit

Women's and Children's Alliance

Weiser Senior Center

Zoo Boise

About The Author

Daniel Mediate works in the St. Luke’s Communications department.