Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health Awards $250,000 Grants to Orofino, Twin Falls

The Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health is awarding two prestigious $250,000 Community Transformation Grants to Orofino and Twin Falls that will help those communities make sustainable changes that promote healthy living for youth.

The cities were chosen after a rigorous selection process that included a detailed application and site visits with Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health staff.

“Orofino and Twin Falls are communities with strong partnerships and leadership who share a passion for community health,” said Kendra Witt-Doyle, executive director of the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health. “We are excited about working with these communities to help make changes that will last for generations.”

The Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health offers Community Transformation Grants through its High Five initiative. High Five works directly with elected officials, communities and families to develop advocates for children’s health, ensuring the efforts are localized and lasting.

Both three-year grants will provide funds and technical assistance to the communities. The grants begin in June and run through 2021. A collaborative process with community leaders and the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health will help determine an action plan for the two-phase grant:

Phase 1: Planning (2019-2020)

  • • Establish partnerships
  • • Understand community assets and needs
  • • Develop a grant strategy

Phase 2: Funding and Execution (2020-2021)

  • • Implement strategy
  • • Leverage and build sustainable solutions


“We are thrilled to be receiving a Community Transformation Grant,” Orofino Mayor Ryan Smathers said. “We look forward to working with the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health to help make

Orofino a healthier community.”

Twin Falls Mayor Shawn Barigar said, “We look forward to working with the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health and our community partners to continue to transform Twin Falls into a healthier place in which to live, work, and play.”

In addition to the Community Transformation Grants, the Foundation named three Idaho cities as High Five Ambassadors. The cities of Driggs, Emmett and Rathdrum were awarded ambassador grants to assist with the development of health-focused city planning.