The $30,000 grants from the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health will allow the cities to add a health focus to their comprehensive plans
The Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health awarded the cities of Buhl and Caldwell grants that will enable the cities to add a health focus to their comprehensive plans.
The cities were selected for the $30,000 grant through a competitive bid process that was offered to cities that had completed the Community Health Academy, a Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health program. More than 30 Idaho communities have completed the Community Health Academy.
“We are extremely appreciative of the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health and what they do for all communities throughout the great State of Idaho,” Caldwell Mayor Jarom Wagoner said. “As the fastest-growing community in the Treasure Valley, it is vital that Caldwell maintains a vibrant and up-to-date Comprehensive Plan. This grant will help us achieve that goal, while also ensuring that we implement healthy strategies to make our community even that much more inviting and welcoming.”
Comprehensive plans are legal documents that Idaho cities use to guide public and private development, adopt administrative ordinances, review land use proposals and other plans that affect the city’s environment. Idaho law requires planning and zoning commissions in each Idaho city and county to adopt a comprehensive plan that focuses on 16 topics such as housing, economic development, recreation, land use, and transportation, but not health.
The Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health offers grants to help communities add a health focus to their comprehensive plans because policies that support good health help build healthier communities. The Foundation has awarded grants to nine Idaho cities to add a health focus to their comprehensive plans since launching the grant program in 2019.
“Cities play a vital role in their health of their communities, and the comprehensive plan is one of the tools cities have to build a healthier community,” said Courtney Frost, Senior Program Officer, Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health. “Adding a health focus to its comprehensive plan will help the City of Buhl make long-term impacts on the health of its community residents.”
Buhl and Caldwell update their comprehensive plans in 2024, seeking community input as part of the process.
“We are humbled by the generosity of the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health and thankful for their commitment to our community,” Buhl Mayor Pamela McClain said. “Their support makes a huge difference.”
The Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health will open applications for its 2024 Community Health Academy in the next few months, which will give more cities the opportunity to learn how they can impact the health of their communities.