Community Health Academy provides learning, funding for Idaho cities

Courtney Frost is a Senior Program Officer for the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health.

The Community Health Academy is one of our most impactful programs at the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health. The purpose of the Community Health Academy (CHA) is to provide mayors and city staff the opportunity to explore how they can improve the health of their communities.

We partner with national and regional experts who provide trends, data, practical next steps, and hands-on teaching experience in their area of expertise. There are tangible takeaways and $20,000 grant funding to help make them a reality.

CHA participants also have the opportunity to meet peers from across the state and can share success stories, tips, or ask questions about issues or challenges they are facing. The educational experiences are fine-tuned to benefit communities of all sizes. Previous CHA participants represented large, medium, small, rural, and suburban cities across Idaho, from Bonners Ferry to Malad, Ashton to Nampa, and many others in between.

Community Health Academy consists of five learning sessions, including three in-person sessions and two webinars, that focus on topics that impact communities.

We believe in this program so much that are allocating funds from a major donation from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott to expand CHA and make it available to more Idaho mayors and city staff. The application period for CHA is currently open. The deadline to apply is April 14.

Here are a few testimonials from recent CHA participants:

“This program has been fantastic to force me out of the box a little bit and think about things we can have an impact on.”

“It really opens up people’s eyes who lead their communities to look at things through a different lens.”

“We’re trying to become a healthier community, and you’re showing us ways we can do that.”

“The best thing about this academy is there were ideas that I’d never thought of before and introduced me to a world of possibilities for our city. Keep doing it, every small-town elected official and worker can benefit from this.”

“We found ideas that will help us immediately and things that can help us long term.”

“The presentations are extremely right on and benefit all types of communities and all types of challenges we face.”

“The Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health comes to the table with resources, financial and human, and they work within the framework of my constraints.”