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Application deadline: April 14

Zip codes predict health more than genetic code. Why? There are factors where we live, outside of healthcare, that influence health. The Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health works with communities across Idaho to address factors that impact health and build healthy communities. Mayors and city staff play a vital role in helping to create a healthy community.

The Community Health Academy (CHA) provides opportunities for city and community leaders to explore how they can improve the health of their communities. CHA brings together leaders — mayors and city staff — from Idaho communities to learn from local and national experts, collaborate with each other, and activate a program or project in their community.

Are you interested in learning how you can help improve the health of your community? Read the requirements, and if you are interested, please apply below.


The 2023 Community Health Academy will include these sessions:

  • Childcare
  • Civility
  • Communications
  • Designing Healthy Communities
  • Food systems
  • Housing
  • Leadership


Participants must attend to receive grant funding.

  • June 23: Academy launch/Communications (at Association of Idaho Cities annual conference in Boise)
  • July 11,12,13: Food Systems (Webinar, Attend one)
  • August 9: Housing/Civility (Boise/Garden City)
  • September 13: Childcare & Early Education (Webinar)
  • October 3,4,5: Designing Healthy Communities (Regional sites, Attend one)

Community Health Academy video


Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the Community Health Academy offered?

The Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health is dedicated to giving back to Idaho and addressing root causes that impact health. The Community Health Academy fosters learning and skill-building among mayors and city staff on how they can create a healthy community. The academy engages and mobilizes participants to enhance their leadership skills, provides them with community health resources and inspires them to influence policy, systems and built environment decisions. All of these actions lead to a healthier Idaho.

Who can apply to attend the Community Health Academy?

Mayors from incorporated Idaho cities and leaders from any of the five federally recognized Native American tribes in Idaho can apply. Those selected for the academy must include at least one additional staff member to participate.

When is the deadline to apply?

Applications (see form below) must be completed by close of business on Friday, April 14. Those accepted will be notified by prior to Monday, May 1.

What do participants receive in the Community Health Academy?

Participants engage in learning opportunities with regional and national experts with tools and actionable materials to take into their community. Those who successfully complete the academy earn a customized grant for their community worth up to $20,000.

What is the commitment required from participants?

Attendance at five sessions is required. There are three in-person sessions (June, August and October). Two of the in-person sessions will take place in Boise and Garden City. The third session will be held regionally at sites to be determined once we have determined which cities are participating in the Community Health Academy. There are also two virtual sessions (July and September) conducted via Zoom. Required homework (surveys, webinars, readings) can be up to an additional two hours per month.

What does the Community Health Academy cost?

There is no cost to attend, and the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health will provide travel stipends for the mayor and city staffers to attend the three in-person sessions.

What type of projects/programs can the grant fund?

Community Health Academy grant funding can be used toward physical projects or programs, evaluations or pilot efforts designed to improve the health of the community. After the academy concludes, the mayor will meet with the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health to discuss the proposed project, and then funds will be distributed in late 2023. The mayor and city staffers must attend all meetings to be eligible for funding.

Where can I learn more about the Community Health Academy?

We are hosting a webinar at noon (MST) on Wednesday, March 15, to answer any questions you may have about this program. You can also email with any questions.

What cities have attended previous Community Health Academy cohorts?

There have been 24 attendees (listed alphabetically) American Falls, Ashton, Bonners Ferry, Caldwell, Cascade, Driggs, Glenns Ferry, Grace, Homedale, Idaho Falls, Jerome, Lewiston, Malad, McCall, Nampa, New Meadows, Nezperce, Payette, Rathdrum, Rexburg, Sandpoint, Twin Falls, Weiser and Wendell.

Apply Now