Grants Promote Integrating, Embedding and Partnering Healthcare with Community Organizations


The Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health awarded grants to three organizations to pilot and evaluate programs and projects that focus on improving health outcomes in Idaho.

The grants, totaling $272,450, were issued to Cascade Medical Center, nonprofit Jesse Tree and Southwest District Health.

Cascade Medical Center in Valley County will launch a pilot project targeting rural seniors with goal to help seniors “age in place” and connect to services that address root causes that impact health. The project will start with an inventory of the root causes that impact health in the community – transportation, housing, parks, walkability, social integration, support systems, and access to healthcare through lens of aging in place. A diverse community team will then develop plan to address service gaps and research business models to expand home medical care. It will then develop long term strategic plan to formalize model of care.

Nonprofit Jesse Tree, which focuses on preventing eviction and homelessness, will partner with Family Medicine Residency of Idaho (FMRI) to pilot a program to determine effectiveness of a Community Health Worker located at Jesse Tree. Many of Jesse Tree’s clients experience healthcare and wellness needs. The partnership with FMRI and the proposed project will determine effectiveness of implementing a Community Health Worker at Jesse Tree and will assess impacts on root causes that impact health and healthcare needs.

Southwest District Health will conduct an evaluation project to determine effectiveness of a full-time nurse at a rural school community hub. The nurse will be located at Marsing School District’s School Hub in Owyhee County, a medically underserved area. The evaluation will determine if a full-time nurse located in a school is financially sustainable, has impacts on student wellness, and improves school staff’s knowledge of when to refer students to school nurse.