The Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health is dedicated to giving back to Idaho and addressing root causes to health issues. The Foundation has been investing in addressing the “upstream” issues to poor health for several years. We believe that to do our role effectively, we need to continually assess where and how we give back to Idaho and meet the needs of the state to create a healthier Idaho for our future. If we are not constantly assessing where we need to be giving back, then we are failing Idaho.
As a part of continually evaluating our strategy and focus, we commissioned a report in 2020 to help us and others further understand the “upstream” social and economic conditions that are key drivers of individual and community health. These conditions are known as the social determinants of health or social influencers to health. This statewide report “Building a Healthier Idaho: Improving the Conditions in which Idahoans are Born, Grow, Live Work & Age” highlights many of the challenges our state is facing. The report also showcases opportunities to help create a vibrant, thriving and resilient Idaho by addressing the social determinants of health.
The next step was to use the report to reflect on our work and our role as the only statewide, private health foundation in Idaho. The Foundation team and our Board leadership engaged in thoughtful dialogues and insightful discussions that helped us develop a new strategy that I’m excited to share.
The strategy starts with the vision of a healthier Idaho creating a healthier future. We need to continue to focus on the upstream issues impacting health to make that vision happen. The Foundation will enhance efforts to address the root causes impacting health by focusing on addressing the social determinants of health in the areas of Community, Education and Healthcare.
We engage and collaborate with local elected officials and organizations to build healthy communities and address root causes of health issues.
We help remove barriers to education and address root cause to health issues by engaging with communities, schools and organizations.
We connect existing healthcare and community services to identify and address root causes to health issues, and address healthcare workforce needs in rural Idaho.
We are excited to be launching this new strategy in 2021. We will continue to have a strong focus on collaboration to create transformational change and continuous learning. These are the next steps in creating a healthier Idaho.