RETHINKING WHERE HEALTH HAPPENS:
How non-traditional partnerships can impact community health.
Good health doesn’t happen in the hospital. It happens in our homes… our schools… our communities.
Homedale Mayor Gheen Christoffersen recognizes this. After all, as a small rural community without a hospital of its own, the City of Homedale doesn’t have easy access to many of the educational programs hospitals and other health care providers often host.
So when High Five Program Officer Courtney Frost came to the City of Homedale with the idea to introduce his team to Albertsons dietitian Molly Tevis, they were very receptive.
“At the time, I wasn’t sure precisely how Molly and Albertsons could help the City of Homedale achieve its goals, but I knew we all shared a vision to encourage healthy lifestyles,” Courtney explains. “I was confident Molly’s work in the more urban parts of Idaho would translate well to rural areas like Homedale.”
Molly agreed. As a registered dietician who spends her days working closely with Albertsons customers to help them make healthy choices, she knew her message would benefit the citizens of Homedale.
Working closely with Homedale City Clerk Karen Pegrem, Molly organized a plan to host a class — Eating Healthy With Diabetes — at the Albertsons Homedale store.
“For many of these smaller communities, the grocery store is in many ways their community center,” Molly says. “Everyone has to grocery shop. There is just one store in Homedale. So by holding it at the store, people knew where to go, and they felt comfortable coming.”
A date was set. Flyers were made. City Clerk Pegrem used her connection to the local community to get the word out through emails and text messages.
The result was one of Molly’s largest single classes to date, with dozens of Homedale area residents — both adults and children — gathering to learn how to set up their plate, how to count carbs, and even learning how to monitor their blood sugar. “It’s all about getting the community to be aware of how to take care of themselves and giving them the tools to start taking those steps,” Molly says.
Molly has since expanded her focus on less urban areas, hosting classes in Caldwell and looking for opportunities do more.
“The Homedale class was a real eye-opener,” Molly says. “We learned that if we offer this to a smaller town or city, it can be valuable because we’re able to show that you don’t have to go to extravagant stores or hunt for special ingredients to be healthy — it’s already all available in your own community.”
Even as a relatively small step, the Homedale class was widely seen as a success for the community.
“Anything that promotes health, family, and community is important to Homedale,” Pegrem says.
MAYOR: Gheen Christoffersen
LOCATION: Set along the Snake River, 40 miles west of Boise
Albertsons dietitian Molly Tevis