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St. Luke’s Awards Grants to Five Wood River Organizations
Friday, January 27, 2023


St. Luke’s has awarded $39,500 to five Wood River Valley organizations supporting youth mental heath and other health issues.

The organizations receiving the Community Health Improvement Fund (CHIF) grants are Family Health Services, Higher Ground, Idaho BaseCamp, I Have a Dream Foundation and Men’s Second Chance Living.

Seventy-five nonprofit organizations across the Wood River Valley, Treasure Valley, West Treasure Valley, Elmore County and Valley County received more than $550,000 in Community Health Improvement Funds. The hospital system is investing an additional $325,000 in Magic valley nonprofits this year.

St. Luke’s sees it as a way it can improve the health of people in the communities it serves beyond simply providing medical attention.

St. Luke’s gave special consideration to organizations whose proposals target needs identified through St. Luke’s Community Health Needs Assessment. The top priorities are:

  • Nutrition programs, including education
  • Substance use disorder services
  • Mental and behavioral health services
  • Housing stability
  • Services for families experiencing adversity
  • Accessible modes of transportation
  • Healthy air and water quality

    “Our community partners are all doing amazing work that address improving the health of people throughout our valley,” said Sarah Seppa, St. Luke’s Wood River’s director of community engagement, of the Wood River organizations that received grants. “I am always impressed with the thoughtfulness and thoroughness that go into providing programs and services that work to prevent and/or help individuals overcome obstacles to physical and mental health.  They often dedicate their heart, their skills, their time and other resources, going above and beyond, to make a difference.  It’s rewarding to be able to assist with a CHIF grant to further the work that they do.”

    A look at the organizations receiving grants:

  • HIGHER GROUND offers many programs, including the year-round Higher Ground Adventure Club program which enables children who are deaf/hard of hearing and/or blind/visually impaired to partake in recreational activities. Executive Director, Kate Dobbie said Higher Ground will use its grant money to provide highly individualized recreation opportunities to help all participants gain self-confidence while recreating, empowerment in social settings, and independence in all facets of life’s daily challenges.
  • I HAVE A DREAM FOUNDATION-IDAHO helps under-resourced children change their lives through the power of education, social-emotional support and long-term, consistent relationships. Executive Director Laura Rose-Lewis said the grant would fund the purchase of a social-emotional learning curriculum, “Wayfinder,” that provides teachers, mentors and volunteers with age-appropriate, hands-on social emotional activities delivered through a workbook provided to each child.
  • IDAHO BASECAMP has cultivated the leaders of today and tomorrow for the past 25 years through day and summer camps and creating a connection to nature. Program Director Whitney McNees noted that COVID and social media have taken their toll on the mental health of children. “Research has proven time and time again that being outdoors and connecting with our natural surroundings is perhaps one of the best remedies for someone with mental health struggles,” she added. “The direct impact of these outdoor experiences builds self-confidence and positive mental attitude amongst students throughout southern Idaho.”
  • MEN’S SECOND CHANCE LIVING provides safe and sober living to adult men in early recovery from substance use disorder. “Our programs provide wraparound support and skills necessary for residents to reintegrate, becoming independent and engaged community members,” said Executive Director Sonya Wilander. Programs include the safe and sober living house, counseling, preventative dental and medical care and crisis care, financial education classes, matched savings accounts, education costs and nutrition assistance. St. Luke’s Wood River Foundation also provided a generous grant to MSCL.
  • FAMILY HEALTH SERVICES opened a medical, dental, and behavioral health clinic with pharmacy services in the city of Bellevue in 2022 to serve the uninsured and under-insured in Blaine County.A $1 million grant from the St. Luke’s Wood River Foundation (SLWRF) helped to make the clinic a reality. The 2023 CHIF grant will help with gas cards for patients with transportation barriers and provide for a part-time bilingual outreach coordinator from St. Luke’s Wood River’s Center for Community Health.


St. Luke’s accepts applications from non-profit organizations from August through Sept. 30.  Each application will be reviewed by multiple committees, expert volunteers and St. Luke’s leaders.

Those who receive a grant must submit an Activation Report outlining how the grant dollars were used and what impact they made. Learn more at https://www.stlukesonline.org/about-st-lukes/supporting-the-community/submit-a-grant-application

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