Making Good in Health: Idaho job changes, recognition and other achievements © 2013 Idaho StatesmanMay 14, 2013 

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Andrew Baron



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Meet the 19 members of the health exchange

Gov. Butch Otter has announced the members of Idaho's Health Insurance Exchange Board, a panel authorized by the Legislature to set the rules and regulations for implementing a state-based exchange.

Stephen Weeg of Pocatello, retired executive director of Health West and one of three members representing consumer interests, will serve as interim chairman while the board develops bylaws for its own work in the coming months. Its nonlegislative voting members must be confirmed by the Idaho Senate.

Besides Weeg, the other two consumer-interest representatives appointed to the board are Mark Estess, Idaho director of AARP and Karen Vauk, president and CEO of the Idaho Foodbank.

Three members will represent health insurance carriers: Dave Self, senior vice president and regional director for Pacific Source; Scott Kreiling, president of Regence Blue Shield of Idaho; and Zelda Geyer-Sylvia, president and CEO of Blue Cross of Idaho.

Two members will represent companies that sell health insurance products: B. Hyatt Erstad of Erstad and Co. in Boise and Tom Shores of Shores Insurance in Boise.

Four members will represent small-employer business interests: Frank Chan, owner of Applied Computing LLC in Boise; Jeff Agenbroad, owner of Since 86 Inc. in Nampa; Kevin Settles, owner of Bardenay Restaurant and Distillery in Boise, Eagle and Coeur d'Alene; and Fernando Veloz, of MS Administrative Services in Meridian, the chairman of the Employers Health Coalition of Idaho.

Two members will represent health care providers: Dr. John Livingston, of Boise, a doctor of internal medicine and general surgery; and Margaret Henbest, of Boise, a registered nurse, former Idaho legislator and executive director of the Idaho Alliance of Leaders in Nursing.

Idaho Department of Insurance Director Bill Deal and Idaho Department of Health and Welfare Director Richard Armstrong will be nonvoting ex-officio members. Legislative leaders also appointed Sen. Jim Rice, R-Caldwell, Rep. Kelley Packer, R-McCammon; and Rep. John Rusche, D-Lewiston.

The board must establish an exchange by Jan. 1 as required by the federal Affordable Care Act. It is authorized to develop an operating plan and contract for required services.

"We have decided to build and operate a voluntary, state-based health insurance exchange rather than defaulting to total federal control," Otter says. "The folks who have agreed to serve on the board will be our eyes, ears and most importantly the voices of Idaho in this process."

Terry Reilly names a medical director

Dr. Andrew Baron has joined Terry Reilly Health Services as medical director, having previously practiced primary care at the Boise Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Baron is a board certified family physician with 18 years of experience, a fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians and a certified physician executive. His experience in physician leadership includes quality improvement, medical staff leadership, chronic disease management and evidence-based medicine. He was vice president of medical affairs at a regional health organization, medical director at Blue Cross of Idaho and, most recently, medical director and vice president of Primary Care at MultiCare Health System.

Kuna pharmacy wins accreditation

Custom Rx Pharmacy, Kuna, has received accreditation by the Pharmacy Compounding Accreditation Board.

The accreditation is awarded for meeting or exceeding national quality standards. Custom RX says it is the only nationally accredited compounding pharmacy in the Treasure Valley and the second in Idaho.

The board is a nonprofit organization that provides a voluntary accreditation program for compounding pharmacies nationwide. Formed by eight of the nation's leading pharmacy organizations, the board promotes, develops and maintains principles, policies and standards for improving the quality of pharmacy compounding nationwide.

St. Luke's donates 5 AEDs

St. Luke's Health System has donated automated external defibrillators to local organizations.

Three AEDs will go to the Skyview, Nampa and Columbia high schools in the Nampa School District; one to the Nampa Salvation Army; and one to the Boy Scout Camp in McCall. Funding for the AEDs, which cost $1,800 each, was made possible by a grant from the St. Luke's Auxiliary.

Having access to an AED is critical in the treatment of sudden cardiac arrest. According to the American Heart Association, there were more than 380,000 sudden cardiac arrests outside of hospitals in 2012. Many occur in people who have no symptoms of heart disease or other risk factors.

Hospital wins award for patient satisfaction

Idaho Doctors' Hospital, Blackfoot, has been named a 2012 Summit Award winner by Press Ganey Associates Inc. for the second year in a row.

Press Ganey works with more than 10,000 health care organizations nationwide and recognizes organizations based on achievement in seven categories. The Summit Award for patient satisfaction honors organizations that have demonstrated excellence in patient satisfaction for at least three consecutive years.

"An award given based on our patients' perception of our work is especially welcome recognition," says Dr. Clark Allen, chief of staff at the hospital.

The award was presented during a ceremony at the hospital attended by Mayor Mike Virtue of Blackfoot; Jeremy Field, a representative of U.S. Sen. James Risch; Farhana Hibbert, a representative of U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo; and other local leaders.

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