Trinity Health will award a $1.5 million grant through its Transforming Communities Initiative to the “Promise Partnership,” a partnership between Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center and United Way of Treasure Valley.
The grant will provide $500,000 for three years. At the end of the three years, the groups can apply for an additional $1 million grant. The Treasure Valley is one of only six communities to receive the grant, and the sole recipient in the West.
Saint Alphonsus and United Way will use the grant to work with local cities, school districts, business and nonprofits to figure out what barriers exist between residents and good health. The groups will focus on two areas: obesity and tobacco use. The two are causes of preventable chronic diseases that increase health care costs in Idaho. Members of the Promise Partnership will consider policy, systems and environmental changes in communities that could help alleviate both tobacco use and obesity.
Nora Carpenter, president and CEO of United Way Treasure Valley said the “community will help craft the outcome” from the grant. Specific projects that could receive support include programs in Garden City like the Boys and Girls Club and others that focus on young people in a challenged neighborhood, or Caldwell’s P-16 program that provides resources for students throughout their public school careers. Other options: programs that look at communities’ access to healthy food, as well as tobacco and what kinds of programs could discourage its use.
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“We’ll be focused not just in Boise, but the entire Treasure Valley,” said Carpenter at a Tuesday press conference. “We are resource-rich, but not necessarily resource-connected.”
United Way Treasure Valley has been promoting partnerships between local agencies to support families in the interest of efficiency and of finding complementary programs that can work together — a mobile farmers market that coincides with mobile recreation opportunities for kids, as one example. The idea is timely. The recent United Way ALICE (asset limited, income constrained, employed) report found that one in three Idaho families struggle to pay the basic costs of living. This has a great effect on health, Carpenter said.
“The grant will allow us to build infrastructure to lead to change for generations to come,” said Carpenter.
In addition to Saint Alphonsus and United Way, the cities of Boise, Nampa, Caldwell and their school districts, Central and Southwest District Health, Community Health Clinics, Treasure Valley Education Partnership, St. Luke’s Health System and Boise State University are partners in the Promise Partnership project.