POCATELLO, ID, Oct. 5, 2021 – The United Way of Southeastern Idaho (UWSEI), an organization committed to improving outcomes for children, families, and individuals in need, announced today that it has been awarded a four-year, up to $400,000 grant from Idaho Department of Health and Welfare’s Get Healthy Idaho initiative.
UWSEI will use the funds to establish a collaborative—the Bannock County Health Collaborative—that will create and execute a community action plan to address the root causes of health disparities.
“The Bannock County community knows these issues are present, but so far we have lacked the resources to invest in a community-driven, multi-sector collaboration to solve these problems,” said Dr. Amy Wuest, UWSEI’s Community Resources Director, who will facilitate the collaborative. “Now we will be able to take the first steps to understanding and ultimately improving population-level health outcomes.”
Dr. Wuest said that like much of southeastern Idaho, Bannock County experiences very high rates of poverty, diabetes, disability, obesity, and social vulnerability and this is coupled with low rates of preventative health screenings, low access to mental health and primary health care, and limited education attainment.
“With this grant, we are so excited to be a partner in Get Healthy Idaho’s Building Healthy and Resilient Communities initiative,” said Molly Olson, interim CEO at UWSEI. “This coordinated effort to meet the needs of ALICE families and other individuals affected by health disparities will greatly benefit Bannock County.”
This opportunity is particularly exciting as it will allow UWSEI to work with diverse partners to develop a comprehensive community action plan, Dr. Wuest said, adding that not every segment of the Bannock County community experiences health disparity in the same way. For example, individuals living in specific neighborhoods are more likely to experience housing instability, unreliable transportation, and an overall low socio-economic status. Seniors and families with children under five also experience poor health outcomes known to be associated with social determinants of health.
UWSEI has already begun partnering with leaders from across Bannock County to build the collaborative. Dr. Shin Kue Ryu, Assistant Professor in Idaho State University's Department of Political Science and Dr. Monica Mispireta, Director of Program Development at the Pocatello Free Clinic, will help to lead the development of the community action plan.
Community members will also be invited to share their ideas with the team throughout this project and help distribute feedback opportunities.
“We need everyone’s help getting the word out when we start collecting data and soliciting feedback on our community action plan,” said Ginny Hoyle, UWSEI’s Community Resources Manager, who will lead communication strategy for the project. “And it is crucial that we hear from those in our community who are experiencing health disparities so we can pinpoint the core issues and work as a community toward high-level solutions.”
For more information about the Get Healthy Idaho: Building Healthy and Resilient Communities initiative, visit https://www.gethealthy.dhw.idaho.gov/.
ABOUT UNITED WAY OF SOUTHEASTERN IDAHO
United Way of Southeastern Idaho’s mission is to build powerful partnerships that improve outcomes for children, families, and individuals in need. We deliver on that mission every day through investments in thirty local programs that affect more than 34,000 people a year in Bannock, Bear Lake, Bingham, Caribou, Franklin, Oneida, and Power Counties and through our Cradle to Career educational partnership, ImPACT East Idaho.
ABOUT GET HEALTHY IDAHO: BUILDING HEALTHY AND RESILIENT COMMUNITIES
Get Healthy Idaho is a community-driven, placed-based health initiative striving to improve health outcomes, lower healthcare costs, reduce health disparities and improve health equity across Idaho. Through Get Healthy Idaho, the Department of Health and Welfare in partnership with communities is investing directly in bold and innovative solutions that address the root causes of poor health affecting entire communities and, ultimately, individuals, families and children.
This project was made possible by The Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant awarded through SAMHSA; The Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant awarded through CDC; The Overdose Data to Action awarded through the CDC; and, receipts generated from Ryan White CARE Act Title II program awarded through HRSA. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, SAMHSA, the CDC, or HRSA.
Community Resources Director, United Way of Southeastern Idaho
Karla Nelson, AICP
Project Coordinator, Get Healthy Idaho