Finding Hope


Community Health Needs Assessment highlights housing, healthcare, and mental health

Posted at 3:43 PM, Jul 31, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-01 10:49:33-04

BOISE, Idaho — Affordable housing, accessible healthcare, and mental and behavioral health services were all highlighted in this year's community health needs assessment, and for the first time, several organizations have combined their assessment findings for this year's data analysis.

Alexis Pickering is the program manager, for the Western Idaho Community Health Collaborative. She says, "The community health needs assessment is not only a critical tool for not only the health districts but the health system and our United Way and other lead partners to truly understand what are those health priorities from the communities themselves."

The Western Idaho Community Health Collaborative partnered with seven organizations across 10 counties to determine where the most help was needed. Saint Alphonsus is one of the organizations.

After 2020’s findings of lack of affordability and housing, Saint Alphonsus has been proactive when it comes to housing in the Treasure Valley.

"We worked on a really amazing development in Nampa called Canyon Terrace which is 82 units of affordable housing. It's special because it has 15 units of those apartments that are specifically dedicated to students and their families from the Nampa school district homelessness," says Rebecca Lemmons, regional director of community health and well-being for Saint Alphonsus.

Along with housing they host mobile clinics as well, bringing medical services to those who can't travel.

Which is another identifier in the 2023 assessment, access to healthcare.

Select Health, a division of Intermountain Health, also partners with organizations that provide services to underserved populations.

Amy Stahl, regional marketing director, with select health says, "We provide grants to Genesis which is expanding their clinic into Canyon County from Garden City so that’s going to have an impact, particularly in rural parts of the treasure valley. We consider that to be a very high priority because basically, we have a shortage of physicians."

Based on this year's findings, the next step is the implementation plan, what resources are needed and how they can make an impact on the community

"Better together is definitely the case with this initiative, and it will be a model going forward that will allow us to be more mindful and invest limited resources in a bigger way to help the community," Stahl says.

To make finding resources in your community easier, there's also a health atlas, a regional dashboard where you can get the CHNA data along with external data sources.