The goal of the St. Luke’s Community Health Improvement Fund (CHIF) is to give non-profit organizations a boost.
Even better? When those non-profits give each other a boost.
That’s exactly what’s been happening between two Treasure Valley non-profits, Girls on the Run and Create Common Good.
A few years ago, Melissa Bixby, the program director for Girls on the Run, attended a St. Luke’s luncheon with Tracy Hitchcock, the CEO of Create Common Good. Several non-profit leaders were on hand to discuss how they were spending the funds that were awarded to them through the CHIF.
“St. Luke’s is all about collaboration, and how you can be involved with one another,” Bixby said. “So that got me thinking: ‘How can we be involved with Create Common Good?’”
The two organizations combined their efforts to provide snacks for Girls on the Run programs across the Treasure Valley.
“This spring will be our third season working with Create Common Good,” Bixby said. “In the past, we tried to do what we could to provide the healthiest snacks possible. But partnering with Create Common Good has allowed us to bring in a lot more fruits and vegetables.”
This week, St. Luke’s announced that Girls on the Run and Create Common Good were two of the nearly 90 non-profit organizations across the Treasure Valley that received grants from the CHIF. In all, the St. Luke’s Health System will invest more than $550,000 in these grants for 2018.
St. Luke's will also invest an additional $284,000 in community health improvement grants in Magic Valley.
Special consideration was given to organizations whose proposals target similar needs identified by St. Luke’s through its Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA).
The CHNA’s top three priorities are:
Based on that, it’s easy to see why Girls on the Run has been awarded grants for four consecutive years.
“Our goal is to have a well-rounded girl, not only in the physical sense but in the mental and social sense, too,” Bixby said. “Our goal is to raise the next generation, and hoping for a healthier, better generation moving forward.”
The Idaho Walk Bike Alliance is another organization that received a CHIF grant this year. The organization’s mission is to promote active transportation as healthy, safe and reliable for Idahoans.
Cynthia Gibson, the executive director of the Idaho Walk Bike Alliance, said the funds will provide scholarships to people in other Idaho communities who want to attend this year’s Idaho Walk Bike Summit in Boise.
“We don’t want anybody to not come to the summit because of cost,” Gibson said.
This year’s summit will partially focus on how cycling can positively impact Idaho’s smaller, rural communities.
“Those are the communities we want to help the most,” Gibson said. “The goal of the summit is to educate communities on … how to improve their community and make it more walkable and bike-able.”
As the Idaho Walk Bike Alliance, Girls on the Run and Create Common Good strive to meet their goals, it’s easy to see why the CHIF is so invaluable to non-profit organizations.“St. Luke’s, they’re in the community everywhere,” Bixby said. “You see them everywhere. So, to have this element of supporting non-profits … it allows us to be better as a whole community. It’s not just health care. They’re providing a lot of opportunities in this community.”
Chris Langrill is a writer and copy editor for the St. Luke’s Communications and Marketing department.