A generous donation to the Primary Care Initiative (PCI) from Saltzer Health and its parent company, Intermountain Health, will directly impact the future of health care in Idaho.
The $150,000 donation from the largest healthcare provider in the Intermountain West will allow the non-profit foundation to continue its efforts to improve access to healthcare for Idahoans by encouraging new doctors to practice in rural and medically-underserved areas of Idaho through scholarships and medical education debt repayments.
“A shortage of healthcare professionals in Idaho, and particularly in the more rural parts of the state, restricts access to vital healthcare. Intermountain has provided a contribution to PCI to ensure that physicians are trained and retained across Idaho so that the community members have access to care.,” said Lisa Nichols, Intermountain Community Health AVP. “This contribution is in service to our mission of helping people live the healthiest lives possible. We’re proud to collaborate with PCI.”
Established in partnership by the Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine and Blue Cross of Idaho, the PCI aims to raise $25 million over the next five years in support of its mission. The foundation, which launched in August of 2022, has since awarded $45,000 in scholarships to medical students and is supporting a family medicine physician in Jerome, ID through medical education debt repayment.
“We have to elevate these communities so that people have a primary care physician that supports and knows them, because that is the longevity, the stability, and frankly, the success of Idaho,” said Charlene Maher, Board Member of the PCI Foundation and the President and CEO of Blue Cross of Idaho.
Idaho and its rural communities face a chronic shortage of physicians. In fact, the Gem State ranks 45th in the nation for the number of primary care physicians per capita, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges’ 2021 State Physician Workforce Data Report. This dire need for primary care physicians in Idaho, and especially in its rural communities, is what motivated the creation of the Primary Care Initiative.