Improving Health Care for All
From Researchers to Patients
Fall 2009 Issue | By Arthur C. Vailas, Ph.D.
President, Idaho State University
President Arthur C. Vailas
At Idaho State University, we are introducing the concept of comprehensive health science centers. These centers promise to be a great resource to the regions in which they are located. The only centers of their kind in Idaho, the operations we’ve established in Eastern Idaho and at our new Meridian Health Science Center in the Treasure Valley are promising sources of solutions for two of the greatest challenges we face — improved quality of and access to health care, and long-term sources of economic growth.
Today, ISU clinics have nearly 30,000 patient contacts per year. We operate clinics in: audiology, balance, counseling, dental hygiene, dentistry, family medicine, occupational and physical therapy, psychology, speech and language, and general wellness.
The clinical education we provide our students and the outstanding health care we extend to Idaho’s communities make a real difference toward expanding access and contributing positively to local economies. These clinics are the roots for what will become vital health science centers in the state.
For students, these centers offer an introduction into the world of professional health care with guidance from the brightest minds in the industry. The fundamentals they practice and the modern equipment and facilities with which they become familiar prepare them to enter a workforce that desperately needs them.
For practicing health care professionals, such centers provide an essential opportunity to continue the lifelong process of education. Brushing up on skills, perfecting new techniques, and learning about breakthrough developments make good health care professionals great. Having such resources available in our communities ensures that these fine practitioners find greater incentive to remain in our local workforce and help to attract other important players into the economy.
For researchers, the synergistic effect of studying alongside colleagues from other disciplines promises a new age of discovery. Working together, these faculty learn more about their own fields and find new connections to others that shed new light on what we know. This is how superstars are born, and their performance attracts funding from government and private sectors who want to advance the capabilities of one of humankind’s noblest endeavors — the care for and education of people.
For patients, increased health care access means better treatment at a much lower cost. They receive the best and latest in treatment. They know that the people providing their care are at an exciting time in their lives when they are most dedicated to doing things right and going the extra mile.
Join us in promoting these clinics and the benefits they provide in our communities. If you need care, come see us. If you or those you know seek a career in one of the fastest-growing and highest-paying fields in our state and the nation, enroll. If you are a practicing professional or researcher, partner with us and discover how much more you can do and contribute.