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Idaho Community HealthCorps celebrates 20 years of creating healthy futures

August 2, 2015
ISU Marketing and Communications

POCATELLO – For the past 20 years, Community HealthCorps has leveraged the power of national service to enhance and expand the work of Community Health Centers in serving America’s medically underserved communities.

Founded in 1995, by the National Association of Community Health Centers, Community HealthCorps is the largest health-focused AmeriCorps program, annually placing 535 individuals to serve full-time in more than 200 communities throughout 17 states and the District of Columbia.

The Idaho State University Institute of Rural Health has been a Community HealthCorps Program Site since 2000. On Aug. 1, the health center will welcome its 15th team of 21 AmeriCorps members.

“The collective enthusiasm and passion Community HealthCorps Members bring to get things done in Idaho health centers and the communities we serve is priceless,” said Barbara Cunningham, program director of the Idaho Community HealthCorps at ISU. “Each year, we are grateful for the impact our AmeriCorps members make throughout their service term, and are proud to be a part of their journey to becoming the nation’s future servant leaders.”

Community HealthCorps Members annually facilitate more than 500,000 health-related engagements increasing access for thousands of health center patients, and over a third of the program’s 7,000 alumni choose a career within community health or public service, as a direct result of their service.

“Community HealthCorps provides a two-fold opportunity for our AmeriCorps members to create healthy futures for the patients and communities they serve, while developing into the health and public service leaders of tomorrow,” said Gerrard Jolly, national director.

Community HealthCorps members like Fran Villano are engines of positive change at Adams County Community Health Center in Council, Idaho. Originally from Long Island, New York, Villano was inspired to serve because of her interest in health and nutrition. Since her first year of tenure, besides providing free nutrition counseling to her community with an emphasis on weight loss and diabetes management, she launched two weight loss challenges.

The first challenge ended June 2014 and 12 clients lost a total of 117.4 pounds. The winner had a 13.2 percent body-weight loss. The second challenge ended February 2015, and 19 clients lost a total of 86.6 pounds and the winner had a 10 percent body-weight loss. To reward her clients, she raised $6,654 over two years in cash and prizes. Fran’s primary philosophy is to teach awareness and emphasize the fact that if you do not take care of yourself FIRST; you will be unable to take care of your family.

For more information about Idaho Community HealthCorps visit

To learn more about the Community HealthCorps, visit and to learn more about the National Association of Community Health Centers, visit

Visit AmeriCorps for more information about AmeriCorps.

Contact: Barbara Cunningham, 208-282-4560 or


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