New Clinics to Open at Idaho State University Meridian Sam and Aline Skaggs Health Science Center
September 9, 2021
Fulfilling a mission to improve access to health care and increase available health care services for Idahoans, residents of Meridian, Boise and other cities in the Treasure Valley now have access to several new and existing health care clinics as part of an expansion of the Idaho State University-Meridian Clinics.
New clinics include a Rehabilitation Counseling Clinic, an Integrated Mental Health Clinic, Nutrition Services Outpatient Clinic, ISU Meridian Health Care and a new Physical and Occupational Therapy Clinic. A celebration to dedicate the new clinics and ribbon cutting with the Meridian Chamber of Commerce will be held September 29 at 12:30 p.m. at 1311 E. Central Drive in Meridian. All are invited to participate and tour the facilities following the dedication and ribbon cutting.
Substantial contributions from the state Permanent Building Fund were fundamental in completing the clinic updates. Additionally, a $150,000 grant from the Sunderland Foundation helped with the completion of the space.
One of the new clinics is a Rehabilitation Counseling Clinic, which will provide services for individuals with emotional and physical disabilities to help them achieve their personal, career, and independent living goals. This new clinic will supplement the counseling clinic already in place, which offers individual, couple, and family counseling.
A new Integrated Mental Health Clinic will provide evaluation and medication management for patients suffering from a variety of mental health conditions requiring psychiatric medication. Providing these much-needed services for Idaho residents also gives students in the Master of Science in Clinical Psychopharmacology (MSCP) program opportunities for enhanced learning experiences to prepare them for their field.
Supporters of the Integrated Mental Health Clinic include Optum Idaho, who contributed $100,000 to provide tuition support for up to five licensed Idaho Behavioral Health Plan (IBHP) psychologists. Optum also provided $50,000 in funding for a licensed physician who will provide supervision and support for IBHP enrollees while training in the MSCP program.
Optum Idaho Executive Director, Georganne Benjamin will be in attendance at the dedication and ribbon cutting to present a check to MSCP Program Director Dr. Eric Silk.
"This partnership between Optum Idaho and ISU is another great example of what can be achieved by working together to improve access to behavioral health care services across Idaho,” says Dennis Woody, PhD, Optum Sr. Clinical Psychologist.
A Nutrition Services outpatient clinic will provide individual and group wellness, as well as medical nutrition therapy counseling for adults, children, and families. It will also serve as a rotation site for dietetic interns.
ISU Meridian Health Care is a Nurse Practitioner Faculty run clinic that will offer preventative healthcare for all ages in Meridian and surrounding communities. The clinic will utilize trained providers, new equipment, sound NP training, a referral system and nearby health care facilities in order to maximize the care for each patient. The care by a NP involves a partnership with the patient, something more and more patients are searching out.
Finally, the Physical and Occupational Therapy Clinic will begin providing services in the fall of 2022. It will provide a teaching arm for the Doctor of Physical Therapy and Master of Occupational Therapy programs. The facilities will include innovative faculty research and therapy services for the underserved and underinsured population of the Treasure Valley.
Other clinics at ISU-Meridian that have served the Treasure Valley for many years include Speech Language Pathology and Delta Dental of Idaho Dental Residency. At the September 29th event, the Speech Language Pathology Clinic will be dedicated as a RiteCare Scottish Rite Childhood Language Program (SRCLP) clinic, focused on providing services to the pediatric population.
In addition to the enhanced services for local residents, the new clinics also provide an opportunity for students and the broader community. The students get hands-on medical training under the supervision of ISU faculty clinicians, enabling them to be better prepared to enter their chosen fields upon graduation.
“I am delighted that we have been able to complete construction and improve the level of care for the patients in our community,” said Rex Force, vice president for health sciences at ISU. “By expanding services to include nutrition, rehabilitation counseling, integrated mental health treatment, physical therapy and more, we bring care closer to home for many people, where it is most needed.” Force adds, “ISU clinics are integral to our community outreach efforts in the Treasure Valley and our experienced ISU faculty clinicians are at the cutting edge of both practice and research in their respective fields.”