Idaho State University political science professor, Dr. Shin Kue Ryu, is partnering with United Way of Southeastern Idaho as a co primary investigator on The Bannock County Health Collaborative. The project was funded by the Get Healthy Idaho grant from the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare’s Division of Public Health.
The collaborative will gather information from citizens to identify what barriers prevent individuals from accessing preventative health screenings, mental and primary healthcare, and healthcare education.
“It will also develop a Community Action Plan that will run in partnership with United Way to actually address those barriers,” Ryu said.
Bannock County, like much of Southeast Idaho, experiences very high rates of poverty, diabetes, disability, obesity, and social vulnerability. The study will identify specific causes of poor health outcomes.
“The knowledge gained through the initiative will serve the broader southeast Idaho as it provides much needed additional population-level health information and its barriers to formulate vital community-level initiatives,” Ryu said.
The grant provides funding for up to four years. The first year will focus on forming the collaborative of community stakeholders to then gather information about social determinants of health in Bannock County. United Way of Southeastern Idaho will play an important role of building bridges and connecting community stakeholders to make a positive impact on community health.
“They are crucially important partners as they have a wealth of experience and knowledge on how to serve segments of the population that may not have benefited from the traditional direct government model in public service delivery,” Ryu said.