2016 Health Heroes
Trish recently secured a grant to train staff in Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM). The goal is to help reduce the impact of a disaster on hospital staff and paramedics. This area of response is often over looked. Staff will now get the support that they need after dealing with traumatic situations, which should help reduce turnover and possibly reduce suicides. Trish is extremely active in getting three hospitals prepared for any type of disaster. She goes out of the way to make sure that staff and visitors are safe. Trish works every day to prepare the community by working with regional responders in planning and exercises, and that is why she is a Health Hero.
Positive Connections was already an agency that provided so many mental health and health resources to our community, but recently they acquired the caseload of another agency and are doing their best to accommodate all of the needs of their new patients as well. Not only do they try to meet the mental and behavioral health needs of the diverse population they serve, but they offer multiple unique resources to their clients—like in home counseling and an on staff physician. They are so accommodating and easy to work with. Positive Connections quietly goes about their business of helping those in need with little recognition, making them true Health Heroes.
Madisyn Kimmel is a senior at Valley High School who chose to do a fundraiser to benefit the Silver & Gold Senior Center in the Eden/Hazelton community for her senior project after they had experienced a cut in funding for their meal programs. Madisyn donated over 140 hours of her time, drove over 650 miles, and collected 134 donations that totaled $5,465.00 for the center. Because of Madisyn’s efforts the senior center in Eden can continue to provide healthy meals for seniors who otherwise might face nutritional deficiencies that could be detrimental to their overall health. She chose to do something about a problem in her community instead of sitting back and doing nothing, and because of that Madisyn is a Health Hero.
Kyle is the school nurse for 17 schools in Cassia County. Kyle initiated and oversees the Idaho Foodbank backpack program allowing children to have food to take home over the weekend, she ensured that 3,000 students all had their vision screening done by the end of September, and wrote 150 care plans this past year. She raised money to purchase automated external defibrillator (AED) devices for each school and then followed through and trained employees on how to use them. Kyle works with multiple partner agencies to provide the services that her students need—from immunizations to health insurance and food or clothing. She goes above and beyond to ensure the health and well-being of Cassia County students and that is why Kyle is a Health Hero.
Lesia is a long-time Advanced EMT with thousands of hours of direct patient care and transport service with the Camas and Pine/Featherville rural ambulance services. She is an accredited trainer for EMT programs, and has delivered EMT training for multiple agencies. Under Lesia's supervision, the rural Camas service has maintained superb patient care and transport relationships with the two rural hospitals in Camas EMS's service area, as well as superb relationships with Air St. Luke's for transport of Camas patients. As a certified CPR/AED and Heimlich Maneuver trainer, Lesia provides training every year for the Camas County School System among many other organizations. Lesia also founded the Camas EMT bike rodeo tradition at the County Fair, in which kids get to learn about bike safety and survival. Lesia established and ran a Community Health Fair for training community members in CPR and AED use. She is now planning a 2017 Community Health Fair focusing on spotting genetic susceptibility to ovarian cancer, and raising awareness of the many kinds of breast cancer. Lesia’s many years of dedication to the health and safety of Camas County’s citizens makes her our Health Hero.
Melody is a Licensed Medical Social Worker with a passion for improving the quality of life and the mental health of individuals of all ages. She works with children 3-18 years of age whose behavioral and emotional disorders are severe enough to interfere with their ability to function. On Saturdays Melody shifts her focus from children to homebound clients in need of assistance following a serious injury or illness. To further demonstrate her passion and commitment for mental health, Melody is part of a specialized team that provides Equine Assisted Psychotherapy to children, active-duty military, and veterans. Incorporating horses and a Certified Equine Specialist, Melody works to help build the social skills and critical thinking skills of children in foster care and the juvenile justice system. This summer, Melody also spent a week at a Re-Boot Camp, near Fairfield, providing mental health screening assessments to veterans with post-traumatic stress syndrome. Melody is a person of character, integrity, and strength who manages impressive feats for the greater good of others and is a real Health Hero.
Voices Against Violence
Voices Against Violence is the only 24-hour emergency shelter and hotline for domestic violence and sexual assault in the Magic Valley. They are committed to providing services to assist individuals as they heal physically and psychologically from the traumas endured through victimization. Voices Against Violence's main goal and mission is to empower individuals who have experienced violence. All of their services, including counseling for crime victims are free. While other mental health resources exist in the community, Voices Against Violence strives to provide immediate support to victims, as research shows the sooner after a traumatic event a person receives therapy, the better the recovery. This dedication to helping others makes Voices Against Violence true Health Heroes.
Betty is in charge of the Red Cross Blood Drawings in the Buhl area. She volunteers her time making all the arrangements for the location, getting an article in our local paper to let people know about it, and arranging with the different churches in Buhl to serve lunch to the Red Cross workers and the volunteers who help. Buhl is the only town we know of that the workers and volunteer helpers get a free lunch. Betty sees to it. She is very organized. It takes a special personality to do all she does, which is why Betty is a Health Hero.
Judy makes all the appointments for the Buhl Red Cross blood drawing. She volunteers hours of her time to call about 100 people to remind them of the drawing in Buhl every 3 months and has done it for several years. She also works at the check-in table on the day of the blood drawing, greeting each donor as they enter. This is very time consuming but she is faithful to the cause. Judy is that quiet Hero in the crowd making sure that the blood drive is successful, and that is why Judy is our Health Hero.
Con Paulos has sponsored a "Kid's Safety Day" for the past 20 years. This event is totally free to all that want to participate. He furnishes food, activities, and space for all vendors free of charge. This past year there were over 30 different organizations that participated, including Safe Kids and AAA who provided free bike helmets. Participants also received instruction in bicycle safety with the assistance of the Jerome Police Department, and information on water safety, fire safety, car seats, gun safety, and much more. By providing a venue for this type of event over 500 participants received information that should help them to live a healthy and safe life. Con is also involved in many community efforts, including the Jefferson Awards and the Economic Development of Jerome which make him a long time Health Hero.
Silver and Gold Senior Citizen’s Center
The Silver and Gold Senior Center is constantly doing things to make lives easier by providing wonderful food, money makers to help support the meals, and a nice facility that can be rented for funerals, birthdays, and family gatherings. Folks volunteer to keep the building clean, pretty, and busy inside and out. Our site director is very friendly, helpful, and always keeps our building an attraction! She has special parties for each holiday and once a month she has a birthday meal for those born in that month. During that dinner she will call out a name, and that person gets a free meal. She keeps track of the winners so everyone gets a chance to win. She is always patient and kind to those of us who are slow eaters or have health problems. The Silver and Gold Senior Center is a very important part of our community, they support not only seniors but the whole community, and that is why they are Health Heroes.
Dr. Bryan Mason
From the moment he started at the St. Luke’s Buhl Physician Center, Dr. Bryan Mason has shown his true character: positive, professional, patient, kind, caring, dedicated, hard-working, and a natural leader. He has earned the trust of the citizenry, largely because he made it a priority to involve himself in the Buhl community. He participates each year in the Buhl Community Health Fair, gives talks at the Kiwanis club and the Buhl Library, and attends Chamber of Commerce meetings. In addition, Dr. Mason provides services to the Buhl School District by signing IEP forms free of charge, whether or not the student is his patient. He can also often be found at the public library, explaining his vocation (and his stethoscope!) to children from the local Boys & Girls Club. Dr. Mason’s presence is now a staple in the Buhl community. His colleagues respect and admire him, and his patients have embraced him and love him dearly. He is a breath of fresh, country air: An “old-fashioned” doctor who practices modern medicine—for all the right reasons and that is why he is a Health Hero.
For over 50 years Edna has been involved in many community activities. She served on the St. Benedict’s Hospital Board in Jerome and is a diligent volunteer for St. Luke’s fund raisers. Her lifetime of dedication to health care in the Magic Valley makes her a super Health Hero.