Dr. John Rusche has been named chairman of the Lewis-Clark Valley Healthcare Foundation Board of Community Advisors.

Rusche is a retired pediatrician and former senior vice president and chief medical officer for Regence Blue-Shield of Idaho. He also is a former member of the Idaho House of Representatives.

Tracy Flynn will be the vice chairwoman of the 15-member board, and Sister Pat Rosholt will be the secretary.

Flynn is a nursing professor at Lewis-Clark State College and volunteer family nurse practitioner at the Snake River Medical Clinic in Lewiston. Rosholt is vice president of mission at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in Lewiston.

The foundation was established as part of the $109-million sale of St. Joe’s to what was then RCCH Healthcare Partners, now LifePoint Health, in May 2017.

Before the sale, St. Joe’s was a not-for-profit owned by Ascension Health; now it’s a for-profit business. Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden required creation of the foundation as a condition of the sale.

The foundation governs an endowment that was started with $25 million. Of that amount, $23 million came from the sale of the hospital and another $2 million was contributed by LifePoint Health.

The foundation distributes about 5 percent of the value of the endowment annually.

In the first year of awards, the foundation gave away more than $250,000 in increments of $5,000 to $30,000. The money went to more than 20 groups, such as the YWCA, Potlatch Food Pantry and Pullman Community Council on Aging.

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