More than $200,000 in grants will be awarded at the end of this year as money from the sale of St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in Lewiston is shared with the community.

The money will go to programs to improve the health of people living in north central Idaho, southeastern Washington and Wallowa County, Ore., the area the hospital serves, said Mark Havens, chairman of the board of community advisors for the Lewis-Clark Valley Healthcare Foundation.

Creation of the private foundation was a term of the $109 million transaction that was reviewed by the Idaho Attorney General's office under the Idaho Nonprofit Hospital Sale or Conversion Act.

Ascension Health sold St. Joe's to RCCH Healthcare Partners last spring, turning the nonprofit hospital into a for-profit business.

The foundation received $23 million from the sale and another $2 million from RCCH Healthcare Partners. Private foundations are required to distribute 5 percent of their assets each year, Havens said.

The amount of this year's awards would be higher except that the foundation hasn't had long to build its assets, Havens said. RCCH gave its $2 million in June, and that was followed by $23 million from Ascenion in October. Havens said more details about the grants will be available in May.

The foundation expects it will have a two-step process that would start with a letter of interest due by mid-summer.

"The ones that appeal to us, we would invite back for (a) longer form," Havens said.

The advisory board also will be filling two of its 15 seats this summer. Chuck Cram, pastor of First United Methodist Church in Lewiston, and Timothy Krueger, owner of Travelland RV in Lewiston, left after being part of the initial board selected by the Idaho Attorney General's office. The remaining board members are as follows:

  • Shannon Grow, director of the Lewis Clark Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization, who serves as the board's vice chairwoman.
  • Brittany Pope, quality improvement specialist, North Central District Health Department, who serves at the board's secretary.
  • Vanessa Bachman, finance manager, Disability Action Center NW, a not-for-profit.
  • Doug Barton, account executive, Comcast Spotlight, an advertising company.
  • Michael Collins, Lewiston Mayor Pro-Tem, Lewis-Clark State College Cross Country and track coach and adjunct professor of kinesiology.
  • Denice Flerchinger, an owner and vice president of Twin City Electricians as well as board member of Tina's Hope for a Cure and the Cystinosis Research Foundation, both nonprofits.
  • Tracy Flynn, professor of nursing LCSC.
  • Sheila McDougall, social worker at Washington's Department of Children and Family Services in Clarkston.
  • Kent Kinynon, retired Lewis-Clark State College controller.
  • Sister Pat Rosholt, member of St. Joe's board.
  • John Rusche, retired physician and former Idaho state legislator.
  • Laura Von Tersch, city of Lewiston community development director.

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Williams may be contacted at ewilliam@lmtribune.com or (208) 848-2261.

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