July 30, 2009

Idaho Health, Education Plans Clear Senate Panel

Crapo, Risch advance funding proposals for Idaho medical projects and education programs

Washington, DC - Requests for federal funding by Idaho Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch to expand medical services and education projects in Idaho have been approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee. These Idaho initiatives are included in the annual funding measure for the Departments of Education and Health and Human Services and the Department of Labor for Fiscal Year 2010, which begins in October. Final approval for the projects is still needed from the full Senate and a conference committee with the U.S. House of Representatives.

"We have made important strides to improve health services and expand educational opportunities in Idaho, but there is more to do," Crapo said. "I am proud to have participated in the expansion of telemedicine, which improves diagnosis for patients in rural Idaho, and to have recently seen firsthand the expansion of health education in Lewiston and Nampa."

"There is a great need for up-to-date health services, particularly in our rural communities," said Risch. "This funding will help many local hospitals upgrade their facilities. These funds also provide much-needed support for our medical education programs. We must invest in these training programs to meet the demands of a rapidly growing senior population."

Crapo and Risch received approval for federal funding for eleven Idaho health and education initiatives:

•$200,000 for Bingham Memorial Hospital for facilities expansion for women and children's services, Blackfoot
•$200,000 for Gritman Memorial Hospital for improvements to the Community Wellness Center, Moscow
•$200,000 for Northwest Nazarene University for nursing education equipment upgrades, Nampa
•$100,000 for Caribou Memorial Hospital for infrastructure improvements, Soda Springs
•$100,000 for Cassia Regional Medical Center for facility improvements and equipment, Burley
•$100,000 for College of Southern Idaho for its new Renewable Energy Technician Apprenticeship Training Program, Twin Falls
•$100,000 for North Idaho College for the Dental Hygiene and Assisting Program and community services, Coeur d'Alene
•$100,000 for Lewis Clark State College for the American Indian Scholar Program for nursing students, Lewiston
•$ 200,000 for the Hospital Cooperative, Portneuf Health Foundation for electronic medical records, Pocatello
•$100,000 for St. Luke's Regional Medical Center for children's health services, Boise
•$100,000 for Benewah Medical Center for facility and service improvements, Plummer