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SM/CV embark on diabetes education program; Hospitals to utilize five-year grant funds

St. Mary’s (Cottonwood) and Clearwater Valley (Orofino) hospitals are among the eight program grantees supported through the new $16 million, five-year Merck Foundation initiative, Bridging the Gap: Reducing Disparities in Diabetes Care. The grant is awarded to help mobilize community-based partners and to improve diabetes care for vulnerable and underserved populations, and SMH-CVHC are the recognized leaders in rural health care in the state of Idaho.

“During the week of Dec. 4, we will be kicking off our participation in the grant project,” said Pam McBride, chief grant officer. “Community health workers from Partnership for Healthy Communities will be in our clinics throughout the week to do A1C screenings, offer counseling, provide information, and share healthy snacks and recipes. It will be a fun way to celebrate this ground-breaking project with our patients and communities.”

For specific times and locations, check the Facebook page at @NorthIdahohealth.

Promoting health equity among people with diabetes requires a comprehensive approach that brings together high-quality health services with resources drawn from outside of the health system. Collaboration across multiple sectors can address the many factors that influence health, such as access to healthy foods, and safe options for physical activity, housing, and education.

“We need to look beyond the usual health care solutions to address the growing burden of diabetes, especially among vulnerable populations in the United States,” said Julie L. Gerberding, of The Merck Foundation. “Through Bridging the Gap, we are pleased to bring together these eight diverse organizations, and look forward to leveraging their expertise to help more people effectively manage their diabetes and improve their overall health.”

St. Mary’s & Clearwater Valley Hospitals & Clinics join selected organizations in communities across the country, as part of Bridging the Gap, working to improve the delivery of diabetes care and address the social and environmental factors that affect health.

For information, visit For information on The Merck Foundation, visit


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