MARCH 18, 2010

Hospitals receive $85,000 grant for alternative healing methods

    Clearwater Valley and St. Mary’s Hospital and Clinics will partner on a year long $85,000 grant from the Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration to look at ways to integrate traditional medicine with alternative healing modalities such as acupuncture, massage therapy and yoga.

    The grant funds will be used to develop a strategic plan which will outline future ways to expand workplace wellness programs, promote healing spaces in buildings that serve patients or residents, increase access to alternative healing programs for the elderly and suggest improved referral patterns between practitioners of traditional medicine and non traditional providers.

    The grant service area includes Idaho, Lewis and Clearwater Counties.  SMHC/CVHC; St Gertrude’s Monastery; Brookside Landing Assisted Living Center in Orofino and an area development company with experience in developing health and assisted living spaces are partnering on the project.

    Deanna English, RN, Grangeville, will provide consulting services for integrating wellness and primary care services.  She helped set up the Integrative Medicine program at Gritman Memorial Hospital.

    “We’re really excited about the grant because SMHC hopes to expand PT services in Kamiah, CVHC is planning a new medical clinic in Orofino, St. Mary’s Hospital will be developing vacant space, Brookside Landing is planning to enhance their current facility and St Gertrude’s Monastery hopes to increase the types of holistic health programs they provide,” said Casey Meza, CEO, SMHC and CVHC. “The grant will allow us to look at building concepts that include all types of healing modalities. We won’t only be looking at physical structures, but we’ll be building a plan for the future that will incorporate a large spectrum of patient centered health care.”

    According to Pam McBride, SMHC/CVHC Grant Coordinator, the grant will build on the work CVHC and SMHC are already doing through their patient centered medical home grant. “We’ve always made the patient the center of our care, but sometimes the best way to do that changes as new technology and new methods are developed. We’re planning for the future while focusing on what we do today.”

    Gary McEwen, PT, Grangeville Physical Therapy, will serve as Project Director.  He recently developed an employee wellness program designed for small and large businesses. It will serve as a model during the grant year for expanding health services and promoting preventive health care beyond traditional clinical settings.

    McEwen will be attending a Holistic Health and Healing conference in June offered by the University of Minnesota, School of Nursing Summer Institute for Integrative Clinical Care. He and Chris Roach are co-directors of the CVHC/SMHC Physical Therapy Department.

    According to McBride, HRSA will provide 60 percent of the project costs and SMHC/CVHC and their partners will be providing 40 percent or $55,660 of project expenses through in-kind services and support.

Pictured: Gary McEwen, PT, and Deanna English, RN, discuss integrative health services.  A grant was recently awarded to St. Mary’s and Clearwater Valley Hospitals to develop a patient care service model that combines traditional western medicine with alternative health modalities such as yoga, acupuncture and massage therapy.