Residents enjoy an ever-expanding list of options to stay healthy in Southwest Idaho.
With a new college of osteopathic medicine, a Magnet-designated hospital and a number of recently launched urgent care facilities, the residents of Meridian, ID have their health care bases covered.
In 2018, the Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine (ICOM), Idaho’s only medical school, opened its doors to students who will make up the school’s first graduating class in 2022.
“Our focus is helping primary care community-based medicine in our five-state region and, hopefully, to make a difference in the lives of the people of these communities.”
Dr. Thomas Mohr/Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine
“Our focus is helping primary care community-based medicine in our five-state region and, hopefully, to make a difference in the lives of the people of these communities,” says Dr. Thomas Mohr, dean and chief academic officer at ICOM.
ICOM students faced challenges similar to those of other medical schools when the pandemic hit. “We got through it without having to compromise our curriculum. We did have a crash course in how to take care of patients during a pandemic. One of the great things about being here is that when our graduates are done, they will be entering a community that historically has been underserved.”
New Urgent Care Clinics in Meridian, ID
Saltzer Health, an Intermountain Healthcare company, has been busy in the region. Starting in August 2020, Saltzer Health opened five urgent care clinics in Meridian, Caldwell and Boise. The Meridian sites include two clinics combining family medicine and urgent care services, one of which is the state’s first 24-hour urgent care clinic.
Dr. Rourke Yeakley, chief innovation officer at Saltzer Health and medical director of the Saltzer Health Urgent Care Clinics, says part of the provider’s mission is to reduce patient time in hospitals, which are not designed for lesser injuries and flus or colds.
“We quickly expanded five more clinics in the region during the pandemic, and so we were able to roll out COVID-19 testing and vaccinations quickly,” Yeakley says.
Award-Winning Hospitals in the Region
Meridian-area residents also have access to Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise, a Level II Trauma Center, which has been recognized in U.S. News and World Report’s annual 2020-21 hospital rankings as the top hospital in Idaho for treating heart attacks.
St. Luke’s Meridian Medical Center is a full-service community hospital that is part of St. Luke’s Health System. The 174-bed hospital in Meridian, ID is home to the busiest emergency department in the state. It is also equipped with an advanced inpatient and outpatient surgery center, among other things.
Rene Pallotti, vice president for population health for the Meridian, Eagle, Nampa and Fruitland region, says the clinical and support teams who work at St. Luke’s are what makes the hospital’s care so special.