Voice of Idaho award winner Lisa Koller: “Today my life is to help people overcome the stigma”

050317MentalHealth

May is national Mental Health Awareness month, and the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is joining with Idaho Regional Behavioral Health Boards around the state to commend individuals who have worked hard to reduce the stigma around mental health and volunteered in their communities to inspire hope, recovery and resiliency.

The winner of IDHW’s first-annual Voice of Idaho award, Lisa Koller, is one of those individuals. Part of her journey to recovery and dedicating her life to helping others with mental illness was inspired by receiving help from an Idaho peer support specialist after she graduated from Mental Health Court in 2007. Lisa now works as a peer support specialist and recovery coach at The Center for HOPE recovery center in Idaho Falls.

Read more below about Idaho’s program of certified peer support specialists from Idaho Division of Behaviorial Health Administrator Ross Edmunds, and Lisa Koller’s personal story of her struggles with substance use disorder and mental illness as recounted in her own words:   Continue reading

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Saint Alphonsus earns designation as Time Sensitive Emergency Level II Trauma, Stroke Center

Group photo with certificates

From left: Nichole Whitener, Neurology and Research Integrity manager at Saint Alphonsus; Dick Armstrong, director of Idaho Department of Health and Welfare; Jane Spencer, ACNS-BC, Stroke Program coordinator at Saint Alphonsus; Dr. Karen Porth, neurologist at Saint Alphonsus Neuroscience Institute; Dr. Bill Morgan, trauma surgeon and trauma medical director at Saint Alphonsus, as well as chairman of the Time-Sensitive Emergency Council show the certificates touting the designations the hospital has earned.

Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise has become the first hospital in Idaho to be designated by the State of Idaho’s Time Sensitive Emergency (TSE) Statewide Council as a Level II Stroke Center. Saint Alphonsus has simultaneously received recertification as the region’s only Level II Trauma Center. The designations represent an evidence-based approach to highly organized systems of care in the event of a stroke or traumatic injury. Saint Alphonsus achieved the designations by demonstrating improved patient outcomes, lowered costs, reduced preventable deaths and improved quality of life for patients.

The Time Sensitive Emergency Council is an organization selected by the Idaho Legislature to develop a statewide Time Sensitive Emergency system of care to address three of the top five causes of death in Idaho: trauma, stroke, and heart attack. The Level II Stroke and Trauma designations account for performance in 911 access, response coordination, transport, pre-hospital response, hospital emergency and acute care, rehabilitation, quality improvement, public education and prevention efforts. Idaho’s TSE program has created three designation levels for stroke centers, five levels for trauma centers and two levels for heart attack centers.  Continue reading