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Idaho State University poised to continue expanding partnerships for healthcare education

A student in Idaho State University's physician assistant studies program looks into the ear of another student as part of training in the program.
John Roark/Idaho State University
A student in Idaho State University's physician assistant studies program looks into the ear of another student as part of training in the program.

POCATELLO–– Idaho State University is using the power of partnerships to effectively expand the impact of ISU’s health science programs across Idaho, focusing on supporting healthcare in rural areas.

ISU recently announced collaborations with Lewis-Clark State College and the University of Idaho to expand its existing physician assistant program into North Idaho. This expansion will create opportunities for students in Moscow and Lewiston in addition to robust programs in Pocatello, Meridian, and through an established partnership with the College of Idaho in Caldwell. This initiative underscores ISU’s leadership and commitment to bringing high-quality, proven and accredited healthcare education to more of our sister institution’s campuses.

Additional collaborations include accelerated nursing partnerships with Kootenai Health in Coeur d'Alene, master of occupational therapy seats for Boise State University graduates, pharmacy education with the University of Alaska and educational and research partnerships with the Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine (ICOM) located on ISU’s Meridian campus. Through these partnerships, students gain hands-on experience through clinical training rotations across the state, bringing their skills to both urban and rural facilities with critical needs.

“Our partnerships exemplify our commitment to interprofessional education and expanding patient care,” ISU President Robert W. Wagner explained. “Together, we are fostering collaborations that advance scholarship and, more importantly, address Idaho’s healthcare workforce needs. With the growth of nearly 700 additional health sciences students over the last five years and record graduation numbers, Idaho State University is at the forefront of developing the next generation of healthcare professionals across the state.”

Idaho State University is committed to expanding the impact of health science education across Idaho by providing transformational education to students. This includes assessing, understanding, and managing the statewide needs related to educating and training Idaho’s healthcare workforce. This mission is driven by thousands of faculty, alumni and students who are devoted to improving healthcare access and helping others. With approximately 12,000 students, one-third of whom are enrolled in a health professions degree or certificate program, ISU is the epicenter for healthcare education. Program offerings include nursing, physician assistant, pharmacy, medical lab science, physical therapy, athletic training, audiology, radiographic science, occupational therapy and many more of Idaho’s most in-demand jobs.

ISU has amplified its mission to provide Idaho’s health sciences education and established a model and a culture of collaboration working with other universities, corporations, health systems and organizations to identify and address Idaho’s workforce needs. ISU’s network of partnerships has been studied, tested, evolved, and adjusted into a structured system to provide education and training that can be scaled across the entire state. Rooted in its origins of understanding and addressing the healthcare needs for the state, the primary goal at the forefront of every interaction and decision is to prepare caring and competent healthcare providers to serve our population and improve quality of life for Idahoans. It takes a comprehensive team of physicians, nurses, physician assistants, pharmacists, dieticians and others working together to realize the most beneficial outcomes for patients. ISU’s success is rooted in innovative delivery models and a robust network of partnerships, which provide students with a wealth of educational opportunities and diverse learning environments.

Over the course of many decades, ISU and its supportive partners have built a living legacy with an ever-expanding healthcare alliance across Idaho. ISU is committed to seeking, growing and establishing new partnerships with organizations that share its dedication to providing high-quality health care in Idaho. This focus will continue to be a priority now and into the future.