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From living rooms to clinics, Terry Reilly’s mission is no person or health issue goes unnoticed

Terry Reilly Health Services
Tens of thousands of clients walk through the doors of Terry Reilly clinics each year.

Just over 50 years ago, Canyon County farmworkers living in sub-standard conditions found much-needed care in a Nampa home. It was there that Terry and Rosie Reilly turned what they called a “House of the People” into a neighborhood clinic.

Today, Terry Reilly Health Services, named for its late founder, delivers care for tens of thousands of patients in clinics across the Treasure Valley.

“It's always my hope that as we're expanding and growing and staying relevant, it's not at the expense of the heart and the purpose behind our origins,” said Heidi Hart, chief executive officer of Terry Reilly Health Services. “So, we’re really trying to hold the past and bring it forward into today.”

Hart visited with Morning Edition host George Prentice to talk about Terry Reilly’s core values and some big plans for the organization in 2023.

Read the full transcript below:

GEORGE PRENTICE: It's Morning Edition. Good morning. I'm George Prentice. There is hardly a morning when we do not talk about our health or our systems of care. So, as we make our way into this new year, we look forward this morning to spending some time with Heidi Hart, chief executive officer of Terry Reilly Health Services, who spend their days, according to their mission statement, doing their best to ensure no person or health issue goes unnoticed. Heidi Hart, good morning.

HEIDI HART: Good morning, George.

PRENTICE: Well, as we try to emerge from one crisis and prepare to tackle whatever might be coming next, can you talk a bit about how your organization's vision of health care may be evolving?

HART: I think one of the things that our organization is continuing to press on is the idea of holistic care and making sure that we're looking at all of the different pieces of health that we as individuals need in order to be our best healthy self. And I would say we're also continuing to push on the social determinants of health - those drivers, those things that influence and shape the world that we live in and that are contributors to our health. So, both of those remain right in the forefront for us as an organization as we lean into 2023.

PRENTICE: Let's talk about some specifics. I count…well… over a dozen clinics and behavior health care centers plus Sane Solutions, Allumbaugh House, labs, pharmacy services. What new additions might be coming to Terry Reilly?

HART: There are a couple of things that are on the radar for us for 2023 that we're really excited about. I'll touch on three of them in particular. One is that in our rural communities, out in Homedale in particular, we have long had a building that was aging and really wasn't able to keep up with the growth and demands of our rural community. So, we have just broken ground on a new clinic out in Homedale that will allow us to expand services and integrate services in Homedale. So, we'll integrate our current medical and dental, but we're also bringing pharmacy services to our clinic in the Homedale clinic. A second is in Meridian. We have not had a clinic location in the Meridian market or the Meridian community; so we have signed a lease and are in the beginnings of bringing online a fully integrated clinic that will have medical, dental, behavioral health and a pharmacy in Meridian… and that will come online this summer. And then the third big project for us is really about expanding behavioral health services, both in Ada County and in Canyon County. As we look to add to our workforce around behavioral health services and the work that we can do to help support people who are needing that level of service.

PRENTICE: Could you talk a bit more about community health centers and how they are a more health-effective and cost-effective alternative to… well, folks ending up in the ERr?

HART: I think one of the things that we try really hard to do as a community health center is to not only look within the walls of the traditional health care setting. So, your medical offices, your dental offices, We've really tried to not only focus on that, but also look at what are those drivers or influencers that are affecting people's health. So, making sure they have access to food, make sure they have a safe place to live, make sure that if they have experienced a trauma that they're getting the counseling services that they need. So really trying to make sure we wrap around and embrace all of the things that we need as an individual or a family to be healthy in addition to what we would think of as the traditional health care space. So, I think it's our hope that really by blending both of those realms, we're able to help support people wherever they need the help to be their best self. And that in doing so, that we're able to do it in a way that is cost effective both for the individual but also for taxpayers.

PRENTICE: I'm going to test my memory here. You. You began your career at Terry Reilly… as a behavioral health counselor?

HART: Yes. You have a really good memory. Yes.  I started my career as a counseling student. I was a graduate student from the College of Idaho. And, yes, began my career working in the world of behavioral health. And it's hard for me to believe I've been with the organization over 30 years now. So, it's been fun to be able to contribute, but also to watch the organization grow and change in response to the needs within our community.

PRENTICE: We've talked a lot over the years, and I think, about the history of Terry Reilly and your mission/  And then… well, who would have guessed that the world would spiral during the pandemic? At a time when your mission was… and I've thought about this a lot, it was already built-in to who you were and how you might respond when things do spiral. Have you had time to think about that?

HART: I think one of the things that I feel really fortunate is to be able to have is

Rosie Reilly on our board. So, Rosie obviously is the founder of the organization. She's on our board of directors. And it's my privilege every month to be able to see Rosie, but also to take a moment to make sure we remain grounded in the heart and the mission of the organization, why we are here, why we exist, what our role and purpose is in the organization. So, she's a great grounding rod, I guess is the word I'll look for, to make sure that I help keep myself and our organization grounded in our meaning and our purpose, regardless of what's going on in the world around us and the pressures and forces that might be out there, but to make sure that we're doing it right.

PRENTICE: And I keep thinking of that image of Rosie and Terry on the steps of their home and how indeed, they offered care in living rooms, right?

HART: They did.

PRENTICE: Yeah. It's rather stunning.

HART: It is. And, you know, I sometimes wonder what it's like to be in Rosie's shoes or Terry, if he was alive, to think back about what they started and where we are today, It's really transformational. Not only the growth in size and scale, but the complexity of healthcare now, compared to then. And as I say, it's always my hope that as we're expanding and growing and staying relevant, it's not at the expense of the heart and the purpose behind the organization and the origins of it. So, we’re really trying to hold the past and bring it forward into today.

PRENTICE: And your organization has become a bit of a barometer, if you think of it, of  those folks who may be or may not be  employed or insured and of course, those men, women and children who may be in the shadows. Through the years, you know, those numbers probably before anyone.

HART: Wow. Well, that's a high compliment. Thank you. I do believe that part of our mission, our purpose, is to help make sure that we're being a balanced voice for people that don't have the ability or the time for whatever the circumstances are, to be able to advocate and to tell their story… and to help put faces to numbers and data so that we can help make sure not only are we responding, but people that are making decisions on behalf of our community are also aware of the voices and the needs of people who maybe aren't in a position to be able to advocate or tell their own story.

PRENTICE: Can you give me just a general number of how many people are in the Terry Reilly family now.

HART: As patients were probably close to about 40,000 patients… or 40,000 members of our community that we're taking care of organizationally. From a workforce perspective, we're probably heading towards having 600 employees by the end of this year.

PRENTICE: And to that, all I can say is happy New Year to you.

HART: Well, certainly no moss grows, right?. There's plenty of good work to be done and good people to do it. So, yes, we're definitely in a period of growth and continue to bring forward the work and the services that are needed in our community.

PRENTICE: And she is chief executive officer of Terry Reilly Health Services. Heidi Hart, thanks for giving us some time this morning.

HART: Thank you, George. As always, it's a privilege.

Find reporter George Prentice on Twitter @georgepren

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