During childbirth, it used to be routine to cut the vaginal wall to make room for the baby. That's no longer recommended as a standard procedure. However, a new report says it's still performed routinely in some hospitals, including in our region.

St. Luke's

Dr. John "Hatz" Hatzenbuehler practices family and sports medicine at St. Luke's Wood River in Hailey. This spring, he traveled to Ghana with fellow healthcare practitioners to share sports medicine techniques with medical professionals in the African country. Dr. "Hatz"" joins Idaho Matters to talk about healthcare in Ghana and the growth of sports medicine.

Ada County Paramedics/Facebook

It's National EMS Week and Idaho Matters talks with Dr. Britani Hill, a trauma surgeon with Saint Alphonsus and Steve Boyenger, Deputy Chief of the Ada County Paramedics about collaborating to create efficient and effective emergency health care.

Flickr Creative Commons

Parents whose kids are in public school can be exempted from having to vaccinate on religious or personal grounds. Exemption rates are on the rise across Idaho, up to an all-time high of 7.7%, according to the Idaho Division of Health.


Bjorn Knetsch/Wikimedia Commons

May is Better Hearing and Speech Month and Idaho Matters looks at ways to detect and treat pediatric hearing loss with Dr. Jess Stich-Hennen, a pediatric audiologist at St. Luke's, Susie Jones, a speech pathologist with St. Luke's and parent Gretchen Fors.

U.S. Pacific Fleet / Flickr

Bariatric surgery allows people to lose weight by altering the size and shape of their stomach. On Tuesday's Idaho Matters, we talk to St. Luke's bariatric surgeon, Dr. Robert Korn and patients Andrea Dadsetan and Cody Morrison.

medical image
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Shingles are painful rashes that can be accompanied by fevers, headaches and nausea. It is virally transmitted with the chicken pox virus and can lie dormant in the body for years. The latest CDC-approved shingles vaccine is in short supply throughout the nation and on Idaho Matters, we speak with Laura McGeorge, a doctor of internal medicine with St. Luke's about an infection that impacts one in three Americans.

AP Photos / Kantele Franko

Idaho’s Health and Welfare Department says some of their clients’ personal information may have been compromised.



Vic Brincat/flickr

Idaho ranks behind only Florida in the number of child drownings. Idaho Matters talks with West Valley Medical Center's medical director and Lifeguards Without Borders executive director, Dr. Justin Sempsrott, about the importance of swim lessons, making your backyard pool safe and enjoying Idaho's rivers, lakes and ponds safely.

Jim Goodson, M.P.H./Wikimedia

Measles outbreaks are popping up all over the country and they could have all been avoided with childhood vaccines. Idaho Matters looks at why this is happening with St. Luke's pediatrician Dr. Alicia Lachiondo.


Mental health and substance abuse impacts 18,000 youths and 54,000 adults in Idaho. Dr. Ron Larson, Medical Director for Optum Health, joins Idaho Matters to discuss removing the stigmas attached to these disorders.


The American Lung Association has released its 2019 State of the Air report and it ranks Idaho near the bottom. This is primarily attributed to airborne particulate matter produced by wildfires. Heather Kimmel, Director of Health Promotions with the American Lung Association's Western Division joins Idaho Matters to break down the findings of the report.


Summer is coming and the Boise Police Department and St. Luke's are launching a campaign to remind parents of the dangers of leaving children in hot cars. BPD detective Tonya Newberry and Josie Bryan of St. Luke's join Idaho Matters to talk about the "Look Before You Lock" campaign.

Last year the nation was shocked when a 9-year-old Colorado boy took his own life. A recent report says youth suicide is a public health crisis in Colorado and the numbers in the Mountain West as a whole are staggering, with some of the highest rates in the nation. At the same time, there’s a significant shortage of mental health professionals -- at crisis levels in some communities. Often, it’s mental health workers in schools who work on the front lines of this crisis.

reda bacha/flickr

Blood flow restriction (BFR) therapy is a new recovery treatment for muscle injuries that is showing promise in accelerating the healing process without losing muscle mass. We talk with Heather Lopez and physical therapist Teri Pietz of the St. Luke's Sports Medicine Program about this new therapy.

Piotr Bodzek, MD/wikimedia commons

Perioperative care focuses on the quality of patient outcomes following medical procedures and the ability to manage costs. We talk with Lauren Smith and Dr. Elizabeth Olberding of St. Luke's about their perioperative programs.

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

The popular film Five Feet Apart tells the story of two young people, both living with cystic fibrosis, who fall in love. We talk with Mark Vaught, a cystic fibrosis behavioral health coordinator with St. Luke's.

Ride for Joy/

Ride For Joy joins Idaho Matters to talk about their mission to connect Idahoans with special needs and military veterans to therapeutic equine activities. We talk with program manager Heather Miner and Angela Geiser, a parent of one of the riders in the Ride For Joy program.

Petar Milošević/wikimedia

Idaho Matters looks at an innovative program that takes a new, holistic approach to pregnancy, birthing and neo-natal care with Dr. Roger Olson, Holly Lammer and Kristi Rhodes of St. Luke's.

University of Virginia School of Medicine

Dr. Bryant Cameron Webb of the University of Virginia School of Medicine was recently in Boise to lecture on the relationship between medical policy and social justice. Webb joins Idaho Matters to talk about why those two are not mutually exclusive.

Using Stress To Our Advantage

Apr 16, 2019

Idaho Matters talks with River Discovery and Expedition Inspiration about ways doctors are learning people can use stress to their advantage in cancer recovery.


This segment originally aired on February 12, 2019.

Dental cavities can spread from one person to another and on Tuesday's Idaho Matters, we talk about proper dental care with Heather Brown from Delta Dental of Idaho.


Spring is in the air and so is pollen, mown grass, molds and spores. Idaho Matters talks with The Allergy Group about using immunotherapy to treat allergies.

Research Finds Teens Are Smoking Less, Vaping More

Apr 11, 2019
Joel Wayne / Boise State Public Radio

Dr. Bonnie Halpern-Felsher studies the effects of tobacco on teens and her recent research refutes claims that vaping is safer than smoking. Dr. Halpern-Felsher joins Corey Surber, Advocacy & Community Health Coordinator with Saint Alphonsus, on Idaho Matters to discuss her research.

St. Luke's

The Mountain States Cancer Institute in Nampa is going to be relocated and updated. St. Luke’s says the new facility will offer a more serene space and more options for those going through cancer treatments.