Credit unions make an impact on Idaho’s economy


ECONorthwest, a Portland-based economic consulting firm, released its 2017 Economic Impacts of Credit Unions in Idaho report last week and reports a $638 million economic impact that can be attributed to Idaho credit unions in the last year.

According to a news release from the Northwest Credit Union Association, 917,400 Idahoans — 55 percent of the population — who are credit union members received nearly $90 million in direct benefits in 2017, resulting in an average benefit of $98 to each member, with reinvestment from members generating $90.4 million of spending in the state.

Troy Stang, president and CEO of the Northwest Credit Union Association, praised the efforts of credit unions in providing added options for consumers in the financial sector.

“Credit union’s cooperative, not-for-profit structure holds them inherently accountable to the members who own them,” Stang said. “Which is why credit union membership is such a value for consumers.”

Credit unions operate as a nonprofit financial institution, and are available in 34 counties in Idaho to provide financial needs such as loans to consumers. The National Credit Union Administration estimates that in 2016 $7.3 billion was financed through over 548,000 loans, according to the release.

“Credit union loans represent a significant investment in working-class Idahoans,” Stang said. “Those loans help to put members’ families in their dream homes, help them buy cars that get them to work, and help them start a small business.”

To learn more, visit asmarter

New coaching program launches

The Leadership Group, professional development program of the Community Partnerships of Idaho, seeks to jump-start a professional coaching program for the public.

The Leadership Group’s professional coaching program will be taught with the help of 20 coaches who have undergone 8-month life training courses through SeattleCoach, an accredited International Coaching Federation member.

“We are very excited to launch our coaching program to the public,” Liz Caval-Williams, director of the Leadership Group, said in a release. “Coaching is becoming recognized as an important tool to help people develop their capacity to think about things in new ways so they can accomplish what they really want to accomplish.”

In a release, the Leadership Group describes life coaching as “a custom-built professional development tool which helps to navigate a path toward ones vision,” and that “the coaching process addresses specific transitions in an individuals life by examining tendencies, discovering possible obstacles, and mapping out a course of action to achieve desired results.”

To learn more, visit lead

Coaching can be performed remotely via telephone or through Skype. The cost is $100 per session, or $450 for five sessions with an accredited coach, or $45 per session or $202.50 for five sessions with a non-accredited but trained coach.

Citrus Pear meal prep classes offered

A new meal prep service is offering classes to local residents.

Citrus Pear is a meal prep service where people gather to make 10 to 40 simple crock pot and pressure cooker meals in two hours. It has opened up locations in Idaho Falls and Rexburg.

Classes are held weekly at the Broulim’s Fresh Foods locations in both cities.

Around 10 to 15 people participate in each class. According to a news release, all classes are also attended by a registered dietitian to accommodate any food allergies. Private classes also are available.

To sign up for a class or to create a private class, visit Each location offers approximately 2 to 3 classes per week. Prices: $185 for 10 meals feeding six to eight people, $195 for 20 meals feeding three to four people, $320 for 20 meals that feed six to eight people, and $332 for 40 meals that feed three to four people.

Bingham Memorial Hospital honored

Bingham Memorial Hospital in Blackfoot was recently honored as a baby friendly designated birthing facility by Baby-Friendly USA, a subsidiary of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

Only 477 hospitals and medical centers in the United States have achieved this distinction. Bingham is only the second hospital in Idaho to be recognized.

According to a hospital news release, the program recognizes hospitals and birthing centers that offer “an optimal level of care.”

Bingham Memorial was awarded this designation for successfully implementing the “Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding” and the International Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes.

“Achieving the baby friendly designation is not an easy task,” Trish MacEnroe, executive director of Baby-Friendly USA, said in a release.

To implement the “Ten Steps of Successful Breastfeeding” and all breast milk substitute requirements, hospitals and medical facilities must meet the standards included on Baby-Friendly USA’s website. The 10 steps were developed by a team of global experts and consist of evidence-based practices that have been shown to increase breastfeeding initiation and duration, the release said.

Nuclear Care Partners receives accreditation

Nuclear Care Partners received accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Health Care.

The accreditation makes it “the only provider in the United States exclusively serving former atomic workers to achieve such a high level of patient care,” a Nuclear Care Partners news release said.

To become accredited an organization must undergo a rigorous process, the release said. The process consists of Accreditation Commission for Health Care surveyors making on-site surveys, conducting visits in patient homes to assess their care, interviewing staff members about their practices, and reviewing medical records, policies, and procedures.

“Former atomic workers sacrificed their health to deter, and if necessary, fight, a nuclear war,” said Renae Oswald, administrator at Nuclear Care Partners, in the release. “We believe they deserve the highest level of care in return for the service they provided, and sacrifices made to keep our country safe.”

Since 1945, more than 600,000 men and women have served in more than 360 nuclear weapons facilities throughout the United States. Collectively, they built more than 70,000 nuclear weapons for the country’s nuclear defense. Many of these workers paid a high price for their service — developing debilitating, and sometimes fatal, illnesses due to radiation and toxic chemical exposure. Nuclear Care Partners offers these workers no-cost benefits guidance and in-home care.

For information, contact Nuclear Care Partners at 208- 881-9022 or visit

Bank of Commerce earns 5-Star Rating

For the last 28 years, the Bank of Commerce has been ranked as a five-star financial institution, according to Bauer Financial.

And for 2018, the company’s streak remains.

Bauer, which is described as “the nation’s premier bank rating firm,” honors the financial institution with a five-star rating to honor its service “in areas of capital adequacy, profitability, asset quality and much more.”

“Community banks, like the Bank of Commerce, promote local growth by investing back into the same neighborhoods that their deposits come from,” Bauer President Karen L. Dorway said in a news release. “By fostering these local relationships, they achieve two goals: they are highly capitalized and they are accountable to their customers.”

The Bank of Commerce has a 58-year history in the region with 16 locations throughout eastern Idaho and Montana.

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Reporter Marc Basham can be reached at 208-542-6763.