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You Are What You Eat zach hagadone As with all kids, I was lied to by adults—Particularly about food. I remember hearing the story about my aunt pushing a bean up her nose when she was young. It grew in there for weeks until one night at dinner, my grandmother noticed a small green tendril snaking its way out of her daughter’s nostril. My aunt was rushed to the doctor and the bean sprout was painfully removed. My aunt has neither conﬁrmed nor denied the story but because of other stories—played on a similar theme—I heard throughout my childhood, I tend to think it’s a tall tale. According to my elders, if I ate watermelon seeds, I would grow a watermelon in my stomach. Likewise with apples. And pears. And putting a bean up my nose would result in a head full of leaves and pods. Sufﬁce to say, none of those warnings were strictly accurate but I never, to this day, consciously ate watermelon, apple or pear seeds. Shoving legumes up my nose was deﬁnitely out of the question. The thought of a plant quietly growing in my stomach (or head) was too horrifying to imagine. As with most lies, however, they contained a seed of truth. We are literally what we eat—though maybe not in the way the adults in my life told me. In this edition of Be Healthy Boise, we take a look at a range of topics, from dentistry (Page 8) to Siberian cedar barrel treatments (Page 9) to the massive expansion proposed by St. Luke’s Medical Center in Boise (Page 14). Several pieces, however, follow related topics. On Page 6, we look at the growing body of research that links chronic inﬂammation to a range of common ailments, including cancer and heart disease. Even more interesting is the role that diet plays in lessening—or worsening—inﬂammation. Studies suggest that the right combination of anti-inﬂammatory foods like red wine, olive oil and almonds, can even help battle depression. The relationship between food and mental health is also taken up on Page 10, where we explore the impact of Western food on the bodies and minds of refugees. As if leaving behind a home, friends and family wasn’t enough of a shock to the system, refugees are far away from traditional foods and agricultural practices that often kept them healthier than the heavily processed, chemically enhanced fare so prevalent in the Western diet. Finally, on Page 12, we check in with a group of culinary entrepreneurs who are working together in Boise to provide the kinds of all natural food that could help everybody—no matter where they’re from—live healthier and happier. Look for our next edition of Be Healthy Boise in October. Until then, be healthy.
Be HEALTHY Boise Publisher: Sally Freeman Sally@boiseweekly.com
Office Manager: Meg Andersen Meg@boiseweekly.com
Editorial Editor: Zach Hagadone Zach@boiseweekly.com Contributing Writers: Amy Atkins, Harrison Berry, Zach Hagadone, Jessica Murri, Valentina Vlasova Advertising Advertising Director: Brad Hoyd Brad@boiseweekly.com Account Executives: Jim Klepacki, Jim@boiseweekly.com Cheryl Glenn, Cheryl@boiseweekly.com Jill Weigel, Jill@boiseweekly.com Darcy Williams, Darcy@boiseweekly.com Creative Art Director: Kelsey Hawes Kelsey@boiseweekly.com Graphic Designers: Jenny Bowler, Jeff Lowe Cover Photography: Laurie Pearman
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Circulation Man About Town: Stan Jackson Stan@boiseweekly.com
Bar Bar Inc. prints 34,000 copies of Be Healthy Boise, which is available free of charge inside the Feb. 18, 2015 edition of Boise Weekly at more than 1,000 locations, limited to one copy per reader. Additional copies of this edition of Be Healthy Boise are available at the Boise Weekly offices. No person may, without permission of the publisher, take more than one copy of each issue. To contact us: Boise Weekly’s office is located at 523 Broad St., Boise, ID 83702 Phone: 208-344-2055 Fax: 208-342-4733 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.boiseweekly.com Address editorial, business and production correspondence to: Boise Weekly, P.O. Box 1657, Boise, ID 83701 The entire contents and design of Be Healthy Boise are ©2015 by Bar Bar, Inc. Boise weekly is an independently owned and operated newspaper.
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Be HEALTHY Boise | BE HEALTHY BOISE 2015 | 5
jeffrey C. Lowe
The Inflammation Connection
What autoimmune response has to do with heart disease and depression Harrison Berry
The cure for the common hangover has proved elusive. Some say that the only way to get rid of that persistent headache and knotted stomach is through bed rest and plenty of water. Anti-inﬂammatories like ibuprofen have also been a mainstay of hangover cures and, increasingly, modern science is verifying that feeling sick after a night of hard drinking is a symptom of the body’s autoimmune response. More and more, medical researchers are linking inﬂammation to the causes of many common illnesses. The same chemicals that make us feel headachy and ill with a cold, or tender after spraining an ankle, may be behind chronic conditions like gluten intolerance, rheumatoid arthritis and even depression. What’s more, long-term inﬂammation has been tied to some of the biggest killers in America: cancer and heart disease. “Uncontrolled inﬂammatory disease of any kind has global effects on health within a body,” said Dr. James Loveless. Loveless is a Boise rheumatologist who has been in practice for 23 years. In that time, he has seen a revolution in how physicians connect autoimmune response—our body’s natural reaction to injury and disease—and negative long-term health issues. While tenderness around a burn, or lethargy as the result of illness are perfectly healthy manifestations of that response, conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus are examples of it going awry. The trouble is, nobody is certain what causes a good thing like our body’s ability to ﬁght off infection and repair damaged tissue to go bad. “That’s a Nobel Prize,” Loveless said. “We think of the immune system as being in place to help ﬁght off foreign invaders but in autoimmune diseases, there’s a trigger that kicks off the immune system and it attacks one’s own tissues.” While science has yet to give a deﬁnitive answer, there are a number of compelling theories including infectious processes and environmental factors (like toxins), allergies, genetics and stress. 6 | BE HEALTHY BOISE 2015 | Be HEALTHY Boise
All autoimmune responses release chemicals called cytokines into the bloodstream. In sufﬁcient quantities or over a long enough period of time, exposure to cytokines can damage tissue, and they’ve been linked to arterial inﬂammation and hardening, leading to increased risk of coronary artery disease, heart attack and stroke. Cytokines can also cross the blood-brain barrier to damage tissues in the brain, leading some researchers to link chronic or off-the-rails inﬂammatory response to neurological conditions like depression and anxiety. In 2006, researchers at universities around the world published an article in Molecular Psychiatry, concluding that adding anti-inﬂammatory agents to antidepressants improved patient outcomes and the likelihood of drugs’ effectiveness on a given patient. According to a 12-year study conducted on almost 45,000 women ages 50-77 and published in Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, women whose diets include foods that trigger inﬂammation (like red meat, sugars, gluten and soy products like margarine), and fewer foods that control inﬂammation are at a 41 percent greater risk of being diagnosed with depression. While previous studies concluded that there was a relationship between inﬂammation and depression, this one concluded that diet plays a Dr. James signiﬁcant role in creating the conditions in which some psychiatric conditions arise. The senior author of the study, Harvard University professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition Alberto Ascherio, told the Harvard School of Public Health, “From a public health perspective, it is reassuring that what is good for the body is also good for the mind.”
While our understanding of what triggers chronic autoimmune response is incomplete, much more is known about the conditions that aggravate it. Signiﬁcantly, body fat has been linked to inﬂammation, and losing 2.2 pounds of fat has been linked to a decrease of 0.13 milligrams per liter of C-reactive protein, according to the American Heart Association. Measures of 1 mg/L of this protein indicates a low risk of cardiovascular disease, while 3 mg/L or higher is associated with a high risk. Behaviors that reduce body fat and low-fat diets that contain anti-inﬂammatory agents are associated with lower levels of cytokines in the blood—behaviors like a maintaining a balanced diet and getting enough exercise. More speciﬁcally, there are foods that are known to reduce inﬂammatory responses in humans, including olive oil, red wine and almonds. Foods high in essential fatty acids, like ﬁsh and ﬂaxseed oil, also perform this function. Reducing consumption of foods containing gluten, which is found in breads and pastas, as well as saturated and trans fats, and plants in the nightshade family like potatoes and tomatoes, can also help reduce inﬂammation. According to University of Idaho Associate professor and dietitian Dr. SeAnne Safaii, the so-called “Mediterranean diet,” which Loveless is high in olive oil and low in gluten, has been related to improved cardiac outcomes. Tofu, curry, ginger and sweet potatoes—mainstays of diets in many Asian countries—are also linked to longevity and reduced arthritis-related inﬂammation. “Of course,” Safaii wrote in an email, “maintaining a healthy weight is also important for reducing inﬂammation from arthritis.”
“Uncontrolled inflammatory disease of any kind has global effects on health within a body,”
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Dentistry by the Numbers 20 facts about teeth to chew on Amy Atkins
Dental care is a huge industry. From cleanings, maintenance and repair to cosmetic changes like veneers, whitening and trends like in Japan, where young women are paying for “yaeba” or the cute, imperfect smile of “snaggletooth,” people are spending more than ever on dental care. According to a Health Policy Institute study by the American Dental Association, Americans spent $111 billion on dental care alone in 2012. We looked at the industry and found that there are as many interesting facts about dentistry as there are smiles in the world. Below, we have a list of 20 you can sink your teeth into:
According to the American Dental Association, the Egyptians found ways of relieving toothaches, securing loose teeth and even creating the earliest precursor of today’s dentures.
Between 500-300 B.C., Hippocrates and Aristotle wrote about dental practitioners “using wires to stabilize loose teeth and fractured jaws.”
In 1866, Lucy Beaman Hobbs graduated from the Ohio College of Dental Surgery. She was the ﬁrst woman to earn a dental degree.
In 1997, the FDA approved the erbium YAG laser, the ﬁrst for use on dentin, to treat tooth decay.
There are 32 teeth in the human mouth. If the estimated 242,470,820 adults in the United States each had all of their teeth, that would be a total of 775,906,6240 teeth.
As of September 2014, Vijay Kumar, of India, holds the Guinness World Record for the most teeth in a mouth: 37.
Ashik Gavei, 17, also of India, had a rare condition that caused the rampant growth of teeth. In 2014 doctors removed 232 teeth from Gavei’s mouth.
The ﬁrst dentist in recorded history is believed to be an Egyptian who lived in 2600 BC and served his pharaoh as Chief of Physicians and Dentists. An inscription on his tomb is said to describe him as “the greatest of those who deal with teeth.” 8 | BE HEALTHY BOISE 2015 | Be HEALTHY Boise
In 2009, shortly after the beginning of the Great Recession, a Harris Interactive/ HealthDay Poll found more than 50 percent of uninsured and 30 percent of insured Americans skipped necessary dental care visits during the past year due to ﬁnancial burdens. A GallupHealthways poll of 355,334 Americans indicated that 34 percent of the population did not visit a dentist that year at all.
The ADA was founded in 1859. It now has around 160,000 members.
According to a study by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, there were about 201,000 professionally active dentists in the United States. Idaho has 913 active dentists.
That same study shows the highest number of dentists are in California, which has 31,640; the fewest are in Wyoming: 314.
Trident’s famous “4 out of 5 dentists would recommend Trident gum to their patients who chew gum” campaign began in the mid-’60s.
Rapper Lil Jon has a grill made of platinum and gold worth more that $30,000.
Rapper Lil Wayne has diamonds permanently embedded in his teeth. His “smile” is estimated to have cost around $150,000.
In 2013, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed dentists make an annual median salary of $146,340.
According to the American Dental Hygienist Association, nearly 75 percent of American adults suffer from various forms of gum disease and don’t know it.
The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry estimates that Americans spend about $2.75 billion each year on cosmetic dentistry. Two thirds of cosmetic dentistry patients are female and 33 percent are male.
With undergraduate and doctoral degree studies, it takes about eight years to become a dentist.
According to the American Dental Student Association, the average dental student graduates with $241,097 of debt.
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Providers’ Perspective Laurie Pearman
Siberian Spa Siberian Cedar Barrel Spa in Boise Providers’ Perspective
In Russia, “ Siberian Health” is a synonym for “good health.” After all, Siberians have always been known for their great health and strong spirit.
pores, the body actively absorbs therapeutic compounds of herbs. The result: metabolism normalizes, the function of all organs and systems improves, fatigue disappears and fat accumulation slows. The effect of the course of 10 treatments in the Siberian cedar barrel is comparable to a year of treatment with medicinal herbs and tinctures. One of the components of Siberian Unlike saunas or steam rooms, the health is Siberian cedar. Siberian ceprocedure in the Siberian cedar barrel dar is one of the most beautiful and is easily tolerated because your head majestic trees of Siberia. Siberian ceand face remain outside. Therefore, dar is the king of the taiga—a clean, the heat doesn’t affect the vessels in virgin Siberian forest. Siberian cedar is the head, and you can breathe easily unique. Its energy and rhythms of life without damaging your lungs with coincide with the energy and rhythm hot air. of a healthy human body. If a person is Here are some of the beneﬁts of Sinear the cedar, his or her energy starts berian cedar herb steam barrel treatto balance and improve. ments: The healing properties of Siberian • Weight loss and increased metabcedar have long been known in Rusolism.You’ll burn about 1,100 calories sia. Russian healers placed patients in every 15 minutes. a cedar barrel mounted on hot stones, • Reduction and eventual removal and ancient herbalists were thus able of cellulite. to cure many ailments and illnesses. • Detoxiﬁcation. The Siberian cedar To give yourself a Siberian health barrel process is considered to be three experience and feel the miraculous times more effective than regular sauproperties of the Siberian cedar, you nas and steam rooms at eliminating don’t have to go to Siberia. The unique heavy metals such as lead, mercury, Siberian cedar healing system is now nickel and cadmium from the body. available to Boiseans at Holistic Place. The barrel helps rid the body of nicoThe Siberian cedar steam herb bartine, pesticide residues, rel is made of a pollutionHOLISTIC PLACE petroleum-based toxins free Siberian cedar that is Hyde Park 1615 N. 13th and cholesterol, and can more than 300 years old. St.,cedar-spirit.com strengthen the immune The barrel is constructed system; reduce pain and inﬂammation without using nails, screws, glue or of arthritis, osteoarthritis and sciatica; other introduced chemical materials. improve joint mobility; and help with How does it work? Steam envelops muscle fatigue and soreness. the body in a small conﬁned space and penetrates deep into the pores of the skin, opening and cleaning them (sweating relieves stress and muscle fatigue). Through expanded and cleaned W W W.BOISE WEEKLY.COM
Valentina Vlasova, owner of the Holistic Place, is a ThetaHealing basic and advanced DNA healer/teacher. Be HEALTHY Boise | BE HEALTHY BOISE 2015 | 9
Struggling to Stomach America’s Cuisine U.S. diet takes its toll on refugees Jessica Murri
Dadiri Nuro was raised in a place where his family and friends ate what they grew. Their food started out as seeds in the palm of their hands, which were then planted into rich Somali soil. They nurtured their gardens, watched their food grow and picked it straight from their backyards when it came time to eat. Boise, Idaho, the place where he lives now, is not like that. “We did not grow up like this,” Nuro said. “We grew up in the farm ﬁelds.” Nuro was resettled in Boise in 2004, after a decade of living in a refugee camp. He and his fellow refugees escaped war and a country in a state of unrest. They’re in a safer, calmer place in Boise, but for many of Nuro’s countrymen living in the United States, the change in diet has had dramatic effects. While working to help refugees resettle in the Treasure Valley, Susan Obasi-Ikeagwu began noticing the consequences of highly-processed American food on African families. She said they wanted to adopt a Western way of living, which meant adopting a Western diet, too, resulting in illnesses like hypertension, obesity and diabetes running rampant. “I thought, ‘Oh my goodness. These people get here and start eating things that they are not familiar with, that they don’t have back at home,’” Obasi-Ikeagwu said. “People eat more 10 | BE HEALTHY BOISE 2015 | Be HEALTHY Boise
natural there than in the U.S. The more remote area of Africa, the more natural their food is.” Suddenly inundated with changes in culture, language, landscape, social standing, family, community and lifestyle, refugees face another change as well: food that sprouts from genetically-modiﬁed seeds, grown in soil spiked with fertilizers, harvested from crops sprinkled with pesticides and processed to withstand storage before eating. What surprised Obasi-Ikeagwu most, though, was that the health changes weren’t all physical. “People get here and they eat all this kind of food and they add weight, they get depressed, they have mental health issues, and they get on medication upon medication,” she said. Obasi-Ikeagwu explained the difﬁculty many refugees face in ﬁnding fresh healthy food. Stores like Whole Foods and Natural Grocers are hard for them to get to and can be cost-prohibitive. So to help connect new arrivals with healthier food, Obasi-Ikeagwu and her husband opened a shop in the Boise International Market called Shepherd’s Heart Farm, where they specialize in grass-fed, organic meats. The issue has layers, though. It’s not only junk food that causes problems for refugees—it’s also a drastic change in lifestyle. Going from a country where infrastructure is limited, people walk much farther in a day and often spend more of their time farming in a ﬁeld rather than sitting in an ofﬁce, which can exacerbate bad health. Then there’s the new level of stress. “Some get so busy because they have to pay all these bills, something they’re not used to,” Obasi-Ikeagwu said. “When you have all that unordinary pressure, you tend to take to food like, ‘Oh, I’m so depressed right now, just bring on that food, bring on that chocolate.’”
The stress also comes from worry over family and friends left behind in Africa, Nuro added. “[The refugees] are just sitting at home watching TV, thinking a lot about home, and their blood pressure is going up,” Nuro said. “They go to the doctor and they get the dose [of medication] increasing every month. High blood pressure still there, not going down.” Americans’ food consumption habits create a built-in trap for newly arrived refugees. Most of them have spent years, even decades, in refugee camps where they were given only small rations of mostly non-perishable foods. Coming to America, they’re suddenly surrounded by gigantic grocery stores and dozens of fast food chains. When Somali-born Abdullahi Mohamed arrived in Boise in 2013 from a refugee camp in Jordan, his sole food source was just that. “In the morning, I used to go to Wendy’s, then when I come back for dinner, I used to go to McDonald’s,” Mohamed said. “For four months, I was living like that. Sometimes I was not feeling okay but when you are hungry, you will not care. When you have no choice, it will become to you a habit.” Back in Jordan, the 28-year-old worked as a physician, but his medical credentials didn’t transfer to the United States, so he currently works on an assembly line at Micron while he studies up on the American medical system. Mohamed moved here with no family, no friends and no cooking skills. He lived with a group of American roommates, but no one in the household shared meals or cooked together. That left Mohamed adjusting to a diet of mostly fast food. “When you eat fast foods, they only last for a few hours and again you will feel hungry,” he said. “They will not give you much beneﬁt like W W W.BOISE WEEKLY.COM
CHOOSE YOUR OWN CHALLENGE A 100 mile tour through
normal foods. I don’t want to make advertisement, but the Wendy’s was a little bit fresher than the McDonald’s. When I used to eat from the Wendy’s, I’d feel a little bit good, but when I ate from the McDonald’s—no.” His eating habits only changed when he moved in with other Somalis, who cook and eat dinner together every night. “I started eating normal food, and I started to feel a big difference than how it was before,” Mohamed said. He explained that it’s a struggle to get decent food in America for little money. In Jordan, he could get a good meal for a few dollars. Here, that’s not an option. “It’s different from our country, how our food is,” Mohamed said. “Here, fast food is available and cheap. Mostly, people who come here without family, they get used to eating it like me. I don’t have time to cook and I don’t know how to cook so the best way is to go out and buy some fast food like McDonald’s.” Mohamed is lucky to have avoided the illnesses facing other Somali refugees in his community. He said he was able to escape the long-term health problems stemming from unnatural foods, but he was sure if he kept eating that way, they would appear with time. Nuro knows that, too, so as W W W.BOISE WEEKLY.COM
president of the Somali Bantu Zigua Community here in Boise, he needed a solution to help his fellow Somalis overcome or prevent these illnesses. So he found some land. Every Saturday and Sunday, Nuro uses two vans to take Somali refugees out to the farm in Eagle. He said that after only a few months, their health began to change. “They started to go to the doctor and the doctor sees the blood pressure is going down. Then they started to lower the dose until some people don’t need medicine anymore,” Nuro said. “The doctors ask, ‘What are you taking? What are you doing differently? What are you eating?’ and they say, ‘Oh, we don’t take anything, we just go to the farm and we can eat fresh food. We’re not eating the store food now. It’s just like what we’re used to.’” Nuro said a few doctors even came out and visited the farm to see what was causing their patients’ improvements. The farm is barren and frostcovered these days, but Nuro uses a greenhouse in West Boise to plant the beginnings of seeds that will turn into the summer’s crops. Once the farm is in full swing again, a portion of the produce harvested will be sold at the Farmer’s Market and a portion will be donated to the Idaho Food Bank. “I’m the doctor now,” Nuro said, laughing.
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Share the Health Jessica Murri
The Missing Link Foods commercial kitchen is a busy place on a Monday morning. Brett Edgar and his staff of two weave between each other carrying industrialsize cooking sheets, giant metal bowls of steaks and cutting boards as big as welcome mats. They’re making 680 dinners for customers all over the Treasure Valley. Edgar’s business started with cooking a few meals a week for his friends. He makes dinners that follow the socalled Paleo Diet, harkening to a hunter-gatherer time when humans didn’t eat grains. The meals are gluten-free, made with lean meats, fresh fruits and vegetables, and plenty of herbs and spice. “I can’t remember not being able to cook,” Edgar said. “My mom would set us on the counter and we’d tell her about our day while she made dinner.” Edgar’s endeavor quickly grew to a point where he quit his job with Apple and started sharing a commercial kitchen with Eagle Hills Golf Course. He outgrew that and moved in with MFT BBQ and Vegan—now BBQ4Life— at the Roadway Inn. Now that the Inn is slated for redevelopment, and BBQ4Life has moved to Vista Avenue, he works from a commercial kitchen at Park Center and Broadway. He makes four evenings-worth of food for two-person and four-person families, for $55 and $99 per week ,respectively. After all the dinners are prepped and packaged, his clients pick them up from four locations around town on Tuesday evenings. The menu includes dinners like chimichurri pork tenderloin with chili 12 | BE HEALTHY BOISE 2015 | Be HEALTHY Boise
dusted sweet potato rounds; tarragon shallot cherry chicken with sesame ginger roasted vegetables; and roasted pork loin and red pepper pumpkin seed pesto with balsamic glazed beets and baby carrots. Missing Link’s kitchen is big enough that Edgar decided to share the space with other natural food producers. Now the makers of FitFuel Bars and Pega Natural Foods (and up until recently, Bucha Brew) also produce there. “It was a perfect ﬁt,” Edgar said. “We were already working together, and now we can help each other grow.” Jennifer Ludington’s started FitFuel Bars out of need. She owns A2O Fitness and, as a personal trainer, she said she was frustrated when she wanted to recommend a protein bar to her clients. “There was a void in the market,” Ludington said. “There wasn’t anything I could recommend that had good protein and was all natural.” Like Edgar, she started in her own kitchen. That was four years ago. Now her business has expanded to making as many as 1,000 bars per week, and they’re available in 13 Albertsons locations, as well as yoga studios, the Boise Co-op, and shops in McCall and Sun Valley. FitFuel bars are all-natural, vegan, grain-free, soy-free, sugar-free, GMO-free frozen protein bars which are ﬁlling enough to be a meal. Being able to share the commercial kitchen has helped Ludington grow her business quickly. “It’s something that’s unique in Boise, that we’ve got a little niche market on,” Ludington said. “We all share the same vision on what we believe food should be. Putting healthy things into our body will help us live healthier lives, and that’s the whole goal.” W W W.BOISE WEEKLY.COM
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What’s Going Up at St. Luke’s? Hint: A lot Zach Hagadone
It has been 22 years since the last major development took place at the St. Luke’s Boise Medical Center: a $48 million addition that included updated patient rooms, a new pediatric unit, birthing suites, intensive and critical care units, and technology and equipment upgrades. Today the hospital campus, located in East Boise, is fully built out. With projections suggesting nearly 300,000 more people will be living in the Treasure Valley by 2030, the state’s largest and only Idaho-owned not-for-proﬁt health care system is looking to expand again. “Expand” might be an understatement. According to the St. Luke’s Master Plan, a new hospital building on the north side of Bannock and west of Avenue B would stretch all the way to State Street with a new nine-story medical tower rising above the existing tower past its ﬁrst four ﬂoors. The new tower would house inpatient beds on the top ﬁve ﬂoors, while the bottom four would provide more space to current use, including diagnostic and treatment areas. The hospital’s central plant, built in 1962 and located on the north side of Jefferson Street and east of First Street, would be demolished and a new structure built to the west along with a new parking garage, taking up the full block west of First Street between State and Jefferson streets. The garage would be connected to the new tower complex by an outpatient medical ofﬁce plaza built above— and bridging—First Street. According to the plan, the buildings at First Street south of State Street would provide a new entrance for doctors and patients. To the east, across Avenue B, St. Luke’s would build a multi-story medical building on the south 14 | BE HEALTHY BOISE 2015 | Be HEALTHY Boise
side of Jefferson Street, extending a sky bridge across Avenue B to connect with the main tower. Rounding out the expansion would be a new shipping and receiving building along the east side of Second Street and yet another medical ofﬁce building on the south side of Main Street, east of First Street. Referred to as the “North Solution” in the master plan, St. Luke’s believes its preferred alternative—which carries a price tag of between $300 million-$350 million, paid for with bonds, cash and donations—will create a “more compact facility and limit sprawl potential.” However, some major changes will occur to the East Boise neighborhood in the way of street closures, building demolition and trafﬁc congestion. For instance, St. Luke’s wants to close Jefferson Street, and its new First Street drop-off would cause more congestion at the intersection of First, State and Fort streets. What’s more, a number of properties will need to be either demolished or relocated to make way for development—speciﬁcally on the blocks bounded by State and Jefferson streets and First and Second streets, as well as a handful along Second Street between Jefferson and Bannock streets and one on Avenue B near Reserve Street. Among the 15 buildings in the study area, which includes portions of the original Boise townsite, most are 50 years or older, making them eligible for protection as historic structures. All in, 12 properties could be considered for relocation based on their age, though according to the master plan, “there is no indication the properties within the study block area were associated with an important person in Boise’s history.” Further, none are known to be built or designed by noted local architects or architectural ﬁrms and the styles of the buildings are “modest examples” of Queen Anne, Bungalow and Colonial Revival not uncommon in other Boise neighborhoods. While a survey of the buildings based on his-
torical signiﬁcance “did not support the properties as meeting requirements for consideration as historically signiﬁcant,” a group of stakeholders that includes Preservation Idaho, the Idaho State Historic Preservation Ofﬁce, Idaho Heritage Trust, National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Boise City Department of Arts and History and Boise Historic Preservation Commission suggested moving some of the properties. St. Luke’s identiﬁed a hospital-owned property along Avenue B between Warm Springs Boulevard and Bannock Street where the displaced buildings could be repurposed. However, the relocation plan would require rezoning the area. The St. Luke’s Master Plan calls for an aggressive timeline for the expansion, with demolition of St. Luke’s-owned buildings to the north and west of the existing hospital, as well as construction of a pediatric medical ofﬁce building on the corner of East Jefferson Street and Avenue B, set to begin in six months and take two years to complete. The new central plant, parking garage, and shipping and receiving building would all be built in the next one- to three-year period, including demolition of the current central plant and the vacating of Jefferson Street between Avenue B and First Street. City planners have called on St. Luke’s to work harder to improve connectivity in the wake of proposed street closures, including expanded bike and pedestrian paths in the area, as well as improved signalling and signage. In three to ﬁve years, the hospital aims to construct the new tower and six- to nine-ﬂoor medical ofﬁce building planned to bridge First Street, connecting the garage to the main hospital. In ﬁve to seven years, St. Luke’s will undergo a wide ranging, extensive remodel of existing facilities, rounding out the massive project. Boiseans will have a chance to view and comment on the master plan, with hearings—times and dates not yet announced—before the Ada County Highway District and Boise City Council. W W W.BOISE WEEKLY.COM
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February 2015 The Inflammation Connection