Friday, May 4, 2007

YAK finds sustainability with hospital

Express Staff Writer

As part of its efforts to promote community health initiatives, St. Luke's Wood River Medical Center and St. Luke's Wood River Foundation have provided fiscal and administrative support for the past nine years to the development of Youth Adult Konnections. In April, YAK was officially adopted by St. Luke's Wood River Medical Center as an official program managed by St. Luke's Center for Community Health in Hailey.

"YAK's vision of existing in a community in which youth and adult connections are part of the everyday experience is greatly supported by St. Luke's," said YAK Director Frances Nagashima. "In addition to the long-term sustainability, we now have the added credibility attained by partnering with a well-respected and community-driven healthcare organization. We are excited to join the St. Luke's team."

YAK works to promote the positive and healthy development of young adults through meaningful youth and adult interactions and positive alternative activities. The mission of the organization is to identify and facilitate opportunities for youth and adults to partner and increase the number of developmental assets possessed by Blaine County youth. Research has proven that the more developmental assets a young person possesses, the less likely he or she is to use drugs, alcohol or tobacco, or to participate in juvenile crime and delinquency, YAK notes.

The community's youths are the "future leaders of tomorrow, so we want to help them to be safe, healthy and active participants in the community," said Bruce Jensen, CEO of St. Luke's Wood River.

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