Graduate students and undergrads from Boise State’s College of Health Sciences are working with state government to influence health care reform in the Gem State.

Student research assistants worked with the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare’s Statewide Healthcare Innovation Plan (SHIP) to redesign Idaho’s health care system. The goal is to improve residents’ health by strengthening primary and preventive care, and to evolve from a fee-for-service, volume-based payment system to a value-based payment system that rewards improved health outcomes.

“It is exciting that COHS students are able to partner with researchers and practitioners to implement some of the most innovative health policy changes in decades,” said College of Health Sciences Dean Tim Dunnigan.

Photo of Tara Fouts and Adiya Jaffari

Tara Fouts (left) and Adiya Jaffari (right)

Tara Fouts, a master of health science student with an emphasis in health promotion, said health care transformation is a difficult process but credits everyone involved with working hard to create change.

“The people involved in SHIP have done a tremendous job at implementing and forming a plan for Idaho, but SHIP is only a four-year grant. SHIP has paved the way for Boise State students, future health care professionals and public health professionals to be integral to continuing their efforts to improve health care in Idaho.”


Adiya Jaffari, an undergraduate health science student, said the experience has been impactful for students, as well, enhancing her understanding of crucial topics that are paramount to her ability to effectively maneuver the health care system both as a patient and future physician.

“Through my time as a research assistant with SHIP, I have gotten an inside look at the intricacies of health care delivery systems, the challenges of implementing health care reform, the arduous task of integrating care through programs targeting systems change, and the difficulty in altering clinical workflow and care coordination to accommodate a reform model on the part of the patient and provider.”