Smoke Over Idaho

Wildfires impact health in Idaho. This is one of the reasons we encourage you to come to our Idaho PREPAREDness Expo. Besides the chance of your shelter burning, air quality effects everyone! Air pollutants can be very harmful to our health. The severity of the pollutant is determined by two factors:

  1. Length of exposureAQI Key
  2. The pollutant type and concentration exposure

Have you ever experienced irritation to the eyes, nose and throat? Or have you had upper respiratory infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia? We’ve all experienced headaches, nausea, and allergic reactions. Short-term air pollution can aggravate these and medical conditions of individuals with asthma and emphysema.

Long-term health effects can include chronic respiratory disease, lung cancer, heart disease, and even damage to the brain, nerves, liver, or kidneys. Continual exposure to air pollution affects the lungs of growing children and may aggravate or complicate medical conditions in the elderly. Idaho generally has excellent air quality. Let’s keep it that way.


Idaho Air Quality

Idaho’s Department of Environmental Quality issued a statewide air quality advisory yesterday, prohibiting all open burning — including campfires, recreational fires, weed control and residential burning.


Today’s Air Quality Index (AQI) in Rexburg is Moderate (see key to the right). To determine the air quality click on the image below, and then click the area that you’d like an air quality report from. This will allow you to see the latest ratings.


Pinky Promise raising goals in Idaho and Wyoming

Idaho & Wyoming Need to do Mammograms!

In 2012, 200 women died from breast cancer in Idaho and Wyoming. According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, approximately four in five (80.9%) women in the United States aged 50 and older report having had a mammogram in the past two years. Massachusetts (89.5%), the District of Columbia (86.3%), and Rhode Island (86.2%) have the largest shares of women who have had a breast cancer screening. Oklahoma (73.4%), Idaho (72.4%), and Wyoming (70.6%) have the smallest shares. The American Cancer Society gives lower numbers, saying that the highest states are Massachusetts (72%),Delaware (68%), and Rhode Island (67%).  The lowest states were Idaho (49%) and Wyoming (47%). A potential reason why the numbers are so different is because the American Cancer Society study included women 40 and older, instead of the usual 50 and older. Regardless of the exact numbers, both these sources show that Idaho and Wyoming are falling behind in regular mammogram screenings. 5 hospitals in the Teton Region have united in an effort to make a change!

We know that setting goals is an important part of improvement. That’s why the Teton Pinky Promise Coalition has set a goal of 80% of women aged 50 and older in Idaho and Wyoming to receive mammograms by the end of 2015. We also have a goal of over 2000 electronic “pinky promises” for women to schedule a personal mammogram and encourage their friends and family to schedule mammograms as well. Everyone can pinky promise to talk to their loved ones about mammograms, even if you aren’t in the gender or age class that needs those tests. Let’s all do our part to met our goal and raise breast cancer awareness.


Pioneer Day

Pioneer Day

Happy Pioneer Day

If your family has been in the West for a few generations, there is a chance that you have some pioneer ancestors; so I found. William Handy, my 3rd great grandpa, came to join the Mormons that settled in this area from Warwickshire, England. He remained here half of a decade before returning to Iowa with his bride, leaving the Mormons.

Recently, I visited Martin’s Cove, where William stayed a winter. They ended up having to eat saddles, moccasins, and old cow hide to survive. They also befriended the Indians and anyone that might help them survive. On his way to Salt Lake City with the Hunt company, they met the handcart companies that were dying daily for lack of food and the harsh cold. He chose to remain with Dan Jones and twenty other men near Devil’s gate, at the end of the prairie lands. Then he sent his wagon with the handcart company to help them complete their journey, a selfless act. They agreed to stay knowing the harsh circumstances and possible death.

I then became curious about how many of my ancestors passed on this Mormon/California/Pony Express/ Oregon trail featured in this picture. To my surprise, about half of my ancestors made this harsh journey on foot, horseback, or wagon. Their purpose was for religious freedom, similar to the pilgrims at Plymouth Rock. Interestingly enough, some of these pioneers ancestors have lines that go back to the pilgrims.

We live in a wonderful land of opportunity where freedom to choose for oneself is given. Many of these freedoms are a result of those that have come before us including the pilgrims and the pioneers. Their stories help us appreciate our freedoms. Have a Happy Pioneer Day!



Compassion at Madison Memorial



What does compassion mean at Madison Memorial?

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The literal meaning of compassion is, “a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.”

Knowing that compassion is a ‘strong desire to alleviate the suffering,’ it would be extremely important that the people who attend those at hospitals would have a heart of compassion.

Find a compassion poster in the halls of Madison Memorial and write what compassion means to you.

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