Q&A With OPCA Annual Award Winner Valley Family Health Care

Q&A With OPCA Annual Award Winner Valley Family Health Care


Share your name, position, and CHC: As the CEO for Valley Family Health Care, Tim Heinze is proud to acknowledge this Growth Award of Excellence from OPCA on behalf of the entire Leadership Team. Leaders named in the award nomination are Heinze, Benjamin Murray, Sarah Ludovic-Young, Irene Winters, William Jackson, and Zachary Hodges.

What does this award mean to your team? We are based in Payette, ID, covering Washington, Gem and Payette counties in Idaho and Malheur County in Oregon. These are rural and frontier communities. Recognition of our steady growth in this low-resource, high-need setting is deeply rewarding to all of our staff and our board.  Many of our patients and neighbors are farmers, ranchers, or agricultural workers who work daily to grow the products that nourish and sustain us; we like to think that we are providing many services to keep them healthy as they do so.

Why do you think your work earned an Annual Award of Excellence? Our growth reflects determination in the face of scarcity, an abiding dedication to reach out to all in need, and a vision of co-creation with our healthcare neighborhood and community partners.  The growth in our services and types of care programs as outlined in the nomination form are multi-faceted and seek to integrate our efforts on an agency-wide basis.

What are the important things people should know about your work? Time after time, when employees are interviewed for our monthly employee newsletter, they state that the best part of their job is the opportunity to help people. With that type of foundation, anything is possible.

How does the work you do impact your community? We are proud to note that our staff provide healthcare to approximately 1 out of 4 of the residents in our service area. And, we do that with facilities that span the 52 miles distance between Vale, OR, and Emmett, ID.  Providing care in local clinics greatly alleviates travel expenses and increases convenience for folks who are all too often inconvenienced when seeking services—or simply do without.

How has your work changed since COVID-19? How do you think it will change going forward? We learned early on to rely more heavily on our Trauma-Informed Care training, both to help us treat our patients with empathy, and to bolster our staff resilience in the face of the pandemic. We are learning how to overcome technical and resource limitations to swing dramatically toward virtual/connected care methods of service delivery. Going forward, we anticipate new challenges in maintaining the safety of our patients and staff as the “fatigue” associated with pandemic restriction measures continue.

Anyone you want to thank for your award? We are thankful to OPCA for this award. The connections they facilitate and training help educate and inspire us. The Leadership Team is also grateful to the dedicated staff and volunteers that serve as the engine for this community enterprise; they are Valley Family Healthcare Heroes.

Anything else you want to share? Recognition that derives from peers is always the most meaningful and gratifying. This truly lifts our spirits. Thank you.

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