IdahoAAPs 2022 Organization of the Year — Boise Bicycle Project
The Boise Bicycle Project believes at its core that every child should have access to a bike, regardless of age, race, sexual orientation, and ability.
With this belief at their foundation, BPP provides inclusive access to refurbished bicycles, bicycle repair, and empowering educational experiences. And in so doing, this organization promotes the personal, social, and environmental benefits of bicycling to so many youth throughout our state.
Their giveaway program provides over 1000 bikes to children and teens across the Treasure Valley, Fort Hall reservation, and Duck Valley reservation each year.
I myself have been lucky to volunteer at the Boise Bicycle Project’s “Holiday Kids Bike Giveaway” for a couple of years and can tell you personally that it’s one of the most incredibly positive and uplifting experiences I’ve ever seen. This specific program of the BPP donates more than 500 bicycles to children in our community each holiday season. Local nonprofits, social workers, schools, and after school programs refer kids to the Boise Bicycle Project’s shop in the months leading up to the event. And those kids draw a picture of what their “dream bike” would be. The Boise Bicycle Project then sets out to make those dreams a reality. Volunteers build the bikes at their shop, including at times tricking the bikes out with stickers, streamers, and literal and figurative “bells and whistles” to make the dream bike fit the children’s drawings. And then during the day of the event, The BPP welcomes families, tracks down each kid’s dream bike, fits the children with helmets, and hands out holiday treats. It’s honestly incredible to watch the joy on these children’s faces as they try out their new bikes. And the same can be said for their families.
Boise Bicycle Project has been an essential partner to St. Luke’s Children’s Injury Prevention Team while working together on the “Bike RX Program.” Several providers recognized an intervention was needed to change the trajectory of childhood obesity and associated disease burdens, as well as to address the increasing trend of childhood depression and mental illness. Through the Community Health Improvement Fund, St. Luke’s Children’s piloted the Bike RX Program with Boise Bicycle Project to match a medically qualified child with a bike. The Bike RX Program provides children and families, who may not have the resources to purchase or obtain a bicycle, the ability to get one free of charge. Along with donation of a bike, the child also receives a helmet, bike lock, and safety education. This program has allowed patients to gain a sense of freedom, opportunity to make new friends, and the ability to have a safe mode of transportation to and from school or work. One of the recipients’ caregivers noted that:
"Having a bicycle has been an incredible experience for Susie. Only someone who loves biking can understand the freedom and power she feels when riding, which she does every day. Biking helps her relax and improves her often frustrated mood. You can see the joy on her face as she moves down the street with her hair flying in the wind. It helps use up her abundance of energy and helps her feel comfortable in her own skin."
Since 2021, this specific program has connected over 150 children with bicycles.
Here is a quote from one of our Idaho AAP Chapter members, Dr Mindy Gaddis, who has worked closely with the BBP since 2021.
As a pediatrician of 25 plus years, I have dedicated the past 17 years to improving the mental and physical health of children by educating them about healthy lifestyle. Healthy lifestyle interventions remain the cornerstone treatment to reverse and prevent lifestyle related diseases, such as type 2 diabetes. In my current position as the physician lead for St Luke's Children's Integrative Lifestyle Clinic, I get to prescribe healthy lifestyle behaviors such as dietary choices, stress resiliency, sleep, and exercise as medicine. The goal is to reverse and/or prevent lifestyle associated diseases, such as diabetes, through healthy lifestyle change.
The partnership between St Luke's Children’s and the Boise Bicycle Project has allowed our team to prescribe a bike to kids. This provides an opportunity for these children to find joy through bike riding and experience joy through movement. Bike riding provides an opportunity for kids to get outside, enjoy fresh air and sunshine, and socialize with friends and family.
In addition, bike riding is a great way for kids to stay active and healthy. It has a wide range of health benefits, such as improving cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength and endurance. It enhances coordination and balance, which is important for the overall physical development of kids. Furthermore, it can be a fun and relaxing activity that reduces stress and promotes mental well-being. And finally, it helps in maintaining a healthy weight, which lowers the risk of obesity and related health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.
Thank you, Boise Bicycle Project from the Children's Integrative Healthy Lifestyle Team! There is nothing more satisfying than prescribing a bicycle to a child knowing that this will improve their health, both physically and emotionally.
On behalf of the Idaho Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics I would like to invite Devin McComas up to receive our Idaho Organization of the Year award for 2022.
IdahoAAPs 2022 Child Advocate of the Year — Dr. Perry Brown
Dr. Brown graduated from the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) School of Medicine in 1995 and completed his Pediatric Residency at the Children’s Hospital/University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver, CO in June of 1998. After completing residency Dr. Brown was a general pediatrician for six years at the Saltzer Medical Group in Nampa and Meridian, Idaho. He has served as Co-Director of the St Luke’s Cystic Fibrosis Center of Idaho since January 2001, and he has served as the Medical Director for Children’s Specialty Research for St Luke’s Health System since 2014.
Dr. Brown joined the faculty of Full Circle Health Family Medicine Residency in May of 2004. During his time on faculty, he made continuous improvement of the pediatric curriculum his highest professional goal.
In 2021, he transitioned his role to become the founding Program Director of the Pediatrics Residency of Idaho, developing and coordinating Idaho’s first pediatrics residency. He is very excited to welcome Idaho’s first pediatric residency class this year – starting with 4 pediatric residents per class, beginning this July.
He is active in public advocacy for children’s health and serves on several Idaho Medicaid committees and state commissions.
Dr. Kenny Bramwell states:
Dr. Perry Brown has been a pivotal figure for the state of Idaho in the realm of Graduate Medical Education. He has been the central motivator behind our movement to establishing the Pediatrics Residency of Idaho. He has been a tireless advocate for this new residency, which will certainly improve the number of pediatricians in Idaho. This has been a long-term need and Dr. Brown was instrumental in addressing this gap. We are fortunate to count Dr. Brown in our ranks.
On behalf of the Idaho Chapter of the AAP, our sincere thanks go out to Dr. Brown for his many years of advocacy, dedication to improving the health of Idaho's children, and pioneering the pediatric education of students, family medicine residents, and soon to be pediatric residents in our state.
Dr. Brown is out of town with his family and is unable to join us today. We will be presenting him with his award at our Idaho Chapter meeting.