Coronavirus (COVID-19) Preparedness Information Learn More

We are here for you. Letter from Ella Mae Keatts, Dr. Sallee Jones and Dr. Marv Kym

We are here for you. Letter from Ella Mae Keatts, Dr. Sallee Jones and Dr. Marv Kym
  • Share:

To the community that we love,

St. Joseph Regional Medical Center and our team of physicians, nurses and other caregivers work each day to ensure our friends and neighbors have the local, high-quality care they deserve. As caregivers, this is our #1 mission. We know access to local care has been an important topic lately and we feel compelled as doctors and nurses, and as leaders at St. Joe’s, to address concerns we have heard.

As you likely know, St. Joe’s has been trying to work with Regence BlueShield of Idaho for several months now to ensure Regence-insured patients can continue to have in-network access to our team of caregivers. It’s important for our community and patients to know:

  • We understand patients are frustrated and confused. Like patients, we are also seeking answers from Regence about how they will ensure patients can continue seeing the doctors and nurses they know and trust.
  • Regence has consistently charged patients and local businesses more and more for their monthly health insurance premiums, while reimbursing St. Joe’s less each year for the care our team provides. This is unfair to patients and it’s unsustainable for our team.
  • St. Joe’s has offered Regence multiple solutions to protect patients’ access to in-network care, with no realistic compromise from Regence.
  • As the region’s only trauma center and most comprehensive hospital, St. Joe’s will continue to provide care to all patients in need, regardless of their insurance status.
  • St. Joe’s continues to be fully committed to reaching an agreement with Regence and providing patients with peace of mind.

We chose a career in medicine because we wanted to help people. We choose to practice at St. Joe’s to offer the most comprehensive care in the region for the people who matter most – you! We want to be there for you when you are having your first child or navigating the journey of a scary diagnosis. A new agreement with Regence will give us and other St. Joe’s caregivers the ability to provide the care our community needs and deserves now and in the future.

As caregivers, we have committed ourselves to treat any individual who comes through our doors needing care. The team at St. Joe’s is doing our part – providing life-saving treatment. It’s time for Regence’s Portland-based parent company Cambia, to do their part to ensure patients have appropriate in-network access to local care.

It is our honor and privilege to care for this community. Please know that St. Joe’s will continue working to ensure all patients have access to the care they need.

It’s what you deserve!


Ella-Mae Keatts, MSN, RN, CFRNBoard of Trustees Chair

Sallee Jones, DO, PhD, FACSChief of Staff

Marv Kym, MDChief of Staff-Elect


Download Statement Here (PDF)