DALLAS — Salem Health West Valley Hospital was recognized by the Polk County board of commissioners on Aug. 16 as an Outstanding Community Partner.

This award, the first of its kind in Polk County, recognizes the support that the hospital has offered the community over the past several years, according to a press release from Salem Health.

One project mentioned in the nomination of the award is the Central Health and Wellness Center, Polk County’s school-based health center. It opened adjacent to Central High School in 2015, and serves the surrounding community, with Central School District students as its priority.

The hospital partners with Polk County and Capitol Dental Care to provide medical, dental and behavioral health care services at the center. The center also provides community benefits such as improved access to primary and preventative health services, according to the release.

“We’re happy that we have a partner like Polk County that is as concerned with the health of our community as the hospital is,” said Bruce Rodgers, West Valley Hospital chief administrative officer, in the press release. “The work that Polk County and Family & Community Outreach Department do is inspiring, and we’re pleased to offer support however we can.”

Another project partnership mentioned in the nomination is the Polk County “Fill Our Home” donation center, born out of a coffee conversation between Rodgers and Polk County Family & Community Outreach Department director Brent DeMoe. This partnership addresses the storage issues the county’s Service Integration Teams were having for all the community partners’ donations of furniture and other household items for its families in need. Salem Health West Valley had a largely empty building across Southeast Uglow Avenue from its main campus. DeMoe and Rodgers collaborated on a plan to offer some of that space to the SITs to create a donation center for folks to donate and store those items.

“Our partnerships with the hospital are instrumental towards meeting our goals that all people are empowered and healthy,” DeMoe said in the release. “We’re extremely grateful that the hospital is willing to partner with us to improve the health and vitality of the citizens of Polk County.”

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