“The Idaho State Elks Convalescent Home for Children” the forerunner of the present hospital was
opened August 27, 1947, as a treatment facility for polio patients. Established in what had been
a private home, only nursing and Physical Therapy services were offered initially. The development
of immunization vaccines during the 1950's stemmed the scourge of polio, and our rehabilitation
programs then expanded to fill other needs such as stroke, spinal cord injuries, reconstructive
joint conditions, cerebral palsy, etc. No longer a facility only oriented to the care of children,
the name was changed to The Idaho Elks Rehabilitation Center in 1955. With growth and development,
the Idaho Elks saw the need for a new building. The original construction of the second facility,
on the present campus, took place during 1956 and 1957. With the hiring of a full-time Medical
Director in 1972, the facility became more "hospital" oriented. Thus, the name was once again
changed in 1972 to The Idaho Elks Rehabilitation Hospital (IERH). Continued growth resulted in a
major expansion of the facility during 1972 and 1973. During 1980 and 1981 a new nursing wing was
added, along with extensive internal remodeling. A second wave of remodeling began in 1989. That
building encompassed over 71,000 square feet, almost twice its original size. In 1998, the Elks
started the largest construction project in over 50 years – the present building which is situated
on a specially created entrance off of Robbins Road.
The present hospital opened for business in April of 2000. This 156,000 square foot hospital
includes four floors, a therapy gym, two pools, with inpatient rooms for 61 inpatient beds in both
private and semi-private rooms. The hospital is heated with geothermal heat and in all ways is a
state of the art facility. The latest jewel in the Elks’ crown is the newly constructed Medical
Office Building at the Elks, located across Fort Street from the main hospital. This two story
building was constructed to house the Hearing and Balance Center’s growing program on the second
floor. Tenants lease space on the first floor.
In 1996, IERH began a joint venture, St. Luke’s ♦ Idaho Elks Rehabilitation Services, with St. Luke’s
Regional Medical Center, to provide premiere out-patient therapy. Their programs include physical,
occupational, speech and sports therapy. In addition, they provide pediatric care and a large
occupational medical program. With 23 clinics across the Treasure Valley, Canyon County and the
Wood River/Magic Valley, these clinics continue to be an important part of the Elks ‘family’ and
an integral part of the communities they serve.
In 2005, a new partnership was formed to meet the needs of patients with chronic, non-healing wounds
and other related diagnoses. The Center for Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine treats patients from
all over the Northwest and operates two clinics – one in Boise and one in Meridian, Idaho.
Optimal Therapy Staffing is also a newly formed member of the Elks family. Their focus is on recruiting
personnel for the hospital, and its joint ventures, and other health care settings – from all over the
In the fall of 2009, our organization embarked on a major shift, or “Re-Branding” of the business units so
that the community, and our employees will better understand how we are linked together in mission and vision.
We now operate under the umbrella entity of “Elks Rehab System.” Our current businesses are as follows:
- Elks Rehab Hospital
- Elks Hearing & Balance Center
- Elks Wound Center
- Elks Internal Medicine
- St. Luke’s – Elks Rehab
- St. Luke’s – Elks Children’s Rehab
The Idaho State Elks Association contributes over $200,000 to the hospital annually through the Food Caravan,
Christmas donations, trust fund interest, etc. These monies help to pay for uncompensated care. Most of the
care at the hospital is paid for by third party payers (i.e., insurance or Medicare).Doctors lead our medical team,
helping us to serve over 10,000 patients annually. Patients have come to us from every county in Idaho, all states
in the western United States, and several foreign countries.
The system employs nearly 700 people, some who work across three shifts, twenty-four hours each day. For employment
imformation, please see our “Employment” tab.