PINEDALIC — Sublette County will soon no longer be the only county in Wyoming without a hospital.
The Sublette County Hospital District received approval last Friday for a $32.2 million Rural Development Community Facility Loan from the USDA to fund the construction of a new critical access hospital ( CAH), the first of its kind in Sublette County.
Voters chose to rectify the fact that Sublette was the only county in the state without a hospital by overwhelmingly approving the hospital district in November 2020.
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“Health care is a basic need for the citizens of Sublette County and the approval of the USDA loan application is a key step in improving access to health care across the county of Sublette,” said Kari DeWitt, director of public information for the SCHD.
Sublette County approved the formation of a hospital district on the understanding that the Sublette County Commission would provide up to $20 million to fund a new retirement home once the Sublette Center (the current Center long-term care) with the district, according to county commissioners Joel Bousman and Tom Noble.
Part of the loan will be used to upgrade the Sublette Center, Pinedale’s 50-year-old long-term care facility. The new facility will be attached to the hospital with a number of upgrades to the existing facility, including private rooms and a memory care unit.
“We do not lose sight of the historic significance of this announcement,” said Tonia Hoffman, Chair of the Board of SCHD. “We are thrilled to be a part of making the project happen despite the many obstacles we have faced and are grateful to the various members of the entire team of people who have contributed in any way. We look forward to create a lasting legacy of patient care in Sublette County.”
Sublette County currently has two clinics (one with an attached emergency room), but essential health services, including blood transfusions, chemotherapy and the ability for any patient to stay overnight, have never been available. .
CAH’s new facility will include a 10-bed inpatient unit as well as a pharmacy and labs.
The building will be staffed with full-time physicians and mid-level providers, as well as various professionals in other health care positions. The 70,000 square foot facility will also offer advanced imaging capabilities including ultrasound, X-rays, CT scans and mammograms. The 50-bed long-term care facility will include a 10-bed memory care unit, one of only two in western Wyoming.
“Having a critical access hospital in Sublette County will dramatically increase care. In the past, we lacked basic services. Dave Doorn, administrator of the SCHD, says. “Having a CAH will be a game-changer for our community.”