Wyoming Hospitals Offer More Choices, More Care

Wyoming provides award-winning health care. Sixteen of the state's 26 hospitals are members of the Wyoming Critical Access Hospital Network, offering residents in rural communities timely access to the state's best hospitals and specialists.

By
Pamela Coyle
On Tuesday, March 5, 2013 - 11:34

East to west, Wyoming provides award-winning medical care. Sixteen of the state's 26 hospitals are members of the Wyoming Critical Access Hospital Network, offering residents in rural communities timely access to the state's best hospitals and specialists.

Wyoming Hospital Association

The Wyoming Hospital Association is a statewide organization providing leadership and advocacy for Wyoming hospitals. Neil Hilton, vice president of the WHA, says Wyoming hospitals are committed to exceeding national standards for care.

"Right now there's a lot of focus on outcomes, and quality measures are really driving that," Hilton says.

More than half of Wyoming's 26 acute-care hospitals are participating in the American Hospital Association's Health Research and Educational Trust. The voluntary two-year program collects hospital data in areas including infection control and readmissions, with the goal of identifying and eliminating common concerns.

"Our hospital leaders are focused on identifying best practices and outcomes at best hospitals nationwide, and replicating them locally," Hilton says.

In Good Hands

In Buffalo, Wyo., 25-bed Johnson County Healthcare Center has been named one of the Top 100 Critical Access Hospitals in the Nation by the National Rural Health Association. The center, which recently completed a $12 million expansion, excelled in all 56 performance measures identified by the NRHA.

"Johnson County offers a lot for growing families, and the medical community is very pleasant to work with," says Marcy Schueler, marketing director at JCHC. "That turns into great medical care for our community."

More than 180 people are employed at JCHC's acute care hospital, medical clinic and 50-bed long-term-care facility. On-site services include 24-hour emergency care, an intensive and cardiac care unit, hospice and home care as well as a modern surgical unit and updated labor and delivery rooms. Visiting specialists provide cardiology, orthopedics, nephrology, neurology, urology, and vascular care.

Investing in Technology

Wyoming Medical Center has been Casper's health care destination for more than a century. Services at the 191-bed hospital include comprehensive cardiac care, radiation oncology and neurosurgery. And with 1,100 employees, WMC is the largest private employer in Natrona County.

"Our breadth of services and number of sub-specialties really sets WMC apart," says Vickie Diamond, chief executive officer of WMC.

Innovations include a new electronic medical records system, updated angioplasty suites, the da Vinci surgical robot and 24/7 hospitalist care. In 2014, WMC will complete construction of a new tower to include a wellness center, all private rooms and expansion of obstetric, orthopedic and surgical units. WMC also is a Level II trauma center, providing both ground and air emergency transportation.

In a state known for being rural, WMC proves health care is anything but.

"We stay current with what's going on on a national level, and our state representatives bring the frontier world focus to the national scene to make sure needs are being met," says Diamond, 2011 past chair of the Wyoming Hospital Association and founder of the Wyoming Integrated Care Network. "Our job is to try to anticipate what changes will occur, how they will impact us, and how we can take the best possible care of patients."