How rural hospitals in Wyoming work together to remain strong

While many rural hospitals are closing amid financial challenges, various organizations in Wyoming are helping each other remain strong.

Powell (Wyo.) Valley Hospital and West Park Hospital in Cody, Wyo., collaborate when possible, West Park CEO Doug McMillan said, according to the Powell Tribune.

"Historically, we've had a great relationship with being able to work together" to help both organizations run more cost efficiently," he told the publication.

For example, Nathaniel Rieb, MD, the general surgeon at Powell Valley Hospital, rotates with Thomas Etter, DO, and Charlie Welch, MD, the two surgeons from West Park Hospital, so that on-call hours at both hospitals are covered, according to the Powell Tribune. Additionally, locums, or traveling surgeons, step in, with the hospitals sharing that cost.

Powell Valley also works cooperatively with North Big Horn Hospital District in Lovell, Wyo., and Hot Springs County Memorial Hospital in Thermopolis, Wyo., by providing a pharmacist on a weekly basis, according to the Powell Tribune.

Powell Valley Pharmacist Gareth Robertson told the Powell Tribune the three hospitals also order expensive medications together.

"We're competitors ... in the same business, but really, I feel like we're more colleagues, doing the same thing," Rick Schroeder, CEO of North Big Horn Hospital, told the Powell Tribune. "We recognized that we all do better when we're all here."




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