USDA awards funds to Wyoming hospital, rejects private equity pleas

Riverton (Wyo.) Medical District has been awarded a $37 million U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development loan, the largest ever given in Wyoming, for a new hospital.

The move comes after SageWest Health Care — which currently operates the only hospital in the city — lobbied against the new hospital in letters to the USDA, The Wall Street Journal reported April 11. The letters argued that the new hospital is not necessary and would hurt the existing hospital, which is backed by private-equity firm Apollo Global Management.

"This is huge," Corte McGuffey, a board member of the district, told the Journal. "We've had to work so hard to get to this point."

Riverton Medical District recently signed a letter of intent with Billings (Mont.) Clinic to be the clinical and management partner of the hospital, according to an April 11 Riverton Medical District news release.

The hospital will have primary, acute, emergency and specialty healthcare services, according to the news release.

The total cost of the hospital is about $53 million; the district still needs to raise about $10 million before it can start construction, according to the Journal.

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