Big turnout heard Hospital Update from Billings Clinic

The Riverton Medical District's Vivian Watkins introduced the topics for Monday night's meeting at the CWC Peck Center Theatre. Wyotoday.com photos by Ernie Over

The main seating section at the Robert A. Peck Arts Center Theatre at Central Wyoming College was nearly full Monday night with hundreds of interested local residents gathered to hear the latest updates from the Riverton Medical District.

Representing the District’s leadership team and board, Corte McGuffey and Vivian Watkins informed the big crowd of what the District had been doing over the past year since the Covid-19 Pandemic had prevented any public gatherings about the progress of the new hospital.

Dr. Clint Seger, the chief medical officer and Nicole Hobbs, the vice-president of regional operations for the Billing Clinic provided an overview of the who, what, when, where and how about their clinic, which will operate and recruit physicians for the new hospital.

(Read Wyotoday.com’s reporting on the District’s update announcing their affilitation with the Billings Clinic from May 28th here.)

It was explained that the Clinic, which had merged with with the former Deaconess Hospital to create the larger Billings Clinic, has affiliates across both Montana and Wyoming. The Clinic itself is an affiliate of the Mayo Clinic Care Network. Seger reminded the audience that they are not in the business of owning hospitals, but providing services customized for the needs of a community where they are located. He said they support locally owned hospitals.

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McGuffey told the big crowd that all those who had made pledges to support the hospital project, should begin getting their funds together to fulfill their pledges in the next month or so. He said preliminary approval of a nearly $40 million loan to build the facility is expected within the next month from their primary funder, the USDA. “We finished our application this week and the USDA office in Casper will need about three weeks to make an initial determination,” McGuffey said.

Wyotoday.com photos by Ernie Over