At the beginning of a new year, we often look back at how things have changed.
For me, I’d rather look forward to 2019 because of some great changes
we’re making in how our patients receive care at Campbell County Health.
Anyone who has spent time at Campbell County Memorial Hospital (CCMH) as an
inpatient knows that the rooms are small, the bathrooms are even smaller, and it
can be very cramped and uncomfortable for family members to stay with
their loved one. New mothers must move to a different hospital room after
the birth of their baby, a set-up that isn’t used anymore in most
hospitals today. The birth experience will completely change beginning
this summer when brand new rooms for moms and babies are completed. The new
Maternal Child unit has rooms where the mother labors, delivers and stays after the birth,
We are replacing all the patient rooms in the hospital for the first time
since CCMH was built over 35 years ago in Gillette, Wyoming. A project
this size requires forecasting the future, and the planning began over
five years ago. So, how many beds will we need to accommodate our patients
40-50 years into the future? We gathered information and made our best
guess, and changed the plan at least twice before construction began.
The plan changed again about a month ago, when the
Board of Trustees approved the
addition of seven more rooms for the
Intensive Care Unit. The new size of 29
Medical/Surgical and ICU rooms will give us the flexibility we need to care for an aging
population with more acute healthcare needs. Adding beds will take more
construction time, so those rooms on the west side of the project won’t
be finished until early 2020.
We’ve always recognized the positive impact that technology can have
on patient care and have been fortunate to be able to upgrade our medical
equipment regularly. Our first telemedicine project, remote monitoring
for patients from their homes to our
Home Health department has also made its debut, which you can read about in
A modern version of a house call.
Later this spring we will implement a partnership program with
Wyoming Medical Center called
TeleStroke Wyoming. Neurologists at WMC will be able to participate in patient care and decision
making for stroke patients in real time through high-definition cameras
and display monitors in the
Emergency department. Studies show that stroke treatment times decrease and treatment choices
improve when a neurologist is involved at the earliest stages of care.
We’re also looking at expanding telemedicine opportunities into primary
care in Campbell County, Wyoming, making primary care more accessible
and affordable for our community.
I’m pleased to congratulate the
Campbell County Healthcare Foundation on reaching their fundraising goal for the PET/CT project. PET, or Positron
Emission Tomography, is a type of imaging that monitors the progress of
cancer treatment and can detect if cancer has spread to other parts of
the body. CCH partnered with the Healthcare Foundation to purchase the
PET equipment, along with a new CT scanner, for the
Heptner Cancer Center. They were able to raise their half of the $1.5 million in only 13 months,
and we hope to have the new equipment installed by early summer.
I believe that 2019 will be a year filled with opportunities and challenges
as we continue to adapt to the ever-changing landscape of healthcare.
One thing that will never change is our continuing commitment to serving
our community by providing a lifetime of care with dedication, skill and
Andy Fitzgerald, CEO