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CEO Update Winter 2019

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, called LDRPs.

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 compassion.

Sincerely,

Andy Fitzgerald, CEO