Requested by: Kayla Bowers Installed: April 2017
Total Cost: $117,117.40
Sublette County residents now have access to enhanced quality healthcare close to home. This is in part due to a generous monetary gift from an anonymous donor to the Rural Health Foundation of Sublette County (RHF). The donation was utilized by the Sublette County Rural Healthcare District (RHCD) to replace the Pinedale Medical Clinic’s aging computerized tomography (CT) scanner. “The current scanner was installed with the construction of the Pinedale Medical Clinic in 2007 and was at “end of life” from not only a replacement part stand point but also a regulatory one. In the past year, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid has issued stringent regulations regarding the amount of radiation dose that is delivered to patients receiving CT scans. The regulations also have accompanying monetary penalties to facilities that are using dated equipment. The RHCD has lost potential revenue associated with those penalties. In addition, numerous scans have been sent to outlying facilities for completion due to the local provider’s concerns regarding radiation dosing. The substantial gift could not come at a better time especially when you look at the lack of monies available in county for capital projects of this extent.” states Malenda Hoelscher, administrator for the RHCD.
The Sublette County Rural Healthcare District (RCHD) applied to the RHF to request the funds used to purchase the scanner. After collaboration with St. John’s Radiology department and Jackson Hole Medical Imaging, both of whom work closely with the RHCD’s imaging department, the RHCD was able to identify a CT scanner that would not only meet the current and future needs of the community but also the regulatory guidelines. David Kappenman, Medical Director of the Pinedale Medical Clinic, said “to be able to keep our patients close to home while providing quality scans with safe radiation dosing is fitting with the mission of the RHCD in providing accessible, progressive patient care. In addition, the new CT scanner has the ability to adjust the amount of radiation given based on the size of the patient. This means less radiation for children and smaller patients.”
The outdated CT scanner was removed the week of March 26 with the new scanner installed shortly thereafter and was operational the next week. “Everything went as planned in regards to the set-up of the new scanner including test scans to St. John’s, quality checks and staff education” stated Kayla Bowers, Lead Imaging Technologist. “We are also excited to announce a third CT certified technologist on staff with Patricia Berndt, from the Marbleton Medical Clinic recently receiving her national CT certification. We have all received extensive training on the new scanner and look forward to the additional scans that will be available to our community all while ensuring safe radiation doses and high quality scans for the radiologist to view.” Bowers adds.
Hoelscher adds, “The staff and the Board of the RHCD would publicly like to thank the RHF and the anonymous donor for their generosity and commitment to healthcare in Sublette County. We are grateful for these partners and look forward to shared projects in the future.”