Sublette County receives federal dollars to build its first and only hospital
Sublette County received federal money to move forward with construction of a hospital later this summer. It is the last county in the state to not have a hospital.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture approved a loan of $32.2 million to help fund the new hospital. The Sublette County Commissioners will provide an additional $20 million to build a new nursing home, as part of a larger hospital district.
The county currently has two medical clinics, one in Pinedale and one in Big Piney. Those clinics provide routine and preventative care. For emergency care, providers stabilize and treat patients until they can be life flighted or transported by an ambulance to a regional hospital.
Star Valley Health in Lincoln County is helping oversee and provide management services for the development of Sublette County’s hospital. Mike Hunsaker, the Chief Operating Officer with Star Valley Health, said the hospital will provide emergency room services that will allow people to have inpatient care.
“It's amazing that more than 10,000 people in Sublette County have gone so many years without a hospital,” Hunsaker said. “They can actually have a hospital in their own community without having to travel a minimum of 80 miles to the north or 90 miles to the south to get to a hospital.”
He added that for patients who are in critical condition, staying in their own community can be huge.
“People who can stay in the hospital in their own community where they're familiar, with familiar surroundings, they heal much better,” he said. “And, they get out of the hospital much more quickly than they do if they've gone to another location they're not familiar with.”
Hunsaker said groundbreaking will be later this summer, and the project is expected to be completed by mid-2024.