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Sublette County Rural Healthcare District and University of Utah Health Care Team Up to Improve Access to Medical Specialists in Wyoming

Officials from Sublette County Rural Healthcare District (SCRHD) today announced a new partnership with Salt Lake City-based University of Utah Health Care that will extend the resources of the region's only academic medical center to the residents of Wyoming's Sublette County and surrounding communities.

"Health care is changing very rapidly and one key to continued success for a rural health system like ours is finding the right partners," said Malenda Hoelscher, Administrator for the District. "University of Utah Health Care has a national reputation as a provider of accessible, high-quality, coordinated, and cost effective care – all the qualities we're looking for in a partner."

The agreement sets the stage for Sublette County's critical access facilities to provide enhanced access for its patients to medical specialties. These efforts may include expanded use of telehealth services, or satellite clinics staffed by University of Utah specialists.

The agreement also offers the opportunity for providers in the Sublette County facilities to benefit from the work the University of Utah is doing around staff development and business efficiency, according to Hoelscher. "Running a great health care system requires talented healers and talented business leaders. If we are not financially healthy, we can't serve the community. This partnership will allow us to take advantage of both the educational opportunities and operating efficiencies associated with a large, academic medical center."

University of Utah Health Care officials are optimistic that the partnership will position both organizations for success in a rapidly evolving health care environment. "Inherent in our mission as a teaching hospital is our responsibility to share clinical best practices, research advances, and provide our community partners with the educational resources we've developed as a university," said Dr. Sean Mulvihill, CEO of the University of Utah Medical Group. "We want to be a resource to improve the health and well-being of residents from across the Intermountain West."

David Entwistle, CEO of University of Utah Hospitals and Clinics, says the partnership makes sense because both organizations share a commitment providing high quality care. "We recognize that no one wants to leave his or her community when they get sick. The goal of this partnership is to enhance Sublette County's ability to serve the residents the region with high quality care and access to specialty care not currently available," he said.

Both organizations emphasize the affiliation does not change ownership, local control and governance, or restrict patient choice in providers.


About Sublette County Rural Healthcare District

The administration of health care in Sublette County began back in 1951, with the formation of the Sublette County Memorial Hospital District. Five individuals were appointed to the board by the County Commissioners.

On December 16, 1986, an election was held to dissolve the hospital district and form the Sublette County Rural Healthcare District. Five board members were elected to serve either a four or two year term. A resolution establishing the District was adopted on December 17, 1987. Since that time the county moved from physician directed clinics and a volunteer emergency medical service to two clinics including Marbleton/Big Piney built in May of 2005 and Pinedale Medical Clinic built in July 2006 and a fully funded Emergency Medical Services. The District is financially supported by 2 mills that are levied each year by the county.

Marbleton/Big Piney Medical Clinic consists of four medical providers- Dr Burnett (Medical Director), Shannon Evans DO, Dr Brackett and Dr Albritton. Pinedale Medical Clinic medical providers include- Dr Kappenman (Medical Director), Dr Wallace (Emergency Medical Director), Dr Frauenpreis and Dr Stroklund. The medical team is supported by a full slate of nurses, lab and radiology techs. The clinics provide routine, urgent and emergent care 24/7. CT and Ultrasound capabilities are available at the Pinedale Clinic. We have a Certified Trauma Program designated by the State of WY. In addition, our EMS team is Paramedic status level.

About University of Utah Health Care

University of Utah Health Care is the Intermountain West's only academic health care system, providing leading-edge and compassionate medicine for the people of Utah and a referral area encompassing five states and more than 10 percent of the continental United States. The health system includes four hospitals – University of Utah Hospital; the University of Utah Orthopaedic Center; University Neuropsychiatric Institute; and Huntsman Cancer Hospital – with more than 1,000 physicians offering care in more than 200 medical specialties. The system has been ranked among the top 10 academic health systems in the country for the past four years in the University HealthSystem Consortium's rigorous Quality and Accountability Study.