After four years of hard work and dedication, Riverton residents are finally going to see the fruits of their labor. The Riverton Medical District, an all-volunteer board of residents recently announced that they will break ground on a new Community Hospital this spring.
In 2018, Riverton’s only hospital began merging services with another facility 30 miles away in Lander. As services began to consolidate, residents grew concerned about the quality of care available as well as the distance between Riverton and essential services. That concern grew and culminated in the community coming together. This is how the Riverton Medical District was born, with a mission to preserve quality health care for Riverton’s residents.
Last spring, Riverton was awarded a USDA low-interest rural development loan of $37 million dollars. This is the largest award it has ever provided in Wyoming. This money, combined with years of local and regional fundraising, gave Riverton the funds it needed to build its own Community Hospital.
It was a true community-wide effort from fundraising and legal work to partnering with the Eastern Shoshone Tribe to secure the land for the project. It’s rare to see such a momentous effort put forth by a community in a persistent fashion to complete such an ambitious undertaking. And, they succeeded. Riverton will have a true community-owned hospital.
In a recent community meeting, floor plans and design renderings were shared. The facility will partner with Billings Clinic, a regional healthcare leader, to be the clinical and management partner. The new hospital will provide primary, acute, emergency, and specialty health care services. The 60,000+ square foot facility will reside on a 12-acre campus and employ around 150 people.
Riverton’s community effort even caught the attention of the Wall Street Journal, which detailed how clashes between for-profit hospitals and rural communities were exacerbated by the pandemic. However, Riverton stands out among these stories due to the determination and sustained community effort it took to create a locally owned and governed healthcare facility.
The hospital will stand as a testament to Riverton’s community pride and be yet another example of a city worth investing in.