Steve Erixon

Steve Erixon, CEO of SageWest Health Care

(Fremont County, Wyo.)  – Beginning May 1, Lander Regional Hospital and Riverton Memorial Hospital, which serve patients in Fremont and surrounding counties, will join forces to become SageWest Health Care. This new, common name further unites the two hospitals, which over the past year have consolidated management and operations to ensure the efficient delivery of high quality patient care to Fremont County, a statement from the hospitals said Monday morning.

As SageWest, the hospitals will operate as one comprehensive health system with two hospitals. Lander Regional Hospital is now named SageWest Health Care at Lander and Riverton Memorial Hospital is SageWest Health Care at Riverton.

“It’s a new name, but the same ownership. We’ll continue to be here to take care of the 45,000 residents in Fremont County and our service area,” CEO Steve Erixon told County10.com this morning. “We have from 50 to 60 daily visits to our emergency rooms or around 2,000 ER visits a month and babies will still be birthed here as in the past at a rate of about 1 per day at each hospital for 50-60 babies a month. The ER will still be here, our physicians will still be here, it’s only the name that has changed.”

In the formal announcement revealing the name change, Erixon said “Lander Regional and Riverton Memorial have partnered to meet the challenges of today’s changing health care environment and better serve our communities… As one system, we are better positioned to grow, expand our services and recruit additional physicians to meet the health care needs of our region into the future. We are proud to unveil the new SageWest Health Care name, which is symbolic of the common heritage of our communities and our hospitals.”

According to the statement, the SageWest name symbolizes the region and reflects the vision for the health system. Sage portrays the possession of wisdom and experience and is a prevalent Wyoming plant with a sweet smell and healing touch. West represents the hospitals’ home and conjures images of self-reliance, determination, independence and a pioneering spirit.

Erixon said the Indian Paintbrush flower, Wyoming’s State Flower, looks similar to the blossom of the sagebrush, and he noted the two grow together on the high plains.

“This is exciting times for us, and we’re still working through some minor items, like how we’ll answer the phone,” Erixon said.

The rest of the statement reads:

Riverton Memorial Hospital is becoming SageWest Health Care at Riverton

Riverton Memorial Hospital is becoming SageWest Health Care at Riverton

Lander Regional and Riverton Memorial, which are both affiliated with LifePoint Hospitals, a leading hospital company focused on providing health care services in non-urban communities, are located just 29 miles apart. Their teams have collaborated on the delivery of care in their communities in recent years and in 2013 began sharing a management team.

Joining together as a unified system enhances the hospitals’ ability to extend and improve the accessibility of health care services to the surrounding region.  For instance, the creation of a float pool will allow health care providers to be able to float between the two hospitals, thereby increasing the available bed capacity at both facilities and reducing the number of times a patient may need transferred out of our community due to limited resources.

As one health care system, the hospitals will move to one medical records system, which will allow a patient’s records to be available to physicians and care staff at both facilities. And, one unified system will allow for standardization of hospital processes and sharing best practices for patient care, ensuring each patient receives the same high quality care no matter which facility he or she chooses.

Lander Regional Hospital is becoming SageWest Health Care at Lander

Lander Regional Hospital is becoming SageWest Health Care at Lander

SageWest Health Care provides a comprehensive array of inpatient, outpatient and emergency services, including behavioral health, nuclear medicine, imaging, surgery, obstetrics, sleep services, and rehab services, to more than 45,000 patients each year.  It is one of the region’s largest employers with more than 460 employees and a payroll of more than $30 million.  During 2013, more than $1.3 million was invested in capital improvements at the Lander and Riverton campuses and the two hospitals paid more than $264,000 in taxes.

The SageWest team is committed to making this change as seamless as possible to their communities.  Patients can expect to receive the same quality care and service by the same providers they know and trust. All contact information for the Lander and Riverton campuses will remain the same, and visitors will see no difference in access to either campus.

Learn more about SageWest Health Care by clicking here.