Daugherty tired of hearing rumors that SageWest-Riverton will close. Fake News, he said
(Lander, Wyo.) – The Chief Executive Officer of the SageWest hospitals in Riverton and Lander today called the rumor that the Riverton facility will close or that is a “glorified MASH Unit” as “Fake News.”
“Where this rumor got started I don’t know,” said Alan Daugherty, “probably someone with an axe to grind. I’ve heard this even this past week after my presentation to the city council there. I’m committed to provide services to everyone in our service area. I wish someone would get off of it.”
Daugherty told the Fremont County Commissioners that the two SageWest hospitals have recorded “in excess of 60,000 annual patient visits.” As to the rumor that the Riverton hospital sends its patients away to other hospitals outside of the county, Daugherty noted that helicopter transfers total about 60 per month, out of 500 patient admissions. “Most of the transfers are for cardiac patients.” He told the commission that a cardiac surgeon is one of the physicians that he is recruiting and that the specialist he has in mind, “has been here twice already.”
Other points he made today:
• It’s been over two years since OB services, Labor and Delivery, were moved from Riverton to Lander. He said it has been a real struggle to recruit enough people to Riverton and OB services will not be re-established in Riverton. He did say, however, that an OB physician for pre-natal care has been recruited for Western Family Care in Riverton and the Lander Medical Center.
• In the past two years, Daugherty said nine new physicians have been recruited to Fremont County, including the specialties of Emergency Medicine, Orthopedic Surgeon, Anesthesiologist, General Surgeon (two), Pathologist, Ear Nose and Throat (two) and Obstertrics/Gynecology.
• The two hospitals provided $6.5 million in free care to people who could not pay for their services.
• He said SageWest has 105 million reasons that it is committed to Fremont County. “That is the amount of financial and infrastructure commitment the company has made locally.”
• SageWest has 400 local employees with a $30-million annual payroll.