Fremont County has a new Public Health Officer; Flu season starting; New Prevention Program Director hired

(Lander, Wyo.) – Fremont County’s new Public Health Officer is Dr. Brian Gee (pronounced “G”). He was introduced to the county commissioners this morning by Public Health Nurse Supervisor Kathleen Laidlaw. Gee replaces Dr. Justin Hopkin, who is on leave in New York City for medical treatment for his son. Gee is a provider at the Lander Medical Clinic and a former emergency room physician at SageWest Hospitals. He’s a 25-year resident of Lander.

Laidlaw used the occasion of the introduction to also give a public health update.

She noted that the influenza season is starting and that the county public health nursing offices have secured 750 doses of this year’s flu vaccine. “We used to have thousands, but we  don’t want to be in competition with the county’s private providers,” she  said. Laidlaw did say that special outreach clinics will be held at the Community Entry Services facilities in both Lander and Riverton at at the Wind River Schools in Pavillion.

Laidlaw also announced that the Fremont County Prevention Program’s new director is Tauna Groomsmith, who has been working in a similar capacity in  Sheridan. She is a former Pavillion Town Council member and worked with the former state program in Riverton. Laidlaw said the new Fremont County Prevention Program is a “brand new prevention effort and it is not associated with the Prevention Management Organization.”

“This effort is county sanctioned, organized and coordinated by the county only with funding from the state,” said Commissioner Clarence Thomas. Chairman Travis Becker also noted that there would be differences in the way the county operates the program. “We have zero ties to the former program, the way we will do it is different that the way it has been done in the past,” he said.

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