(Dubois, WY) – Mountain Sage Family Clinic owner Tracy Baum, FNP FAARFM is seeking resources to help mitigate an influx of COVID patients. She has been in contact with both local and state health officials to find resources and is asking the community for help.
The increased need for medical care is not just in this community, but across the state, Baum explained. Bed availability can be slim and we are looking at being able to provide some support for people that have COVID who maybe can’t stay at home due to an increased need for supplemental oxygen.
In mid-September, she spent four hours on the phone trying to find a bed for a COVID patient in need and was not able to find one within the region.
Baum has submitted medical supply and resource requests to both local and state health departments for basic equipment to create a medical station that can serve around six patients. This would allow them to provide care while trying to find a bed.
She also noted Senator Tim Salazar has been doing groundwork in the governmental resource arena. He’s been in contact with the Wyoming National Guard and Governor Mark Gordon to see if there are options for assistance and resources through those avenues as well.
While waiting on those entities, Baum recently asked the community for items not being used such as CPAP machines, and oxygen concentrators as well as things like liquid oxygen, beds, and IV poles. New accessories that go along with those items such as masks, nasal cannulas and PPE.
“With our numbers increasing, the need for hospital beds is going up,” she said. “Sometimes it’s not a physical bed, but staffing. There is a staffing shortage across the country.”
They are also seeking any licensed volunteers able to help out. Mountain Sage Family Clinic has a small staff that includes Baum, the owner and only provider, a full-time medical assistant and receptionist.
“We are in need of many different things, retired or not medical staff: nurses, respiratory therapists, physicians, NPs, PAs, etc.,” Baum wrote in her post to the community.
Her hope is to not have to use this medical station, but being prepared is key which also includes finding a space to set it up. That has still not been determined as of this writing.
Right now, her concerns are the increasing numbers and the increased spreading of the Delta variant and is impacting younger adults and children.
“The age span has definitely widened since it is much more contagious,” Baum noted.
The clinic has seen a consistent stream of people and has found “several bubbles of activity within the community” due to things like events.
“It’s been a challenge, between the COVID testing, education, and treating, it’s been a significant piece of every day,” she shared. “50-60 percent of the day is spent on COVID-related things. Peak was last spring at 75 percent. “It’s a challenge, but it’s something we are very passionate about as far as doing everything that we can to provide services and to treat people as early as possible so they don’t need the hospital.
“Bottom line, vaccines work. The numbers and percentage of people in the hospital are unvaccinated. It’s a personal choice and a piece of my job is to provide education about the vaccine. I’ve been following, researching, and reading worldwide information about the vaccine. Having a broad base of information is best.”
Baum shared appreciation for her MA Margaret Chantry as well as her husband Marty, who is an EMT.
Anyone with supplies, questions, or concerns is encouraged to contact the clinic by calling (307) 455-2807.