After countless hours and application finessing, the Town of Shoshoni found out yesterday, July 16th, that they received full funding to establish a medical clinic with a completion deadline of December 15th.
$254,902 in CARES Act funding was awarded to repurpose the former Left Tackle Bar located at 702 E 2nd Street into a primary care clinic that serves not only Shoshoni, but all of the surrounding areas.
A key piece to receiving this funding was being able to prove how necessary this clinic is in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Shoshoni Chief of Police and acting Town Clerk Chris Konija was behind the scenes of the application process and making it happen, Shoshoni Mayor Joel Highsmith explained.
“It took a lot of late nights and early mornings,” Konija shared.
Highsmith also noted Tim Salazar and Nick Bebout were very supportive and able to help the process by providing advice from the legislative side of things.
Hot Springs Memorial Hospital will be providing the physicians and staff for the clinic. Shoshoni will use the awarded funds to provide the facility, equipment, and pay for the utilities.
Other medical entities who are interested in offering services at the clinic currently include: Gottsche Rehabilitation Center and Lander Medical Group. The hope is to fill the clinic with rotating services so a variety of options are available to the community.
Highsmith also attributed securing the funds to Hot Springs Memorial Hospital and the other medical providers interested in offering services at the clinic. “Without the healthcare entities buying in, we probably couldn’t get the funding.”
Having a medical clinic in Shoshoni has been on Mayor Highsmith’s bucket list. “We used to have a doctor here in the 60s and 70s,” he shared. “We have been working on this for some time, but it always came down to how do we fund it.”
Since this has been in a process for some time, they don’t have concerns to meet the mid-December deadline and hope to have it open for patients by January 1st.
Konija is excited that folks will come to Shoshoni for triage care and reduce the strain on the already existing emergency services. This should increase people’s overall wellbeing too.
Both Highsmith and Konija shared their appreciation for SLIB and how quickly the process was completed. “It shows their dedication to get the funding into action and mitigating COVID,” Konija explained.
The application was finalized on Monday, July 13th, and they found out yesterday that it was approved.
“I hope that other communities can see this as an example,” Konija shared about looking at the future of the town. “There’s more to come.”