Healthcare facilities project construction set to begin
With construction about to begin for a major building and remodeling effort at the Wyoming State Hospital in Evanston and the Wyoming Life Resource Center in Lander, a new vision of care will move closer to reality at both Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) facilities.
Following a careful review and planning process, the Wyoming Legislature recently approved the final portion of the $182 million Healthcare Facilities Project budget involving the two WDH Behavioral Health Division facilities.
Chris Newman, WDH Behavioral Health Division senior administrator, said the project will allow the Wyoming State Hospital and the Wyoming Life Resource Center to operate more as one facility with two campuses.
“The needs of individuals served by both facilities have changed quite a bit over time,” Newman said. “For example, most Wyoming residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities can now find services within their communities rather than relying on residential facilities such as the Wyoming Life Resource Center. At the same time, we are seeing more hard-to-place clients at the Wyoming State Hospital.”
Newman said much of the state hospital’s treatment capacity is used for people with intermediate and long-term healthcare needs, which affects availability for patients needing short-term treatment and evaluation.
“The new vision will allow our Lander campus to expand its mission to include new skilled nursing services for some of the patients who are now treated in Evanston while also continuing care for current residents,” Newman said.
Korin Schmidt, WDH deputy director, said the physical condition of buildings and grounds at both campuses makes it difficult to efficiently meet patient needs for modern treatment and care.
“Our main goal for the state hospital is creating a safer and more secure healing environment,” Schmidt said. “Patients are currently served in multiple buildings scattered throughout a large campus area, which is not efficient. Unfortunately, there are also significant structural concerns with of the hospital’s buildings.”
“The Wyoming Life Resource Center campus also has structures spread across campus and many of these buildings are deteriorating so they need constant maintenance and repair,” Schmidt said. “The new buildings will be more centralized and will enhance active treatment for our clients in home-like settings.”
Groathouse Construction, Inc. has been selected as the general contractor for the Evanston portion of the project; Sletten Construction will be working on the Lander campus. Both are Wyoming-based companies.
A groundbreaking ceremony will be held at the Wyoming State Hospital on April 26 at 3 p.m. A similar event is planned for May 22 at 9 a.m. at the Wyoming Life Resource Center.
To learn more about the Healthcare Facilities Project, visit https://health.wyo.gov/admin/healthcare-facilities-project/.