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Hospital receives SLIB grant money

  • Category: Health & Wellness, Community
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Deb Sutton, Sweetwater Memorial Public Information Officer
Hospital receives SLIB grant money
Mobile LabThis is an example of the mobile lab MHSC was approved to purchase with SLIB Coronavirus Relief Grant funding. It can be used at the hospital or deployed to anywhere in the community for on-site testing.

The $1.2M will be used on projects dealing with the coronavirus pandemic

Wyoming’s State, Loan and Investment Board awarded Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County about $1.2 million in Coronavirus Relief Grants.

The board met Thursday to discuss grant applications. Sweetwater Memorial received full funding for the following:

  • Mobile Lab: $278,250
  • UV Robots: $248,594
  • Laboratory Equipment: $227,531

The hospital payroll expense grant received partial funding. MHSC had asked the SLIB for $672,894. The board initially awarded $233,725 to cover the cost of supplying door monitors, staff for swabbing stations at multiple locations, staffing for a fever tent, opening and staffing a walk-in clinic, implementing a Nurse Triage Line for public questions, and the addition of a temporary lab testing location.

The board also is set to approve $180,611 once the hospital supplies additional information pertaining to Incident Command team members and their roles as part of the command team.

CEO Irene Richardson said the hospital plans to apply for additional grants to cover more essential equipment needed to support the community, as well as some small construction projects that would benefit MHSC in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. Projects must be completed by year’s end.

“We can’t thank SLIB enough for taking the time to listen to our needs and for understanding the pressure Wyoming’s hospitals are under to keep our patients, staff and community safe,” Richardson said. “Facing a pandemic of this magnitude has been extremely challenging and we are grateful for any assistance that will benefit our patients.”

Richardson spoke highly of the team who worked on the grants quickly and efficiently, including Memorial Hospital Foundation Executive Director Tiffany Marshall, Chief Financial Officer Tami Love, Laboratory Director Mary Fischer, and Facilities Director Jim Horan.

“This group came together and used their expertise and experience with the challenges we faced during the pandemic to quickly identify the needs that will help us best manage the pandemic moving forward,” Richardson said. “They literally worked around the clock, and we are very appreciative to have this level of commitment from our staff.”

Here’s a breakdown of the projects covered by the SLIB grants:

Mobile Lab

Implementing a mobile lab into the hospital’s available resources to the community will allow an increase in collection availability and improve accessibility for patients. The unit will be available on the hospital’s campus but also may be deployed to potential COVID-19 hot spots within the community for on-site collections, which has been proven to give health officials an advantage in containing the spread of communicable disease.

UV Robot 3200 ModelUV Robots

The robots have been tested against SARS-CoV-2 with a successful decontamination time of up to 10 minutes. The robots are sent into a patient room once it has been vacated. It is activated via a mobile control system. The robot’s technology scans the room to deliver the proper treatment duration to deactivate pathogens, delivering the highest UV dose over the shortest period based on the room size, layout, robot placement, and output.

The hospital will buy two, 2280 Model Unit Systems. These systems each include two linked robots that work simultaneously to disinfect. They are a flexible option to use in the Emergency Department and on the medical floors. The robots include removable emitters to allow UVC decontamination and disinfection in smaller areas including ambulances and life-flight helicopters.

The 3200 Model Unit is a larger, stationary unit that will be used in the operating rooms. It has the highest single emitter UVC dose and the fastest decontamination cycles available. It has a decontamination time of five minutes, ideal for operating rooms. It offers no disruption of services, while additional decontamination practices occur.

Laboratory Equipment

The Memorial Hospital Foundation bought the initial BioFire diagnostic testing machine for the laboratory in 2018. The SLIB grant money will be used to buy two additional modules for the machine. The system delivers accurate results in about one hour, which can impact all areas of patient care. Healthcare providers can see faster diagnoses leading to the containment of COVID-19. Currently, the hospital’s BioFire setup is not robust enough to meet the demands of COVID-19 testing in the community. Adding two modules, testing capabilities will meet the high demand necessary to test and assist healthcare providers in containing Covid-19.

Cepheid has developed an automated molecular test for the qualitative detection of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The test can provide rapid detection of SARS-CoV-2 in as little as 30 minutes for positive results, with less than a minute of hands-on time to prepare the sample. Cepheid SARS-CoV-2 can be used in settings where actionable test results are needed to make informed treatment decisions quickly. The test delivers point-of-care results with the same level of performance seen in reference labs.

The State Loan and Investment Board includes Wyoming’s top five elected officials: Gov. Mark Gordon, Secretary of State Ed Buchanan, Auditor Kristi Racines, Treasurer Curt Meier and Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow. The board will meet again Aug. 6.

For more information on Sweetwater Memorial and its efforts to reduce COVID-19 exposure, go to