Oden: Wyoming Medical Center will remain committed to Casper

Via Star Tribune

A few weeks ago, the Wyoming Medical Center Board of Directors announced that we had completed a strategic planning process to help ensure our hospital continues to be well-positioned in the rapidly evolving healthcare landscape. We also shared that, as part of the process, we were beginning to explore whether a partnership affiliation with a likeminded organization could be right for Wyoming Medical Center.

I am writing today to update you on that process, not only from my perspective as Board chair, but also as a mother, businesswoman and lifelong Casper resident.

Wyoming Medical Center has played an exceptional role in my family. My brother and I were both born here as were my own children. My husband’s life was saved at the hospital. But having good, quality, dependable healthcare is easy to take for granted. No one thinks of the hospital until you need the hospital.

Strategic planning is not new to this Board. As early as 2012, the Board was looking for a likeminded partner organization to grow medical services in Casper, expand access across the state, control costs and increase efficiencies. The difference in 2019 is we have a Board that recognizes the value in such a partnership, is motivated to push forward if a suitable partner is found, and that understands WMC’s value to such a partnership.

It’s rare to have such comprehensive, exceptional healthcare in a town the size of Casper. Our heart program has been ranked among the top 10 percent of the country. The American Heart Association has consistently ranked our Stroke Program as among the best and recently awarded its top honor, 2019 Physician of the Year, to Dr. David Wheeler in recognition of the extraordinary stroke program he built at WMC and is expanding to hospitals across the state. We would make a valuable partner to a likeminded organization, and we are focused on enhancing, not reducing, the services we offer right here in Casper.
Quality, comprehensive health care builds strong, vital communities. As Casper’s second largest employer, it’s hard to overstate how important the hospital is to the health of our local economy. WMC employees are key to the success of our organization and support our economy. Good health care attracts new businesses and families, and my industry succeeds when Casper succeeds.

That’s true for every member of the Board of Directors. We work here. We have raised our families here. Our priority has been, is and always will be protecting the mission of Wyoming Medical Center: To advance the health and wellness of our region and community by providing excellent healthcare services.

To do that, the hospital must evolve along with the healthcare landscape. We have to look ahead and be visionaries. We will look for a partner that expands, not reduces, healthcare services in Casper and strengthens Wyoming Medical Center’s position in the region and across the state.

We’re committed to keeping you updated on this process. We invite you to visit www.wmcforward.org to learn more about the process and what it could mean for our community and state.