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SageWest Hospitals recruitment has solved Riverton's doctor shortage; More specialties being sought

The Chief Executive Officer of the SageWest Health Care hospitals in Fremont County told members of the Rotary Club of Lander today that unless the State Legislature expands Medicaid coverage in Wyoming, “in two or three years we could have six less hospitals in the state.” With Medicaid expansion, Steve Erixon said more dollars would flow into the state and more patients could be served. He said that was the experience of other rural hospitals in the LifePoint Hospital system, of which SageWest is a part. “However, the chance of that occurring appears to be diminishing,” he said. Erixon said the physican shortage in Riverton that snuck up on the community some three years ago has been resolved after extensive recruiting, which he said is continuing. “I thought we could get that done in 16 to 18 months, but it took 28 months. They didn’t have any new physicians in the pipeline and got caught when retirements and moves occurred.” Two new docs have been recruited in Lander, including Shalani Forbis, Pediatrics, and coming in the summer of 2016, Broc White in Family Practice. Coming to Riverton is a new hospitalist, Connie Joylani. The CEO of the Riverton and Lander hospitals said his recruitment for new physicians would now concentrate on Emergency Medicine in Riverton, ENT (ear, nose, throat) Hospitalists, Neurology, OB/GN, Orthopedics and Urology. Erixon also noted that there is a nursing shortage at both hospitals that SageWest is also trying to address. Feature Photo: SageWest Health Care CEO Steve Erixon of Lander spoke at the Rotary Club of Lander on Tuesday #county10 #news #health