$1.5 Million Grant Provides Technology for Cody Regional Health Cath Lab

Residents in rural Wyoming’s Big Horn Basin will now have access to life-saving cardiac services closer to home. 

CODY, WY—A partnership between Cody Regional Health and Billings Clinic has received a $1.5 million grant from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust to outfit a new state-of-the-art cardiac catheterization laboratory in Cody. The grant makes it possible to acquire the newest x-ray systems and other needed technology for the cath lab. 

The Cody Regional Health Cath Lab will make it possible for doctors in this critical access hospital to perform life-saving diagnostic and surgical procedures, including cardiac catheterizations, pacemaker placements, and defibrillator placements using the newest technologies.

“The Cody Regional Health Cath Lab will be one of the country’s very few cath labs – if not the only – located in a critical access hospital,” said Doug McMillan, Cody Regional Health CEO. “It’s another unique specialty service provided in Cody that is not typically found in a community of this size. We are very fortunate to have received the support from the Helmsley Charitable Trust.”

Cody will be working closely with the award-winning Billings Clinic in Billings, MT, to create its new cath lab. While Cody Regional Health will provide the space, equipment, nurses, technicians, and support staff, Billings Clinic will provide the training, support, and clinical expertise. Cody Regional Health and Billings Clinic will hire two interventional cardiologists who will be employed by Billings Clinic and will live and reside in Cody.

The new cardiac services will benefit not only the 57,000 residents of the Big Horn Basin, but also the tens of thousands of tourists who travel through the area each year. Once the new facility is completed, patients will be spared the roughly two-hour transport to Billings for similar life-saving cardiac services.

“No matter where you live, you should have access to high-quality, modern medical equipment,” said Walter Panzirer, a Trustee at the Helmsley Charitable Trust. “At Helmsley, we are committed to supporting access to healthcare across rural areas of the Upper Midwest. One way we do this is by collaborating with progressive Critical Access Hospitals like Cody Regional Health. We know this new cath lab will not only save lives, but also keep people needing cardiac care close to home where family and friends can provide support.”

The new Cody Regional Health Cath Lab will be completed in early 2018 and be available for procedures upon successful recruitment of staff.  

“These life-saving cardiac services are really needed in this community,” said Keith Ungrund, Cody Regional Health CCO. “We are really excited to be able to bring the new cardiac cath lab to our community and work with partners like the Billings Clinic and the Helmsley Charitable Trust.”

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About Cody Regional Health

Cody Regional Health (CRH) is a national leading critical care 25-bed acute-care state-of-the-art facility. CRH employs and partners with over 60 physicians and offers over 20 different services, with an adjacent Long-Term Care Center licensed for 94 beds, a 16-bed chemical dependency center, 8-bed hospice house, regional cancer center, satellite physicians clinic and urgent care center. CRH abides by the Planetree philosophy as a model of health care. The Planetree model strives to enhance patient comfort by personalizing, humanizing and demystifying the health care experience. www.westparkhospital.org.

About the Helmsley Charitable Trust

The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust aspires to improve lives by supporting exceptional efforts in the U.S. and around the world in health and select place-based initiatives. Since beginning active grantmaking in 2008, Helmsley has committed more than $2 billion for a wide range of charitable purposes. Helmsley’s Rural Healthcare Program funds innovative projects that use information technologies to connect rural patients to emergency medical care, bring the latest medical therapies to patients in remote areas, and provide state-of-the-art training for rural hospitals and EMS personnel. To date, this program has awarded more than $320 million to organizations and initiatives in the upper Midwest states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, Minnesota, Iowa, and Montana.