CASPER, Wyo. — A new “Pediatric Specialty Clinic” will be opening near the Wyoming Medical Center campus in Casper in November. It will be located inside of the McMurry Medical Arts Building
“The clinic will host world class pediatric specialists from Denver on a monthly basis to see patients with a variety of chronic or complicated medical conditions,” the Olivia Caldwell Foundation, who are funding the new clinic, say.
Olivia Caldwell, who was born prematurely in Denver, died from brain cancer when she was just over 20 months old. Her mother, Katie Caldwell-Burchett, is the chief executive officer and founder of the Olivia Caldwell Foundation, which works to fund pediatric cancer research.
Caldwell-Burchett says she knows what it is like to have to travel back and forth between Denver and Wyoming to seek expert medical attention. Her son Wyatt has diabetes so between her two children, Caldwell-Burchett says that frequent travel to Denver to access care at the Children’s Hospital Colorado has been necessary.
“I understand what it is like, the burden of traveling to Denver,” Caldwell-Burchett said on Wednesday, Sept. 18. “When a child has a complicated medical condition, you are basically living in Denver.”
Costs can add up. While she had a lot of financial support after Olivia was diagnosed, Caldwell-Burchett says that with her son, such financial support wasn’t available.
Travel, lodging and food are some of the expenses families needing to travel out of state for medical care face.
“To be able to take that burden off of families is going to be life changing,” Caldwell-Burchett says.
That’s why the foundation is partnering with the Children’s Hospital Colorado, the University of Colorado’s School of Medicine and the Wyoming Medical Center to bring the new specialty clinic to Casper.
“The clinics will include Cardiologists, Endocrinologists, Pulmonologists, Neurologists, and Gastroenterologists,” the foundation says. “The doctors will see patients in-person and via tele-health.”
Caldwell-Burchett says the the space will be bright and include a children’s play area so that it “doesn’t feel like a big scary hole.” She adds that it will be “almost like a little mini-Children’s [Hospital] in Casper.”
The foundation will pay for the clinic space, which is being leased from the WMC. They’ll also pay for physicians’ travel expenses as well as licensing and credentialing of physicians.
Having pediatric specialists from Colorado will bring expert care closer to home for families in more rural Casper and Wyoming.
“They just give brilliant care,” Caldwell-Burchett says of those physicians.
She adds that the new clinic is “really about elevating pediatric care across the state.
The Olivia Caldwell Foundation will also be co-located in the new clinic.
“We’re really happy to see the progress that’s being made here,” WMC spokeswoman Kristy Bleizeffer says, adding that the clinic space is “really going to improve lives.”
People interested in learning more about the Olivia Caldwell Foundation or who would like to financially support the new clinic can access more information on their website.
The foundation will be hosting their 5th Annual “Putt N Play for Pediatric Cancer” from 10 am-6 pm at the Hanger, located at 1410 Prairie Lane in Bar Nunn.
“This family friendly event features indoor mini golf, carnival games, face painting, bounce houses, and a special carnival style menu from the Hangar,” the foundation says.
The event will raise funds for pediatric cancer research and other programs the foundation sponsors.