New care alliance between WMC and Children’s Hospital Colorado formed

Wyoming Medical Center President and CEO Michele Chulick talks during a press conference on Tuesday morning at WMC in Casper. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

A new care alliance between the Wyoming Medical Center and Children’s Hospital Colorado was announced during a press conference at the WMC on Tuesday morning in Casper.

The alliance aims to bring more specialized pediatric care to Casper patients, who are often forced to drive nearly 5-hours to Denver for treatment and tests.

“Children’s Colorado is one of the nation’s most outstanding pediatric hospitals,” said Wyoming Medical Center President and CEO Michele Chulick.

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“Our mutual goal for this alliance is to enhance coordination of care between our organizations,” said Chulick, who said the alliance will provide access to specialized pediatric services in Casper and reduce the need for patients to travel.

The alliance was several months in the making, according to Chulick.

“There will be a combination of things that will occur,” said Jena Hausmann, President and CEO of Children’s Hospital Colorado.

Starting soon, new specialists will hold clinics with WMC providers, local pediatricians and family practitioners to decide what medical specialties are most needed in the community, said Hausmann.  “They will help guide us in what kinds of specialists they want to physically be here.”

Telehealth will also play a large roll in the alliance. “There have been a lot of advancements in technology today that will allow us to leverage technology so that you don’t always have to have a physician get in a car or an airplane,” said Hausmann.

The largest numbers of sub-specialty needs here are neurology, cardiac, and pulmonary, according to Hausmann.

The more unique sub-specialites such as genetics and endocrinology are very scarce, according to Hausmann. “The country may graduate six in an entire year, so communities like Casper or even Wyoming may not be able to recruit them, but we will have a team in Denver and we’ll be better able bring that support here.”

“The objective is to keep children and families close to home.”