Sheridan Memorial Hospital's game plan to combat lack of psychiatric care

Sheridan (Wyo.) Memorial Hospital is fighting for a portion of the $85 million American Rescue Plan Act funding dedicated to state healthcare services upgrades, with an endgame of creating a new mental health facility and transport dedicated to psychiatric patients, The Sheridan Press reported June 23.

Sheridan Memorial executives plan to use funding to create a crisis stabilization and emergency psychiatric assessment and treatment center in existing hospital facilities, which they expect to have a $15 million price tag.

Wyoming doesn't meet the recommended ratio of 50 psychiatric beds per 100,000 residents, and the nearest inpatient facility is in Gillette, Wyo., over 100 miles away from the city of Sheridan, a hospital leader told the Press.

Staffing issues have caused a decrease in ambulance availability for involuntarily committed psychiatric patients, leading to the Sheridan Memorial board of trustees approving a $55,000 purchase of a medical transport vehicle exclusively used to transport medically stabilized, involuntarily committed patients to other facilities across the state.

Sheridan Memorial officials are currently waiting for the State Loan and Investment Board to begin accepting applications for American Rescue Plan Act funding, which is predicted to happen in the next few weeks, according to the Press. From there, state officials will determine whether Sheridan Memorial's projects are selected to receive the federal funding.

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