Cheyenne Regional Medical Center Earns National Recognition for Exemplary Community Service

Cheyenne, Wyo., healthcare provider selected as finalist for 2012 Foster G. McGaw Prize

In honor of its broad-based efforts to improve the lives of the most vulnerable members of its community, Cheyenne Regional Medical Center in Cheyenne, Wyo., was named a finalist of the prestigious 2012 Foster G. McGaw Prize for Excellence in Community Service, one of the most esteemed community service honors in healthcare.

The Foster G. McGaw Prize is sponsored by The Baxter International Foundation and the American Hospital Association (AHA) and Health Research & Educational Trust. As a finalist, Cheyenne Regional will receive $10,000 to be used to support their community health initiatives.

“Cheyenne Regional Medical Center trustees and employees believe that the hospital’s impact and service should extend far beyond the walls of a brick building,” said John O’Brien, chair of the Foster G. McGaw Prize Committee. “Cheyenne Regional’s community outreach initiatives improve access to care and prescription medications, connect residents to needed health and human services, improve birth outcomes of high-risk families, and work in collaboration with others to make Laramie County the healthiest in Wyoming.”

Founded in 1867 as a frontier “tent” hospital to serve the transcontinental railroad, today the 222-bed Cheyenne Regional Medical Center is Wyoming’s largest healthcare system and provides state-of-the-art diagnostic and therapeutic treatments for communities throughout southeast Wyoming, northern Colorado and western Nebraska. A strong commitment to the health and well-being of its community can be seen at every level of the organization, though a particular focus is put on identifying and meeting needs in four key areas: healthcare access; health behaviors; social, education and poverty issues; and the physical environment in which residents live. Cheyenne Regional uses its history in the community to mobilize the creativity and resources of the entire community towards a shared vision of the future.

“It is a tremendous honor to be selected as a finalist for the Foster G. McGaw award,” said Dr. John Lucas, CEO of Cheyenne Regional. “Cheyenne Regional Medical Center leaders and staff understand that to transform the health and well-being of our community—and those across the state—means transforming the way we provide healthcare. Critical to that transformation is building and sustaining partnerships that promote healthy, safe and strong communities for the long-term. It is a privilege to be part of this work—and to be recognized for it in this way.”

Cheyenne Regional was recognized for the following innovative community service initiatives:
  • Safety-Net Primary Care Clinics – Thanks to efforts led by Cheyenne Regional, in 2005 Laramie County’s first federally qualified health center—Cheyenne Health and Wellness Center—opened its doors. Its services include general primary medical care, dental/vision services, flu shots/immunizations, diagnostic testing/screening, well-child visits, an in-house pharmacy, translation services, health education, family planning, pregnancy testing and work/school physicals. The clinic now serves more than 4,000 patients annually, 70 percent of whom have a family income below 100 percent of the federal poverty level.
  • Healthier Laramie County – Launched in 1997, this 25-member community organization team, co-chaired by Cheyenne Regional staff, recently generated the grassroots momentum needed to secure statutory authority to dispense donated medications to uninsured residents of Laramie County.
  • Laramie County Centralized Pharmacy – Operating since 2005, this program serves as a short-term bridge to ensure that underserved patients can access the medications they need while access to longer term prescription assistance is arranged. In late 2010, the pharmacy expanded its hours from only 16 hours a week to 30 hours, which greatly enhances patient access, and in 2011, the pharmacy filled 26,270 prescriptions for 3,161 low-income individuals.
  • Wyoming 2-1-1 – Developed in collaboration with the United Way of Laramie County and the Laramie County Community Partnership, the 2-1-1 call system is now in place in nearly all of Wyoming. It puts residents in touch, free of charge, to a full range of non-emergency community, social, health, human, legal, disaster and government services.
  • Healthy Births – This program has been expanded in recent years to include a more seamless continuum of support for breastfeeding women, as well as a postpartum screening and referral system. As a result, each month, this program now serves approximately 2,500 pregnant women, infants and children up to age 5.

“The Foster G. McGaw Prize recognizes healthcare organizations that serve as role models for improving the health and well-being of the people in their communities,” said O’Brien. “This year’s winner and finalists exemplify what it takes to meet the unique needs of the diverse communities they serve. Through leadership and collaboration with community partners, they enhance the lives of vulnerable populations and area residents as a whole.”

The 2012 winner of the $100,000 Foster G. McGaw Prize is St. Joseph’s/Candler Health System in Savannah, Ga. It was recognized for its holistic approach to healing, which encourages individuals to become more knowledgeable about their personal health, and for its collaboration with numerous community partners on programs, which seek to make a compassionate impact on the lives and the health of its patients and community.

In addition to Cheyenne Regional, other finalists include Seton Healthcare Family in Austin, Texas, and Yale-New Haven Hospital in New Haven, Conn.

Cheyenne Regional Medical Center is a 222-bed tertiary hospital that includes a Level 2 trauma center, the Wyoming Heart & Vascular Institute, the inpatient Davis Hospice Center and the only cancer center in Wyoming accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer. Cheyenne Regional is at the heart of a system that serves southeastern Wyoming, western Nebraska and northern Colorado with more than 175 physicians, 2,000 employees and 200 volunteers. The system includes the Cheyenne Regional Physicians Group, the state’s largest medical group with 18 clinics and more than 65 physicians, and the Wyoming Institute of Population Health, which focuses on improving community and population health. Based in the Wyoming state capital, Cheyenne Regional regularly partners with nonprofit agencies, government entities, the local community college and the University of Wyoming to provide improved healthcare and educational opportunities throughout the community, state and region.

The Foster G. McGaw Prize, celebrating more than 25 years of honoring excellence in community service, recognizes healthcare organizations committed to community service through a range of programs that demonstrate a passion and continuous commitment to making communities healthier and more vital. The prize, first awarded in 1986, inspires hospitals, health systems and communities to assess and implement programs that improve their communities. For more information, visit www.aha.org/foster.

The American Hospital Association is a not-for-profit association of healthcare provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the health improvement of their communities. The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which include almost 5,000 hospitals, healthcare systems, networks and other providers of care and 42,000 individual members. Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for healthcare leaders and is a source of information on healthcare issues and trends. For more information, visit the AHA Web site at www.aha.org.

The Baxter International Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Baxter International Inc. (NYSE:BAX), helps organizations expand access to healthcare in the United States and around the world. The foundation, established in 1981, focuses exclusively on increasing access to healthcare particularly for the disadvantaged and underserved in communities where Baxter employees live and work. Baxter International Inc., through its subsidiaries, develops, manufactures and markets products that save and sustain the lives of people with hemophilia, immune disorders, infectious diseases, kidney disease, trauma, and other chronic and acute medical conditions. As a global, diversified healthcare company, Baxter applies a unique combination of expertise in medical devices, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology to create products that advance patient care worldwide. For more information, please visit www.baxter.com.

Founded in 1944, the Health Research & Educational Trust (HRET) is a private, not-for-profit organization involved in research, education, and demonstration programs addressing health management and policy issues. An affiliate of the American Hospital Association, HRET collaborates with healthcare, government, academic, business, and community organizations across the United States to conduct research and disseminate findings that shape the future of healthcare. For more information about HRET, visit www.hret.org.