ROCK SPRINGS — A new mobile laboratory is just a small part of Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County’s efforts to bring healthcare directly to those who need it.
The 37-foot mobile laboratory pulled into the hospital campus Tuesday afternoon. Including a mobile lab in the hospital’s available resources to the community will allow an increase in collection availability and improve accessibility for patients, said Laboratory Director Mary Fischer.
“Sweetwater Memorial is thrilled to be able to provide the community with a mobile laboratory to service many of their healthcare needs,” she said.
For the short-term, it will be parked on the hospital campus. Staff expect to have it ready to use as a COVID-19 swabbing station by the end of May.
It will house staff and swabbing equipment and supplies for the drive-thru in front of the hospital’s main entrance at 1200 College Drive. The main entrance continues to be closed to the public, with access into the hospital diverted to the Emergency Room entrance.
The mobile lab also may be deployed to potential COVID-19 hot spots within the community for on-site collections, which has been proven to give health officials an advantage in containing the spread of communicable disease, Fischer said.
MHSC was able to purchase the $262,200 mobile lab and a smaller mobile lab through a Wyoming State Loan and Investment Board grant.
In the coming months, the larger vehicle will be joined by a $176,100, 26-foot mobile response unit. MHSC will be able to deploy the smaller vehicle into the community to provide on-site testing and support, when needed.
CEO Irene Richardson expressed her gratitude for all of the funding when it was approved last summer.
“Our No. 1 goal has always been to keep our patients, staff and community safe,” she said at the time. “This grant funding will help us tremendously in enhancing our efforts to help manage COVID-19.
We are truly grateful to Gov. Mark Gordon, his team, the Wyoming Office of State Lands and Investments, and the SLIB for their careful evaluation and approval of our requests.”
The mobile units are part of $4.9 million in Coronavirus Relief Grants awarded by Wyoming’s State Loan and Investment Board last summer. The State Loan and Investment Board includes Wyoming’s top five elected officials: Gov. Mark Gordon, Secretary of State Ed Buchanan, Auditor Kristi Racines, Treasurer Curt Meier and Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow.
For more information on Sweetwater Memorial and all it has to offer, go to sweetwatermemorial.com.