HAMILTON - One groundbreaking is in the books, but more are coming up for Bitterroot Health, as the newly-renamed medical group continues to expand services for the entire valley into 2023.
Health care at the Hamilton hospital campus has rapidly expanded over the past decade, with new facilities, and advanced services that you might not find in a typical rural hospital.
That progress is now being recognized with a new award from the LOWN Institute which rates hospitals and health care systems on criteria such as social responsibility with regard to cost, healthy outcomes and benefits to a community. That includes rural, critical access hospitals.
"We just got the ratings for that. Out of 351 critical access hospitals in the United States. Marcus Daily rated #4,” Bitterroot Health Board of Directors Chair Lois Hedg-Peth recently said to applause from the audience.
The initial news came last week as Bitterroot Health leaders gathered to break ground on the new Stevensville clinic but it's not just one new clinic, and the award making headlines this year.Bitterroot Health CEO John Bishop told MTN News the group will continue to look at other ways it can serve the community.
"So, our mission has been to deliver quality, accessible, personalized healthcare to the Bitterroot Valley and we really view this whole valley as our home. And the patients that live here, you know, they need to have access to care and to live the best life that they can,” Bishop said. “Making sure that's convenient for them is really essential."
The Stevensville clinic is just the first of three groundbreakings slated for this year, according to Bishop.
"We have a lot on our plate. Obviously, we have this location here in Stevensville and we're working actively on another location in Darby. We'll be building a new facility down there about six months behind this one. A little bit smaller, but very similar services that echoes the size of the community. We're also working on a Cancer Center that breaks ground this summer and should be offering services within about 18 months. And so, we're really excited for those three projects, to bring those to our community." - Bitterroot Health CEO John Bishop
Bishop says while COVID initially slowed some progress, Bitterroot Health is looking forward.
“And so, as we took that time to contribute our efforts towards that, it obviously caused us to stop and pause on other projects. And we were excited about a year ago to kind of re energize our efforts towards this location and get it completed,” Bishop concluded.