(Cheyenne, WY) – Governor Gordon’s Health Task Force and the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) have been working on ideas for improvements to the delivery of health care in Wyoming. A major focus in the early months is on emergency medical services (EMS). The Legislature supported proposals brought forward to help stabilize the system and to pilot projects that regionalize the service to reduce costs and provide additional care.
Since last year the Governor’s Health Task Force has been engaged in conversations to better understand EMS operations around the state. Regional EMS providers have struggled to sustain operations in recent years due to a combination of factors, including low call volume, high cost of operations, staffing and volunteer shortages, and reimbursement for services.
As a result of the conversations and recommendations from the Health Task Force’s EMS Subcommittee, the Governor requested the Legislature appropriate $20 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding to help stabilize the current system and provide regional pilot programs to address sustainability of operations. The Legislature recognized the importance of stabilizing the EMS system in Wyoming by approving $5 million in stabilization funding and $10 million to develop regional pilot programs.
“One of the key components necessary for Wyoming to have a robust healthcare system is to ensure our first responder system is viable and sustainable,” Governor Gordon said. “It is essential that emergency services be ready to respond when and where the need arises, whether that be in our most rural areas or in our larger communities.”
The Task Force and Wyoming Department of Health will host a series of regional discussions with stakeholders to address challenges related to Emergency Medical Services (EMS) in the coming months. The first regional discussion will take place in Cheyenne and address Trauma Region 3, which includes Albany, Laramie, Goshen, and Platte Counties. Additional meetings will follow in each of the state’s five trauma regions, with exact dates and locations still to be determined.
Additional details on the meetings are available by contacting Health and Human Services Policy Advisor Jen Davis at (307) 777-8094 or [email protected] Other proposals from the Health Task Force may be found here.