U.S. Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY) joined Northern Arapaho tribal leaders, city officials, financing partner MoFi, and community members at today’s unveiling of the newly expanded Wind River Family & Community Health Care on the Wind River Reservation in Riverton, Wyoming. The grand re-opening event allowed visitors an opportunity to celebrate the culmination of a multi-year effort to expand the clinic’s medical, dental, and behavioral health services to better meet the needs of tribal members and the communities they live in. The expansion is expected to create up to 40 new jobs, and enable the clinic to serve 3,000 patients annually, with 27,500 visits.
The new Wind River Cares clinic, which includes a 5,000-square-foot addition, expands existing services as well as introduces services that were previously unavailable in Riverton. These include increased primary and pediatric care, full service dental care, women’s health services including OB/GYN and prenatal care, expanded occupational, speech, and physical therapy services, with audiology coming soon. The new clinic will also soon add evening and weekend hours.
Wind River CEO Richard Brannan says that this expansion is a game-changer that will noticeably improve the quality of life for the Tribe and the surrounding communities.
“Today’s celebration represents a turning point for our community. Residents covered under Indian Health Service used to face traveling up to 35 miles or seeking care at the local emergency room, a more expensive option for both the patient and the provider,” Brannan said. “We wanted to bring in a broader array of services for residents to access the quality of care they need, close to home. We’re grateful to the support of the Northern Arapaho Business Council and our financing partners for helping us make this long-awaited vision a reality.”
Financing for the clinic’s $3 million expansion came from the Northern Arapaho Tribe, First Interstate Bank, and the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program, provided by the nonprofit community development lender, MoFi. The NMTC is a bipartisan federal program designed to incentivize private capital investment in economically distressed areas. In the last year, MoFi has used NMTC to help finance several projects in Wyoming, including the new Arapaho Childcare Center currently under construction across from the Wind River Casino in Riverton, and the Cobblestone Hotel & Suites in Torrington.
MoFi President Dave Glaser said, “Health care facilities play a vital role in creating livable communities and strong economies. Not only does the Wind River expansion provide crucial services that local residents no longer have to travel for or go without—it’s creating good jobs that will help this rural community grow. We look forward to seeing the impacts of this expansion for generations to come.”