When the first patient was admitted to the newly constructed Livingston HealthCare Hospital in late October, it marked a new era in state-of-the-art care for residents of Park County, Montana. The new critical care center boasts a Level IV Trauma Center with heli-pad, twenty-five beds, and 125,000 square feet to provide modern, high quality health care services to the over 15,000 people in the region.
And it's happening none too soon.
The 50 year old Livingston Hospital had reached the limits at which it could be upgraded to meet today’s medical technology and patient needs. Clinic services were spread out in 15 different locations around Livingston and parking was a major issue for patients. Bringing all the clinics together in one large complex will allow for faster and more coordinated patient care.
Not only is modern health care important to a rural community, but so are the jobs a health care facility – often one of the largest employers in a rural community – brings to the area.
This wouldn't have been possible without investment and buy-in from our partners in the project. The Livingston Hospital Foundation provided millions of dollars to support the new facility; First Interstate Bank provided the loan that Rural Development guaranteed. The Watson family of Livingston sold their land to provide space for the hospital complex. Most importantly, the community members of Livingston and Park County who have shown their support every step of the way, with more than two thousand people attending the open house last month.
The completion of Livingston HealthCare marks the single largest Community Facilities project Rural Development has funded in Montana. Since 2009, USDA Rural Development Montana has invested over $80 million in loans, grants, and guarantees to support rural health care, including hospital expansions, new medical equipment, electronic medical records, and more. It's a continuation of the commitment we have to making our rural Montana communities self-sustaining and prosperous, and we will continue to invest in excellent community-driven projects like this in the future.
As we celebrate Rural Health Week, USDA Rural Development is proud to play an important part in investing in health care delivery.