Cougar Community Health Center
Wind River Middle/High School
223 S Cherry Street
Cougar Community Health Center, a new access location for Community Health Centers of Central Wyoming (CHCCW), will open at Wind River Middle/High School in Pavillion on April 1. Serving all members of the community, the health center’s goal is to provide affordable and high-quality patient care for residents, making healthcare more accessible in Fremont County.
Diana Clapp, superintendent of Fremont County School District #6, has worked on establishing a health clinic in Pavillion for nearly a decade.
“When you look at a community and see that resources are not available, you start to ask, ‘Why not us? Why not here?’” said Clapp. “When young children become critically ill and you could have caught the problem sooner, or when someone is injured in a ballgame, why don’t we have the resource to help them? When parents work 30 minutes from home and get a call that their child is sick, they need to drive 30 minutes to pick up their child from school and often drive 30 minutes back if they need to visit a doctor. This accounts for hours or often days of lost school and work. The Cougar Community Health Center will help these families, as well as the 500 Medicare patients in the region. It will benefit the entire community.”
The vision for the Center took root when Sandy Barton served as Fremont County BOCES director, and Riverton sold a modular building to BOCES for one dollar. With a Green Construction Grant that provided wood and materials, and the assistance of Dan Odaz with Plan One Architects who drew plans and ensured ADA compliance, students of the high school woods class under the direction of woods teacher Kiley Chatfield remodeled the building that would become Cougar Community Health.
“Students gutted the single-wide modular: they built cabinets and countertops; they did the sheetrock and welding. It was a six-year project,” said Lora Koenig, FNP-C, who will run the clinic.
When CHCCW decided to expand their locations to include the Pavillion site, they joined a collaboration of many entities working together to improve education and healthcare in the community.
“I am excited about this partnership; it is life-changing,” said Clapp. “The support of the school board for increasing access to healthcare in the community, the generosity of the Ellbogen Foundation that provided a grant for the clinic – all of the support that brought education and healthcare together for a more holistic approach to student success.”
While no state money for K-12 education was used for the Cougar Community Health Center, the support of the school board was instrumental in the creation of the clinic.
The clinic is expected to open on April 1, and will host an Open House soon after. Hours of operation will be Monday through Friday, 8 am – 5 pm. For more information, call (307) 856-6372.