The Powell-rooted Heart Mountain Volunteer Medical Clinic is branching out this week as it opens a sister clinic in Cody.
Starting tonight (Thursday), patients in need will be able to receive quality medical care at the Cody branch of the volunteer clinic.
Based on a model that's thriving in Powell, the Cody volunteer clinic will treat residents whose income is below federal poverty guidelines and are underinsured or lack health-care insurance.
Both clinics fill a vital role in our communities by caring for neighbors, friends, coworkers and family members throughout the entire Big Horn Basin. Without the local volunteer clinics, hundreds of residents would go forgo disease-management care and wellness education. Those services help reduce costly emergency care and hospital stays.
The Powell volunteer clinic celebrated its second birthday last month, and under the umbrella of Heart Mountain Volunteer Medical Clinic, Cody's branch has a promising future.
The free clinic's opening comes at a unique time for longtime rivals Cody and Powell. Paying for medical facilities in the two cities has become a political issue this month as Park County voters will decide in Tuesday's primary election whether to fund a $14.2 million tax for Cody's West Park Hospital.
Many Powell voters have voiced opposition to the 1-cent sales tax, saying a Cody project shouldn't be funded through a countywide sales tax. Supporters of the measure respond that it's not about Cody versus Powell — it's about a hospital in need.
Whether the tax passes or fails on Tuesday, we hope the issue doesn't deepen the divide between the two communities.
The new Cody volunteer clinic exemplifies the spirit of the Heart Mountain Volunteer Medical Clinic — neighbors caring for neighbors.
The clinic is the fruit of Powell and Cody medical professionals and various volunteers partnering for the common good by helping Park County residents who need it most.