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Pictured in Top Graphic (1900-1950): LDS Hospital (Old tithing house); construction on old hospital; and the old hospital as it looks today

Often called "The Star of All Valleys" by early pioneers, Star Valley is surrounded by the Salt River Mountain Range in Western Wyoming. Settled in 1878, the Valley's health care roots started with hardy pioneer physicians who practiced from their homes or small offices.

Dr. George West, who practiced in the Valley for 43 years, was one of the first doctors in Star Valley arriving in 1904. He regularly operated on patients in the kitchen of his home. The first hospital, other than Dr. West's home, was brought about by the LDS Church in Salt Lake City. The old Tithing Building located on the corner of Washington and Second Avenue, site of our present Afton Fire Station, was converted for this purpose.

For many reasons this hospital location was short lived and the second hospital was then located downtown above where the Ford Theater is currently located on the west side of Washington Street. Drs. David Beal and Orson Trealor had their clinics here. Dr. Beal practiced in the Valley from 1920 - 1935; and Dr.Trealor from 1929 - 1970.

Dr. Samuel Worthen arrived in Star Valley in 1935, shortly after the death of Dr.Beal. He began his own hospital clinic downtown across from Dr.Trealor's on the east side of Washington Street, above the location now occupied by Galloway Heating. Then in the early 1940's, Dr. Worthen's father started construction on a small hospital in Afton, on the corner of Adam St. and Fourth Avenue. With great expense and sacrifice by the Valley citizens, the west and south wings of the hospital were completed in October 1944, and the hospital was sold to the LDS Church. Dr.Worthen was called to military service in 1941 and returned in 1945 to continue his practice. At this point in time, all of Star Valley's medical service was centralized into this hospital.

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Pictured Above in Second Picture (1950-2000): Doctors Trealor, Worthen and Perkes; Dr. Worthen and 2 nurses; and nurses at the old hospital

In the early 50's, construction on the north and east wings of the hospital were started; and were completed in July 1956. At this point in time, Dr. Orson Perkes arrived in Star Valley and practiced along with Drs. Trealor and Worthen. Dr. Perkes had the distinction of being the longest practicing physician in Star Valley...practicing 56 years, until his death in 2012.

After Dr. Worthen's death and Dr. Trealor's retirement, Dr. Perkes was the only physician in the Valley between 1970 -1977. As medical procedures advanced, the hospital had served its purpose; and in 1973, Lincoln County formed a special hospital tax district. The North Lincoln County Hospital District provided funding for health care services, and once again the citizens of Star Valley unified to build a 15 bed facility. Medical services were then centralized to the new site in November 1980; and Intermountain Health Care (IHC) continued in the administration of the hospital.

Dr. Allen Carter joined the medical staff in July 1986; followed by Drs. K. Paul Head and Noel Stibor in July 1989. Drs. Martha Hageman, the Valley's first female doctor, and Donald Kirk joined Star Valley Medical Center in 1989. In the mid 1990's, the residents of the Valley then determined a need for a long-term care facility and the need to expand medical services to the north Valley area.

The Alpine Family Clinic became a reality in 1995; followed by the Star Valley Care Center. Due to generous contributions from the people of the Valley, State grants, and County aid, a new 24 bed Care Center opened, adjacent to the hospital, in October 1997. Then in October 1999, Intermountain Health Care (IHC), who had managed the operations of the medical facilities in the Valley since 1973, announced plans to discontinue the management contract with Star Valley Hospital. Instead of floundering and losing vital services for Valley residents, the North Lincoln County Hospital District Board of Trustees made the decision not only to maintain the existing hospital, but to move forward with improved medical services.

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Pictured Above in Third Graphic (2000-Present): Care Center; former Star Valley Hospital; and the Current Medical Center Entrance.

And move forward they did! Under the direction of new CEO, Steve Perry, the employees started from scratch, just like a new business. One of the first major changes involved a name change. The old Star Valley Hospital and Care Center signs were retired, and Star Valley Medical Center became the encompassing name for exciting opportunities for growth and expanded services.

In its first 2 1/2 years, Star Valley Medical Center grew beyond expectations. Added services and physicians, as well as an increase in volume of medical care had once again brought the citizens of "The Star of All Valleys" to a unique opportunity to unite in building a new addition to its medical facility to meet the diverse needs of its patients.

Dr. Kenneth Cobbs, a full time certified Orthopaedic Surgeon, was added to the staff and worked from April 2001 – 2004.  Dr. Scott Bender, a full time certified General Surgeon, joined SVMC in June 2001. They became the first specialists to reside in the Valley.

On August 21, 2001, the registered voters of the North Lincoln County Hospital District voted approval of a $2.5 million Bond Issue towards construction of a new 39,000 sq.ft. hospital and renovation of the current facility into physician clinics. The voter turn-out was overwhelmingly in favor by a 75% "Yes" vote. The Wyoming State Land and Investment Board approved a SVMC grant request to fund this new construction and renovation project; and ground breaking was held on April 15, 2002. Construction was completed and the official dedication of the new facility took place on Friday June   6, 2003.

In July 1, 2006 Brian Tallerico, D.O., certified orthopaedic surgeon, joined SVMC and opened Salt River Orthopaedics.  His practice quickly grew and he was later joined by Kyle Hirschi, P.A.  A Respiratory Therapy department was established in June 2006 with the addition of Michael Ford, R.T.T.  David Shrader, M.D., Pulmonary/Internal Medicine specialist joined the professional staff in April 2007.  The Sleep Lab was established in June 2007, with Hudson England working directly with Dr. Shrader.

January 12, 2008 proved to be a sad day for Star Valley when Dr. Scott Leo Bennett met his untimely death in an avalanche near the Cottonwood Lake area.  In February of 2008, Dr. Marlowe Goble, noted Orthopaedic Knee Specialist, joined the SVMC professional staff and teamed with Dr. Tallerico at Salt River Orthopaedics. In June of 2008, the Sleep Lab was moved into its own building with two separate sleep labs that allows the certified technician to do two studies simultaneously. We also hired a full time Emergency Department physician in October of 2008, Lance Petersen, MD.

In 2009, the hospital added four more patient rooms and expanded the ever growing Radiology and Laboratory departments to accommodate the valley residents. Also, in 2009 Dr. Christian Morgan joined Star Valley Medical Center, followed by Dr. Niki Milleson and Dr. Ross Pieper in 2010.  Dr. Wade Dunlap joined the surgery department in July of 2011 as our second full time surgeon. As growth continued, SVMC hired Hadden Goodman, P.A., who works mostly in the Alpine and Thayne Clinics.  There are over 11 specialists that provide services throughout the month at SVMC.

In 2012 CEO, Steve Perry left SVMC to continue his career in healthcare on a state wide level. Charlie Button, CEO, was hired by the NLCHD Board of Trustees to take the helm in May of 2012. His vision for healthcare in Star Valley has given the organization additional emphasis on creating partnerships in the community and providing additional healthcare services needed here in our beautiful valley.

In the years since 2010, growth has continued at SVMC. 2013 brings continued growth.  We acquired Physical Therapy of Star Valley on January 1st.  Also, a new expansion project to provide better emergency medicine services and expanded surgery services were planned in 2012. The new Emergency Room and a new expanded Surgery Department with expanded outpatient services will be constructed in 2013 - 2014.

True to our heritage:
Star Valley Medical Center... "Built Today for a Healthier Tomorrow"
Star Valley Medical Center... "There's No Place Like Home"
Star Valley Medical Center... "More Than Just Another Rural Hospital"
Star Valley Medical Center... "Your Center of Excellence"
Star Valley Medical Center... "Neighbors Caring for Neighbors"
Star Valley Medical Center... "Building Excellence, Trust and Partnerships"

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