Two Organizations Move Forward To Build Big Sky Hospital - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Two Organizations Move Forward To Build Big Sky Hospital

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BOZEMAN -

Bozeman Deaconess Hospital and Billings Clinic both are moving forward with building a hospital in Big Sky.

Bozeman Deaconess announced on Monday they have chosen HGA to begin construction on their hospital in the spring.

Bozeman Deaconess Hospital and Billings Clinic both said they will be building a hospital in Big Sky.

"We're continuing and have committed to move with our Big Sky Medical Center campus," said Kevin Pitzer, Bozeman Deaconess President/CEO.

"We're still looking at a variety of options, which are not fully defined at this point," said Jim Duncan, Billings Clinic Community Relations.

Over the summer, both organizations completed a feasibility study, which includes investigation and research that helps in a decision process. In August, an independent consultant was in favor of Bozeman Deaconess building a facility in Big Sky while the Big Sky and West Yellowstone Health Directions Committee, made up of representatives from Big Sky, voted in favor of Billings Clinic building it. Both have different views on how they would approach the project.

"We have continued to explore land options in the area," said Duncan. "We don't have anything definitive as a next step at this point."

"We'll have a 24/7 emergency department and 4 to 8 inpatient beds when we open," said Pitzer.

Both said they want critical access hospital accreditation, which would mean two hospitals could not be built in the Big Sky community.

"It's not sustainable to do both. Secondly, the ability to get bond financing because it is not financially sustainable. You wouldn't be able to sustain bond financing for two projects," said Pitzer. "The other requirement is there will not be another hospital within 35 miles."

"There's not the population to sustain two of them," said Duncan.

Coupled with plans to build in Big Sky, both hospitals are considering an expansion in the West Yellowstone community.

"We have continued to stay in touch with individuals in both communities. We're keeping in touch with key contacts in West Yellowstone and Big Sky," said Duncan.

"We are going to continue to work with the city of West Yellowstone and the West Yellowstone community," said Pitzer.

Pitzer said their hospital would be built in the Big Sky Town Center where they already own land.

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