Laramie’s own Premier Bone & Joint Centers is expanding its services, celebrating the groundbreaking of its new state-of-the-art Surgery and Physical Therapy Center on Wednesday evening.
The new center will supplement the work being done in its current facility, which will celebrate its 25th anniversary in fall 2020, coinciding perfectly to when the new center is expected to be finished.
While the current building is working well, President and CEO Tom Wolfe said it is becoming increasingly outdated both as medical technology develops and as the building ages.
“When our patients come here, their experience from a personnel standpoint is awesome,” Wolfe said. “They don’t necessarily deal with the aging boilers and all the stuff that’s behind the scenes that function but at one point are going to be outdated.”
The new building will have the size and space “that we need to do more current state-of-the-art surgeries,” Wolfe said. Not only will the 21,000-square-foot facility’s three operating rooms be able to handle more frequent and intense procedures like joint replacements, but it will also help make the surgery process more efficient and streamlined for patients.
Additionally, the center will feature a 6,000 square-foot physical therapy area.
“We are really out of space, totally, in our physical therapy gym,” Wolfe said.
As Premier Bone & Joint grows to fit the increased number of patients it handles each year, Wolfe said the current building will be used to further enhance the available space, especially for the clinic as well as administrative offices.
“We will not shut down the old surgery center,” he said. “We will still use that for small procedures or injections and things like that. It still functions, and it’s state-licensed, qualified, Medicare-approved; so it’s not ready to be junked or torn down. To remodel it into something else would be very expensive.”
Wolfe said the goal is making a facility that “speaks to the quality of physicians that we already have and use.”
Although the center got off to a slower-than-planned start, the construction crew still expects to be able to have the work completed on time. Wolfe said he’s more excited now that construction is finally underway, and getting the banks in order, working with the architects and other prep work “a lot of times takes almost as long as the construction itself.”
“You go through all that stuff and you worry and wonder if it’s not worth it, and finally when everything happens and you press go, it feels pretty good,” Wolfe said.
The building features a large famous Wyoming Steamboat bucking horse nearly front and center — which Wolfe said is “about as Wyoming as you can get” — and will be an aesthetic entrance to the eastern gateway of town.
“I’ve already gotten a lot of comments that it’s going to be a nice addition to this end of town for people to see when they’re coming and going,” he added. “You don’t go from here to Cheyenne and back without seeing that.”
Premier Bone & Joint Centers helps residents all over the state by using their planes and other means of travel to help residents see specialists who otherwise wouldn’t be practicing in such rural areas.
Through the new center, the clinic hopes to further show Laramie and even Wyoming residents they can get an excellent level of care without having to go to Fort Collins, Colorado, or Denver.
“I guess what this building says is … it’s our commitment to the state to continue the model our forefathers began 40-something years ago,” Wolfe said. “We’re tying together the past and the future that are perpetuating the same dream of providing a higher class of orthopedic surgery to the community of Wyoming.”