SVMC Thrives in Star Valley

By Richelle Primm, SVI Media

Star Valley Medical Center is rated as one of the top 100 critical-access hospitals in the country, and has held this rating for seven of the last eight years, according to its website.

Eli Lainhart, Vice President of Support Services and Chief Information Officer of Star Valley Medical Center (SVMC), said when he first started working for the hospital in 2010 there were around 175 employees, and now there are around 400.

Lainhart said SVMC has also expanded its OR and remodeled the ER during his employment. SVMC’s focus also includes several remote facilities and an outreach effort, mostly by the orthopedic specialists.  

“We do the outreach, so we can have the specialties in a small hospital you wouldn’t normally see,” Lainhart said. The outreach allows SVMC to generate more patients, which helps fund the services at the main location in Afton.

SVMC has plans to build a medical and surgical facility in Alpine. “We hope to have that done by 2020; it’s an aggressive time schedule, but that’s our plan,” Lainhart said.

Lainhart said SVMC hopes to have its cafeteria as a place where community members can go eat lunch. Another hope is to have some advancements made on the northern end of the valley.

“Repositioning ourselves in the northern end of the valley where the population is growing is important to us,” Lainhart said. “Keeping those dollars in Star Valley, rather than Jackson or some other place outside the valley is important to us.”

With these plans for the future, Lainhart said SVMC enjoys being a member of the Chamber of Commerce since it provides another avenue for advertising and partnerships.

Lainhart also serves on the board of directors for the SV Chamber of Commerce. He said those who are chamber members have the opportunity to have their voices heard at a legislative level.

“The chamber helps businesses be healthy, stable and attractive,” Lainhart said. As the chamber continues to do this, businesses can draw more people to the valley which will help improve the customer base.

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