Members of the Basin Wellness Center Committee consider what a local health and wellness center would have meant to the Judith Basin community during the time of COVID-19.
Doreen Caquelin and other committee members have been actively working toward planning a Basin Wellness Center, Inc. for years now; the goal of creating a wellness center, which includes all aspects of a healthcare and fitness facility, has existed for some time prior to the group’s formal organization.
Basin Wellness Center, Inc. members Powell Becker, Doreen Caquelin, Amanda Grove, Matt Neumann and Ollie Urick believe that the people of Judith Basin County and surrounding areas would benefit enormously if they had easier access to a wellness center. The location is planned for Stanford, the county seat, and ideally it will draw people from across the region.
While COVID-19 limited their ability to host fundraisings and gather community members, the committee has faithfully met each month to continue to further this vision. Larger fundraisers are still in the works for when the time is right, members said.
Beef raffle underway Basin Wellness Center, Inc. is currently hosting a beef raffle at the present (see page 2). Kevin and Sasha Keller of Stanford donated the beef. It is being grain-finished by Jeremy and Amanda Grove of Hobson.
From the initial funds raised, with a goal of raising $50K to start, the committee will be able to hire an architect and possibly have funds for a grants specialist to help with future proposals.
The Stanford Town Council has approved the park as a possible location for the facility, and the school has also approved land. Both of these locations will be considered in the preliminary architectural report, Caquelin said.
Top-five needs In the fall of 2018, the committee formed its 501(c)3 and sent surveys to residents to find out what they would like to see a wellness center entail. The feedback was favorable.
The results indicated a desire for many types of services for the Center. The top five services listed in the responses were the following: (1) group exercise, (2) healthcare, including physical therapy, massage, primary care and chiropractic, (3) a weight room, (4) swimming pool, and (5) a walking/running track.
This survey also showed respondents were most concerned with improving their health, especially in the areas of heart disease, joint pain, diabetes, obesity, and osteoarthritis.
Access to wellness Anyone who has braved Montana winter roads during storms knows how difficult it can be to travel to health appointments. Judith Basin is without a single primary care clinic.
Limitations in access to health care have been exacerbated during the present times. Without a single medical care facility in Judith Basin County, and being reliant entirely on hospital transport by EMTs to outside counties for certain medical emergencies, one case of COVID-19 is too many. This even prompted commissioners to declare a state of emergency in last March. With neighboring counties having far greater numbers of individuals with COVID-19, some Judith Basin residents may also be apprehensive to travel to hospital settings, unless necessary.
Basin Wellness Center, Inc. was formed long before a worldwide health crisis was foreseen, and regardless of what communicable diseases will be faced in the future, overall wellness will remain critical, said Caquelin.
With COVID-19 limitations, access to local schools’ weight rooms and gyms becomes uncertain, which the Wellness Center aims to overcome, offering an independent facility that is modular – meaning it can be built in phases. “It is our way of helping take care of the community,” said Caquelin.
Funds raised from the Beef Raffle will go toward an outside design team’s completion the preliminary architectural report. The group expects to create a facility that can be added onto in time, unless a major funding opportunity becomes available.
The committee foresees an enduring facility that can grow with the community.
Ways to help “We need your help in making this dream a reality,” the Wellness Committee said. “We have begun the grant-seeking process and are in need of funds to pay for grant writing, provide matching contributions where required if we are awarded grant funds, and explore the architectural and engineering aspects of the project.”
If you feel equally strongly that there is a need for a Wellness Center in our area, you can help by contributing to the PayPal Giving Fund account or to the account the group has set up at Stockman Bank. You may also contact any of the Board members with questions. “We appreciate your generosity and support – every little bit helps. Please spread the word and follow our journey on our Basin Wellness Center Facebook page,” said the Wellness Committee.
“Happiness is the highest form of health.” – Dalai Lama