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Frequently Asked Questions

If your question was not addressed below, please call the Communications Officer at 307.739.7380 or email info@stjohns.health.

About

Where is the Hitching Post Lodge located?

The Hitching Post Lodge property is located at 460 E Broadway. The property is approximately 1.65 acres. The land is wholly owned by Teton County Hospital District d/b/a St. John’s Health.

A planning & zoning application is on file with the Town of Jackson Planning Department seeking a change from NM-2 to P/SP zoning. The Planning Commission recommended in favor of this zoning change on May 4th at their regular meeting.

When will the project take place?

This project is in the design phase now. Rezoning is underway. It will be shovel ready at the same time that collection of these SPET dollars begins in Fall 2023.

How will the project be funded?

SJH envisions a 3-way partnership between the community via SPET, SJH, and the SJH Foundation via private philanthropy. SJH intends to borrow funds to the extent supported by the projected rental income stream.

How much does the project cost?

$75M, SPET request of $24M

  1. All design costs $3.5M
  2. Construction costs $60M

    *Project construction costs include demolition and construction along with fees and professional costs necessary for the redevelopment of the Hitching Post property.

  3. Furnishings, fixtures & equipment $2.5M
  4. Contingency $9M

How will funds be leveraged?

Thanks to SJH’s strong partnership with the St. John’s Health Foundation and their exceptional work garnering the support of private philanthropy, the cost of the project over and above the $24M SPET request will be achieved through a combination of SJH borrowing and SJHF-raised private philanthropy, thereby bringing maximum leverage to the SPET dollars for the benefit of the entire community.

SJH is requesting $24M from SPET. This project will deliver one of the largest workforce housing projects in Jackson history with approximately 1/3 of the project cost coming from SPET funds – with no ongoing budgetary impact on the Town or County.

The SJH Hitching Post project is designed to bring approximately two (2) dollars of non-SPET funding for every dollar of SPET funding - meaning that three (3) housing units can be created for every one (1) unit that would be created if solely depending on SPET funding.

How does this support community health & safety?

From a health, safety, and welfare perspective, the entire community stands to benefit from the staffing stability that these proposed workforce rentals create because they ensure the critical delivery of healthcare and emergency services.

Meeting hospital employee housing needs confers multiple types of benefits on the community because healthcare employees provide essential — and often life-or-death — services to the community. It is not merely about convenience, it is about health, safety, and welfare.

How will it impact employee retention?

On average, SJH experiences turnover of 120-160 employees annually. The current rolling 12- month turnover is 180 employees; a significant increase over past years. The number one reason employees give for leaving is housing/cost of living.

Turnover of approximately 22% is better than other Wyoming hospitals, but it can be mitigated further with the addition of the workforce rental units proposed in this project.

Every Teton County citizen benefits through the assurance that appropriate medical staff is readily available at all times. SJH strives to move closer to a staffing and housing program that keeps the hospital running at full capacity even during weather events that close Teton County off from the rest of the world. This project is an essential step in that direction.

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History

What is SJH’s history with SPET projects?

2017 Sage Living: $17M SPET request, $28M SJH and SJHF contribution, delivered on time and on budget for specified scope. No additional SPET funds were required, and residents moved into Sage Living in 2021 as scheduled and at target capacity. This project was completed during the pandemic, which made the achievement particularly notable.

2010 Oncology Pavilion, Family Birth Center, and Surgical Suites: $10M SPET request that resulted in a new oncology suite, an obstetrics wing, and 6 new surgical suites for the community’s benefit.

What is SJH’s history with other capital construction projects?

Outside of SPET, SJH has also recently conducted and completed capital construction projects including the renovations of the SJH lobby, wellness center, chapel, and Choices Café.

Does SJH have an existing housing program for employees?

Currently, SJH operates a robust housing program for its employees. Some units SJH built and owns, some units are part of long-term/master lease arrangements, and some are located on the existing Hitching Post property.

What is the history of the Hitching Post Lodge?

The historic Hitching Post Lodge, owned by SJH since 2001, is conveniently located across the street from the medical center campus. It has been utilized for more than 20 years for patient and family needs during short-term stays, employee on-call rooms for overnights and adverse weather, and long-term rentals for employees. The SJH team is working with Shacks on Racks and the former owner to see if some of the cabins can have a new life as part of the redevelopment.

What is the most recent capital campaign that the Foundation has completed?

The mission of St. John’s Health Foundation is to secure philanthropic support to advance the mission and strategic objectives of St. John’s Health, including patient-centered care, clinical excellence, and community wellness. SJHF raised $19M in support of SJH’s most recent SPET effort, Sage Living.

The most recent SJHF campaign was for the Crisis Response Fund to support our staff and community during Covid. This fund supported safety gear and equipment for our medical nursing and tech staff during the immediate onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Crisis Response fund also went to support the mental health needs of SJH staff and members of our community through the Mental Health JH pilot project that served hundreds and hundreds of individuals.

Without SPET funds—the third leg of the stool—to complement the private philanthropy for this project, the Hitching Post redevelopment would not be possible. All three fiscal components of this project are vital.

What is the benefit to the community?

The project impacts more than just the individual employees who will find stable housing in downtown Jackson. SJH employees have family members—partners, siblings, parents, children—who live with them and work and vote and attend school and shop in our community. These are all community members who will benefit from this project and, as noted elsewhere in this application, will be within walking distance of the shops and activities in downtown Jackson which will add economic and community benefit as well.

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Project Team

Who is on the project team?

  • Dave Robertson, CEO
  • John Kren, CFO/COO
  • Karen Connelly, Chief Communications Officer
  • Jen Chiappa, Naomi Floyd, Mary Ponce, CNOs
  • Thom Kinney, Chief HR Officer
  • Sandra Murphy, Lodging & Property Manager
  • Sean Ryan, Director of Facilities
  • Cynthia Hogan, Chair of BOT
  • Foundation Representatives, Chair Bob Pisano, Vice Chair Jane Carey
  • Paul Beaupre, former CEO

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