Tester Announces Funding for New Ultrasound Machine at Cabinet Peaks Medical Center

(U.S. Senate) – U.S. Senator Jon Tester announced today that Libby’s Cabinet Peaks Medical Center will receive $50,000 to acquire a new ultrasound machine and improve the community’s access to critical medical technology. Tester helped secure the loan through USDA Rural Development’s Community Facilities Grant Program.

“Folks in northwest Montana often have to travel long distances for certain types of specialty health care,” Tester said. “That’s why it’s critical that rural communities like Libby have their own health care resources, because when an emergency strikes places like Cabinet Peaks Medical Center are often the only option.”

In 2016, Cabinet Peaks Medical Center’s only ultrasound machine broke down, a huge blow that left the remote Critical Access Hospital without a much-needed diagnostic tool to care for their patients. Demand for ultrasounds has also increased in recent years, which meant—even before the breakdown—patients were being forced to wait longer for appointments and could be bumped from their scheduled appointment time should an emergency arise.

This grant will provide Cabinet Peaks Medical Center with a new reliable ultrasound machine, preventing patients from having to travel in excess of 100 miles to the nearest facility for ultrasound services. The machine will also be portable, allowing for easy transport throughout the hospital.

“We are grateful to the USDA for granting us the money to purchase an additional ultrasound machine for our Imaging Department,” said Ahyoung Huff, Director of Ancillary & Support Services at Cabinet Peaks Medical Center. “This addition will not only provide peace of mind in case our first machine breaks down, but will also help us meet the growing demands for this diagnostic tool to ensure quality and efficient medical care at Cabinet Peaks Medical Center.”

Tester has been a champion for rural health care in the Senate. After holding his inaugural Rural Health Summit last year in Ennis, Jon introduced the Restoring Rural Residencies Act to bring more doctors to rural America by allowing Medicare to reimburse residency programs for the time residents spend at Critical Access Hospitals.