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Bozeman Health Lab and Belgrade Clinic not closed, despite reports

Posted at 6:16 PM, Aug 09, 2022

BOZEMAN — There have been many concerns from patients at Bozeman Health following staffing shortages and financial struggles that led to 28 full-time employees losing their jobs. Other news outlets have reported that the Belgrade Clinic is paused and the lab on North 19th Avenue is closed, but according to Chief Nursing Officer Diane Patterson, that is not true.

"It's temporarily closed because we're remodeling the space adjacent to it,” said Patterson. “It's not actually closed.”

When Bozeman Health decided to let go of 28 full-time employees, many people expressed concern that the lack of staff would result in labs and clinics closing.

One area of concern was the North 19th Avenue lab. Patterson says the lab is not closed; they are in the process of expanding the lab to add more services.

“We're in the midst of construction to have space for crisis care,” said Patterson.

Another area of concern was the Belgrade Clinic being "paused". The clinic had to temporarily close to figure out scheduling after letting go employees who did not specialize in direct patient care. Patterson says the clinic is back open to its regular hours of operation.

"I think because of the pandemic, we've all gotten used to having to adapt to certain closures until we have enough team members to provide those services," she said.

Bozeman Health is now looking to hire 487 new direct patient care employees. Patterson says they have more nurses than ever applying for jobs at Bozeman Health. They are doing everything they can to recruit more nurses.

“We're increasing the amount of nursing students that we take here,” said Patterson. “We're also increasing the number of nurse residency programs.”