Sheridan Memorial introduces rheumatology practice

Rheumatologist Dr. Ben Widener will start seeing patients Monday. (Photo by Pat Blair)

Sheridan Memorial Hospital has added rheumatology to the list of medical practices the hospital provides.

Rheumatologist Dr. Ben Widener said he will start seeing patients Monday. In an interview with Sheridan Media, he explained what rheumatology is.

He said rheumatology is a field of medicine we haven’t had in Sheridan before, and there is a definite need in the community.

He said there’s really nowhere in the country that doesn’t have a need except for certain metro areas, and even there, rheumatologists are in high demand. He said rheumatology has been a field for a number of years, but only in more recent years have effective treatments been available.

He said the good thing about rheumatology is that a specialist can improve the quality of life of people who suffer from what have been considered very debilitating conditions.

Dr. Widener is a native of Sheridan and grew up here, attending Big Horn High School. He attended college in Montana and medical school at the University of Washington.

After living and working elsewhere, including six months in Guam, he returned to Sheridan and did primary care. He worked for Sheridan Memorial Hospital starting in 2015. During that time, he said, he saw a large need for rheumatology, and that was a field he’s always been interested in.

He went to Omaha for a couple of years to get fully trained in rheumatology before returning to Sheridan. He said Sheridan Memorial Hospital has been very interested for the last couple of years in creating a rheumatology practice.

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