Outdoor lifestyle lures Dr. Richard Jay to Lovell

A love of the outdoors and a desire to explore a new part of the West has led a longtime family practice physician to move to Lovell.

Dr. Richard Jay

Richard Jay, D.O. and his wife, Linda, are moving to Lovell from Kimball, Neb., where Dr. Jay has been in practice for nearly seven years. He starts at North Big Horn Hospital and Clinic on Monday, April 29, although he already covered the emergency room for the hospital late last week and over the weekend.

Dr. Jay grew up in Panama City, Fla., then attended Gulf Coast Community College and the University of Florida, before earning his medical degree from the University of Health Sciences in Kansas City.

He started his career in Kansas City, moved to Clearwater, Kansas, then returned to Panama City to take care of his mother-in-law. He then moved to Alma, Neb., and spent 18 years working for Harlan County Health Systems before the hospital closed the outpatient clinic. He moved on to Kimball, Neb., where he practiced for Kimball Health Services for nearly seven years.

Dr. Jay said he loves family practice because of the variety of cases, “from earaches to trauma.”

Linda Jay is a nurse and has been Dr. Jay’s nurse for 25 years.

The Jays have four grown children living in Portland, Ore., Omaha, Neb., White Sands, N.M., and Kimball. Their son is director of nursing in Kimball.

Dr. Jay said he is looking forward to exploring northwest Wyoming and said he loves small towns. Alma has about 1,200 people and Kimball around 2,500 people, according to the 2010 census. Kimball is about 60 miles east of Cheyenne.

“We are outdoors people,” he said. “We work to play. We had pretty well saturated the Snowy Range. We’ve backpacked all of the trails and fished all of the lakes in the Snowy Range, Rocky Mountain National Park and Canyonlands (National Park) near Moab.

“We used to pass through the Big Horns on our motorcycles every year on our way to Yellowstone or Glacier, then we spent three weeks last summer in Sheridan horsing around in the Big Horns and loved it. We just scratched the surface.”

He’s ready to explore the area.

“I’ve always wanted to live in Wyoming because of the mix of things you can do,” he said. “I’m a photographer, and you don’t have to go very far to find a different picture. I’m amazed how similar this part of Wyoming is to Moab, but it’s 25 to 30 minutes as opposed to 13 hours (from Kimball), so it’s a no-brainer.”

Dr. Jay said he loves hiking, fishing, photography, hunting, and four-wheeling. And now he’s looking for a boat.

It looks like he’s found the right place to fit his lifestyle.

By David Peck