Privacy Policy An architect’s rendering of the Praxis Center, planned for the southwest corner of Park and Arizona streets in Butte. Government and politics reporter Through friendship and a deep desire to leave a legacy to their hometown, two “Butte boys” are establishing a $35 million medical training center here to bolster hands-on health care in rural areas of the U.S. and beyond.

Pat Dudley and Ray Rogers say the Praxis Center for Innovative Learning in Uptown Butte will be the nation’s first independently owned, nonprofit medical simulation facility dedicated to rural health care. It should bring 3,000 to 4,000 doctors, nurses, technicians, first-responders and others here each year to learn and hone skills using high-tech mannequins, imaging simulators and virtual-reality settings and scenarios.

It will create about 70 new jobs, 50 full-time, at a sprawling, four-story complex at Park and Arizona streets. One-third of it will resemble a rural hospital inside and out, with an emergency room, intensive care unit and even a helipad.

The project, announced and detailed publicly at a Monday news conference in Butte, has been extensively vetted. They’ve done years of legwork, including detailed business plans, financial analysis and state and national feasibility studies that drew endorsements from hospitals and national rural health care organizations.

They have a financing partner, a major vendor to provide simulation equipment, training and curriculum, and backing from Montana politicians at every level, including U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, Gov. Read more from…

thumbnail courtesy of