From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 3, Number 3 - April 17, 2003
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

RHCD agrees to $40K recruitment loan

by Cat Urbigkit

The Sublette County Rural Health Care District decided at Monday night's meeting in Pinedale to provide an interest-free $40,000 loan to Dr. Alexios Constantinides as an incentive for him to move to Pinedale and join Dr. Judy Boyle's practice at the Pinedale Medical Clinic. Constantinides is slated to begin work at the clinic Aug. 1.

Board member Mary Lynn Worl explained that the loan would be provided, with a stipulation in Boyle's contract, but Boyle would be under no obligation to repay the loan. There would be a two-year grace period in which no loan payments would have to be made, but if the doctor left the community within those two years, loan payments with interest would automatically begin. The loan would be repaid within a five-year period, with the district holding a second mortgage on the doctor's home to guarantee payment.

After listening to the proposal, board member Jerry Jensen said, "Sounds good to me."

Board member Bill Barney moved to accept the proposal as presented, subject to approval of the contract/loan agreement to be drafted by board attorney Ed Wood. The board voted unanimously in favor of providing the loan.

"This is far less expensive than I envisioned," Barney said, with Worl adding she felt the loan was "an excellent incentive" to gain a new doctor working in the community.

Board member Garry Eiden Sr. expressed concern that while the board was willing to "bribe" a new doctor to move to the community to work in the clinic, the existing doctors, who have already demonstrated their commitment to the community, won't be receiving a similar benefit.

"I don't feel it's fair," Eiden said. "I just think you deserve a pat on the back also," Eiden told Boyle.

Boyle said she appreciated Eiden's support, but said she is not interested in a loan from the board at this point.

Boyle broached the subject of rising malpractice insurance costs, with the added responsibility of performing as the medical director of the ambulance service causing an added 10 percent to the price of her premium. The board agreed, provided proper documentation such as provided by Boyle, it would reimburse the doctors for the "malpractice insurance portion directly related" to the medical director position.

In other business, the board decided to begin a planning process for facility improvements at the two clinics, with the thought of breaking ground on an addition to the Pinedale clinic next year. Board members Jerry Jensen and Chairman Walt Bousman will inform the county commission about the effort.

The Sublette Examiner was awarded the bid for printing the district's legal advertising for the next year, on a split vote with Bousman breaking the tie in the Examiner's favor.

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