From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 4, Number 47 - February 17, 2005
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Burnett terminates clinic contract

by Bill Boender

At the Sublette County Rural Health Care Board's Feb. 14 meeting Monday night, Dr. David Burnett of the Marbleton Clinic dropped a bombshell on the board by presenting them with his letter of cancellation of the contract to operate the clinic. The termination is effective May 26 and Burnett requested board members be on hand on May 16 to conduct a final inspection and inventory of the clinic.

Burnett indicated that he and his staff would set up a private clinic in Marbleton to serve their patients but would not operate under the Rural Health Care Board. Burnett also indicated he would continue to serve as director of the Marbleton Emergency Medical Service.

Board Member Mary Lynn Worl commented. "You have caught us by surprise," although both Burnett and Dr. Judith Boyle had warned the board that this was a possibility during the difficult and protracted contract negotiations last year. Board Member Bill Barney expressed his disappointment and asked Burnett if anything could be done to get him to reconsider, but Burnett replied, "I have no further comment."

The board then moved into discussion of emergency medical technician salaries and spent over an hour hearing from the more than 15 members of the Pinedale and Marbleton services who expressed their concerns about salary levels and parity with their Jackson counterparts. Many comments were directed at the large sums of money being spent on clinics while the salary issue remains unresolved.

A motion to grant the 8.5 percent increase requested by the EMTs at a recent meeting was deemed inadequate during the discussion and was not passed. The board requested that the services appoint two members each to represent them in a special meeting and to bring firm and reasonable proposals to that meeting, which will be held prior to the next scheduled board meeting at the Marbleton Fire Hall on Feb. 28.

Discussion of a recent delayed response for ambulance service brought up the issue of proper handling of calls. The board wants to remind all callers that requests for service must go through 911 and will not be handled efficiently if the call goes to the clinic or to the ambulance barn.

The current advertisement for EMTs has resulted in one person being hired and five more requests for applications. The board will continue to run the ad until positions are filled. The position of director will be offered to Randall J. Johnson at an annual salary to start of $67,500 with an increase to $70,000 at the satisfactory completion of six months service. The board will also pay Johnson for relocation expenses. No starting date for the job was announced. Background information on Johnson will be released after his acceptance of the offer and with his approval.

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