From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 6, Number 12 - June 15, 2006
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

RHCB moves forward with Pinedale clinic construction

by Bill Boender

The Sublette County Rural Health Care Board met in Pinedale Monday, June 12, for a lengthy session. Director Randy Johnson advised the board that there were 26 applicants for the new position of clinic administrator. A screening committee will be formed to review credentials and interview applicants.

Johnson also reported that a list of tasks to be completed for the transition of the Pinedale clinic from contract operation to board management has been prepared, and scheduling is on track for a July 1 completion date.

The Emergency Medical Service Council reported that it will soon have new employee application processes established, along with a new trauma conference attendance policy. The hiring of one new employee was approved, and an additional two to four people will be needed to fill schedules due to steadily increasing numbers of calls.

Jud Faler addressed the board concerning a recent executive session which he felt was not conducted in accordance with legal requirements. Board Chairman Jerry Jensen responded that the session was in compliance with the law as it involved personnel and salary issues.

Tony Chambers of Chambers Design Build updated the board on the status of the new ambulance barn project. Chambers noted that bids came in higher than anticipated, at $1,245,000, but some value engineering brought the final figure down to $1,197,000, which was approved by the Sublette County Commissioners. Construction will begin in early July with completion expected by December 2006.

Chambers advised the board that the bid does not include any site work beyond concrete aprons and includes no appliances or furnishings. The board approved the purchase of some $10,200 in furnishings and will coordinate site work with the upcoming clinic construction. Quotes and recommendations for a new telephone system will be sought also.

Jeff Swain of High Country Counseling requested financial assistance from the board of some $120,000. Board members noted that this request was a huge increase from last year’s $30,000. Board Member Bill Barney noted that the request included $30,000 in salary increases for staff. The board tentatively agreed to provide $78,000 but wanted assurance that it would result in increased services to local residents.

The board reviewed EMS requests for funding and approved all but a request for a $1,000 barbecue unit, $4,000 in exercise equipment and a $35,000 transport vehicle.

Board Member Mary Lynn Worl reported on her meeting with the county commissioners last week and advised that they were not receptive to assisting in funding the two new clinics at a cost of some $13.6 million. Jensen suggested at least one of the commissioners is trying to blackmail the health care board.

The board agreed to move forward with Pinedale clinic construction, with basic construction expected to cost $6,200,000, and address the additional cost of equipping and stocking the clinic at a later date. Total cost is expected to be near $9,300,000. Board reserves and income are available to cover that cost but will leave marginal operating reserves.

Regarding the Marbleton clinic, the board approved the purchase of property to expand the current location at a cost of some $700,000. Construction of that facility will follow the Pinedale clinic as funding is available. The board will seek grants to help with funding if they can locate any that are not controlled by the commissioners.

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