From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 7, Number 26 - September 20, 2007
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Big Piney/Marbleton Clinic Plans Concreted

by Tiffany Turner

The Marbleton/Big Piney clinic (MBPC) was officially underway on Monday after the 10 a.m. ground breaking ceremony.

Approved at the Aug. 12 Sublette County Rural Health Care District (RHCD) board meeting, the MBPC is finally underway after nearly a year of planning. The final cost and size of the facility was discussed at the meeting prior to the unanimous board decision to move forward.

RHCD Chairman Bill Budd felt the designed dimensions of the facility might be a bit large for the needs of the south end of the county since Pinedale recently started building larger facilities as well, to undertake the increased needs of the county.

“Does it make sense to build that kind of office here since we don’t expect that kind of growth on this end of the county?” Budd asked. “I think we’re going to look very silly down the road if we have two or three exam rooms that are storing boxes.”

“Just because they do something in Pinedale does not mean we have to do he same thing in Big Piney,” he added. Board member Ken Shriver disagreed that the amount of exam rooms might be more than needed in the area. Shriver, who carries an oxygen tank with him most places due to breathing problems, stated that he once ended up waiting for aid in the hallway because every exam room at the current facility was full.

After discussing that a change of design and postponement of the project might actually increase the cost of the facility beyond the current fees estimated for the large building already planned, the board moved forward to discussing the actual rates.

G.E. Johnson presented the RHCD board with a Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) for the MBPC if the construction began immediately as planned. The GMP for the structure was $9.7 million including the enclosed ambulance facility, rooftop air-handling unit and all other building fees.

According to Director Randy Johnson, with equipment and furnishings the project will top out at roughly $12.3 million.

“I’m pretty impressed that it didn’t go up much at all,” said board member Walt Bousman citing the 20-percent price increase on the Pinedale Clinic over the one-year planning period.

The board then discussed the terms of the loan they would be receiving from the commissioners and Budd stated that it would behoove the RHCD to not have the agreement in writing since there was no set date for payback to begin.

The GMP was accepted along with the plans for the building.

Other items discussed at the SCRHCD board meeting included:

• Director Randy Johnson announced that the district is still working on gaining Rural Health Care status. The board received word that the numbers are being reevaluated and researched prior to any decision being made, but Johnson said the person he spoke to made him feel secure in the idea that the district would gain the status. “I’m very confident that it is going to happen,” Johnson said.

• The district began formal training for their staff this past week, Dave Racich reported. “I think it was very successful,” Racich said. “And we’re going to keep doing it until we have well-trained management staff.”

• Seven new employees have started working for the RHCD, including two new EMT-Basics, a billing clerk, a certified coder, a physicians assistant and a Med-Cap. Racich also reported that they were looking at five doctors with “high hopes that we can pick one or two.”

• Since the RHCD board runs September to September, it was time for new officers to be elected to the board. “Since I’m new and don’t care to be an officer...I hope I’m not stepping on any toes...I’ll make a motion that we retain the offices we have now,” newest board member Richard Kalber said.

The board unanimously passed the motion keeping Bill Budd as chairman, Walt Bousman as vice-chair and Dave Racich as secretary/treasurer.

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