Volume 104, Number 13 - March 29, 2007
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Dr. Burnett ‘not interested’
Sublette County’s Rural Health Care Board (RHCB) still plans to offer contracts to every practicing, licensed doctor in Sublette County. One physician, however, has already indicated he will not work within the Rural Health Care District (RHCD), RHCB chair Bill Budd announced at the March 20 board meeting.
Dr. David Burnett, a family practitioner who owns Wyoming Range, was previously employed by the RHCD. In February of 2005, Burnett resigned from the district after practicing for seven consecutive years. He left the Big Piney/Marbleton Clinic in 1996 to open Wyoming Range, but returned to the district in 1998, according to an article in the Feb. 17, 2005 issue of the Pinedale Roundup.
Burnett remained a controversial figure in county health care. Some citizens felt he abruptly abandoned the district. When the RHCB announced it would offer all licensed doctors in the county, including Dr. Burnett, contracts at its the contentious Feb. 14, 2007 meeting, an audience member asked why the board would consider taking back a physician who had left the district twice.
The RHCB’s controversial, 3-2 decision to reject a proposed requirement made by a group of county health care providers that would have required all physicians employed by the RHCD to maintain American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) certification in their respective fields of expertise was perceived by some as a way of ushering Burnett back into the district. Family nurse practitioner Leslie Rozier told the board the recommendation was not intended to freeze out Burnett. RHCB chairman Bill Budd voted to deny the proposal on the grounds it would limit the board’s ability to hire licensed doctors.
The state of Wyoming does not require doctors to maintain ABMS certification for licensure. Burnett did not return calls for comment. Cindy Van, head of the Sublette County Health Care Coalition (HCC), asked if the board still intended to offer a contract to Dr. Darcy Turner, another Wyoming Range physician, a contract.
District director Randy Johnson said Turner would be offered a contract. “That’s always been the spirit of the promise that was made here so we’ll carry through with it,” he said.
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