From the pages of
Pinedale Roundup
Volume 104, Number 19 - May 10, 2007
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Boyle out, Faler resigns, doctors snub RHCB

by Julia Stuble

Dr. Judy Boyle, at the Pinedale Medical Clinic, will be done working in the district May 17, according to her attorney Elizabeth Greenwood. Boyle, who had until May 17 to accept a contract offered by the Sublette County Rural Health Care Board, had submitted a counter offer to the board.

On May 9, Greenwood received a letter from the RHCB’s legal counsel, stating that they would not accept the counter offer. “We weren’t saying, ‘You have to accept this.’ The counter offer was an invitation to sit down at a round table to discuss it. We were happy to sit and talk with the board,” said Greenwood, adding, “They have now gotten rid of two board-certified physicians.” “I am disappointed that the board would not see fit to at least negotiate with somebody who has been here for over seven years and been providing top care to the community,” noted Cindy Van, chair of the grassroots Health Care Coalition.

“To not even negotiate with her, is absolutely criminal. It’s certainly not looking out for the best interests of the county,” Van commented. District Director Randy Johnson could not be reached for comment on Wednesday. The RHCB pledged several months ago to offer all practicing doctors in the district with a contract.

Dr. Doug LaSuer, who like Boyle, did not receive a contract for months, left before one was issued. Last week, Drs. David Burnett and Darcy Turner, both physicians at Wyoming Range Medical, turned down contracts offered by the RHCB, director Randy Johnson announced on May 2.

The RHCB announced in February that all practicing doctors in the district would be offered a contract, even those that are not certified by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS).

Burnett had been a district physician before, at the Marbleton/Big Piney Clinic. He left the district in 1996 to open private practice, then returned in 1998. In 2005, he resigned again, this time without fulfilling a 90-day severance obligation. Also at the May 2 meeting of the Sublette County Rural Health Care Board (RHCB), the board read and accepted board member Jud Faler’s resignation. Faler, who has served as the board’s vice president since the last election, resigned for health reasons.

“He brought business experience and acumen that we’ve rarely had on the board before,” said RHCB director Randy Johnson, adding that Faler “will be missed.” The RHCB, which has few guidelines for dealing with a board member’s resignation, has decided to open up the position to public applications.

Applications for the board seat will be taken until May 21. At a special meeting to be held on May 23, the board will probably go into executive session to discuss the applicants, says Johnson. “Then they will bring it out for discussion and make a decision,” in the public meeting, he added.

The chosen applicant will have to be appointed that night, as the board has only 30 days to fill the seat. Cindy Van, chair for the Health Care Coalition, was concerned about the public’s input into the selection process. The board has no time to interview the applicants, she said, and wondered, “Don’t they want to interview them?” “I think that the Board should at least select a committee to review the applications,” she commented. Van was pleased the Board had opened the seat to public application, as according to their bylaws, they could simply make an appointment to the elected official’s seat.

At the meeting, the board approved a change in meeting schedule. The board will now assemble just once a month, on the second Wednesday, beginning in June. The board has previously held two meetings a month, but now that electronic signatures have been approved for payroll and accounts payable checks, the meetings can be shortened. “This is an indication that the board has moved into its policy and oversight role and out of day-to-day operations,” commented Johnson in a later interview.

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