South County ER to close in June
by Steve Kadel, Sublette Examiner
Original post May 13, 2016 | Updated May 16, 2016
SUBLETTE COUNTY Ė The Sublette County Rural Health Care District (RHCD) board intends to close the Marbleton clinicís emergency room as of June 1 to save money on next yearís budget.
Board chairwoman Laura Clark announced the move during a special meeting Thursday evening in Pinedale. She also said the equivalent of 10 to 12 full-time positions at the Marbleton and Pinedale clinics will be eliminated as of July 2. In addition, Saturday morning clinics will be discontinued beginning May 21.
Those cuts are recommendations from the districtís Budget Committee. A formal vote to make it official is scheduled for Wednesday, May 18, at 6 p.m. in the Sublette County Board of Commissioners meeting room.
During the May 12 special meeting, board members Clark, Kristen Roork and Chuck Bacheller indicated they will support the recommendations. Board members Scott Scherbel and Mandy Norris said they're opposed. (5/16/16 Editor's note: This paragraph has been modified to reflect that board member Mandy Norris said she also was opposed to closing the Marbleton Clinic.)
The reductions will bring the districtís deficit from $3.8 million to $1.5 million, Clark said. That amount will be paid through the districtís reserve fund.
Clark declined to specify which positions will be eliminated, saying those employees deserve to be told before the information is made public.
RHCD administrator Malenda Hoelscher said in a news release that recent reductions in expenditures canít keep up with the anticipated drop in revenue.
Bacheller said during the May 12 meeting that the list of cuts represents "the least drastic thing we can do."
However, Scherbel spoke against closing the Marbleton emergency room. "Pinedale goes on its merry way while Marbleton and Big Piney take the cuts," he said. "The pain should be felt at both ends of the county."
See the May 17 Sublette Examiner for the full story, www.subletteexaminer.com.