PINEDALE – The Sublette County Hospital District Board of Trustees met with its new management partner, Star Valley Health, at a special meeting on April 7 to discuss priorities and a timeline for moving forward.
District Chairwoman Tonia Hoffman welcomed Star Valley Health CEO Daniel Ordyna and chief operating officer Mike Hunsaker to the panel hosted by the Southwest Sublette County Pioneers Senior Center in Marbleton.
Hoffman emphasized that despite the split vote for a management partner at the March 29 meeting, she and the remaining trustees, Wendy Boman, Kenda Tanner and Jamison Ziegler, "wholeheartedly supported" working with Star Valley Health.
Trustee Dr. Brendan Fitzsimmons resigned at the March 29 meeting.
Ordyna and Hunsaker provided suggestions from their experience constructing and operating a critical access hospital and assisted living facility. Ordyna stated that Star Valley Health's role was to serve at the pleasure of the hospital district board.
Ordyna stressed the need for the community to rally behind Sublette County's project and take ownership and avoid infighting. He added that the first step that must be taken is to bring all the different entities – the hospital district, Sublette Center and Sublette Country Rural Health Care District – under a combined vision and leadership as soon as possible.
Hunsaker said that including employees at both facilities in the merger was important, to ensure they feel safe with their jobs and can trust leadership.
Ordyna listed board education as another priority to get the trustees aquainted with the process to get a critical access hospital under construction and up and running. He emphasized to the board the need to develop a clear timetable with manageable milestones and expectations in a transparent manner.
Ordyna reiterated that Star Valley Health, as a management partner, will not interfere with Sublette County's existing relationships with Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center and other health-care partners.
Hunsaker added that he was already working with Dave Doorn, administrative director at the SCRHCD, to put the final touches on the loan to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and make sure all the t's are crossed and i's are dotted.
Following the public meeting, the hospital board and Star Valley Health's team entered into executive session to start work on a legal contract outlining the partnership agreement between the two parties.