Letter to the Editor

Guarded secrets of ‘The District’

By Tami Trover Crosson, Pinedale, ttrover@gmail.com
Posted 3/21/24

Recent controversies involving the Sublette County Hospital District (The District) , including the inadequately explained and secretive parting of ways with Star Valley Health (Star Valley) …

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Letter to the Editor

Guarded secrets of ‘The District’


Recent controversies involving the Sublette County Hospital District (The District), including the inadequately explained and secretive parting of ways with Star Valley Health (Star Valley) compelled me to submit a public records request. After several email exchanges with the Districts Cheyenne-based attorney Abbigail Forwood, I was informed that access to the records would require me to pay an absurd fee of $5.00 per document. I finally received information free of charge a few weeks later as I was entitled to, but taxpayers got stuck with the Districts unnecessary and substantial attorneys fees which included mediation involving the state public records ombudsman. The entire endeavor was clearly an effort to deter me from further truth finding missions.

Regarding the Star Valley and District shakeup, a new contract was formed between them in Sept. 2023, without being reflected in the Districts board minutes. After comparing the original Star Valley contract with the Sept. 2023 version, I am even more concerned about the reasons Star Valley wanted to sever ties. The more recent contract paid Star Valley more for less responsibility, increasing the base monthly fee from $10,000 a month to $17,499 a month. The original Star Valley contract provided that Star Valley had control and authority overseeing the District, whereas the September 2023 contract indicated Star Valley had only advisory oversight. Additionally, Star Valley no longer had control over creating financial records for the District as previously agreed.

The newer contract would clearly be a win-win for Star Valley, yet they still wanted nothing further to do with the District which begs the question, why? I found interesting in the Nov. 2023 minutes just prior to the divorce that Star Valley conducted District board governance education. This possibly suggests that Star Valley had concerns about the manner in which the District board is conducting business. The District entered executive session for over six hours in Nov. 2023 presumably to discuss the dispute with Star Valley.

The logical conclusion is that if Star Valley Health was unwilling to be paid more in exchange for less effort, felt it necessary to conduct board training and still chose to cut and run, something isnt going well. Perhaps better stated, a lot is not going well. The fact that not one word has been stated publicly by the District other than the two entities had a mutually agreed upon parting of ways” is concerning because the USDA loan requires the District to have a management company, which it still does not. There are precise reasons why the sheets were split, and we deserve to know the fine details.

I have serious concerns because the Districts board chronically conducts meetings in executive session, and it appears that improper discussions are occurring and major decisions are being made secretly behind closed doors instead of during public meetings. While governing bodies can in limited circumstances enter executive session, it should occur only out of absolute necessity, rather than habitually. The District frequently enters executive session to discuss contracts confidential by law” which should be discussed publicly. We have a lot on the line with this project as residents of Sublette County and although they have perhaps forgotten or more likely dont care, we are the bosses. 

I intentionally avoid using the word hospital” because we are not getting a hospital, contrary to propaganda of the District. At a time when we cannot even staff two clinics with PAs it is a pipe dream to envision having an actual hospital with neurologists, anesthesiologists, cardiologists, pulmonologists or any provider with an ist” in their title. Common sense indicates we lack the population base to entice any specialist to set up shop in Sublette County full time, and constructing a massive facility will not change that.

I am willing to share the documents I received from the District.

Please email me at ttrover@gmail.com and I will forward you all the documents along with my emails to their attorney if you are interested. Unlike the SCHD, I have nothing to hide.


Tami Trover Crosson, Pinedale

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