Management-services suitors express interest

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SUBLETTE COUNTY – After the Sublette County Hospital District voted unanimously in November to cancel its management contract with Star Valley Health, other companies are showing interest in the county’s project.

The two entities worked together since a March 2021 management contract agreement, required by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s financing program, after the Sublette County Rural Health Care District became the new Sublette County Hospital District (SCHD) board and interviewed several candidates to help build a new critical access hospital (CAH).

However, this working relationship mutually ended effective Dec. 11 during a special meeting, according to SCHD Board Chair Tonia Hoffman.

Hoffman announced that the board would solicit proposals for new management or consultation services to guide the construction and opening processes.

Also, the Sublette County Board of Commissioners’ five members – Doug Vickrey, Tom Noble, Mack Bradley, Dave Stephens and chair Sam White – expressed interest in the how the USDA and SCHD review construction bids and vouchers.

“On Tuesday, Jan. 23, commissioners Bradley, Vickrey and Stephens spent some time at the construction site with Layton, regional USDA representatives and members of our team reviewing again (at the request of the commissioners) the bid process that was used in selection of subcontractors, asking questions and getting an update on the overall status of the project,” Hoffman said this week.

Interest

Ovation Healthcare was the first on the bandwagon to express interest in the SCHD and its representatives came to Pinedale on Jan. 24 to tour the site, meet with officials and make a presentation to SCHD board members at their regular meeting that night.

“Two of their top-level executives traveled to meet with us (Butch Eavenson and John Turner), as well as a CEO and CFO who work for them at regional facilities,” Hoffman said. “They were informative and gave us a good initial look at their service line. I am expecting that we will receive a formal proposal from them to consider in our search for management services.”

At the meeting, Eavenson and Turner emphasized that Ovation holds no ownership whatsoever in their hospital clients and their mission is to encourage a community’s independence and success. The board questioned them and the public was invited to comment.

“We have another company by the name of HealthTech coming next week to make an initial visit as well,” Hoffman said.

The SCHD’s request f or proposals closes Feb. 12, “so then we will really begin to dig into any proposals received,” she said.

“All of the initial meetings will be public, until we get to a point where we start needing to discuss contracts.,” Hoffman said “But yes, we will definitely have more public meetings to allow everyone an opportunity to know who has made proposals.”