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Dear citizens of Sweetwater County and the patrons of Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County:
Statute reads that hospital board members may be removed for cause but are then entitled to a public hearing. We both have decided not to ask for a hearing after the County Commissioners removed us from the County Hospital board on Tuesday. Although we both feel we would be successful in such a hearing, we believe a fair hearing before the commissioners who removed us would be fruitless. We both have worked very hard on the hospital board and are dismayed that the commissioners have elected to place the perceived problems at the hospital at the feet of the hospital board. They see the main problem as financial but please know the hospital still has approximately 25 million in the bank and could operate with absolutely no income an additional 90 days. The hospital is not in a financial crisis.
Over the past two years, Commissioner John Kolb, hospital liaison, has made attempts to bully not only the board, but also hospital employees. Kolb led the charge against former board member Dr. Tom Spicer, when the commissioners chose not to re-appoint a well-respected member of this community when his term expired. We all lost on that move as Dr. Spicer brought a wealth of knowledge to the Board. Kolb has said on at least one occasion that he was going to get rid of the current board because, as we see it, he was not successful in his bullying ways. It has been told to us by one of the other commissioners, that they as a group have “no control” over John Kolb and the actions he takes even though he takes those actions as a member of the Commission. The other remaining members should have taken responsibility for the actions of not only the current liaison but any prior one when it came to trying to control the hospital. We both believe the commissioners also made a mistake when they chose to move the hospital board from seven to five members. Only board members and the great employees at Memorial Hospital know the amount of time we spent at committee meetings and special meetings. Now five must do the work of seven. This hospital is an important and critical county business. We firmly believe that the commissioners know it will be much easier to control five members and that is two less people to convince to go along with their thinking.
The hospital has made big improvements over the past few years with the affiliation with the University of Utah Medical Center and their relationship with the hospital including the wonderful additional services available to our patients with the Huntsman Cancer Center. The hospital also has an association with the Shriners Hospital for Children. Along with this many specialty physicians have been hired and these physicians have made the decision to stay and raise their families here in Southwest Wyoming. That benefits all of us.
We would like to warmly thank our fellow board members, Jerry Klein and all the wonderful hard working dedicated employees at what we consider a top notch hospital. These employees also involve themselves in many local community events and activities to better Sweetwater County. We would also like to extend a thank you to Attorney George Lemich for his many years of service to the hospital.
We both put our name in for this volunteer Board because of our compassion and commitment to the health care in our county. Thanks to all of you who reached out to both of us the past few days with your words of thanks and encouragement. We do appreciate your support.
Artis Kalivas and Gene Carmody
Prior Board Members of Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County