The Sublette County Journal
Volume 5, Number 7 - 10/12/00
brought to you online by Pinedale Online
Dr. Glas has been practicing in Pinedale for 6 years
by Rob Shaul
The Sublette County Rural Health Care District Board emerged from a 30-minute executive session Monday night and announced that it was exercising a 90-day termination clause in its contract with Dr. Ron Glas, Medical Director at the Pinedale Clinic. Past boards have allowed doctors' contracts to end and then not renewed them, but this is the first time a board has ever exercised the termination clause and forced a doctor to leave.
The Board announced its decision with a matter-of-fact motion from Board member Gregg Anderson of Daniel. His motion passed unanimously.
Next, the Board passed a motion to pay Dr. Glas for the remaining 90 days in the clause, but asked him to vacate the clinic after just 30 days. Dr. Glas currently collects $17,000/month from the Board to operate the clinic. With this second motion, the Board will pay Dr. Glas a total of $51,000 to leave the clinic after just 30 days. Mr. Anderson said $34,000, or 2 months worth of his contract, was being paid to the doctor, "out of respect for what he's done for the community."
Mr. Anderson and the Board would not give a reason for taking this action. Under the terms of the contract with the doctor, the Board doesn't have to give Dr. Glas a reason for terminating his contract.
Mr. Anderson did say the decision was a mutual agreement between the Board and the doctor.
In an interview Tuesday morning, Dr. Glas said the Board's decision to terminate his contract came as a surprise. The Board did not give him a reason and Dr. Glas was not forthcoming either. "Anything is pure conjecture," he said, "God knows we have enough of that in this county."
He continued, "I felt it was a privilege to be here and enjoyed the six years I've been here. I'm sorry I wasn't able to be here until my retirement."
When asked if the decision was mutual between himself and the Board, Dr. Glas responded that he understood "mutual" to be "uncontested." He explained, "If I do not have the confidence of the Board, there's no sense continuing. The more controversy we have, the less well people are served and I'm not interested in dividing the county or people over this issue."
Monday night, Gregg Anderson said that in the face of Dr. Glas' leaving the clinic, he was confident that the remaining personel would continue maintaining 24-hour emergency coverage until a new doctor or medical director can be recruited. On Tuesday, Dr. Tom Johnston, who has been cutting back his hours and responsibilities at the clinic, said he would assume the role of medical director in the interim.
Concerning the termination of Dr. Glas'contract, Dr. Johnston said he didn't know the details. "I really don't know the circumstances that precipitated that," he said, "and I don't think I want to know."
Dr. Glas doesn't know his future plans. "There are a lot of opportunities," he said, "a lot of things that we could do." <
Photo credits: Jennifer Binning
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