Questions remain over the closure and future of the Noyes Health Care Center in Baggs, Wyo., but the reemergence of a health care facility in the town is possible.
On Tuesday, clinic attorney Tom Thompson and representatives from the Little Snake River Rural Health Care District met with the Carbon County Commission and discussed the future of the clinic, which closed two weeks ago.
Thompson said the clinic's board is "exploring options in regards to the building in order to look at the possibility of running a medical clinic out of that building in one form or another."
"I cannot give you a definitive timeline, but I can tell you that I would think within the next 30 days they're going to have an idea as to which direction they need to take,” Thompson said.
Thompson declined to comment on why the clinic closed and no reason was given to county commissioners.
The LSRV Rural Health Care District helps fund the clinic through money it raises from a two-mill levy in the valley, but the clinic — a nonprofit corporation — owns the building housing the clinic.
To further complicate matters, the building is owned by the clinic as part of a 2009 agreement with the county that states the building will be used as a health care facility.
If it isn't, it could be reverted back to the county, the building's original owner. If that were to happen, the county would have to reimburse the clinic for any improvements made to the building.
"I don't think getting the building back is going to serve us or you folks down there at all," County Commission Chairman Terry Weickum said.
Jim Espy, attorney for the Health Care District, said if the building reverted to county ownership, the district would pay for prior improvements as long as the facility was still used for health care.
The building was sold to the Noyes Clinic for $10, Weickum said.
Carolyn Adams, chair of the district board, asked if it would be possible for the district to take ownership of the building.
Thompson said because the clinic is a nonprofit, it couldn't be sold for a nominal fee, such as $10.
He said its assets also must be sold, but the clinic's board hasn't considered that process.
"They are not at this point, they have not elected to go into dissolution and I think there's a little bit of miscommunication between the district and Noyes Clinic," he said. "They moved rather quickly in putting this press release out."
He was referring to the district's announcement of the closure of the clinic. He and Adams both spoke of communication issues between the entities.
Weickum asked for the boards to have a joint meeting before the relationship further deteriorates, which the parties agreed to.
"It's not down to zero yet, it's probably 35-percent goodwill factor that's still there," Espy said. "It's better to start with 35 percent than zero."
The clinic is tentatively scheduled to be discussed again at the May 1 county commission meeting.
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