Subscribe for 17¢ / day

Associated Press

SHERIDAN, Wyo. (AP) - Memorial Hospital trustees have rejected a joint agreement with physicians to build an outpatient surgical center.

Trustees said the physicians refused to give the hospital equal voting rights in the proposed center's governing board.

Wednesday's unanimous vote ended months of negotiations, but trustees said they were willing to discuss the proposal again if requested.

"We could not accept an offer that required passive investment with public money without any continuing involvement in governance," trustee Dr. Scott Nickerson said.

"We can't be in an organization that takes our money, and shows us the door," he said.

Hospital attorney Tom Klepperich said in a letter to the physicians' attorney that trustees were concerned about the physicians' group being represented by five members on the governing board, while the hospital would be restricted to a single representative.

Dr. Barry Wohl, hospital vice chief of staff, said he hoped negotiations between the two parties would resume. He felt a surgical center would help bring new doctors to Sheridan.

"It gives physicians an element of control over that part of their working environment," Wohl said. "It helps the physician be his or her best."

Dr. James Ferries, one of the partners in the proposal, said Wednesday morning that new negotiations were under way.

Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.