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Commissioners, WMC Board Talk Finances, Privately

The Wyoming Medical Center’s financial condition is sound, but that’s all Natrona County Commission Chairman Bill McDowell would say after an executive session meeting between the nonprofit hospital’s board and the county commissioners.

“There have been many changes in health care in Natrona County and much more to come,” McDowell says.

“WMC and Natrona County are partners in providing health care to our citizens,” he says. “The meeting we had last night was no more than a check-up on our ability to meet our mission and statutory obligations.”

None of the financial issues discussed Tuesday will require any official action by the commission, he says.

McDowell says the WMC’s board and the county commissioners have not met for years in such an executive session, and probably will do so on an annual basis from now on.

Natrona County’s hospital assets are mostly located in the 1200 and 1300 blocks of East Second and Third streets. The assets were valued at nearly $190 million at the end of 2011, according to county records.

The nonprofit Wyoming Medical Center Inc. leases that property with the rent, in effect, being the obligation to provide indigent care and maintain the value of the county’s hospital assets.

McDowell also is the commission’s liaison with the Memorial Hospital of Natrona County board of trustees, which oversees the lease.

The county administration said late last week that the commission-appointed, five-member board of trustees would attend the meeting.

But the board did  not attend the executive session. It did not need to because the matters discussed were not under its authority, says its chairwoman Serena Cobb.

“Our role on the trustees board is to oversee the lease between Natrona County and Wyoming Medical Center,” Cobb said.

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