Hospital trustee travel becomes a hot campaign issue

A major campaign issue in a seven-way race for four West Park Hospital trustee seats in Cody, Wyo., is the long-standing board practice of attending high-priced conferences, the Billings Gazette reports. Challengers have criticized four incumbent candidates for taking expensive education and training trips to luxury hotels. While trustees are unpaid volunteers, they contend that time away was not spent having fun, but attending lectures and meetings with experts, because many trustees don't have healthcare management backgrounds. West Park Hospital trustees spent an average of $46,000 a year in the five-year period ending in June 2009. The trips have included travel to warm-weather destinations like Maui, Scottsdale and Palm Springs during the winter. Article