Chairman’s Meeting Minutes: July 15, 2020

Chairman’s Meeting Minutes: July 15, 2020



Indian River County Hospital District

July 15, 2020

10:00 AM

TRUSTEES:                             Marybeth Cunningham             Michael Weiss

Ann Marie McCrystal               Barbara Bodnar

Allen Jones                              Tracey Zudans


ABSENT:                                 Karen Deigl


STAFF:                                     Ann Marie Suriano                   Jennifer Frederick

Kate Voss                                    Jennifer Peshke, Esq.


Convene Meeting – Marybeth Cunningham, Chairwoman

Mrs. Cunningham convened the Chairman’s meeting of the IRCHD Board of Trustees at 10:00 AM by welcoming those participating via Zoom. She stated that the District is allowed to conduct meetings remotely, as outlined in Governor DeSantis’ Executive Order 20-69.


            VNA Expansion- Patricia Knipper, Director, Strategic Alliances/Special Projects

Ms. Knipper explained that she is seeking approval from the District Trustees for use of the District owned parcel of land north of the Hospice House. She provided a brief history of the VNA and reviewed the growth the organization has seen over the last 45 years. The VNA currently houses its staff in the Human Services Building, but it has now outgrown that space. Their goals are to consolidate VNA operations to enhance delivery of patient care, develop a medical education and training facility with an advanced technology platform, and engage the District and collaborative partners to achieve these goals. She further reviewed the projected timeline for this project which would initiate a capital fundraising campaign at the beginning of 2021, with ground breaking to take place later in the year. They would hope to have the project completed between 2023-2024. There was Trustee discussion and they unanimously agreed to support the concept. Ms. Zudans recommended that as a part of this effort, the VNA work to purchase or obtain the District owned land in which they would be building the new facilities. There was further discussion as to the future of the Human Services building once the VNA vacates the same, and if Cleveland Clinic could utilize the building for their operations.


Community Needs Assessment Results- Jeff Pickering, CEO Community Foundation

Mr. Pickering provided a historical review of the Community Foundation and its operations. He explained that the Foundation is a nonprofit enterprise with a mission of building a better community through donor-driven philanthropy. Their business is philanthropy, and the main products are the charitable giving accounts established by their clients. With assets of $70 million in 175 charitable giving accounts, the Community Foundation and its clients have awarded more than $66 million in grants, mostly to nonprofit charitable organizations located in Indian River County.

Mr. Pickering explained that for the first time in a decade, major funding organizations, donor groups, county government and community leaders came together to assess the needs of Indian River County residents on a comprehensive basis. Over 50 agencies participated in the effort and residents from across the county explained directly what their needs were by filling out written surveys and speaking up at focus groups. He reviewed with the Trustees some of the key findings from the report, which included an aging and diversifying population. There is also an increasing wealth disparity with Indian River County having the 10th largest income gap between the top 1 percent and the bottom 99% of earners. He then reviewed some positive outcomes that the county has achieved over the last 3-5 years. Those include a decrease in infant mortality and community collaborative efforts such as the Moonshot Moment and Kindergarten Readiness. There has also been an increased access to mental health and substance abuse recovery services. He further reviewed some persistent problems that were identified within the county. These include families unable to secure meaningful employment with a living wage, lack of affordable medical and dental care, and isolated senior citizens living alone.  Lastly, he discussed the fact that Indian River County is fortunate to have a generous philanthropic community who provides their volunteer time and financial support. However, without the help of pubic dollars, the quality of life in the county would be compromised. He believes that more public funds will be required to give those most vulnerable individuals a chance at scaling up.


Other Business-

Mrs. Suriano stated that she has received notifications from Healthy Start and We Care, indicating their desire to continue their subleases with TCCH at the Gifford Health Center. TCCH has accepted both subleases for renewal. There was further discussion surrounding the proposed development of a pharmacy at the Gifford Health Center and where that may be located within the center. Additionally, there was discussion surrounding the ophthalmology room within the We Care sublease which isn’t currently being utilized. Ms. Soule indicated that she intends to work with We Care and Healthy Start regarding this matter to come to a resolution which would be agreeable to all parties, while serving the needs of the patients who utilize the clinic. Ms. Zudans recommended converting the GHC conference room, which is rarely utilized, into the TCCH pharmacy or Healthy Start offices.

Mrs. Suriano stated that she received a funding request from Whole Family Health center in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ms. Andress indicated in her request that the recent surge in positive cases has added a greater level of financial burden to the organization, in an already tough situation. Ms. Andress prepared a spreadsheet listing the items that were needed immediately and additional items needed, with unit costs and a description of usage. She explained that many of the items are telehealth related, testing kits and supplies, PPE and home health supplies. The total amount of the request is $216,212.61. Mrs. Suriano asked for Trustee comment and discussion relative to the request. Mr. Jones explained that since the request was submitted late Tuesday afternoon, he had not had time to review the same. Other Trustees agreed. Therefore, Mrs. Suriano was instructed to add this item to the regular monthly meeting agenda for tomorrows meeting, to allow the Trustees more time to review the request.

Mrs. Cunningham addressed the Trustees and expressed her frustration in the County Commissioners rejection of the Indian River county mask mandate. She shared some statistics relative to the benefits of wearing masks to stop the spread of COVID-19. She also shared information she received from Dr. Rosencrance and the increased admissions of COVID-19 patients at the hospital. She encouraged all Trustees and members of the pubic to wear masks while in public and to practice social distancing, to help combat the spread of COVID-19.


Public Comment-

Ms. Soule thanked the Trustees for their dedication and efforts to help the community during this stressful time. She is grateful to have the support of the District and their support is invaluable.


            Adjourn- The meeting was adjourned at 11:30 AM