Apr 16 Chairman’s Meeting: March 17, 2021
Indian River County Hospital District Conference Room/ Zoom
March 17, 2021
TRUSTEES: Marybeth Cunningham Barbara Bodnar
Ann Marie McCrystal Allen Jones
Karen Deigl Michael Weiss
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 and in person.
Senior Resource Association Semi Annual Update- Jennifer Johnson, CFO
Ms. Johnson provided the Trustees with an update concerning the Senior Resource Association (“SRA”) Public Guardian program. Since the acquisition of the program in 2019, it has grown incrementally each year. As of October, 2020, the program has served 22 wards, two of which were discharged by the court due to death. Ms. Johnson stated that due to the support from the District, they have been able to serve additional wards within the county. This includes vulnerable seniors with limited financial resources and no family to assist them. SRA continues to receive interest in the Public Guardian program and there is a high demand for services. SRA has established a waitlist due to the demand and there are currently two individuals who are waiting to receive services. However, they are able to serve the individuals on the waitlist while they await funds to become available. Next, she and Ms. Liz Bruner, the new Development Director at SRA, discussed the Emergency Meals on Wheels program and showed a brief informational video on the same. This program provides a daily lunch and wellness visit by an SRA volunteer to homebound seniors who have been discharged from a healthcare facility within the last 30 days. The biggest obstacle for the program last year was due to COVID. However, their organization successfully worked through those issues and no client was turned away from services. It was noted that while SRA has requested funding from the District to support this program, they have not billed the District for those services. Ms. Johnson explained that SRA has been able to utilize other funding sources to support the Emergency Meals on Wheels program thus far, but plans to bill the District for services within this fiscal year. There was further discussion on how SRA administers their regular Meals on Wheels program and how someone is approved to receive those services, the cost associated and state regulations that govern its operations. Ms. Bruner spoke to some of the patient satisfaction data from the Meals on Wheels program, all of which was very positive. Lastly, Ms. Deigl discussed the fact that patients who utilize the Meals on Wheels program use an app which collects data on patients’ condition and if they have received the COVID-19 vaccine. She stated that this has been a great asset tool in data collection.
Mrs. Cunningham stated that Dr. Creelman from UF was initially scheduled to provide a semi-annual update to the Trustees, but due to a time constraint, he was unable to participate in today’s meeting.
We Care Unused Funding Request- Ann Marie Suriano, Executive Director
Mrs. Suriano stated that Dr. Saver contacted her about some unused District funds which were not being utilized to support salaries at the We Care Clinic. This was due to a reduction in staff during COVID and in November and December 2020, the clinic had only one nurse instead of two, which resulted in $13,833 slated for salaries, not being needed. Therefore, he submitted a proposal to Mrs. Suriano, for the Trustees consideration, utilizing those funds for additional services at the clinic. In his proposal, Dr. Saver proposed the unused funds would go towards ophthalmology services. Dr. Robert Reinauer, has volunteered to provide pre-operative exams for cataract surgery and subsequently cataract surgery for several patients. They estimate being able to operate on 26 eyes. Without access to this additional funding, We Care typically budgets for about 8 cataract surgeries each year. There was Trustees discission surrounding the request and the board agreed to allow We Care to utilize the funds for the proposal put forth. Additionally, Mrs. Soule addressed the board and stated that We Care and TCCH have formed a subcommittee to have discussion surrounding the unused ophthalmology space at the Gifford Health Center. They hope to be able to once again utilize the space for ophthalmology services.
Mrs. Suriano stated that she continues to work with the committee on the Mental Health IOP and the RFP submitted by Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital was chosen. They are looking to create a three-year pilot program with an estimated cost of $350,000 a year. She informed the Trustees that once the pilot program is developed, the group will approach the District to request financial support for its operations.
Mrs. Suriano stated that she reached out to all District funded agencies in response to Senate Bill 1624/ House Bill 1103, which will require special Districts to perform an additional performance audit, which is very costly. She asked that they write letters of support for the District and request that our State Representatives not support the proposed legislation. Many funded organizations have already submitted their correspondence and a few others indicated that they are in the process of completing the same.
Lastly, there was Trustee discussion surrounding the fact that the VNA and SRA will now be distributing vaccines to individuals who are home bound. Additionally, the Trustees discussed community efforts in administering the vaccine to vulnerable populations within the county.
Public Comment & Adjourn
Mrs. Cunningham asked for public comment and there was none. The meeting was adjourned at 11:30 AM.