Regular Monthly Meeting: March 18, 2021

Regular Monthly Meeting: March 18, 2021

County Commissioner Chambers/ Zoom
March 18, 2021 at 4:00 PM

TRUSTEES: Marybeth Cunningham Allen Jones
Ann Marie McCrystal Michael Weiss
Barb Bodnar

ABSENT: Karen Deigl

STAFF: Kate Voss Jennifer Frederick
Jennifer Peshke, Esq.

Convene Meeting – Marybeth Cunningham, Chair

Ms. Cunningham convened the regular monthly meeting of the IRCHD at 4:00 PM by welcoming those in attendance and via Zoom.

Pastor West provided an invocation and Dr. Weiss led the group in the pledge of allegiance.

Consent Agenda- Marybeth Cunningham, Chair

Mrs. Cunningham asked for a motion to approve the chairman’s meeting minutes dated February 17th, regular monthly meeting minutes dated February 18th, and a monthly disbursement of $1,088,029.99. Dr. Weiss made the motion to approve, which was seconded by Mrs. McCrystal. The motion carried unanimously.

District Chairwoman Report- Marybeth Cunningham, Chair

Mrs. Cunningham stated that Kerry Bartlett has been appointed by Governor DeSantis to fill seat one on the District Board of Trustees, which was vacated by Mrs. Zudans. Ms. Bartlett will join the board and participate in the meetings starting in April.

District Counsel Report – Ryne Hartt, Esq.

In Mrs. Peshke’s absence, Mr. Hartt provided the District Counsel report. He stated that they continue to review the annual deadlines and deliverables due to the District under the lease agreement with CCIRH. Additionally, they are actively following the current legislative session for bills related to and that would affect Hospital Districts. Lastly, they are in the process of canceling Mrs. Zudans Trustee bond and will have a new bond issued for the newly appointed Trustee on the board.

Financial Statement Review- Allen Jones, Treasurer

Mr. Jones provided his financial statement review and stated that the District is in sound financial condition. At the end of February, the District has approximately $13.5 million in its accounts. The District projects to spend $8 million during the remainder of the fiscal year in budgeted expenses, which will leave around $5 million left in reserves. Those reserves may be used for any unforeseen expenses that may arise. Lasty, the District is expected to collect an additional $1.8 million in tax revenues by the end of the fiscal year.

Executive Director Report- Ann Marie Suriano, Executive Director

Mrs. Suriano explained that the District is tracking some Florida House and Senate bills relative to the Special District. The bills include matters concerning public meeting notices and in-person quorums for public meetings. Additionally, there is a Senate and accompanying House bill that would require special districts to complete a comprehensive audit every five years, in addition to their yearly financial statement audit. Lastly, over the last year the District has been working with CCIRH to create a memorial garden in memory of Alma Lee Loy. The District plans to hold a small dedication service on the 1-year anniversary of her death in April. The hospital plans to live-stream the event and people are encouraged to participate virtually.

Fetal Infant Mortality Review Report- Andrea Berry, CEO Healthy Start
Funded Agency Report- Substance Awareness Center

Mrs. Berry provided the Trustees with the findings from the Fetal Infant Mortality Review. She reviewed the timeline of the process which took 2 years to complete. This process was conducted through partnerships with Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital, the Health Department and the District. To begin, she discussed the overall birth rates in Indian River County over the last 6 years. As of 2020, the birth rate is just under 1200 births, which has been the average. She also reviewed the current programs offered through Healthy Start within the county and the positive impact they have had on lowering the infant mortality rate over the last three years. She reviewed the top medical causations of infant mortality and the top priority areas they are focusing on to combat this issue. She also shared the development plan to better educate mothers and community members on issues affecting newborns and new moms. Also, they continue to enhance care for women with high-risk pregnancies by sustaining and expanding current Healthy Start programs. Lastly, she discussed the economic impact that the infant mortality rate has on Indian River County. She thanked the Trustees for their financial support in this effort and stated that without the District, this review would not have been possible.

Funded Agency Semi Annual Report- Carrie Lester, Executive Director Substance Awareness Center

Mrs. Lester provided an update to the Trustees concerning the Substance Awareness Center for the first two quarters in the fiscal year. The District provides funding to SAC for their peer outreach and recovery assistance programs, along with medication assistance treatment. She further reviewed the outcome measures associated with those programs. She also discussed the center’s work with overdose prevention training and 20 known overdose reversals have been reported this year. She then introduced Chief Curry of the Vero Beach Police Department and Vice-Chair of SAC Board of Directors, to discuss substance abuse within the city limits. Chief Curry addressed the board and stated that drug overdoses and emergency calls have increased over the previous year and they continue to work collaboratively with SAC to help individuals with recovery. He also discussed the police department’s use of Narcan which has helped to combat those drug overdoses and save lives. Ms. Kathy Jones, who is a SAC certified peer specialist, shared some testimonials from individuals who have completed treatment through SAC. The Trustees thanked Carrie and her team for the important work that they continue to do within the community.

New Business- Phoenix Rising Request for Additional Funding- David Gibbs, Clinical Director

Mr. Gibbs addressed the board and spoke to the work that Phoenix Rising does at providing substance abuse services in Indian River County. He explained that there is an immense need for substance abuse services in the county and that over the past five months they have received an increased number of inquiries for individuals seeking treatment. Currently there are 18 individuals who are qualified under the District’s guidelines and eligible to receive services, but due to lack of funding are unable to be treated. Therefore, they are requesting an additional $200,000 in funding for the remainder of the fiscal year to serve an additional 20-28 clients. The Trustees also heard from Misty Keen, the outreach and intake director at Phoenix Rising, who completed treatment through Phoenix Rising and has been sober almost three years. Mrs. McCrystal asked what other sources of funding they utilize to remain sustainable. Mr. Gibbs stated that as a for-profit entity they rely on clients who self-pay and have insurance. Mrs. McCrystal also inquired as to whether they would be willing to create a foundation or 501-c (3) in order to fundraise. Mr. Michael Marsh stated that Pedro initially formed a foundation which they are now in the process of dissolving. They are now working “Team Success”, who is a not-for-profit entity, in additional fundraising efforts. There was further Trustee discussion and Mrs. Cunningham asked for a motion to approve the additional funding request. Mrs. McCrystal made a motion to approve, which was seconded by Mr. Jones. The motion carried unanimously.