Sep 24 Chairman’s Meeting: August 18, 2021
Indian River County Hospital District Conference Room/ Zoom
August 18, 2021
PRESENT: Marybeth Cunningham Barbara Bodnar – via zoom
Ann Marie McCrystal Allen Jones – via zoom
Kerry Bartlett Karen Deigl – via zoom
ABSENT: 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.
The Learning Alliance Introduction – Marie O’Brien, Managing Partner Moonshot Moment
Ms. O’Brien addressed the group and thanked the Trustees for the opportunity to provide them with more information concerning the Learning Alliance and Moonshot Moment. With her, today participating via Zoom are some of the Moonshot Community Action Network members Barbara Hammond, Andrea Berry, and Vicki, Soule. Ms. O’Brien recognized the fact that the District plays a major role in supporting the health of the community and she hopes that their organizations can work collaboratively together in the future. She provided some background information concerning MCAN and the Moonshot Moment. She explained that the Moonshot Moment Goal, set in 2012, was a call to action which spawned a community-wide journey to figure out what it takes to have 90% of children reading on grade level by third grade. The Moonshot Community Action Network (“MCAN”) is a group comprised of over 125 community partners including nonprofits, community leaders, business leaders, School District members, and funders that meets monthly to define how to support the work of the Moonshot Moment in the community. The Learning Alliance is the managing partner of MCAN, and works with the Moonshot Leadership Council Fellows to organize and facilitate meetings and support the various dimensions of their work. She further discussed some of the programs and initiatives that MCAN manages throughout the year. Ms. Hammond addressed the group and spoke to the science behind this initiative and how building healthy and literate children, is crucial to a thriving community. She explained that low literacy levels lead to poor health outcomes and higher rates of hospitalizations and ER visits. It is estimated that $230 billion is spent annually on healthcare costs of low-literacy adults. She further discussed the support and collaboration MCAN has from IRC School District Superintendent Dr. Moore. There was further group discussion surrounding health outcomes and social determinates of health. Additionally, Ms. Hamond indicated that even though COVID, Indian River County maintained a 60% literacy rate, which is better than the state average. There were also discussions surrounding the methods of moving from a pilot program to a scaled program, which has been proven to bring an overall sustainable culture change. Ms. O’Brien then spoke to the 2022 Moonshot FACES Campaign. She explained that the “Help Me Read: Faces Campaign,” initially introduced in November 2012, was a full-scale two-week temporary art exhibit to increase awareness and garner support for the Indian River County School District’s goal of 90% childhood literacy by third grade. Ms. O’Brien spoke to the benefits of participating in the program and the important message it spreads throughout the community. Lastly, she invited the Trustees to join the “It Starts in the Heart- Faces of a Moonshot Community” campaign and the first session of the campaign will take place on October 27th. Mrs. Cunningham thanked the group for the informative presentation and stated that the District has typically funded programs and not initiatives, however through the District’s upcoming strategic visioning process, there may be an opportunity to look at other community partners and stakeholders to support.
FY 21-22 Budget Discussion- Ann Marie Suriano, Executive Director
Mrs. Suriano stated that she has updated the budget to reflect July’s expenses, including best estimates for the next two months. Mrs. Frederick prepared a summary outlining Trustee input for each funding request, that may need further consideration and discussion. Group discussion began surrounding the We Care Foundation funding request. The Trustees agreed that the joint meeting which recently took place allowed for good discussion, but there is still additional data they would like to see before they are comfortable with fully funding the program. Therefore, Mr. Robinson proposed the following. He requested that $73,510 out of the original $294,039 funding request, be provided to We Care for three months of funding, so that the clinic may continue operations and give their board time to create a strategic direction plan moving forward. The remaining $220,529 of their request, would be placed into a reserve account. Additionally, We Care would submit to the district, a proposal for moving forward no later than December 1, 2021. The Trustees agreed to this recommendation.
The next item for discussion was Dynamic Life Recovery. Ms. Bartlett indicated that she and Mrs. Suriano conducted a drop by at the center to see their operations, and they were both pleased with their visit. There was Trustee discussion surrounding their funding request and additional clarification was asked in regards to the Mark II scholarship. The Trustees also agreed that they would like to see metrics or data on how they plan to support this scholarship moving forward. Additionally, many of the Trustees were not in support of funding the security camera system, which was included in their funding request. Most were in support of funding $51,000 for the Mark II scholarship and the drug testing kits.
Mrs. Suriano explained that she received comments from several Trustees concerning the difference in the reimbursements rates paid to Whole Family Health Center and TCCH, and could those rates be aligned. Therefore, Mrs. Frederick worked with both agencies on developing a rate that was an average of their reimbursement rates from Medicare and Medicaid, and blended it with the proposed FY 21-22 rate. She provided a spreadsheet which outlined the same for the Trustees to review and there was further group discussion surrounding this. The Board also received feedback from Mrs. Soule and Ms. Andress concerning how they calculate their reimbursement rates, and what costs are absorbed into those rates. Additionally, the Trustees would like to make sure that the agencies are requesting a reimbursement rate that is substantial enough to cover their costs. Therefore, for consideration and discussion at the next meeting, it was decided that TCCHs requested rate for medical would remain the same and behavioral health would remain at $200/visit. The reimbursement rate for WFHC would increase slightly and allow $180 for a medical visit and $200 for a behavioral health visit, as the proposed reimbursement rate.
Next the Trustees discussed the funding request from Healthy Start Coalition. Some Trustees were not in favor of funding the Program Data & Sustainability Coordinator positions. Additionally, there were questions surrounding the funding increase to the Babies & Beyond program and the Community Doula. There was also group discussion surrounding the loss of philanthropic funds Healthy Start has received, since they have not been able to hold their annual Dancing with the Vero Stars event. Some Trustees questioned whether the District is being asked to supplement that loss. Ms. Berry addressed the group and spoke to some of their concerns with the coordinator position and community doula. She explained that the main reason for the increase in staff is due to the increased need for these services. Still many Trustees felt uncomfortable with the overall increase in funding. Ms. Berry offered to speak with any Trustees personally to clarity any further questions they may have, concerning the funding request.
Further, there was Trustee discussion surrounding Substance Awareness Center (“SAC”) and their funding request. Ms. Bartlett expressed her concerns surrounding the centers infrastructure to support three new programs. Ms. Lester explained that these programs are not stand-alone programs and are meant to meet the acuity level that’s coming through the center and in the community with the rise in overdoses. She further explained that SAC receives most of their treatment funding through the Southeast Behavioral Health Network and this year she was able to renegotiate her contract. Through those negotiations they agreed that she needed more capacity to support these programs and will be receiving an additional $250,000 in funding. Therefore, with this new budget, they will have the capacity to sustain these programs and continue these much-needed services in the future.
Mrs. Cunningham asked for clarification from Childcare Resources concerning their increased funding request. Ms. Griffis indicated that the center has expanded its Parent Engagement program and the Wellness Coordinator has been a needed asset with that expansion. They are also now working collaboratively with the Homeless Children’s Foundation which has also increased the need for the program. In the future, they hope to move the funding of the position to a more permanent source. After discussion, the Trustees were in agreement to provide the full funding request.
Next, the board discussed the funding request from Phoenix Rising. Ms. Bartlett indicated that she and Mrs. Suriano dropped by the center for a visit and spoke with Mr. Bernabe at length. They also met a few of the peer counselors and were told that 22 patients were currently at the facility receiving IOP Treatment. Mrs. Cunningham asked for Trustee comment concerning their funding request and there was lengthy group discussion. All the Trustees felt that they do not have a clear understanding of the program, Phoenix Rising finances or how these services are billed to the District. Additionally, there was concern with the current metrics being used to track patient data and successes. It was decided that Mr. Bernabe would work with Mrs. Frederick to provide the Trustees with the additional data and clarification, for them to further review and consider before the first budget hearing.
Further, there was discussion surrounding New Horizons funding request, but unfortunately no one from the organization was at today’s meeting. Additionally, a request made by Mrs. Frederick to obtain additional clarification on some items within their request, has gone unanswered. Mrs. Suriano stated that over the last year, the organization has had significant employee turn over and she has also had issues getting in touch with administration. Therefore, Mrs. Cunningham stated that the remaining funding request has little opposition from the Trustees, with the exception of Senior Collaborative and Tykes & Teens. Some Trustees felt that Senior Collaborative was outside of the District mission of supporting healthcare in the community. Additionally, the Trustees would like to see more detailed metrics for Tykes & Teens and be supporting for healthcare initiatives only.
The Trustee agreed that a subsequent meeting was needed to further address some of the unanswered questions from today and they agreed to hold that meeting on September 7th. Additionally, Mr. Jones indicated that he has had preliminary discussion with Ms. Soule and Ms. Andress concerning accessibility to healthcare services barriers in the county. They plan to have a discussion on August 26th and have invited Dr. Mackett and Mr. Robinson to attend as well. Some of the Trustees voiced their interest in attending this meeting also, therefore it was decided that the meeting would be noticed publicly, so that any Trustee who wanted, could attend.
Lastly, Mrs. Cunningham explained that all Indian River County residents should have received their TRIM notices in the mail. She stated for the record that the Hospital District was the only taxing authority in the county who did not increase their millage, which further supports the boards desire to remain fiscally responsible to the tax payers.
Public Comment & Adjourn
Mrs. Cunningham asked for public comment and there was none. The meeting was adjourned at 1:30 PM.