Nov 10 Budget Discussion Meeting: September 7, 2021
BUDGET DISCUSSION MEETING
Indian River County Hospital District Conference Room/ Zoom
September 7, 2021
TRUSTEES: Marybeth Cunningham Barbara Bodnar
Ann Marie McCrystal Karen Deigl
ZOOM: Allen Jones Kerry Bartlett
ABSENT: Michael Weiss
STAFF: Jennifer Frederick Kate Voss
Jennifer Peshke, Esq. Ann Marie Suriano
Convene Meeting – Marybeth Cunningham, Chairwoman
Mrs. Cunningham convened the budget discussion meeting of the IRCHD Board of Trustees at 1:00 PM by welcoming those participating via Zoom and in person.
FY 21-22 Budget Discussion- Ann Marie Suriano, Executive Director
Mrs. Suriano stated that based upon the discussion at the August 18th Chairman’s meeting, she has updated the tentative budget for review. There were a few funding requests the Trustees wished to discuss further and they began their discussion with Phoenix Rising. It was discussed that Mr. Bernabe met with Mrs. Frederick and provided her the additional data concerning the center, treatment programs, a letter of support from community agencies, and an amended funding source breakdown. There was further Trustee discussion and they agreed to fund the program at the requested level for the next fiscal year. However, the Trustees still have concerns with the overall structure of the program and will be requesting frequent updates along with more concise metrics.
Next, the Trustees heard from Senior Resource Association (“SRA”) who has amended their funding request to include support for the Community-Based Emergency Alert Response System (“EARS”). It was discussed that the VNA had initially brought forth a request to fund a Life Line system, but through collaborative discussion, it was decided that SRA would be the more appropriate entity due to the fact that the program is already in place. Ms. Bruner discussed the program in detail and stated that they are requesting $26,300 to serve approximately 50 seniors. There was further Trustee discussion and many agreed that this is a needed service for the vulnerable elderly. They also requested that updates be provided to the Trustees concerning the compliance of individuals who are provided these devices, to ensure they are being used. Then there was Trustee discussion concerning the funding request from Healthy Start. Many of the Trustees were still uncomfortable with the large increase in funding being requested, but acknowledged the benefit these programs provide to the community. There was further discussion surrounding what fundraising opportunities are in place for Healthy Start moving forward, since they have not been able to hold their annual Dancing with the Vero Stars event. Ms. Berry provided an update to the Trustees about their future fundraising plans, as well as additional grant funding they hope to receive.
Next, there was a discussion surrounding New Horizons. The group heard from Lisa Rymer who provided an update to the Trustees concerning New Horizons and the administrative changes the organization has seen over the last year. There was also discussion surrounding the funding they receive from the county as a local match, which could potentially be absorbed by the District the following fiscal year 22-23. However, those discussions with the County are still taking place and any outcome would not go into effect this upcoming fiscal year.
Next, there was a discussion concerning the number of reserves in the proposed budget. Some Trustees felt that the amount was excessive and that the District would still be able to carry out is financial obligations, without having this amount of reserves. Others felt due to the unknowns of the healthcare environment, the proposed amount of reserves should remain in the budget to support any unforeseen healthcare needs in the community. Additionally, if the reserves are reduced, it may result in the District needing to increase the millage rate in future years in order to support its funding obligations. Mr. Jones addressed the board and stated that after the meeting on August 26, a consensus emerged among Trustees that the District could take additional steps to meaningfully improve the impact of its funding on the health of eligible residents in the county. Several areas were identified as having a cost-effective benefit and there was discussion surrounding this. He further stated that there is data to suggest each of these areas has proven to be successful elsewhere. However, at this stage, information is not available regarding the cost and volume of these potential areas of need and the Trustees still need to work through their strategic visioning process. He recommends maintaining the contingency reserves in anticipation of potentially supporting these initiatives in the future. Mr. Jones then stated that he has a proposal for the Trustees to consider that he believes would accomplish their mission of improving healthcare in the community while having a rapid positive impact on healthcare for our residents, lower the millage rate in the upcoming fiscal year, lower the rolled-back rate in the upcoming fiscal year – while allowing the Trustees time to reconcile what areas of public health its funding can impact the most. Specifically, he would like the Trustees to consider providing an additional $3 million to the CCIRH Foundation to allow the Women’s Health and Maternity Outcomes fundraising initiative to reach $6 million of its $12.25 million objectives. He stated that CCIRH has committed to begin the facility improvements immediately upon reaching that threshold and this financial support will allow mothers in the community to begin treatment in the upgraded facilities at least a year earlier than currently projected having an immediate impact on healthcare in our county. He explained this would result in a millage of .7147 and a rolled back rate reduction of about 3%, and it would represent a one-time expenditure with no obligation in future years. There was a Trustee discussion and many were not comfortable with the proposal due to lack of information about the project timeline and would like to have more information before making that decision. Mr. Jones and Ms. Bodnar both stated that they were not in favor of the currently proposed reserves and would like to see them reduced. It was decided that there would be more discussion surrounding the reserves and Mrs. Suriano would create an alternate budget with a lower reserve amount for consideration.
Public Comment & Adjourn
Mrs. Cunningham asked for public comment and there was none. The meeting was adjourned at 2:30 PM.