Regular Monthly Meeting: August 18, 2022

Regular Monthly Meeting: August 18, 2022

County Commissioner Chambers/ Zoom
August 18, 2022 @ 4:00 PM

TRUSTEES: Allen Jones Barb Bodnar
Ann Marie McCrystal Kerry Bartlett

ABSENT: Karen Deigl Jennifer Peshke, Esq

STAFF: Kate Voss Jennifer Frederick
Ann Marie Suriano Dawn Carboni

ZOOM: Marybeth Cunningham William Winns
Ed Lowe Pat Knipper
Marie Andress

ATTENDEES: Samantha Messina Elizabeth Appleton
Vicki Soule Andrea Greenlee
Ken Kenworthy Michael Kint
Robi Robinson

Convene Meeting & Approval of Consent Agenda– Kerry Bartlett, Vice Chair

Ms. Bartlett convened the regular monthly meeting of the IRCHD at 4:00 PM by welcoming those in attendance and via Zoom. Minister LeKesha Weems provided the invocation and Ms. Bartlett led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance. Ms. Bartlett indicated that the monthly disbursement amount has changed slightly and the total amount being approved is $757,237.57. Therefore, she asked for a motion to approve the consent agenda which was made by Mr. Jones and seconded by Mrs. McCrystal. The motion carried unanimously.

District Counsel Report- Ryne Hart, Esq.

Ms. Bartlett stated that the Ms. Peshke provided her written report which was included in the monthly packet for review. There were no additional Trustee comments at this time.

Financial Statement Review- Allen Jones, Treasurer

Mr. Jones provided his treasurers report and stated that the District remains in sound financial condition. As of July 31, the District has about $10.9 million in cash and investments, less $767,000 just approved for expenditures. In the two months remaining in the fiscal year, the District is budgeted to spend a little over $3.8 million and based on recent monthly spending trends, less than half of that will be spent. The District has developed excess reserves which will be returned to taxpayers via a substantial millage reduction. Additionally, the proposed millage rate for FY 22-23 is .5774 vs the current fiscal year millage rate of.7144, is a reduction of over 19%. He explained that since 2016, when the District began consideration for new strategic approach of operations of the hospital, the millage rate has decreased over 41%. During this period, care has increased and improved for lower income families, while millage had dropped significantly. In addition, the District maintains $2.7 million in healthcare contingency funds. He further explained that in May, about $1 million in one year U.S. Treasury bills were purchased yielding about 2.25%, and on August 9, an additional $1.5 million was invested in one year U.S. Treasury bills yielding 3.25%. This will generate interest earnings over $70,000, when the government guaranteed instruments mature next May and August.

Executive Director Report- Ann Marie Suriano, Executive Director

Ms. Suriano stated she received notification from Vicki Soule that the generator at Gifford Health Center is in need of replacement, which was discovered after a recent inspection. TCCH is currently collecting estimates and when Ms. Suriano receives more information, she will update the Trustees accordingly. She further stated that based on yesterday’s budget discussions, the Trustees will receive an updated budget grid to complete and return by next week. She recommended that if another budget discussion meeting is needed, that is to take place via Zoom to accommodate everyone’s schedule and asked Mr. Hart to verify that this would be permitted. Ms. Bartlett stated that she is pleased that the Trustees will have a second opportunity to complete the Trustee budget grid and stated that she believes the Trustees have an opportunity to use the newly approved strategic plan as a lens to look through at this year’s funding requests. She feels the Trustees, on behalf of the District and our local taxpayers, must begin to move the needle on the three community health priorities in the strategic plan. She further stated that the District has invested significant dollars and time in this strategic plan and our community is expecting a return on investment. Therefore, she has asked Ms. Suriano to substitute the strategic plan question included in the previous grid the Trustees completed with an alternative question. She explained that she would like the Trustee to consider if each funding request addresses a community-wide health issue in the areas of primary care, behavioral health or health promotion and disease prevention, or is it a funding request for a program that provides services to one nonprofit’s client population. Additionally, if this is the change the District is seeking in each of these three priorities and what are the programs and services we believe will get the community closer to the Districts vision, and is it focused on the broader community or is it agency specific. Further she stated that she believes Ms. Suriano has relevant information and a unique perspective as Executive Director and the Trustees might find her insight helpful as they consider the funding requests for the last time over the next couple of weeks. She has asked her to provide her perspective on the funding requests and provide the same to the Trustees with the revised budget. Ms. Suriano stated that she would be happy to put together something for the Trustees’consideration and information.

Gifford Health Center Advisory Committee Update- Barb Bodnar, Trustee

Ms. Bodnar provided an update from the last Gifford Health Center Advisory Committee meeting which took place on July 26th. She provided information concerning the Gifford Health Center which is being operated by TCCH, and stated that they are still receiving positive feedback from the community concerning this partnership. However, there was a concern that was brought before the group from two Healthy Start employees concerning care received at Partners in Women’s Health. It was discussed that there had been some complaints made which mothers had indicated that they felt they were not being heard by the physicians at their appointments, or take enough time with them to answer their questions. Additionally, they have encountered unfriendly staff and long wait times to receive an appointment. It was further explained that many of these women are young, first time or teen moms. Mr. Jones indicated that he was just recently made aware of these comments and has had subsequent discussions with Megan McFall at Partners, who stated that she is working collaboratively with Healthy Start to address these issues. It seems that there may have been a lack of communication initially, which had resulted in a delay of this being addressed. It was also discussed that there may be opportunity to provide the services of a midwife at the Gifford Health Center one or two days a week, to further support that population. There was further Trustee discussion and many felt that the issue at Partners should be addressed before expanding services to the Gifford Health Center.

We Care Update- Robi Robinson, Executive Director

Mr. Robinson provide a brief overview of We Care and its inception. Next, he discussed the recent partnership between We Care and TCCH, and both parties have signed a Memorandum of Understanding. We Care now is sharing office space with TCCH in the 777 building and the transition has gone very smoothly. He further stated that he and Angela Locascio- Kwong, We Care RN Patient Advocate, have become certified as state eligibility and referral specialist and in July they resumed managing current and new referrals to We Care. They are now utilizing the data collection program UpDoc to track and manage their referrals and he believes this program will provide better reporting to the District. Currently, they are working with TCCH to address their backlog of patients waiting for referrals and Dr. Baker is reviewing the case logs bi-weekly to address any further issues. He then updated the Trustees on future clinics that will take place which will provide specialty eye care, GI, cardiology and dermatology services. Additionally, he explained that he is retiring and a new Executive Director has been hired and will start in October. However, he plans to assist with that transition until the end of the year. Mr. Jones stated that the District is currently evaluating the need for specialty eye care and is working with GlobeChek on a pilot program to provide eye screenings to individuals. There is a meeting tomorrow with the other providers to discuss these efforts moving forward and he invited Mr. Robinson to attend on behalf of We Care.
Funded Agencies Semi-Annual Reports-

Tykes & Teens- Linda Kloss, Interim Executive Director

Ms. Kloss addressed the board and introduced her team which included Ken Kenworthy, Chairman of the Board, Elizabeth Appleton, Director of Mental Health Consultation, and Andrea Greenlee, Director of General Mental Health and School Based Programs. Mr. Kenworthy began the presentation by discussing their experiences and challenges as an organization over the last 6 months. Their biggest change came with the resignation of Eric Garza as CEO, at the beginning of June. He explained that the organization took immediate action to find an interim replacement, which was Ms. Kloss. They have also hired a national search firm to find a permanent replacement for CEO and believe the position will be filled by the end of the year. He explained that the organization will continue to stay true to their mission of prioritizing mental health to children and adolescents through prevention, education and treatment and that the continuity of care to their clients remains intact. He further explained that they provide services in Martin, Okeechobee, St. Lucie and Indian River County, however each county is different and benefits from different programs, which is why they are transitioning the type of services they are offering in Indian River County. The Trustees were provided with updates concerning the Mental Health Consultation and CLASS programs and it was further discussed the Tykes & Teens would no longer be requesting funding for the CLASS program, due to lack of participation in the school system. Their hopes moving forward are that the District will support their funding request for fiscal year 22-23, so that they may provide outpatient therapy services to children ages 6-17.

Hope For Families Center- Marty Mercado, Executive Director

Ms. Mercado addressed the board and stated that Bruce Albro from the Hope for Families Board of Directors was also joining her for today’s discussion. Additionally, Zoey Ashcroft, the Patient Navigator and Ray who is the Director of Social Services. She explained that she has now been with the organization just over a year and there have been many changes and challenges that have occurred during that time. She discussed the affordable housing crisis within the community which is causing families to stay longer at the center, due to the fact that they are unable to secure affordable permanent housing. She informed the board that there is currently a waitlist of over 100 families, which continues to grow. She further discussed the increase in need for mental health services and explained that the goal of the center is to help normalize discussions surrounding mental health and encourage residents to discuss their feelings and seek help. She provided some examples of residents who are struggling with deep rooted generational trauma, and they are working with those families to end the cycle of trauma affecting the family unit. She explained that they have had great success unitizing telehealth therapy for the residents and residents seeking mental health treatment has increased from 10% to 30%. Next, she discussed the patient navigator’s role which has been crucial to gaining the trust of the residents and helping with crisis situations. She stated that without the navigator they would be unable to fully address many of the complex needs the residents are experiencing and they are grateful to the District for supporting that position.

Public Comment/Adjourn

There was no public comment and the meeting was adjourned at 5:45 PM