Jun 19 Special Meeting: May 4, 2023
Indian River County Hospital District Conference Room/ Zoom
May 4, 2023
TRUSTEES: Marybeth Cunningham Barb Bodnar
Michael Kint Paul Westcott
William Cooney, M.D. Kerry Bartlett
ZOOM: Laurie Huebner Ann Marie McCrystal
STAFF: Jennifer Peshke, Esq. Ann Marie Suriano
Kate Voss Jennifer Frederick
ATTENDEES: Carrie Lester Jill Amos
Convene Meeting – Marybeth Cunningham, Chairwoman
Mrs. Cunningham convened the special meeting of the IRCHD Board of Trustees at 10:00 AM by welcoming those participating via Zoom and in person.
FY 23-24 Budget Funding Request Presentation- Substance Awareness Center: Carrie Lester, Executive Director
Ms. Lester prepared a PowerPoint presentation for the Trustees which outlined the three new programs she was requesting funding for in the upcoming fiscal year. She began her presentation by providing a brief history of the Substance Awareness Center (“SAC”) and their mission which is to reduce the impact of substance misuse and behavioral health disorders in Indian River County through prevention, education, treatment and recovery support. She also provided a review of the programs and services offered through SAC which include day treatment, outpatient treatment, recovery assistance, medication assistance, peer support and overdose prevention. Next, she discussed their first new request which was for the Adolescent Outpatient Treatment and provided some data outlining the increased level of acuity in the youth they are serving in the prevention program. She explained that the adolescent outpatient substance abuse treatment program is designed to meet the needs of adolescents and their families who have undergone the screening and assessment process and who have been deemed medically and clinically appropriate to benefit from outpatient services. Historically, SAC’s prevention programming focused on adolescents, and the treatment programming has focused on adults; however, based on reports of daily substance use and positive drug screens in their prevention program and lack of any licensed adolescent substance abuse treatment program in the county, they are seeking funding to support adding licensed outpatient substance abuse treatment for adolescents. Additionally, for many families, a referral to DATA (Drug Abuse Treatment Association) outpatient program for their adolescent, often means travel to Fort Pierce, which becomes a barrier to some and this program would provide much needed access to services right here in Indian River County. Ms. Lester stated that the total request for funding was $65,000 and that metrics and outcomes would be tracked for the program.
Next, she discussed the funding request for SAFIR (“Substance Abuse Free Indian River”) which is a community substance abuse prevention coalition that falls under SAC’s Prevention Works strategy. They are seeking funding to support two campaign messages the SAFIR Coalition focuses on: “One Pill Can Kill” and “Talk. They Hear You.” She explained that One Pill Can Kill is a Drug Enforcement Agency campaign to help educate the community of the dangers related to fentanyl and illicit pill manufacturing and distribution. Talk. They Hear You is a SAMHSA (“Substance Abuse Mental Health Service Agency”) campaign that reminds parents/caregivers/adults to start the conversation (as early as age 9) about the dangers of substance use. The campaign promotes this messaging in the community and provides resources for starting the conversation and continuing the conversation with youth. The Coalition seeks to expand and maintain these campaign messages through the Go Line Bus wraps and the total request for funding is $34,000.
Lastly, Ms. Savoie provided a review of the funding request for the Communities That Care initiative. She stated that the Substance Awareness Center, in collaboration with the Executive Roundtable of Indian River County, is the lead agency for implementing Communities That Care (CTC) Indian River. CTC is a prevention system that gives communities the tools to address adolescent health and behavioral problems through a focus on empirically identified risk and protective factors. Next, she discussed the implementation of CTC which is organized into five stages, each with its own set of benchmarks. Currently they are in Phase 2, key leader training and orientation, and have a committee key leader board of 35 individuals and have populated the community board with 29 members. They estimate that the initiative will be completed by August 2024, and research shows that communities that participated in this work have 35% better health outcomes over a 5–10-year period. The total request for funding is $15,000 which is primarily for coaching and salary costs.
Discussion and Review of Executive Director Job Description- Laurie Huebner & Board of Trustees
Ms. Huebner addressed the board and stated that she has spoken with all of the Trustees except for Ms. Bondar and has had discussion with them surrounding the process. However, she has not received much feedback concerning the job description due to the fact that some of the Trustees did not have the opportunity to review the meeting materials prior to their discussion. The feedback she did receive focused on lifting up the job description to include more strategic thinking, additional skills, experience and qualifications, along with development of goals and action steps to fulfill the strategic plan. Additionally, they would like someone who is an independent thinker and strategic partner, who will be proactive and help guide the Trustees, while supporting the board and their vision. There was also discussion surrounding the additional qualification of holding a masters degree or advanced degree, which the Trustees agreed was not required but preferred. Further, the Trustees all agreed that the District needs a strong leader who has a ‘boots on the ground’ presence within the community. There was further Trustee discussion surrounding the job description and moving some items around to provide a more cohesive structure, along with strengthening language relative to the leadership qualities for which they are looking. Mr. Westcott stated that he would like to see the boundaries of the ED more clearly defined and wants to make sure the new ED is clear with taking direction from the board and executing the same.
Next there was discussion surrounding the timeline for the process and how Ms. Huebner will post the job, review the applicants, and the interview process. Ms. Huebner indicated that she expects the process to take 10-12 weeks, but due to the nature of the process being subject to the Sunshine Law and board structure, it could require additional time. There was Trustee discussion surrounding how information concerning the applicants would be provided to the Trustees and Ms. Bartlett indicated that she would like to review all of the applications, not just the finalist that Ms. Huebner chooses. It was also discussed that the job posting would need to include language stating that this process is public and subject to the requirements of the Sunshine Law. The Trustees also agreed to hold individual Trustee interviews with each of the final candidates. Ms. Deigl recommended that Ms. Huebner speak with the HR director at the IR County Commissioner office, to gain insight as to how they conducted their search for a new County Administrator. The Trustees felt that it was important to assure that this is a public process and discussed how best to keep the public informed during the search. There was recommendation to hold a meet and greet with the finalists and the public, which would provide the Trustees with an opportunity to see how the applicants conducted themselves in a public setting. There was also discussion concerning the salary and benefits package, which the Trustees agreed was an appropriate range for the position. Therefore, based on today’s discussion Ms. Huebner indicated that she would make the recommended updates to the job description and process for the Trustees to review and approve at their next meeting.
Ms. Bartlett stated that she attended the last Mental Health Court Task Force meeting and continues to be impressed with the work and collaboration that the group is putting forth. They are finalizing the funding application to the District and continue to move forward in a positive direction.
Ms. Frederick provided the Trustees with an update concerning the FY 23-24 budget process. She stated that the funding request summaries are almost complete and she will be preparing a binder which will include all the summaries for the Trustee’s review, and will provide the same to them at the next meeting on the 17th. Additionally, it was discussed that the Trustee would like to receive a scoring matrix, so they are able to score each funding request, and know which agency requests may need additional discussion or follow up.
Public Comment & Adjourn-
There was no public comment and the meeting was adjourned at 12:00 PM