Regular Monthly Meeting: February 15, 2024

Regular Monthly Meeting: February 15, 2024

County Commissioner Chambers/ Zoom
February 15, 2024 @ 4:00 PM

TRUSTEES: Kerry Bartlett Barb Bodnar
Marybeth Cunningham Paul Westcott
Michael Kint William Cooney, M.D.
Karen Deigl

STAFF: Kate Voss Jennifer Peshke, Esq.
Frank Isele Dawn Carboni

ZOOM: Megan McFall Marie Andress Vicki Soule Anne Posey

ATTENDEES: Ellen Wayne Jithin George
Renee Bireley

Convene Meeting, Invocation & Pledge

Ms. Cunningham convened the regular monthly meeting of the Indian River County Hospital District at 4:00 PM. Pastor Derrick West of Genesis Church provided the invocation and Dr. Cooney led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Consent Agenda

Ms. Cunningham asked for a motion to approve the chairman’s meeting minutes dated February 14, regular monthly meeting minutes dated February 15 and a March disbursement of $1,312,103.05. Ms. Bodnar made the motion which was seconded by Ms. Deigl. The motion carried unanimously. Ms. Cunningham asked the Trustees when speaking during the meeting, to please do so into the microphone, as viewers listening to the recording and on Zoom, have trouble hearing.

District Counsel Report- Jennifer Peshke, Esq.

Ms. Peshke provided her report and stated that she continues to monitor the deadlines and deliverables due to the District subject to the lease with CCIRH. Recently District staff provided a list of deliverables that were due, and she spoke with CCIRH legal counsel as a follow up and answered their questions regarding the requested documentation. Next, she discussed the agreement which the District has entered into with VNA for the sale of the Hospice House parcel, for a fair market value price of $3.8 million. The close of the sale is still scheduled to take place in early April, and there are no further updates at this time. She continues to participate in discussions with VCOM regarding a long-term lease agreement for the vacant HSB. The parties involved had a call yesterday to discuss future terms and obligations. She will bring forth a lease agreement draft to the Trustees, once it is available. Additionally, she and District staff continue to monitor several House Bills currently being considered by the Florida Legislature, which may have an impact on Special Districts. Also, the required ethics training curriculum is now available, and Ms. Voss will provide the Trustees with additional information in the next months. Next, she stated that Ms. Deigl has been appointed as the Trustee representative to work with she and Mr. Isele on potential negotiations for the purchase of the property for the future site of a women’s sober living facility. Lastly, she stated that next month she will bring forth before the board the amended District Bylaws which were recently updated to clean up various language items that needed to be addressed.

Financial Statement Review- Michael Kint, Treasurer

Mr. Kint stated after four months of the fiscal year, the District is in excellent financial condition. The total net revenues consist of current year tax revenue, interest income and rental income, net of commissions. After three months of the fiscal year, the District has received 85%, or $11,534,123 of the $13,573,305 budgeted tax revenue, which is $12,688,060 realized, after $885,245 commissions and uncollectable taxes. Overall program expenses were under budget by $209,104 for the month and $679,704 year-to-date. Regular administrative expenses were over budget by $41,092 for the month and over budget by $86,124 year-to-date. The negative variance for the month of January was largely attributed to audit fees, legal fees, and consulting fees for the district performance audit and HR consulting. There was Trustee discussion concerning the increased administrative expenses and they also recognize that Ms. Peshke’s expenses have increased due to the various new items she has been working on. Additionally, Ms. Voss informed the board that the District has also spent $80,000 year to date on repairs and maintenance to the HSB and Gifford Health Center properties. Mr. Kint then provided a review of the Districts investment statement and stated that as of January 31, all investments accounts total $16,817,271 and interest from all accounts for the month was $79,759 and $379,356 fiscal year to date. Lastly, he stated that Mr. Jacoby was present at yesterday’s Finance and Audit Committee meeting and reviewed the draft Audit report with the group. He also provided his comments and recommendations to the finance and audit manual, which were helpful and appreciated.

Executive Director Report- Frank Isele, Executive Director

Mr. Isele stated that he provided a written report to the Trustees for their review and provided an update regarding the Districts Performance Review. He stated that the report is currently being reviewed by Ms. Carboni and she will provide an executive summary to the Trustees within the next few weeks. Some of the recommendations provided in the report are items the District is currently working on implementing and improving upon.
Funded Agency Semi Annual Report- Samaritan Center

Ms. Ellen Wayne, CEO of the Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Palm Beach, addressed the board and introduced her team which included Jithin George, Program Director of Clinical Services and Renee Bireley Development Manager-Samaritan Center. She thanked the Trustees for their funding support which has allowed them to obtain an onsite mental health counselor for their clients, as opposed to hiring an independent contractor to provide the services. The written report was already provided to the Trustees prior to the meeting, and they had no further questions regarding the same. She discussed the learnings their organization had over the last six months which included many of their clients held a stigma against seeking mental health services. Bringing those services onsite to their center has decreased their resistance to engage in the process and has allowed the counselor to develop relationships with the clients and help them to feel more comfortable, and to see this as normalized activity. Also, having this on-site counselor has helped change the narrative within their organization and allowed them to see that they are capable of providing these services to their clients, without the utilization of outside entities. Next Mr. George spoke about some items that the organization had learned from that were not anticipated. He explained that initially the counselor was available after hours to provide services, but they discovered that it was not needed or utilized. However, they will still have a counselor available, should the need arise. Secondly, he spoke again of the benefits of having the counsel in house, as it has helped build a rapport with the clients and increased their wellness and engagement in seeking assistance. He further explained that counseling is offered to the parents and well as the children at the center. Next Ms. Wayne discussed emerging healthcare trends that they have recognized, which included the increased need for affordable housing and its effect on health outcomes and is a social determinant of health. Additionally, she spoke to the increase in the demand for services and the decline in available providers. They continue to work with the families at their center to transition out of crisis mode, into more preventive and pre-planning method of living. Lastly, she spoke to their use of AI, and have begun to utilize this in some of their programs and engagement. There was Trustee discussion, and it was asked how large the waitlist was for the center. Ms. Wayne stated that currently there are six families waiting for placement at their center. Ms. Birley explained that they also maintain a call log of all interactions with potential clients. If a family is placed on the waitlist, it is because they have met the qualification guidelines and begun the intake process.

New Business-
Sale of Property 82nd Ave- Paul Westcott, Trustee

Mr. Westcott stated that he requested this agenda item as a follow-up to the Trustee discussion which took place in December regarding the potential purchase of a property to support a women’s sober living facility or a detox facility. At the time Mr. Westcott raised the question that the District owns the parcel out west on 82nd Ave and selling this property could offset the cost of purchasing a new property. During those discussions, the Trustees voted unanimously to research the matter further. Mr. Westcott further explained that shortly after the meeting, he received correspondence from Jennifer Peshke’s office which referenced correspondence from CCIRH back in March of 2023. In the correspondence from CCIRH, they indicated that they are hopeful of being able to use the property on 82nd Ave. but have no developed plans for the site currently. Mr. Westcott felt that the correspondence received from Ms. Peshke’s office may have been misinterpreted and was written as if CCIRH had the right to determine if it was available to sell or not. He stated that he understands the lease agreement to read differently and believes the District has the right to sell the property at any time, and CCIRH would be given the right of first refusal by either meeting the requested selling price or outbid another potential buyer. He is concerned that the correspondence sent to the Trustees, by Mr. Peshke’s office, may have ended any further discussion surrounding this matter. Therefore, he would like these discussions to continue and has conducted some research, consulting with a few highly regarded local realtors, as to the value of the property, which has an estimated value of $4.6 million dollars. He also contacted the property appraiser’s office, and their assessed value is $1.7 million. There was Trustee discussion concerning the historical timeline of the purchase of the property and its original intended use. Ms. Deigl stated that it was originally purchased several decades ago to maintain a certificate of need designation so that another hospital could not be built in the area. Mr. Westcott believes that the Trustees should also have further discussion on where a future medical campus should be located. Ms. Cunningham stated that she and Mr. Isele recently met with representatives from the Coalition for Attainable Housing, and they expressed interest in the property, however it was their intention that the District would donate the property or a portion of the property, not sell it. It was also clarified that the property is currently zoned for modular homes. There was further Trustee discussion about their role in determining where healthcare services and future planning of placement of those campuses fits into the overall scope of the District responsibilities. Mr. Westcott questioned whether the District was an organization that only disburses money, or are they an organization that thinks strategically about the future needs of the community. Ms. Peshke addressed the board and stated that the District does have the authority to sell the property, pursuant to the terms of the lease and CCIRH has right of first refusal, however in order to do so, the District would need to determine that it is surplus property and of no use to the District. Ms. Bartlett asked if Mr. Westcott was requesting board action for this item. Mr. Westcott stated that based on today’s discussion, he does not believe he would have Trustee support if he brought forward a motion to move forward with additional review and appraisal of the property. Mr. Kint stated that he felt was a legitimate point of discussion and it seems they have a path forward for further consideration.

Public Comment/Adjourn

There was no further business and Ms. Cunningham asked if there was public comment. Ms. Carboni stated that her comments are being brought forth as a resident of west Vero and not as an employee of the District. She stated that there are many 55 and up modular home communities in this area of town, which offers little access to medical service, with the exception of Point West walk in clinic. The drive to the hospital can take anywhere from 20-25 minutes, one way. There was no further public comment, and the meeting was adjourned at 5:10 PM

Respectfully Submitted,

Barbara Bodnar, Secretary