Indian River County Hospital District

First Public Budget Hearing: September 8, 2021

First Public Budget Hearing FY-21-22
September 8, 2021
5:01 PM

TRUSTEES: Marybeth Cunningham Kerry Bartlett
Karen Deigl Barb Bodnar
Ann Marie McCrystal
Allen Jones – via Zoom

ABSENT: Dr. Michael Weiss

STAFF: Ann Marie Suriano Jennifer Frederick
Kate Voss Jennifer Peshke, Esq.

Convene Meeting – Marybeth Cunningham, Chairwoman IRCHD

Mrs. Cunningham convened the first public budget hearing of the Indian River County Hospital District (“IRCHD”) at 5:01 p.m. She provided an invocation and led the group in the pledge of allegiance.

Review of the July 15, 2021 Proposed FY 2020-2021 Budget Information – Allen Jones, Treasurer

Mr. Jones stated that today’s meeting is the first of two statutorily required public meetings held to finalize the FY 21-22 budget for the District. By the conclusion of today’s meeting and the second meeting on September 23, the public will have had ample opportunity to comment on the final budget and should have a clear understanding of the proposal. He explained that on July 15, the Trustees voted to adopt a proposed millage rate of .7612. That millage rate is a reduction of 4.98% in millage from the current fiscal year rate of .8011 and will maintain the same ad valorem tax revenue as the current fiscal year. Also, that the reduction in millage results in the same revenues to the District as the current fiscal year, but represents a decrease of 1.65% as a percentage of the rolled back rate. He further explained the reason the reduction in millage results in flat revenues, is because the assessed property tax values in Indian River County have increased over 5% year over year.

Purpose of Ad Valorem Tax Revenues

Mr. Jones stated that the District will continue to support community agencies that are providing healthcare services to residents of Indian River County. To prepare for contingencies, particularly during COVID, the Trustees have built reserves to be able to respond to constantly changing healthcare circumstances. The budget tentatively approved by the Trustees in July anticipates carrying over $4.2 million in reserves, of which about $1.8 million are restricted for specifically designated needs. This increases the total reserves by $3.9 million further, to $8.1 million in order to be properly prepared to respond to potential community needs. Additionally, he explained that the District has already met with representatives from CCIRH, TCCH, WFHC and has identified a number of potential areas that are likely to be very effective in improving community health. There have also been preliminary discussions with the County on consolidating healthcare expenditures within their budget that may overlap between the District’s budget. Consolidating these expenses may prove more efficient for taxpayers. Further, the Hospital District is planning to undertake a strategic visioning process beginning in the 4th quarter of 2021, to clearly establish its role and function to impact the improvement of health outcomes in our community. He further explained that the District’s administration expenses continue to be a relatively small part of total projected expenditures at 6.62% of ad valorem taxes. Lastly, he stated that the Trustees have met several times since July 15 in public meetings and have expressed their views on the budget proposed in July. At each meeting, the Trustees have encouraged members of the public to express comments. Mr. Jones asked for public comment and there was none.

Adoption of Tentative FY 2021-2022 Budget – Allen Jones, Treasurer

Mr. Jones stated that next the Trustees will need to adopt a millage rate and he asked for a motion on the same. Mrs. Deigl made a motion to adopt a millage rate of .7612, which was seconded by Mrs. McCrystal. There was Trustee discussion and Mr. Jones stated that while this board of trustees may not always agree, they share an understanding that the board has the opportunity to significantly impact improving healthcare services in the community. There is however some disagreement on how high the millage rate should be in the upcoming fiscal year to achieve this goal. Mr. Jones and other Trustees at a prior meeting, had expressed some discomfort with the proposed millage of .7612 and believe a lower millage is sufficient to carry out the District mission. However, it seems that the majority of the Trustees favor the current proposed rate of .7612. Therefore Mr. Jones feels it is more important in this vote to emphasize the strategic alignment of the trustees rather than tactical differences among them. Mrs. Cunningham agreed with Mr. Jones comments and reiterated the fact that the District does have ample opportunity in front of them to support healthcare in this community, and wants to support those agencies fulfill their mission. Mrs. Bodnar stated that does agree with the other Trustees concerning the District responsibility to support healthcare in the community but feels that mission can be accomplished with a lower amount in reserves, which would result in a lower millage rate. Ms. Deigl agreed with the prior Trustee comments and stated that over the next few weeks the Trustees have an opportunity to further review and discussion surrounding the budget and make any changes resulting in a potential lower millage rate. Mr. Jones asked for public comment and Mr. Garza from Tykes and Teens addressed the board via Zoom. He thanked the Trustees for their diligent work through this budget process and appreciates the work they do in support of healthcare in the community. Mr. Jones called the question and the motion carried 5-1 with Ms. Bodnar in opposition. Mr. Jones asked for a motion to adopt the overall ad valorem budget of $15,694,778. Mr. McCrystal made the motion, which was seconded by Ms. Deigl. The motion carried 5-1 with Ms. Bodnar in opposition. Therefore, Mr. Jones announced publicly that the millage rate, as a percentage of the rolled back rate is 1.65%. Lastly, Mr. Jones stated that the Final Public Budget Hearing of the District to
approve the FY 21-22 budget, will be held on September 23 at 5:01 PM. In the meantime, the Trustees encourage the public to offer comments and suggestions before the budget adoption process is completed.

Public Comment & Adjourn

There was no further public comment and the meeting was adjourned at 5:30 PM.



William P Cooney MD is an orthopedic surgeon (retired) who has been a resident of Vero Beach since 2004. He practiced orthopedic surgery at Indian River Medical Center from 2006-2015 within the orthopedic practice of Prosports. He served on the IRMC Foundation for four years. Prior to this, he was a Professor of Orthopedics at Mayo Clinic in Rochester Minnesota, Chair of the Division of Hand Surgery and Vice president of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery. He served as the Vice Chairman of the Mayo Clinic Development Department. He has been President of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand, Orthopedic Research and Education Foundation, Consultant at Shrine Hospital systems. He was editor in chief of the Journal of Orthopedic Surgery and co-editor of the Journal of Hand Surgery. He held grants in hand and wrist surgery sponsored by National Institute of Health (NIH) and Stryker Orthopedics and has over 250 publications in the field of orthopedic surgery, hand, wrist and elbow surgery and microsurgery- free tissue transfers. Within Indian River County, he has served as Chairman of the Board and President of the Hope for Families Homeless Center, Board of the Indian River Hospital Foundation, We Care and Whole Family Health Center medical practices.

Term:  1/23-12/24

Origination: Elected (2 OC)

Occupation: Retired Surgeon



Kerry Bartlett,  of Vero Beach, has more than 30 years experience in philanthropy, including as vice president of the VNA & Hospice Foundation; VNA chief advancement officer from 2001-2007; and executive director of the Indian River Community Foundation from 2008-2014. Kerry is the founder of The Bartlett Company, which focuses on nonprofit and philanthropic consulting. She also is a managing director for Carter, a Vero Beach company that specializes in advancing philanthropy worldwide. Kerry has spent more than 25 years in the nonprofit sector as a fund development professional and has particular expertise in annual funds, major gifts, endowment campaigns and legacy giving. Kerry is also known for creating and implementing effective donor-centered stewardship programs that build, maintain and strengthen nonprofits’ relationships.

Term:  3/21-12/22   |   1/23-12/26

Origination: Appointed by Governor Ron DeSantis
Elected NOC

Occupation: Philanthropic Consultant/Managing Director



Karen has been President and CEO of Senior Resource Association, where she successfully advocates for older adults and their families, since 2006. In that role, she helps provide activities, education and services benefiting older and disabled adults in Indian River County. In addition, Karen provides oversight of the community mass transit system for residents and visitors of the county. As CEO, Karen is responsible for a $7 million operational annual budget and managing more than 100 employees. She ensures that fiscally sound and responsible solutions are created to provide healthcare and a better quality of life for all Indian River County residents. Karen earned a BS in Health Administration from Florida Atlantic University and an MHA from the University of Florida. She was elected to the Indian River County Hospital District Board of Trustees in 2016, and joined the Board in January 2017.

Term:  1/17-12/20   |   1/21-12/24

Origination: Elected 1 OC | Elected NOC

Occupation: President/CEO



Paul Westcott has been a Board Certified Workers' Compensation Attorney since 1999. In addition, Paul has earned his certification from the Florida Supreme Court as a Circuit Civil and Family Law Mediator. Receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree in both Economics and Political Science at Florida Southern College, he continued his education at Stetson University College of Law. He graduated from Stetson in 1988, having been a published member of the Stetson Law Review. Paul has been a member of the Florida Bar since 1988.  He began his practice in a combined civil litigation and transactional practice before serving as an Assistant State Attorney.  He began his career in Workers' Compensation with Rissman, Weisberg, Barrett, Hurt, Donahue & McClain P.A., where he handled Workers' Compensation cases at the trial and appellate levels.  In 1997, Paul opened the Ft. Pierce office of Hurley, Rogner, Miller, Cox, Waranch & Westcott P.A. handling workers' compensation cases at all levels throughout central and south Florida, while managing the operations of that office.  During his nearly 25 year career in Workers' Compensation, he lectured on a wide range of industry topics.

1/23-12/26   |   1/21-12/24

Origination: Elected 1 OC 

Occupation: Attorney & Mediator



Barbara has practiced physical therapy, specializing in orthopedics and sports medicine, in her hometown of Vero Beach since 1981. She was an integral part of the sports medicine team at Vero Beach High School for 35 years. Barbara completed the reserve police academy training, and served with the Vero Beach Police Department from 1982-1989. Her volunteer involvement in the community includes serving on the City of Vero Beach Recreation Committee, Arthritis Association of Indian River County, and the Senior Good Life Games. She and her husband, Michael, enjoy spending their free time traveling in their RV and training their Labradors, Gunner and Chase, in K-9 performance events, including agility and dock jumping. Barbara is a lifelong resident of Indian River County, and received her degree in physical therapy from Chattanooga State College. Barbara was elected to the Indian River County Hospital District Board of Trustees in 2016, and joined the Board in January 2017.

Term:  1/17-12/20   |   1/21-12/24

Origination: Elected 1 OC | Elected 1 OC

Occupation: Physical Therapist



Born and raised in Illinois, Michael was a Theatre and Speech Instructor at Lincoln College when he moved to Indian River County in 1984. He was the Director of Education for the Riverside Theatre for a decade, helping to build the Riverside Children’s Theatre and directing many productions. Michael is well known in the community for his 25 years of service at the United Way of Indian River County, 16 of those years as the CEO. He is very proud of his work with dozens of nonprofit agencies and his commitment to creating and strengthening community collaboratives. Michael was also an Adjunct Faculty member at Barry University for 20 years. He has served on many boards and committees over the years, including: Children’s Services Advisory Committee Needs Assessment, Chair of the Emergency Food and Shelter Program for many years, and he was a founding member of the Mental Health Collaborative, the Senior Collaborative of IRC and the IRC Executive Roundtable. As a Hospital District Trustee he is committed to serving all the citizens of our county. In particular, he hopes to see enhanced availability and affordability for behavioral/mental health for all in need.


Term: 1/23- 12/26

Origination: Elected 1 OC

Occupation: Retired CEO United Way



Marybeth’s professional career encompasses 34 years of working for GM/Delphi in a variety of positions. Starting out as a traffic claims clerk, she worked her way through the organization, with roles in Purchasing, Engineering, and Quality and Reliability. She retired in 2009 as the executive director of Global Operations for the Packard Electric Division of Delphi. In this position, she was responsible for 94 plants in 33 countries. Marybeth has served on the board of directors for numerous non-profits, including Northeast Ohio Adoption Agency; United Way of Warren Ohio, where she served as chairman of the annual campaign for two years; Up with People; Head, Heart and Hands of Indian River Club; Indian River Community Foundation, and the Indian River Mental Health Collaborative. She earned her B.A. in Political Science from Albion College. Marybeth was elected to the Indian River County Hospital District Board of Trustees in 2014, and joined the Board in January 2015. She currently serves as Chair.


Term:  1/15-12/18   |   1/19-12/22   |   1/23- 12/24

Origination: Elected 1 OC | Elected  NOC | Elected NOC

Occupation: Retired Executive GM