Indian River County Hospital District

Chairman’s Meeting: February 17, 2021



Indian River County Hospital District Conference Room/ Zoom

February 17, 2021

10:00 AM


TRUSTEES:                           Marybeth Cunningham                       Barbara Bodnar

Ann Marie McCrystal                         Allen Jones

VIA ZOOM:                           Karen Deigl                                          Michael Weiss

STAFF:                                   Ann Marie Suriano                             Jennifer Frederick

Kate Voss                                             Jennifer Peshke, Esq.


Convene Meeting- Marybeth Cunningham, Chairman

Mrs. Cunningham convened the Chairman’s meeting of the IRCHD Board of Trustees at 10:00 AM by welcoming those participating via Zoom and in person.


VNA Semi Annual Update- Patricia Knipper, Director of Strategic Special Projects

Ms. Knipper provided an update concerning the VNA and its District funded programs for the period of October, 2020 – January, 2021. To date, the District has provided a total of $188,386 in funding to the VNA. She provided a service review and quality scores for the hospice program. With the volumes for the hospice program being relatively low, Mrs. Cunningham questioned why the volumes were low. Ms. Knipper explained that lack of public knowledge about the program, could attribute to this. They have been working with physicians and families to educate them of the benefits of hospice care. She believes that through this education, they will see the number of participants grow. She further provided an update concerning the home health program and its outcomes. Ms. Knipper then discussed the Mobile Health Clinic, which after upgrades and repairs, was back on the road in December. The unit also has a new manager, Ms. Elizabeth Adams, who has been a great addition to the team. Currently the unit is providing flu shots, minor sick visits and physicals, along with health education and outreach. She reviewed data concerning mobile unit patient visits, zip code analysis, and patient satisfaction. Additionally, she discussed the VNA’s positive change program and the new initiatives they are working on. They are now offering a pilot program with Substance Awareness Center. She reviewed the 11-week schedule that encompasses the program and what topics are covered and discussed. Lastly, she discussed her work with Together for Health group, which has now doubled in size since the beginning of the pandemic. This group brings together community leaders who share information and resources to address concerns within the community concerning vulnerable individuals and families.


Program Liaison Report- Jennifer Frederick

Mrs. Frederick stated that the 2021 Federal Poverty Guidelines have been published and went into effect January 15. They were forwarded to all the funded agencies and will be use in the qualifying process until the end of the year. The District plans to hold a workshop for the funded agencies to provide a refresher course on the District financial assistance database. This will give an opportunity for District staff and the funded agencies to discuss any issues they are experiencing with the database. This will also provide instruction and guidance for any funded agencies with new employees who have not been formally trained on how to navigate the database and District expectations. This workshop will take place on March 11 and be offered in person and via Zoom. Additionally, Mrs. Frederick informed the Trustees that the District’s funding applications for fiscal year 21-22 will be sent out next week. The completed applications are due back to the District by March 26th and the budget presentation meetings will begin in April. The Trustees agreed to only hold meetings for new agencies requesting funding or agencies requesting funding for new programs or initiatives. Further, Mrs. Frederick indicated she has attended the first Community Health Needs Assessment meeting held by Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital. CCIRH is required to complete a health needs assessment every three years and has invited community leaders to participate in the process. Mrs. Cunningham is also participating in the process on behalf of the District. She will provide updates to the Trustees throughout the duration of her participation. Lastly, she informed the board that the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Source Dignity Bus is March 17th from 5-6 PM. The Dignity Bus provides safe, temporary overnight accommodation to those sleeping rough in Indian River County. Its aim is to get people off the street and keep them safe and healthy until they can get back on their feet.


Conflict of Interest Review- Jennifer Peshke, Esq.

Mrs. Peshke provided an overview of the PowerPoint presentation she created which addressed the Trustee’s requirement to comply with the Code of Ethics of Publicly Elected officials and the Districts Conflict of Interest Policy. There was Trustee discussion concerning if a conflict would arise for Trustees serving on boards of agencies that the District funds. Mrs. Peshke indicated that if a Trustee felt there may be a conflict, they should disclose this to either she or Ann Marie. They will discuss the matter to determine if in fact there is conflict. Should it be determined that a conflict exists, the Trustee would need to announce and recuse themselves from the Board vote on the matter. However, they are still able to participate in board discussion. She stated that it is important for the Trustees to avoid situation in which there would be public perception of impropriety. Lastly, Mrs. Peshke asked the Trustees to review the Districts Code of Conduct and Ethics Guide, along with completing the Acknowledgement and Conflict of Interest Statement documents. The completed and signed documents should be returned to Ms. Voss for the Districts files.


District Employee Benefits Discussion/Recommendation- Ann Marie Suriano

Mrs. Suriano prepared a memo on this matter for the Trustees to review before today’s meeting. She stated that in the past, she has explored group insurance plans for full time District employees. However, the plans were only available for groups of 5 or more employees. She has also explored becoming a part of the Hospital, County or other local government agency’s larger group plans. The Trustees felt that they did not have the supervisory or decision-making latitude and anonymity that they currently enjoy if they went with this option; therefore, the best option was to offer a monthly taxable stipend for employees to purchase their own healthcare plans. As purchasing healthcare plans and healthcare in general has become more expensive, group plan options have become more available and to ensure that the District is remaining competitive, she began investigating further options for healthcare coverage. She has found a few plans through United Healthcare that provide for medical and behavioral health visits, telehealth, urgent care, hospitalization, prescriptions and dental care that are very affordable for the three full time employees. Mrs. Fredrick and Ms. Voss are agreeable to her recommendations as well. She asked the Trustees to consider transition from providing a monthly stipend to adding this benefit to the current employment package. There was group discussion surrounding the recommendation and the cost associated with the transition. Mr. Jones made a motion to approve the recommendation which was seconded by Mrs. Bodnar. The motion approved unanimously. Mrs. Peshke indicated that she would update the District Employee Manual to reflect this change. Mrs. Suriano stated that she plans for the group insurance to go into effect April 1, 2021 and the monthly stipend will cease at that time.


Other Business

Mrs. Suriano stated that since Mrs. Zudans has resigned from the District Board, she will no longer remain as Chair of the Gifford Health Center Advisory Committee. It was further discussed that while the Gifford Health Center Advisory Committee has fulfilled its original mission of overseeing a smooth transition of TCCH operating the Gifford Health Center, the committee has expressed the desire to meet semiannually to maintain accountability for community members and open communication for any issues that may arise. Mrs. Bodnar stated that she would like to volunteer for the position. The Trustees agreed and Ms. Voss indicated that the next meeting will take place in late spring or early summer.

Mrs. Cunningham stated that the RFP committee has selected the Cleveland Clinic’s proposal to move forward with a Mental Health Intensive Outpatient program. The group is looking into funding avenues and she notified the Trustees that they may be coming to the District in the next few months to request funding.


Public Comment & Adjourn

Mrs. Cunningham asked for public comment and there was none. The meeting was adjourned at 11:30 AM.




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