Indian River County Hospital District

Chairman’s Meeting: September 16, 2020



Indian River County Hospital District

September 16, 2020

10:00 AM


TRUSTEES:                             Marybeth Cunningham             Michael Weiss

Ann Marie McCrystal               Karen Deigl

Allen Jones                              Tracey Zudans


EXCUSED:                              Barbara Bodnar


STAFF:                                     Ann Marie Suriano                   Jennifer Frederick

Kate Voss                                    Jennifer Peshke, Esq.



Convene Meeting – Marybeth Cunningham, Chairwoman


Mrs. Cunningham convened the Chairman’s meeting of the IRCHD Board of Trustees at 10:00 AM by welcoming those participating via Zoom. She stated that Governor DeSantis’ Executive Order 20-69 allows the District to meet virtually without a physical quorum. However, this order is set to expire at the end of the month, so unless it is extended, the District will need to have meetings with a physical quorum of four trustees starting in October.


Education- Kindergarten Readiness Collaborative/Learning Alliance relating to health presentation- Dr. Nivea Torres


            Dr. Torres provided a presentation concerning the Kindergarten Readiness Collaborative and Learning Alliance. She discussed brain development in children ages 0-2, at which time the brain is most flexible and adaptable to learning. She further reviewed the building blocks to kindergarten readiness which include social/emotional health, physical health and wellbeing, along with cognitive and communication skills. The Collaborative also provides two types of screening for children to accurately identity children at risk for developmental or social emotional delays. She reviewed further data on these screening for children in Indian River County. Right now, only 12% of children in the county have been screened and she explained that they are working collaboratively with other agencies to increase this number. The trustees thanked her for the presentation and information, and offered assistance moving forward with collaborative efforts.


VNA Letter of Intent Review- Patricia Knipper, Director, Strategic Alliances/Special Projects VNA


Mrs. Knipper thanked the District for their support of this project and provide a brief review of the VNA’s intentions moving forward.  She explained that the VNA has hired a new Executive Director for the foundation who will spear head this capital campaign, which is set to begin early 2021. They hope to raise the funds in 12-24 months. There was further discussion surrounding the VNA’s fundraising efforts. Ms. Deigl voiced her concerns with the District allowing one entity the ability to take over publicly owned land. She feels that is a very sought-after piece of property. Additionally, they have obligations to Cleveland Clinic, as it is part of the lease agreement with the District. She feels this could cause issues further down the road with ownership. There was further group discussion surrounding the lease term and ownership terms of the new building. Mrs. Zudans would like to see the VNA purchase the property as part of their development plan, to avoid any issues of ownership in the future. Mrs. Cunningham stated that in her discussion with Cleveland Clinic, they were only comfortable in supporting the VNA plans, if the District remained as owner of the property. There was further group discussion and Mrs. Cunningham asked for approval of the VNA’s Letter of Intent. The Trustees agreed unanimously.


COVID-19 Special Funding Request- Action Required


Mrs. Suriano stated that the District received two COVID-19 PPE related funding requests this month. The first is from Childcare Resources in the amount of $4,787.32 for direct reimbursement of PPE and cleaning products. Mrs. McCrystal made a motion to approve which was seconded by Ms. Deigl. Motion carried 4-1, with Mrs. Zudans in opposition and Mr. Jones abstaining due to the fact he was not able to review the full request.


The next request came from the Early Learning Coalition of Indian River, Martin and Okeechobee counties in the amount of $871 for clear PPE masks for teachers. Ms. Chase, the Executive Director at the coalition, explained that the clear masks would provide a meaningful tool to help assist teachers in early literacy skill building for their students. The clear mask would also assist with letter/sounds recognition and word formation, as children pay close attention to mouths when developing literacy skills. This mask also allows the children to see the teachers entire face and facial expression which supports the connection between teacher and child. Mrs. McCrystal made a motion to approve which was seconded by Ms. Deigl. Motion carried 5-1, with Mrs. Zudans in opposition.


Gifford Health Center Advisory Committee Update- Tracey Zudans, Trustee


Mrs. Zudans stated that the group met yesterday for their monthly meeting and will send out the meeting minutes once they are completed. The GHC is showing an increase in volumes which means that the Gifford community is starting to feel more comfortable about participating in health care. TCCH is still working to reduce no show rates, but are accepting walk in appointments as well. She further explained that We Care will have their second nurse returning to its office from the Health Department and are seeing more patients in person. They are also working to prepare a report with data that the Trustees have requested over the last few months. TCCH and Health Start are continuing to work collaboratively to come up with the best format to serve patients at of the GHC. Therefore, Healthy Start is going to be giving up its space to TCCH, so that they may begin to develop a pharmacy in that area. Healthy start will take a smaller space within the clinic and still be available to the community. Additionally, August marked the 1-year anniversary of the transition to TCCH operating the center. All organizations are doing well and continue to build trust in the community which is an excellent accomplishment in such a short period of time.  Lastly, Mrs. Zudans indicated that the committee has decided to hold its meetings quarterly and the next meeting will take place in January, 2021. Further, Jonnie Mae Perry has agreed to act as the main community liaison for the committee moving forward.


Other Business-


Mrs. Cunningham stated that as of Monday CCIRH has started their “EPIC” ambulatory data system throughout the hospital. They have scheduled about 50% of their appointments with the system and it has been operating correctly. Additionally, there are only six patients being hospitalized with COVID-19. Lastly, she explained that CCIRH is currently conducting physician recruitment, and the process has been going well.


Mrs. Suriano stated that the District will be relocating to its new office on October 1 & 2 and will have limited access to working capabilities during that time. Everything is expected to be up and running on October 5th.


Mrs. Cunningham asked for additional public comment and there was none. Mr. Jones made the motion to adjourn which was seconded by Dr. Weiss. The meeting was adjourned at 11:00 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