Indian River County Hospital District

Regular Monthly Meeting Minutes: August 19, 2020



Indian River County Hospital District

August 19, 2020

10:00 AM

TRUSTEES:                             Marybeth Cunningham             Michael Weiss

Ann Marie McCrystal               Barbara Bodnar

Allen Jones                              Tracey Zudans

Karen Deigl


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 provided an update concerning the number of COVID patients currently at the hospital. There are currently 13 patients being hospitalized, four of whom are in ICU. She further explained that Governor DeSantis’ has extended Executive Order 20-69, which allows the District to meet virtually without a physical quorum through October. This will include the District’s budget hearings which will take place on September 10th and 17th.  She asked the Trustees to confirm that they are still in agreement with meeting via Zoom, which all voted in favor to continue that process. Lastly, she suggested that the Trustees hold their regular monthly meeting for September immediately after the final budget hearing which is scheduled to begin at 5:01 PM. The Trustees agreed to her recommendation.


Roberts Rules of Order Review- Jennifer Peshke, Esq.

Mrs. Peshke prepared a presentation of Roberts Rules of Order in accordance with the Districts board meetings. She reviewed specific items such as making amended motions or table motions, along with questions and voting procedures. Additionally, she reviewed protocol for abstaining from a vote. There was Trustee discussion and they thanked her for preparing this information


COVID-19 Special Funding Request- Action Required

Mrs. Suriano stated that the District received two special funding requests related to COVID-19, for the Trustees to review and consider. Representatives from those agencies were present at the meeting to discuss the same and answer any questions.

Mr. Bach from the VNA addressed the board and reviewed the special funding request from the VNA. The total amount of the request is $92,402.90, which will be reimbursement for PPE items already purchased by the VNA. This is a separate request from the $11,523.07 funding request for the mobile unit, that was approved back in June.  Dr. Weiss asked if the VNA researched the cost of these items before they were purchased to find the best value, and Mr. Bach indicated they had. Mrs. Deigl asked if the VNA had received funding for PPE from the EOC. Ms. Orton stated that the VNA received funding from the EOC in March for PPE, but the items purchased have already been utilized and the funding has been spent. There was further Trustee discussion concerning the approval of this request and the fear that multiple other agencies would approach the District looking for COVID-19 related funding. The board agreed that they need to be mindful of these requests as these are unprecedented times, but must keep their fiduciary responsibility to the tax payer in mind. Mrs. Cunningham asked for a motion to approve which was made by Mr. Jones. Dr. Weiss seconded the motion, which passed unanimously. Mrs. Bodnar and Mrs. Zudans said that they would agree to approve this as a one-time request.

Mr. Webb addressed the board and stated that he was participating in today’s meeting on behalf of Ms. Angelia Perry, who was unable to attend. The Gifford Youth Achievement Center is requesting $5,699 for the purchase of 100 sneeze guard desk shields for the after-school program students. He explained that the desk shields add an extra layer of protection for students and teachers. The shields will be utilized along with other recommended CDC guidelines. There was Trustee discussion concerning the request and some Trustees felt that this request was outside the scope of District funding. Mr. Jones stated that he believes the District should support this request as the GYAC serves a more vulnerable population that is more likely to be affected by the virus. Mrs. Zudans stated that this request should be supported by philanthropic dollars or the county. Mrs. Suriano stated that all county support dollars through the CARES act have already been allocated, and that they are not funding requests for PPE. The United Way has also ceased funding requests for PPE as well. Mrs. McCrystal made the motion to approve the request, which was seconded by Mr. Jones. The motion carried 4-3, with Bodnar, Zudans, and Weiss in opposition.


Action Agenda Items & Agency Equipment Funding Request Policies- Michael Weiss, Vice Chair


Dr. Weiss stated that he would like the District to write and adopt a policy concerning funding requests made to the District for equipment which exceed $1,000 in value. The policy would require the requesting agency to conduct a competitive bidding process for the equipment being purchased and submit the same to the District for review. He does not feel the District should support the purchase of equipment without this policy in place moving forward. There was further Trustee discussion surrounding this recommendation. The other Trustees felt it was not in the District authority to dictate how agencies conduct their purchasing of equipment. They also believed that most agencies have their own bidding and purchasing policies in place regarding the same. It was recommended by Mrs. Suriano that the District add language to the District Funding Application which states that any agencies requesting funding for equipment must provide a copy or proof of their bidding policy when purchasing equipment. The Trustees agreed with this recommendation.


FY 20-21 Budget Discussion- Ann Marie Suriano, Executive Director


Mrs. Suriano stated that a few Trustees submitted additional comments and recommendations concerning the fiscal year 20-21 budget after the last budget discussion. She instructed Ms. Voss to prepare a memo outlining the same for the Trustees review and consideration. She further explained that the District will hold its tentative and final budget hearings next month on September 10th and 17th. Those meetings will take place via Zoom and begin at 5:01 PM. The public will have an opportunity to speak at both of those hearings.  She stated that with the uncertainty due to COVID and the unknown of who this will affect in the community long term, she asked the Trustees to consider this when adopting the new budget. She also stated that the District taxable value has increased by $1 million and this does not constitute an increase in taxes, to the tax payer. The .8011 millage rate currently being proposed equals $160 expense to the taxpayer, for a median house value of $200,000.

Mr. Jones addressed the board and stated that he has worked with Mrs. Suriano on the proposed budget and has come to the following recommendation. If all agencies are funded at their full request and the Districts does not add additional reserves, the District could adopt the roll back rate of .7759. In doing this the District would still be able to support all funded agencies, while also providing a reduction in taxes to the residents.


Mrs. Zudans stated that she agrees with Mr. Jones comments and would like to adopt the roll back rate. She believes some requests included within the budget are mission creep from the District’s true mission and fall outside the District’s purview. She also addressed her concerns surrounding the requests from Tykes & Teens, Phoenix Rising, and We Care. The Board discussed that this would be the last year they would fund We Care at this level, unless they were given concrete data showing their impact on the community. They further agreed to remove the $9,000 for CPAP equipment that was originally budgeted for We Care. Mrs. Stuven from the We Care Foundation addressed the board and stated that over the next year, We Care will be working on updating its Strategic Plan and vision for future operations. She thanked the District for their support and is optimistic that they will be able to provide the information that the District is looking for moving forward. Additionaly, Mr. Barnaby from Phoenix Rising addressed the group and clarified some questions from Trustees regarding their funding request. Mrs. Soule of TCCH and Ms. Guzenski of MHA spoke highly of the work Mr. Barnaby does through Phoenix Rising and stated that his agency provides a desperately needed service in Indian River County. Lastly, he discussed the various accreditations they are in the process of obtaining which will require them to meet certain metrics and will be an additional way to track their progress and effectiveness within in the community. Mrs. Frederick stated that she has followed up with Trustees’ questions regarding Tykes and Teens and stated that she would provide further follow up if requested. Mrs. Zudans stated she would like a better explanation of the charges and that their request could be funded through the School District. Mrs. Frederick stated that she would put something together for the Trustees. The Trustees had further discussion surrounding the budget and Mrs. Bodnar and Mrs. Zudans were in agreement with Mr. Jones to adopt the rollback rate of .7759. Mrs. Cunningham, Mrs. Deigl, and Mrs. McCrystal felt that the District should maintain the current millage rate of .8011, which would allow the District to have additional reserves that may be needed for unforeseen expenses due to COVID-19.  Dr. Weiss was disconnected from the call but had a subsequent discussion with Mrs. Suriano and he stated that he was in favor of keeping the millage at .8011.




There was no public comment. Mrs. McCrystal made the motion to adjourn which was seconded by Ms. Deigl. The meeting was adjourned at 12:00 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