Indian River County Hospital District

Regular Monthly Meeting: December 19, 2019

Regular Monthly Meeting Minutes
December 19, 2019 at 5:00 PM

TRUSTEES: Marybeth Cunningham Allen Jones
Ann Marie McCrystal Tracey Zudans

ABSENT: Michael Weiss Karen Deigl
Barb Bodnar

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

OTHER ATTENDEES: Kristen Crocker Andrea Berry
Elisabeth Bublitz Lundy Fields
Pat Knipper Cheryl Martinez

Convene Meeting – Marybeth Cunningham, Chair

Ms. Cunningham convened the regular monthly meeting of the IRCHD at 5:00 PM by welcoming those in attendance. Ms. Zudans provided the invocation and led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Consent Agenda- Marybeth Cunningham, Chair

Ms. Cunningham asked for a motion to approve the, Chairman’s meeting minutes dated November 20, regular monthly meeting minutes dated November 21, and a monthly disbursement of $1,107,494.81. Ms. McCrystal made the motion to approve, which was seconded by Ms. Zudans. The motion carried unanimously.

Ms. Cunningham stated that as the year comes to a close, the District had a successful and productive year. Cleveland Clinic completed its first year since the transition and the Gifford Health Center also had a successful transition under the leadership of TCCH.

District Counsel Report – Jennifer D. Peshke, Esq.

Ms. Peshke stated that following the approval to move forward with the process of investing the District’s surplus funds, she has reviewed all related documents associated with Water Walker, the proposed company Mr. Jones and Ms. Suriano recommended. Additionally, she met with the board to complete the District’s annual compensation committee meeting regarding the District staff.

Financial Statement Review – Allen Jones, Treasurer

Mr. Jones provided the financial statement review and stated that the District accounts hold a little less than $8.5 million and have begun to receive tax revenues from the property tax proceeds. On November 27, the District transferred $5 million into the investment account with Water Walker and within a few days, it accrued approximately $900. He explained that the local Seacoast bank account will maintain a balance of $1-2 million for District office operating expenses. Additionally, it was brought to the attention of Mr. Jones that Water Walker has now merged with a national investment firm and he and Ms. Suriano are reviewing the terms of this agreement, to verify they maintain compliance with state funds investing regulations.

Executive Director- Ann Marie Suriano

Ms. Suriano stated that Ms. Frederick has been accepted to the Indian River County Leadership program and will begin this opportunity in January. Additionally, she stated that the Mental Health First Aid class being offered to the Trustees, will take place on February 7th, and she has invited some of the District funded agencies to participate in this class as well.

Funded Agencies Quarterly Report-

Healthy Start Coalition- Elisabeth Bublitz

Ms. Bublitz introduced the Healthy Start staff members present for today’s presentation and provided a review of Healthy Start’s mission and vision statement. She announced that the infant mortality rate for Indian River County is at zero, for the first time in 20 years. She further discussed Presumptive Eligibility for Pregnant Women (“PEPW”) which allows pregnant women to receive temporary Medicaid coverage for prenatal care for up to 45 days. They are working with Cleveland Clinic to form additional partnerships for support of the same. She also discussed data relative to fetal and infant mortality for the county. Additionally, Ms. Crocker and Ms. Martinez provided an update concerning the Nurse Home Visitation and Nurse Family Partnership programs, respectively. Lastly, Ms. Berry asked if a District Trustee would be willing to serve on the FIMR Healthy Start Community Action Committee, now being formed. She stated she would contact Ms. Suriano to provide her with more information.

VNA- Pat Knipper, Director, Strategic Alliances and Special Projects

Mr. Fields informed the Trustees that Ms. Knipper has been appointed as the VNA’s Director of Strategic Alliances and Special Projects. Her work over the past year has been unparalleled and her compassion for the community is shown through her continued efforts to work collaboratively with other agencies in Indian River county. Ms. Knipper provided her report by reviewing data concerning the VNA’s areas of service that the District funds. She stated that there has been a 17% decrease in District qualified Home Health visits from 2018 and contributed this decrease to VNA finding additional funding sources for this service area. She further reviewed data concerning the Vulnerable Village initiative and mobile unit. She informed the Trustees that the VNA has hired a part time employee with a Ph.D., to help assist her with data collection and interviews on the mobile unit. The funding of this position was made possible through a donor grant and will help better assist patients on the unit. Lastly, she stated that they have been working collaboratively with Whole Family Health center and have enrolled two of their patients into the positive change program. She explained that the positive change program continues to show success and has assisted many participants in reaching their health and lifestyle goals.

Public Comment- There was no public comment.

Adjourn- The meeting was adjourned at 6:00 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