Indian River County Hospital District

Regular Monthly Meeting: March 16, 2023

County Commissioner Chambers/ Zoom
March 16, 2023 @ 4:00 PM

TRUSTEES: Karen Deigl (via Zoom) William Cooney, M.D.
Marybeth Cunningham Paul Westcott
Michael Kint Barb Bodnar

ABSENT: Kerry Bartlett

STAFF: Kate Voss Jennifer Frederick
Ann Marie Suriano Sebastian Dimaio

ZOOM: Ann Marie McCrystal Lauren Meeks

ATTENDEES: Cecelia Stalnaker Liz Bruner
Carrie Lester Jill Amos
Wes Sammons Wilford Hart

Convene Meeting, Invocation, Pledge & Consent Agenda– Marybeth Cunningham, Chair

Ms. Cunningham convened the regular monthly meeting of the IRCHD at 4:00 PM. Pastor Joe Moore, Rivers of Living Water Rhema Word Ministries provided the invocation and Ms. Cunningham led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance. Ms. Cunningham asked for a motion to approve the February meeting minutes and the March disbursement of $950,903.15. Ms. Bodnar made the motion to approve which was seconded by Dr. Cooney. The motion carried unanimously.

District Counsel Report- Sebastian Dimaio, Esq.

Mr. Dimaio addressed the board and provided an update concerning the items their office has been working on over the last month which included the matters with the Cleveland Clinic and their future use of the Human Services Building and the parcel at 82nd Ave. They will provide further update when more information is received.

Financial Statement Review- Michael Kint, Treasurer

Mr. Kint provided a review of the financial statement ending February 28, 2023. He stated that program and administrative expenses were below budget and that there are three programs that the District has not expensed any funding to which included iRecovery; Whole Family Health Center med management; and New Horizons psychosocial rehab/in patient crisis bed. Ms. Suriano spoke to this matter and stated that while iRecovery is providing services, they have been unable to find uninsured Indian River County residents who meet their program criteria. They plan on working with the Connections Center to further spread the word of their services. She further explained that the medication management allocation is billed semi annually from Whole Family Health Center. Additionally, District staff has had some discussions with New Horizons concerning their low volumes and non-utilization of the requested funding for the current fiscal year and this matter is ongoing and being monitored. Lastly, Mr. Kint stated that the District heard a presentation from their investment firm Deep Blue, which was informative and productive. He further stated that in addition to the investments with Deep Blue there is approximately $5.5 million in T-bills that are through Treasury Direct. Those bills are set to mature between May-December of this year.

Executive Director Report- Ann Marie Suriano, Executive Director

Ms. Suriano provided her report and stated that she continues to be involved with the communities that care initiative that is administered by the executive round table and the Substance Awareness Center. Next, she discussed a House Bill currently being considered in this legislative session and the potential impact it may have on the District. She explained House Bill 199 discusses conflicting employment or contractual relationships for public officers, which could affect a few of the Trustees who currently sit on the board. Also, the bill calls for the implementation of 4 hours of ethics training annually. The District staff is tracking the bill and will provide further updates when they become available. Next, she informed the board that the new ordinance for the Childrens Advisory Committee went into effect this year and the District has a voting representative on their committee, which she currently fills. She is hopeful that she will be able to participate in a new member orientation to learn more about the committee. Ms. Cunningham added that the District received notice from the VNA requesting an extension of their notice of vacate through June and she asked if there were any Trustee objections to the request. Mr. Westcott made a motion to accept their request which was seconded by Mr. Kint. The motion carried unanimously.

Funded Agency Semi Annual Report –
Senior Resource Association- Liz Bruner, VP of Philanthropy

Ms. Bruner addressed the board and provided the Trustees with an update concerning SRA, and their programs the District supports. She began by discussing the emergency alert system program and stated that with their partnership with ADT, they can offer 24/7 electronic in-home monitoring to homebound seniors. The program began with 50 slots, and they have quickly filled those and with the Districts grant funding, they have been able to add an additional 75 slots. This program brings life saving technology of emergency alert response services to the most vulnerable in the community. Next she discussed the public guardianship program which provides guardianship services to adults in IRC who lack the capacity to make their own decisions and/or adequately able to care for themselves. Since 2019, when they took ownership of the program they have tripled the number they serve annually and expect to hit their goal of 40 wards by the end of the year. She then discussed the home delivery program which includes Meals on Wheels and Emergency Meals on Wheels. She stated that that the waitlist continues to grow and there are currently 297 individuals on the list. There was Trustee discussion concerning the waitlist and what is the barrier which is keeping them from serving more individuals. Ms. Bruner explained that funding is the main reason they are unable to serve more individuals and that if they acquired additional funding, they do have the capacity to purchase more meals and utilized additional volunteers to provide the service. After further discussion, the Trustees stated that they would be open to reviewing a funding request to support the waitlist. Ms. Bruner thanked the Trustees and stated that they would put together a proposal for their consideration for this next funding cycle.

Substance Awareness Center- Carrie Lester, Executive Director

Ms. Lester addressed the board and introduced Jill Amos who is the centers Clinical Director. Board member Wilford Hart was also in attendance for today’s presentation. She explained that since there are new Trustees on the board, she would like to provide an overview of Substance Awareness Center (“SAC”) and the programs they provide which the District supports. She began by stating that the mission of SAC is to reduce the impact of substance misuse and behavioral health disorders in Indian River County, through prevention, education, treatment, and recovery support. She stated that the District funds programs that support both prevention and recovery work. She discussed their Universal Prevention program which they implement through their partnership with the IRC School District. The program utilizes evidence-based curricula and well-trained prevention specialists under the direction of the centers Clinical Director. They currently provide evidence-based substance abuse and behavioral health prevention programs to all school district students in grades 6th-9th. They also recently visited the classrooms of 5th graders to discuss vaping, which has become an increased issue for the youth. She further stated that 349 vapes were confiscated so far this school year and 24% of those tested positive for THC. Next, she discussed their peer support and recovery assistance program. Ms. Lester explained that peers work within the community to provide education, outreach, and engagement support, and have formal programming sites at the IR County Jail, Camp Haven, The Source, and the CCIRH BHC. She also discussed their initiative with Narcan training which has become a crucial component to reversing the effects of an opioid overdose. This year already 100,000 people have died nationally from an opioid overdose and in 2021-2022 there was 70% increase in the number of calls to EMS concerning overdoses in Indian River County. There was also a 70% increase in the death rate. Indian River County also has high higher rates than the neighboring St. Lucie and Martin Counties. Next there was a discussion surrounding detox services and how SAC connects individuals to those services. Mr. Westcott discussed the pending opioid dollars that our county is set to receive and if SAC is able to access any of those funds. Ms. Lester stated that those funds will be given to the managing entity which is the county commission, and then community organization are able to submit proposal requesting funds to support their initiatives. Mr. Westcott stated that he would like to see the District work with local government in decision of distributing those funds. Ms. Lester stated that having a better continuum of care with detox, residential and step down treatment would benefit the community greatly and she is hopeful some of the funding will be allocated to that initiative. Lastly, she discussed their Community Reinforcement and Family Training (“CRAFT”) program which helps support the families of loved ones with substance use and or co-occurring disorders. The program will include education, support, and skills training to families of persons with substance use disorder, targeting the families/parents of those with opioid use disorder.

Other Business

Dr. Cooney stated that the Trustees were provided with a proposal from CareFlo and asked if there were going to be a subsequent group discussion on the same. Ms. Suriano indicated that she invited Jad Shalhoub to the Chairman’s meeting in April to discuss the proposal and answer any questions, the Trustees may have.

Public Comment/Adjourn

There was no 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