Indian River County Hospital District

Regular Monthly Meeting: March 18, 2021

County Commissioner Chambers/ Zoom
March 18, 2021 at 4:00 PM

TRUSTEES: Marybeth Cunningham Allen Jones
Ann Marie McCrystal Michael Weiss
Barb Bodnar

ABSENT: Karen Deigl

STAFF: Kate Voss Jennifer Frederick
Jennifer Peshke, Esq.

Convene Meeting – Marybeth Cunningham, Chair

Ms. Cunningham convened the regular monthly meeting of the IRCHD at 4:00 PM by welcoming those in attendance and via Zoom.

Pastor West provided an invocation and Dr. Weiss led the group in the pledge of allegiance.

Consent Agenda- Marybeth Cunningham, Chair

Mrs. Cunningham asked for a motion to approve the chairman’s meeting minutes dated February 17th, regular monthly meeting minutes dated February 18th, and a monthly disbursement of $1,088,029.99. Dr. Weiss made the motion to approve, which was seconded by Mrs. McCrystal. The motion carried unanimously.

District Chairwoman Report- Marybeth Cunningham, Chair

Mrs. Cunningham stated that Kerry Bartlett has been appointed by Governor DeSantis to fill seat one on the District Board of Trustees, which was vacated by Mrs. Zudans. Ms. Bartlett will join the board and participate in the meetings starting in April.

District Counsel Report – Ryne Hartt, Esq.

In Mrs. Peshke’s absence, Mr. Hartt provided the District Counsel report. He stated that they continue to review the annual deadlines and deliverables due to the District under the lease agreement with CCIRH. Additionally, they are actively following the current legislative session for bills related to and that would affect Hospital Districts. Lastly, they are in the process of canceling Mrs. Zudans Trustee bond and will have a new bond issued for the newly appointed Trustee on the board.

Financial Statement Review- Allen Jones, Treasurer

Mr. Jones provided his financial statement review and stated that the District is in sound financial condition. At the end of February, the District has approximately $13.5 million in its accounts. The District projects to spend $8 million during the remainder of the fiscal year in budgeted expenses, which will leave around $5 million left in reserves. Those reserves may be used for any unforeseen expenses that may arise. Lasty, the District is expected to collect an additional $1.8 million in tax revenues by the end of the fiscal year.

Executive Director Report- Ann Marie Suriano, Executive Director

Mrs. Suriano explained that the District is tracking some Florida House and Senate bills relative to the Special District. The bills include matters concerning public meeting notices and in-person quorums for public meetings. Additionally, there is a Senate and accompanying House bill that would require special districts to complete a comprehensive audit every five years, in addition to their yearly financial statement audit. Lastly, over the last year the District has been working with CCIRH to create a memorial garden in memory of Alma Lee Loy. The District plans to hold a small dedication service on the 1-year anniversary of her death in April. The hospital plans to live-stream the event and people are encouraged to participate virtually.

Fetal Infant Mortality Review Report- Andrea Berry, CEO Healthy Start
Funded Agency Report- Substance Awareness Center

Mrs. Berry provided the Trustees with the findings from the Fetal Infant Mortality Review. She reviewed the timeline of the process which took 2 years to complete. This process was conducted through partnerships with Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital, the Health Department and the District. To begin, she discussed the overall birth rates in Indian River County over the last 6 years. As of 2020, the birth rate is just under 1200 births, which has been the average. She also reviewed the current programs offered through Healthy Start within the county and the positive impact they have had on lowering the infant mortality rate over the last three years. She reviewed the top medical causations of infant mortality and the top priority areas they are focusing on to combat this issue. She also shared the development plan to better educate mothers and community members on issues affecting newborns and new moms. Also, they continue to enhance care for women with high-risk pregnancies by sustaining and expanding current Healthy Start programs. Lastly, she discussed the economic impact that the infant mortality rate has on Indian River County. She thanked the Trustees for their financial support in this effort and stated that without the District, this review would not have been possible.

Funded Agency Semi Annual Report- Carrie Lester, Executive Director Substance Awareness Center

Mrs. Lester provided an update to the Trustees concerning the Substance Awareness Center for the first two quarters in the fiscal year. The District provides funding to SAC for their peer outreach and recovery assistance programs, along with medication assistance treatment. She further reviewed the outcome measures associated with those programs. She also discussed the center’s work with overdose prevention training and 20 known overdose reversals have been reported this year. She then introduced Chief Curry of the Vero Beach Police Department and Vice-Chair of SAC Board of Directors, to discuss substance abuse within the city limits. Chief Curry addressed the board and stated that drug overdoses and emergency calls have increased over the previous year and they continue to work collaboratively with SAC to help individuals with recovery. He also discussed the police department’s use of Narcan which has helped to combat those drug overdoses and save lives. Ms. Kathy Jones, who is a SAC certified peer specialist, shared some testimonials from individuals who have completed treatment through SAC. The Trustees thanked Carrie and her team for the important work that they continue to do within the community.

New Business- Phoenix Rising Request for Additional Funding- David Gibbs, Clinical Director

Mr. Gibbs addressed the board and spoke to the work that Phoenix Rising does at providing substance abuse services in Indian River County. He explained that there is an immense need for substance abuse services in the county and that over the past five months they have received an increased number of inquiries for individuals seeking treatment. Currently there are 18 individuals who are qualified under the District’s guidelines and eligible to receive services, but due to lack of funding are unable to be treated. Therefore, they are requesting an additional $200,000 in funding for the remainder of the fiscal year to serve an additional 20-28 clients. The Trustees also heard from Misty Keen, the outreach and intake director at Phoenix Rising, who completed treatment through Phoenix Rising and has been sober almost three years. Mrs. McCrystal asked what other sources of funding they utilize to remain sustainable. Mr. Gibbs stated that as a for-profit entity they rely on clients who self-pay and have insurance. Mrs. McCrystal also inquired as to whether they would be willing to create a foundation or 501-c (3) in order to fundraise. Mr. Michael Marsh stated that Pedro initially formed a foundation which they are now in the process of dissolving. They are now working “Team Success”, who is a not-for-profit entity, in additional fundraising efforts. There was further Trustee discussion and Mrs. Cunningham asked for a motion to approve the additional funding request. Mrs. McCrystal made a motion to approve, which was seconded by Mr. Jones. The motion carried unanimously.



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