Indian River County Hospital District

Special Meeting: May 4, 2023

Indian River County Hospital District Conference Room/ Zoom
May 4, 2023

TRUSTEES: Marybeth Cunningham Barb Bodnar
Michael Kint Paul Westcott
William Cooney, M.D. Kerry Bartlett
Karen Deigl

ZOOM: Laurie Huebner Ann Marie McCrystal

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

ATTENDEES: Carrie Lester Jill Amos
Kyleigh Savoie

Convene Meeting – Marybeth Cunningham, Chairwoman

Mrs. Cunningham convened the special meeting of the IRCHD Board of Trustees at 10:00 AM by welcoming those participating via Zoom and in person.

FY 23-24 Budget Funding Request Presentation- Substance Awareness Center: Carrie Lester, Executive Director

Ms. Lester prepared a PowerPoint presentation for the Trustees which outlined the three new programs she was requesting funding for in the upcoming fiscal year. She began her presentation by providing a brief history of the Substance Awareness Center (“SAC”) and their mission which is to reduce the impact of substance misuse and behavioral health disorders in Indian River County through prevention, education, treatment and recovery support. She also provided a review of the programs and services offered through SAC which include day treatment, outpatient treatment, recovery assistance, medication assistance, peer support and overdose prevention. Next, she discussed their first new request which was for the Adolescent Outpatient Treatment and provided some data outlining the increased level of acuity in the youth they are serving in the prevention program. She explained that the adolescent outpatient substance abuse treatment program is designed to meet the needs of adolescents and their families who have undergone the screening and assessment process and who have been deemed medically and clinically appropriate to benefit from outpatient services. Historically, SAC’s prevention programming focused on adolescents, and the treatment programming has focused on adults; however, based on reports of daily substance use and positive drug screens in their prevention program and lack of any licensed adolescent substance abuse treatment program in the county, they are seeking funding to support adding licensed outpatient substance abuse treatment for adolescents. Additionally, for many families, a referral to DATA (Drug Abuse Treatment Association) outpatient program for their adolescent, often means travel to Fort Pierce, which becomes a barrier to some and this program would provide much needed access to services right here in Indian River County. Ms. Lester stated that the total request for funding was $65,000 and that metrics and outcomes would be tracked for the program.

Next, she discussed the funding request for SAFIR (“Substance Abuse Free Indian River”) which is a community substance abuse prevention coalition that falls under SAC’s Prevention Works strategy. They are seeking funding to support two campaign messages the SAFIR Coalition focuses on: “One Pill Can Kill” and “Talk. They Hear You.” She explained that One Pill Can Kill is a Drug Enforcement Agency campaign to help educate the community of the dangers related to fentanyl and illicit pill manufacturing and distribution. Talk. They Hear You is a SAMHSA (“Substance Abuse Mental Health Service Agency”) campaign that reminds parents/caregivers/adults to start the conversation (as early as age 9) about the dangers of substance use. The campaign promotes this messaging in the community and provides resources for starting the conversation and continuing the conversation with youth. The Coalition seeks to expand and maintain these campaign messages through the Go Line Bus wraps and the total request for funding is $34,000.

Lastly, Ms. Savoie provided a review of the funding request for the Communities That Care initiative. She stated that the Substance Awareness Center, in collaboration with the Executive Roundtable of Indian River County, is the lead agency for implementing Communities That Care (CTC) Indian River. CTC is a prevention system that gives communities the tools to address adolescent health and behavioral problems through a focus on empirically identified risk and protective factors. Next, she discussed the implementation of CTC which is organized into five stages, each with its own set of benchmarks. Currently they are in Phase 2, key leader training and orientation, and have a committee key leader board of 35 individuals and have populated the community board with 29 members. They estimate that the initiative will be completed by August 2024, and research shows that communities that participated in this work have 35% better health outcomes over a 5–10-year period. The total request for funding is $15,000 which is primarily for coaching and salary costs.

Discussion and Review of Executive Director Job Description- Laurie Huebner & Board of Trustees

Ms. Huebner addressed the board and stated that she has spoken with all of the Trustees except for Ms. Bondar and has had discussion with them surrounding the process. However, she has not received much feedback concerning the job description due to the fact that some of the Trustees did not have the opportunity to review the meeting materials prior to their discussion. The feedback she did receive focused on lifting up the job description to include more strategic thinking, additional skills, experience and qualifications, along with development of goals and action steps to fulfill the strategic plan. Additionally, they would like someone who is an independent thinker and strategic partner, who will be proactive and help guide the Trustees, while supporting the board and their vision. There was also discussion surrounding the additional qualification of holding a masters degree or advanced degree, which the Trustees agreed was not required but preferred. Further, the Trustees all agreed that the District needs a strong leader who has a ‘boots on the ground’ presence within the community. There was further Trustee discussion surrounding the job description and moving some items around to provide a more cohesive structure, along with strengthening language relative to the leadership qualities for which they are looking. Mr. Westcott stated that he would like to see the boundaries of the ED more clearly defined and wants to make sure the new ED is clear with taking direction from the board and executing the same.

Next there was discussion surrounding the timeline for the process and how Ms. Huebner will post the job, review the applicants, and the interview process. Ms. Huebner indicated that she expects the process to take 10-12 weeks, but due to the nature of the process being subject to the Sunshine Law and board structure, it could require additional time. There was Trustee discussion surrounding how information concerning the applicants would be provided to the Trustees and Ms. Bartlett indicated that she would like to review all of the applications, not just the finalist that Ms. Huebner chooses. It was also discussed that the job posting would need to include language stating that this process is public and subject to the requirements of the Sunshine Law. The Trustees also agreed to hold individual Trustee interviews with each of the final candidates. Ms. Deigl recommended that Ms. Huebner speak with the HR director at the IR County Commissioner office, to gain insight as to how they conducted their search for a new County Administrator. The Trustees felt that it was important to assure that this is a public process and discussed how best to keep the public informed during the search. There was recommendation to hold a meet and greet with the finalists and the public, which would provide the Trustees with an opportunity to see how the applicants conducted themselves in a public setting. There was also discussion concerning the salary and benefits package, which the Trustees agreed was an appropriate range for the position. Therefore, based on today’s discussion Ms. Huebner indicated that she would make the recommended updates to the job description and process for the Trustees to review and approve at their next meeting.

Other Business

Ms. Bartlett stated that she attended the last Mental Health Court Task Force meeting and continues to be impressed with the work and collaboration that the group is putting forth. They are finalizing the funding application to the District and continue to move forward in a positive direction.

Ms. Frederick provided the Trustees with an update concerning the FY 23-24 budget process. She stated that the funding request summaries are almost complete and she will be preparing a binder which will include all the summaries for the Trustee’s review, and will provide the same to them at the next meeting on the 17th. Additionally, it was discussed that the Trustee would like to receive a scoring matrix, so they are able to score each funding request, and know which agency requests may need additional discussion or follow up.

Public Comment & Adjourn-

There was no public comment and 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