8 candidates vying for 4 seats on the Sarasota County Public Hospital Board of Directors

Eight candidates are vying for four seats on the board of directors of the Sarasota County Public Hospital, the governing body of the Sarasota Memorial health care system.

Four Republican incumbents are being challenged by three Democrats and one non-party candidate for four-year terms on the board.

The Sarasota Memorial Hospital, an 839-bed regional medical center, ranks among the largest public health systems in Florida. Its staff of nearly 7,000 makes it the largest employer in Sarasota County.

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The primary responsibilities of the nine members of the hospital board include financial oversight, quality oversight, strategic direction setting / mission oversight, self-assessment and development, management oversight, compliance oversight and advocacy.

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The main issues facing the hospital include the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on finances, the expansion in Venice with a new hospital, and the creation of the Cancer Institute which will include an eight-story oncology tower on the main campus, scheduled to open in 2021, and a recently opened outpatient radiation oncology center on University Parkway.

Council members are unpaid and are elected throughout the county. District members must live in one of the three regions they represent, while members at large can reside anywhere in the county.

At-large Seat 1

Incumbent Sharon Wetzler DePeters faces Everett “Bud” Weber for that headquarters.

DePeters, a Republican, is a graduate practice nurse in advanced practice, according to the hospital’s website. She recently retired after 12 years as an associate professor at the State College of Florida Manatee-Sarasota in the Associate Science in Nursing program. She currently works as a research coordinator at the Sarasota Cardiovascular Center and has also been a long-time volunteer with the Medical Reserve Corps of Sarasota. She spent 21 years as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, retiring as a major, and was stationed at Andrews Air Force Base, where she served in the Hall operation, the post-anesthesia recovery unit and the intensive care unit. She also served in the surgical intensive care unit at VA Medical Center in Buffalo, New York. She received her BS in Nursing and MS in Nursing from State University of New York at Buffalo.

Weber, who does not indicate any party affiliation, holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in hospital and health administration and has held several nonprofit hospital administrative positions, according to his biography with the League. women voters in Sarasota. County. Before retiring in 2006, he served as president and CEO for 25 years at a community hospital in Ohio, where construction projects included a tower for patients, a service building, an addition of surgeries. and an emergency services facility with a helipad. This hospital has also developed physician offices, a practice management company, and a sustainable medical equipment service center. His duties on the board of directors included positions with the Ohio Hospital Association, including its board of directors, and a number of community councils in Ohio.

At-large Seat 2

Incumbent Tramm Hudson is challenged by Laurie J. Kreindler for an overall seat.

Hudson, a Republican, is a retired Sarasota banker and retired U.S. Army officer who served as president of the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, trustee of Manatee Community College, president of the Out-of- Door Academy, Chairman of the Committee of 100, Chairman of The Glenridge at Palmer Ranch Retirement Community and a member of the boards of directors of United Way and the Sarasota Family YMCA. He was also chairman of the Sarasota County Republican Party. In 2005, he was president of Workforce Florida. He graduated from Vanderbilt University as a Distinguished Military Grad, served as a cavalry officer in Germany, and continued in the Army Reserves, retiring as a lieutenant colonel. He received his MBA from Emory University.

Kreindler, a Democrat, created an award-winning documentary film company and co-founded IAT, an education company that went on to become the largest publisher of National Science-funded STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) K-12 Foundation, and science programs, according to her biographical information from the League of Voters. These IAT programs are used by millions of students around the world. As CEO, she was responsible for strategic direction: identifying trends, opportunities, and pathways to success, drafting and delivering private and federal grants, exceeding financial goals, and nurturing corporate culture.

At-large Seat 3

This race opposes the holder Britt Riner to Finolia Idahosa.

Riner, a Republican, is president of Liber Consulting, which provides strategic planning, marketing and organizational design consulting services for nonprofit and for-profit entities, her hospital bio says. His previous professional experiences include process improvement consulting for K12 Inc.; consulting for the US Army and US Air Force while working at Booz Allen Hamilton; and healthcare best practice research for the Advisory Board Co. The Pine View School graduate earned a master’s degree in political, organizational and leadership studies from Stanford University, as well as a BA in History and Spanish with a Certificate in Health Policy from Duke University. She is also chair of the board of directors of the Sarasota County Education Foundation and past chair of the Junior League of Sarasota.

Idahosa, a Democrat, has worked in health care for many years, says her biography with the League of Women Voters. She holds a doctorate in foreign medicine with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and is currently studying for an MBA at the University of the Everglades in Sarasota. She is CEO of Safe & Guard Home Health Care in Venice, which covers Desoto, Collier, Charlotte and Sarasota counties.

Central District Headquarters 1

Incumbent Sarah Lodge faces Vicki Lynn Nighswander for the Central District headquarters.

Lodge, a Republican, is a Certified Financial Planner and Senior Vice President of RBC Wealth Management in Sarasota, with extensive experience in long-term strategic planning and financial problem solving, according to her hospital bio. She holds a Bachelor of Health Sciences from the University of Florida. She is the current president of the Rotary Club of Sarasota Foundation, has served in leadership positions for other local civic organizations and has been named Rotarian of the Year 2019 by the Rotary Club of Sarasota. She said she has worked closely with the Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation in its efforts to support essential hospital services and programs.

Nighswander, a Democrat, has spent 26 years in public health, mostly in supervisory positions, she told the League of Women Voters. Early in her career, she developed and led a mosquito education, surveillance and control program in response to an encephalitis outbreak. She holds a bachelor’s degree in biology, a MAT in secondary sciences and an MPH in health behavior / health education with a minor in administration. She won a grant to fight the increase in infant mortality in the international population. She was the first HIV / STD Clinic and Program Supervisor / Coordinator in Washtenaw County, Michigan. She has also served as chair of regional planning and a member of several state HIV committees.


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