1. What are the major pros and cons of privatizing Sarasota Memorial Hospital and what is your position?
Sarasota Memorial Hospital was founded in 1924. In 1948 enabling legislation was passed by the Florida legislature to establish public ownership of the hospital to be governed by an unpaid, nine person board elected from the citizens of Sarasota County. I support the continued public ownership of SMH. I believe public ownership ensures the very best medical care for the most people in our county. I do not see any major pros of privatizing Sarasota Memorial Hospital.
2. Regarding the expansion of Sarasota Memorial Hospital: please expand upon why you agree or disagree with the current expansion?
I support the current expansion of Sarasota Memorial Hospital into Venice and the North Port area. I also support the establishment of the 5 Urgent Care Centers strategically placed around the county to provide convenient delivery of health care to our citizens. The expansion of rehab services with the new rehab hospital now under construction will expand those services as well. Finally the building of a continuity clinic in Newtown is an appropriate expansion of services to this under served market.
3. How would you like future expansion to proceed?
We should always be open to new opportunities to deliver the very best health care to the citizens of Sarasota County. Future expansion should be undertaken after careful study and thorough deliberation by the board.
4. The failure of the State of Florida to expand Medicaid increases the hospital's uncompensated costs. What is your position on accepting the Federal Medicaid Funds?
The decision to accept or not accept Federal Medicaid Funds is the responsibility of state government, not the Sarasota Memorial Hospital Board.
5. Moral and financial reasons for accepting Federal Medicaid Funds which were presented to the past Legislature did not work. How can the taxpayers encourage the Legislature to accept the federal Medicaid funds?
Taxpayers should contact their state representatives and state senators and express their opinions.
6. Mental health services are currently poorly funded; the low income working poor and some elders could benefit from the expansion of the federal Medicaid funds. How do you feel the hospital can be instrumental in providing the proposed expansion of mental health services that may be funded under the Affordable Care Act?
As a safety net hospital Sarasota Memorial has extensive psychiatric services. Since the closing of the G. Pierce Wood hospital in Arcadia we have seen a continued increase of the need for mental health services in our county. I support the additional funding for mental health services in our county.