+ Sarasota Memorial Hospital CEO resigns
Gwen MacKenzie, CEO and president of Sarasota Memorial Hospital Healthcare System, will leave her position at the end of May.
MacKenzie, hired by Sarasota Memorial in 2005, is taking a position with Ascension Health, the country’s largest Catholic and nonprofit health system. MacKenzie will return to her home state and assume executive oversight of the organization’s Michigan Ministries, SMH announced in a release Wednesday.
“Sarasota Memorial is a very special organization with outstanding doctors and staff, and it’s been an honor to serve this community,” MacKenzie said in the release.
The Sarasota County Public Hospital Board appointed Sarasota Memorial Chief Operating Officer David Verinder as interim CEO. Marguerite Malone, chairwoman of the public hospital board, said the group was optimistic as it begins a nationwide search for MacKenzie’s successor.
“Thanks to Gwen’s outstanding leadership and vision, she is leaving Sarasota Memorial in an exceptionally strong position, from both a quality and financial perspective,” Malone said.
+ Homeless shelter site selection inches forward
A proposed downtown homeless shelter might have an address in two months.
At a joint meeting Tuesday, the Sarasota City Commission and County Commission both passed measures requiring the completed analysis of the two remaining viable sites for the shelter within 60 days. The two commissions agreed to meet for another joint meeting to discuss the results of the completed studies and, presumably, make a final decision on the site.
Tuesday’s joint meeting focused on the results of preliminary feasibility studies on the two primary location options for the shelter, at 1330 N. Osprey Ave. and 1800 N. East Ave., which homelessness expert Dr. Robert Marbut and County Director of Homeless Services Wayne Applebee identified as the primary options for a proposed downtown shelter last year.
Potential problems with the East Avenue site include existing buildings on the site, utilities that would need to be adapted and negotiations that would have to occur with the site’s current condominium association. The Osprey Avenue site was considered potentially cost-prohibitive due to equipment and vehicles the city stores there, which would have to be relocated.“I agree to moving forward to looking at both these sites,” Sarasota Mayor Shannon Snyder said. “Straightening out 1330 will probably be a little expensive … but let’s get a decision here in the next 60 days.”
Sarasota County Criminal Justice Commission — Noon April 28, at the County Administration Center, 1660 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota.
Sarasota County Commission Workshop — 9 a.m. April 29, at the County Administration Center, 1660 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota.
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29 Light Up Siesta Village and Holiday Parade
5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
30 Advent Procession
3 Rachel's Challenge Anti-Bullying Event hosted by The Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
4 Ringling Holiday Splendor
5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
The gift of music
Riverview High School received a donation of $5,000 during a break in the Kiltie Band Fall concert on Nov. 20.
Coming together for the community
All Faiths Food Bank called on volunteers to help distribute 7,000 Thanksgiving dinners Saturday.
Observer on the hunt for displays
We’re making our list of the best holiday lights displays in Sarasota and checking it twice.