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Sarasota Hospital Board Central District, Seat 2: Joseph J. DeVirgilio Jr.

Meet the candidate.

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Explain what you believe to be the fundamental role of government?

Not applicable.


Explain what you believe to be the essential role of the hospital board?  

The hospital board’s role is to select the CEO and periodically evaluate his/her performance; review and approve the hospital system’s strategic plan and annual capital and operating budgets; and provide feedback to the CEO on our perspective of the community healthcare needs. 


When you are legislating and creating policies, which of the following would take precedence over the other: the individual or the collective “common good”? Why?

The Sarasota County collective good. Since the hospital system charter is for service to the county, that must be our focus.  And I strongly support the service to all my neighbors.


Why are you running for office?

I believe my experience as a former corporate executive and hospital and not-for-profit board member brings a unique set of demonstrated skills to bear on the board deliberations and oversight of the executive management team.


What issues or concerns would you advocate that the hospital board and SMH Healthcare management set as top priorities? Why?

I believe the hospital system should continue to expand access to its world-class healthcare to all residents of Sarasota County.  

To this end it should continue its work in building a replacement mental health hospital and adding additional hospital beds and an expanded emergency care facilities at its Venice hospital and begin the planning and design work for a hospital in North Port. 

All of these improvements and expansion of care must be completed without any deterioration in the quality of care.


What needs to change at SMH Healthcare?

Continuing to seek more efficient and effective ways to bring healthcare services to the underserved population.  

Past successful initiatives are the Newtown family medicine office, the community healthcare clinic and the standalone ER in North Port.


What distinguishes you from your opponent that makes you a better candidate?

My incumbent SMH Board experience since 2013; my previous not-for-profit and hospital board experience; my corporate executive experience, including my 20-plus years of experience in executive compensation and capital and operating budget management.


What experience do you have that would convince voters you would be a good steward and monitor of taxpayer dollars?

My experience noted above. Additionally, with the hospital spending in excess of $200 million a year on charity care and receiving about $90 million in tax revenues, the stewardship experience is evident.


If elected, what will be your guiding principles to determine whether to vote for or against legislation or policies?

I believe SMH should continue to address the needs of the working poor and underprivileged children through its strong financial performance and community focused leadership. 

Additionally, SMH should also focus its efforts to expand its services into underserved areas of Sarasota County.


In general, what role should the government play in the economy?

Not applicable.


Should government subsidize the manufacture of electric cars and/or give tax credits to consumers for buying electric cars? Why? Why not?

Not applicable.


What is your philosophy for taxation? Graduated income tax? Flat income tax? No income tax? Consumption tax? Property tax?

Not applicable.


A right does not impose an obligation on others. Free speech is a right. There is no right to having a car. In that vein, is health care a right?  

I believe that all residents of Sarasota should have access to basic healthcare services.


If you were king, queen or a tyrannical despot in charge of the country, how, if at all, would you amend the U.S. Constitution? Why? 

Not applicable.


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