Martin Health’s C.E.O. Rob Lord, A Hometown “Game Changer” for the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon

Robert Lord is President and C.E.O. of Martin Health Systems, formally known as Martin Memorial Hospital. “MHS” as it is known for short, is the long time top-employer for Martin County, and a respected and expanding health system.  It has been located in Martin County for 75 years. ( The origianl institution sits along the shores of the St Lucie River, near downtown Stuart and has grown into both south Stuart and St Lucie County. It is a literal “lifeblood” of our communtiy.


I have known and admired the Lord family since my childhood. Bobby Lord, Robert Lord’s father was a local celebrity in Stuart’s early days as he is a County & Western legend. ( )I attended both elementary and middle school, and graduated from Martin County High School in 1982 with Robert’s younger brother, Cabot.

I cannot express how much it meant to me last Thursday to see “Robby” Lord, accomplished attorney, now President and C.E.O. of  Martin Health Systems, in his position of leadership and influence, speak in support for Senate President Joe Negron and Senate Bill 10. A bill intended to purchase land south of Lake Okeechobee for a reservoir to begin what must happen to save our river: “clean and send more water south.”

Having known the Lord family all these years, I have followed Rob’s career, especially as my sister, Jenny,  is physician recruiter, and has served the hospital loyally for almost 20 years.

So, Bravo Rob Lord! You have created a “hometown game-change,” and as we all know, it is not easy to speak up. There are tremendous pressures to conform and accept things as they are. Over the past few years, outside powers have moved into our area influencing and blurring the lines.

I believe that Rob’s speaking out will clear the blurred lines and change the playing field forever. There is no mistaking it. Lake Okeechobee’s discharges are a health issue and must be stopped. Our state and federal government can ignore this no longer in spite of the influences of power.

2016, 239 sq. miles algae bloom in Lake O at S-308 entrance to C-44 and St Lucie River
IMG_0671 2.JPG
St Lucie River 2016 toxic algae bloom brought on by Lake O discharges into SLR

Excerpt from speech:

“…Good morning, my name is Rob Lord. I am President and C.E.O of Martin Health System .. I care deeply about the impact of Lake Okeechobee discharges on the estuaries. I grew up on the Indian River Lagoon. My family moved here in 1969. I have fished these water with my father, my grandfather, and my brother and nephews and nieces. No one values this eco-system more than my family. We watched it change. As CEO of Martin Health System this has been a significant challenge for us. This past year blue-green algae came to our community. We needed to post this sign in our emergency room. We treated this very much like we needed to treat the Ebola situation….”

Dr. Steven Parr, Director of Emergency Medicine at Tradition Medical Center noted  there are studies occurring now to determine whether the toxins trigger certain diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and ALS also known as Lou Gherig’s disease.

You can view the entire speech here:


Rob Lord, CEO MHS
Rob Lord and Dr Parr of MHS
Rob Lord and Dr Steven Parr

Former blog on Senate Bill 10 explaining intension:

6 thoughts on “Martin Health’s C.E.O. Rob Lord, A Hometown “Game Changer” for the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon

  1. This week end I poured fine calcium sand around the fenders of our bridge. Once again as many times before many BIG sheephead (fish) swarm in. They seem to know barnicals will be growing tomarrow. I make sure fishermen do not see because they will try to catch them. Government reaction to lagoon desaster down there is same as up here only up here it was high pressure sales tactics to DREDGE THE MUCK. It was allmost as if there would be rain bows and everything would be wonderfull and all they have to do is dredge the muck. One day I was getting coquina shells from under water (abandoned) causeway next to 192. A channel 13 news girl asked me about what I was doing so I told her these shells were removed from the west shore of our lagoon and I am putting them back from where they took them from. I am sure she probably thought I was nuts but she asked me if I would like to give an “interview” One of the questions she asked was did I think the government was doing enough. (with all due respect) my answer to her has to be the same to Mr. Lord and Mr. Negron. This is NOT about doing enough as much as it is about doing the right thing. I believe it is ironic that they are probably standing on what has caused the demise of the lagoon. This old hospital and the roads around it was probably made from coquina pulled out of the lagoon. If you put it back from where it was taken from you will heal the lagoon.

  2. My goal has never been to to take hundreds of millions of dollars from the muck dredgeing people or hundreds of millions from the send the water south people. My goal has allways been to restore the Indian River Lagoon to how it was when I was growing up. I have never been to this hospital but if you look closely( I believe) you can see what looks to be coquina rocks that have been removed from the lagoon to make sea walls. I am sure throughout this hospital you can find hydrogen peroxide that is used to clean wounds. The hydrogen peroxide and calcium peroxide that was created when acids desolved the coquina formations that used to line the shore in front of this hospital is how the lagoon cleaned itself in continuous yearly cycles. I am certain without any doubts that buying the land south or dredgeing the muck will NOT do anything to help me achieve my goal to restore the IRL and for me to say anything differant would NOT be doing the right thing.

  3. Toward the end of the speech Mr. Lord said —– there may not be a more inportant nursery or sponing ground for many of the gamefish that are sought —- Can you imagine what the nursery in the hospital would be like if there was no milk!! It is the same with all the baby creatures in the lagoon. Right now is springtime and I feel like I have a million mouths to feed . It seems the only thing that limits the amount of life in the lagoon is the amount of calcium sand that is desolved into the water

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