Tag Archives: rob lord

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. (https://www.martinhealth.org) 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.

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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. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bobby_Lord )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.

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2016, 239 sq. miles algae bloom in Lake O at S-308 entrance to C-44 and St Lucie River
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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:

MHS: https://www.martinhealth.org/martin-health-system-takes-stand-on-senate-bill-10-for-the-health-of-the-community

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: https://jacquithurlowlippisch.com/2017/01/29/presidient-negrons-memorandum-to-the-florida-senate-senate-bill-10protecting-coastal-counties-from-polluted-discharges-slrirl/

Martin Health Systems/Martin Systems Auxiliary, “Speaking Up” for the Health of the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon

Martin Health Systems, formerly known as Martin Memorial Hospital, sits on the St Lucie River. (Public photo.)
Martin Health Systems, formerly known as Martin Memorial Hospital, sits on the St Lucie River in Stuart, Florida. (Public photo.)
Martin Memorial Hospital, ca. 1940s. Photo courtesy of Sandra Thurlow's presentation at Stuart Heritage 2014.
Martin Memorial Hospital, ca. 1940s. Photo courtesy of Sandra Thurlow’s presentation at Stuart Heritage 2014.

Martin Health Systems has sat like a sentinel along the St Lucie River for 75 years….Doctors, nurses, administrators, employees, and patients have over the years watched the degradation of health of Martin County’s beautiful river along with its once remarkable fish and wildlife.

But today, the hospital’s voice is getting louder as they “speak up” for the river and its health. (http://www.martinhealth.org)

In 2014, Robert Lord, a long time attorney for the organization, was a featured speaker at the “Clean Water Rally” sharing his memories of growing up in Stuart and enjoying its waters. Rob made a public call to push for clean water  to our state legislature on behalf of Martin Health Systems. A huge step in our river movement!

Rob Lord, 2014, Photo JRL.
Rob Lord speaks at the Clean Water Rally, Phipps Park, St Lucie Lock and Dam, 2014, Photo JTL.

This year, since mid-March, the Martin Systems  Auxiliary will pass out a total of 450 “River Kidz Second Edition Workbooks,” featuring Marty the Manatee to children that come into the hospital for emergencies or alongside family. Yes, that’s 450 workbooks, and they plan on passing out more! (http://www.martinhealth.org/mhs-auxiliary)

Mr Bill Michaud, president,  has been a champion for children and for our river. I thank him and all members of the Auxiliary. At this time, I would like to include a portion of a letter written to me:

“Jacqui,

…Martin Health employs 3,600 local folks and the Auxiliary peaks in Season around 900 serving three hospitals, Emergency Center, and 59 other assorted medical related offices. I feel that our influence would be strongest with middle age children in educating them to the realities of current and future conditions thusly our placement of River Kidz in the areas where they would have greatest access…We share River Kidz’ goals and stand willing to help in any way that we can. With your group’s permission we would like to mention our participation in the River Kidz program in our April edition of Martin Health Systems Auxiliary Highlight’s magazine… “—–Mr Bill Michaud, President MHS Aux, 3-6-15.

(“River Kidz 2nd Ed. Workbook:” http://riverscoalition.org/riverkidz/riverkidz-workbooks/)

Just incredible!
 

MMH Auxiliary chair, Barbara Bush, and Bill Michaud, president. (Photo Martin Health Systems Auxiliary, 2015.)
MS Auxiliary chair, Barbara Bush with  Bill Michaud, president, displaying River Kidz workbooks. (Photo Martin Health Systems Auxiliary, 2015.)
CEO MMHS Mark Robitaille, 2015.
CEO MHS Mark Robitaille, 2015.

Most recently, in an article by Darcy Flierl in “Luminaries,” about the “Dirty River Keeper Jam” this Saturday at Terra Fermata, Mark Robitaille, president and chief executive officer, stated: “We are concerned about the destruction of our estuaries and its diverse marine ecosystems. As a health care system, we are also deeply worried about the impact to the health of our community.”

Wow! Thank you Mr Robitaille!

Martin Health Systems and Jensen Beach Plumbing come together May 30th from noon to 11PM to host Martin County’s first “Dirty River Jam” to benefit Mr Marty Baum, our Indiana Riverkeeper. For information call 772-486-9109. Hope to see you there!

We all know It’s time for our state legislature, our federal government, and our all of local politicians, to be brave and put laws in place to stop the feeding of toxic algae blooms (Cyanobacteria) in Lake Okeechobee and thus our local waterways, as well as overcoming the difficulties of cleaning, storing, and sending water south to the Everglades, through the sugar-lands, to alleviate the burden of destruction of the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon. Martin Health Systems will help make this happen; they carry a lot of weight.

Dirty River Jam
Dirty River Jam!

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I must note my sister, Jenny Flaugh, has worked for MHS for over 16 years and her husband Mike is involved with the event! Thank you all who are involved.

Video of Robert Lord speaking at the Clean Water Rally, 2014, by Keri West: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ImG8-gAI_9Q)

#IndianRiverLagoon

#StLucieRiver