Sarasota Memorial Hospital Board race has medical freedom advocates going against the Citizens for Healthcare Excellence group

Francesco Abbruzzino, The Uncensored Report, LLC


The Sarasota Memorial Hospital Board race is heating up, just like every other political race in the area.   There are democrats and Republican’s running for the board, but the true fight has been between medical freedom candidates Tanya Parus, Mary Flynn O’Neill, Stephen Guffanit and Tamzin Rosenwasser against the Citizens for Healthcare Excellence group.


Last week there was a Tiger Bay debate that took place between several of the candidates.  One of the notable issues surrounds mandated vaccines.  Sara Lodge, who is the current chair on the SMH board, stated that SMH never mandated vaccines for hospital employees.  Her response was towards Tanya Parus, who stated that there were mandates and vaccine requirements at SMH for all employees, at one point in time.  The Herald cover this exchange.


Photo: Screen shot provided by T. Parus


Lodge’s statement differs from an email that SMH CEO David Verinder sent out, which puts an end to mandated vaccines, due to an injunction:

“To comply with this ruling, we are pausing the implementation of Sarasota Memorial’s COVID-19 policy—— we will not require staff to receive their first dose of the vaccine”.

To pause this program, means that the policy was in play, right?


The policy mentioned in the letter is below:



Also, the medical freedom candidates feel that the Lodge and other employees at SMH are participating in a misinformation campaign by making misleading statements, like Lodge made during the debate.  Also, there is concern with the distribution of fliers like the one below has been distributed within different units of SMH, by an employee.  The flyer claims the medical freedom group wants to turn SMH into a for profit hospital.



I talked with candidate Tanya Parus and asked her if she or anybody in the group was for making SMH for profit.  She sent me this statement:


Our slate is firmly against the privatization of Sarasota Memorial Hospital. We are dedicated to preserving it as a public, county-owned hospital that serves the needs of our community. The false accusations aimed at us only highlight the lack of integrity in our opponents’ campaigns. Their deceptive tactics, including spreading lies about our position on privatization, raise doubts about their transparency and honesty. We remain steadfast in our commitment to keeping Sarasota Memorial public and accessible to all, and we will not be swayed by their deceitful tactics.


Also, SMH is allowing flyers like the one below, which pushes a set of candidates over the medical freedom candidates.



Is it concerning the medical freedom groups that SMH is allowing these flyers to be distributed within the hospital?


Bottom line, according to my communication with Tanya Parus, “the medical freedom group just wants to ensure that individuals have the right to make informed decisions about their own health care, without undue influence or coercion”.  They are not extremists that want to upend SMH operations.