Governor makes surprise pick for Hospital District
To the surprise of Hospital District trustees and staff, Governor Rick Scott appointed Vero ophthalmologist Val Zudans to a vacant seat on the Hospital District last week.
District trustees and staff had been unaware that Zudans, 43, had even turned in an application to the governor’s appointment office.
With the appointment to the seat vacated by trustee Harris Webber, Zudans becomes one of seven District trustees to make decisions about how to spend property tax dollars for indigent care in Indian River County.
“I am honored to be trusted with an appointment to the hospital District,” said Zudans. “My goal is to view every decision through the lens of how it improves the quality of care in our community.”
Four others had applied for the seat: oncologist Michaela Scott; retired DC telecommunications attorney Richard Kennedy; Senior Resource Association chief Karen Deigl; and attorney and retired dentist Joe Saul.
One of those four was expected to be appointed, but Zudans threw his hat in the ring in early October – although the press office did not tell anyone – and was the governor’s choice.
A partner with the Florida Eye Institute, Zudans is the current president of the Indian River County Medical Society. He is also a member of the Florida Society of Ophthalmology and the Florida Medical Association.
He received his undergraduate degree as well as his medical degree from the University of Florida and completed his residency at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami.
Zudans made news several years ago as one of the three ophthalmologists at the Florida Eye Institute involved in legal battles with founder Paul Minotty. Zudans and the others ultimately gained control of the Florida Eye Institute, and Minotty and two other opthalmologists subsequently founded New Vision Eye Center.