Dee McFarland


Dee is a retired HR professional who moved to Sarasota from Michigan in 2011. Dee serves the Sarasota community by serving as a board member of the Sarasota Democratic Club, and Treasurer of The Newtown Nation. She is a graduate of Southern University (BA) and Central Michigan University (MBA). Dee retired from General Motors Corporation in Detroit, MI where she spent most of her career in health care administration. She has served on the boards of Health Plus of MI and Delta Dental Plan of Michigan (representative –Large Groups). Dee believes that a sound and viable quality assurance program is essential for Sarasota Memorial Hospital to maintain and improve its national rankings.


Do you support having clinicians on the board?  Please explain your answer.

I strongly support having clinicians on the hospital board. The current board membership lacks depth and diversity because they all are former or current business people with no direct health care experiences. Having an individual like myself with an extensive background in healthcare administration for a large corporation, and the addition of clinicians will add a depth of background and understanding of issues that the board addresses.

How would you propose expanding mental health services to Sarasota’s uninsured?

As my opponent has quoted me as saying, “Our inability to fund and provide quality mental health services is a national disgrace.” Recently a group of mental health professionals met at SMH. The panel discussion, “Mental Illness: Seeking Solutions for Sarasota County,” brought together nearly 200 county residents interested in developing better care, treatment and options for local individuals, hosted by the Sarasota chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, or NAMI. The hospital can serve as a conduit for further community coalitions to bring about a paradigm shift in our community regarding the need for improved mental health services. SMH can promote its position to state legislators on expanding mental health services that may be funded by ACA.