VERO BEACH — The Mental Health Association in Indian River County is proud to announce the appointment of its new Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Nicholas Coppola will begin his new chapter at the Mental Health Association on Jan. 1, 2019.

The selection of Dr. Coppola comes after a two-month national search with the Mental Health Association Board of Directors. Not only has Dr. Coppola been a local physician for over 20 years, but he also is highly educated and holds an MBA in Finance. His training, education and personal experiences will aid him as he assumes the responsibilities of Dr. Robert Brugnoli. “Dr. Brugnoli has made significant strides in advancing the cause of the Mental Health Association and leaves some large shoes to fill, I look forward to continuing his legacy and to increasing awareness of the Mental Health Association mission,” Coppola said.

“I am thrilled to have Dr. Nick Coppola succeed me as Chief Executive Officer of the Mental Health Association in Indian River County,” said Dr. Robert Brugnoli, current CEO of the Mental Health Association. “I am extremely confident in his ability to take the Mental Health Association to the next level as a comprehensive mental health agency”.

Dr. Coppola is the Chairman of the LiveLikeCole Foundation which he created in memory of his late son Nicholas “Cole” Coppola, to improve the lives of Indian River County residents by addressing issues that challenge the health and well-being of our community.

A successful medical career and a lifelong passion for helping people inspired Dr. Coppola to direct his foundation’s primary investments toward community relations, education, improving mental and physical health as well as the well-being of adults and children alike. With Dr. Coppola’s leadership, his Foundation has played a key role in strengthening community relations and helping the less fortunate. Coppola’s goal to improve the quality of life for all Indian River County residents by addressing issues that challenge the health and well-being of the community runs parallel to the Mental Health Association’s philosophy. As Dr. Coppola begins his new role, he will step down as chairman of his own foundation so that his attention can be focused on the Mental Health Association’s future.

Before focusing his attention on philanthropy, Dr. Coppola served as CEO of Compassionate Medical Center, Inc. where, for 15 years, he ran one of Indian River’s largest primary care medical practices. As a physician, Dr. Coppola has 23 years of direct experience working with those with physical, emotional, and intellectual and developmental disabilities. His broad range of experience includes senior management, fundraising, event coordination, board development, government relations, program development, and marketing.

A recognized leader in the medical industry, Dr. Coppola earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Nova University and a master’s degree in finance and economics from Nova Southeastern University. He obtained his degree in Osteopathic Medicine from Nova Southeastern College of Osteopathic Medicine and has been a practicing physician for over 23 years. His accomplishments are significant and varied. He has received numerous awards for community service, and appointed to various committees and commissions by local community leaders.

Given his own family’s tragedy in 2014, Dr. Coppola is keenly aware of the emotional challenges that trauma and loss can cause. As a result, he understands, first hand, the importance of good mental health and is committed to ensuring that Indian River County residents are aware of the scope of services and resources that the Mental Health Association offers.

His first order of business is to find a way to reach out to First Responders, as they played a pivotal role in his family’s tragic experience. “The kindness they showed to my family on the day of my son’s death was above the call of duty”, Coppola said. “We love them all and I pledge to do all that I can to help those who deal with tragic situations on a daily basis.”

For more information on the Mental Health Association, please visit

This article was distributed through Treasure Coast Business, a news service for the readers and advertisers of Indian River Magazine.