Physicians, Congressional Leaders to Address Health Care Access Issues
- WHAT: Physician leaders will meet
in Edinburg, Texas with federal lawmakers and government officials to
discuss critical health care needs and challenges facing communities along
the U.S.-Mexico border. The 12th Annual Border Health Conference is
sponsored by the Texas Medical Association (TMA) Border Health Caucus (BHC). The BHC’s mission is to ensure access to care for all
patients along the border, and this year’s conference agenda also covers
top issues of national importance.
- WHEN: Friday, Aug. 4, 8:30 am-2:30 pm (See
detailed schedule below.)
- WHERE: Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance, 118 Paseo Del Prado, Edinburg,
- WHY: This marks the 12th year
physicians have assembled with other health care and government experts to
discuss health care problems facing border patients and their physicians.
Many of the issues also affect all Texans and Americans. Specific issues
this conference will address:
- Federal health care act reform and the future;
health and infrastructure; and
- WHO: Top Texas physician, health care, academic, and government leaders,
led by BHC Chair Manuel Acosta, MD; BHC Vice Chair Luis Benavides, MD; and
TMA President and founding BHC member Carlos J. Cardenas, MD; as well as
honorary conference Chair U.S. Rep. Filemon Vela (D-Brownsville).
Conference panels and
8:30 am Opening Remarks
- Carlos J. Cardenas, MD, TMA president
- U.S. Rep. Filemon Vela (D-Brownsville),
- Attending Representatives
- U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Houston)
- U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar
- U.S. Vicente Gonzalez
9 am Panel 1: Health Care Act Reform and the Future — Where we are now, what happened, and where we go
from here. Topics to be covered include Medicaid, the Children’s Health
Insurance Program, and Graduate Medical Education funding.
Moderator: Carlos J. Cardenas, MD, TMA president
- Chris Traylor, former executive commissioner, Texas Health
and Human Services Commission
- Ken Janda, president and CEO, Community Health Choice
- John H. Krouse, MD, dean, The University of Texas Rio Grande
10:45 am Panel 2: Public Health
and Infrastructure — What
resources are available to meet public health needs along the border? Are they
sufficient? Topics to be covered include assets in the Rio Grande Valley, threats
such as the arboviral disease in El Paso, and the changing face of hospitals.
Moderator: Linda Villarreal, MD, member, TMA Board of Trustees
- Eddie Olivarez, chief administrative officer, Hidalgo County Health
- Gilbert A. Handal, MD, professor, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center-El
- John Hawkins, senior
vice president of advocacy & public policy, Texas Hospital Association
1:00 pm Panel 3: Cross Border Health Issues — The importance of Texas
collaborating with health
officials in Mexico, because health care knows no boundaries.
Moderator: Luis Benavides, MD, BHC vice chair
- Victor H. Gonzalez, MD, founder, Valley Retina Institute
- R. J. Dutton, PhD, director, Office of Border Services, Texas Department
of State Health Services
- Hector F. Gonzales, MD, director, City of Laredo Health Department
contact Brent or Marcus in TMA’s communications division to pre-arrange interviews
with participating physicians before, during, or after the conference.
is the largest state medical society in the nation, representing more than 50,000
physician and medical student members. It is located in Austin and has 110 component
county medical societies around the state. TMA’s key objective since 1853 is to
improve the health of all Texans.
Annear (512) 370-1381; cell: (512) 656-7320; email: brent.annear[at]texmed[dot]org
Cooper (512) 370-1382; cell: (512) 650-5336; email: marcus.cooper[at]texmed[dot]org
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