On November 8th when you go to the polls to cast your vote you will be faced with making a decision on Proposition 1 to create a healthcare district in Hidalgo County.

I want to take this opportunity to inform you about this important measure and to encourage you to support Hidalgo County by voting FOR Proposition 1.

We need a healthcare district. One out of every three people in Hidalgo County is uninsured, which makes up about 250,000 of our neighbors. Hidalgo County currently spends a portion of its county budget on indigent healthcare. It’s a responsibility bestowed upon every county in the state to cover the cost of healthcare for residents that live in extreme poverty. Most large counties in Texas have a public hospital or healthcare district to provide more coverage and access to quality care for their residents – Hidalgo County does not.

The healthcare district will assume the responsibility for delivering care to indigent patients and provide many added benefits, including expanding access to quality care for all our residents, not just the extremely poor. A community board, appointed and overseen by our elected officials, will run the district to ensure our community receives the following benefits:

•    A healthcare district in Hidalgo County will improve health care services for county residents and increase access for low-income and uninsured patients, including preventative care, wellness programs, and groundbreaking treatment for diabetes, obesity, and other illnesses, as well as behavioral and mental health services.

•    A healthcare district in Hidalgo County will expand care at community clinics to provide residents with a medical home so they don’t have to delay their care or seek basic care in the emergency room.

•    A healthcare district in Hidalgo County will support the UTRGV School of Medicine by committing a dedicated revenue stream and supporting patient care delivered by their faculty physicians and medical residents, and research and clinical trials such as developing a pathway for curing diabetes and heart disease through education, treatment, and prevention.

•    A healthcare district in Hidalgo County will address the medical professional shortage crisis and train physicians, nurses and health care professionals locally to increase access to local life-saving care and specialists without having to travel out of the Valley, and would create more high-paying jobs in the medical industry.

•    A healthcare district in Hidalgo County will bring federal funds for health care services, such as federal reimbursements for uncompensated care to help our hospitals continue to be our safety-net of care.

At a cost of less than $4 a month for the average homeowner, a healthcare district will benefit our neighbors and the countless patients we have made it our mission to care for. Please take time and make your voice heard this November election and vote FOR Proposition 1.