TDSR November 2018 Newsletter

TDSR Testifies to legislators

Texas Doctors for Social Responsibility (TDSR) continues to advocate for improving the health of all Texans at the state capital in Austin. Dr. Rudy Morales Urby, Vice President of TDSR, was among several health professionals that testified to the House Select Committee on Opioid and Substance Abuse on August 8th, 2018. They provided testimony for increasing the access to treatment services for those suffering from addiction. Dr. Urby shared his experience dealing with this epidemic in a personal and professional setting and highlighted that the state needs to do more in addressing this crisis. The House Committee which has completed its final hearing will now provide a full report to Speaker Joe Strauss on its findings on November 1st, 2018.

TDSR co-hosts South Region Policy Forum

TDSR and the National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA) hosted the annual Southwest Region Policy Forum in San Antonio on October 11th, 2018. The event attracted over 60 attendees with special appearances from Bexar County Nelson Wolff and San Antonio City Councilwoman Ana Sandoval from District 7. The focus of the event was to bring attention to the need for Texas to expand Medicaid, and to highlight local efforts in improving the health of San Antonians. Dr. Elena Rios, President and CEO of the National Hispanic Medical Association opened the forum welcoming the attendees and giving an overview of the NHMA mission and goals. County Judge Nelson Wolff then gave the official welcome and discussed county wide initiatives that support the health of Texans including the Bexar County Opioid Task Force which was created in 2017 to address the growing crisis of Opioid related deaths in the county and in Texas. The key-note speech was given by Mr. George Hernandez Jr, President and CEO of the University Health System (UHS). Mr. Hernández highlighted the need for Medicaid expansion in Texas which will provide access to health insurance for close to a million of low- income individuals and families.

The Policy Forum’s panel of health experts included Gilbert Gonzalez, Director, Bexar County Department of Behavioral and Mental Health, who spoke about the needs of mental health patients in Bexar County; Evelyn Delgado, President and Executive Director of Healthy Futures of Texas spoke about the maternal mortality and morbidity crisis in our State and the efforts of the State and communities to address these issues; Dr. Lisa Cleveland, Faculty at UTHSCSA, spoke about the opioid crisis and its effects on vulnerable women and their babies and the programs addressing this; and finally, Liz Lutz, Executive Director of the San Antonio Health Collaborative, spoke about the Community Pathways Hub, a new program that addresses the determinants of health at the home level. The panel members presentations were followed by a spirited Q&A session. TDSR is actively involved with these local organizations to address health problems at a community level.

TDSR attends the 2018 Healthier Texas Summit

The 2018 Healthier Texas Summit organized by BlueCross BlueShield of Texas, It’s Time Texas and The University of Texas System attracted several thousand medical professionals and healthcare advocates to Austin. The summit was held on October 25th and 26th and included a wide range of topics affecting community health. This annual summit allows for the collaboration of health professionals across the state and provides a unique opportunity to learn strategies that can be useful in the community. The complete resources from the event will be made available at the Healthier Texas Summit Website.

Upcoming Events

State of Texas Children– The Center for Public Policy Priorities- November 15th- 8:30 am to 9:30 am- Tripoint Event Center, San Antonio, Texas. 78212

The Center for Public Policy Priorities will highlight the latest data on how Texas and Bexar county kids are doing. The briefing will also include opportunities and policies that can ensure all kids have the ability to compete and succeed in life, there will also be a discussion on how the November election results will shape opportunities for kids in 2019 and beyond. RSVP here.  

Save the date- 

We are planning an end of the Christmas Part/ Dinner meeting on Thursday, December 6, 2018. Volunteers are needing to open their home for this event. Otherwise we will plan to meet at Las Palapas restaurant at our current meeting place. Please know Alwyn or Dr. Estrada. TDSR is planning to celebrate a very successful year and share exciting plans for 2019 for our organization.