Marfa media outlets to host town hall on senior health care tonight

MARFA – The Big Bend Sentinel and Marfa Public Radio are holding a town hall tonight, Thursday, November 21, on aging and dying in the Big Bend region. The event at The Sentinel, 209 W. El Paso St., includes a panel of community members and organizations who are dedicated to serving the needs of seniors and their families in the tri-county area.

A panel will discuss the challenges of providing senior health care in our remote tri-county area and then answer audience questions during a Q&A session.

The senior health care town hall topic arose from a 2018 MPR story by Sally Beauvais, that was prompted by a listener’s question: “Medicare pays for hospice services, yet we have no hospice service available for our three rural counties. Why?”
This question and the ensuing story led to important and productive conversations with community members about the lack of medical resources for aging residents of the Big Bend region, many of whom have to leave home as they near the end of their lives to seek health care. Due to popular feedback, the aim in holding a town hall is to include the larger community in this conversation, with a goal of supporting the next steps.

The night’s panel of experts include Agave Home Health’s directors of nursing Cynthia Kirkpatrick and Angela Juett, local hospice advocate Suzanne Dungan, former director of Hospice of the Big Bend Marvie Burton, Yvette Lugo from the Rio Grande Council of Governments’ area agency on aging, Preventative Care Health Services CEO Linda Molinar, and a representative from the Big Bend Regional Medical Center.

Questions for the panel can be submitted through Marfa Public Radio’s website. Those interested in attending who need a ride to the event can call the radio station at 432-729-4578 to schedule free transportation.