September 9, 2020 643 PM
BIG BEND — The hospital district has hired a new executive director, looking to JD Newsom, the former executive director of the Big Bend Conservation Alliance, to fill the role and bring new ideas to the bi-county district.
Newsom will oversee the organization, including the provision of services, helping clients enroll in the indigent healthcare program set up by legislation to serve the indigent population of Presidio and Brewster counties.
Entering the role during a public health crisis, Newsom said, “The pandemic has shown how limited our medical infrastructure is regionally. The big worry is that our hospital and healthcare resources won’t be able to respond to a mass influx of COVID patients. I think that that’s kind of shown the limited nature of our infrastructure out here, not just for residents, but for tourists as well.”
Newsom’s primary goal is to ensure that anyone eligible for the program is aware of it and able to enroll and make use of its services. “But I also think there’s an opportunity for the district to be creating innovative programs and initiatives that not only help our clients, but increase our healthcare infrastructure and increase access to healthcare for the whole community,” he said.
The new director brings over a decade of work in social services, previously working with the American Red Cross, the Refugee Services of Texas, and the Boys and Girls Club in Fort Worth, before arriving in Alpine to join the conservation alliance.
To find out if you are eligible for services from the BBRHD, including assistance with medical costs, contact the district’s Alpine office at 432-837-7051 or their Presidio office at 432-229-2151 to speak with a patient advocate.
Newsom’s first hospital board meeting will be tonight, September 10, conducted through Webex, with a link available to join the meeting on bbrhd.com. On September 24, the board will discuss and allocate around $1.6 million in local tax revenues for their annual budget.