April 7, 2021 1100 PM
PRESIDIO AND BREWSTER COUNTIES – Andrea Perez took the oath of office for Big Bend Regional Hospital District’s Single Member District #1 on Wednesday, March 31, representing the region that encompasses south Presidio County.
Part of the duties of a board member is to serve as an advocate for their district and leverage connections and resources to “develop collective action to fully achieve the District’s mission,” according to the application.
Perez, who is a lifelong resident of Presidio and currently a pharmacist with the Preventative Care Health Services, will bring connections from the medical world and the broader community. Working at one of the local clinics, she hears firsthand the wants and needs of local residents. It was one of the reasons she stepped up and was appointed to the board, filling an unexpired term vacated by Alfredo Armendariz.
At first, Perez hopes to get her footing in the new role. “Once I’m familiar with how it works, I want to do my best to make sure access to healthcare is better,” Perez said.
The new board member pointed to a lack of a full service pharmacy in the area, a chronic need for emergency services and the lack of healthcare available on nights and weekends.
“It’s going to be really hard to get a hospital down here in the area, but it’s something we need to start working on,” she said. “I think the hospital could be possible, but I know an emergency room would be a good start.”
For her constituents in Presidio, emergency care is only available in Alpine, while out in Candelaria, a lack of transportation can slow their access to medication available in Presidio, and an emergency room trip is a 90 mile drive.
While in office, she also hopes the hospital district can promote its services and connect eligible residents to resources like the hospital’s indigent healthcare program.
Perez will also take on another role previously held by Armendariz, the job of board secretary. Her first board meeting will take place on April 29 at 5:30 p.m. in Presidio. “She will bring great experience and enthusiasm to the Hospital District,” said Hospital District Executive Director J.D. Newsom.