Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, along with Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins and Commissioner Theresa Daniels, met with Dallas area community leaders in the Old Red Courthouse to discuss how best to go forward with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as “Obamacare.” The bill was passed into law in 2010 and enrollment in the Health Insurance Exchange starts in October. While the Texas state government is refusing to help implement the program, local governments such as Dallas County are working hard to ensure that every citizen has the healthcare they need.
Judge Jenkins opened the meeting by inviting community leaders on the panel to collaborate on all aspects of the new Healthcare Marketplace as well as how to most effectively communicate available healthcare options to the public. Commissioner Daniel spoke in both English and Spanish on some of the details surrounding the policy along with Dallas Deputy Mayor Pro-tem Monica Alonzo.
Much of the meeting focused on informing citizens of benefits that will be available to them and on how to best encourage citizens to enroll in a health exchange program. It is estimated that nearly a quarter of Dallas County’s population, or 600,000 residents, do not have proper health care.
In an exclusive interview with WFAA, Judge Jenkins spoke on the kind of outreach that will be required for broad participation. “It’s going to be a monumental task, and we’re going to have to do the very best we can do.”
A native of Dallas and a graduate of Texas A&M University, Pedro Aguirre is considered a city leader for Dallas. In honor of Aguirre’s accomplishments and in anticipation of his 80th birthday, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins declared that July 27, 2013, is to be “Pedro Aguirre Day.”
In 1960, Aguirre founded the company Aguirre Roden, and it has since been named as one of the top 300 architectural firms worldwide. In addition to being a leader in business, Aguirre has served on the Dallas City Council, Regional Transportation Council, Greater Dallas Chamber of Commerce board, as Chairman of the Mexican American Advisory committee to the Dallas Independent School District and in various other civic positions in the area.
Judge Jenkins acknowledged Aguirre’s numerous achievements and thanked him for his “tireless service and commitment” to bettering the county.
Claudia Jean Gipson, a Texas native, was recognized in front of the Dallas County Commissioners Court by Commissioner John Wiley Price for her 23 years of service as a Detention Service Officer with the Dallas County Sheriff’s department.
Gipson began her career within Dallas County on June 4, 1990, and received her Intermediate Jailer Certification in October of 2007. She is married with two children and enjoys serving on the Pastoral Committee at her church.
Commissioner Price expressed gratitude for Gipson’s “long and faithful service to Dallas County” and wished her the best during her retirement.
Today in Commissioners Court, Commissioner John Wiley Price declared the week of July 14 through July 20 to be Probation, Parole, and Community Supervision week in honor of the work put forth by the Dallas County Community Supervision and Corrections department.
The Community Supervision and Corrections department supervises adult offenders within the community and provides services and support to victims. All commissioners praised the department for their commitment to the county as the Court audience stood and applauded. Commissioner Price called the department “an essential part of the justice system,” and lauded their ability to “uphold the law with dignity.”