New hospital district directors seated
Marfa Meds to start soon
By RICHARD MARK GLOVER
ALPINE – In a changing-of-the-guard, the Big Bend Regional Hospital District seated three new board members at last week’s regular session meeting in Alpine.
Gene Pearce replaced Don Culbertson in District 3, an area that covers most of north Marfa and east Alpine. She will serve a four-year term. Pearce was also voted in as chairwoman, taking over the presiding reigns from District 2 (southeast Presidio County and west central Brewster County) representative Elena Olivas.
Christina Alvarado took over Al Tobola’s District 3, an area that includes the eastern part of Alpine and northern Brewster County. Alvarado is an accountant and billing manager and will serve for a 4 year term.
Allen Haley took over District 4 – Marathon and southeast Brewster County – held by Lee Roberts, who resigned after serving on the board since 1998. Haley was voted in by a 2 to 1 margin, with Culbertson voting nay. Haley is a businessman specializing in the railroad industry and will fill out Robert’s remaining two years.
District 1, representing south Marfa, west Presidio, and Ruidosa remain voiceless. Applicants for the position are still being sought.
Over-seeing the Marfa Meds program will be taken over by Pearce. The program, initiated by Culbertson three years ago, is designed to save Marfa and other Presidio County residents driving time to pick up their meds at pharmacies in Alpine.
The program completed its pilot phase and is expected to go into full-time operation soon. Presidio County residents will be able to pick up their meds at a Marfa location to be named, five days a week. Two people are presently being trained as pharmacy technicians in Marfa.
“Really want to start the program correctly,” said Culbertson.
Marfa Meds was the first “H” pharmacy to be approved by the Texas State Pharmacy Board, under a 2011 mandate designed to improve the rural distribution of medicine. The program has been privately funded by two $25,000 grants from The Brown Foundation, Inc., and The Meadows Foundation.
Narcotics and certain psycho-tropic drugs will not be dispensed through the program.
“I’m glad about that,” said Culbertson. “It means we won’t have certain security issues to deal with.”
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