Having a seat at the table: Veteran's Service officers appointed to board
Commissioners Court authorized Precinct 4 Commissioner Joseph Palacios to nominate Hidalgo County Veterans Service Office employees Emilio De Los Santos and Alex Figueroa to the VA Texas Valley Coastal Bend Health Care System Management Advisory Council.In 2010, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs recognized the need to expand health care services in Deep South Texas and approved the Valley Coastal Bend Health Care System to serve 20 counties comprised of the Laredo, McAllen, Harlingen, and Corpus Christi service areas. Prior to that, valley veterans were served by the health care system in San Antonio, said De Los Santos, who serves as Hidalgo County's Veteran's Service Officer.
"The change allowed us an opportunity to sit down with the VA and other veterans organizations to talk about the needs of veterans," De Los Santos said. "It also gives us a voice in determining other healthcare initiatives for veterans."
Another benefit from the change to Valley Coastal Bend, has been an increase in funding for the region. De Los Santos said before 2010, valley veterans received about $9 million in funding. It has since increased to $140 million.
Palacios, who serves as liaison to the Department of Veterans Services, is a veteran. De Los Santos will represent the Hidalgo County Veterans Service Office with Alex Figueroa serving as an alternate.
"We are certain that Emilio and Alex will do an outstanding job representing Hidalgo County in the Management Advisory Council," said Palacios.More Photos >>>