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Hope Clinic to provide dental care for indigent

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In a regular meeting Monday, Oct. 13, of the Ellis County Commissioners’ Court, the Court voted to extend the financial agreement between Ellis County and Hope Clinic and authorized County Judge Chad Adams to sign a five-year contract.  Hope Clinic currently provides primary care, pre scri ptions, and case management for Indigent Health Care clients in Ellis County with a focus on preventive care and will now add preventive, restorative, endodontic, prosthetic and limited surgical dental care as well.

“There are currently 300 people on our waiting list for dental care,” said Mackie Owens, executive director of Hope Clinic.  “If they can’t receive dental care, they often go to the emergency room for antibiotics.”

Owens thanked the court for their support and credited the ability to provide more patients with access to good care and increased services to the generous support from the Court and the community, along with state and federal grants and other fundraising efforts.  The Clinic’s annual fundraising dinner, dubbed ‘Seeds of Hope,’ will be held on Tuesday, November 11, at the Waxahachie Civic Center.

“I commend you for the job you are doing,” said Commissioner Heath Sims, pct. 3.  “As long as people can work and remain healthy, we are a stronger society.”

The clinic currently has a full time board certified family practice physician on staff seeing patients 8 hours a day, 5 days a week.  Specialized care is handled by volunteer physicians in the community when needed.  It has recently become possible to add an additional full time provider and a part time dentist.

The collaborative partnership between the County and the Clinic has provided Indigent Health Care clients with true access to regular medical care, which has resulted in better health for those individuals as well as cost savings, not only for the County but for medical care providers in and around the community.  In particular, use of the emergency room for non-emergency care has been all but eliminated.

The Court also approved a Resolution in support of the Meals-on-Wheels of Johnson and Ellis County and their application for a grant from the Texas Department of Agriculture – Home Delivered Meal Grant Program.  Angela Farley of Meals-on-Wheels expects the organization to receive at least $70,000 from the grant program to be used entirely in Ellis County.

John Patterson, Emergency Management Coordinator for Ellis County, discussed the formation of the Ellis County Emergency Management and Response Advisory Committee that will be a technical and advisory board for the Ellis County Office of Emergency Management and the Ellis County Commissioners’ Court on issues related to emergency management and emergency response.  Patterson encouraged the formation of the committee as one of the components necessary to receive accreditation from the Emergency Management Accreditation Program. 

In a vote of three to one, with Sims dissenting, the Court voted to accept grant funds from the FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program to be used to appraise, negotiate, acquire, demolish, and properly dispose of the property for which mitigation of damages has been sought.

Lori Pampell, Transportation Planner for the North Central Council of Governments on the Clean Fleet Vehicle Policy, presented the background, benefits and potential impact of the policy and answered questions regarding the policy and compliance guidelines.  The Court took no action on an accompanying proposal for a Clean Fleet Vehicle Ordinance.

In other business, Commissioners:

·         Took no action on a Proclamation declaring the month of October, 2008 as Czech Heritage Month in Ellis County;

·         Approved additional or replacement Presiding Judges and Alternate Judges for the November 4, 2008 General Election;

·         Approved a Memorandum of Understanding between Ellis County and the First Administrative Judicial Region;

·         Approved renewal of the 12 month lease agreement between Ellis County and Edwin Spaniel for the property known as the Ellis County Farm;

·         Approved an Interlocal Cooperation Contract between Ellis County and the City of Alma;

·         Approved a contract with Estes Electric for relocation of electrical services and installation of telephone conduits;

·         Granted a discretionary exemption for the County Judge to sign a letter of intent with Flowers Construction Company for power line reroute, removal and underground utility construction;

·         Authorized Ellis County to enter into a building lease for $3600 per month with Haight-Taylor-McClain, LLC for storage for the Ellis County Sheriff  Department;

·         Authorized Ellis County to enter into a warehouse lease for $3000 per month with Tejas Logistics;

·         Authorized Ellis County to enter into a lease for $500 per month with Boyce Feed and Grain Company for temporary parking area during construction of the new facilities under the Bond Program;

·         Authorized signing of a new lease with Marti Zmolik for remodeling and moving the Ennis Adult Probation Office into a new adjacent office space;

·         Approved a contract with Lindamood Excavating to remove multiple structures, slabs and miscellaneous concrete work;

·         Authorized sending a letter to TCEQ and surrounding cities regarding interlocal agreements pertaining to County responsibility of the OSSF’s located in the city limits;

·         Approved a Preliminary Plat for Fresh Water District Prairie Ridge, Phase I;

·          Declared four boxes of outdated law books from County Court at Law #1 and a list of other miscellaneous items as surplus and approved disposal at auction;

·         Approved the 12 month renewal of blanket agreement #BPA250 – Bridge and Headwall Repair.

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