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Special to The Dallas Examiner | 11/23/2015, 8:34 a.m.
On Nov. 12, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson issued the following statement in light of changes in health insurance plans that ...

Special to The Dallas Examiner

DALLAS

On Nov. 12, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson issued the following statement in light of changes in health insurance plans that will affect local constituents and provider-institutions.

Earlier this month, several major insurance companies eliminated a number of their Affordable Care Act marketplace plans, affecting patients across the state. Unfortunately, the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center will not be able to participate in any ACA plans during the 2016 as a result of the cancellation. UT Southwestern is actively negotiating with the insurance companies to come up with a solution.

“As insurance companies narrow their networks across the country to reduce costs, hospitals and patients are left in the dust,” Johnson said. “I urge my constituents to proactively seek alternatives, so that you and your families can receive the care you need in the unfortunate event that your insurance plan is no longer accepted at your hospital of choice. Unfortunately, UT Southwestern is one of many hospitals in this position.”

Patients with ACA coverage are able to continue seeing providers at UT Southwestern, but they will be considered out-of-network providers and costs will be incurred. Patients have the option of seeing providers at Parkland Health and Hospital System, which will be considered an in-network provider due to their partnership.

DALLAS

On Friday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognized the Dallas Housing Authority and Goodwill Industries of Dallas for Excellence in Site Reuse. These organizations have taken great strides in the cleanup of the RSR Corporation Superfund site and redevelopment in the surrounding West Dallas neighborhoods.

The community is home to new commercial businesses including the 275,000-square-foot headquarters for Goodwill. The cleanup further provided opportunities for the establishment of facilities including the Lakewest YMCA, Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity, both public and private schools, redevelopment of a shopping center and a new grocery store. Local residents also now have an animal care clinic, the Mattie Nash Myrtle Davis Recreation Center, restaurants and a wider range of housing options as the area continues to grow.

In the ‘90s, the DHA removed contaminated soil and buildings from a public-housing area located northeast of the smelter – cleaning over 400 properties. It has invested more than $100 million in redevelopment and constructed more than 1,200 new housing units on portions of the site.

The 13.6-square-mile site is an abandoned, contaminated lead smelter. For nearly 50 years, the smelter processed used batteries and other lead-bearing materials into pure lead, lead alloys and other lead products. In 2007, EPA removed the site from the National Priorities List after successfully removing harmful contaminants.

EPA recognizes both Goodwill Industries and the Dallas Housing Authority for extraordinary results in revitalizing and reusing formerly contaminated sites and further raising public awareness and participation in decision-making processes. Public participation enables EPA’s cleanup and redevelopment programs to foster and facilitate successful reuse initiatives.

DALLAS

WINS will hold an Open House event on Dec. 3 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Juanita J. Craft Recreation Center located at 4500 Spring Ave. This event is open to all current and new WINS work group members. Those who signed up to join a work group at the Community Rollout event held in October as well as anyone interested in joining a work group are encouraged to attend. The five WINS Work Groups are Economic Development, Education, Health, Housing and Safety & Security. For more information about WINS, email admin@winsdallas.org.

AUSTIN

Manor Independent School District has partnered with Austin Community College to offer Career and Technical Education programming to junior and senior high school students using a $224,178 Skills Development Fund grant from the Texas Workforce Commission.

This grant supports dual-credit curriculum development focused on occupational areas of computer network support specialists, electrical and electronics engineering technicians, electrical power-line installers and repairers, and heating, ventilation and air conditioning mechanics and installers. Students will be eligible for industry-recognized credentials such as CompTIA, Manufacturing Skills Standards Council, NCCER and EPA608.