Special to The Dallas Examiner
On March 1, as announced by Dallas County officials, the county jail medical facility was named after two Dallas minority leaders, both of whom made history and broke molds in their community.
The $39 million facility will now bear the names of Jesse Everett Gill and Dr. Onesimo Hernandez and be known as the Gill–Dr. Hernandez Medical Facility. This is the first time in the 170-year history of Dallas County that a county government facility will be named in honor of a Latino. It will also become the only Dallas County government facility named after both an African American and a Latino.
Gill and Hernandez were both born and raised in Dallas and graduated from Dallas ISD high schools. Both men achieved important firsts in the Dallas area and both dedicated their adult lives to public service and the betterment of their communities.
Gill was the first African American to hold the position of deputy sheriff in Dallas County. He later taught for 20 years at Clara Oliver Elementary in Oak Cliff. The Dallas Co. Peace Officers Association named a scholarship in his honor.
Hernandez was the first Latino to attend Southwestern Medical School. He then served as an intern at Parkland Hospital and later became the first Mexican-American physician on the staff of St. Paul’s Hospital.
The Gill–Dr. Hernandez Medical Facility was completed in March 2015. The 139,000 sq. ft. stand-alone, centralized medical and mental health services facility includes medical clinic space, a full-service pharmacy and medical staff offices. This state-of-the-art infirmary has improved the delivery of medical and mental health to Dallas County Jail patients and modernized technology, processes and procedures for the Sheriff’s Department and Parkland Hospital.