Longtime Parkland leader Dr. Ron Anderson dead at 68
Dr. Ron Anderson, the longtime leader of Parkland Health & Hospital System who was remembered for his efforts to expand healthcare access to underserved communities, died Thursday from cancer. He was 68.
Anderson was named the Dallas system’s president and CEO in 1982 and served in that role for 29 years. He previously was medical director of Parkland’s emergency department and outpatient clinic.
His first foray into the public health spotlight came in the mid-1980s, when he spoke out against the practice of “patient dumping” —or transferring medically unstable, uninsured patients from private to public hospitals. Those efforts led to Texas banning the practice in 1986.
Anderson made five appearances on Modern Healthcare’s 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare ranking. In 2005, he also topped Modern Healthcare’s 50 Most Powerful Physician Executives ranking.
Community health centers are slated to receive $295 million in federal funding in an effort to expand access to primary-care services to more than a million new patients.
HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell announced Friday that grants have been awarded to 1,195 health centers in every state, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, with a goal of adding more than 4,750 staff to help centers serve an additional 1.5 million new patients. In addition to primary care, the grants are intended to expand access to dental and behavioral-healthcare services. The funding marks the last big round of grant awards this fiscal year under a provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.