Hello, Dr. Madrid; goodbye to Echevarria
by Chip Latcham
Jan 30, 2009 | 1412 views | 1 1 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
You say goodbye and we say hello.

With apologies to the Beatles, Wednesday’s edition reported that Beeville area residents are welcoming a new surgeon to the community while bidding farewell to the city’s litter abatement official.

Several dozen well-wishers turned out Tuesday evening at a reception at the Beeville Community Center hosted by the Chamber of Commerce to welcome Dr. Alberto “Al” Madrid, a practicing surgeon for more than 30 years.

Madrid, 63, was recruited to Bee County from the Houston area by Christus Spohn.

“I was looking for a position in general surgery within the Texas area and Beeville was attractive because, No. 1, it had a Christus Spohn hospital and I had been affiliated with Christus in the past,” he said. “And second, because it was close to San Antonio — and with the grandkids living in San Antonio this was an ideal location.”

He said he has enjoyed living in Bee County, and the community and physicians have been very welcoming.

“The staff at the hospital absolutely loves him,” Mari Cuellar, chief nursing officer at Christus Spohn Beeville, said. “He’s really a great guy and he’s very appreciative of the staff.”

We join the medical community in wishing Madrid a long and profitable stay here before he retires. Our thanks to Christus Spohn for bringing a surgeon back to this hospital, and would appreciate their continued efforts to attract more physicians with privileges to perform surgical procedures at the local hospital.

As we’ve stated previously, for our community to grow and prosper, we need both a first-rate hospital and physicians and nurses who live and provide quality care here.

On the other hand, we were disappointed to see that Kathleen Echevarria was leaving the City of Beeville to make a clean start working at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

Since taking the job as an assistant litter abatement official in late 2006, Echevarria reportedly has worked 450 cases, 25 of which wound up in court before Municipal Judge Joe Salinas, who has imposed jail time and fines on those who refuse to clean up their properties.

She organized the highly successful Spring Clean last April which resulted in a huge citywide cleanup project and has been instrumental in organizing the plastic bag study committee which may recommend a ban on use of the unsightly plastic bags in the city limits.

City officials praised her work ethic and willingness to tackle the job of changing people’s attitudes about littering. Obviously, as one letter writer pointed out in the last edition, we still have a long way to go to convince citizens to stop trashing our roadways and countryside, but we, too, appreciate Kathleen’s approach to this task.

Whoever takes her place at City Hall will face a challenge as large as a landfill. As Building Inspector and Compliance Official Lanny Holland said, “I think the city lost a great asset.”

Good luck to her, and to her replacement, Lanny and city workers as they continue their quest to convince people to take pride in keeping their homes, businesses and properties devoid of debris and trash.
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February 05, 2009
Good Luck Kathleen! I wish you the best.