Doctor’s Park renamed to honor two Temple Pioneers
Monday, 24 September 2012 by Keith Bahlmann
The City of Temple Parks and Leisure Services Department will rename Doctor's Park and hold a ceremony to honor Dr. Jose Rodarte and Dr. Jesse Ibarra, Jr. The ceremony is open to the public and will be held on Sat., Sept. 15 at 10 a.m. at Doctor's Park in Temple.
"It is great to be able to honor these Temple medical pioneers by renaming the park. Dr. Rodarte and Dr. Ibarra are great examples of the impact physicians can have in our community," said Ken Cicora, Temple Parks and Leisure Services Director.
In 2008, the three acre open space area was named Doctor's Park at the request of the Bell County Medical Alliance who wanted to dedicate a park, or part of a park in honor of retiring physicians. The Medical Alliance agreed to donate a tree annually to Doctor's Park for each retiring doctor.
Earlier this year, Edward Luna, community member, approached the Parks and Leisure Services Department to consider naming a park or city facility after doctors Jesse D. Ibarra Jr. and Jose Gamme Rodarte for their outstanding careers in Temple working at Scott and White.
Dr. Ibarra helped spearhead the 1962 massive Bell County, county-wide polio oral vaccine drive that was among the state's most successful. He served as a Scott & White Clinic trustee from 1973-1984. He was a member of the State Board of Medical Examiners from 1977-1988. Dr. Ibarra served as chairman of the Scott & White Latin America Task Forces until 1999.
Dr. Rodarte worked at Scott & White from 1938-1977. He served as a trustee on the initial Board of Scott & White Memorial Hospital. In 1968, he served as President of the American Association of Medical Clinics. Dr. Rodarte was active for over 20 years in the Federation state
Medical Board of the United States. He was President of the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners.
The Temple Parks and Leisure Services Department and the Parks Advisory Board recommended that Doctor's Park be renamed after Dr. Ibarra and Dr. Rodarte.
The Medical Alliance also supported the idea of naming Doctor's Park to Dr. Jose Rodarte and Dr. Jesse Ibarra Jr. Doctor's Park. "We appreciate the opportunity to offer our support of City efforts to recognize these two distinguished physicians," said Maureen Villamaria, President of the Medical Alliance of Bell County.
Dr. Robert W. Pryor, President & CEO of Scott & White Healthcare in a letter of support to Mr. Luna stated, "Scott & White is recognized as the largest multi-specialty practice in Texas and one of the nation's largest multi-specialty group practice systems. Through their exemplary lives and medical practice, Dr. Rodarte and Dr. Ibarra set the high standards that we strive to meet every day."
Also at this event, another Temple pioneer, Dr. Thomas Dixon, will be honored with a special tree planted in the park. Dr. Dixon provided medical care for Temple's African-American community at a time when other hospitals would not. Dr. Dixon dedicated his life and practice to the people of Temple for almost thirty years.
For more information, please contact Kristi Sykora at 254.298.5586.