Featured: Technicians on Wednesday, July 9, 2018, set up for a major event to be held on the 3,100 square foot stage of the Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance Auditorium, which features multiple viewing screens, a state-of-the-art sound system, and theatrical LED lighting. The auditorium is one of the many assets of the 54,000 square foot multi-purpose Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance, owned by DHR Health, located at 118 Paseo del Prado Avenue in the southwest part of the city.
Photograph Courtesy EDINBURG CONFERENCE CENTER AT RENAISSANCE
Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance continues to excel on vision to deliver major events, improve quality-of-life, and generate positive publicity for hometown and Valley
On Thursday, November 20, 2008, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation – which at the time included Mayor Joe Ochoa and former Mayor Richard García on its five-member board of directors – first revealed Doctors Hospital at Renaissance’s vision for what would become the Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance, which at the time represented a $14 private million investment.
A little more than a decade later, the 54,000-square foot Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance – which is owned and operated by the hospital system, now known as DHR Health – has hosted several hundred events in its hometown, serving as one of deep South Texas’ premier state-of-the-art venues for a wide range of gatherings for people from all walks of life.
“It’s done so much for the area,” said Edinburg Mayor Richard Molina. “It’s great to have it here, in a prime location, between Edinburg and McAllen, which are the largest cities in Hidalgo County, in an area where there is so much traffic, so much activity going on.”
DHR Health is a physician-owned health system and the only locally owned and operated hospital left in Hidalgo and Cameron counties. Anchored in southwest Edinburg, with a growing presence in neighboring McAllen, DHR Health offers some of the most comprehensive medical care on the U.S. southern border, with over 1,400 nurses and 700 physicians providing care in 70 specialties and sub-specialties.
Additionally, DHR Health is the flagship teaching hospital for the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine, and encompasses a general acute hospital with a 24/7 Level III Trauma Facility the only dedicated women’s hospital South of San Antonio, a rehabilitation hospital, a behavioral hospital, over 60 clinics Valleywide, advanced cancer services, and the only transplant program in the Rio Grande Valley, to name a few.
Located near the intersection of McColl and Dove in southwest Edinburg at 118 Paseo del Prado – on one of the sites of DHR Health – the Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance has enriched the quality-of-life in the Valley with, but not limited to, the following functions:
• Appearances by regional, state and national leaders;
• Ballets and operas which showcase regional talents;
• Charity fundraisers;
• Commencement exercises;
• Community events;
• Continuing medical education programs;
• Governmental meetings;
• Graduation ceremonies;
• International film festivals;
• Medical education summits;
• Musical performances;
• News conferences;
• Patient education forums;
• Speakers’ bureau;
• Town Hall meetings; and
• Theatrical presentations.
Mayor Molina: “We do have a shortage of events centers of that caliber in the Valley.”
Molina said the Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance has firmly established itself with South Texans as a brand name of the highest quality.
The Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance can be divided into multi-purpose rooms that can accommodate from 80 to 1,000 guests. The advanced lighting and sound technology ensures a smooth functioning of an event, and the auditorium has satellite broadcasting capabilities and a catering kitchen facility, according to DHR Health officials.
“We do have a shortage of events centers of that caliber in the Valley,” the mayor noted. “A lot of people already recognize the Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance. The community knows they can show up, and how to find it.”
At the end of March, the Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance was scheduled to promote more economic development for the region, as well as generate positive statewide attention, with the Governor’s 2019 Small Business Conference, set for March 29, 2019, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“That’s big. That puts us more on a state level so people will come who may not have had the opportunity to check it out, see what it’s all about,” Molina said.
In the city’s Facebook, area leaders reminded interested individuals to show up for the event, which targeted existing small business and startups, featuring private and public small business resources, practical solutions, best practices and expert assistance on a broad range of business topics and challenges.
In addition to the governor’s office, the other major sponsors of the business conference include the Texas Workforce Commission the U.S. Small Business Administration, RGB Partnership, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, and the Office of Community Engagement & Economic Development, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.
According to Texas Economic Development, which is part of the Gov. Greg Abbott’s office, the Governor’s Small Business Conference “is a learning and networking opportunity for businesses at every stage of development. Throughout the day, the event features separate tracks designed to assist new and existing businesses.”
The registration fee is $20, which includes parking and lunch, with more information available at [email protected].
More details on the upcoming Governor’s Small Business Conference is available online at:
The Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance figuratively and literary reaches for the stars, as evidenced by the upcoming 8th Annual Edinburg UFO Conference & Festival, scheduled for early April 2019.
The Sekula Memorial Library and Edinburg Arts invite believers and non-believers to join in the two-day event, to be held on Friday, April 5, 2019 and Saturday, April 6, 2019, which will feature several of the nation’s top speakers on Unidentified Flying Objects as part of the festivities.
The mayor reported that the UFO Conference & Festival reaches state, national and global audiences, and in doing so, brings visitors to the city.
“I made that comment last year. I saw lot of out-of-state license plates (at the Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance) when I went to the welcoming,” Molina said. “To see all of those people come from across the United States is special, because the UFO conference in recognized not only around the nation, but worldwide.”
As a result, more people learn about Edinburg and get to see, for the first time, the city’s dynamic assets.
“It’s great to make conference center the hub (of the UFO festival),” Molina said. “The more we are able to promote it and plug it, once people recognize that it is there, it will have even more momentum.”
Molina is scheduled to be at the Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance for his Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast on Wednesday, April 3, 2019, from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
This inaugural event will bring spiritual awareness to our growing community, according to the city’s website. The event will feature a welcome from the Honorable Mayor Richard Molina, readings from the Old and New Testament by faith leaders, Father Greg Labus of St. Joseph Catholic Church and Pastor David Alexander of First Baptist Church, and keynote speakers.
The speakers will headline the event providing their spiritual journey over the course of their athletic careers.
Speakers are Dallas Cowboy players, Tyrone Crawford and Joe Looney. Limited tickets will be sold the day of the event. Currently sponsor packages are being offered and can be obtained by reaching out to Assistant City Manager, Carla Rodríguez at [email protected].
Groundbreaking held in March 2011
About 40 months after news first broke that the facility was being considered for construction, on Thursday, March 3, 2011, the Edinburg Mayor and City Council and the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors, along with DHR Health leaders, held the groundbreaking for the Edinburg Conference at Renaissance.
“The Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance is a place where doctors and other health care practitioners from throughout South Texas will come together to hear from the leading experts in medicine and health care,” Mayor García said at the time. “Already, Doctors Hospital at Renaissance is recognized as one of the leading hospitals in Texas, and this facility will further enhance its ability to bring world-class health care to Edinburg and to the entire region. In the end, everybody benefits, the doctors, the patients, and the community.”
Also representing the Edinburg City Council and the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation at the March 3, 2011 groundbreaking were: Mayor Pro Tem Agustín “Gus” García, Jr.; Councilmember Gene Espinoza; Councilmember Noé Garza, P.E.; City Manager Ramiro Garza, Jr.; Fred Palacios, Secretary/Treasurer, Board of Directors, Edinburg Economic Development Corporation; Mark S. Peña, Member, Board of Directors, Edinburg Economic Development Corporation; and Pedro Salazar, Executive Director, Edinburg Economic Development Corporation.
“There is a need to have educational activities for the benefit of our physicians, medical staff, and the community as a whole,” said Marissa Castañeda, DHR Health Chief Operations Officer. “Health care is an ever-evolving industry, so ongoing education for our staff, patients, and physicians is one of the components necessary to continue serving our community and providing optimal health care for the residents of the Rio Grande Valley.”
“This is a great day for the City of Edinburg and Doctors Hospital at Renaissance,” said Carlos J. Cárdenas, MD, Chairman, Board of Directors, DHR Health. “We have been working toward this for many years and to finally see it come to fruition is deeply gratifying.
“The construction of the Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance is evidence of the way our community can work together to build a center that will further our ability to share knowledge with the cities we serve,” Cárdenas added. “The City of Edinburg is a driving force in providing the best for people in our community, which includes the best educational opportunities, entertainment, and the most advanced health services in the Rio Grande Valley.”
The project – which received more than $2 million from a special city fund dedicated to improve health care in Edinburg – was a significant private investment in the medical and educational needs of the Rio Grande Valley.
“The Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance further demonstrates DHR’s dedication to providing the best health care possible to the residents of the Rio Grande Valley,” Cárdenas said. “We now have the opportunity to share information with the community and they too have the opportunity to share information with us. Since its inception, DHR has been dedicated to advancing educational and health-related services in the RGV. I am excited to say the Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance will provide just that — superior education and health care.”
Mayor Ochoa’s actions that led to explosion of growth in southwest Edinburg
In late 2008, when Edinburg city leaders began to take more public roles in supporting the creation of the Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance, Mayor Ochoa reflected on the the decisions by his administration in the mid-1990s to bring that area of southwest Edinburg into the city limits through a process known as annexation.
Soon after, Ochoa and the Edinburg City Council invested local and state funds to improve key infrastructure that led to an explosion of economic growth in the then-newly-annexed region.
“Back then, the area where Doctors Hospital at Renaissance is now located was dominated by agricultural fields, and McColl Road and Trenton Road, which were rural streets, are now major roadways which have powered the great economic growth in the region,” Ochoa told reporters on Tuesday, December 2, 2008. “Now we have a major medical corridor anchored by Doctors Hospital at Renaissance, and the proposed medical conference center would be the latest result of our vision.”
Ochoa also led city strategies in the 1990s to improve medical care and education, spearheading successful efforts that included landing the University of Texas-Pan American Regional Academic Health Center, and supporting a cooperative pharmacy program at UT-Pan American in partnership with the University of Texas at Austin.
In 2013, under state legislation authored by Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen, and sponsored by Rep. René Oliveria, D-Brownsville, UT Pan American, UT-Brownsville, the UT Regional Academic Health Centers in Edinburg, Harlingen, and Brownsville, and all other campuses, facilities, and components that were part of UT Pan American and UT Brownsville were combined to become the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and the UTRGV School of Medicine.
UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS RIO GRANDE VALLEY EVENT BRINGS TOGETHER SCHOOL OF MEDICINE, NURSING, PA STUDENTS FOR INTERPROFESSIONAL TEAM-BUILDING EVENT
Students from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine, School of Nursing, and the Physician Assistant Studies Program in the College of Health Professions received an early glimpse into working in a team-based environment to help a patient.
The School of Medicine hosted the first Team-Centric Friday event on March 1, 2019, where more than 160 students – nurse practitioner students, physician assistant students and first-year medical students – collaborated on how to treat a patient with vision problems.
“It was great to be able to interact with the M.D. students, as well as the nurse practitioner students,” said Greg Billings, a first-year physician assistant studies student from Mesa, Arizona. “It’s an amazing opportunity for us to begin a relationship early with medical students and nurse practitioners, so that we’re able to work better together once we’re actually in practice.”
Billings and other students said they appreciated how they were able to complement each other’s skill sets. Where medical students excelled in pathology, the PA and nurse practitioners excelled in clinical presentation skills, they said.
“I think that it primes us for when we’re actually in the workplace, working with the rest of the healthcare team on a daily basis,” said first-year medical student Unyime-Abasi Eyobio. “I think it will be good to have that foundation before we actually get started.”
The Team-Centric Friday activity was the realization of a shared vision that faculty members from the schools of Medicine and Nursing, and the College of Health Professions, have had in developing interprofessional education opportunities for students, said Dr. Helene Krouse, RN, Associate Dean for Interprofessional Education at the UTRGV School of Medicine.
Citing the Institute of Medicine’s 1999 patient safety report, “To Err is Human,” Krouse said a high number of medical errors were the result of a lack of communication among healthcare professionals. Having students of medicine and other health-related professions collaborate earlier in their careers can help them become more acclimated to working in a team-based environment and improve communication among healthcare providers, she said.
“The goal is to have the patient at the center of care,” Krouse said. “We’re here because of the patient.”
The activity included 16 faculty members from various programs and schools, including internal medicine residents who served as faculty facilitators. These facilitators provided guidance to small interprofessional teams of students as they reviewed the case study.
Participating faculty members said they were impressed with how well students from the different programs worked together. Several faculty members said they noticed the respect with which students treated each other and how they helped one another throughout the exercise.
“I liked how well they meshed,” said Dr. Jawairia Khan, a second-year medical resident in the UTRGV internal medicine residency program at Doctors Hospital at Renaissance.
Despite being from different programs and at different stages in their respective programs, Khan said they knew when to pull back or when to offer their opinions.
“I was surprised they didn’t try to talk over each other,” she said. “They said, this is about a patient, this is the patient’s care, and you have to leave your ego and everything else aside and take care of the patient first. I thought that was very mature for students coming in right off the bat.”
Kelli Owen Quin and Jennifer L. Berghom contributed to this article. For more information, please contact Roberto Haddad, Vice President and Counsel for Government Affairs and Policy at DHR Health, or Jesse Ozuna, Government Affairs Officer at DHR Health, at 956/362-7165. For more on this and other Texas legislative news stories which affect the Rio Grande Valley metropolitan region, please log on to Titans of the Texas Legislature (TitansoftheTexasLegislature.com).