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Featured: Susan Turley, President, DHR Health, provides a history and forecast for continuing growth of the Edinburg-based medical system during the State of the Hospital Address, held on Thursday, December 20, 2018 at the Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance.

Photograph Courtesy DHR HEALTH

Featured: Susan Turley, President, DHR Health, provides a history and forecast for continuing growth of the Edinburg-based medical system during the State of the Hospital Address, held on Thursday, December 20, 2018 at the Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance.

Photograph Courtesy DHR HEALTH

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At least 27 construction projects from October 2015 through May 2019 have been completed or are underway at DHR Health in Edinburg

By DAVID A. DÍAZ
Legislativemedia@aol.com

At least 27 construction projects from October 2015 through May 2019 have been completed or are currently underway at DHR Health, the premier healthcare provider in South Texas, according to building permits issued by the City of Edinburg.

It’s no wonder, then, that DHR Health in late 2018 completed the addition of 1,400 parking slots on its West Campus to handle to constant growth and better serve its patients and staff members.

Those 27 building permits covered a wide range of construction activities in the past 44 months at DHR Health, for work valued from $2,200 to $3.8 million.

In general, a building permit is legal permission given by a city, through its Code Enforcement Department, to erect, construct, renovate, maintain, or conduct any other specified activity on any building or structure, or on any installations or facilities therein. The term “building permit” includes but is not limited to building permits, electrical permits, mechanical permits, and plumbing permits.

Those figures do not include the costs of the land, high-tech equipment, specialized medical furniture, general office furniture, and the administrative infrastructure required to effectively manage those physical expansions at one of the most advanced health care systems south of San Antonio.

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 more than 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 (UTRGV) School of Medicine, and encompasses a general acute hospital with the only dedicated women’s hospital South of San Antonio, a rehabilitation hospital, a behavioral hospital, more than 60 clinics Valley wide, advanced cancer services, the only transplant program in the Rio Grande Valley – and the only functioning 24/7 Level 1 Trauma Center south of San Antonio.

Susan Turley, President of DHR Health, said the Edinburg-based hospital system, of which its existing and planned facilities are located on a 130-acre site, is reshaping the quality-of-life and economy of deep South Texas much like UT Health San Antonio, which opened its doors in 1968.

DHR HEALTH HAS GENERATED $4 BILLION ECONOMIC IMPACT IN PAST 12 YEARS

“Every day, DHR Health and is almost 7,000 employees make a significant contribution to our local economy. Actually, $4 billion in the last 12 years,” said Turley. “A few short decades ago, UT Health at San Antonio graduated its first class of its medical school. Today, the health care industry is the second-largest contributor to San Antonio’s economy. We fully expect the same phenomena to happen here in the Rio Grande Valley, in collaboration with our partners, such as the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and its School of Medicine, and with some incredible clinical trials, among others.”

She delivered those comments on Thursday, December 20, 2018 at the Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance as part of DHR Health’s State of the Hospital Address.

UT Health, formerly known as The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, serves “the needs of the citizens of Texas, the nation and the world through programs designed to advance education, research and clinical care. In fact, these programs of excellence have propelled this institution to become the chief catalyst of San Antonio’s $37 billion-a-year biosciences and healthcare industry,” according to its website.

(https://www.uthscsa.edu/university/office-president)

In general, a clinical trial is a scientifically controlled study of the safety and effectiveness of a therapeutic agent (as a drug or vaccine) using consenting human subjects.

(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clinical_trial)

“During 2018, we opened and enhanced a number of services here in the community. The first was we brought under one roof our Orthopedic Institute, not only the surgeons, but also the Orthopedic and Sports Therapy Institute, and we will be soon be making room for a sports medicine fellowship in collaboration with UTRGV,” Turley added.

In general, sports medicine is a branch of medicine that deals with physical fitness and the treatment and prevention of injuries related to sports and exercise. Although most sports teams have employed team physicians for many years, it is only since the late 20th century that sports medicine has emerged as a distinct field of health care.

(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sports_medicine)

“Our Surgery Institute, which brought together the prominent surgeons in the Valley under one service line, also joined us in the Medical Office Tower,” the DHR Health president continued. “As you drive down McColl Road, you will see the construction going up: we are adding seven additional women’s labor suites at Women’s Hospital to better serve our community.” (That project involving the Women’s Hospital expansion has been completed.)

Turley’s presentation also featured the following additional insights:

• “We also opened, as many as you have seen on our South Campus, our new medical tower, which houses imaging centers and the Transplant Institute. We also enhanced our school-based health centers that provide much needed mental health services in our schools to our children.

• “In October (2018) we opened our Wellness Institute. This is a very innovative approach to primary care with integrated medicine, with the focus on holistic health care – the whole patient.

• “Certainly, last but not least, we opened 1,400 additional parking slots on the west side of our campus to better serve both our patients and our employees.

• “I want to share with you, a few of the projects you’ll see start and come to fruition (in 2019).

• “We are currently in discussions with UTRGV about the development of a hotel here that will serve as a training site for their School of Hospitality and Tourism Management.

• “We’re looking at, on our South Campus, which is located in McAllen, to really expand their health sciences education enterprise, which will have located in one area the School of Pharmacy, which they currently are in development with UT System and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, as well as their programs for nursing, their Physician Assistant School, and other health sciences.

• “We are also talking [about] our new research facility, is going to open, and that building is primarily focused on research. However, as you heard earlier, there is significant amount of development in clinical trial research here in the Valley, and we expect to expand our services on the south side of our campuses.

(On Wednesday, March 13, 2019, the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, along with its teaching affiliate DHR Health and the City of McAllen, celebrated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony the landmark University of Texas Health Rio Grande Valley Biomedical Research building, which will help come up with treatments – and possible cures – for illnesses and diseases that affect South Texans. The UT Health RGV Biomedical Research Building, which is located on DHR Health’s South Campus along E. Dove Road in McAllen, was designed by The Warren Group of McAllen and Cantú Construction of McAllen. It is a 83,020 gross-square feet, two story building with its estimated value of $32 million to $34 million.)

“Our Children’s Hospital project – the closest children facility is in Corpus Christi – we have a huge number of children here who deserve the exact kind of care that you can get in the larger cities, and we’re going to bring that to the Valley. This is a regional collaboration with other facilities and partners, we’ll be expanding subspecialty care, and this will be the very foundation for the UTRGV School of Medicine Residency Program.”

HUMBLE BEGINNINGS OF DHR HEALTH

Carlos J. Cárdenas, MD, Chairman, Board of Managers, DHR Health, reflected on the humble beginnings of DHR Health.

“We first opened our doors in 1997 as a 30-bed ambulatory surgical center, then called Day Surgery at Renaissance, and our vision has continued to become reality, revolutionizing the health care landscape of the Rio Grande Valley, so as to eliminate the need for residents to seek medical services outside of our region,” said Cárdenas. “Today, we are a modern 500+ bed full-service health network, and we continue to invest millions of dollars in staff, services and technology to create a world-class health system that is advancing medicine and increasing access to care by empowering caregivers to heal through compassion, knowledge, innovation, integrated care and excellence.”

The ongoing expansion of DHR Health has helped keep up with the population rise of deep South Texas, as well as been a major economic engine to the region.

As of July 2017, the estimated population of Hidalgo County was more than 860,000, making it the 8th most populous county in Texas, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In 2015, the estimated population of Hidalgo County was 757,417.

“Our growth is as much a story of the Rio Grande Valley as it is the story of our hospital. We are growing with the community and DHR’s vision goes beyond healthcare — it’s in economic development, expanding educational opportunities for our youth,” said Cárdenas. “Our vision entails each aspect of every major pillar it takes to build a great community. We’re trying to grow so we can bring services to a community that is deserving of them.”

DHR Health’s growth and expansion plans include a new multilevel medical tower that will house intensive care units dedicated to surgical, cardiovascular, neurosurgical, and orthopedic patients. The tower will also include a step-down telemetry unit, medical-surgical unit, and pediatric and adult burn units. DHR also plans to add more than 18 new operating rooms and expand its emergency room to 80 beds to include a renovated helipad to grow into its Level I Trauma Center.

BUILDING PERMITS ISSUED SINCE OCTOBER 2015 BY CITY OF EDINBURG

Between October 2015 and May 2019, the City of Edinburg has issued the following building permits, all of them for additions or upgrades to the DHR facilities.

The building permits do not include the value of the land, equipment, furniture, or new personnel hired, or indirect jobs created, as a result of the construction activities.

MAY 2019

$412,518 – DHR Health, 5501 S. McColl Rd., Doctors Center Subdivision

MARCH 2019

$48,500 – DHR Health, 5501 S. McColl Rd., Doctors Center Subdivision; and
$178,875 – DHR Health, 5501 S. McColl Rd., Doctors Center Subdivision.

FEBRUARY 2019

$2,184,000 – DHR Health, 5501 S. McColl Rd., Doctors Center Subdivision.

JANUARY 2019

$292,243 – DHR Health, 5540 Raphael Dr., Doctors Center, Ph 2 Subdivision; and
$550,000 – DHR Health, 2717 Michael Angelo, 2nd Floor, Doctors Center Phase 2 Subdivision.

JULY 2018

$35,000 – DHR Health, 3132 Counterpoint Dr., Center Point Subdivision.

JUNE 2018

$60,000 – DHR Health, 5501 S. McColl Rd., Doctors Center Subdivision.

MAY 2018

$850,000 – DHR Health, 5403 Doctors Dr., Doctors Center Subdivision; and
$30,000 – DHR Health, 5403 Doctors Dr., Doctors Center Subdivision.

MARCH 2018

$60,000 – DHR Health, 5501 S. McColl Rd., Doctors Center Subdivision.

JANUARY 2018

$35,000 – DHR Health, 1601 E. Sprague, Tex-Mex Subdivision.

DECEMBER 2017

$1,300,000 – Cantu Construction, 5501 S. McColl Rd., Doctors Center Subdivision.

SEPTEMBER 2017

$10,000 – DHR Health, 5540 Raphael Dr., Doctors Center Ph. 2 Subdivision.

AUGUST 2017

$600,000 – DHR Health, 2603 Michael Angelo Dr., Doctors Center Ph. 2 Subdivision.

MAY 2017

$2,200 – DHR Health, 5501 McColl Rd, Bld. Dining Area, Doctors Center Subdivision.

JANUARY 2017

$1,203,120 – DHR Health, 5501 S. McColl Rd., Doctors Center Subdivision; and
$391,760 – DHR Health, 5501 S. McColl Rd., Doctors Center Subdivision.

NOVEMBER 2016

$4,000 – DHR Health, 5501 S. McColl Rd., Doctors Subdivision;
$288,000 – DHR Health, 5501 S. McColl Rd., Doctors Center Subdivision; and
$200,000– DHR Health, 5501 N. McColl Rd., Doctors Center Subdivision.

OCTOBER 2016

$288,000 – DHR Health, 5501 McColl Rd., Doctors Center Subdivision.

SEPTEMBER 2016

$3,687,300 – DHR Health, 5540 Raphael Dr., Doctors Center Ph. 2 Subdivision.

FEBRUARY 2016

$200,000– DHR Health, 5501 N. McColl Rd., Doctors Center Subdivision.

NOVEMBER 2015

$280,000 – DHR Health, 5501 S. McColl Rd., Doctors Center Subdivision.

OCTOBER 2015

$200,000 – DHR Health, 5501 S. McColl Rd., Doctors Center Subdivision; and
$3,800,000 – DHR Health, 5501 S. McColl Rd., Doctors Center Subdivision.

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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.

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